OCTOBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
What a beautiful fall we are experiencing! The leaves around our region have transitioned into a magnificent array of colors. The varying degrees of red, orange, green, purple and yellow come together to present an awe-inspiring view! This is almost as awe-inspiring as it was to see our students and staff back in the building and classrooms. I visited most of our districts in the EUPISD last week, dropping off masks that were donated by General Motors and through a donation request by Governor Whitmer. Students were visiting in the hallways or outside. One young class was taking a nature walk. Teachers and aides were busy working with their students. The administrators of the buildings were working with staff and students and taking care of the myriad of school needs. It gave me a great sense of gratitude to see school back in session, under more normal conditions. Well, sort of normal?
Normalcy is somewhat of a loose term now. Our new normal is working and living in a COVID-19 world. The EUP as a whole is doing a pretty good job working and living under these circumstances. The MI Safe Start Map tracks risk levels and can be viewed at https://www.mistartmap.info. Statistics can be viewed by state, region and county levels. Keep doing your part to stay healthy – distance when possible, wash your hands, wear a mask, and if you’re sick, stay home.
An important trait throughout this time is resiliency. Resiliency is defined by psychologists as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress (www.apa.org/topics/resilience). We may still get stressed or feel anxious, but we keep going and often experience personal growth through hard times. Throughout challenging times, we can focus on taking care of ourselves, our families and our friends. We can also focus on what is going well and acknowledge when we need help. We are a strong, resilient group but remember, it’s okay to ask for help when we need it! And don’t forget to take some time to enjoy fall!
MTSS Practice Profile - Updated
Last month, the Michigan Department of Education updated its MTSS Practice Profile. Included in the update are some fairly significant changes to the content/language of the Essential Components. In order to keep regional resources aligned with the most current research, the ISD MTSS team will work to revise the MTSS learning modules that will soon be available in Google Classroom. Watch for more information about adjusted release dates and enhanced supports!
Preparing for MICIP using the Readiness Checklist
Michigan’s Integrated Continuous Improvement Process (MICIP) will launch in January 2021. To prepare to use the MICIP process, districts can use the MICIP Readiness Checklist, which includes guidance regarding Mindset, Process, and Platform preparations.
- Consider starting with conversations around the following: What is your current perspective on continuous improvement? Is your approach more about compliance or is it seen as an ongoing sequence of implement-monitor-adjust-evaluate?
- You may also want to consider your team’s capacity and ability to facilitate change, especially during these unprecedented times. Does your team understand the components that need to be present to successfully implement change? How do you address these components in the continuous improvement plan? What additional knowledge and skills might be needed?
- Additional questions to consider are: What is the overall district climate and culture? Is it collegial and collaborative? Are there challenges that you might need to address?
The answers to these questions may lead your district to identify professional learning that will position your team well for continuous improvement. Please contact Lindsay Brindley (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional support.
Fall 2020 Michigan Continuous Improvement Conference
There is still time to register for this year’s Continuous Improvement Conference, a one-day virtual event on Tuesday, October 20. Registration is $125 per person and includes a SCECH fee. Following the conference, registrants will receive a code giving them access to all presentations for 90 days.
Attendees will have an opportunity to experience the following:
- Opening remarks from MDE Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice
- A keynote presentation by Dr. Seena Skelton, Director of Operations for the Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center at Indiana University, on Leading for Equity: How leaders move beyond “school improvement” to school transformation toward a just, inclusive, and quality education for all
- Remarks from MDE Deputy Superintendent Dr. Venessa Keesler on Achieving Equity Through Continuous Improvement
- A demonstration of the MICIP process in the new platform
- Twenty-four breakouts on a variety of topics addressing the conference theme, Equity for Continuous Improvement: Opportunities, Environments and Supports.
Breakout descriptions as well as registration information can be found at this conference information link. For additional information, please contact Lindsay Brindley (email@example.com).
MDE MICIP Newsletter: Continuous Communication
MDE publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, Continuous Communication, to provide information and updates regarding MICIP. Please visit the MDE Email Management page to subscribe to this publication; and please feel free to forward Continuous Communication to anyone who would like to receive MICIP updates.
