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Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment


2013 ~2014

A Message from Heidi...

Dear Staff, Happy Holidays! I know this is an extra busy time of year. As you wrap up the week with your students, please take just a few minutes to read the newsletter so that you are up to date on all of the latest happenings. I wish each of you a wonderful break that includes time with family, rest and relaxation, and fun. I look forward to continuing our work in 2014 - making Lake Orion the best school district it can be!

Heidi Kast Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

21f ONLINE LEARNING Sec on 21f of the FY2013 State School Aid Act, allows any student in grades 5 to 12 to enroll in up to two online courses during an academic term, semester, or trimester. It also requires that a student taking an online course, and who is not enrolled in a school of excellence that is a cyber�school, choose courses from their local district catalog or the statewide catalog of online course syllabi to be developed in partnership by the Michigan Virtual University (MVU) and the Michigan Department of Educa on and maintained by the MVU. This new provision takes eect second semester. There have been many ques ons with this new legisla on. Several of which are s ll unanswered. Heidi and a team of administrators have been working to gather more informa on, develop a plan, and implement 21f for Lake Orion. A ached is a Powerpoint that does a nice job of summarizing Sec on 21f.



Learning Options


School of Choice


Developmental K




Math Update




IPA/Energy Bonds


Math Dept. News



Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Page 2

Infosnap ~ Online Registration Coming Soon The Technology Department has been researching solu‐ ons for an online registra on process. Infosnap has been selected. Infosnap creates a streamlined process for online regis‐ tra on of new and returning students that integrates seamlessly with our Powerschool student database sys‐ tem. New families enrolling for the first me will be able to ini ate the process through the comple on of online enrollment forms. The process is much smoother and quicker than filling out forms manually. New families will s ll meet with our Central Enrollment Office to provide appropriate documenta on such as: birth cer ficates, immuniza on records, and residency verifica on. How‐ ever, they will no longer have to manually complete forms and staff will not have to manually enter the data into our student database system, Powerschool. Addi‐ onally, if a family has mul ple children, they will not

have to re‐enter family informa on that applies to all of the children such as addresses, phone numbers, and emergency contacts. Returning families will also no long‐ er have to fill out endless paper forms each year. In‐ stead, they will be able to login and complete forms that include pre‐populated informa on that they can review and update. The district will save in both me and money. No longer will staff have to spend endless hours manually entering data from paper registra on forms. We will no longer need to send paper forms home over the summer – sav‐ ing on both prin ng and postage. For more details about Infosnap review this brief video that highlights the features of Infosnap and its benefits to our district and families. h ps:// see‐how‐it‐works

Learning Options Promotion With the start of second semester around the corner, Heidi has been working with Drew Towlerton and Joe St. Henry to market Learning Options with the goal of enrolling seven new students to fill our available openings.

Advertising has already started.

Additionally, a

Learning Options Open House was held to market the program. Schools of Choice students are being accepted for second semester. dow is January 6—17, 2014.

Our For Sale section will resume in our next edition of the CIA Newsletter. For those of you who sent me an ad, I will run it in that next edition. Please start the new year fresh, selling the old and welcoming the “new.” Send me your ads along with $5.00 and a picture, if you have one. The first installment of the “For Sale” listing did very well. Happy Selling!!!

The application win-

On Thursday, December 12th Learning Options held an open house for prospective students interested in enrolling for the start of second semester. Current Learning Options staff and students greeted future students and their families throughout the evening. Prospective families were able to chat with staff and students about all things Learning Options including curriculum, student life, and staff/student relationships, amongst other topics. Families also toured the classrooms and common areas of Learning Options to get a further sense of what it means to be a Learning Options student. Overall, the evening was a great success!


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Developmental Kindergarten Update

Kim McLean, elementary principals and Heidi have been working on the design and implementation of Lake Orion Community Schools Developmental Kindergarten (DK). It was decided to name the program Developmental Kindergarten instead of Young Fives because it aligns with our philosophy of early childhood. Attached is a flyer for the program along with information deciphering Kindergarten and Developmental Kindergarten. Information night and registration dates are also included. The first round is targeted

for our resident students. Beginning in February, we will start to target schools of choice students which will include advertising and open houses. School locations for DK will be determined once our registration is firm. Please be sure to read over all of the attached information. There are a lot of details that are included. (ATTACHMENT 1)

Schools of Choice Update

Lake Orion Mentors

The Board of Education approved Schools of Choice for the 2014-2015 school year for Developmental Kindergarten, K—8 and Learning Options. Please be sure to read the program summary so that your are knowledgeable and able to answer questions.

Lake Orion has had a formalized mentor program for at least 16 years. Each new teacher to Lake Orion is matched with a trained mentor for three years. Throughout those three years the mentor follows a specific program meeting with the mentee regularly.


For more information about the program, go to our intranet and log on to the mentor program guidelines.

Thinking Summer Lake Orion is looking again

If you have an idea or are

to expand our summer pro-

willing to teach during a


period of time during the

Most of our of-

ferings are for students that

summer, please contact

need extra support.

your administrator or Heidi


summer we are hoping to expand offerings to students that have a special interests or wish to enhance their learning.

