September 2019 Newsletter

School News


Relentless Positive Action

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder used to declare that his administration would engage in relentless positive action every day that he was governor.  While some might argue with whether all his actions in office were actually positive is in the eye of the political beholder.  All of that aside, the concept of focusing on positive actions and attitudes is quite valuable.

Thousands of Eastern Upper Peninsula families woke up this morning, got their children ready to go, and made sure they were on the bus or dropped off at our schools.  These families had a varying level of success in getting their students dressed and out the door on time.  Many of those students are eager to be in school, see their friends, make new friends, and learn new things.  Many of those students are considered at risk for one or more factors.  Many students are living below the poverty line and a steady source of nutrition is the most important element of the new school year.  Still many others are just unhappy summer is over and they can’t binge watch Netflix as much as they have all summer.  Whatever the reason, our students need encouragement and positivity.

What if each of us greeted every one of our students with a smile…every day?  What if we demonstrate a positive demeanor every day with our students and colleagues?  What would be the impact?  Sure, effort is required for a person to be positive all the time, especially when things are not going as smoothly as we would like.  Some things upset us, but how we react is within our control.  Is it necessary or effective to be easily angered or upset by seemingly small items?  This behavior distracts others and impedes progress toward the goal.  We all know someone in our lives who can find the negative in any situation.  Let’s not be that person.  Let’s model positivity.  What do we want our students to learn from our reactions and our attitudes?

I wish you a relentlessly positive start to the school year!


Welcome to the start of a new school year!  In order to continue your work with MTSS, it is important to keep a strong team.  It is the time of year to review your team membership and begin distributing responsibilities to members to move your programs forward. In order to sustain the work, a team approach is recommended.  It is key to use data for decision making and to also share the data with all staff. For more information, read further in the EUPMTSS Newsletter.

Another important part of sustainability is aligning your work within your MTSS system.  Remember, all of the MTSS work you have started is the foundation for new initiatives you bring on board. The EUPISD has a tool for selecting and deselecting initiatives called the EUP Selection & Alignment Tool. This tool can help you align your work and best utilize the resources available.

Have a great school year and keep moving forward with your MTSS work!

School Improvement

Strengthening Systems Training

With the new Michigan Integrated Continuous Improvement Process (MICIP) on the horizon, many school improvement teams may have questions such as the following:

  • What does this transition mean for our current plan/process?
  • How do I take what I'm already doing for school improvement and make it more meaningful?
  • How do I use the new system to capture what we’re really doing to help kids in our school?
  • What about our MTSS work?  Where does that fit?

Keeping these questions in mind, the Strengthening Systems series for this year will focus on establishing/sustaining MTSS through a MICIP lens as well as continuing our regional transition to a Whole Child approach. Nate Beelen will be co-presenting the trainings with ISD staff; training dates are September 26, December 5, January 30, and April 30 (note the removal of two of the original dates).  Register your full team in Wisdomwhere.

Please contact Lindsay Brindley ( for additional details; we hope a team from every district will join us!

General Education

Training/Meeting Dates

Below is a list of trainings/meetings for September.  Please click the link for more information and to register. For a complete listing, please visit Wisdomwhere.

Add+VantageMR Fractions On-line Zoom Meeting
Cereal City - Physical Science Elementary Workshops
Instructional Coaching Collaboration
Reading Recovery/Literacy Lessons/Literacy Support Re-Certification PD
Running Records
STEM ILT - Model Based Biology (MBER)
Tri-County Administrators Meetings

Social Studies

This year's Constitution Day event, taking place on Friday, September 20, will feature Justice Richard Bernstein, Michigan Supreme Court, as the keynote speaker.  Justice Bernstein visited our area last spring, and our students were drawn to his enthusiastic personality and the passion he demonstrates; we can't wait to have him back! The ISD, 4-H, the League of Women Voters, and the Chippewa County court system team up annually for this event. High school students who attend at the courthouse will spend time with a team of legal professionals, allowing them to discuss in tandem not only a precedent-setting case from the past, but also at least one recent case addressing the same Amendment and involving a “hot topic” to which students can readily relate (social media privacy rights, personal device search and seizure).  Contact Lindsay Brindley ( to reserve seats.

New this year:  Mackinac County will also host a Constitution Day event for local students!  While districts from across the region are welcome to attend at either location, we understand that geography can pose a logistical barrier. Thus, on the afternoon of September 19, Justice Bernstein will also provide a keynote at the Mackinac County Courthouse in St. Ignace.  Contact Susan Kirkman, 4-H Coordinator (, for more information and to reserve seats.

