Team Trailblazer Weekly Update

February 1, 2016

Text Based Instruction - Part 3

Why is it important that we using the pairing of texts to challenge students in your instruction?


What texts have you paired in recent lessons? What were the results?

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COUNT DAY IS WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016!

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NOHS and OLS Trackers are delayed this week!

What a nice looking counseling TEAM! Please be sure to update your information so that requests and information are sent to the correct counselor - thanks!

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#noexcuses

From Annie Butzu and Heather Shue:


We wanted to share with you the theme that we have decided upon for Semester 2: #noexcuses.

#noexcuses came about last semester as we found ourselves flooded with kmails from students asking questions that we’d gone over the answers for countless times: When is such-and-such assignment due? What did we cover in CC today? Can you send me the link to the recording? How do I access the recordings? When is our Class Connect? Do I have to come? What novel are we reading? You get the picture!

So we decided, as a contract between the 10th grade teachers and our students, we would share with them this semester’s theme: #noexcuses.

This theme is a contract between us, the teachers, and them, the students. The implied contract is that Mrs. Butzu and Mrs. Shue will do everything they can to make information available, accessible, and relevant. That being said, the students’ part of the contract is to make an effort to be responsible, and use this information to be more self-sufficient in their course. This means that when they want to know the answer to one of the above stated questions, that they take the initiative, and know where to get the information: announcements, the locker, kmails, cc recordings, ect.

The students are loving #noexcuses, and are using it in CC with us! Whenever we go over something like a due date, what novel we are reading, when they need it by, or answer a student’s question when the answer is on the slide, students will flood the chat with #noexcuses. It’s a fun and friendly reminder that this is information they need; information they are being given; and information they are responsible for.

We’ve had a lot of fun with it in CC. We’ve even snuck it on a slide or two, and the students picked right up on it! I had one student tell me she wants it on a t-shirt! Lol!

Our hope is that by reminding them of #noexcuses, the students will start to take more of an ownership in their education. We are here to help and provide them with the tools and how to use them, but if they never open the tool box, then what can we really do for them?

We are optimistic that our students are receiving our message in a fun, trendy, and clear approach that allows them to start taking some initiative this semester. We’re excited for the semester, and we’re excited to share with you all that is to come!

#noexcuses

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Just me and my shadow...

From Head of School, Andrei Nichols:


Good day. As you may have heard already, I am seeking the opportunity to spend a full workday with one teacher each in our elementary, middle school and high school. (A middle school person has been identified.) This experience is solely for my better understanding and working knowledge of your typical day. Nothing I hear or witness will be used in any form of observation – I merely want to assess routines, workloads, and practices to get a good feel on how I might be able to make MVCA a better place for students AND staff.

Once volunteers are selected, I will put together a schedule that is appropriate for all involved. My needs while with you are internet (of course!), and a quaint area where I might need to take a few calls throughout the day.

If you are willing to take me up on this request it will be greatly appreciated. Please send a response to annichols@k12.com to confirm or for any questions. Thank you, and have a good day.

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Please complete survey!

If you were not on board at MVCA in August, please complete the following survey by COB Tuesday regarding years of experience:


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-1oa-5Cd53MLgcyQ0S3h4b4O8lsFdTjjidefAvUjnZg/viewform?usp=send_form


Thank you!

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MDE On-site Visit

As a priority school, we have been chose to participate in an on-site review in early March. We are one of two priority schools that has been chosen.


The leadership team has been busy gathering documentation. Thank you to those who have helped to provide those docs to us.


I also want to give a shout out to these team members who have agreed to be a part of our review team:


Marcus Duran

Lindsay Wesley

Jesse Wesley

Mikki Soltis

Jon DeCou

Kirsten Brown

Dave Krause

Amela Redzic

Tanya Kuipers

Mary Race


They will be in Grand Rapids on Wednesday this week in preparation.

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Let's hear it for our top teachers and classes in January!

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Here are some additional updates from USA Test Prep:

We've been striving to make your job at Michigan Virtual Charter Academy easier through multiple enhancements to the USATestprep website.

Spanish Test Passages and Answers
Due to popular demand, we not only have test questions in Spanish, but we now have the answers and passages in Spanish as well.

New Website
Last week we launched USATestprep's redesigned, public-facing website. The front end of the website is now mobile-friendly. Your login and USATestprep account will remain unchanged.

Improved Progress Reports

These beefed-up reports now include Class Dot Rank. See at-a-glance average class performance by standard. View the Progress Reports with or without the practice questions and by date range.

