Whole Child Newsletter

October 2021

JCISD Learning Services: Day of Discovery

Where instruction, technology, curriculum and good people all come together to learn and grow.

Our next county-wide professional learning day (Day of Discovery) is Monday, October 18th!

Please join us for presentations on a multitude of topics including:

  • Educational Technology

  • Engagement

  • Mathematics and Science

  • Special Education Strategies

  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

  • Literacy

  • Equity

and more!

Register and Learn more HERE

New Whole Child Team Member

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JCISD Technology Newsletter

Here's the latest technology newsletter. Some highlights include:

  • Final 2-step verification reminder (Deadline is October 1)
  • Google updates
  • Virtual field trips and more!

Sept/Oct Technology Newsletter

New Michigan Model for Health Resources

New and improved Michigan Model for Health (MMH) curriculum. MDE and the Michigan School Health Coordinators Association (MISHCA) Executive Committee created the attached infographic highlighting the ways the MMH curriculum promotes and supports student mental health.

The MMH is an effective, evidence based, Tier 1 intervention for addressing the mental health needs of students in grade Pre-School -12 https://www.michiganmodelforhealth.org/about-mmh/standards-effectiveness.

The MMH is supported by a network of School Health Coordinators (MISHCA) https://mishca.org/who/ who provide training, support, and technical assistance to any school in Michigan interested in implementing the MMH curriculum.

The MMH is available at minimal or no cost to local schools and teachers, and is now available in a digital/online format https://www.michiganmodelforhealth.org/mmh-digital-curriculum-video-tutorial.

If you have any questions about the information provided, please contact Steve Sukta, School Health Education Coordinator at Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


This fall, OK2SAY is once again offering FREE OK2SAY safety programming for students in middle school (6th - 8th grade). This program teaches students to protect themselves and those around them by submitting confidential tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, and schools.

Please complete the on-line OK2SAY Presentation Registration Form if you are interested in hosting either a virtual or in-person presentation at your school (delivery method dependent on school preference and presenter availability).

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Key Concepts for Leveraging Chronic Absence During the Coronavirus Pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, taking attendance daily and monitoring when students miss too much school is more essential than ever.

Monitoring when students miss opportunities to learn – whether offered in person or through distance learning – is an invaluable tool for strengthening the efforts of educators, community partners and families to reduce the adverse impact of this pandemic on the country’s more than 55 million school children.

Using Chronic Absence To Identify Systemic Solutions

At its core, chronic absence measures when students miss so much school they are at risk of not being prepared for kindergarten, learning to read by third grade, failing courses in middle school and dropping out of high school.

High chronic absence levels signal the need for additional outreach and engagement along with extra support for individual students as well as investments to address systemic problems that affect groups of students. The best results occur when there is an intentional effort to avoid blaming students and families for the lack of attendance or participation.

A high level of chronic absence alerts schools, community partners and families that one or more positive conditions for learning are not in place. When these four conditions for learning – physical and emotional health and safety; a feeling of belonging, connection and support; academic challenge and engagement; and adults and peers with social emotional competency – are in place, students are more likely to attend school. (Learn more about the connection between conditions for learning and chronic absence here.)

Data on chronic absence and lack of participation in school are clear indicators of where to invest outreach and support and address gaps in implementing a comprehensive tiered approach to improving student attendance and engagement.

Expanded Framework for Monitoring Attendance

Find new metrics

Investing in the Transition Back To School

As schools and communities develop and implement their plans for addressing the academic and social impact from disrupted learning, putting in place meaningful ways to engage students and their families is critical to addressing the significant absenteeism, enrollment declines and educational inequities exacerbated by the pandemic. See Pathways to Engagement: A Toolkit for Covid-19 Recovery Through Attendance, which offers a framework, tools and resources for how to forge pathways to engagement, especially for those who have lost out on significant instructional opportunities during the pandemic.

Some students and families have not been in touch with their schools during the pandemic. Finding and connecting to these families remains crucial. We've developed a list of ideas and strategies for making this connection.

Virtual PBIS Leadership Forum

Home Fridge Advantage Contest

At every school, there are families who struggle to make ends meet and one ‘incident’, like a flat tire or a broken appliance, can make the difference in that family’s ability to put food on the table or buy school supplies. Our partner, Milk Means More, has partnered again with the Detroit Lions and Kroger to provide brand new refrigerator-freezers to 8 deserving families. They are accepting nominations for the prize now through December 13th. One family will be chosen each week the Lions have a home game…or when they have the advantage!

To nominate a family you know, go to https://www.milkmeansmore.org/home-fridge/ to find the official rules and nomination form.

In addition to the refrigerator, the family will receive $500 worth of groceries to stock it and $500 cash.

Please share this with your schools and encourage staff and parents to nominate deserving families who just need a bit of an advantage!

What’s more, the winner will get to complete a “forward pass” and select a school or food pantry to receive a $2000 grant for needed equipment to be sure kids and families receive fresh, cold milk.

Milk Means More has provided logos and suggested social media posts you can use or modify. They can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/folder/qnjurgk6dpxeb/Home+Fridge+Advantage

10 minute Morning Yoga Stretch for Sore Muscles | Upper Body, Neck & Shoulders
3-minute Mindful Breathing Meditation (Relieve Stress)
Do you have students or know families that could benefit from food stability, health insurance, child care, or other basic resources? Please connect them with MIBridges at www.mibridges.michigan.gov/access or call the MI Child and Healthy Kids number: 888.988.6300.

Contact the Whole Child Team!

Janelle Buchler: Whole Child Consultant (janelle.buchler@jcisd.org)

Eric Swihart: Whole Child Coordinator (eric.swihart@jcisd.org)

Caitlin Williams: Attendance and Homeless Program Coordinator (caitlin.williams@jcisd.org)

Rebecca Hurst: Behavior Health Project Coordinator (rebecca.hurst@jcisd.org)

Kelsea Jabkiewicz: Whole Child Coordinator (kelsea.jabkiewicz@jcisd.org)

Tonya Kendra: General Education Social Worker (tonya.kendra@jcisd.org)