Your Back to School Issue

Packed with ways to help you get ready for virtual learning!

This is your Virtual Back to School Issue that will help support you as you get off to a GREAT START!

1. What is essential the first days/week of school?

1. Decide with your team, what is essential to teach/assess the first 2 weeks of school. Plan together with your grade level team. Divide and conquer with get to know you activities, and ways to establish routines, etc.. Make sure you also check the expectations of your school district. What are the essentials they want taught for that grade level?

Here are some ideas that teachers normally think are essential: getting to know their students, families, background, how they are feeling, what they are thinking, interests, etc..

  • You might have them do a writing prompt
  • You might set up a virtual meeting with students and their parents to go over routines, procedures, schedule, etc..
  • Have them go find 2 things in their house that helps others to get to know them.
  • Other get to know you activities you may try:

Welcome your students back virtually!

Back to School Activities for Remote Learning!

How to Build Relationships Virtually: The Ultimate Guide

How to Create a Bitmoji Classroom

2. What routines and procedures will you need to teach?

You've all taught routines and procedures face to face. Below are some areas that you may need to think about to teach/discuss the first week of school.


1. Establish and communicate a simple schedule

2. List of materials they will need

3. Work Space Needed/Seating Needed (1 sitting at a table; sitting on the carpet)

4. Ways you will ask them to respond (hand signals, respond cards, oral response, called on by teacher, etc..)

5. Ways you will monitor their learning/engagement (see #2 High Leverage Instruction)

6. Come up with virtual classroom rules together (make them simple)

7. When/how can they ask a question? Do they put their question in the chat? Raise hand?

8. How will you asses their learning?

9. How will you give feedback on behavior?

10. When can they get extra help?

11. What if they get disconnected or need technology help?

See some on line examples:

Establishing systems for virtual feedback and engagement

Example of routines at the secondary

Establishing Virtual Routines and Procedures

3. How will you get/give feedback to students?

Below are some great tools that help you to get and give feedback to students! Check them out!





Pear Deck

Poll Everywhere


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#3. Helping Stressed Educators During COVID-19: Noticing and Meeting Teacher Needs as Schools Reopen

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These maps, specifically designed to support schools and districts for the 2020-21 school year, serve as lesson plans for professional learning that can be adjusted

for virtual or face-to-face environments. They can be adapted for use with large

groups (district or school teams), small groups (grade level teams or subject-area

teams), or individual educators.

GELN Asynchronous Professional Learning Maps

Additional Information and Updates

Virtual Continuous Improvement Conference

*NEW INFO ADDED* MDE Fall 2020 Virtual Continuous Improvement Conference

When: October 20, 2020
Where: Virtual

Registration is open for the MDE Fall 2020 Virtual Continuous Improvement Conference. Registration is $125 per participant and includes SCECH credit. Registration will allow the registered participant access to the conference sessions for three weeks following the event. To register for the conference, please click on the link below and follow the registration instructions.

Learn more,and see the agenda

Leading for Equity: How leaders move beyond “school improvement” to school transformation toward a just, inclusive, and quality education for all!
In her keynote address, Dr. Seena M. Skelton, Director of Operations for the Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center at Indiana University, draws from scholarship and research in critical praxis, systems change, and educational justice to discuss essential shifts in leadership practices needed for equity-centered transformative change in school systems. Dr. Skelton will examine the implications for policy development and implementation, school structures and practices, and continuous improvement activities.

The first set of breakout sessions will take place from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. At the end of each session there will be time for Q & A with presenters.

  1. Beyond “Buy in”: Leading to Achieve Collective Commitment Across the System for Engaging in Transformative Change Toward Equity
  2. I Gave You a Chromebook; Now What?!
  3. What Is It About US That You Can’t Teach?
  4. The Aftermath: Building Resilience Through Trauma-Informed Strategies Using the WSCC Model
  5. Teacher Wellness Matters: What’s Your System?
  6. Small Changes, Big Impact: Evidence-Based Policies and Practices to Avoid Further Marginalizing LGBTQ Students of Color
  7. The Educator Ecosystem: Updates and Strategies for Staffing for Equitable Access
  8. Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) and What We Learned About Student Data
  9. Computer Science = Opportunity = Equity
  10. The Michigan eLibrary: An Equitable Choice for all K-12 Students
  11. Dynamic Diversity Panels: Sharing Our Stories
  12. Addressing the Intersection of Equity and Continuous Improvement

The second set of concurrent breakout sessions will take place from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will also allow time at the end for Q & A with presenters.

