Curriculum Coordinators' Newsletter

September 2016

Welcome Back!

We hope your start to the school year has been great!

We look forward to supporting your efforts to increase teaching and learning in your district this year!

What's the Word on Mindfulness?

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness practice teaches us to live fully in the present moment, with the intention of creating an inner calmness and balance that allows us to focus our attention. Schools across the country are integrating Mindfulness programs and practices. The Crim Foundation provides training, parent information, and classroom support.

Learn more about Jon-Kabat-Zinn's upcoming visit to Flint.

Wednesday, October 5th at 11:00 at the Event Center on the campus of

Mott Community College.

Why Should Schools Promote Mindfulness Practices?

Our brains need downtime. We are constantly bombarded by content: over 38 gigabytes every day and over 100,000 words. One gigabyte can be compared to a full-length movie or a symphony in high-fidelity sound. In essence, we are becoming addicted to continual stimulation, running on auto-pilot.

Our children are experiencing this overload, too. And many are living in high-stress environments, particularly those living in poverty. With constant stress, the brain cannot develop as it was meant to. Stressed students are physiologically unable to learn.

"Just Breathe" by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films)

What Does Mindfulness in the Classroom Look Like?

Mindful Schools In-Class Instruction

Does Mindfulness Make a Difference?

A regular mindfulness practice can reduce stress levels, improve focus, and help regulate behavior. Researchers are exploring the impact of Mindfulness on teachers and student learning. In a 2014 study with ninety-nine 4th and 5th graders, those who practiced mindfulness exercises had 15% better math scores that those who did not. "When Teachers Take a Breath, Students Can Bloom" shares an overview of a study on CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators" training for teachers who work in high-poverty schools. The infographic below represents the results that teachers reported:

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Senate Substitute for House Bill No. 4822--3rd Grade Reading Bill

Increase Proficiency on 3rd Grade Assessment (M-STEP)

The retention portion does not start until 2019-2020--so it would be for this year's kindergarteners.

2016-2017 kindergarten

2017-2018 first graders

2018-2019 second graders

2019-2020 third graders

During 2017-2018 MDE needs to select and approve (3) valid and reliable screeners, formative and diagnostic reading assessment systems for districts to use.

Districts will need to use these screeners at least 3x per year to screen, diagnose difficulties and use for interventions

Students who are struggling will need to have a Individualized Reading Improvement Plan and needs to be communicated with parents.

Principals are required to offer specialized training for teachers and utilize early literacy coaches.

  • Continue to set high expectations
  • Utilize researched-based best practices
  • Support teachers with Professional Learning
  • Utilize literacy coach model
  • Create a system to support struggling readers with interventions

Retention begins in 2019-2020:

Will be for those students who are a full grade level or more behind their peers.

1. Exemptions are for those students who perform well on Math (M-STEP), Science and SS (work samples)


2. Parent has a "good cause" and Superintendent granted because it was in the best interest of the child.

Information and Updates

Educator Evaluations

Postings and Assurances Documents for District Use

State/District Approved Tools:

Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy must post on its public website the following information about the evaluation tool(s) in use for evaluation of teachers and administrators:

  • Research base for the evaluation framework, instrument, and process

  • Identity and qualifications of the author

  • Evidence of reliability, validity, and efficacy

  • Evaluation framework and rubric

  • Description of processes for conducting observations, collecting evidence conducting evaluation conferences, developing performance ratings, and developing performance improvement plans

  • Description of the plan for providing evaluators and observers with training

Districts should post their respective posting and assurances documents under their transparency mitten.

There is no required date in statute, but the assurances agreed to by the ISDs within the training grant indicated September 30 as the due date. Districts may use the linked document rather than recreating something. They may want to add an addendum, however, that provides greater detail on their plan for ensuring that training is provided.

