Superintendents' Newsletter

November 2015

Take a Walk...

If you were to walk around your buildings and chat with your building administrator--what might you find? Here might be some questions to ask. Pick one or a few. Use what is here or change them to fit your own style.

1. How are you connecting with students, parents and staff?

(How are they building effective relationships? involving others? engaging with people?)

2. What are their goals for reading proficiency? math? attendance? grades? learning?

(Do they have a goal? Do their teachers know the goal? Do the students?)

3. What steps are they taking to improve learning everyday?

(Do they work with their staff to implement processes and procedures?)

4. How do they ensure their teachers are effectively teaching everyday?

(Do they get into classrooms? Talk with students? Observe?)

5. What practice is yielding the most positive impact for your students?

(Do they talk about students or adults? Do they share culture?)

Your building leadership is an extension of your district and yourself. You want these key leaders to be able to relate to others, know what good instruction looks like and demand that it happen everyday for students, work with staff to ensure effective instruction and exceptional outcomes for students and know that learning happens everyday--even for them. Competent, Caring and Credible.

Update on ESEA

From National Connection Daily:

Congress To Hold ESEA Conference To Rewrite NCLB Act.

Education Week (11/17, Klein) reports that Congress is making progress with bipartisan, bicameral legislation to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act, and an official conference committee that will begin this week. The proposal would increase states’ control over many aspects of testing and school assistance and includes a requirement that states turn around the bottom five percent of schools. A provision prohibiting ED Secretary from “interfering with state prerogatives on teacher evaluation, testing, standards, school turnarounds, and more” is seen as a “rebuke” to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Experts say that the proposal, while not ideal, should garter bipartisan support and note that it will place “tremendous responsibility” on states. A detailed overview of the bill is provided.

The Hill (11/17, Marcos) reports that lawmakers hope to finish conference negotiations by the end of the year to send a bill to President Obama. However, the Hill says it is unclear whether a compromise bill would be signed into law because the Obama Administration “has expressed opposition to both” the House and Senate versions of the bill

Click below for the infographic:

State Assessment Reminders:

  • Assessment results are coming out in pieces
  • Next to come out are the Parent/Student Reports
  • Then District Results

Results will be reported at the Claim Level with nothing at the Item Level

4 Math Claims:

Concepts and Procedures

Problem Solving

Communicating Reasoning

Modeling and Data Analysis

4 ELA Claims:




Research and Inquiry

Same is true for Science and Social Studies.

From the School Improvement Conference:

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Literacy Grants for Instructional Time and Assessments Reimbursements:,4615,7-140-28753_74161---,00.html

If you need support and assistance, please give us a call at 591-4408.

Illuminate/Math Update:

We have combed through everything in Illuminate:

General Education ASSESSMENTS:

  • 11 Biology Tests
  • 39 ELA grades 3-8
  • 42 Social Studies grades K-5

There were 84 Math Testlets created grades K-5 that will be imported into Illuminate

The Math Leadership Committee begins work on December 1st to create Math Testlets for Algebra I.

A midterm for Algebra I was also created and has been uploaded into Illuminate.


There continues to be hundreds of Test Bank Items that teachers can use to create their own assessments anytime.

Don't forget your New Teacher!

December 9th 4:30-6:30

Using Digital Media to Engage Parents and Students.

These two hours will highlight over a dozen tools, apps, and sites that will help your new teacher to improve communication, relationships, engagement and involvement of both students and parents. They won't want to miss this. We will also talk about successful strategies and cautions as they communicate digitally.

March 16th 4:30-6:30

Reflections, Feedback, and Getting Better!

These two hours will focus on taking feedback and using it to continue improve effectiveness. Your new teachers will leave with a reflection sheet, tips for listening, taking the next steps toward improvement and ways to use mentors to support.

Spring 2016-Testing Schedule Update

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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

Assessment Links and Updates


MDE Link to all Things M-STEP


Update from Office of Assessment & Accountability

Professional Learning at GISD

November 2015

December 2015

Formative Classroom Walkthroughs: Why Not?

Genesee Intermediate School District, in collaboration with the Michigan Assessment Consortium and Edupaths, is pleased to host this online book study as one of the sites for MAC Reads 2016. Participants will have access to chapter resources and activities designed to enhance their professional learning, as well as real-time interactive sessions within the online course. Click here to register.

LOCATION: Online (you will receive details soon!)

AUDIENCE: Educators across Michigan

COST: FREE Course; $25 per site to participate in Live Video Conference below)

DATES: Course opens December 1 for asynchronous learning; real-time sessions (see dates below):

*Participants may purchase their books at

January 2016

Tuning Up Classroom Assessments

January 12 and January 19

  • How confident are you that your current assessments are tightly aligned with the new Common Core State Standards?
  • How confident are you that your current assessments are rigorous enough to assess students at the appropriate depth of knowledge?
  • How confident are you that your current assessments are of high quality and produce valid results?

This 2-day workshop will provide background knowledge to ensure assessments are aligned to the Common Core and guide participants through a process of analyzing and modifying current assessments being used in their grade, course, building and/or district.

This K-12 workshop is great for teams of teachers using common or interim assessments within a PLC. Participants will need to bring a current assessment with them, printed out on single-sided sheets of paper.

Tuning up Classroom Assessments with Dr. Ellen Vorenkamp. Click here to register!

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Learning Opportunities for Administrators & Teachers