Volume 3, Issue 8

(Click the image above for more information)

We are excited to announce that Dr. James Harris and Dr. Horacio Sanchez are keynote speakers for our August 19th, "Virtual Professional Learning Day."

Dr. Harris's presentation will be a two-part presentation beginning in the morning and then continuing in the first session of the afternoon. His session will discuss demystifying how the pandemic has impacted us and includes guidance on helping to reconnect, reteach, and reinforce in order to take back control and return to "normalcy" for our students. This presentation will also include practical PBIS and MTSS information and strategies. After the morning break, Dr. Sanchez will share three steps for promoting good mental health and resiliency, offering practical strategies that will lower stress, promote homeostasis, and restore the brain's chemical balance.

In addition to the continuation of Dr. Harris's morning session, there will be two other breakout sessions in the afternoon. Dr. Sanchez will discuss poverty's impact on the brain. He will identify the structural and functional changes poverty is causing to the brains of the poor and will discuss modifications educators can make to have better academic and behavioral outcomes for disadvantaged students. He will also help explain how bias related to poverty is influencing the behaviors and attitudes of teachers undermining student success and will identify strategies that minimize the negative influences of poverty bias. The afternoon will wrap up with Dr. Harris delving into the psychology of parent interaction as parents navigate their own feelings and predispositions regarding school.

If you would like to learn more about our keynote speakers, please visit their websites listed below:

  • Dr. James Harris - Link to website

  • Dr. Horacio Sanchez - Link to website

Click here to register!

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Jackson READS is a new approach to literacy in Jackson County. In partnership with the Jackson District Library and our local school districts, the Jackson County ISD Learning Services and Special Education departments were able to provide book sets to 600 students. Students (ages 3-9 years old) were given access to ten (10) free, grade-level/age-appropriate, specially curated books. Families picked up their student’s books on May 8th (or had the books delivered to their school).

Students and their families were encouraged to increase their love for literacy by accessing the new “Jackson READS” website. The website was launched to the public on May 8th and includes videos by the authors of some of the same books that were included in the student’s book sets. The site also includes support resources for parents, families and educators, and much more. Jackson Reads is intended to repeat and expand in the years to come.

Congratulations to Our 2021 Green Schools

As we begin to close on the 2020-21 school year, we would like to extend our congratulations to all of our local schools that were able to participate in the Michigan Green Schools program. The Michigan Green Schools program is dedicated to assisting schools achieve environmental goals which include protecting the air, land, water and animals of our state along with outreach through good ecological practice.

For a given school year, awards can be earned for the completion of a certain number of activities. The evergreen status is awarded to any school completing at least 20 approved activities. The emerald status is awarded to a school completing at least 15 activities, and the green status for completing at least 10 activities. Even though this school year brought many hurdles to overcome, the following schools were still able to participate in this year's program and achieved the following designations:

Evergreen School

Columbia Upper Elementary School

St. John the Evangelist

St. Mary Star of the Sea School

Emerald School

Columbia Options High School

Dibble Elementary School

East Jackson Elementary School

Grass Lake High School

Grass Lake Middle School

Parma Elementary School

Green School

Bean Elementary School

daVinci High School

Hanover Horton Elementary

Hunt Elementary School

Jackson High School

Keicher Elementary School

Lyle A. Torrant Center

Middle School at Parkside

Thank you for all of your hard work this year. Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing what you all have planned for us next year!

**If you would like to learn more about the Michigan Green Schools program, please visit michigangreenschools.us.

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)

Refresher Training

The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) is a kindergarten readiness tool administered at the beginning of each school year that allows teachers to measure each child’s school readiness across multiple domains. This data can tell us how children perform on various indicators within literacy, mathematics, social-emotional development, and physical well-being. The KRA data can also give important information regarding the readiness of our communities, families, schools, and early childhood programs.

