Team Trailblazer Update

September 19, 2016

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For the Heroes: A Pep Talk From Kid President

You are extraordinary. Get your hero on and have a great week!

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Check out the video from Graduation 2016!

SAVE THE DATE - Graduation 2017 - June 17, 2017 - Please plan on attending!

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Last day for students to request a course change is September 20.

Here is our breakdown if you need to direct a student to his/her counselor:

Mike Scheel: A-G

Lauri Alexander: H-P

Kirsten Brown: Q-Z

Learning Liftoff

Have a parent or learning coach who is eager to learn more?

Looking for another site to which you can refer your students' parents/learning coaches?

Tell them about!

There are also sample lessons from K12 courses on the site.

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Please see the attached document with our 9/19 starters - password is lower case-school acronym.

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Andrei's monthly update is attached!

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Spring Awards Ceremonies - feedback requested

From our Awards Committee:

In planning for End-of-the-Year Awards Ceremonies for each grade level grouping, the Awards Committee has created a short survey, seeking input/feedback from staff regarding potential categories for awards. We also would like to determine the best time/date for each award ceremony.

Here is our survey link:

Thank you for your participation!

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CODE Vocabulary - Friday, September 16 - HS Team Time

Thank you everyone for the time and effort in our meeting on Friday.

From Angela Hammer:

I’ve attached a few things to help you out.

1. HST313A_U1_Vocab_Glossary – this is a sample of the doc I’ve used with my students. Tweak for your own use if you want.

2. CODE_packet – this PDF has all of stuff we did today (minus the script but it does have the definitions). Scroll through it to find different strategies you can use at each level of CODE. There are 2 sets of CODE activities: 1 set is from some older material and the other set is from newer material but it’s all useful. I like to use the C activities early in the unit and the E activities near the end.

3. CODE_UnitWorksheet – if you like to plan things out, this will help you plan the activities to use for your more important unit words

4. Vocabulary’s Code – Thoughtful Ed Vocab Strategies - this was the ppt from today

5. CODE_Virtual_Classroom – a ppt of strategies that you can copy and paste into your classroom ppts

Please reach out if you have questions or want to troubleshoot how to use these in a live class or in your virtual classroom. I’m glad to help!
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Issues with CCs showing on the Schedule

As of Friday, September 16:

We are receiving reports of Class Connects not showing on the Schedule in the New Landing Page. However, the sessions are available in Classes> Go To Class> Class Connect within the actual course. Sessions are also available within the OLS Quick Links- Class Connect Schedule. Please advise students of this workaround if you are getting reports of this until this issue is resolved.

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Congratulations to Rosana Salamey! She is moving into our Child Find Coordinator position as of today!

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We look forward to welcoming Michelle Gurney this week as our math sub for Lindsay Wesley's maternity leave!

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A note from our character committee:

Hello MVCA Staff!

We are the character committee. Our goal is to help students become better people, better problem-solvers and better leaders by establishing a common language at our school. After working with staff from all departments K-12 we’ve planned 8 themes for the school year to help promote positive behaviors in our students.
Program introduction video (feel free to use this in your classes next week):

How does it work? Every month we will roll out a new character trait to promote in classrooms and conversations with families. From general education to intervention groups to students in special programs, all students and staff will be asked to promote these key character traits.


September- Self-Discipline
October- Responsibility
November- Digital Citizenship
December- Respect
January- Team Work
February- Perseverance
March- Honesty & Integrity
April/May- Leadership & Community

September is Self-Discipline month! We’ll be promoting good habits such as logging into class and controlling your behavior to help our students prepare for a great year of learning.

What is my role? Your role as a teacher/ counselor/ FASL is to promote this language in a way that works for you. Below is a link to our Smore page which will house a video for students along with slides or resources to use in your CC sessions. Every month we will update it with a new trait and share it out in our HOS meetings and newsletters.
(Tip: Bookmark this for future use)


  • Add one of the slides to the beginning of class every day
  • Use self- discipline in your classroom norms for the year.
  • You might “catch” students who are showing great self-discipline and praise them in class.

