January 2019 Newsletter
Happy New Year!
I hope you all struggle in 2019!
That’s probably not quite the New Year wish you were expecting. My 2018 was not as smooth as I would have liked, and I have come to appreciate it. As it is for most people, things don’t always go my way. I am frequently required to adjust my approach and attitude to keep trying. Some setbacks are frustrating, maddening, and maybe even a little dangerous, but many setbacks are really opportunities for us to rethink, regroup, and re-attack.
Most of us are familiar with the popular paraphrasing of Neitsche’s quote, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” There is a growing body of research exploring the value of failure. The lessons learned through failure can make us stronger. There are early elementary teachers who are purposely giving assignments and tasks that guarantee failure to encourage rethinking, regrouping, and re-attacking the problem. One school district has put this concept into its school improvement plan and has given presentations on the resulting successes in critical thinking and problem solving. They proudly proclaim that their students make an average of seven attempts before they are successful. Not only is failure an option, it is expected and celebrated as additional opportunities to try. Can you remember ever trying something seven times?
Another term for this is grit, a term that is gaining popularity in today’s culture. Encouraging multiple attempts in order to accomplish a goal has been sorely lacking in recent times as we have attempted to avoid discomfort for our children. Often parents will swoop in to help a youngster who may be struggling with a task, a friend, a problem, or a project. Think of the impact on young people who will not be equipped to handle setbacks and disappointments whether on a project or with interpersonal relationships. They are being conditioned to expect someone else to solve their problems. This practice creates a fear of failure and eliminates important growth opportunities that come from discomfort.
What is really happening when we overcome obstacles is that we are building and exercising our resilience. Success comes from resilience. Successful people don’t give up, they keep trying with different strategies. Whatever your personal struggles, you will most likely survive and be stronger for the experience. Henry Ford is credited with saying, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
While I don’t wish bad luck to befall any of you, I do see the value in struggling. I also see the value in encouraging multiple attempts by our students. Encourage resilience! Let 2019 be the year you fail…and keep trying!
Alternatives to Suspension
The final recommendations of the School Safety Task Force have been released. Recommendation 25 is to: Update and expand the online Alternatives to Suspensions and Expulsions toolkit and increase promotion and use of the tool. Research supports even one out of school suspension increases the likelihood of academic failure, school dropout and involvement in the juvenile justice system (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013; Hemphill, Toumbourou, Herrenkohl, McMorris, & Catalano, 2006).
Some recommendations in the tool kit include:
- administrator/student conferences
- Administrator and teacher-parent/guardian conferences
- Referrals and conferences involving various support or agencies
- daily/weekly progress reports
- Behavioral contracts & intervention plans
- Behavior intervention teacher training
- Counseling and psychological services
- Restoration for all affected parties
- before-and/or after-school detention
Full Article: Exclusionary Discipline
In November, MDE rolled out its timeline for the newly launched “Michigan Integrated Continuous Improvement Process” or “MICIP.”
Note that MDE will not adopt a new electronic platform until they have utilized stakeholder input to generate an RFP that fits our redesigned process, with a “full launch” target of 2020-2021. The process will have a distinctly Whole Child focus and will work to “integrate needs, planning, and funding.” Click here for a detailed presentation from November’s “Strengthening Systems” session; contact Lindsay Brindley, school improvement facilitator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Below is a list of trainings/meetings for January. Please click the link for more information and to register. (If lunch is provided as part of a training, you must register at least 24 hours in advance to be included in the lunch count). For a complete listing for the school year, please visit Wisdomwhere.
EUP Regional History Day
History Day will be taking place at LSSU on Friday, March 8. Please see our website for all important information.
Social Studies Teacher Leader Corps
The Social Studies Teacher Leader Corps (SSTLC) launched successfully in mid-December! Twelve local K-12 teachers who are passionate about high-quality social studies instruction have made a three-year commitment to personal professional learning, regional facilitation, and renewed engagement in helping our students become effective citizens. Our goal is to begin to offer embedded PD across the U.P. in most of our seven Key Areas as early as winter of the 2019-20 school year. Stay tuned!
Are you looking to learn more about the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy? If so, visit literacyessentials.org. There are online modules through Michigan Virtual where you can earn SCECHs while learning about research-based literacy instructional practices. Currently, modules are available for Prekindergarten, grades K-3, and the Coaching Practices. If you have any questions, please contact Brooke Beacom, Alicia Johnson, or Tammy Bell.
EUP STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
EUP Regional Science & Engineering Fair results from December 6.
