November 2019 Newsletter

School News

The Eastern U P Is The Place To Be!

New State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Michael Rice visited the Eastern Upper Peninsula recently.  He has spent his entire career in urban settings and wanted to visit our area to understand rural education and collaboration.  In fact, he had heard so many good things about how we work together in the EUP that we were his first call for a visit.  He devoted two entire days to his visit to our region, which is a very large investment of his time.  Two days was not enough time to see all of our schools, but it was enough time to understand the distances.  He also chose to drive up here so he could get a sense of the distance from Lansing.

The visit started with an hourlong meeting with the EUPISD Leadership Team.  We were able to describe what each department does and what services are available to our local districts.  We described our organization’s history with emphasis on the last several years of unmatched collaboration.  Each member of our Leadership Team was able to articulate a very comprehensive approach in just ten minutes.  Dr. Rice asked several follow up questions and was very impressed with the high quality of educational leaders we are fortunate to have on our team.

We began our tour of schools in Brimley where we were given a tour of the building and were informed of the great history of the district.  We spent time in a middle school science classroom where students were creating models of cells using different forms of dry pasta.  Dr. Rice even accepted one young student’s challenge to join him in eating dry spaghetti earning him some credibility with the middle schoolers.  We also spent time in the Ojibwe Language and Culture class hearing the spoken language and understanding the need to retain the culture.  Dr. Rice then read a book to an elementary classroom of very interactive students.

Our next stop was Ojibwe Charter School where most of our time was spent in the Ojibwe Culture class.  Students were learning about indigenous foods and were making applesauce from apples they harvested themselves on trees that were planted on the school property.  Students were eager to share their knowledge about the importance of carrying on the Ojibwe language and culture.

From there we travelled to Whitefish Township Community Schools where we observed a multi-age reading class and met Bruce the Moose.  We toured the school and spent time in an elementary coding class where we witnessed a Kindergarten student learning coding.  We then went outside to see the very large greenhouse where students grow vegetables that are used in the food service program.

The next stop was back at the EUPISD Central Office to meet with local superintendents who were already there for a daylong professional development session on Restorative Justice.  Dr. Rice explained his goals for the Michigan Department of Education, heard about several issues from superintendents, and shared how local educators can help him guide public education in Michigan.

Day two began with a visit to Superior Start, the preschool program EUPISD operates on the campus of Lake Superior State University.  We heard how this unique program offers exceptionally high-quality preschool education while providing pre-service experiences for university students as part of their program.  Dr. Rice was impressed with the facility, the partnership, and the observation room complete with one-way glass, cameras, and microphones.

The next stop was the EUPISD Learning Center in Rudyard.  We visited the Bulldog Bistro, a student operated café and had a memorable conversation with the student behind the counter.  We toured the rest of the program spaces and had many interactions with students who were eager to explain what they were doing.

The final school visit was to Les Cheneaux Community Schools where Dr. Rice sat on the reading mat with Kindergartners while their teacher finished a story.  Dr. Rice was then invited to sit in the reading chair and read a book to the students.  From there we visited a high school classroom where students demonstrated the underwater remote operated vehicle they had built and were planning to use to explore a local shipwreck.  The final classroom visit was to an upper elementary classroom where mushrooms were being grown in a darkened closed that were destined for the culinary school and students were eager to show the Native American tools they had recreated based on their own research.  At the same time, the students were engaged in a multi-disciplinary project to raise their own funds to visit The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.  A very impressed Dr. Rice even made a sizeable donation to their cause.

Dr. Rice left the EUP with the knowledge that tremendous things are happening in each of our schools on a daily basis, that our region’s Native American culture is important, and that the true value of what happens in our classrooms is not and cannot be measured by a standardized test.  He saw the very large family that is the educational world of the EUP.

Thank you to those schools that hosted our visit and to those teachers who allowed us to experience their classrooms.  I spent this time and newsletter space summarizing Dr. Rice’s visit because I want you all to understand what a special environment we have here in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.  Our schools are special, our region is special, and our people are special.


The EUPISD has been approved as a virtual site for MIBLIS’s Best Practices in Dyslexia Legislation, Screening, Instruction & Intervention Summit. This Professional Development Opportunity will provide educational professionals with practical recommendations on how to implement evidence-based screening and intervention practices for students with dyslexia. It will also showcase state- and federally developed resources for dyslexia screening and intervention. Use the following Registration Link. Please choose invoice district and the EUPISD will reimburse the registration cost.

MTSS Literacy Systems and Tier 2/3 Behaviors Systems professional learning series are being offered this year.  Both series have had one day of training so far. Both trainings focus on setting up systems to support students.  Please refer to the MTSS Literacy Flyer for information on the literacy series.  Please view the EUPMTSS Newsletter for upcoming information related to Check-in, Check-out training and scheduling fidelity assessments for reading systems.