Tablet-friendly Game

Dance, Dance, Robot (DDR) has been updated and is now tablet-friendly. To challenge more students, DDR has been expanded to offer three levels of difficulty.

New Teacher Resource Page

To make it easier to use, this page has been divided into Online Resources, Printable Resources, and Projector Games. Videos can be found and previewed with ease now, too.

Student Calendar View

In addition to the original List View for Assignments and Suggested Practice, students may alternatively opt to display these items in Calendar View.

New Reviews

We've recently added a high school level Health review that is aligned with the National Health Education Standards. Additionally, you will find AP Psychology and AP Chemistry. Check the new course offerings for your state by clicking here.

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Upcoming Meet and Greets

Please try to attend one of these upcoming meet and greets - thank you!



Tuesday - February 16, 2016

Charmont Bowling Center

6138 Cass City Rd, Cass City

5:30pm – 7:30pm (Open bowling )


Wednesday - February 17, 2016

Davenport University – Livonia Campus 19499 Victor Pkwy, Livonia

5:00pm – 8:30pm



Thursday - February 18, 2016

Oakland Community College

2900 Featherstone Rd, Auburn Hills

3:30pm – 6:00pm



Friday - February 19, 2016

Ann Arbor—Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, 343 S. 5th Ave. 3:30pm – 6:00pm


Tuesday - February 23, 2016

MVCA Learning Center, Grand Rapids

678 Front Avenue NW,

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Charter School Teacher/Admin of the Year!

From Lindsay Wesley:


Hi team!

Last year we had a finalist from MVCA – wouldn’t it be amazing if this year we had a winner?!

If you can think of a teacher or admin you want to nominate, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TLSWWXJ

Survey closes Feb 12th.

Lindsay Wesley

Michigan Virtual Charter Academy

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Instructional Services Team Teachers

As many of you know, we do have some courses that are taught by teachers who are a part of a team within K12 called the Instructional Services Team. If you have ever seen the name GetFueled, that is the group.


If you need to communicate with one of these teachers, please see the information below from our IST contact:


Please be advised that all communication with IST teachers must either take place in TVS or by sending an email to mps_istsupport@getfueled.com.


Here is our current S2 list of IST teachers:


Julie Gower

Ericka Foreman

Jill Erskine

Leslee Bayer

Jennifer Thornsberry

Patricia Thomas

Kerin Stover

Sarah Smith-Phillips

James McDonald

Michael Malek

Renae Littrell





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Check it out! TRAILBLAZER TIMES

From Cassandra Rusie:



Please take a moment to check out the January edition of the HS student newsletter, the Trailblazer Times. The students love hearing your feedback!

https://trailblazertimes.wordpress.com/

A special shout out goes to the MVCA art teachers: Thank you for the beautiful submissions of student artwork from the 1st semester.

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Please find the most recent MDE Spotlight newsletter - if you haven't already, please sign up at the BAA for automatic testing updates!

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Diversity Training Part 2 - Virtual

Diversity Training - Diversity Training-Understanding our history and how who we are impacts teaching our students

Thursday, March 17th, 1-3pm

This is an online event.

Please refer to your Outlook for an invite!


Please plan accordingly with cancelling any CC sessions for that afternoon - thanks!

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The Atlantic & College Board Writing Prize

HS Teachers - can you please push this out to your classes?


The CollegeBoard is holding an essay writing contest. It is for ALL students, not just AP. Can we push this out to all students in grades 9-12? The Grand Prize is $5,000!

Students would need to submit their essays to AP Coordinator, Tonya Westra. Not all essays will be accepted, but she will review and grade each and every entry. She will return essays to students if she feels there is area for improvement before submission. The last day for Tonya to submit is 2/28 so she would need all student essays before that point.


More information:


The Atlantic & College Board Writing Prize

2016 Call for Entries

Submission window: Jan. 1–Feb. 28, 2016

The Atlantic & College Board Writing Prize returns for its second year! This time, we’re looking for exceptional high school student essays that insightfully analyze and interpret a meaningful work of art.

Our understanding of the human experience is enhanced by the study of significant historical artifacts. When we interact with art — when we learn about it, think about it, write and talk about it — we participate in a larger, ongoing conversation about culture and society. The 2016 Writing Prize contest invites you to be part of this conversation.

Your essay should share your perspective on the artwork you choose to write about, and it should also include evidence that backs up your conclusions. We’re looking for writing that is both interesting and instructive, and that clearly communicates your experience with the artwork and your views on it.