The enhancement

opportunity may be a potential revenue source for the district.

This fall/winter 27 experienced Lake Orion teachers attended training to become a mentor for new teachers. In addition; all of our current mentors attended a refresher course. Led by Candy Garbacz, LOHS teacher, mentors reviewed and learned the best ways to provide support to our newest teachers.

Kast. To be entered in this month’s CIA drawing, email Heidi an idea for summer programming by noon on Thursday, 12-19-13.

A special thank you to Candy for her continued commitment to the program and for all teachers that serve and are trained as a mentor!

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Page 4

LO MATH ADOPTED I am extremely pleased to inform you that the Board of Education approved the math adoption for elementary and middle school. I would like to sincerely thank Jane Cowan, Laura Martin, Matt Moede, Nick Coccia, and Missy Butki for their presentation to the Board. Thank you so much for your time and dedication to seeing this process through. I also want to thank all teachers that were involved in the pilots over the past two years. This has been the most extensive

pilot Lake Orion has done. It is because of your commitment and expertise that we are going to have a math program that will truly benefit our students.

Elementary level math: Math Expressions Middle level math: Connected Math 3 (CMP3) More information will be coming soon about implementation.


Read up a Storm this Winter! ATTACHMENT 4

CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT CONTACTS Heidi Kast……...Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Marysue Schwartzmiller….Administrative Assistant 248-693-5409 or Ext. 3908 Linda Glowaz….Assessment Coordinator...Ext. 6410 District Department Chairs…………..Listed on LOnet District School Improvement Chairs………..Listed on LOnet Kate DiMeo…...ELA Consultant and Curriculum Coach 248-391-0400 Missy Butki…..Math Consultant and Curriculum Coach 248-393-0010

Ways to Encourage Children to Read Over Winter Break! …..


Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

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Recently, a representative from the Detroit Institute of Arts met with Heidi for the purpose of sharing all of the opportunities that the DIA has to offer as well as gain input and feedback about other ways that the DIA can support school districts, classroom teachers and families. Several teachers already take their classes to the DIA for filed trips. The admission is free along with free transportation.

In addition, the DIA is providing a variety of professional development for teachers. These opportuni-

ties are not just for art teachers but all content area teachers. Please take a few moments to review the DIA Attachments to be sure you are aware of all of the events happening at the DIA. ATTACHMENT 6

IPA AND ENERGY BONDS Recently the Board of Education approved the use of energy bonds and installment purchase agreement to do some much needed work in the district. In order to improve our classroom technology, we need to work on the infrastructure. One of the projects will be starting very soon. The existing server room at CERC that houses all of our district network equipment is receiving a much needed makeover. Renovations will include increased space to properly house district servers and network equipment, new racks to properly organize equipment, and electrical upgrades to ensure proper power supplies to equipment. Additionally, a fire suppression system is being installed to protect the district equipment against potential fire disasters. As a result of increased space for the new server room upgrades, both technology and buildings and grounds staff will be temporarily displaced. Renovations to office space will also take place due to the impact that changes occurring to the technology area will cause to current office space areas. The expected completion is April. These bonds do come with a hit to the general budget of $800,000 for the next 10 years.

Some of the other projects that are necessary include:


Instructional desk tops/laptops


Interactive projectors


Server room upgrades/enhancements


Phone system replacement equipment


Voice/video/door release


Security camera system upgrades


Limited card reader door access system


Alarms, motion detection, door contacts


Door hardware replacement and rekeying


HVAC systems critical alarms


Phone system replacement infrastructure


Server room upgrades infrastructure


Paving and concrete upgrades


Roof replacement


CERC facility renovation


Replace one chiller at LOHS


HVAC, energy controls, electric/light upgrades


Network infrastructure switches

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Page 6


Happy New Year! K-8 has adopted new math materials!

Elementary students will be using

Math Expressions © 2014 published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The middle level will be continuing their use of Connected Math 3 © 2014 published by Pearson.

Both programs offer

our students the depth of knowledge that the CCSS and the Mathematical Practices are based on. Upcoming PD

Data and Dine: Coming to a lunch near you….Want to look deeper into the data collected from your common assessments? You may be receiving electronic invitations for a Data and Dine session at your school. Data and Dialog will be provided, BYOL (Bring your own lunch). Hope to see you there. Use of Number Lines in CCSS Sorry this needed to be re-scheduled. Due to low enrollment and illness at Orion Oaks, this training will be postponed to an all-district day, date to be determined. In the NEWS….Michigan Evaluation Rates Smarter Balanced as Best Meeting State Needs The Michigan legislature required the state department of education to conduct an evaluation of available assessment options. On December 2, the Michigan Department of Education released a report on the results of its evaluation which found that Smarter Balanced is the only assessment system meeting state needs in each category studied. I commend the Michigan Department of Education for its thorough and objective evaluation of assessment options available to measure student progress toward college and career readiness. I am pleased for the confirmation that the Smarter Balanced Assessment System—which has been designed by state assessment professionals from the 26 states and territories that are members of the Consortium—will meet the needs of the State of Michigan. I look forward to continuing to work with Michigan officials as we prepare for full implementation of the assessment system in the 2014–15 school year. ( michigan-evaluation-rates-smarter-balancedbest-meeting-state-needs/) To read the report….go to http:// Common_Core_Assessment_Option_Report_441322 _7.pdf

Puzzle of the Month

How Many WINTER Paths Do You See?

