Team Trailblazer Weekly Update

November 16, 2015

How does MVCA support courageous learning?


Over 50% of our students come to us for the first time in grades 7-12 each school year. The reasons are numerous - how many of your students fit Marlina's profile?

In their previous situations...

Were they unsupported academically?

Was their learning stunted due to an unbelief in themselves as students?

Was the culture of their previous learning environments toxic?

Did they have to make some courageous decisions to step away to a new school?

At MVCA...

Do they believe that they can succeed? Do we tell them so?

Due to the nature of our environment and student population, we all need to be cognizant of how we embrace our kids and help them to see themselves as having potential despite their past.

Do we allow our students to define themselves per one failed assignment, or are we there to help them to fail forward and regain confidence?

Make it great week - thank you all for what you do each and every day to build our students' academic courage!
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Instructional Coaching Feedback Survey

Hello Teachers,

If you have not yet responded to the Instructional Coaching Teacher Feedback Survey please try to do so prior to the survey close at midnight EST on Monday 11/16. As a reminder, your feedback on the experience of coaching can have a major impact on program refinements moving forward. Link to survey below.

Thank you!

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FAST Referrals

Just a friendly reminder - please do not submit any more HR academic FAST referrals to the Sharepoint site.

If you have a student in need of support from a CONNECT counselor, please use the Sharepoint site.

I will update you soon!

Current Enrollment Update


Count of
Each Grade














Grand Total


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Peer Power Tutoring - MS Help Needed!

Hello Middle School Staff!

We have been hard at work trying to recruit students to use Peer Tutoring as another way to find success.

Our tutors created this video to showcase what we do and if you’re not opposed, would you be willing to share this out in homeroom or at the end of your classes one day? It’s really short.

Also, we’re looking for tutors so please encourage any of your advanced students to sign up who are looking for an after school opportunity. The kids love it! They get to be a teacher in their own breakout room with their own slides and work on the subjects they are strong in.

If you want to see what we do before sharing this, please feel free to email me and I’ll send you a link to the blackboard room. We hold Tutors On Demand every Thursday from 4-5pm.

Thank you for all of your support with this program!

Sarah Schubring

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Laptop request

If you have a family with a legitimate reason for requesting a laptop, please submit here:

Andrei reviews these weekly and approves if warranted.
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Happy Birthday to HS math teacher, Lindsay Wesley, on November 17!

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STEM Grant Opportunity

The new Michigan Science Standards have just been adopted. If you are looking for an engaging way to meet the new engineering component of the standards the Kent ISD can help you to leverage a free 3D Printer and a free drone (UAV) in your classrooms! We are an approved PD provider for MDE's 99s(5) grant. The grant will also cover substitute costs for educators in attendance.

Here's what you need to do:

See you at the PD!!!

**Small window per MDE grant guidelines November 12- December 15**

Ebiri Nkugba



STEM Consultant

Kent Intermediate School District


Google Community

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New students as of November 16

1550387 Blake 7th Grade

1814019 Diamond 7th Grade

1808902 ISLAM 7th Grade

1674393 Muhammad 7th Grade

1805342 Parson 7th Grade

1814436 Weiers 7th Grade

1633062 DiNardo 8th Grade

1803649 Garcia 8th Grade

1810553 Gould 8th Grade

1494520 Jordan 8th Grade

1809692 Manley Jr 8th Grade

1811382 Smith 8th Grade

1813337 Thompson 8th Grade

1810368 Lamont 9th Grade

1785545 Ford 10th Grade

1808975 Knox 10th Grade

1809778 Lee 10th Grade

1806311 Videan 10th Grade

1797435 Foster 11th Grade

1811643 Gee 11th Grade

1809849 LeBlanc 11th Grade

1481174 Smith 11th Grade

1812521 Sobleskey 11th Grade

1802125 Vestrand 11th Grade

1806269 Brown 12th Grade

1809771 Sinkler 12th Grade

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Hour of Code

Susan Vernier and Katie Simmons participated last year and would like to expand with more of you! If you are interested, please reach out to them at or

Bring computer science to your school. Start with an Hour of Code!

Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you heard about the Hour of Code last year, you might know it made history. In the first Hour of Code, 15 million students tried computer science. Last year, that number increased to 60 million students! The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Sign up to host an Hour of Code this December 7-13 during Computer Science Education Week.

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Testing Update from Wendy: MME

Wendy attended a 7 hour MME webinar that included speakers from MDE, College Board and ACT.

The attached PPT includes everything you wanted to know about SAT, PSAT, M-STEP and more. SAT & PSAT 8/9 & 10 will definitely be all hands on deck.

Here are some of the more informational slides:

· Student Eligibility for MME – slides 12 – 17 – provide a great explanation about which students can/cannot take the MME and which will be included in accountability

· College Board contacts – slide 18

· ACT WorkKeys contacts – slide 19

· M-STEP contact – slide 20

· Roles & Responsibilities (SAT) – Principals – slide 32

· Roles & Responsibilities (SAT/PSAT) – SSD Coordinator – slide 33

· Roles & Responsibilities (SAT/PSAT) – Test Center Supervisor (Site Lead) – slide 34

· Roles & Responsibilities (SAT/PSAT) – Associate Supervisor (Proctor) – slide 35

· Roles & Responsibilities (SAT/PSAT) – Proctors & Hall Monitors – slide 36

· Accommodations Requests (SAT/PSAT) – slides 44 – 50

· SAT Test Day Schedule – slide 52

· Staffing Requirements/Limitations (SAT/PSAT) – slides 59 – 63

· Training (SAT/PSAT) – slides 64 & 65

· Test Materials Return (SAT/PSAT) slides 69 & 70

· SAT School Day Customer Support Contacts – slide 71

· Appendix: Accommodations Matrix (SAT/PSAT) – slides 72 – 80

· PSAT Test Day Schedule – slide 97

· Seating & Furniture Requirements (SAT/PSAT) – slide 115

· ACT info begins – slide 135

· ACT staffing options – slides 166 - 168

· ACT WorkKeys Schedule – slide 195

· ACT WorkKeys website & contact info – slides 215 & 216

· Pre-ID, Labels & Accountable Students & Test Verification (all Wendy) - slides 225 – 257

· SAT Accommodations info – slides 260 – 267

· M-STEP Supports & Accommodations – slides 269 - 273

Noteworthy highlights

· SDQ (Student Data Questionnaire) for SAT & PSAT can be completed after the test and that is the plan for now…until MDE changes their mind. So, no mailing out SDQs to 9th – 11th, having to add Class Connects to walk students through completing the questionnaire, hoping students return the SDQ and then having to sort them to the correct site. Same for ACT WorkKeys. Yahoo!

· SAT w/ essay, including administrative tasks = 4 hours, 22 minutes (+ 30 min. to complete SDQ)

· SAT/PSAT requires 1 student per 6’ & under table or 2 per 8’ & longer table; ACT requires 2 per 6’ table

· Staff with a student in HS can’t have access to/proctor the same test their child (or person living in their home) will be taking, even if in another district. My plan is for staff in this category to handle M-STEP.

· SAT/PSAT materials should arrive 2-3 weeks prior to testing

· SAT/PSAT – requires add’l person in testing room w/ > 34 students; ACT WorkKeys requires add’l person in testing room w/ > 25 students

· SAT/PSAT online training for Test Center Supervisors (Site Leads) and Assoc. Supervisors (Proctors) is required and will be delivered by College Board. It includes materials shipment returns. (I will also provide follow-up training after the online training.)

· PSAT – 3 hours

· ACT WorkKeys training will be delivered by me

· ACT WorkKeys is (3) 45 minutes sections. Will be first test of day, followed by M-STEP 11 Science & Social Studies, after a break.

