WISD - Achievement Initiatives

Winter 2022

Our Team

Math Beyond the Textbook

Dr. Jennifer Banks - Director of Instruction

Tri-County Meaningful Mathematics Showcase

Join Us!

Oakland Schools, Washtenaw ISD, and Wayne RESA all invite you and your students to participate in our first ever Tri-County Culturally Responsive Mathematics Showcase, happening May 23, 2022.

This event will challenge students to examine real problems - in their school, community, or the world at large - identify how mathematics is present in the issue, and demonstrate how mathematics can be used to find a solution. Students will be encouraged to put their training in mathematics to the test, taking their learning experiences and applying their skills to matters that exist beyond their textbook.

For more information, check out our event flyer here!

We will be hosting a Q&A session via Zoom on Monday, January 31st from 4:30-5:00pm, where details will be discussed further. The link to the Q&A can be found in the Mathematics Showcase event flyer.

Tri-County Culturally Responsive Mathematics Learning Series

February 9th, 2022 4:30-6:30

Race & Culture in the Classroom with Dr. Tyrone Howard

March 22nd, 2022 4:30 - 6:30pm

Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy with Dr. Lamont Terry

April 26th, 2022 4:30 - 6:30pm

Cultural Incubation and Mathematics Identity Development with Dr. Lamont Terry

To register for sessions with Dr. Howard and Dr. Terry click here

K-12 Literacy News!

By Melissa Brooks-Yip and Erica Rodriguez-Hatt

Meet our new Early Literacy & Literacy Coaching Initiatives Coordinator, Erica Rodriguez-Hatt!

Dear Educators,

It is with great excitement and humility that I write to you introducing myself as the new Coordinator for Early Literacy and Literacy Coaching Initiatives for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. As I step into this role I am thinking about all of you and how we can begin to know each other so that our work is connected and fruitful. Let me begin our partnership by introducing myself to you.

Please click here to read my introduction letter.

Erica Rodriguez-Hatt

Library of Michigan Announces 2022 Michigan Notable Book Awards

The Library of Michigan is an agency within the Michigan Department of Education that is dedicated to providing resources that reflect the rich stories and culture of our state. The Library of Michigan has announced the titles of the 20 books on the 2022 Michigan Notable Book list. Each year, the Michigan Notable Book (MNB) list features 20 books, published during the previous calendar year, which are about or set in Michigan, or written by a Michigan author. Selections include a variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction, that appeal to many audiences and explore topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents. Click this link to learn more about the three books on the list that are geared towards elementary-aged students.

New Young Adult Books and Reading Guides!

Recommended by the National Council Teacher's of English at their November 2021 national conference.
Feature Books Cover Photo
Click here for more information about the Young Adult Books we are reading!

Free reading guides are also available, to help students navigate the reading material and assist with developing students' comprehension.

The Diverse Lending Library for K-12 Classrooms in Washtenaw County

Did you know that the Diverse Lending Library has a new check-out system and can be delivered to your schools?

  • View our Loom video below to learn how the library was formed.
  • Contact Melissa for questions about books or check-out.
  • Check-out the Resource Padlet for more information on building a diverse classroom library.

Photo of Intro Slide

One Tool for Educator Resilience

January- Cultivating Compassion
Photo of Intro Slide

Essential Practices for Disciplinary Literacy Instruction in the Secondary Classroom: Grades 6 to 12

Our students learn the foundations of literacy throughout their elementary school years. As students continue to develop their skills through middle school and high school, literacy instruction must also help them meet increasingly complex subject area demands. These demands include developing the critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills specific to each discipline.
Photo from Literacy Instruction Book
Visit Literacy Essentials.org to learn more, contact Melissa for a hardcopy of the Essentials or to schedule an introductory session for your middle or high school.