Discrete Math Investigation

What famous sequence does this resemble? For the answer, lab sheet, and classroom lesson… winterpaths.pdf

Looking for a way to have fun while learning math? Then join the Math Video Challenge, produced by MATHCOUNTS, celebrating its third year. Have fun creating math videos with your friends and classmates, win prizes, and improve your 21st century skills such as communication, creativity, and collaboration. Who could want anything more? More details can be found at http://

ATTACHMENT 1 LAKE ORION COMMUNITY SCHOOLS EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS PHILOSOPHY The Lake Orion District’s early childhood programs are committed to an understanding that parents, teachers, and administrators are a team that believes all children can learn. This team works collaboratively in order to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment that promotes each child’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. Understanding the diverse backgrounds of our students, we provide meaningful and challenging experiences that build upon children’s prior knowledge. All children develop and mature at different rates. Developmental Kindergarten in intended to give children who need additional time to mature and physically and emotionally develop an opportunity to do so in a safe and secure environment. Our integrated program for teacher-directed and child-initiated learning allows children many opportunities to manipulate materials, explore and discover ideas, interact with others, and develop at their own unique rate. This program fosters the development of a positive self-image and enhances children’s growth toward their individual potential. Developmental Kindergarten will provide learning experiences and opportunities for children similar to the kindergarten classroom, using a modified kindergarten curriculum, but taught at a pace and intensity dependent on individual readiness. We strive to help children become risk takers, problem solvers, and decision makers. Our ultimate goal is for children to gain an understanding of the world around them and become committed, caring, responsible, lifelong learners. Developmental Kindergarten is a child-based program that gives the student the gift of time to be better prepared for educational successes. ACTIVITIES Developmental Kindergarten offers an adjusted kindergarten curriculum and activities. Emphasis is placed on the following curricular areas: • Language and literacy • Math • Science • Social studies • Technology and computers • Social experiences • Physical skills • Visual arts • Dramatic play Due to the fact that children grow and mature at different rates, grade placement following Developmental Kindergarten may vary from student to student. Students who successfully complete Developmental Kindergarten are typically placed in Kindergarten however, first grade may be an option the following year. This would be a collaborative decision by the parent, teacher and building principal. STAFF The Developmental Kindergarten program is taught by a certified teacher with an early childhood endorsement.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS • What Special Education services are available to children in Developmental Kindergarten?  All Special Education services, in accordance with the student’s IEP, will be made available. •

Is Developmental Kindergarten a tuition based program?  No, Developmental Kindergarten is a K-12 state funded program. It is considered to be a kindergarten program.

Can my child attend Developmental Kindergarten even if I live out of the district of Lake Orion?  Yes.

Does Lake Orion Community Schools proved transportation to Developmental Kindergarten?  No, parents must provide daily transportation to and from school.

Where will my child go to school following their year in Developmental Kindergarten?  Graduates of the Developmental Kindergarten program will attend kindergarten in their home elementary school.

Is childcare available before and after school?  Lake Orion Community Schools offers before and after school child care programs through our Early Childhood Department. Programs are available in every elementary building. For registration, call 248-693-5430. Early registration is advised, as child care programs fill quickly.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS? If you have additional questions or wish further information, please contact Kim McLean, Director of Early Childhood Education at 248-693-5439.

2014‐2015 Lake Orion Kindergarten Program Op ons    FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN: The Lake Orion School District is  thrilled to offer, as its recommended program, a full day kinder‐ garten experience in all seven of our elementary buildings to  children who are 5 years of age on or before October 1. Full day  programming does not add addi onal curriculum, but rather  ensures that the exis ng curriculum is taught in ways that re‐ flect the needs and development of these young learners. Full  day programs allow kindergarten teachers more  me for formal  and informal instruc on, as well as the flexibility to differen ate  the curriculum to meet student's needs and interests.  Also sig‐ nificant is that the addi onal   me develops a student’s social  competence, crea ve problem‐solving, and gross and fine‐ motor skills.  The opportunity for kindergartners to plan and  learn experien ally develops their language, cogni ve and social ‐emo onal skills.  The unhurried pace of a full‐day provides a  stress‐free environment in which children grow and thrive. 

DEVELOPMENTAL KINDERGARTEN: The Lake Orion School  District believes that the full‐day kindergarten experience  meets the needs of all kindergarten students, including those  students who are socially and emo onally less mature.  How‐ ever, the district recognizes that some parents strongly be‐ lieve their child would be be er served by a ending develop‐ mental kindergarten for a year before entering kindergarten.  If your child turns five between July 1 and December 1, Devel‐ opmental Kindergarten is an op on. Con ngent upon paren‐ tal interest and available classroom space, the district will  strive to provide parents this op on at limited loca ons.  Transporta on is not provided for Developmental Kindergar‐ ten. When you contact your neighborhood school regarding  kindergarten, you should indicate if you are interested in De‐ velopmental Kindergarten for your child. 

