Team Trailblazer Weekly Update

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Birthday to our October Birthdays!

Lisa Faulkner on October 13

Matt Morsehead on October 14

Zee Wiegand on October 15

We wish you a very Happy Birthday!

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If you have never failed, then you have never tried anything new!

How do you help your students to fail forward and to use their experiences to drive perseverance?

What opportunities do you create day in and day out to support a growth mindset in your students?

What is our ultimate goal as educators? Do we view the work that students do as a one shot deal? Or do we support growth mindset?

Words are powerful and they can last a lifetime in the minds of our students...choose them never know the difference they can make!

Courage of Famous Failures - Inspirational

Professional Development Day

Friday, Oct. 23rd, 8:30am-4:30pm

The Harris Building: 11 S. Division Grand Rapids, MI 49503

We look forward to a day together!

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Academic Counselors

Our Academic Counselors have established new case loads - please see below:

Linda Cilla-Cooper Students with last names A – GL

Lauri Alexander Students with last names GM – PA

Kirsten Brown Students with last names PB – Z

We will also be opening up a posting for an additional academic counselor. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please direct them to the careers section of the K12 website in order to apply.

Lastly, MVCA is using Career Cruising for the first time this school year. It is replacing Pathfinder. Our 7th-12th grade students will be using it.

If interested in learning more, please contact our counselors.

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GVSU Professional Development Opportunities

We are happy to hear of so many of you taking advantage of our opportunities with GVSU for professional development.

We received a note from the charter office regarding some openings still available for October at the Grand Rapids campus. Please sign up if interested:

"In the next two weeks we have some openings available in our professional development workshops!

We would love for you to encourage your teachers and staff to attend. The following will be held in Grand Rapids on the GVSU Downtown Campus.

Monday, October 12

Google Tips for Teachers

Tuesday, October 13

Grading Assessment Gone Wrong

Wednesday, October 14

Champion the Classroom Each Day!

Special Education Under IDEA and Section 504

Thursday, October 15

Learning Styles

Friday, October 16

EBLI Refresher

Monday, October 19

The Right Way to Write in Middle School

Tuesday, October 20

Culture and Climate: Being Culturally Responsive to the Needs of Urban Students

NWEA 201- Analyzing MAP Data

Wednesday, October 21

Using PBS LearningMedia in the Classroom

Please remember that our workshops are free for you to attend. You may click here to register: .

You will also find full descriptions for each workshop at the website.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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Welcome to MVCA!

We look forward to welcoming 2 new 7-12 teachers this week!

Michael Thomas - math

Heather Martel - ELA

They are hoping to get started on Thursday!

We also wish 7th grade ELA teacher, Sonya Kanoun, much success as she pursues other opportunities. Her last day at MVCA is today.

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We will continue to work towards our count day requirements.

We have the 2 components:

1. Full FTE login this month - I will send the updated report once I receive it.

2. Four weeks of completing the full 2-way communication cycle. I will be sending out a report via email this morning.

**If you have had a conversation via CC or phone with one of your HR students regarding progress and the student/LC did not reply to your progress kmail, you may make a TVS NOTE documenting the full 2 way communication. Please be sure to tag it in the same fashion as you are tagging kmail.**

MTSS - Multi-tiered Systems of Support

Our Interventionist Specialists are in full swing with supporting our struggling students. Thank you to Erin Terpstra, HS ELA IS, for walking our team through the referral and data tracking for our staff.

If you need to review the information, please click here:

I have also attached the guides that were pushed out at the meeting.

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Peer Power Math Tutoring

Thank you to Lindsay Wesley and Stacey Perkey for this amazing program!

A quick note from Lindsay:

"You may have received Peer Tutoring Applications from your homeroom students.

On the form, it directs the student to share the application with you before they send it to me. That is just to get your recommendation on whether or not you believe they would be a good tutor.

If you can just do the following:

1. Check to see if they are in good standing.

2. If they are – forward the app to me.

3. If they are not – reply to the student and tell them to apply again once they are passing all their courses.

I hope this isn’t too much to ask, I know we all have a lot on our plates! Please take your time and just get to them when you can.

There shouldn’t be very many coming in, but the question has come up a few times so I wanted to make sure the information was out there.

Lastly, if you have kids in your homeroom that are looking for a tutor, please send them to our site! Right now we only have Math and ELA at the 9th grade level for high school, but Sarah and I are working hard to recruit more and more!

Thanks for all your support! Our site again is:

Password: MVCAPeerPower"

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Exit Tickets...measuring the rigor and DOK

Exit tickets are incredible tools that we all can use to measure our students' level of proficiency with lesson standards.

Are yours standard based? Are they rigorous? Do they challenge your students?

Remember...2 rigorous questions on an exit ticket can tell you so much more than 10 that may be low on the DOK scale.

Make them worthwhile for both you and your students.

Do YOU Flubaroo?