Constitution Day Resources LIVE!
The EUPISD, the League of Women Voters, the Chippewa and Mackinac County Court systems, and 4H have once again partnered to provide Constitution Day resources for local districts. A variety of materials went live on Constitution Day on the ISD's social studies website. These resources include a pre-recorded address and a relevant Q&A session from Michigan’s Chief Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack; in addition, each Supreme Court Justice provided a personal quote generated for our event. Also included are a locally developed, interactive Constitution Day trivia game; an Interactive Constitution site; a Constitution Role Play simulation targeting equitable representation; and more! We hope many local teachers will check out these resources and use them with their classes over the coming weeks.
Regional History Day Going Virtual
This year’s Regional History Day event (typically held at LSSU) will take place virtually in March. We are excited for the flexibility this new format will offer as local students participate in a historical inquiry process to create and submit entries in a variety of categories. Inquiry-based instruction is foundational to a high-quality social studies learning experience. For more information regarding the Inquiry Arc and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework, see this resource site. For supports regarding all things History Day, visit the National History Day site, the Michigan History Day homepage, and/or watch this newsletter for details!
Updated: Michigan Social Studies Hub
The www.misocialstudies.org website has grown since it first launched eight months ago! The video section has expanded to include recordings of spring offerings from the Michigan Council for the Social Studies. The statewide professional development calendar is now live with opportunities (virtual!) for teachers to attend. Editors are working on an official statewide Inquiry Hub and are hoping to have the first iteration operational by January. Be sure to check it out!
LANGUAGE ARTS-UPCOMING WORKSHOPS
The workshops below are linked to our Wisdomwhere registration system. Please click the link for complete details and registration. Contact Lindsay Brindley (firstname.lastname@example.org) for regarding questions.
K-3 Early Literacy Coffee with Coaches
Based on feedback from the Stay Connected and Supported meetings last Spring we are excited to offer an opportunity for you to connect with your colleagues around literacy. Please join Alicia & Tammy in October to discuss using Jamboard and Padlet as formative assessment tools. Attend what fits in your schedule and know you are welcome for all or part of a meeting.
October 15: 7:30-8:30 am https://eupschools.zoom.us/j/92724496583
October 29: 7:30-8:30 am https://eupschools.zoom.us/j/96884332215
Reading Recovery®, Literacy Lessons™, & Literacy Support
In case you missed the last newsletter check it out through the following link: Top to Bottom Newsletter – September Edition
WHOLE CHILD HEALTH
The workshops below are linked to our Wisdomwhere registration system. Please click the link for complete details and registration:
Regional Health and PE Educators Workshops (previously CRT)
The following is from SHAPE Michigan (Lisa Jo Gagliardi is the Region 1 Liaison)
October 3, 2020 Virtual Conference
10a-12p (Day 1 of 3)
There’s still time to register for the October 3, Virtual Conference. Check out the program here: (https://www.shapemichigan.us/).
We realize that you’ve been “Zooming” around lately so we wanted you to know that all the sessions will be recorded and posted for the school year. If you can’t make the sessions, you’ll be able to access all the sessions at your leisure if you register for the event. As an added incentive to sign up, SHAPE-Michigan is waiving the SCECH fee if you attend on Saturday. Still debating? If you are member, the cost is $20. Not a member yet? Sign up today for $40 and gain access to the best professional development, programs and services available! Initial cost for October 3, $60 for non-members (who become a member after signing up for the conference!) Still wavering? Members who sign up for all three virtual conferences by Friday, October 2, will be registered for $50! Non-member? Now is a great time to join, for all three conferences a membership, access to over 65 professional sessions and pay only $90!
Restart Smart - PE in the Age of COVID training will be part of the virtual conference on October 3, at 10:00-12:00 EST. Thanks to the generous support of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, this training is free along with a free SHAPE MI membership and access to CATCH pre-recorded health lessons to qualifying schools. In order to qualify, schools must have at least one grade of K-8 and have at least 50% free and reduced lunch rate.
- If your school qualifies, please enroll here: https://catchinfo.org/restart-smart-michigan/. Once enrolled, you can register for the SHAPE MI session on October 3rd with one of your training voucher codes.