Upcoming Teacher Events:
Cereal City Science Teacher Workshops
*For schools participating in the MiSTEM Grant, please remember that per grant criteria, the teacher who is using each kit must attend the PD sessions.
Elementary Life Science- Register Here through Wisdomwhere
January 17 - Kindergarten
January 24 - Grade 3
January 31 - Grade 2
February 7 - Grade 1
February 12 - Grade 4
February 22 - Grade 5
Middle School Physical Science- Register Here through Wisdomwhere
Kit 2- February 14
Kit 1 Makeup day- February 15
Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX)
Day 5 of NGSX will be held on January 7. If you are not a part of our current NGSX cohort but are interested in future workshops, please email Kevin St. Onge at email@example.com.
Day 3 of STEM Integrated Learning Teams (ILT) will take place on February 19. STEM Integrated Learning Team (ILT) meetings give teachers the opportunity to work collaboratively within an integrated STEM learning environment. This year, learning will include work in three strategic areas: Community Connections, Innovative Programming, and Mathematical Modeling.
As the result of a statewide partnership through the MiSTEM Network and Code.org, teachers will have the opportunity to take part in professional learning and training that will help them to teach computer science. Opportunities will exist for K-12 teachers.
- Middle school and high school teachers will have the opportunity to apply for the Code.org TeacherCon at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. This year’s event will take place from July 28-August 2, and teacher applications should be released sometime in January.
- A Code.org Elementary Computer Science Fundamentals workshop will take place at the EUPISD on August 14, 2019. Registration information will be shared when registration opens.
Pi Day at LSSU will take place on March 13, 2019 at the Walker Cisler Center on the Campus of Lake Superior State University. Students in middle school and high school will have the opportunity to compete in a math competition. There are both middle school and high school divisions, and teachers will be invited to register teams of five students. Please see the Flyer and Registration Link for more information.
Trig Star will take place in the EUP on May 1, 2019. Trig Star is a geometry competition for high school students across Michigan. The Trig-Star competition is a national trigonometry competition open to high school students throughout the country. Trig-Star is designed to show students real world applications of trigonometry in the land surveying and engineering professions. The students are given four questions, and the student that has the most correct answers in the least amount of time is declared the EUP regional winner, winning a prize and receiving the opportunity to enter their score to the statewide competition . Teachers and students from all EUP districts are invited to attend. Jeff Davis of Great Lakes Surveying and the EUP STEM Region sponsor this event. A flyer and registration link will be released later this winter.
Career Technical Education
Program Applications Submitted for State Approval 2018-2019
Rudyard – Mechatronics has been approved Mechatronics is a course that encourages creative thinking and problem-solving using technology and machinery. During the course, students will work with robotics.
Brimley- Agriculture/Natural Resources has been approved. This is a contracted program with LSSU. The Center for Freshwater Research and Education building will be completed in 2020. A classroom has been designed for CTE students.
Les Cheneaux - Small Engine Repair/Marine Mechanic contracted with the Boat Building School. This program had applied for Marshall Grant Funding and was not awarded. They are going to resubmit for round two.
Engadine - Woodworking Manufacturing- November application has been submitted
Michigan Small Business Development Center will be providing training to CTE students regarding entrepreneurship. Presentations will begin during the second semester on Tuesdays from 9-12.
We are issuing a challenge to all schools to participate in The Great Kindness Challenge scheduled for January 28 – February 1, 2019. It’s an easy checklist of suggested acts of kindness for staff and students to implement. Click here to visit the site for information on how your school can participate.
Grief and Grieving
Grief is a normal emotion, and part of healing, which can be more intense during the holiday season. This often impacts our students, as well as ourselves. Educators often wonder how to address this with their students. Teachers and other adults at school can help most by simply being present with and attentive to grieving students as they express their feelings and concerns.
Teachers are not expected to provide intense intervention or counseling for a grieving student. Instead, they can help by fostering a supportive environment. They can also refer a student to a School Counselor or Social Worker if necessary. While we cannot prevent a child's grief, we can serve as a source of stability and comfort at one of the most crucial times in a student's life. Click here for additional tips and resources.
Project SEARCH News
The Project SEARCH Interns have successfully completed their first round of internships. They received great feedback from all of their mentors. They are now ready to begin their second internships. Click HERE to read more.
Upcoming Training/Meeting Dates
Below is a list of trainings for January and February. Please visit Wisdomwhere for more information and to register. (If lunch is provided as part of a training, you must register at least 24 hours in advance to be included in the lunch count).