Responsive Teaching Institute - Upcoming Events

Culturally Historic and Responsive Education (CHRE) with Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

Join us as Dr. Muhammad facilitates an interactive professional learning session where she provides an introduction of the Culturally Historic and Responsive Education (CHRE) framework, and supports teachers in creating lessons that are aligned with the four learning goals of the CHRE framework: Identity development, Skill development, Intellectual development, and Criticality.
Cultivating Genius (cover)

Dates: FOUR DAY SERIES: January 20, January 31, February 23, AND March 9, 2022

Time: 5:00pm-6:30pm

Where: Virtual

Click Here for More Information

This link will also direct you on where to register.

Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy with Dr. April Baker-Bell

Join us as Dr. Baker-Bell facilitates an interactive professional learning session connected to responsive literacy instruction and identity, where she addresses the research question: What happens when teachers focus on responsive teaching of literacy in their particular discipline? And what happens in terms of student identity, skills, intellect, and criticality?
Linguistic Justice (cover)

When: TWO DAY SERIES: February 24, 2022 AND April 27, 2022, 4:00pm-5:30pm

Where: Virtua

Click Here for More Information

This link will also direct you on where to register.

What We Read in Books...We Read in the World with Cornelius Minor

In this series, we will work to name the skills, plan the lessons, gather the resources, and practice the methods that help children to learn and practice critical thinking skills in the literacy classroom and then to transfer those skills to their lived experience in the world.
We Got This (cover)

When: March 15, 2022 AND May 5, 2022; 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Where: Virtual

Click Here for More Information

This link will also direct you on where to register.

The Writing is on the Wall!

YpsiWrites Logo
In October 2019, Eastern Michigan University Office of Campus and Community Writing, Ypsilanti District Library, and 826 Michigan came together to found YpsiWrites, a writing-focused non-profit serving the Ypsilanti area. We believe that everyone is a writer and writing matters. Motivated by this core belief, YpsiWrites promotes and supports writers of all ages and skill levels in our community.

Click here and visit their website, if you would like to learn more about our community partners, YpsiWrites!

Check out upcoming events with YpsiWrites here!

Here, Everyone's Included!

by Greg Meyers - EISJ Specialist

Youth Council

Youth Council is the student voice led aspect of the Responsive Learning Coalition. This is where we discuss issues of racial equity and activism. This month, we discussed the vision around Youth Council for the school year and talked about ways that students can advocate for themselves in their schools. We have multiple districts represented, which provides a unique perspective. Dr. Jennifer Banks and I will be presenting at the MDE Fall 2021 Virtual Continuous Conference to talk more about the work that Youth Council is planning to perform.

Justice Leaders

Justice Leaders will be offered later this month. Justice Leaders help educators in discussions about equity issues in school, through an intersectional lens. Please visit the WISD Professional Development page to register for upcoming classes.

Courageous Conversations - a Book Study about Race

The Early Childhood Department Professional Learning has decided to learn more around racial inequality by doing a book study of Courageous Conversations about Race by Glenn Singleton. This book helps to provide a protocol that engages, deepens, and sustains conversations in an interracial dialogue. These tools will help the department enrich their relationship with the children and families they serve.

To get you thinking more about equity, please watch this Ted Talk by Dr. David Ikard and ask yourself, "Was I taught this mythical story of Rosa Parks and why was I taught this?" Also, "If I am teaching my students this story, what am I missing?"

What's New in the Assessment Literacy Network

by Amy Olmstead Brayton - Assessment Literacy Coordinator

Co-Constructing Our Understanding of the Standards in a Socially Just Classroom

As we’ve continued our focus this year on Teaching the Standards in a Socially Just Classroom we’ve spent the past few months learning more about identity, engaging multiple perspectives and working with students to more clearly understand what our standards, and mastery of them, can mean. One aim of standards-based teaching is that it will more equitably support all students to reach grade-level expectations by focusing on what students are actually learning rather than other factors such as behavioral compliance. But without pairing this work with the development of our own and students’ critical consciousness we risk turning a potentially liberating practice into another tool to force assimilation to dominant norms and thus maintain the status quo.