- If your school does not qualify, you are welcome to attend. Please register here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/catchglobalfoundation/417044/.
Students in Brimley School’s CTE Natural Resource program are reaping the benefits of being in a program offered on the campus of LSSU. LSSU's Center for Freshwater Research and Education (CFRE) has partnered with the Hiawatha National Forest to implement a real-time river monitoring network that engages CTE students. The students will serve as citizen scientists and collect real-time data on water quality and hydrology across wadable streams in the Central/Eastern Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Data will be available for natural resource managers, scientists, educators, and students to address broad issues including climate change, watershed management, fish habitat, and science education. In addition, CFRE partnered with Les Cheneaux Schools to expand the MiWaterNet program to the Hessel/Cedarville area. High school students at Les Cheneaux Schools will install additional sensors and then work virtually with CTE Natural Resource students to analyze and compare water quality data within the region and develop and implement stewardship projects. Students form Brimley, Detour, Pickford, Sault Ste. Marie, and Whitefish are part of the exciting new program.
EUP STEM Region
STEM Integrated Learning Team
STEM ILT offers professional learning and collaborative project opportunities to teacher of various content areas including math, science, computer science, and technology. STEM ILT sessions for the 2020-2021 school year will take place virtually with three goals in place:
- Professional learning
- Curriculum development and implementation planning
- Making community connections
Cereal City Science
In September, we completed K-6 workshops for teachers led by EUP Teacher Leaders. This work focused on using the online platform developed by Cereal City Science. Teacher leaders worked with Steve Barry of Cereal City since June to help inform the process of rolling out the platform and did a tremendous job in running our workshops.
Teacher Leaders: This link will let you know who is part of the EUP Science Teacher Leader Corps (TLC).
Online Platform: Each school who participates in the MiSTEM grant program for Cereal City Science has a code for their online platform.
Professional learning: For EUP school districts who are EUPSTEM/Cereal City partner districts, professional learning session costs ($60) for any October K-5 workshop listed on the Cereal City professional learning page can be covered by the EUP STEM Region. In order to register, teachers should follow directions on the registration page, and send an email to Kevin St. Onge (email@example.com) with the following information:
- Teacher names
- School district
- Specific training session and date for each teacher
Computer Science Visioning and EUP Computer Science Curriculum Team
Through a MiSTEM/MDE partnership, EUP schools are invited to schedule a day-long SCRIPT workshop with Cheryl Wilson, Computer Science Consultant at Michigan Department of Education. The SCRIPT workshop supports systems-level change by addressing five key areas: (1) Leadership, (2) Teacher Capacity and Development, (3) Curriculum and Materials Selection and Refinement, (4) Partners, and (5) Community. Contact Cheryl Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kevin St. Onge (email@example.com) to schedule a SCRIPT workshop or find out more information about a SCRIPT workshop. There is no cost for the workshop.
For more detailed information, please see the Computer Science Visioning Process for EUP School Districts document.
Add+VantageMR® Fractions Course – only six seats open. Click link for details and registration!
REGIONAL DATA SYSTEMS/INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY
Free Courses for Educators
Check out REMC’s free Virtual Courses for educators! These courses are a safe and convenient, and a great way to grow your professional network from home! Plus, all REMC Virtual Courses offer free registration, 10 free SCECHs upon completion, and are open to all Michigan school personnel.
NWEA Testing Window
The NWEA fall testing window is open until October 16, 2020. Testing scores should flow into Illuminate on a nightly basis, but Illuminate is experiencing an issue with their import tool. This issue should be resolved shortly.
Regional Data Management Team Meeting- October 16, 2020
The first meeting of the year is virtually set for October 16. Any district data leader is invited to attend. Topics include support of regional data systems, state reporting, scheduling, NWEA, Canvas, and Illuminate. Please register for this virtual meeting in Wisdomwhere.
Special education in the EUP this fall has a different look as we work to follow the recommendations of our local health departments. Staffing has been adjusted to limit cross-region travel and we have increased the use of virtual methods for consultative support and supervision. While the way we work may be changing, our collective dedication to providing the highest quality instruction and support for our students has not changed. Here are just a few examples of the ways we are working differently this fall:
- Physical therapy and occupational therapy home materials kits have been constructed to support students who are receiving therapy services through virtual methods.
