Elementary Principals Newsletter

May 2014

It is May!

May is like a tornado! You hold on until it is over and then hopefully walk out alive!

May's smore is packed full of updates, ideas and information for you to use now or later.

Have a great end of the school year. Hold on! Here we go!

End-of-Year To-Do's:

This article is full of tips for educators on how to "reflect, refresh, and recharge" after a busy school year.


"How to Finish the Marathon in Stride" from Edutopia


Checking off those end-of-year tasks


Let's Have Fun! End-of-Year Celebration ideas on Pinterest

Summertime...Tips for Parents

This Parent Toolkit is an excellent website to guide parents in supporting their children's academics at home. There are also links to health and wellness resources.

Getting Geared Up for Next Year....Activity 1 to 5

We have been working with teachers to make sure your buildings are "On Track for the Common Core".


Ask your teachers on a scale of 1-5 (5 being confident they are knowledgeable and implementing practices of CCSS) how confident they are on implementing the Common Core?


1 or 2 = Beginning Awareness and Initial Implementation--They Need to Get Started

3 or 4 = Content Knowledge of Standards and Implementation is being Practiced

5= Solid Content Knowledge and Lessons/Units are Being Developed that Align

Who takes what?

Well, right now...here is the proposed line-up:


  • 3-8 and 11: ELA and Math (SBAC)
  • 5, 8 and 11: Social Studies (MEAP)
  • 4, 7 and 11: Science (MEAP)
  • 11: College Entrance and Work Skills (Keys)

What you need to know...

Well, right now....here is the communication from MDE:
  • All assessments will be in the spring
  • No fall testing--not even the MEAP
  • SBAC assesses the Common Core
  • MEAP assesses the GLCEs or HSCEs
  • Pencil Paper or On-Line
  • No Clear Wording on Retakes now (doubtful)
  • College Entrance (ACT) is still out for bid
  • Interims are optional and no $
  • No summative testing in grades 9 and 10

Spring Assessment Legislative Update:

Recently there have been more questions raised about the quality and appropriateness of the SBAC assessments. On March 11, five education chairs sent Superintendent Flanagan a letter asking for information about the testing regimen. Within the past week, both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees voted to require MDE to delay SBAC implementation for one year, to rewrite the MEAP or come up with another temporary test for the next two years (spring), as well as to issue a new RFP for the new statewide test going forward.


House Bill No.5314 states:


1. In order to receive state aid under this article, a district shall administer the state assessments described in this section.

2. For the purpose of this section, the department shall develop for use in the spring of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 new Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These assessments shall be aligned to state standards.

3. For the purposes of this section, the department shall implement beginning in the 2016-2017 school year a summative assessment system for administration to pupils as provided under this subsection....

Announcements from MDE Assessment & Accountability

Effective Professional Learning

New Ideas to Deliver PD in Your Building

Dennis Sparks discusses fundamentals of powerful professional development


Engage, Learn, Support, Measure: Sign up to get this free new guide from EdSurge on Personalized PD.


PLC Master Schedules: How to create time for learning and interventions during the day.

MDE Requirements and Dates

School Improvement/ASSIST Updates

School Improvement Technical Assistance

An open, walk-in session to work with Dave Treder on your School Improvement documentation.


May 14 – 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., GISD Davis Education Center

May 20 – 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., GISD Davis Education Center

June 18 – 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., GISD Davis Education Center

June 20 – 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., GISD Davis Education Center

Upcoming Professional Development