If we claim to be teaching in socially just spaces or working toward “liberation” we naturally believe that all of our students, including those with non-dominant identities, are rich in knowledge, wisdom, experience and expertise. If this is our belief, then by extension our actions will demonstrate a value and more importantly, reliance on these assets. One example of such a practice is embedded the act of co-construction in teaching and learning. As educators, the practice of co-constructing with students can take on many forms. From co-constructing our understanding of what a standard or learning target really means, to the many ways that application and mastery could and do show up in the lives of our students, their families, and communities. We may even engage in co-creation of objectives, content, assignments and assessments or the act of co-constructing knowledge itself.

If our hope is for students to feel confident in asserting agency in their learning, our classrooms and schools must be spaces where they are defining their goals, accurately identifying where they are in relation to those, and making next step decisions that are efficacious to their personal growth and learning- all with the knowledge that success is within reach. In our December session, we explored how tools such as success criteria, rubrics, and learning scales can be used to support teachers, students, and others in doing just that- especially when they are co-constructed with students!

Teaching the standards doesn’t have to mean forced standardization, when we engage our students in sense making in every step of teaching and learning, welcome and love their authentic selves, and foster critical consciousness we’ll find there are many ways to define and get to “mastery”. In fact, we may even find we’re the ones who end up liberated.

For more about fostering student agency through formative assessment or about socially just standards-based teaching look for upcoming learning opportunities in our Spring newsletter or contact Amy Olmstead-Brayton at aolmstead@washtenawisd.org.

7 Strategies of Assessment for Learning Self-Paced Series: Now Available Online (through June 2022)!

Would you like to learn more about how you can use formative assessment to support student learning and welcome and nurture student agency in your schools and classrooms? Our series on the 7 Strategies of Assessment for Learning (Chappuis, 2015) is available now! This three-part, self-paced series is available at no cost to Washtenaw County educators. In each of our three sessions we will explore multiple strategies that help students and teachers answer the three guiding questions of formative assessment:

7 Strategies Infographic
Register now to gain access to all three sessions and learn more about the strategies you can use as a teacher to support student learning and agency! (This 3-part series will be available online through June 29, 2022. SCECHs available.)

Continuous Improvement & MICIP

by Amy Olmstead-Brayton & Greg Meyers

Centering Students & Families in Continuous Improvement

As we move into the new year we continue the work of driving equity-centered continuous improvement through critical, collaborative inquiry in our learning series, Centering Students & Families in Continuous Improvement!

Our learning has taught us that if we are hoping to engage in “equitable continuous improvement” we must understand that to simply “improve” will not be enough, we must transform ourselves, our relationships, our cultures, and our systems. This requires a shift in how we view our purpose as well. In traditional improvement processes we often work to identify problems, name solutions, and then monitor our progress in implementation but the solutions to equity problems are unknown and can only emerge from engaging in the process of transformation itself. We can no longer be driven by a goal to simply problem solve or “improve”, instead we realize our purpose is rooted deeply in relationships, reflection, and collaboration that aim to heal and understand. (Safir & Dugan, 2021)

Two frameworks that can help guide us in this process are the Equity Transformation Cycle as described by Shane Safir in her book Street Data (2021) and Data Inquiry for Equitable Collaboration (Paul Kuttner, 2015).

Equity Transformation Cycle Infographic
Data Inquiry for Equitable Collaboration Infographic

When it comes to continuous improvement there are many frameworks and processes available to offer guidance. However, two key aspects emerge from the above examples: 1) a focus on deep listening; and 2) genuine collaboration with families at every stage, especially families on the margins. While it is standard in education to gather data about students and families, and fairly common to recognize that families may hold valuable insights about school climate or culture, it is virtually unheard of to see family agency in the entire inquiry or improvement process. As we consider the goal of transformation we must lean on the practice of deep listening (Safir, 2021) while ensuring that families are not just a source of data but are active agents in the entire inquiry process from collecting, to making sense of, to driving action towards change. (Ishimaru, 2020)

To learn more about deep listening or using data inquiry for equitable collaboration see our resources below:

Learning to Listen: ASCD (Safir, 2017)

