Curriculum Directors' Newsletter

September 2014

Welcome Back!

It seems like we've been back now for months....or maybe we never left! Hopefully you've had a great start to the school year and things are going well. This year, the Core Team promises to bring you an agenda that will provide the latest information, updates, activities to use with your district, and ways to improve teaching and learning! We are looking forward to learning together this year!!

Need to Talk? Plan? Discuss?

If you are a curriculum director that needs some time to sit down and discuss what your district initiatives are, plan with a content or curriculum specialist, or just think through instructional strategies or assessments....give us a call! We will be happy to meet you and help! We are here to support your efforts in improving teaching and learning in your district!

Leadership in Action

  • What were your thoughts on, The Leadership Challenge?
  • What did you determine were some strengths?
  • What did you notice were some areas to work on?
  • How did you follow up?

October's Leadership in Action:

Thursday, October 2nd

Creating a Positive Culture and Ensuring Student Success

Location: Genesee Career Institute (GCI) Weekdays

8:30-11:00 a.m. OR 1:00-3:30 p.m. OR 4:30-7:00 p.m.


  • 2014-15 K-12 budget bill: requires MDE to develop new summative assessments for Spring 2015 to replace MEAP and MME.
  • These assessments will measure the Common Core State Standards, not the GLCE's and HSCE (except for SS and Science).
  • The legislation is also requiring that an RFP be issued by September 1st for a new summative assessment system for 2015-16.

What will be tested:
  • ELA & Math: grades 3-8 and 11
  • Science: grades 4, 7 and 11
  • Social Studies: grades 5, 8, and 11

Testing windows and approximate times:
  • The summative assessment schedule was updated on September 11, 2014, and includes the ACT Plus Writing and WorkKeys dates. See the Spring 2015 Testing Schedule Update for the most current information.
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MDE Assessment & Accountability

Updates: Week of September 8, 2014

Michigan Merit Curriculum Changes

August 21, 2014 MASSP Hosted Q & A Presentation & Handouts

The legislation agreed to the adjustments below to create more flexibility in how students earn the required credits. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature, but doesn't take effect until April 2015.

MDE has updated their FAQ document as of August 2014 to address these changes.

Here is a table you can click on that summarizes the changes explained below:

Core MMC Changes

  • The Algebra 2 requirement could be fulfilled by taking a CTE course--or, courses which cover at least the portion of algebra 2 benchmarks that are assessed on the Michigan Merit Exam (MME)
  • The Foreign Language requirement could be fulfilled with 2 credits of grade-appropriate language instruction anytime during grades K-12. Additionally, students graduating in the classes of 2015-2020 only may substitute a CTE course OR an additional visual or performing arts course for one of the two required credits of foreign language.
  • The second science credit, in addition to chemistry or physics, may be fulfilled by taking anatomy, agricultural science, or a course that provides at least the portion of either chemistry or physics benchmarks which are assessed on the MME. Students may also substitute a CTE course (regardless of content) for their third credit of science.
  • MMC law now clearly specifies that districts may count extracurricular activities for one-half credit of physical education.

Personal Curriculum Changes

  • Schools must write a personal curriculum for a student if requested by the student's parent (or by the student if he or she is 18 years old or an emancipated minor). This would apply regardless of whether the requested change was allowable under law. The school superintendent or his or her designee would still have the right to reject the PC once written.
Three simplifications were made to the PC process:
  • Only one school representative needs to be involved rather than both a teacher and counselor.
  • There is no longer a requirement for an in-person meeting to develop the PC.
  • There is no longer a requirement for quarterly progress meetings.
Additional types of modifications that students/schools may make:
  • Students may fulfill their Algebra 2 requirements with technical math or by taking a class that covers at least the portion of algebra 2 benchmarks that are assessed on the Michigan Merit Exam (MME).
  • Students may substitute CTE courses (regardless of content) for up to 1 credit of social studies; 1 credit of health and physical education; and 1 credit of visual, performing, or applied arts.
Other details:
  • No limitation may be put on the number of PCs a school is allowed to have.
  • Schools must notify parents and students annually that they are entitled to pursue a PC; i.e. through the school newsletter, handbook, or other communication sent to the pupil's home.
  • Pupils must be informed of the option to take CTE during their education development plan (EDP) development process.

Upcoming Professional Development

Our Fall E-Catalog is Online!

Click here to navigate our beautiful professional learning catalog with offerings from September to December. Please share with your staff!

Upcoming Opportunities

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