Thank you,

Wendy Poulton
Michigan Testing Coordinator

Office: 616.309.1605

Cell: 360.840.3059

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Survey - Co-teaching in a Virtual Setting

From Vickie Russell:


I am conducting research to complete my master’s degree. I am researching the effectiveness of co-teaching in the virtual setting and would appreciate your input. I have developed a survey that should take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. It is a mix of multiple choice, rating scales and just a few open ended questions. Please know that I do not ask for names and will not be using the name of the school or k12 in my report.

Below is the link for the survey! If you have co-taught or are currently co-teaching, please fill it out by Wednesday, November 18, 2015!

Thank you,

Vickie Russell

Self-Contained Special Education Teacher

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Expense Reports

A friendly reminder!

Andrei communicated to us that due to an unforeseen delay with the new online system, we will complete our October expense report as we have in the past.

“Until we are told otherwise, reimbursements and any/all expenses will be processed as we have before. Please reinforce to your teams that the Source Code and Funding Source on all Reimbursement Forms MUST be completed; if not, it will be returned to that respective team member and will delay their payment. October reimbursement information is now due NOVEMBER 18, 2015.”

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UPDATED MTSS Referral Process

Our interventionists are eagerly awaiting referrals!

The form has been updated and it is attached in this email.

If you have questions, please reach out to the MTSS Team!

Cassandra Rusie
Lisa Faulkner
Jon DeCou
Colleen Kayl
Kelly Mohr
Allyson Dunn
Terasa Burt

Or any interventionist...

How to complete the form:

Weebly site:

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FAST Training for Families

Learning Styles Virtual workshops are being hosted by FAST for families. They are being held this week on 11/17 & 11/19 at both 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to a FAST member.
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This week's PD with Summer!

Owning Retention and Family Satisfaction


Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 9-9:45am


This is an online event.

More information

Coming next week...

Small Groups or Rx Learning


Tuesday, Nov. 24th, 2-2:45pm


This is an online event.

More information

FREE GVSU PD - Early December

Please attend - team time!

Pinterest Party (West)

Event Start: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

Middle/High School Assessments & Interventions (East)

Event Start: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (East)

Event Start: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

Pinterest Party (East)

Event Start: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Member Cost: $0.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

This is a member only event

Lexile - Creating Student Booklists (West)

Event Start: Monday, December 7, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

Tech Tools and Teaching Tricks (WEST)

Event Start: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: L. William Seidman Center

Lexile - Creating Student Booklists (East)

Event Start: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

MAP© 102- Proctor Training (WEST)

Event Start: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: Bicycle Factory

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (WEST)

Event Start: Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: Bicycle Factory

MAP© 102- Proctor Training (EAST)

Event Start: Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: Detroit Center

Tuition support through GVSU

If you haven't investigated the tuition reimbursement through GVSU, please check it out here:

The window to request the 50% reduction opens up this Wednesday!
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If you are new to MVCA, please contact Tina Ortowski at to get one!

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Thanksgiving Break

Wednesday, Nov. 25th, 8am to Friday, Nov. 27th, 5pm

This is an online event.

Count your them one by one!

Please be sure to set up an out of office message in your email as well as on your school phone - thanks!
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We look forward to welcoming new MS math teacher, Brian Poppen, this week!

Systems Updates

I have attached a pdf of systems updates for your review. These are for internal use only and are not to be shared with our families.

Not all apply to us - please peruse at your leisure :)

MVCA All Staff PD

Thursday, Dec. 10th, 1:30pm to Friday, Dec. 11th, 4pm

Grand Rapids, MI, United States

Grand Rapids, MI

We look forward to spending time together!

See details in your Outlook reminders

If you give a thumbs up for another round of the ugly Christmas sweater contest...find me in Lync! If you have other ideas as well, let me know.
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We congratulate Eva Charboneau and her husband on the birth of their son, George Blaine Charboneau! He was born on November 13. George has twin older brothers :)

We look forward to welcoming Danielle Stoops, who will be subbing for Eva while she is out.