2014‐2015 Lake Orion Kindergarten Program Loca ons 

Developmental Kindergarten building options will be determined once student enrollment is confirmed.

Four  building op ons are available for incoming kindergarten students. The curriculum at all buildings is designed to meet  the standards and benchmarks set by the State of Michigan.    NEIGHBORHOOD  SCHOOLS   Blanche Sims, Paint Creek, Pine Tree, Webber                                                              Each neighborhood school is designed to reflect the unique characteris cs of the families and neighborhoods it  serves. Differen ated instruc on and enrichment programs are created around the needs, interests and talents  of the students in each building, resul ng in a challenging and suppor ve educa onal environment. Enrollment  is open to students living within the school’s boundaries. This learning community provides an atmosphere of  caring and trust in which children are nurtured and thrive academically, socially and emo onally. 

* The three elementary schools below are focus schools and require lo ery applica on.                          What  is Carpenter           year round educa‐ on?    Year‐Round Educa on is an alterna ve                             to the tradi onal September‐June    school calendar.  It does not mean that  students literally a end school all year.   Orion Oaks Elementary was designed  It is just a different, more balanced cal‐ with four mul age neighborhoods. This  endar. The typical 8‐10 week summer  allows for a smaller, more closely knit  vaca on is shortened and other breaks  community within a larger school envi‐ are distributed throughout the school  ronment.  Teachers work in teams to  year.  This does not eliminate summer  implement the mul age concept.  Stu‐ vaca on, but merely reduces it.  It is a  dents benefit from both grade specific  way of balancing  me off of school to  and mul age learning experiences.                                                          provide more con nuous learning.  Mul age educa on represents a com‐ munity of learners that includes a varie‐ At Carpenter, students a end school  ty of abili es and ages in one classroom.                                                                              for the same number of days as stu‐ Teachers assess students to find out the  dents who par cipate in a tradi onal  student’s “just right” level in all subject  school calendar, a ending August  areas to challenge them according to  through the 3rd week of June, with usu‐ their individual need. Orion Oaks is also  al holiday breaks. Carpenter breaks are  in the process of becoming a cer fied  in November, February and May during  Lighthouse Leadership School infusing  which an op onal theme‐based learn‐ the 7 Habits of Successful Leaders.  ing experiences called “intersession.” 

                        Stadium Drive’s academic  curriculum is unique in  that it includes dance and  theatre, in addi on to   physical educa on, visual art, media,  music and the State of Michigan guide‐ lines also offered at all Lake Orion ele‐ mentary schools. The arts are an integral  part of the core curriculum and of stu‐ dents’ experiences. This approach to the  curriculum provides students more op‐ portuni es for academic success and a  deeper understanding of the core curric‐ ulum.  One of the strategies that makes the  program at Stadium Drive Elementary  School of the Arts unique is the use of  arts infusion. The staff believes in the  importance of providing a curriculum   which integrates the academics with the  arts in order to offer their students a  well‐rounded learning experience.  A concept may be enriched through an  art or music experience, but when in‐ fused, the concept is internalized. 

2014‐2015 Lake Orion Kindergarten Program Op ons 

DATES TO REMEMBER Kindergarten Information Nights Paint Creek

January 28, 2014

6:00 - 7:00 pm


January 28, 2014

7:15 - 8:15 pm

Blanche Sims

January 30, 2014

6:00 – 7:00 pm

Pine Tree

January 30, 2014

7:15 - 8:15 pm

*Stadium Drive – Fine Arts

February 4, 2014

7:00 - 8:00 pm

*Orion Oaks – Multiage

February 5, 2014

7:00 - 8:00 pm

*Carpenter – Year Round

February 6, 2014

7:00 - 8:00 pm

*Focus School lo ery for those students who have submi ed applica ons is February 27, 2014.                Applica ons for the lo ery can be picked up at any Focus School a er February 4, 2014, and are due  back to any Focus School by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 24, 2014. 

DEVELOPMENTAL KINDERGARTEN AND KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION  March 12, 2014                                                                          11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.  2:00 p.m.—6:30 p.m.  Room 109  Community Educa onal Resource Center  455 East Scripps Road  Registra on for the School Age Child Care program will  also be available for incoming kindergarten students. 


Enrollment forms will be available at informa on nights and   registra on and can be downloaded at 


Original, cer fied birth cer ficate 


Immuniza on records 


Parent iden fica on (driver’s license, passport) 


Divorce decree/Custody papers (if applicable) 


If you are unable to a end registra on, need enrollment forms, or have ques ons regarding enrollment, please contact the  Central Enrollment Office at 248‐814‐‐0215. 


If your child needs before/a er school care, please call the Early Childhood Office at 248‐693‐5439. 