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC)

Mindfulness Retreat: How School Leaders Can Reduce Stress and Thrive on the Job!

="font-size: small; font-family: Tahoma, sans-serif; color: black;">Stress, compassion fatigue, and self-care are real challenges for hard working school leaders and staff.  In partnership with the Michigan Elementary and Secondary Principals Association (MEMSPA) we are hosting a retreat, October 18-19, at Cedar Campus, in Cedarville, MI to address reducing stress, self-care, planning for personal goals, practicing mindfulness, and interacting in a relaxed space with other school leaders who want to thrive.

We hope you will be able to join us for a special evening and full-day workshop on mindfulness, mindful leadership and mindful self-compassion, designed to allow you to learn skills and enter into some stillness. This workshop will be highly engaging and interactive, teaching methods of mindful practices that are related to leadership effectiveness.

Cost of registration is $225 for MEMPSA members, $270 for non-members, and $200 for teacher-leaders. Registration includes meals and a book. Lodging cost varies, depending on the option chosen.  You must reserve your lodging on your own, by contacting Cedar Campus directly. Lodging options are linked on the registration page. Cedar Campus contact information: (906) 484-2294 or

Website:  It is requested that all participants stay on site.

Click here for more information and to Register through MEMSPA

Target Audience: School Administrators with a team of Teacher-Leaders.


Questions: Contact Syndee Malek, Associate Director of MEMSPA and lead on this workshop, at 734.748.8040, or Lisa Jo Gagliardi at 906.32.3373 ext. 5132 or

Our hope is that you will take back lessons learned from this experience to your building and incorporate it into your practice and staff wellness efforts. We believe this will not only benefit the practitioner, but ultimately benefit the whole child and student outcomes.

Opioid Misuse Prevention Curriculum-Michigan Model for Health: Action Needed!

An updated Michigan Model for Health K-12 curriculum has been released to include more robust opioid misuse prevention education, with recommendations from the Governor’s Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission. Letter from the State Steering Committee

Because the curriculum now has opioid enhancements throughout, there is no addenda, and replacements will be needed.  Please take this QUICK survey by September 12 so we may assess your needs with this update: Click Here

Leading Sexuality Education Classes for Individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities

We would like to share this opportunity on behalf of Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council.  The training will take place October 14-16, 2019 at Treetops Resort in Gaylord Michigan. Registration Flyer.  This is a courtesy post, and all questions should be directed to the workshop hosts.

This workshop is for teams of self-advocates, parents and/or professionals.  If you are attending, please let Lisa Jo Gagliardi know at

EUP STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Welcome back to another school year!  The Eastern Upper Peninsula STEM Region has had a great year, and we are looking forward to moving ahead with more student programs, educator opportunities, and connections to community businesses and organizations.  Here are some upcoming opportunities and information for this school year!

Professional Learning and Teacher Collaboration:   Registrations are open

Add+VantageMR Fractions on-line course (Full – starting on 9/12)

STEM Integrated Learning Teams (ILT)

Model Based Biology

Next Generation Science Exemplar

Foundations of Math – Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities (Full – started on 8/20)

Cereal City Science Elementary Physical Science Kit Workshops

Cereal City Science Middle School Workshops

Computer Science

Summer Teacher Externship Program- Sign up next summer!

Teacher Leader Corps


Student Programming:


Inland Seas Next Gen Program- Each summer during July in Hessel

Math and Computer Science Field Day at LSSU- October 14

Manufacturing Day for grade 9 students at LSSU- October 18

Science and Engineering Fair – December 6

Pi Day at LSSU – March 17, 2020

Trig Star – May 2020 (date TBD)

Water Quality Field Days – Various times throughout the year

Family Engineering Events – Does your school do this?  Kits and support available through the Lend Library

Robotics – Connect with EUP region teams for early elementary to high school programs!




EUP STEM Region Advisory Council – Connecting K-12 education with business, industry, and higher education partners (fall conference session presentation).

REMC22 Lend-Library

Career and Technical Education

Manufacturing Day will be held October 18, 2019 at LSSU.  9th grade students will participate in hands on activities with various manufacturing companies from the Eastern Upper Peninsula.  The students will learn about the many job opportunities in manufacturing. Transportation will be provided by the millage.  Contact Tammy Rutledge ( for more information.