- School social workers are developing Google Classrooms of resource materials for students to access.
- Speech & Language pathologists are using clear masks during sessions to ensure students are getting the most benefit.
- School psychologists are using technology tools to complete special education evaluations.
- Our consultants for ASD, VI / HI, and Behavior are engaging in team meetings virtually and providing high quality follow up resources for school staff.
- Special education teachers are providing specially designed instruction for students who are face-to-face as well as those who are engaged in online learning.
We are so proud of the work of our EUP special education team. The commitment and creativity demonstrated by these professionals is inspiring!
Preliminary Regional NWEA MAP Analysis Indicates Mixed Findings Regarding COVID-19 Learning Loss
With the fall NWEA MAP screening underway, an analysis of scores obtained thus far indicates mixed--but overall encouraging--findings across subject tests and grade levels. Due to the school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by several months of virtual instruction leading into summer vacation, educators nationwide have anticipated that students would experience learning loss, meaning students would be expected to make less growth than typical during the 2019/2020 school year due to the reduced volume of learning opportunities. To determine the extent of learning loss experienced by students in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, an analysis of NWEA MAP data is underway, comparing the average fall-to-fall growth made by students at each grade level during non-COVID-19 years (dating back to 2016) with the average growth from the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020.
Although a complete data set will not be available until all students take their fall NWEA assessments, data from students who have taken the test already show that the greatest amount of learning loss is occurring in mathematics. However, the level of learning loss experienced is overall fairly mild. On the mathematics assessment, students across grade levels are experiencing slightly less fall-to-fall growth than cohorts from previous years. In reading, this year's cohort of first grade students demonstrated far less growth from the fall of kindergarten to the fall of first grade than previous cohorts, but this group seems to be the one exception to an overall trend in which students across grade levels are actually showing more fall-to-fall growth in reading than they did in previous years. The data collected thus far indicate a remarkable trend in which students made bigger gains in reading during the COVID-19 year than they did in non-COVID-19 years. Results tend to be mixed from grade level to grade level on the language usage and science assessments. Language usage scores show a trend in which students in the elementary and middle school grades are experiencing slightly less fall-to-fall growth than cohorts from previous years. However, students in the high school grades are showing much more fall-to-fall growth this year than cohorts from previous years. On the science assessment, fourth, fifth, and eleventh grade students are showing somewhat less fall-to-fall growth than cohorts from previous years. However, sixth through tenth grade cohorts are showing somewhat more fall-to-fall growth than their counterparts from previous years.
While the preliminary data may be encouraging--after all, we are seeing that students are experiencing mild learning loss at worst, and the pleasantly-surprisingly opposite of learning loss at best--it is important to remember that these findings reflect averages, so they do not capture the unique needs of each individual student. Likewise, these findings are subject to change as additional NWEA assessments are complete. For a summary of existing preliminary data as of 9/20/2020, see the table below:
EUPISD and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Partnership Provides Students with Guidance for Post-Secondary Life
The Role of Physical Therapy in the School Setting
Physical Therapy (PT) role
A physical therapist is a licensed healthcare professional that assesses, treats and/or makes recommendations to improve or maintain a student’s level of functioning. In the school environment this includes addressing musculo-skeletal development/posture, functional mobility, components of movement, adaptive equipment needs and environmental adaptations.
When to refer a student to Physical Therapy
- Student is currently eligible for special education services with an active IEP or has a medical condition that would qualify him/her to have eligibility as a student with a Physical Impairment.
- Student’s bilateral or motor coordination, mobility or gross motor skills impact academic participation and success.
- In combination with a suspected gross motor delay in balance, locomotion, or object manipulation (ball) skills, a student demonstrates challenges following verbal directions to complete actions in the academic setting in a timely manner.
- A student has physical impairments, e.g., decreased strength or range of motion, that impact academic participation.
How to initiate services
When a student is displaying difficulty in the school setting and has not responded to tier 1 interventions completed with fidelity, the student assistance team (SAT) process should be initiated. The intervention specialist or other designated staff member at the school is responsible for coordinating the SAT process. The SAT team can include a number of individuals, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, teachers and parents. During this time the PT may complete a screening, after parent permission has been obtained, and propose additional interventions.