Proof of Residency—Two pieces of proof are required.   Proof may be a purchase agreement, mortgage statement,  lease agreement, closing statement, property tax state‐ ment, u lity bills (driver’s license is not proof of residency)  Kindergarten students will need a health appraisal and vi‐ sion screening prior to the start of school 

2014‐2015 Lake Orion Community Schools     Comparison of Kindergarten Programs 




7 Hours 

7 Hours 


25 Students 

20 Students 





Available for purchase 

Available for purchase 


All elementary schools 

To be determined 








1st grade 

Full day Kindergarten 


Schools of Choice Program Summary 2014-2015           

We will be accepting students on a limited basis for the 2014-2015 school year for Developmental Kindergarten, Grades K-8, and Learning Options. Board approved SOC in grades K-8 where there is existing space available not to exceed 5% of the total K-5 elementary population and not to exceed a total of 5% at each middle school. SOC will assist to stabilize staffing, existing programming and improve staff morale. SOC is authorized by the School Board on an annual basis. Our middle schools have the most available spots. The middle school concept incorporates dedicated instruction for students that are struggling. Specific buildings, grades, and numbers of available openings will be determined prior to the SOC application window in the spring (dates TBD). SOC applications are tentatively planned to be available beginning April 1. Applications will be available on our district website, at the Central Enrollment Office located at CERC and any school building. Applications will not be accepted prior to the application window. Applications must be handdelivered to the Central Enrollment Office. Applications will not be accepted after the application window. For more information, please visit our website or call Nancy Limback at 248-814-0215.

2013-2014-First Year  LO accepted students in grades K-2 and Learning Options.  54 SOC students enrolled from various districts: (Avondale, Brandon, Chippewa Valley, Holly, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, Romeo and Waterford).  Applications for Learning Options are available for second semester, January 6-17, 2014.  Initial feedback from principals has been positive.  SOC students are handled the same as students that move into our community. Adding SOC students is actually easier to manage because the district sets the timeframe, whereas a move-in can enter at any point. Additional Background  25 out of 28 districts offer SOC (Novi, Rochester and Bloomfield Hills do not).  There are specific procedures that must be followed for SOC. These procedures are found in The State School Aid Act of 1979 388.1705.  A district may refuse to enroll a non-resident applicant if any of the following are met: o The applicant is or has been within the preceding two years, suspended from another school; o The applicant at any time before enrolling has been expelled from another school; and, o The applicant at any time before enrolling has been convicted of a felony.  There are two parts to SOC. Section 105 is for non-resident students residing within the same intermediate district-within Oakland County. Section 105C is for non-resident students residing in a district located in a contiguous intermediate district-county that shares borders with Oakland County.



Read up a Storm this Winter! Join a professional book club on Kelly Gallagher’s book, Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts 4-12! Do your students often struggle with difficult novels and other challenging texts? Do they think one reading of a work is more than enough? Do they primarily comprehend at a surface-level, and are they frequently unwilling or unable to discover the deeper meaning found in multi-layered works? This book will offer practical and powerful solutions.


ELA Teachers, Grades 6-12


Lake Orion High School


3-4 PM January 22 (Wed) February 5 (Wed) February 26 (Wed)

Register: Please e-mail Kate DiMeo to reserve your book by January 8, 2014. A $10.00 fee (1/2 off the regular price) made payable to LOCS may be paid at the first book club meeting. Note: Participants must attend 2/3 of the book club meetings to receive the discounted rate of $10.00. Teachers who wish to purchase the book outside of the bookclub or non-LOCS teachers, may do so through Kate at the price of $20.00.


Top Ten Ways to Encourage Children to Read Over Winter Break! By: Katherine Sokolowski 10. Set expectations. I expect my students to continue to read daily over break. I expect the same of my own children at home. I tell them up front that I will be checking in after break and want to know what they read. As a parent, I ask my boys what they are reading each day and talk to them about the book when they’re done. There is not a question of if they will read on a given day, but when and how much. 9. Make plans. As my friend Donalyn Miller says, readers make plans. In my classroom we will plan out what we think we will read before we leave for break. In my home we will plan out the best time for us to read, daily. My students know I plan to read a book a day over break. I need to plan ahead so that I have enough reading material to make it over the long break. I ask them to think about the books they are reading – do they need to take more home? My own children ensure they have reading material to read each day. If they don’t, we jump down to number 8. (Or, we jump to number 8 if it is Saturday, rainy, or we’re just in the mood.) 8. Visit a library or a bookstore. Just going to either one of these places is great – you are immediately surrounded by a community of readers! Both of my boys have library cards and a trip to the library is guaranteed during winter break. I immediately head to the new picture books and plop on the floor and read as many as possible. They usually head to the non-fiction books and look for something new on their current obsession. The bookstore is just as wonderful and we could all spend hours there. 7. Connect them to an author. I’ve seen it in my classroom and I’ve seen it at home – when children connect to the authors of the books they are reading, magic happens. Luckily, in this era, this is easier than ever. Kids can tweet out their love of their books to the author who wrote them. Many authors will tweet back. At home and at school we also check out the author’s website. Sometimes you can email them, but even more than that the resources are often incredible. Watch book trailers; find out the story of why they wrote the book, and more. 6. Talk. In my classroom I make time to sit down with each child over the course of two weeks and talk about what they’re reading. This is just as important at home, if not more so. I want to know what my boys are reading and what they are connecting to. I want to be there when they read the sad/hard/scary/funny part and get to discuss the reaction they had. I want to discuss why they feel this is the best series of all time and debate it. We connect through books and the discussion around them strengthens that bond.

