High School Principals' Newsletter

February 2016

How's it Going?

Midwinter Break may be a good time to ask, "How is it going?" with your staff. Your goal, your focus, your target for the year (that you talked about in the fall) is important to revisit. What is your progress toward that goal? How will you know when you are "there"?

Revisiting goals lets your staff know that you have not forgotten, or let them forget your target for the year. You help to make them and yourself accountable for what you said in the fall. It also helps you and your staff make mid-course corrections if the pace or the target is not being reached.

"So, how's it going?"

Have you been reading about Fixed and Growth Mindsets?

Here is a great info-video that illustrates the difference between

Fixed and Growth Mindsets.

View it Yourself

View it with Your Staff

View it with Your Students

View it with Your Parents

What would happen if students knew about this?

What would happen if parents knew about this?

Must-Watch Video Of The Day: New RSA Animation Of Carol Dweck Talk

From edutopia, a Flipboard magazine by edutopia

I, and many others, always look forward to the infrequent release of an RSA Animated talk. They are visualizations of talks given by…

Read it on Flipboard

Leadership Reads

"To succeed best, leaders must severely limit their focus to the most effective actions and repeatedly—even obsessively—clarify their expectations around those actions. If we can simplify (and, in the process, demystify) effective school leadership, we will multiply the number and proportion of ordinary people who become effective leaders."

Check out Mike Schmoker's new book, Leading with Focus: Elevating the Essentials for School and District Improvement. You can read the introduction and Chapter 1 here.

Spring 2016-Testing Schedule Update

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Quick Facts to Know about Spring Assessment Changes:

1. ELA M-STEP Performance Tasks only for grades 5 and 8

2. Removal of classroom activities in both ELA and Math

3. There is no longer a grade 11 ELA and Math M-STEP, MDE will use the SAT for 11th grade ELA and Math accountability

School Improvement Key Dates to Remember:


School System Review (SSR) OR Interim Self-Assessment or Self Assessment

DUE March 18

School Improvement Plan (SIP)

DUE September 1


District System Review (DSR) OR District Interim Self Assessment or Self Assessment

DUE April 22

School Testing Conference: February 16-18 in Ann Arbor

Register HERE for the conference!

Assessment Links and Updates


MDE Link to all Things M-STEP


Update from Office of Assessment & Accountability

  • February 4: WIDA Testing Window; Initial Material Orders for Spring
  • January 28: M-STEP Sample Item Sets, Supports & Accommodations Webinar
  • January 21: Access to SAT/PSAT
  • January 14: Spring 2016 Guide to State Assessments

Principals Guide to the SAT

Professional Learning at GISD

February/March 2016

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