Note: This is not intended to become an added task for your day, but rather a language for all of us to use with our students to promote better habits. Encourage students and LC’s to visit our website too!

Every month we will have a link on our website where families can nominate students who exemplify the trait of the month and we’ll display their first name/ grade/ homeroom teacher on the website. Bragging rights are at stake! We look forward to continuing to build a community of learners with you this school year. If you have any questions about the resources or need other ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Have a great school year!

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Welcome calls for homeroom students

We are oh so close to hitting our 95% goal. Thank you for your persistence!

If you have any additional notes to post, please do!

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GVSU Charter Schools Office: 16-17 PD Calendar

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Upcoming all staff PD

Virtual: October 14

Face to face: December 16

Free Webinar - thanks, Jon DeCou!

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Free Webinar: Leading a Literacy Culture

Educators can develop a culture of literacy in schools and classrooms that engage students in authentic learning that will make them better readers, writers, thinkers, and problem solvers. When students are engaged in authentic learning activities, explicitly taught and modeled by the teacher, they are carefully reading and rereading with clear purposes, thinking analytically, and evaluating their understanding of texts and ideas orally or in writing.

Join Bonnie Houck and Sandi Novak, authors of the new ASCD book Literacy Unleashed: Fostering Excellent Reading Instruction Through Classroom Visits, in a live webinar where they will introduce the Literacy Classroom Visit instrument and unpack important "look for" elements that teachers need to establish in their classroom to cultivate student independence. Together you will explore the importance of creating an engaging learning environment, how to organize classroom libraries to motivate readers, and why "walls that teach" can support a rich culture of literacy.

Leading a Literacy Culture
Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 3:00 p.m. eastern time (US)
Presented by Bonnie D. Houck and Sandi Novak

Register Now

Upcoming Webinar

How to Integrate Digital Content into the Classroom Curriculum
Thursday, October 6, 2:00 p.m. EDT (US)


Presented by OverDrive in cooperation with ASCD SmartBrief.

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Saturday, Nov. 12th, 8am

401 Fulton Street West

Grand Rapids, MI



November 12, 2016

Hosted At:

Grand Valley State University


Share Fair Nation has teamed up with Michigan education leaders to deliver the inaugural Share Fair Michigan, a unique day of professional development that will feature expert-led sessions, peer collaboration, and the opportunity to win prizes.

At Share Fair Nation, we recognize that well-prepared teachers are the key to student achievement. Our organization is passionate about delivering world-class teacher training—at no cost to teachers, schools, or districts.

Relevant and tailored to your needs, Share Fair Michigan was created for educators, by educators, including many who practice in Michigan. Don’t miss this action-packed day of sessions that include:

    • Best Practices and Innovative Tools to Implement the Michigan Science Standards
    • Technology for Today and Tomorrow’s Learners
    • ELL Insights
    • SEL (Social Emotional Learning)
    • STEAM Punk Science
    • Technology as the Key to Quality Classroom Assessment

Share Fair Michigan will include a complimentary lunch and the opportunity to win prizes.

Let us know you’re interested by visiting

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Enrollment numbers as of September 15

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National Honor Society

This was sent out on 9/14 to the 11th and 12th graders that qualified. A special thank you to Lauri Alexander for taking the lead on getting the ball rolling!

You can see the attached list of students who qualified. Encourage them!

Message sent:

You excel! You serve. You lead. You succeed. You have a true thirst for challenge…and accomplishment. Membership in National Honor Society (NHS) may be an ideal fit for you! You can become a member through a local selection process that concludes with induction into the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy’s National Honor Society chapter.

You are receiving this communication because you meet the scholarship requirement for membership. Students must have a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. You have the opportunity to complete an application detailing your accomplishments in and commitment to service, leadership, and character.

You may email the completed application to no later than October 16 if you would like to be considered for MVCA’s National Honor Society.


MVCA NHS Committee

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K12 Marketing/PR Team - SHARE A STORY!

From the K12 Michigan Marketing Team:

Hope the school year is off to a good start for you!

As we begin this new year, the PR time would like to remind you that they’d love to hear stories about your students for potential news coverage. You, your teachers and staff can access the MVCA spreadsheet here: MVCA Share a Story Form .