5. Make it fun. We hold read-a-thons in my giant bed on a regular basis on the weekends. It’s a great feeling to look up from my cozy spot and see both of my boys curled up near me reading their books. If it is cold outside, we hold our read-a-thons downstairs by the fire with hot chocolate. There are challenges to see who can read the most, book talks to try and convince family members to read the book next, and more. 4. Make it important. When we value something, we devote time to it. By doing so, we show its importance. That’s why when I heard this idea from author Linda Urban; I knew I was going to steal it. In Linda’s family they bring their books to the dinner table on Tuesday nights. Whatever you’re currently reading is welcome. Finger food is on the table for dinner and for the entire meal everyone reads. Let me say that again, everyone reads. Think of the message that sends children! 3. Give books. We give books to everyone on our list. I include my boys on the title discussions for each recipient so they can see the thought that goes into matching the perfect title with the recipient. We talk about how wonderful the gift of a book is because it gives the person we’re giving it to an experience. (For more on giving books, and Chronicle’s #givebooks campaign, check out this link: 2. Get books. Books are part of the gift of Christmas in our home. I can think of no better way to send the message that I want you to be a reader than to give books. My boys can tell me titles that they are looking forward to reading and I will purchase them, but I also buy some because I think they will be a good stretch. I also give them gift cards so they can go to the bookstore and pick out their own books. If you are looking for great titles this year, look no further than the Nerdy Book Club nominees for 2013: 1. Be a role model. In the classroom I share my reading life with my students. Returning from Thanksgiving break I will tell them what I read over break and share titles. I want them to know I am a reader. I do the same with my children at home. If I don’t model it, they won’t do it. Be a reader. Magazines, novels, comics, newspapers, etc. – let them see you read. Let them see you react to books. Inspire. Katherine Sokolowski has taught for fifteen years and currently teaches fifth grade in Monticello, Illinois. She is passionate about reading both in her classroom and also with her two sons. You can find her online at and on Twitter as @katsok.




Admission and bus transportation are FREE for all Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County K–12 schools. Choose a Self-Guided or Guided DIA Visit


Bring your students face-to-face with original works of art. Enhance your experience with maps and guides, informative gallery labels and hands-on interactives.

Tuesdays–Fridays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.


Engage your 3rd through 12th grade students in one of the following learner-centered discussions led by trained teaching volunteers:

Shaping Identity Students examine artworks to discover commonalities and differences between people living in various places and times from around the world. They investigate how diverse cultures use art to define, reinforce and communicate cultural, national and personal identity. Students become mindful of how they relate to other people in the world. Tuesdays–Fridays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Thinking Through Art Using the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) teaching method, students are encouraged to look carefully at works, talk about their observations, support their ideas with evidence, listen and consider other points of view and discuss many possible interpretations. The VTS model improves students’ critical thinking, language and literacy skills. More information about Visual Thinking Strategies can be found at

Tuesdays–Fridays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. * Applications must be received at least eight weeks in advance and are scheduled based on availability.

For more information: Visit Email Call (313) 833-4958



Family Sundays Every Sunday at 2 p.m., enjoy a performance just for families. Puppet shows, storytelling, and more!

Watch Me Move: The Animation Show October 6, 2013-January 5, 2014 Tickets on sale September 16

Art-Making Workshops Family members can bring home their own masterpiece from our drop-in workshops, held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Drawing in the Galleries Are you the next Van Gogh? We provide the tools and an instructor to guide adults and kids in creating pencil drawings every weekend.

Foto Europa: 1840 to the Present October 25, 2013-April 27, 2014 Balance of Power: A Throne for an African Prince November 19, 2013-March 16, 2014 Samurai: Beyond the Sword March 9, 2014-June 1, 2014

Free general admission for residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Visit for info.

Hours: Tues-Thurs, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Fri 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Sat & Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Monday.

TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE MUSEUM FIELD TRIP Admission and bus transportation are FREE for Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties.

PLAN AHEAD How long should our DIA visit last? You know your students better than we do, but plan for a visit up to 3 hours (that includes lunch). First time visitors or those with younger children, cut that time in half. The museum has more than 100 galleries. Pick an area to focus. Don’t try to do it all in one day. That way your students will want to come back for more. Should we stay for lunch? If you are interested in extending your visit, we have dining space available for bagged lunches with a reservation. Students are also welcome to buy lunches in Cafe DIA; average cost is $10-$15. How many students can I bring? We can accommodate up to 150 students per school per visit. If you want to bring more students, you will need to submit separate applications to accommodate your larger school group over multiple dates.

