Midwinter 2021 Learning Sessions | Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators

All sessions will be held on Wednesday, January 20, and Thursday, January 21, at the 2021 Midwinter Conference.

10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Concurrent Learning Sessions

The Ins and Outs of Mentor Coaching: Strengthening our Skills 

Dr. Brian Davis, Superintendent, Holland Public Schools and Dr. Sarena Shivers, Deputy Executive Director of Professional Learning and Member Services, MASA 

This session is designed for MASA trained (new and existing) mentor coaches. Join your colleagues to continue to sharpen your coaching tools and skillset.  We will be joined by past clients to give their feedback on their mentor coaching experience. This powerful session will continue to improve coaching skills as we provide support to top leaders of education in the state of Michigan. 


Knowing and Doing: 10 Essential Commitments Superintendents Can Make in Order to Support the Literacy Essentials in EVERY Classroom, EVERY Day. 

Kyle MayerAssistant Superintendent for Instructional Services, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Michelle Goaley, Bay Arenac ISD and Shellie Gohl, Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona ESD 

MASA members are collectively committed to the GELN Literacy Essentials and our shared statewide effort to support consistent evidence-based researched best practices in every classroom, every day. The Essential Instructional practices now span birth to 12th grade. In addition, Essential Coaching and School-Wide practices have been written to help develop the system that is needed to ensure the Literacy Essentials are sustainable in schools. 

But what are the Essential pieces that superintendents and district leaders most know and do to lead a school district with respect to this critically important work? 

To answer this question, attend this session and be the first to receive the all-new, “10 Essential District Commitments” document from the MAISA GELN Early Literacy Task Force. In addition, session attendees will work with Kyle Mayer, Michelle Goaley and Shellie Gohl to collaboratively develop a plan of action on how you can ensure these commitments are adopted in your district. 


Using Schoology to Create a Schoolwide Online PLC and Shared Resource 

Sean Coffron, Instructional Technology Training Specialist, Manassas City Public Schools 

Using Schoology can provide an effective and efficient means of communicating with colleagues, faculty, and administration. Through the development of a schoolwide course that is accessible to all educators in the building, information can be shared and exchanged in a streamlined fashion that brings best practices of blended learning to bear on professional and academic discourse. 


Helping your Board Communicate Effectively 

Jay, Bennett, Assistant Director of Executive Search Services, Debbie Stair, Assistant Director of Leadership Development and Greg Sieszputowski, M.Ed., Director of Leadership Development and Executive Search Services, MASB 

Charles Dickens famously started A Tale of Two Cities… “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” This quote is most likely an accurate reflection of the average school board member’s tenure on the board. An ability to communicate effectively during both the best and worst of times is a skill that needs to be taught and nurtured within your board members. Please join our experienced MASB staff on their journey through the many potential communication pitfalls that besiege even the most experienced board member. We will also discuss different ways in which you and your board can help each other to make sure that your communications are clear, concise, relevant, and timely. We will also cover topics including board communication policies and practices around social media, bond campaigns, the election cycle, informing the community, and many more. 


Data that Defines Curriculum, Instructional Leadership and Dramatic Improvement 

Alena Zachery-Ross, Superintendent, and Carlos Lopez, Assistant Superintendent, Ypsilanti Community Schools 

Data that Defines Curriculum, Instructional Leadership, and Dramatic Improvement – The YCS Story will address the following: 

Beliefs and Instructional Infrastructure that Works Even in These Times

  1. High Expectations for All.
  2. Common Vision of High-Quality Instruction.
  3.  Rigorous Standards-Based Curriculum (With Explicit Pacing)
  4. Comprehensive Teacher Support 

Our Core Beliefs and Philosophy of YCS Teaching Matters Most
Belonging Matters

  • Do You See Me?
  • Do You Hear Me?
  • Do Your Value Me? 

Voice matters
Our #1: School-Level Factor: a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum

  • Focus on Priority Standards
  • Focus on Pacing Instructional Guides
  • Focus on Teacher Collaborative Routines
    • Teacher Actions
    • Student Actions
  • Focus on Student Engaged Assessment Protocols
  • Focus on Formative Assessments
  • Focus on Common Assessments aligned to our Priority Standards
  • Focus on Instructional Leadership Routines 

Leadership Practices that Matters in Changing for Good…

  • Leading from Where you Stand
  • Instructional Leadership Routines that Work
  • Leading Culturally Responsive Teaching by Promoting Authentic Student 

Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

  •  Leading Anti-Racist Work by Challenging and Changing Policies, Procedures, and Practices that Hurt Children and Communities of Color
  • Leading a Culture of Collective Responsibility that is Collegial, Collaborative, and Professional
  • Leading Dramatic Improvement by Challenging the Status Quo and Tackling
    the Elephant in the Classroom
  • Leading with Personal Humility and Professional Will Required for Impact 


Early Learning Program Assessment – Why It Matters 

Edward Manuszak, Superintendent, Dundee Community Schools and Todd Whitlock, CEO, Standard for Success, LLC 

Successful early learning programs are necessary for any district during these unprecedented times due to COVID-19. Participants to this session will be presented with current research and best practices as to why early learning programs should offer a high Return on Investment or System Strategy ROI. A comprehensive review and introduction to the five steps a district can take to ensure they are getting the most out of their programs for their students, families, and staff will be discussed. The Early Learning Program Assessment Tool or ELPAT will be shared as one of the resources to ensure your early learning programs are evaluated using best practices and research. Our learning communities deserve early cognitive learning environments evaluated on researched best practices. 


