SISD Board of Education Update

4.8.16 Superintendent Update

4.8.16 Superintendent Update

Good afternoon,

Warm wishes for quick healing are extended to Al Pettyplace. Al is recuperating from surgery. We hope that he is feeling better soon and we see him at next week's board and committee meetings.

Congratulations are in order for Leola Wilson. This evening Leola is being recognized with a Distinguished Service Award at the SVSU All-University Awards Banquet. SISD is proud of the impact Leola has on our region and beyond. She inspires us all to be better people and use our talents to serve others.

SISD Hartley Outdoor Education Center Provided by Eric Rutherford

Dorm Expansion Update

To date we have raised $147,000 towards the dorm expansion. We currently have an additional $90,000 in grants that we are awaiting word back on. In addition, on March 19th we kicked-off our “Buy a Bunk” campaign and are hoping to raise $60,000 from this. Dorm engineering plans are completed.

SVSU Partnership/Dow Corning Grant

In an effort to broaden our curriculum and community impact we partnered with SVSU on a Dow Corning grant application for a “Garden to Plate” program. This program will include the installation, application, and education of vermicomposting for recycling plant and food waste into plant nutrients and innovative space-saving food growing techniques. The students will also be able to learn how to manage biodegradable waste and turn it into natural beneficial products to grow healthy food.

SISD Special Education Department Update Provided by Janet Timbs and Erin Senkowski

Staff Recalled

Millet has an ASD/EI teacher vacancy as a result of a teacher resignation and an ASD teacher vacancy as a result of opening a new classroom. Thus, recall letters were mailed to the four teachers who were laid off at Millet. Two of the four teachers declined the recall and therefore, have terminated any further rights to recall. Two others have accepted the recall. Phylis Osier has accepted the ASD/EI position and reported to Millet April 4, 2016. Julie Clouse has accepted the new ASD position and will report to Millet on April 22, 2016.

Early On Transparency

The Early On Transparency committee met on April 5, 2016. Superintendents from Swan Valley, Carrollton, Freeland and Merrill participated in this meeting. Carol Spaman from MDE also joined the meeting to help provide perspective regarding Early On mandates/requirements. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a better understanding of Early On requirements and decide on the formula to be used when billing local districts for the cost. The conversation was robust but the group could not come to consensus on the billing formula. Thus, this discussion was moved to the full superintendent meeting on 4-7-16. District leaders decided to continue with the current formula.

Job Fair

The School To Work Team held the Annual SISD Job Fair for students with IEPs. businesses, post-high school programs, and volunteer programs were represented at this event. Students from every district across the county participated. The students arrived dressed in their best, professional-looking clothes with their resumes in hand, well-prepared to interview for employment. Feedback from our business partners was overwhelming positive. They felt that this year’s event surpassed last year’s relative to student preparedness and general organization. Most potential employers indicated that they had a list of several students they planned to contact for second interviews. The goal is to have as many students as possible gain employment this summer. Congratulations to the School To Work team for the unending persistence in preparing our students for success! Congratulations to our students for taking advantage of this opportunity and working diligently to prepare themselves for employment

SISD Technology Update Provided by Aaron Schippert

Edupaths Kickoff (

On Feb. 17 2016 the Classroom Readiness activity of TRIG kicked off an educational online portal for statewide educators as a means of acquiring any time, any place professional learning opportunities for SCECH’s and digital badges. I have been informing educational groups all throughout Saginaw County of this opportunity and the feedback has been extremely positive.

Coding, Tinkering, and More Professional Learning

REMC 9 is offering a new workshop for teachers. The idea is to turn teachers on to coding, robotics, and gamification through a series of “hands on” activites. We will have 5 stations including Spheros, Cubelets, OSMO’s, Floors, and Google Cardboard. There is a limit of 25 teachers, with 5 per station where they will get an opportunity to experience each activity. We offered one event in March and another in April and both sessions are filled. Pictures of the March 3 event are included.

SISD Update Provided by Kathy Stewart

SISD Budget Reception

At the Thursday superintendents' meeting Chris Frank presented the proposed budget for Saginaw ISD. During the meeting we shared with local districts that we are proposing that they no longer are being required to pay for secretarial costs associated with finger printing; that SISD is proposing to cover 10% of the GLBEC Director salary and benefits for the purposes of facilitating the grant funded Career/College Advisors and establish a county you Local College Access Network; and that the SISD general fund would contribute $1.00 per student to help offset the costs of the contract for Critical Incident Management. Many of the superintendents expressed their thanks that SISD is proposing to offset some of the costs that they have been billed for for a number of years. We will discuss more in depth the SISD budget next week when we meet.

More Great Technology News

Aaron Schippert announced this week a summer professional learning opportunity for teachers. The MyBlend program from Michigan Virtual University is an advocate for blended learning. Aaron communicated that June dates were scheduled for training and educators would receive a $100/day for participating. He sent the e-mail on Thursday, April 7 and within an hour all slots were filled. MVU was so impressed they doubled the slots for middle school and high school teachers. Within another hour or so the additional slots were filled. I am very pleased with the direction our REMC services are headed.

Spring Break Change

As you may recall from earlier this week, the proposed Spring Break change is causing a bit of a stir with some educators. It's important to keep in mind that the recommended change is due to the scheduled SAT dates. Without changing spring break, students would return from spring break on a Monday and have to sit for high stakes testing on Tuesday. At this week's superintendent meeting the group voted to move spring break ahead one week because the SAT schedule follows the same pattern for the next three years. Frankenmuth School District reported that they experienced over 71 tardies on the Monday following Spring Break for a number of various reasons.

Month of the Young Child

Among other things, April is designated as the Month of the Young Child. Our Early Childhood Team under the direction of Noel Kelty is planning a month filled with wonderful experiences for children and their families. This link provides a calendar of suggestions from the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children. Please view this press release organized by Noel and her team.

Autism Awareness

April is also designated as Autism Awareness month. I really enjoyed this moving commercial that uses Apple technology to assist an autistic teenager with communicating. I hope you enjoy it too.

Cooperative Special Education Work Group

With the number of shared programs around the county, the need to revisit 1751 cooperative program agreements is needed. Janet Timbs and Erin Senkowski are pulling together a group to discuss the following: consistent billing formulas, agreement language, enrollment issues, membership counts, etc. I thank these two for their leadership in helping our constituent districts come to consensus on this matter.

Superintendent Meeting

This month's superintendent meeting although serious, had a bit of fun learning included. I am pleased to share that all twelve local districts attended this month's learning. Aaron Schippert set up three stations so that district leaders could see how easy and inexpensively technology could be integrated into instruction. We took a bit of time viewing the world from a 3-D perspective, mixing chemicals and seeing the results on the screen, and using a sheet of paper and scanning it to make it come 'alive'. Please enjoy the pictures below.

Dates to Remember

SISD Special Board of Education Meeting: April 12 @ 3:00 pm - Transitions Center

Saginaw County Association of School Boards Dinner: April 12 @ 5:30 p.m. Transitions Center

SISD Board Personnel Committee: April 13 @ 2:30 pm - Superintendent's Office

SISD Finance Committee: April 13 @ 3:00 pm - Superintendent's Office

SISD Board of Education Meeting: April 13 @ 4:00 pm - RESC Boardroom #1

SISD Annual Turnaround Achievement Awards Program: Tuesday, May 10 @ 8:30 - SISD Transitions Center
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