MAKE A RESERVATION When and how should I apply? Register early. Timeslots fill up fast! Please register online now to secure your preferred date and time (even if your visit isn’t until Spring). Applications must be received at least eight weeks in advance and are scheduled based on availability.

How do I get FREE transportation in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties? Free transportation is automatically included with your visit. You will receive a separate transportation email after you get your field trip confirmation. In order to process your transportation request, please respond promptly with your preferred bus option:  Use your own school buses and the DIA will reimburse your district or  The DIA will send a bus to you. We currently contract with DHT Transportation. These buses need to be back in Detroit by 2:00 so please keep that in mind when coordinating your visit.

WONDER AROUND Visit, view museum visit guidelines, email, or call 313.833.7981 for more field trip information.

Expanded Online Learning Options 21f Legislation Pupil Accounting Section 5-0-D Barbara Fardell, MDE 517-335-1291

Is a MOOC in Your Students’ Future? Massive Open Online Course Universities offering MOOCs. • • • • • • • •

Harvard UC Berkley UCLA Yale MIT MSU U of M and many, many, more

THE STATE SCHOOL AID ACT OF 1979 (EXCERPT) Act 94 of 1979 (1) A pupil enrolled in a district in any of grades 5 to 12 is eligible to enroll in an online course as provided for in this section. However, this section does not apply to a pupil enrolled in a school of excellence that is a cyber school, as defined in section 551 of the revised school code, MCL 380.551. (2) With the consent of the pupil's parent or legal guardian, a district shall enroll an eligible pupil in up to 2 online courses as requested by the pupil during an academic term, semester, or trimester. It is the intent of the legislature to consider increasing the limit on the number of online courses that a pupil may enroll in beginning in 2014-2015 for pupils who have demonstrated previous success with online courses. Consent of the pupil's parent or legal guardian is not required if the pupil is at least age 18 or is an emancipated minor.

Important Note: There is a difference between what districts can do (permissive) in the area of online learning, and what they are required to do under Sec. 21f

Important Note: Sec. 21f is independent of the policies and regulations that govern a school of excellence that is a cyber school and the MDE approved Seat Time Waivers

THE STATE SCHOOL AID ACT OF 1979 (EXCERPT) Act 94 of 1979 (3) An eligible pupil may enroll in an online course published in the pupil's educating district's catalog of online courses described in subsection (7)(a) or the statewide catalog of online courses maintained by the Michigan virtual university pursuant to section 98. (4) A district shall determine whether or not it has capacity to accept applications for enrollment from nonresident applicants in online courses and may use that limit as the reason for refusal to enroll an applicant. If the number of nonresident applicants eligible for acceptance in an online course does not exceed the capacity of the district to provide the online course, the district shall accept for enrollment all of the nonresident applicants eligible for acceptance. If the number of nonresident applicants exceeds the district's capacity to provide the online course, the district shall use a random draw system, subject to the need to abide by state and federal antidiscrimination laws and court orders.

(5) A district may deny a pupil enrollment in an online course if any of the following apply, as determined by the district: (a) The pupil has previously gained the credits provided from the completion of the online course. (b) The online course is not capable of generating academic credit. (c) The online course is inconsistent with the remaining graduation requirements or career interests of the pupil. (d) The pupil does not possess the prerequisite knowledge and skills to be successful in the online course or has demonstrated failure in previous online coursework in the same subject.

(5) A district may deny a pupil enrollment in an online course if any of the following apply, as determined by the district: (Continued) (e) The online course is of insufficient quality or rigor. A district that denies a pupil enrollment for this reason shall make a reasonable effort to assist the pupil to find an alternative course in the same or a similar subject that is of acceptable rigor and quality. (6) If a pupil is denied enrollment in an online course by a district, the pupil may appeal the denial by submitting a letter to the superintendent of the intermediate district in which the pupil's educating district is located. The letter of appeal shall include the reason provided by the district for not enrolling the pupil and the reason why the pupil is claiming that the enrollment should be approved. The intermediate district superintendent or designee shall respond to the appeal within 5 days after it is received. If the intermediate district superintendent or designee determines that the denial of enrollment does not meet 1 or more of the reasons specified in subsection (5), the district shall allow the pupil to enroll in the online course.

(7) To offer or provide an online course, a district shall do all of the following: (a) Provide the Michigan virtual university with the course syllabus in a form and method prescribed by the department for inclusion in a statewide online course catalog. The district shall also provide on its publicly accessible website a link to the course syllabi for all of the online courses offered by the district and a link to the statewide catalog of online courses maintained by the Michigan virtual university. (b) Offer the online course on an open entry and exit method, or aligned to a semester, trimester, or accelerated academic term format.

Question asked most often: I am a district with plans to move my current online program to our district catalog. I will not open up my catalog to non-resident students. Must I still submit the syllabi to the Statewide Catalog? Answer is: Yes, but only when it applies to 21f students.

