The Roundup

A gathering space for educators

March 2020

In the Instructional Services Department at Van Buren Intermediate School District, supporting teachers and administrators with instruction is the heart of our work. It is our hope that this monthly newsletter will help capture upcoming events and important information to support your work in your districts, schools, and classrooms.

Browse our upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities below!

(Updated Frequently)

Instructional Services Closure Update

The Van Buren ISD is closing in conjunction with Michigan School Districts across the State of Michigan. Any Instructional Services Professional Development is on hold at this time.

We applaud each of our districts and its educators for coming together in uncertain times and working diligently to make sure that our students are calm amidst the uncertainty, and are provided learning opportunities at home.

During the closure, the Instructional Services staff will be available via e-mail should you have any questions or need our assistance.

Please stay healthy and take this time to reflect on the amazing work you are doing. Also, do not forget to enjoy a good book or two!

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Why Clipboards?

Creating Essential Standards for our students isn't easy. It takes time. It takes collaboration.

What is even more difficult, however, is keeping these Essential Standards a focus during our day-to-day instruction. One way to do this is by using clipboards to document on a regular basis how our students are performing relative to what we said was essential. These clipboards are SIMPLE and VISUAL which is what makes them so successful. How teachers use their clipboard should be as unique as their individual teaching styles. The data on the clipboard is only useful to the extent that it makes sense for the teacher.

As we travel from school to school and work with leadership teams, we see variations of clipboard documentation. Here are just a few that I saw in the last couple of weeks.

Any Questions?

Director of Instructional Services, VBISD

Cheryl-Marie A. Manson - 269-330-2668

Essential Instructional Practices

Essential Instructional Practice #4: Activities that build phonological awareness

Building phonological awareness is one key foundational skill to ensure our students can comprehend what they read. Some activities to consider are listening to songs, sorting pictures, and written words by sounds, segmenting words, and blending words. This continuum can further support understanding of different skills, keeping in mind that this is a continuum and not a sequence.

Essential Instructional Practice #5: Explicit instruction in letter-sound relationships

Did you know that everyone has their own sight word vocabulary? For example, the word Michigan is a sight word for most who live here. Not all students will have the same sight word vocabulary based on their background and the high-quality instruction they have received. Watch here to learn more about sight words vs. high frequency words.

VBISD Literacy Coach/Consultants

Geanice Miller - 269-271-9813

Melissa Wierenga - 269-599-7259

Reading Month Activities

English Language Learners

The testing window for WIDA is coming to an end (March 20), but what do you do with those WIDA scores? Consider using the WIDA Student Can-Dos to both see what the expectations for performance are for each language level, as well as how you can increase language growth through scaffolding to get students to the next proficiency level in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
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School Improvement Process (MICIP)

Use all data collected during the school year to

Use the CNA Guidance Document to analyze improvements against SIP objective statements and identify:

  • Where are we now?
  • What progress did we make?
  • How close did we come to our measurable objective?
  • Were our subgroup(s) gap(s) narrowed? Why?
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VBISD School Improvement & MTSS Coordinator

Jen Bloomfield -

VBISD Cultural Understanding Committee

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Cultural Understanding Committee member - Theresa Ouzts -

Donate money to go directly toward purchasing books for schools in Van Buren County.