Essays should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words and can be submitted from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2016. You’ll need to ask a teacher-sponsor to approve and submit your essay; see How to Enter for more on that. We’ll select one student winner who will earn a $5,000 prize and have his or her essay published in the September 2016 issue of The Atlantic.

https://www.collegeboard.org/writing-prize?ep_ch=PR&ep_mid=11201648&ep_rid=243373118

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What can you attend with your team?

GVSU - Free PD Opportunities


DE-ICER Science: 6 Steps to Planning and Delivering High Quality Instruction (East)

Event Start: Friday, February 5, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



Rtl/Multi-Tiered System of Support (West)

Event Start: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



Rtl/Multi-Tiered System of Support (East)

Event Start: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



Phonics & Phonemic Awareness (East)

Event Start: Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center



More Information or Registration

Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension (East)

Event Start: Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center



More Information or Registration

ADHD Clinic for Educators (West)

Event Start: Friday, February 12, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory



More Information or Registration

Capturing Curiosity: Creating Engagement in Mathematics (West)

Event Start: Monday, February 15, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



MAP© 201 (WEST)

Event Start: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



Guided Reading (West)

Event Start: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



Micro-Aggressions (West)

Event Start: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



Comprehension & Close Readings Strategies Workshop (East)

Event Start: Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



MAP© 201 (EAST)

Event Start: Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



Comprehension & Close Readings Strategies Workshop (West)

Event Start: Friday, February 19, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



Google Tips for Teachers (East)

Event Start: Monday, February 22, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



Micro-Aggressions (East)

Event Start: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



Unwrapping the ELA Common Core Standards (West)

Event Start: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (West)

Event Start: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



Tech Tools and Teaching Tricks (WEST)

Event Start: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: L. William Seidman Center

More Information or Registration



Unwrapping the ELA Common Core Standards (East)

Event Start: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



Guided Reading (East)

Event Start: Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



DE-ICER Science: 6 Steps to Planning and Delivering High Quality Instruction (West)

Event Start: Friday, February 26, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration



It's More Than a Test: Implementing a Successful SAT Assessment Program (East)

Event Start: Monday, February 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $150.00

Location: GVSU Detroit Center

More Information or Registration



Designing Differentiated Units of Instruction (West)

Event Start: Monday, February 29, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Member Cost: $0.00
Non-member Cost: $75.00

Location: GVSU Bicycle Factory

More Information or Registration

Face to Face PD in Lansing

Friday, Feb. 12th, 8am-4pm

5708 Cornerstone Drive

Lansing, MI

We look forward to seeing everyone very soon.


Breakfast will be served from 8:00-9:00 am and lunch will be served as well. If you have a special dietary request, please get in touch with Julie Overholt.


Our PD will start at 9:00 am.


Our MS teachers as well as our HS special education teachers will be working with our winter NWEA throughout the day. The afternoon will include planning for our S2 NWEA prep as we look to our spring testing window opening up on May 2.


Our HS gen ed teachers will be working on MSTEP/PSAT/SAT preparation.


Anyone who lives an hour or more away from Lansing is welcome to get a hotel in the Lansing area. There are quite a few hotels very close to Lansing Community College's West Campus. Please use Atlas Travel to book your hotel - thanks! Please find a roommate for your hotel stay - thanks!


Patrick McClanahan is also suggesting these hotels - please book through Atlas Travel:

Hyatt Place

Courtyard Marriott

Holiday Inn Express

Hampton Inn


We also would like people to rent a car when the cost of the rental is less than what your mileage would be. Please use Atlas Travel to reserve your car - thanks!


Please bring your laptops and if you have an extension cord, please toss it into your bag just in case.


This PD is being paid for by our regional assistance grant - just as our December PD.

Please come prepared with your mileage/car rental/hotel receipts so that you can fill out a paper copy before you leave on Friday. You will then fill out a report in Intacct for reimbursement as well.


We look forward to seeing everyone!

Free ASCD Webinars

Thanks for sharing, Jon DeCou!


Upcoming Free ASCD Webinars

ASCD's free webinar series brings experts in the field of education to a computer near you with practical, ready-to-use strategies and advice. We archive each webinar so that you can get your professional development on-demand!

Check out the upcoming webinars below or browse the complete webinar archive.

Upcoming Webinars

The Every Student Succeeds Act: What You Need to Know
Tuesday, February 2, 3:00 p.m. ET (US)
Presented by David Griffith & Megan Wolfe

Register Now

Join ASCD's Government Relations team in an engaging webinar outlining the changes under ESSA, including new state testing options, the required accountability measures beyond test scores, when schools will be identified for improvement, and the improvement strategies available to them.