Equitable Parent School Collaboration (University of Washington, College of Education)

Updates from MDE:


To find more information about MICIP please see the MICIP Continuous Communication

4-Part MICIP Collaboration Series

MDE is again offering a four-part MICIP Collaboration Series allowing participants to engage with colleagues across the state as well as with their own district teams in the MICIP process. (Feb 1, Feb 15, Mar 1, Mar 15 | 8:30-11:30 am | Zoom)

2022 MI School Testing Conference

Educators new to school testing, the testing coordinator role, or the Michigan Integrated Continuous Improvement Process (MICIP) won’t want to miss 2022 Michigan School Testing Conference!

Questions may be directed to Dave Hundt (dundt@muskegonisd.org) or Ben Boerkoel (boerkoelb@michigan.gov).

Assessment & Accountability: Important Dates

To stay up to date on MDE announcements related to Assessment & Accountability please see the weekly newsletter Spotlight on Student Assessment & Accountability

Trust Us, We've Done the Research

Sarah Devaney - Research Assistant

Senior Exit Survey

The senior exit survey is administered to graduating seniors in all 20 public high school programs in Washtenaw County. Questions on the survey ask students about a wide variety of topics including their course-taking patterns, extra-curricular involvement, and learning experiences in high school, as well as their feelings of self-efficacy related to their academic and social abilities. Students are also asked about their anticipated post-secondary plans. District staff use the survey results and perception data as a tool for the planning for and evaluation of school improvement efforts.

Analysis of quantitative results is offered via frequencies and graphs, and qualitative analysis can offer an in-depth look at answers to the open-ended survey questions. Additionally, data can be disaggregated by various survey indicators such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Please contact me at sdevaney@washtenawisd.org with your requests for analysis.

Access the Senior Exit Survey Class of 2021 Countywide Results here.

Access the survey instrument in its entirety here.

It’s almost time to administer the senior exit survey to the graduating Class of 2022. Districts can choose to administer paper or electronic surveys this year. We will be contacting you soon to ask about your preferred method of administration as well as a count of your graduating seniors.

MI School Data

MI School Data is the State of Michigan’s official source for pre-K, K-12, postsecondary, and workforce data to help residents, educators, and policymakers make informed decisions to improve student success. The site offers multiple levels and views for statewide, intermediate school district, district, school, and college-level information. Data are presented in graphs, charts, trend lines, and downloadable spreadsheets to support meaningful evaluation and decision-making. Data and reports are updated throughout the year to meet various state and federal deadlines.

The MI School Data login process has recently changed. MILogin for Third Party is now used to log in and access the newly redesigned MI School Data site. For information on account creation and requesting secure access to MI School Data, please access this guide here.

View FAQs here.

For technical assistance, please contact me at sdevaney@washtenawisd.org.

Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability (OEAA)

The OEAA Secure Site is a web-based application used for managing the Michigan state assessments. Since the Secure Site contains FERPA protected student information, the site is only available to authorized ISD, district, and school staff that require it as a part of their role in state assessments. To request access to the OEAA Secure Site, please visit this guide here.

In order to request access to the OEAA Secure Site, users will need to have an account with the Michigan Education Information System (MEIS). For assistance with MEIS account creation, please visit this website guide.

All Knowledge STEMs from Somewhere - MISTEM Updates

Click the image to learn more about MISTEM updates.

Girls Solve IT

The 2022 Girls Solve IT competition begins next month and registration is open until February 6th. Attached is a flyer for the 2022 competition. Please share this flyer with your school districts and anyone else you think may be interested! Teams may use the link below to register for the competition.

Register for 2022 Girls Solve IT

Responsive Teaching Coalition

The Goal

The Responsive Teaching Coalition (RTC) is a network of districts in Washtenaw County that work together to redefine education by inviting school administrators, K-12 teachers, and students to work collaboratively through a framework focused on equity in learning. We are excited to continue our work together this school year.
RTI Infographic
Learn more about the Responsive Teaching Coalition here.