The Michigan Department of Education has information related to MTSS in Michigan on their website. For information about the MTSS Practice Profile and the essential components of MTSS, view the following MDE link

School Improvement

There is still time to register for the Michigan Department of Education Fall 2019 Continuous Improvement Conference, taking place at the Lansing Center, November 18-19.  The conference will focus on Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child through Systemic Thinking.  On November 18, see featured keynote speaker Jim Harris discussing “Supporting the Whole Child in a Complicated World” and attend a wide variety of breakout sessions; then, on November 19, attend a day-long intensive session with keynote speaker Michael Fullan, a worldwide authority on education reform. Participants will also meet in regional groups to discuss the mindset shifts necessary for Michigan’s Integrated Continuous Improvement Process.  We’re hoping the EUP will be well-represented as we prepare for a new continuous improvement platform next fall!

General Education

Training/Meeting Dates

NEW From Wisdomwhere Registration System

List of trainings/meetings by month can now be easily viewed and is the default listing.  Go to Wisdomwhere and then click Events. No worries if you still want to search by keyword, title, category, instructor, etc., just click Advanced Search.

Peer offerings are now automatically included in the search results and identified with a label that looks like [Peer: MARESA].

Handle With Care

Beginning September 2019, children and youth in Chippewa, Mackinac, and Luce counties will be “handled with care” in their schools following a distressing event that requires intervention from local law enforcement officers and personnel.

Collaborating to bring a program called Handle With Care to the region are the entire law enforcement community, every school district in the tri-county area, the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District, the regional Youth Mental Health Committee, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (Chippewa, Mackinaw, and Luce County offices).  Handle With Care was developed in West Virginia and provides the school with a “heads up” when a child has been identified at the scene of a traumatic event such as a house fire, a domestic violence situation, witnessing an arrest of a family member, a drug raid or a motor vehicle accident.

Police officers are prepared to look around for children when they are on scene and determine their name and where they go to school. Before school starts the next day, they will make sure the school is sent a note that simply says to “Handle that particular child With Care.”

Students who experience trauma respond best when the environment is calm, predictable, and safe.

What educators need to know:

  • The only information you will be given is the student’s name and “Handle With Care”.
  • You should not ask the student for any information.
  • Some students may not display changes in their behavior.
  • If a student is struggling in the classroom, follow your district’s policy on who to refer the student to:
    • School counselor
    • Principal
    • Intervention Specialist
    • School Social Worker
  • If needed, the school will work with parents to seek outside mental health services.


Upcoming Student Events:

Science and Engineering Fair- The regional science and engineering fair will be held on December 6, 2019 at LSSU.

Please complete this local science fair date and grade levels sheet with what you plan to promote to Regionals. When choosing your local fair date, please keep in mind that online registrations must be submitted by Tuesday, November 19.

Please click the following webpage link for the flyer, rubric, online registration, and much more helpful information! Science & Engineering Fair Information

Last year at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair, businesses and organizations were invited to attend to provide a STEM Career and Education exploration table for our K-8 students.  The idea is to connect students with local professionals who work in the STEM fields in an effort to help them gain a better understanding of opportunities and career connections at an earlier age. The feedback from participants was very positive!

We are planning to offer this opportunity again this year and have made some changes that will make this work much more smoothly this year.  One change is that with the Cisler Center construction project completed, tables can be set up in the Superior Ballroom, which is centrally located at the event.  Secondly, we will change the setup time to be a bit later in the morning and will run the exploration room from 10:00am until 12:30 pm.  There will be upwards of 200 students plus parents and teachers, which makes this a great opportunity to make connections to your organizations.

There are 10 tables available.  Please see details and apply using this FORM.

FIRST Robotics Kickoff

A FIRST Robotics Kickoff event will be held at Lake Superior State University on Saturday, January 4.  Please contact Jeanne Shibley ( for more information.

Save the date for Pi Day at LSSU

Pi Day at LSSU will be held on March 17, 2020.  Registration will open after 1/1/2020.

Professional Learning:

STEM Integrated Learning Teams (ILT) - Day 2 of our 5-day series will take place on Wednesday, December 18 for Math, Science, and STEM Teachers!  Work collaboratively with other teachers to learn and increase capacity around Modeling in math and science, connecting with STEM resources in the community, and innovative STEM programming.  Don Pata led us through a great day of learning how to use the practice of developing and using mathematical and scientific models in our classrooms and will be back up to work with us on day 2!

Next Generation Science Exemplar - Day 3 of NGSX will be held on Thursday, November 21.

Special Education

Click here for the EUPISD Special Education November Newsletter!

Click here for the Project SEARCH November Newsletter!

Project SEARCH is having an Open House!  Click here for the flyer!

Upcoming Training Opportunity: Special Education Legal Hot Topics for Administrators 

Participants will receive information regarding hot topics in special education law from Clark Hill Senior Attorney, Jordan Bullinger. Jordan dedicates his practice to representing school districts in the area of education law with a focus on special education and school disability law related matters.  Jordan represents public school districts in state and federal tribunals and courts pertaining to claims arising out of, but not limited to, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Michigan Mandatory Special Education Act, Section 504, the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Title VI, Title IX, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

In addition to representing public school district clients in legal proceedings, Jordan works closely with his school district clients to train staff on how to avoid compliance issues.  Jordan routinely provides professional development to clients and their staff.  He is a regular presenter at the Winter and Summer Institute Professional Development Conferences hosted by the Michigan Association of Administrators for Special Education, as well as professional development seminars organized by public school districts throughout the state of Michigan.

