JCISD Learning Services Update

September 2022 Update


The Jackson County ISD Learning Services & Instruction Department services many areas of education and our community. Our areas of service include, but are not limited to: Leadership, Continuous Improvement, Early Childhood, Whole Child, Attendance/Truancy, Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Literacy, Math, and Science. (See LS General Org Chart).

Although these services are big buckets of work in & of themselves, we are intentionally not siloed. We believe the integration of our work across areas in & outside of Learning Services makes the greatest impact. We are also highly collaborative with other departments in the JCISD, such as Special Education, Technology, & Jackson Area Career Center.

If you have a new request for services/support or any feedback for improvement of our team... well, we want to hear from you! Click here to complete the form and we will get back to you!

In this issue of our Learning Services Newsletter, we are taking a special look at the Early Childhood Team. Also, you will find upcoming PD opportunities, ways we are putting into action your suggestions, and ways to contact us! Next month we will spotlight Continuous Improvement.

The Early Childhood Team

The Jackson County ISD serves as the fiscal partner for the Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County and the Great Start Readiness Preschool program to help ensure that every child is healthy, thriving and developmentally ready to succeed when entering kindergarten. Together, the JCISD and the Great Start Collaborative recognize that education begins at birth, not when a child first enters school.
Big picture

Kelly Sheppard - Early Childhood Consultant

Kelly oversees all aspects of the Great Start Collaborative and GSRP programs in Jackson County, ensuring that effective systems are in place to support GSRP.

Jean Allison, Wendy Bell, Cathy Brubaker and Karyn Head - Early Childhood Specialists

Serving 40 classrooms and nearly 100 early childhood educators across Jackson County, the early childhood specialists provide coaching and professional development to GSRP teaching staff based on child data and assessments.

Bridget Griffith - Early Childhood Coordinator

Bridget serves as the main point of contact for the Great Start Collaborative and helps to support the GSRP program. She collaborates with community members to support needs within Jackson County.

Kathy Schaefer - Early Childhood Administrative Assistant and Data Specialist

Kathy assists the early childhood team, local early childhood service providers within the GSRP programs and the Great Start Collaborative (GSC) of Jackson County with various grants and program-required reporting.

The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)

The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is Michigan's state-funded preschool for four-year-old children. Families qualify for free preschool based on annual income guidelines.

The JCISD receives an annual grant and administers the program in Jackson County. Our team is responsible for ensuring that school districts and community based childcare centers meet the following:

  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility and integrity with every dollar they receive
  • Hire early childhood degreed staff meeting the credentialing requirements of the grant
  • Provide professional learning experiences tied to the approved curriculum
  • Support teaching teams as they design daily instruction addressing each child’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs.

As members of the Learning Services team we find it very important to continue our learning. We attended the Early Math Leadership Institute in Traverse City last month. The goal was to bring Michigan education leaders together to:

  • Expand their vision of early mathematics teaching and learning

  • Engage with resources

  • Build community

  • Inspire a systems approach to implement transformation

Big picture

The Great Start Collaborative

The purpose of the Jackson Great Start Collaborative is to maintain an early childhood network with diverse representatives from all areas of the community including, education and childcare, health and human services, businesses, faith-based organizations, and families. Together we work to ensure Jackson County children are born healthy, developmentally on track, ready to succeed when school entry, and are reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

Our countywide network, with over 30 community partners, provides information and services to families and young children in a wide range of areas:

  • Physical Health
  • Social-Emotional Health
  • Family Supports
  • Basic Needs, Economic Stability, and Safety
  • Parenting Education
  • Early Education and Child Care

Website: http://greatstartjackson.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacksongreatstart

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacksongreatstart/

Trusted Advisors

The Great Start Trusted Advisors are out in the community to help connect community members to resources and supports they might need; such as food, housing, employment, signing up for food assistance and more. They go to the food pantries, shelters, laundromats, apartment complexes and more to connect with people in need. They make over 6,000 individual contacts each year. Anyone is welcome to call a Trusted Advisor when they need some help.


You Asked...We Listened!

This past summer a local principal asked for training opportunities for his staff regarding co-teaching. We could have just gone to his building and worked directly with his staff only, however in alignment with our values, we wanted to serve ALL of you that might need or want this learning about co-teaching. Hence, this sparked a brand new, high-quality co-teaching professional learning series for all county educators. If you or someone you know might be interested, check out the registration link or reach out to Dan Luciani at Dan.Luciani@jcisd.org.

A Spotlight on Upcoming Learning Services PD Opportunities

Free and Low-Cost Online Professional Learning Options Approved for Certificate Renewal and Progression

Working towards and leveraging high-quality instruction, resources and practice is at the core of what Learning Services does. Check out the JCISD PD Website and click here to register for the amazing professional learning opportunities that you see below and many more:

  • Co-Teaching

  • K-3 Literacy Essentials- Instructional Strategies

  • High Leverage Reading Strategies for Students in the Secondary ELA Classroom

  • Early Math - Sets, Sorting Subitizing

  • MTSS - Tier 1 & 2

  • Threat Assessment System - Foundations Training

  • Talk Moves for Elementary Science Educators the Engage and Empower Students

  • MIPHY 101 for Community Partners

  • MIPHY Updates and Results for School Teams (Results...Now What?)

  • HIV Certification & Sex Ed Updates

  • Energizing Physical Education

And many more...

Beyond the variety of learning above, each year we provide 2 days a year of countywide PD called "Day of Discovery".

Countywide PD "Day of Discovery" on Monday, October 17, 2022

This virtual, high-quality professional speaker series is open to any or all that wish to attend. The two speakers for the day are listed below and you can register at this website.

  • Brad Johnson (AM) -Bio and Topics- World Class Classrooms; Talents + Passions= Purpose

  • Dr. Joe Martin (PM) - Bio & Topics - “Stress-Free Teaching” Focus: How to Take Control of Your Classroom, Your Career & Your Life; “Motivate to Educate” Focus: Street-smart Strategies for Connecting with & Motivating Students

We hope to see you there! The second countywide PD day is March 13, 2023

Request of Service/Support and Feedback for Improvement

Do you have a new request for services/support and you aren't quite sure who to contact or any feedback for improvement of our team... well, we want to hear from you!

Big picture