Special Education

September 2019 Special Education Department Newsletter

September 2019 Project SEARCH News

Another successful Eastern Upper Peninsula Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) Program!

The Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District (EUPISD) and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) entered their fifth year of summer work experiences through the Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) Program. Y.O.U. teamed up with local businesses and agencies offering fifty-seven students with work experience, an increase from the nineteen students during the summer of 2015. 

Thank you to the following businesses and agencies for extending a welcoming hand and helping to guide our students; Bay Mills Community College, Brimley Area Schools, Cedarville Computers, City of Sault Ste Marie (DDA and Voyageur Island/Lynn Trails/Rock Park), Department of Natural Resources (Brimley State Park, Straits State Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park), Drummond Island Township Golf Club, Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District, Goodwill Inc., Grand Hotel, Great Lakes Boat Building School, Lake Superior State University, Lazy S Ranch, Louisiana Pacific Corporation, Mission Point Resort, Northland Harvest, Salvation Army, and Superior Township. 

Please take a  moment to see some of our students in action this summer!  Summer 2019 Y.O.U.

For more information about the program or how to get involved please contact Patricia Jones,

Special Education Teacher Approvals

Greetings!  A new school year is upon us, which means staff changes have occurred over the summer in many local districts.  If you have hired a new fully qualified special education teacher – congratulations! If you have hired a new staff member that will need temporary approval as they work towards full certification for special education – read on. This article is designed to help you through the process.

Steps for temporary approval for special education teachers:

  1. Conduct and document a search for a fully qualified special education teacher.
  2. Certify the district conducted a search for a fully qualified teacher and that a certified teacher holding the appropriate endorsement was not available to fill the position.
  3. Identify a teacher with a valid Michigan teaching certificate willing to pursue the special education credentials needed to fill the open position.
  4. Ensure that the identified teacher enrolls in a university program that will lead to the additional credentials, i.e. CI endorsement.

Contact your Special Education Supervisor regarding the need to pursue temporary approval for a non-certified special education staff member.

Upcoming Trainings:

*Please visit Wisdomwhere for a full listing of trainings/meetings*

Active Supervision for Recess/Lunch Supervisors: 9/18

Area Coordinators’ Regular Meeting: 9/18, 10/23

Area Coordinators’ Workgroup: 9/18, 10/23

Autism Building Coaches: 9/17

B13 Training: 9/16

CPI Full Certification: 9/12, 10/09

CPI Re-Certification: 9/20, 10/02

Cross-Disciplinary Workgroup: 10/22

Curriculum Access Team (CAT): 9/25

Educational Benefit Review (EBR): 10/29, 10/30

General Education/Special Education Staff Meeting: 9/04

Handle With Care Steering Committee: 10/17

MTSS Literacy Systems: 10/07

New Special Education Teacher & Ancillary Staff Training: 9/24

Paraprofessional Training Series: 10/01

PBIS/IT Coaching Support Session (EUPISD Staff): 9/06

Peer to Peer Programming for Students with ASD: 9/27

Regional Implementation Team (RIT) (Full Day) (EUPISD Staff): 9/24

Regional Implementation Team (RIT) (Half Day) (EUPISD Staff): 10/22

Regional Implementation Team (RIT)/RCA (EUPISD Staff): 9/06

Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) - Reading: 10/04

Strengthening Systems: 10/24

System’s Change Through Coaching-Part 1: 10/30

Tier 2 Behavior: 10/10

Work-Based Learning: 9/16

Youth Mental Health Committee: 9/09, 10/14

Early Childhood

National Head Start & Public Schools Collaboration Project

In June, twelve teams from public schools and head start agencies from around the nation attended the kick-off of the Head Start & Public Schools Collaboration Project in Scottsdale, Arizona.  To learn more about the project check out U.S. Department of Health & Human Services press release found here.

The EUPISD was selected to participate in this exciting national project. Brian Reattoir, Superintendent, Brimley Area Schools; Kari Visnaw, Principal, St. Ignace Elementary; Jessica Savoie, EUPISD Director of Early Childhood; and Alicia Lawlor, EUPISD Preschool Consultant, represented public schools from the Eastern Upper Peninsula region.  Chippewa - Luce - Mackinac Community Action Agency (CLMCAA) representatives Reenie Butler, Director of Head Start; Vicki Thomas, Program Manager; Jennifer LaBonte, Program Manager; and Heather Hansen, Parent & Policy Council Chair, attended and provided input from the Head Start perspective.