Our agency is also interested in any students that have an interesting story who live in the Traverse City area.

Finally, October is bullying awareness month and we’d like to showcase any students that were previously bullied and turned to online school.

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FAST Referral Process

From Fast Lead, Amela Redzic:

Attached is the deck used in the presentation last Friday and below is the link to the recording. We talked about FAST Referral process, how to submit referral, how to look up for student, etc.

Link to the recording:

If you have any questions just let me know and I will try my best to help you.


Amela Redzic

MVCA Family Engagement Administrator (FEA)

678 Front Ave Suite 190

Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616.309.1600 ext.3174

“Login, Learn, Lead ….. Leave a Legacy!”

Please list Cassandra Rusie as the lead for all HS referrals and Tanya Kuipers for all MS referrals.

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Feedback from Orientation Week

Thank you to everyone for your hard work with the students during Orientation week.

Feedback is good and will help us improve things for next year. Your constructive feedback is greatly appreciated. Please complete this by the end of this week.

Feedback link:
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OSKARS are back!

Teacher Recognition through the OSk12ARs

This monthly program to find and share outstanding examples of direct instruction has launched for SY 1617.

You can share yourself or your lead may nominate!

I have attached the flyer and pasted it below.

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K12 Practices from the Field

Thursday, Oct. 27th, 1-4pm

This is an online event.

A new K12 event:

Event: Practices from the Field

Date: Thursday, October 27th 2016

Time: 1-4pm

Proposal Review Period: Ongoing until August 31, 2016

Final Presentations Due: September 29th, 2016

Now Accepting Proposals!

All faculty, staff, and administrators are encouraged to submit proposals! We welcome individual and small group proposals. Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis until August 31, 2016.

Practices from the Field Proposal Survey:
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State Testing Updates

See attachment for this week's spotlight newsletter!

Please make special note that SAT accommodated testing is now only 2 weeks.


· Page 7 – WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) MUST be administered to any newly enrolling students who have one “yes” to either of the 2 HLS questions

o Hard copy of W-APT MUST be kept in student’s CA-60 and scores MUST be entered in Secure Site (forward to Wendy Poulton to enter)


· Page 2 – 2015-16 Accountability Info and Timeline – results available to district later this fall with public release by mid-December.

o Differences worth noting for 2015-16:

§ 2 separate school rankings – 1 overall based on achievement and growth and 1 based on achievement gap

§ Overall ranking will include achievement and growth weighted 50/50 for elementary/middle school and 45/45 + 10% on grad rate for HSs

§ Content areas included will be weighted by # of student scores

§ Achievement Gap ranking will only use ELA and math scores

§ MDE will NOT ID new Focus schools

§ Exiting Focus schools meeting exit criteria will be exited

§ MDE will ID new Reward schools

§ MDE will ID new “Participation Non-Compliant” schools

o Questions? or Jill Baynes, SRO at or

· Page 7 – New Principals & ELL Coordinators – WIDA New Principal Primer and New Assessment Coordinator (ELL Coordinator) Primer

· Page 8 – Please make sure HS Counselors have signed up for the SAT & PSAT Counselor workshops


· Page 2 – M-STEP is Triple Success – improved proficiency, shorter testing times and prompt turnaround of results


· Page 4 – New Student test scores can be viewed if an SRM (Student Record Maintenance) is submitted by David to update PEPE.


· Page 7 – MI-specific manuals for 2017 to include – Test Center Supervisor manual, SSD Coord. manual and Testing Room Manual. Yahoo!

· Page 7 – Add’l material order window. Another yahoo!!

· Page 7 – Accommodated testing window for SAT is now 2 weeks!!!!!!!

Proposed Spring Sites

Here is a list of our proposed sites for spring testing.

We of course will look again at our student population, but if anyone has any specific suggestions for additional locations or specific locations within these communities, please let me know.



Ann Arbor

Benton Harbor

Big Rapids


Charter Twp of Clinton


Crystal Falls





Farmington Hills


Garden City


Grand Rapids






Mt Pleasant




Port Huron


Traverse City

West Branch

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Last week Amela and Mark pulled a list of kids who have yet to log in and start school. They have made phone calls to all of them.