Speaking of exit tickets...our MS team is going to be using Flubaroo with their daily exit tickets. It is a program that can be used to grade and analyze your exit tickets. Thank you to Tanya Kuipers for the how-to video here:

P.S. Math Instructional Coach, Lindsay Forsman, used Flubaroo with her work for National Math Lab. If you have a question, she would be a tremendous resource.

Per Casa, all MVCA computers must be password protected. Please follow the link below to password protect your machine:

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Withdrawal Process - Updated version attached to this email!

15 day letters - these students received 15 day truancy letters on 10/5/2015. If they have not responded, they will be withdrawn this upcoming week.


582677 Archer 15 day

1229493 Baugh 15 day

1350732 Bellafaire 15 day

1493323 Bey 15 day

1564626 Carr 15 day

1321917 Celesky 15 day

1664467 Clay 15 day

1636655 Davidson 15 day

1504122 Davis 15 day

1665962 Fanning 15 day

1275288 Farley 15 day

1391016 Gorman 15 day

1335296 Hall 15 day

1379436 Harris 15 day

1669449 Hatchett 15 day

1669831 Hatchett 15 day

940025 Hawes 15 day

1205968 Jackson 15 day

1207798 Jones 15 day

1360236 Knight 15 day

1668535 LaRosa 15 day

1673917 Lopez 15 day

1648591 Martin 15 day

1684665 Polidore-Hannah 15 day

1330145 Robinson 15 day

1334080 Rogers 15 day

1501971 Rollinson 15 day

1260764 Smith 15 day

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Tumblebooks are here!

TumbleBooks are animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love. TumbleBooks are created by taking existing picture books, adding animation, sound, music and narration to produce an electronic picture book which you can read, or have read to you. TBL also includes National Geographic videos and games. With a school licence, teachers and students have access to the Common Core Portal, quizzes and teacher materials/lesson plans!

K-6 will use the Tumble Book Library:

MS and HS will use the Tumble Book Cloud:

Be sure to check out the Common Core Portal. The Common Core Portal allows teachers to click on a specific standard, and see which TumbleBooks (and related educator resources) we think best serve this standard.

If the links above do not work, please access through the cloud:

If not, the UN and PW are included below.

Tumble Cloud

username: michiganvirtual

password: login

The quickest and easiest way to access your TBC collection is by posting the attached icon and using this direct link on your website.

Tumblebook Library

Username: michiganvirtual

Password: reads

The quickest and easiest way to access your TP collection is by posting the attached icon and using this direct link on your website.

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NOHS and OLS Tracker Meeting - October 6, 2015

If you missed or if you would like to review the information that Laura Mayberry shared with our team, please refer to the recording below.

Session: Mrs. Snyder

Type: None

Started: Oct 06, 2015 03:04 PM Eastern (EDT, North America/Canada)

Ended: Oct 06, 2015 04:31 PM Eastern (EDT, North America/Canada)

This session was recorded. To view the recording, please click the link below:

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Need access to your list of recordings in BBC?

Thank you, math instructional coach, Lindsay Forsman, for these directions!

I have also attached the pdf to this email.

Access Your Recording Playback List:

Copy your long recording link (this can be an old recording)

Remove the section that goes from “site” to just before the .M. (highlighted red) M.25E5D7DD9188F16013D49ADFD1A4B9.vcr&sid=559

Paste in: mrtbl?suid= after

Delete: .vcr

The finalized link will look like this:

That is the link for your playback list. Save it in your favorites!

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UPDATED ILP/Welcome Call Information

Please be sure to review the attached updated ILP Job Aid.


FAST is making and documenting 100% of all welcome calls. The homeroom teacher is no longer responsible.

One change to be aware of should you review your HR students' welcome call info...A minimum number of 5 attempts is required. If FAST is unsuccessful after those 5 attempts, there is a new note template to indicate no contact was made.

You do not need to go back to your welcome calls and alter them per the new guidelines.

Some key changes to required ILP Action Items:

There is no longer a required ILP action note during the quarter in which the student enrolls and receives a welcome call.

For example, if Susie was with MVCA as of September 15 and she received her welcome call. If the welcome call is documented, that meets the quarter one ILP expectation.

Susie would then need ILP action items for quarters 2-4 and a student synopsis at the end of the year.

Please see the attached document for details.

Here are the quarter dates we will use:

QUARTER 1: September 8 - November 6

QUARTER 2: November 9 - January 22

QUARTER 3: January 26 - March 25

QUARTER 4: April 4 - June 13

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CONNECT COUNSELORS - Please save the attached policies for our 504 Process Plan, Crisis Plan, and Homeless Process.

1. Grades K-6:

Jan Collier - - X 3125- Cell: 517-896-2361

2. Grades 7-9:

Mike Scheel - - X 3126 - WIFI Phone: (248) 871-7711

3. Grades 10-12:

Dave Krause - - X 1623 - Cell: 269-290-8959

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VOIP phone troubles?

Casa is not able to assist with our phones. Here is the info for support:


Phone Support: 1-877-645-5156 (option 2)
Email Support:

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Computer Issues? Please see the note below from Casa!