  1. Using Equitable Data Practices to Evaluate the Impact of Early Literacy Coaching
  2. From Data to Challenge: The MICIP Assess Needs Process
  3. Essential Instructional Practices for Disciplinary Literacy: Grades 6 to 12
  4. Looking at Data through an Equity Lens: Get Started, Get Better
  5. Using M-STEP Reports to Support Continuous Improvement
  6. Using MTSS to Create Systems for Equity and Continuous Improvement
  7. Integrated Supports for Equity and Access to Continuous Improvement
  8. Whole Child Resources: Identifying Needs to Achieve Equity
  9. Planning for Success: The MICIP Planning Process
  10. Continuous Improvement 101
  11. Reimagine Data-Driven Dialogue with MI School Data and Michigan Integrated Continuous Improvement Process
  12. Creating Systems for Equity and Continuous Improvement

October 20, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Virtual - Participants can join from a location of their choosing (i.e. home, office)

$125 per participant

KRA Update

KRA Update RE: Administration of the Michigan Kindergarten Readiness Observation (MKEO) /Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) for fall 2020:

It is anticipated that the Governor will be signing the package of education bills passed by the state Senate on Saturday and by the House on Monday. Those bills include a suspension of the requirement for LEAs and PSAs to administer the MKEO/KRA for the fall of 2020.

Access to the online KRA portal and the administration site will remain open. Districts, building administrators, and teachers will still have access to the assessment and will be able to download Individual Student Records (ISRs) to assist with informing instruction. Administration for the fall 2020 administration window will be voluntary.

Districts choosing to administer KRA for the fall 2020 should contact Miriam White at

Our anticipation is that the MKEO/KRA requirement will resume for all Michigan LEAs/PSAs in the fall of 2021. Miriam White Miriam White MKEO Specialist Washtenaw ISD Phone 734-680-7689

Spotlight for August 20th

Each week, Spotlight on Student Assessment and Accountability provides you with time sensitive, important information on student assessments and accountability. Don’t miss critical information -- Please click the following link for the August 27, 2020 edition of Spotlight on Student Assessment and Accountability.


Leadership Meetings-HELD VIRTUALLY until further notice

We are gearing up to begin our annual Elementary & Secondary subject matter Leadership Meetings. We encourage you to join for these informative and collaborative learning opportunities offered throughout the year!


  • Elementary Leadership - 1st Meeting - September 17, 2020 - This brief one hour meeting will be held virtually. Time to be determined.
  • Secondary Leadership/GFEC - 1st Meeting - October 1, 2020
  • *No registration required for these events


  • Elementary Leadership - 1st Meeting - October 14, 2020 (view details & enroll here)
  • Secondary Leadership - 1st Meeting - October 13, 2020 (view details & enroll here)

Social Studies

  • Elementary Leadership - 1st Meeting - October 27, 2020 (view details & enroll here)
  • Secondary Leadership - 1st Meeting - October 6, 2020 (view details & enroll here)


  • Elementary Leadership - 1st Meeting - December 7, 2020 (view details & enroll here)
  • Middle School Leadership - 1st Meeting - November 16, 2020 (view details & enroll here)

K-3 Essential Instructional Literacy Practices Series 2020-2021

This series of professional development dates are for K-3 classroom teachers, special education teachers, coaches and interventionists. A Series of Professional Development Dates Dedicated to:
  • Increasing Educators' Capacity through the Implementation of Research-Supported Early
  • Instructional Literacy Practices (EILP)
  • Supporting the K-3 EILP in Every Classroom Every Day
  • Networking K-3 Educators throughout Genesee County School Districts
  • Personalized Coaching in the EILP for Attendees
  • Setting-up Your Classroom with the Essentials in Mind
  • K-3 EILP Classroom Resources

This series begins September 22, 2020.

View details and enroll here!

Running Records of Text Reading: Focusing on Struggling Readers K-2

Running Records provide accurate and reliable assessments of children's reading, especially children struggling with literacy.

Running Records provide an accurate and reliable assessment of text reading. They are designed to be taken by the teacher as a child reads orally from any text. Learn to record and interpret running records to inform your instruction. At the same time, discussions will be around the reading process and the child's literacy processing system.

Two-day series beginning September 23, 2020.