Using Discussion to Inspire Writing
Thursday, February 25, 3:00 p.m. ET (US)
Presented by Terry Roberts

Register Now

Join Terry Roberts, director of the National Paideia Center and co-author of The Better Writing Breakthrough, for a discussion of how to use formal classroom discussion to inspire student writing that is more clear, coherent, and sophisticated.

Disrupting Poverty: Creating a Poverty Literate Culture for Student Success
Thursday, March 17, 3:00 p.m. ET (US)
Presented by William Parrett & Kathleen Budge

Register Now

William Parrett and Kathleen Budge, authors of the award-winning ASCD book, Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools, will share a framework for collaborative action in classrooms and schools. Practical strategies and specific examples will "jumpstart" your thinking about what it takes to disrupt poverty's adverse effects on learning to help your students succeed.

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Atlas Travel

I have attached information about Atlas Travel if you have not used it yet since we switched on December 1, 2015.


https://portal.atlastravel.com/start/k12

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New Students as of February 1

STUDENTID STUDENTLASTNAME GRADE

1652719 Hicks 7th Grade

1844967 Kerckaert 7th Grade

1840602 Openshaw 7th Grade

1848516 Rodriguez-Moran 7th Grade

1849187 Smith 7th Grade

1843103 Sparks 7th Grade

1841755 Beren 8th Grade

1840084 Broom 8th Grade

1837629 Byl 8th Grade

1843753 Goddard 8th Grade

1846000 Hadaway 8th Grade

1835488 Harrington 8th Grade

1844485 King 8th Grade

1808904 Kirtley 8th Grade

1822738 Rull 8th Grade

1832896 Saylor 8th Grade

1848172 Bay 9th Grade

1040797 Josifovski 9th Grade

1832873 Leduc 9th Grade

1846544 Leinenger 9th Grade

1844110 Mackey 9th Grade

1847166 Maida 9th Grade

1822259 Martin 9th Grade

1842937 Penzes 9th Grade

1846260 Titus 9th Grade

1835931 Wanty 9th Grade

1836185 Welham 9th Grade

1843018 Zimmers 9th Grade

1846785 Burkey 10th Grade

1828707 David 10th Grade

1845435 Finkbeiner 10th Grade

1246495 Flores 10th Grade

1840108 Frazier 10th Grade

1841904 Itoney 10th Grade

1828006 Kah 10th Grade

1833057 Kolk 10th Grade

1834428 Miller 10th Grade

1840047 Ritz 10th Grade

1844733 Strackbein 10th Grade

1846751 Ulrich 10th Grade

1225179 Williams 10th Grade

1841042 Cooper 11th Grade

1840785 Dreaver 11th Grade

1843036 Fobear 11th Grade

1840395 Hubbard 11th Grade

1835906 Jones 11th Grade

1845133 Larsen 11th Grade

1845513 Lowe 11th Grade

1846974 Mansfield 11th Grade

1839073 Parker 11th Grade

1847310 Paull 11th Grade

1840504 Smith 11th Grade

1837450 Soldaat 11th Grade

1836674 Wirth 11th Grade

1840323 Zimmerman 11th Grade

1823619 Chavez 12th Grade

1842081 Dul 12th Grade

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Many offers went out last Friday and were accepted! We are still looking for math candidates.
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Report Cards

They will be generated this week.


I have attached the letter from Andrei that will be included in all K8 report cards.

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News from our authorizer, GVSU - documents with additional information are attached.


This week, the National Charter Schools Institute launched an essay contest for Michigan middle and high school students. This year’s theme is “what my charter school means to me.” The top prize for each division is $500. Winners will be announced during National Charter Schools Week and receive special recognition at that time.

Attached are some flyers with more information. Please feel free to share this information with those who might be interested in it. I know that there are great things happening at the schools that you work with, and we’re excited to hear from your students.

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7-12 Team Time on January 29, 2016

Thank you your time last Friday!


Session: Mrs. Snyder

Type: None

Started: Jan 29, 2016 07:47 AM Eastern (EST, North America/Canada)

Ended: Jan 29, 2016 09:08 AM Eastern (EST, North America/Canada)

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

https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2016-01-29.0547.M.14BBF5719A516B359750CBFAC36D6D.vcr&sid=559


I have also attached the powerpoint deck in the email.

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Gym Reimbursement through K12

Did you know that you can get your gym membership reimbursed through K12? Head to the HR Portal for more information!
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We look forward to welcoming both Eva Charboneau and Jennie Kanine back this week!

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Presidents' Day - NO SCHOOL

Monday, Feb. 15th, 8am-4pm

This is an online event.