At the conclusion of the two days, our team from the EUPISD began the development of a comprehensive transition framework to assist public schools, preschool programs, and parents during transition from preschool to kindergarten. Throughout the next several months, our local team will meet on a frequent basis to further develop the framework, implement activities within two pilot schools (Brimley & St. Ignace), evaluate our success, and finalize the framework for scale up region wide in 2020.

The twelve teams from around the nation will reconvene in Washington D.C. in the spring of 2020 to report on our efforts. The outcomes of the project are intended to inform national policy, technical implementation, and professional development.

EUPISD and Community Action Team

Pictured L to R: Brian Reattoir, Vicki Thomas, Reenie Butler, Heather Hansen, Jen LaBonte, Alicia Lawlor, Kari Visnaw, and Jessica Savoie

National Participants

Rhode Island - Woonsocket Education Department

Pennsylvania - Allentown School District

Florida - Hillsborough County Schools

Minnesota - Bemidji Area Schools

Michigan - EUPISD (Brimley & St. Ignace)

Ohio - Gallia County Schools

Central Texas - New Braunfels Independent School District

West Texas - Canutillo Independent School District

Kansas - Garden City Public Schools

California - Los Angeles County Office of Education

Washington - West Valley School District

Alaska - Anchorage School District

Research Areas That Support Successful Transitions

  1. Sharing Information
  2. Building Relational Supports
  3. Fostering Alignment Between Schools

Four Influence Areas for School Districts & Preschool Programs

  1. Universal Enrollment
  2. Data Sharing
  3. Shared Professional Development
  4. Continued Comprehensive Services

Regional Data Systems/Instructional Technology

NWEA Testing Window and Help Resources

The Fall testing window for NWEA will be open from September 3-October 4, 2019. Please be advised that one assessment score is expected per assessment during each testing window. If a student takes an assessment more than one time during the window, other scores will need to be excluded from reporting.  Users with the Data Administrator role can remove incorrect or unwanted test events from reports. You can see how to do that using this linkBe sure to look at the many NWEA resources that are available from your user dashboard.

REMC 22 Lend-Items Library

Remember that REMC 22 (EUPISD) has a library of classroom materials that can be reserved and checked out.  Materials can be checked out for two weeks, and we take care of delivery and pick up.  If you need account access to the REMC 22 Lend-Items Library, please contact Marianna Ripple or Genny Kaunisto.

EUP Naming Conventions for Regional Systems

As a region, standard naming conventions work as a tool to save data users and creators time and frustration.  Standard naming conventions make the regional use of data consistent, convenient, and clear.  Information can be conveniently filtered, report results can be consistent throughout the region, and the data available can provide clear information that is easily understood.   Take a look at the document for information on Odysseyware, Moodle, and Illuminate conventions.  Contact Marianna Ripple if you have any questions.

Data Management Team Meetings

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, and behavior.  Your input and experience are important, so consider being a part of the team.  If you are unable to attend the meetings, consider joining our Microsoft Office Teams collaboration group.  If you have questions, contact Marianna Ripple.  Meeting Dates: October 25, 2019; January 10, 2020; March 6, 2020; May 8, 2020Register for meetings in Illuminate.

Technical Services

Boot them up! (then reboot them)

Welcome back to school! To get technology running smoothly in your classroom it is a great practice to have your students help boot up computers in your classroom to give them an opportunity to kick out the summer cobwebs, install their latest software and get ready for learning. Don’t forget to reboot them as well. Computers love nothing more than a good reboot; it is like their morning smoothy.

Cyber Security - The threats are real

When was the last time you changed your password?

Seems as though everywhere we turn there is a new report of a cyber-attack resulting in the breach of personally identifiable information. Schools are not exempt from this threat as the bad actors seek to steal personal information and schools are an information goldmine. We are working to improve our defenses to keep all your information private and secure.

Over the past several years, momentum has developed state-wide among ISDs and K12 technology leaders to develop and implement a manageable security framework to better protect our networks, users, and data. This summer, the Michigan Education Technology Leaders (METL) group, with three representatives from the EUPISD, published Essential Cyber Security Practices for K12, and distributed it to Superintendents. The publication is available online at

Technicians have begun implementing network and software policies on district-owned computers by aligning district’s network and computer software policies with their NEOLA district policies and cyber security best practice. 