View details and enroll here!

2020-2021 Genesee County Counselors Meetings

The 2020-2021 Genesee County Counselors Meetings will be a series of eight meetings held between September and May. There will be a variety of topics covered pertinent to the work completed by school counselors.

The first meeting in this series will be held virtually via Zoom platform. For more information or to register for these meetings, please click here!

First Meeting: Thursday, September 24, 2020

Chemistry Workshop - VIRTUAL

In this workshop, we will look at three tools that can help chemistry and physical science teachers enhance student understand in virtual/online learning. We will explore the use of Flipgrid. Jamboard, and Mentimeter. These tools can be incorporated into your Google Classroom. Participants will have to be able to log into their Google account. This meeting will be conducted through Zoom.

October 9, 2020

View details and enroll here!

Biological Sciences Workshop - VIRTUAL

The focus of this workshop will be tools that can be used to teach in a virtual space. We will be exploring the use of Flipgrid, Jamboard, and Mentimeter to foster student engagement and understanding in the Biological Sciences. Participants will have to be able to log into their Google account. This meeting will be conducted through Zoom.

October 23, 2020

View details and enroll here!

The following events have been postponed with the intention of being rescheduled this year. New dates/times TBD.

[POSTPONED] Cognitive Coaching Seminar

These sessions are designed to produce self-directed persons with the cognitive capacity for excellence both independently and as members of a community. Research indicates that teaching is a complex intellectual activity and that teachers who think at higher levels produce students who are higher achieving, more cooperative, and better problem solvers. It is the invisible skills of teaching, the thinking processes that underlie instructional decisions, which produce superior instruction. Cognitive Coaching™ is a research-based model that capitalizes upon and enhances teachers’ cognitive processes.

August 19 & August 20, 2020

September 30 & October 1, 2020

February 2 & February 3, 2021

March 2 & March 3, 2021

Due to the current uncertainty of the pandemic, this series has been CANCELED at this time with the intention of being rescheduled later in the year. Please stay tuned for updates!

[POSTPONED] Add+Vantage Math Recovery Course 1 (AVMR 1) - MiSTEM Grant Funded

Add+VantageMR® (AVMR) Course 1 is a four-day course that includes dynamic, diagnostic, individual assessments in number words and numerals, structuring numbers, and addition and subtraction strategies. The assessment, data collecting, and teaching tools accelerate the educator's ability to recognize the students' current levels of numeracy understanding to make data-driven instructional decisions. AVMR is beneficial for anyone working or supervising others in the area of mathematics. It is most appropriate for pre-kindergarten through elementary, as well as for middle school educators who work with students that have fallen at least two years behind standards. AVMR Course 1 is a prerequisite to AVMR Course 2.

This series, originally scheduled to begin in August 2020, will be held virtually and dates/times will be determined.

View details and enroll here!

[POSTPONED] Adaptive Schools

The GISD will also be partnering with MASSP for the presentation of Adaptive Schools Seminar at the GISD beginning in August 2020!

This training not only explores what makes teams effective but how to develop skills as facilitators and knowledgeable group members in informal and formal settings of all group sizes. Participants will move beyond the idea of professional learning communities into the actual implementation, describing specific ways to weave the collaborative fabric of faculty, develop group member skills, and acquire the principles and understandings to engage a continuous cycle of a team and individual improvement. Adaptive Schools is the “how” of professional learning communities: how to behave in groups, how to lead them, and how to facilitate them for improved leading, teaching and learning.

For more information about this workshop, please visit

Due to the current uncertainty of the pandemic, this series has been CANCELLED at this time with the intention of being rescheduled later in the year. Please stay tuned for updates!

Other E&L News...

Virtual Summer Camp at Ligon Outdoor Center

Lessons From Ligon!

We are thrilled to share with you the recent release of Lessons from Ligon Summer Camp videos. Join Ranger Jason Bentley as he brings the excitement and adventure of environmental learning straight to you! He explores a variety of topics relating to nature and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and provides resources to supplement each activity.

To learn more and to view these exciting new videos, please click here!

Welcome Back/Return To Use Guide

The GISD has been working diligently to adapt to the ever-changing situations related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As such, Ligon Outdoor Center has implemented important changes to keep all visitors safe and healthy.

Please read more about how Ligon can offer premium learning opportunities and experiences while maintaining standards of safety for all visitors, by clicking here!