Click HERE for Danielson Framework

5 Dimensions Evaluation

Marzano Teacher Evaluation

Thoughtful Classroom

School ADvance for Administrators

Multidimensional Leadership Performance System

Educator Evaluation Training Grant Information

Questions regarding the grant are addressed here.

Educator Evaluations At-a-Glance

Early Literacy Coaching Grant Update

We have three new early literacy coaches, two half-time and one full-time:

  • Mary Howell
  • Marsha Malone
  • Tanya Sly

These 3, with guidance from Joanne LeBlanc and Melissa Wing, will be coaching 1st grade teachers in buildings with whose 3rd graders performed below the state average on

M-STEP reading.

Congratulations to our selected schools!

Haas Elementary in Genesee

Barhitte Elementary in Bentley

Durant-Turri Mott Elementary in Flint

Potter Elementary in Flint

Doyle/Ryder Elementary in Flint

Dailey Elementary in Beecher

Atherton Elementary in Atherton

McMonagle Elementary in Westwood Heights

Woodland Park Academy

International Academy of Flint

Grand Blanc Academy

Madison Academy

Richfield Public School Academy

Northridge Academy

Linden Academy

Burton Glen Academy

New Standard Academy

Greater Heights Academy

Genesee STEM Academy

TOTAL SCHOOLS: 19 supporting 55 Classroom Teachers!

New Teacher Network Summary: 2015-2016

October 1: Respect, Rapport and Relationships:

10 participants, 7 districts

December 9: Engaging Students and Parents:

14 participants, 11 districts
March 16: Reflect, Feedback and Planning Ahead:

6 participants, 3 districts

7 teachers attended only 1 session
6 teachers attended 2 of the 3 sessions
3 teachers attended all 3 sessions

Did You Know...?

Changes in FAFSA

1.Families can now file for FAFSA on October 1.

2. Parents will use their 2015 Tax information.

3. Students will first need an FSA ID set up.

4. UM-Flint along with other local schools will be visiting various districts for their college night events. Lapeer is hosting a Senior Slam during the day and will have all students create an FSA ID.

Assessment Information

Spotlight on Student Assessment & Accountability

September 22: Updating EEM; Online Testing Waiver Window; Preparing for Spring 2017.

September 15: Fall 2016 Michigan's Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessments; Accountability Information; MAEIA Project

September 8; Spring 2016 MI-Access Reports and Data Files Now Available; Last Week for 2015-16 English Learner (EL) Exits; SAT; Important Dates

September 1: Assessment Data Embargo Lifted; 2016 M-STEP and MME Statewide Results Overview; new Resources Explain Student Score Reports; Student Assessment and Accountability Fall Webcast; For New Principals and English Learner Assessment Coordinators; Guidelines for 2015-16 English Learner (EL) Exits; SAT; Important Dates

Student Assessment & Accountability Webcast

  • Recordings of each segment and handouts can be found here.
  • Be sure all EEM contacts are up-to-date.
  • Sample Item Sets and Online Tools Tutorials are available at all levels.

Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessments

Now – September 20, 2016:

Secure Site Online Test Session Setup for the Fall 2016 Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessments. •

Now – September 20, 2016:

Window for Pre-Identification of students who will be taking the Fall 2016 Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessments.

October 3 – October 21, 2016

Window for the Fall 2016 Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessments for grades 1 and 2.

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MDE WORKSHOP: Calling all Title I Principals and Leadership Teams!

Everything you need to know about ESEA/ESSA and Title I as they relate to your building an programs. From compliance to high quality program elements, you'll find the answers to your questions at this workshop!

October 18th at the GISD

2413 West Maple Avenue

Flint, MI 49525

Registration on line NOW

Click on Events

Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities

AdvancED Michigan Fall Conference 2016

Discover. Improve. Succeed.

October 20 & 21, 2016

Novi, MI

Fall 2016 School Improvement Conference

Teaching & Engaging with Poverty in Mind

November 21 & 22, 2016

Lansing Center

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