This training will take place at the EUPISD on 11/04/19.  Please visit Wisdomwhere to register.

Upcoming Literacy Professional Development Opportunities:

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness is a well-organized 35-week curriculum of daily phonemic awareness lesson plans. Developed on a systematic scope and sequence of skills, each level focuses on eight phonemic awareness Skills, along with two additional activities to develop Letter and Sound recognition, and Language Awareness. The materials can also be utilized to provide intervention for students with specific skill deficits. Please visit Wisdomwhere to register.

MiBLSI Dyslexia Summit

The EUPISD is a remote site for the Dyslexia Summit. This training will provide educational professionals with practical recommendations on how to implement evidence-based screening and intervention practices for students with dyslexia. It will also showcase state- and federally developed resources for dyslexia screening and intervention.

Participants must register through MiBLISI at this LINK.

School Psychologists

November 11-15 is School Psychology Awareness Week.  This year our profession’s theme is “Find Your Focus.”  What does this mean?  Well, anything really.  It is action oriented, flexible, and relevant to all age groups. Finding your focus can mean paying attention, being able to see a goal more clearly, or being persistent and determined in one’s effort. It is our responsibility as school psychologists to help teachers, students, and families find their focus and help make student outcomes more successful.

What’s your focus?

A primary focus of the School Psychologist group this year is supporting student mental health.  One way we are working within this focus area is through the facilitation of Emergency Student Assistance Team Meetings and the completion of School-Based Risk Assessments for students who are in crisis.  These processes strive to identify student needs and strengths in the area of mental health and work to connect the student, family, and school staff with appropriate resources.

In other exciting news, we have added a new addition to our School Psychology family.  Sandy Schreiber is a certified School Psychologist, originally from Illinois, who has previously worked in the Kalamazoo area.  She is excited to continue her tour of the EUP school districts!

Medicaid School-Based Services Program

What is the Medicaid School-Based Services (SBS) Program and how does it benefit schools in the Eastern Upper Peninsula?

Medicaid is the nation’s public health insurance program that finances health care services to all eligible Americans. It also helps schools defray the cost of delivering some healthcare services. This is made possible through the Medicaid School Based Services (SBS) Program. If a student is eligible for Medicaid and has a direct service written into their IEP, the school district can get a partial reimbursement for those services.  These direct services include Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work, Personal Care Services, and Designated Case Management Services (when another direct service is assigned). This money is allocated back to the school districts who participate and comply with the stipulations that are set forth by the Medicaid SBS Program.  The EUP School districts and the EUPISD’s initial estimate payment for 2018-2019 is $811,405.41. 

Random Moment Time Study (RMTS) is a part of the compliance piece of the School Based Services Medicaid program. It is a requirement that schools need to participate in to receive federal reimbursement for staff time spent on direct service and administrative outreach activities. The RMTS and completion schedule has been changed for this year. Staff will now only receive a 24-hour notice prior to the moment and have 48 hours to complete the moment. Reminders will be sent during the 48 hours. The RMTS should take less than five minutes to complete.

Regional Data Systems/Instructional Technology

Hour of Code December 9-15, 2019

Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code.

Secondary Report Cards Reminder

Do not apply Grading Period Weights until grades are ready to be posted for Semester 1.

REMC 22 Classroom Lending Library

Get the materials you need for classroom learning.  Consider special learning events on the days before Thanksgiving or Christmas break using materials in this library.  Robots, Green Screen, Tools, Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, 3D Printing, and many other materials are available for check-out.  Take a look at the library, and if you need an account, contact

Announcing REMC’s free Virtual Courses for November

Here’s your opportunity to earn 10 free SCECHs without ever leaving your classroom. No substitutes, and no paperwork required.

Seven courses are offered in November. Each course is open for three weeks and consists of two (2) one-hour “live” webinars that are recorded, available viewing later and eight (8) hours of resource review, assessment developments and written reflection. All REMC courses are open to all Michigan school personnel. There are no registration or SCECH fees.


ORS Planning for Your Retirement - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - EUPISD Conf. 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 7/1/2010 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 for the 5:30 session is at the ORS Website or contact Steve Gordon at

Registration for the 4 PM session can be done by calling Voya at is 517-284-4422 or by going to

Click “Next” under the Voya Appointments & Seminars header.

Select "Public School Employees"

Select “Public School (MPSERS) 401(k)/457 Plans Overview”

Select “Sault Ste. Marie – Eastern U.P. ISD”

Select date. Click “Next.”

Enter the required information to reserve your spot. Click “Save.”

A confirmation email will be sent to the email address you entered.

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