Area Coordinator’s Regular Meeting and Workgroup: 1/16/19, 2/20/19
Autism Building Coaches: 1/18/19
CPI Full Certification: 1/7/19, 2/15/19
CPI Recertification: 1/18/19, 2/08/19
Curriculum Access Team (CAT): 1/23/19
MTSS Literacy Tier 1: 1/21/19
MTSS Literacy Tier 2 & 3: 2/28/19
New Special Education Teacher & Ancillary Staff Training: 1/29/19
OT/PT Workgroup: 1/25/19
PBIS EUPISD Implementation Team: 1/03/19, 2/05/19
Regional Implementation Team (RIT): 1/15/19, 2/19/19
Specially Designed Instruction: 1/21/19
SRSS (Student Risk Coordinator Training): 2/7/19
START (Statewide Autism Resources Training) K-12 Intensive Training Series: 1/9/19, 1/10/19, 2/5/19, 2/6/19
Tier 3 Behavior Data Systems – Coaching Support: 2/18/19
Tier 3 Systems Coaches Behavior Systems Coaching Support Session: 2/4/19
Tri-County Administrators Meeting: 1/17/19, 2/21/19
Youth Mental Health Steering Committee: 1/14/19, 2/11/19
Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy - Prekindergarten Training Series
The Essentials are research-supported instructional practices that are shown to have a positive impact on literacy development. The first two days of the four-part training series will be offered on January 18 and February 15 at Lake Superior State University. Please refer to the flyer for more details and registration information.
Regional Data Systems/Instructional Technology
NWEA Winter Testing Window is Open
The Winter testing window is open until January 30, 2019. If you need help creating testing sessions and/or monitoring student testing, login and watch the video tutorial. Other support videos can be found here.
NWEA Dynamic Teacher Reporting Dashboard
This Dashboard is a great way to monitor and target learning for individual students and small groups. You can see more about it using this link.
Data Management Team Meetings: Next Meeting is January 11, 2019
If you deal with data in Illuminate (Illuminate Leaders, Secretaries, Counselors, Administrators, Teachers), please join the Data Management Team. Meetings are quarterly and deal with all areas of using Illuminate: report cards, GradeBooks, transcripts, demographics, special education, reports, lunch program, and behavior. Your input and experience are important, so consider being a part of the team. If you have questions, contact Marianna Ripple. Register for meetings in Illuminate.
REMC 22 Lend-Items Library
Remember that REMC 22 (EUPISD) has a library of classroom materials that can be reserved and checked out. If you need account access to the library, please contact Marianna Ripple or Genny Kaunisto.
REMC Classroom Makers Training: January 10, 2019 @ EUPISD
Give your students the opportunity to become makers; you can provide them with experiences that will help them learn to break larger tasks into manageable pieces while improving access to learning through engagement and fun.
This event will focus on educators, specifically Michigan classroom teachers, that have integrated making into their teaching practice. The day will allow attendees to explore maker-centered tools and trends, gain valuable resources and connect with maker-minded educators. Staying true to the spirit of the REMC Classroom Makers project the day will offer plenty of hands-on opportunities.
SCECH Participant Verification forms are due at the end of the 1st semester for the following:
- Supervising/Cooperating Teacher
- Supervising School Counselor
- Supervising School Psychologist
- Mentor Teacher
- Mentor School Counselor
- Mentor School Psychologist
Click here to access the Participant Verification Forms. Signed, original forms should be sent to Jill Coates, SCECH Coordinator, no later than 30 days after the end date of the activity.
Future Pension Presentations
Thursday, February 7, 2019, 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. (each session lasts approximately an hour and a half) - EUPISD Conference Room A
MARSP Pension Planning 301 - This seminar is for staff that are considering MPSERS retirement sometime in the next few years. MARSP is the Michigan Association for Retired School Personnel.
MARSP’s retirement planning experts present: the “MRPS Pension Seminar” with all the essential information needed to start thinking about retirement. This seminar is available to all public school and community college employees who are members of the MPSERS retirement plan.
- Health Insurance
- Purchasing Service Credit
- Pension Options
- Retirement Planning and how to maximize your pension
- Rights as a Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) retiree and who is best to represent those rights
- Any other questions about retirement
Cost: FREE - spouses are also encouraged to attend
We will also have a MARSP Pension Planning meeting in St Ignace on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 4 PM
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April 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM at the EUPISD - The Office of Retirement Services will present on the Pension Plus System. This is for staff whose first day worked in a Michigan Public School between July 1, 2010 and January 31, 2018 and you did not choose the Defined Contribution (DC) retirement plan.
April 11, 2019 at 5:30 PM at the EUPISD - The Office of Retirement Services will present on retiring with the MIP and Basic plans. This is for staff whose first day worked in a Michigan Public School was before July 1, 2010.