Tickets, tickets, tickets. If you THINK that Casa needs to take over your machine, fill out a ticket please.

Simple questions, shoot me an email/call him.

If you don’t see the K12 logo on the Taskbar, please check your System tray(Show Hidden Icons located between the battery & the network icon).

If you don’t have it in either spot, please use this url( & bookmark it.

After you use this url, either I/someone else from the team will get the proper icon for you & assist you in your issue(s). If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Thank you!

FREE ASCD PD on Tuesday, October 13!

Thank you social studies teacher, Jon DeCou, for sharing this opportunity!

Free Webinar on The Motivated Brain

What are components to consider when teaching complex text? One of the promising frontiers of educational neuroscience lies in understanding our basic emotions. Students' brains are programmed to "seek and find," and teachers can enhance this need by planning strategically to engage the SEEKING system to maximize motivation and ultimately, learning.

Join renowned educators Gayle Gregory and Martha Kaufeldt, co-authors of the new ASCD book The Motivated Brain: Improving Student Attention, Engagement, and Perseverance, in an engaging webinar that will take you on a tour of the brain's SEEKING system and explain the learning conditions and teaching practices that encourage it to thrive.

The Motivated Brain: Using the SEEKING System to Improve Student Attention, Engagement, and Perseverance
Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 3:00 p.m. ET (US)
Presented by Gayle Gregory and Martha Kaufeldt

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FAST Teacher Referral Tracker Training

Here is a recording from Friday’s quick tips FAST Teacher Referral Tracker training.

I have attached the FAST tracker guidance document to help teachers set up an email notification.

Here is the link to Sharepoint for referrals:

Please remember to use your michva email address!

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GVSU Learning Styles Inventory

Despite our Count Day efforts, we were unable to get our students in to complete their learning styles inventory.

We now have until October 23 to complete this.

Remember, not only will this provide us with important information about our students, but we also will receive $4 per student who takes the assessment.

If you haven't already, please schedule a make up session with your HR to complete this task.

Note from the GVSU Charter Schools Office:

"Good afternoon.

There have a been a few issues with the Learning Styles assessment but I am told it is back up and running now. Just a couple clarifications as we’ve had many questions come in over the past week.

  • The assessment is for all students in grades 2-12. Below is the assessment breakdown with the specific grades (Please use grade indicators, not age indicators)
    • ELSA – Grades 2-4
    • LSCY – Grades 5-8
    • LIVES – Grades 9-12
  • The deadline has been extended to Friday, October 23.
  • The next scheduled webinar will go over how to access, print, and read reports. It is scheduled for next week Thursday, Oct. 15 at 3:30. You will receive an invitation to the webinar from Susan Rundle. If you would like other staff to join the webinar, please email Susan and let her know. If we max out participants, we can schedule another webinar for Friday, oct. 16.
  • If you or your staff did not take the adult assessment last year and would like to take it now, please email me and let me know. I can provide you with the log-in information.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Rundle. She is copied on this email and her contact information is below. Thanks!

Susan Rundle


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Please invite admin to all of your CC sessions!


Saturday, June 18th 2016 at 1pm

1000 East Beltline Avenue Northeast

Grand Rapids, MI

We are planning on having a face to face PD in Grand Rapids on June 17!
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Considering a field trip?

Please start with talking with Andrea Kitomary to see if FAST may be able to align one of their meet and greets around the state with your outing!

SAT Practice!

Official SAT Practice

Now that everyone is back in the swing of the new school year, we wanted to remind you about the free tools available through Khan Academy to prepare for the SAT, including:

Interactive questions, video lessons, and reference articles to help students practice and review the skills that research shows are essential for college readiness and that are tested on the SAT in both Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.

Short diagnostic quizzes in both Mathematics and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing to help students identify the skills they should focus on.

Four official full-length practice tests written by the College Board, so students can take the tests online and receive immediate results, allowing the Khan Academy platform to use these scores to personalize practice to the student.

Instant feedback on their answers so that students are always learning and seeing their progress. Khan Academy also provides tips for students on productive study methods and suggestions for optimizing the test day experience.

In addition to the personalized practice created by taking the diagnostic quizzes and online practice tests, students who take the PSAT/NMSQT this fall can link their College Board account to their Khan Academy account to share their score results with Khan Academy. This will allow students to receive additional personalized practice recommendations that are directly tied to specific skills on the test and that have the potential to make the biggest impact on the student's performance and overall college readiness.

Start practicing now (

If you are interested in an implementation workshop they are available. If you would like to participate in the online sessions, you can register at College Board (CB) for the dates below. The webinar will be recorded and posted to our website for viewing after the scheduled sessions as well.

October 20, 2015, 3–6 PM To register, click here

October 21, 2015, 9 AM–Noon To register, click here

To register go to the CollegeBoard Meeting Registration page (https://apps2., selecting Michigan as your state, and clicking submit. This will take you to a list of all Michigan workshops. Click on the workshop link to register.

Along with news in the Spotlight, the College Board will continue to update information about the spring implementation on our Michigan website ( mat).