A minimum number of two SAT meetings are to be completed with documentation on interventions attempted and the response to that intervention prior to a special education referral being signed by the parent or guardian. After the referral has been signed a full evaluation for PT services may be conducted.
EUPISD Physical Therapists Contracted by War Memorial Rehab Department
Sarah St. Amour (firstname.lastname@example.org): Early On, ECSE, Washington, drop in
Beth Ortiz (email@example.com): Lincoln, Pickford, Rudyard, Les Cheneaux, Sault HS Sault MS, St.
Mary’s, DeTour, Sault Head Start/Preschools, Lake Superior Academy,
JKL, Brimley, Ojibwe Charter
Laura Ullery (firstname.lastname@example.org): Lincoln, Pickford, Rudyard, Les Cheneaux, Sault HS Sault MS, St.
Mary’s, DeTour, Sault Head Start/Preschools, Lake Superior Academy, JKL, Brimley, Ojibwe Charter
EUPISD and MRS Collaborate to Provide Transition Services
The Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District (EUPISD) Transition Supervisor, Patricia Jones, and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Counselor(s) Kathy Flagstadt, Site Manager and, Ann Degeler, partner together to provide services to students with an IEP or 504 Plans for guidance with post-secondary life. The mission and vision of MRS are as follows:
MRS partners with individuals and employers to achieve quality employment outcomes and independence for individuals with disabilities. MRS will be a premiere organization to promote an inclusive workforce system that provides each individual with a disability the opportunity for employment leading to independence.
Some of the services that the EUPISD & MRS has provided students are career assessments, work readiness/soft skills and skills for interviewing, paid work experiences, unmet needs with tuition for post-secondary training/education, and needs for employment (i.e. work clothing and job coaching).
EUPISD LEARNING CENTER
Zones of Regulation
We are very aware that our students may be coming back to school with high emotional demands and want to give them universal tools to help cope and work through these tough emotions. Teaching students to identify their emotions and build a ‘toolkit’ of strategies to cope with a wide range of feelings will be a skill they can carry with them for life.
The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control. It uses a systematic, cognitive behavioral approach to teach others to self-regulate their needs as well as their emotions and impulses in order to meet the demands of the environment and be successful socially. We are lucky to have five members of our team trained in the curriculum and helping many of our classrooms integrate this curriculum into their classrooms.
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated, euphoric, or experiencing anger, rage, explosive behavior, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, individuals have more control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.
All the zones are natural to experience, but the framework focuses on teaching students how to recognize and manage their zone based on the demands of their environment and the people around them. Learn more in the article, All the Zones are OK! Tips for Managing the Zones You’re In.
Please visit Wisdomwhere for a full description and to register.
Curriculum Access Team (CAT) Explicit Instruction Reading Foundations Series (Virtual): 10/22/2020
Educational Benefit Review (Virtual): 10/28, 10/29
Paraprofessional Training Series (Virtual): 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27
Youth Mental Health Committee (Virtual): 10/12
Did you know that three of our most-used software programs have learning pages online? Here are some friendly web address mappings to take you to their respective pages:
Blackboard (website) – https://eupschools.org/blackboardlearning
Microsoft – https://eupschools.org/microsoftlearning
Teams – Large Gallery View
Teams has released a gallery view to view up to 49 participants at once on a single screen for meetings with more than 10 participants using their video camera. Here is how to set it up:
- Select More options (…) while within a call/meeting.
- Select Large Gallery.
Google Drive Trash Items
Starting October 13, 2020, GSuite is changing the retention policies for items in the Trash in Google Drive. With this new policy, any file that is put into a Google Drive trash will be automatically deleted after 30 days. Previously, trashed items would be retained indefinitely until the trash was emptied by the user.
Any files already in a user’s trash on October 13, 2020 will remain there for 30 days. After the 30-day period, files that have been in the trash for longer than 30 days will begin to be automatically deleted.
Please write or call with your comments, suggestions, and/or concerns.
Angie McArthur, Superintendent – email@example.com