There were some who noted that they were schooling elsewhere and they moved ahead with withdrawal.

Others continued to be unreachable and they were locking them if a return call was not received.

I have attached Mark's report in the email. If you have questions or info about any of the students, please let him know.

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Sharepoint may have switched to the “new” view.

In order to have the functionality that you previously had, please scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation bar (where all school summary dashboards are located) and click “Return to Classic SharePoint.”

This should fix any issues.

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K12 Training

On September 15th, teachers will be assigned update training: K12 Online Tools SY 1617. This curriculum is a collection of updates—each marked as elective—that includes updates and just-in-time training on Summit courses and other topics. All of the individual items are also available separately through the Catalog—the Curriculum serves as a convenient collection point from which applicable selections may be made by individual teachers. Additional elective items may be added to this curriculum though out the year.

Asynchronous training now available for the new Summit courses in

Summit Course Overviews - These general courses provide overall information about the Summit Courses, are subject specific and intended to get you started. They are updated frequently, so be sure to check back for the most recent information.

K12 Summit Courses Asynchronous Course - This simulation style course will provide detailed information concerning the functionality of these courses and even walk you through procedures! It’s set up for you to choice what you work on and when, so you can learn a little at a time.

K12 Summit Courses Procedure Simulations - Just need to know how to do something in the Summit Courses? These simulations will walk you through a single procedure.

K12 Summit Procedures Job Aid - Want a pdf you can keep handy while you are working? Check out this job aid for the most commonly referenced procedures.

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Withdrawal Process

This was sent out on September 8, but I wanted to include it in one of our weekly updates. I have re-attached the documents in the email as well.

Courtney also made a Jing video walking us through the process:

Effective 9/8, we have a few adjustments to the withdrawal process for parent/guardian requested withdrawals. The office will still take care of truancy and Tier 4 withdrawals.

The new items to make note of:

1. New submission link

2. New parent/guardian request form to be filled out by parent/guardian

A few notes:

- The old google link is no longer active.

- With the electronic parent form, we will no longer need to hunt down families to get their withdrawal in writing thus expediting the process.

- If you get a written request for withdrawal, please just add to notes so we have it.

- Registrar will process withdrawals daily during peak times (BOY/Semester), but will then move to processing on Mondays and Thursday during the year.

- No special education students will be withdrawn for truancy/tier IV, without Special Program Manager’s consent.

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4T Conference in October

Looking for some free PD? Need some more SCECHs for cert renewal?

Amy Stirling attended a few years ago and really enjoyed what was offered.

Here is the detailed list of sessions:

Monthly Board Meeting

Monday, Sep. 26th, 6pm

Birmingham, MI, United States

Birmingham, MI

To call in, please use this number:

1 888 824 5683


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Expense Reports

Thank you for getting your reports in!

For general funds, we should now be using the 2017 State Aid fund.

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Learning Styles Assessment for Grades 5-10

We are giving our students in grades 5-10 the learning styles assessment between the first week of school and October 17, when the window closes.

As of today we have had 1262 students take it!

Thank you!

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Family Resource Coordinators

Here are the grades that will be served by our FRCs:

FRC assignments for SY 16/17

Jan Collier- K-8

Dave Krause-9-12

Our Homeless Liaison:

Stacea McKeever (Homeless Liaison)- K-12

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Additional computer request process

Google Form:

Survey Results:


There are additional costs so the policy and request process must be followed. The current policy states: K-6 families are given one desktop computer for every three children. 7th & 8th grade students each receive a desktop.

Step 1- Families (or another staff member) contact homeroom teacher with request and valid reasons for needing an additional computer or laptop. Valid reasons include special education needs, medical issues, or custody issues.

Step 2 - Homeroom teacher fills out request form.

Step 3 - Andrei approves requests each week on Tuesdays/Thursdays

Step 4 - On Wednesdays/Fridays, Kim will review approved/rejected. She will email HR teachers with findings to let them know if it was rejected/approved, and if a computer has been ordered.