Prioritizing Mental Health & Wellness with Your Staff 

Bob Donaldson, Senior Sales and Development Specialist, SET SEG and Rebecca Perry, SET SEG Family Healthcare Center 

Stress reduction, work-life balance, and mental health and well-being are on the forefront of the top health concerns for many working in the education landscape. Many administrators are searching for efficient ways to offer support and healthy options to their staff, but many do not know where to start. Join SET SEG and a certified Behavioral Specialist to walk through the most common mental health challenges and key agitators, tips to address and defuse major stressors, and how the primary care model can be shifted to include a robust mental health initiative for your district.  


Educating Through a Pandemic: COVID-19 and K-12 Public Education in Michigan

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt education across the country, educators in every school, district, and state have been working tirelessly to provide students with high-quality learning experiences and to plan for the rest of the school year in the midst of great uncertainty. Nearly all states deferred to local districts on school reopening for fall 2020 and few provided detailed guidance about school and district operations. These decisions in conjunction with the pandemic are likely to widen disparities in K-12 education, and evidence from the field has raised concerns about meeting the needs of historically disadvantaged students, as well as addressing students’ nutritional, socio-emotional, and mental health needs. EPIC has been examining state, district, school, and educator responses to the pandemic and beliefs about how COVID has affected schooling in Michigan in order to provide Michigan policymakers, stakeholders, and educators with the best available evidence to help them make the most informed choices possible.

EPIC’s research efforts have focused on answering four main research questions:

  1. What are the greatest concerns from educators about the provision of K12 education during the pandemic?
  2. What are states doing in relation to K12 education during the pandemic?
  3. What did Michigan districts do last spring?
  4. What are Michigan districts planning to do this school year? How have those plans changed?


 1:15 to 2:00 p.m.

Concurrent Learning Sessions

Navigating Social and Emotional Transformation with Collaboration and Continuous Improvement 

Clark McKown, Founder & President, xSEL Labs, Inc. and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School DistrictPaul Baur, Director of Systems Improvement and Evaluation, and Ryan Maas, Student Achievement Data Specialist, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District 

How does one intermediate school district integrate assessment, curriculum, instruction, and professional learning to support high-quality social and emotional learning in its local districts? In the face of the pandemic and all the hardship it has caused, educational leaders have understandably focused on assessing and addressing student mental health. Concerns about acute mental health needs can crowd out what may seem the less pressing goal of nurturing social and emotional competencies. And yet, to equip children for success, including the ability to weather challenging circumstances, it is important to maintain a commitment to teaching social and emotional competencies described in Michigan’s SEL standards. 

During this session we will address how one intermediate district—Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD)—aligns assessment, curriculum and instruction to prepare students for mastery of SEL objectives. TBAISD will also discuss how they have integrated SEL assessment into their MTSS Framework. Finally, the TBAISD team will describe how they have adapted their work on student SEL in the face of challenges caused by the pandemic. Together, participants will explore bringing research into practice through collaboration and continuous improvement. 


MICIP – Ready When You Are 

Tom Johnson, Director of Statewide Applications, MAISA, Theresa Nugent, Lead, MICIP, Ben Boerkoel, Manager of the MDE Statewide System of Support and MICIP Lead for Professional Learning, MDE and Dave Cairy, Director of Operations, MAISA 

Michigan’s Integrated Continuous Improvement Process (MICIP) and the MICIP Platform are now up and running. After two years of close collaboration between local districts, ISDs, MDE, CEPI, and many other stakeholder groups, we are on a new path of continuous improvement in Michigan. Come learn about the process, see the live platform in action, and how it can help your district effectively plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate your local needs. MICIP is updated and better than ever, thanks to the support of our testing partners! 

Our anticipated audience would include all LEAs/PSAs/ISDs looking to learn more about the MICIP Platform and how to incorporate MICIP into their school improvement process.  


Moving Your District from Good to Great with 3P Learning 

Claire Bunker, Network Director East Central Michigan, MiSTEM, Craig Carmoney, Superintendent, Meridian Public Schools, Jeff Collier, Superintendent, Saginaw Intermediate School District 

Come together for an enlightening session on Problem, Project and Place-based education (3P-Learning).  

Join us for concrete ideas of how you can begin or enhance current 3P Learning opportunities in your district. Hear from fellow superintendents, Craig Carmoney, 2021 MASA Superintendent of the Year, Meridian Public Schools and Jeff Collier, Superintendent of Saginaw ISD. These two superintendents have firsthand experience with successful and sustainable project and place-based education initiatives. MiSTEM staff will also provide an overview of 3P Learning and updates on resources available for your district.  