Teacher Refresher Trainings Are Now Open For Registration

Teacher Refresher Training will provide teachers who have already participated in the initial training in previous administration years with a synchronous review of the KRA, including how to administer the KRA throughout the day and utilize the data for instruction. Teachers can also complete the Teacher Recertification Content Assessment asynchronously through the KReady system.

Below are a date of upcoming trainings:

Thursday, August 12, 2021, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Thursday, August 12, 2021, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Tuesday, August 18, 2021, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Tuesday, August 18, 2021, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Wednesday, August 19, 2021, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Tuesday, August 24, 2021, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Please register at: kra-in-mi.org.

Calling All Preschoolers!

Summer STEM Opportunities for Jackson County Students

Have some fun with STEM this summer! I3: Invent, Innovate, Imagine! is a new virtual program designed for K-12 youth throughout Jackson County, offering top quality, hands-on STEM activities including:

 Kids Who Code by INNOVATE Albion

 Cryptography by Jackson County ISD

 CO2 Dragster Engineering Online by The Shop Rat Foundation

 The Science of Sound: Make a homemade harmonica by Jackson District Library

 Basic Arduinos by Spring Arbor University’s Engineering Dept.


Sessions begin June 21st!

Learn more and register at i3jackson.com.

Mental Health Crisis & Suicide Prevention Hotline

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is planning for the implementation of 988, a new, national, three-digit number for mental health crisis and suicide response. The 988 crisis line is set to launch in July 2022. To support implementation, the State of Michigan has established a 988 planning coalition. The coalition held virtual listening sessions in April and May to obtain perspectives from people who had experienced suicidal thoughts or behaviors, accessed crisis services, contacted a crisis line, or lost a loved one to suicide.

Michigan aims to have 24/7 statewide coverage of 988 calls, chats, and texts. Those who contact 988 can be connected to community crisis services and local resources, and call center staff can follow up with callers to ensure they have the support they need. The State is partnering with the current network of certified crisis centers providing suicide prevention and intervention services, as well as the Michigan Crisis Access Line (MiCAL). The 988 planning coalition is examining the state’s current system and capacity for mental health crisis calls, reviewing model legislation for establishing a consistent statewide system for 988 calls, and providing other input on potential funding models and sources. By working together with those with lived experience, Michigan hopes to create a comprehensive and effective crisis line for people in need.

If you are interested in reading the Suicide Prevention Commission Initial Report (March 2021) and learning more about 988 crisis line, click here.

SCECHs - Important Information

Please email Angela.Maddox@jcisd.org if you have any SCECH questions or questions pertaining to MDE's changes this year to SCECHs and DPPD. This first year of changes will be closing soon and it's important that we close out the year with everyone receiving the hours they earned.

NOTE: Pay special attention to the programs that have been loaded to your educator profile in MOECS. MDE's MOECS system has a known glitch and is randomly loading programs in duplicate to an educator's profile (unbeknownst to the SCECH Coordinator). This means that an educator could have more hours appearing on their profile than they have truly earned. MDE's technology team is working to remove these as promptly as possible. It is always the educator's responsibility to ensure they are accepting (and calculating for recertification) the appropriate SCECHs. If you have questions, reach out to your district SCECH Coordinator or email Angela.Maddox@jcisd.org.


Two-Ply Times: Wellness News (May 2021)

#ThankATeacher, Sunscreen, & Why Your Brain Feels Broken

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Other Helpful Links

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Learning Services Staff Photo Directory

We've updated our team directory. Click the button above to be re-introduced to our team and meet our new teammates: Becca Hurst, Kelsea Jabkiewicz, Angela Maddox, Amanda McCabe & Eric Swihart.

Director of Instruction and Learning Services

Assistant Director of Instruction and Learning Services

Data and Assessment

Early Childhood (Birth to Grade 3) / Great Start Collaborative / GSRP Preschool


Mathematics / Science

School Improvement

Whole Child / School Health / Project AWARE / Attendance and Homeless Programs