Help Desk

Need assistance? We can help! You can reach us several ways; choose which way is best for the situation and for you.

  1. The Help Desk website: has great information about the services we offer and solutions to common problems.
  2. Call us at 906-632-5673. We have technicians available Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. 
  3. Email us at Use the Subject line to indicate the nature of the problem. In the body of the email, include your name, district, building, room, and any additional details.
  4. Online support at This method of assistance is great for on-screen chat conversation, a quiet, non-disruptive solution.

Developing Your Web Pages

Did you know that there are 32 different types of apps for you to use to create your web pages? Each app is designed to help you keep your web pages compliant with web accessibility guidelines. We have set up sample pages for every app so you can see how it is used and consider its practical applications for your pages.

Take 15-20 minutes to review some basic page layout instructions and the apps you need for robust, usable web pages. Start at the EUPISD website and use the navigation menu at the top to follow either of these pathways:

  • Community Partnerships - Technological column - Technical Services
  • About EUPISD - Operations column - Technical Services

Select left menu option Website Design for a one-page overview. Then, click on the link Apps to see a linked list of the apps you can use on your web pages. 

These are a few of the apps that teachers often use:

Tech Talk - The Help Desk Journal

You have spoken, and we hear you. You need us to communicate with you on a regular basis, not just when something’s not working. Several times each week we will post information, guidance, resources, and best practices for you. Check us out at - past posts are sorted by date and by topic so you can find what you are looking for just when you need it.

Have suggestions for us? Send us a message at with a subject line of Tech Talk, tell us what YOU would find most helpful, and you’ll receive a personal response when we address that topic in Tech Talk. Hope to hear from you!

Human Resources

Earn SCECHs for Non-Traditional Programs

The school-based non-traditional programs for the 1st semester of 2019-2020 are:

2019-2020 New Teacher Mentor

2019-2020 School Counselor Mentor

2019-2020 School Psychologist Mentor

2019-2020 Supervision of Pre-Teaching/Mid-tier/Pre-Serv Student

2019-2020 Supervision of School Counselor Internship

2019-2020 Supervision of School Psychologist Required Practicum

2019-2020 Supervision of Student Teacher/Teacher Intern

Participants have 30 days from assignment completion or end of the 1st semester to submit the original appropriate paperwork to Jill Coates, SCECH Coordinator.   The most updated forms must be used and are available at

Retirement Information Meetings

MRPS Pension Seminar - September 24, 2019 – EUPISD Conference Room A

Two identical sessions offered at 4:00 p.m. & again at 6:00 p.m.

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.

Topics include:  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, and any other questions about retirement.

Cost: FREE - spouses are also encouraged to attend

Register here - or contact Steve Gordon at

ORS Planning for Your Retirement - October 2, 2019 – EUPISD Conference Room A

4:00 - 5:00 pm is on Voya Financial and is for employees hired since 7/1/2010.

5:30 - 7:30 pm is for MIP & Basic members hired before 7/2010 and within five years from retirement.

The Michigan Office of Retirement Services will present Planning Your Retirement (PYR) workshop for members expecting to retire within five years:

This workshop is designed for Michigan public school employees in the defined benefit pension plan first hired before July 1, 2010 who are within five years of retirement.

As you’re nearing the end of your career as a Michigan public school employee, your retirement plan is more important than ever. Now is the time to evaluate your plan to ensure a smooth transition into retirement. An Office of Retirement Services (ORS) representative will be on hand to present the Planning Your Retirement Workshop and answer your questions.

If you attend, you’ll receive a workbook and instructions about: meeting eligibility requirements, picking your pension payment option, deciding on insurance, reviewing your plans, choosing a retirement date, and applying for retirement, and adjusting to retirement.

To prepare for this workshop and to aid in your retirement planning, we encourage you to create a pension estimate in miAccount. Your pension estimate contains essential information you’ll want at your fingertips during the workshop: your benefit structure, your retirement insurance plan, and your pension payment options. 

After attending this interactive workshop, you’ll feel more confident, in control, and ready for the next steps in your retirement journey.

Please note: The content for this meeting includes that of their old Preretirement Information Meeting and more.

Cost: FREE - spouses are also encouraged to attend

These two sessions are different, 4:00 p.m. is for employees who first worked after 7/1/2010 and 5:30 p.m. is for employees who first worked prior to 7/2010.

Registration will be posted soon at the ORS Website or contact Steve Gordon at

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