You will leave this session with:
• A better understanding of 3P Learning.
• Knowledge from highlights of successful and sustainable programs in Michigan schools.
• Ideas of how you can get started in your district. 

Many leaders are struggling during these challenging times. 3P Learning can be successfully implemented during COVID; it drastically improves community engagement and communication and encourages equitable opportunities for all students.  

Let us help you move your district from Good to Great or Great to Greater with 3P Learning.  


Post-Pandemic Schooling: Forging a Better Normal Together 

Dr. Chris Timmis, Dexter Community Schools and Dr. Gerald Hill, West Bloomfield School District. Moderated by Dr. Chris Harrington of Michigan Virtual 

In the wake of massive disruptions caused by COVID-19, many desperately await the day things will return to “normal.” But in education, we must demand more than simply a return to the systems in which we worked before. No longer can we ignore the inequities created by one-size-fits-all learning models. It is time to begin forging a better normal together — one in which learning is fundamentally student-centered, and flexible enough to meet the needs of all students. In this session, a panel of Michigan school leaders will share what they have learned from the pandemic at a local level and how they plan on carrying positive elements forward in their districts. Together, we will discuss what post-pandemic schooling might look like and how you can lead your community into a better future. 


SEL in Michigan: Findings from a Statewide Survey  

Lauren Kazee, LMSW, Founder of Living S.L.O.W. and MDE Consultant, District Representatives: TBDModerator: Angela Shields, Digital Learning Consultant, Michigan Virtual 

Studies show that evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) programs lead to improved academic performance and student behavior and yield an average return-on-investment of 11:1. In this session, we will share the findings from a statewide survey of over 8,000 educators conducted by MDE and Michigan Virtual on how SEL is being implemented in Michigan school districts. Afterward, we will take a deeper dive into proven strategies for designing an SEL program with efficacy. 


VIRLI: Using Immersive Technology to Enhance Learning 

Tommy Truong, Great Lakes Reality Labs 

Immersive Technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) bring learning to life! Students can explore new destinations, engage in interactive experiences, walk with dinosaurs, visualize abstract concepts, and even visit other planets. Teachers and administrators can engage in professional development, collaborate with others around the world, and support students as they explore their future careers. Explore the what, why, and how of integrating immersive technologies into classroom instruction to enhance both in-person and remote learning. Discover how these experiences are changing classrooms and engaging students. Learn how immersive technologies unlock student potential and personalize learning. Understand more about the Virtual Reality Learning Initiative (VIRLI) and the tools available to support students and teachers. 


The Educational Equity Equation: Practical Strategies to Make Racial Justice Real in School Systems 

Colin Seale, Founder and CEO, thinkLaw 

Prioritizing the academic success of low-income is a necessary piece of the educational equity puzzle. But academic success, alone, does not provide the transformational impact many students need to transcend generational poverty, systemic racism, and countless barriers our unjust society places in their way. To ensure students are not just equipped to succeed in an unfair world that often requires them to work twice as hard to get half as far, school system leaders, educators, students, and families must be part of an intentional effort to help our students become the change our society needs. To ensure that equity does not become the latest buzzword in education, this workshop will leave school system leaders with practical, but powerful tools to immediately apply to their systems and make equity actionable. 


10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Snack and Learn Sessions

Policy Update Preview – Volume 35 Number 2

Patrick Corbett, CEO, Neola

Compliance with changing legislative requirements and evolving Executive Orders will continue to be a challenge for Michigan schools in the new year.  This presentation will provide a preview of the Volume 35 Number 2 Policy Update package to be released in February 2021.


“Lost” students – how do we move forward?

Dr. Doug Greer, Director of School Improvement, Ottawa Area ISD, and Dr. Nate Jensen, Director, Center for School and Student Progress, NWEA

Join us as Dr. Jensen and Dr. Greer share their insights on the scale of missing students, or what some have alluded to as the ‘Lost’ students during these times of COVID-19. Hear about initial conversations on how schools and districts are creatively attempting to limit marginalizing these students once returning to school.


Expanding Capacity-The Power of Feeling Your Best

Matt Johnson, President, On Target Living

The Power of Feeling Your Best offers focused strategies to achieve positive results. Exercise, healthier eating habits, and a good night’s rest all contribute to higher performance. This presentation offers practical tools that will guide you to take immediate action to expand your human capacity.

Takeaways: Control your stress; quiet your mind; build your immune System, take back control in uncertain times.


Lessons for Leaders – 3 Keys to Wellness

Rhonda Jones, MESSA

Receive tips and strategies that can be used to increase your resiliency and improve health.


Keep Cyber Criminals Locked Out of Your District

Steve Privasky, Sales Manager; Paul Grienke, Insurance Education Specialist

Administrators need to stay one step ahead of the cybercriminals that continue to target public schools. Join SET SEG to hear about real cyber-attacks that have occurred in Michigan public schools, lessons learned from each scenario, and the top mitigation steps a district can take to prevent a cyber breach from occurring, and what to do if one does occur.