Local & Statewide Catalogs Local Catalog

Educating District (resident)

Link on District Web Site

Statewide Catalog

Managed by MVU

Educating Districts (remote)

Student Options Local Catalog

Statewide Catalog

Pupil Choice (parental consent)

Payment (8) For a pupil enrolled in 1 or more online courses published in the pupil's educating district's catalog of online courses under subsection (7) or in the statewide catalog of online courses maintained by the Michigan virtual university, the district shall use foundation allowance or per pupil funds calculated under section 20 to pay for the expenses associated with the online course or courses. The district shall pay 80% of the cost of the online course upon enrollment and 20% upon completion as determined by the district. A district is not required to pay toward the cost of an online course an amount that exceeds 1/12 of the district's foundation allowance or per pupil payment as calculated under section 20 per semester or an amount that exceeds 1/18 of the district's foundation allowance or per pupil payment as calculated under section 20 per trimester.

Course Payment Ceilings For example, using the state’s minimum foundation allowance of $7,076 for the 2013-14 school year, a semester course could not exceed $589 and a trimester course could not exceed $393. These numbers are based on the state’s minimum foundation and could be higher based on each district’s per pupil allocations.

Access, Success, & FTE (9) An online learning pupil shall have the same rights and access to technology in his or her educating district's school facilities as all other pupils enrolled in the educating district. (10) If a pupil successfully completes an online course, as determined by the district, the pupil's district shall grant appropriate academic credit for completion of the course and shall count that credit toward completion of graduation and subject area requirements. A pupil's school record and transcript shall identify the online course title as it appears in the online course syllabus. (11) The enrollment of a pupil in 1 or more online courses shall not result in a pupil being counted as more than 1.0 full-time equivalent pupils under this act.

Online Course Definition (12) As used in this section: (a) "Online course" means a course of study that is capable of generating a credit or a grade, that is provided in an interactive internet-connected learning environment, in which pupils are separated from their teachers by time or location, or both, and in which a teacher who holds a valid Michigan teaching certificate is responsible for determining appropriate instructional methods for each pupil, diagnosing learning needs, assessing pupil learning, prescribing intervention strategies, reporting outcomes, and evaluating the effects of instruction and support strategies.

Syllabus Contains (i) The state academic standards addressed in an online course. (ii) The online course content outline. (iii) The online course required assessments. (iv) The online course prerequisites. (v) Expectations for actual instructor contact time with the online learning pupil and other pupil-to-instructor communications. (vi) Academic support available to the online learning pupil. (vii) The online course learning outcomes and objectives. (viii) The name of the institution or organization providing the online content. (ix) The name of the institution or organization providing the online instructor. (x) The course titles assigned by the district and the course titles and course codes from the national center for education statistics (NCES) school codes for the exchange of data (SCED). (xi) The number of eligible nonresident pupils that will be accepted by the district in the online course. (xii) The results of the online course quality review using the guidelines and model review process published by the Michigan virtual university.

Course Quality Review Process The guidelines and model review process draw from nationally-recognized best practices, national online learning standards (iNACOL), and State of Michigan content standards. This guidance is found on the site.

Statewide Online Course Catalog The website allows districts to:     

Register school users to manage their catalog offerings Add, edit, and delete course syllabi Advertise course offerings Search for course titles available by school district Does not provide enrollment/registration services

Who May Add Courses to the Statewide Catalog? Per legislation, any LEA may add courses. In this instance, LEA definition also includes PSAs and ISDs.

Charging Parents/Families Unlike dual enrollment, if the cost of an online course exceeds 1/12th or 1/18th of a district’s foundation allowance or per pupil funding, districts cannot pass80% the(Enrollment) additional cost of the course on to the student’s family.

Approval of Online Courses? The Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Virtual University WILL NOT approve or reject any online courses before they are included in the statewide catalog.

Performance Data Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the catalog will include: 1) The number of pupils enrolled in each online course in the previous school year; 2) The number of pupils who successfully completed each online course in the previous school year; 3) The completion rate for each online course.

More Than 2 Online Courses? Yes, the district has the option of applying for a seat time waiver from the Department (Sec. 5-O-B); or if the student is taking the online courses on-site with a certified teacher present, there is no limit on the number of online courses in which the student can enroll up to 1.0 FTE (Sec. 5-O-A).

Pupil Accounting Manual 5-0-D For each online course placed in a local catalog or in the statewide catalog by a local district, the course must be academic in nature and must be approved by the board of education of the school district or board of directors of the public school academy. The district may count a pupil for no more than 2 online courses per count. Blended learning courses represent an approach used to combine elements of online and face-to-face teaching, but will not appear in the statewide catalog of online course titles.

Non-Public School Students Under Sec. 21f, non-core courses may be delivered online as an eligible shared time service for nonpublic school students.

Part-Time Students If a pupil plans to enroll in three courses with the district, and two of the courses will be self-scheduled online courses as allowed under 21f, does the third course need to be on-site and scheduled for regular attendance? Yes. With the exception of a seat time waiver pupil, he/she will need to enroll in at least one on-site course that is scheduled and requires regular daily attendance in order to allow the pupil to participate in courses that do not require physical attendance.

District Course Delivery Options • Work with vendor to deliver courses with vendor teacher (Michigan Cert) • Purchase course content, train district teacher to deliver instruction. • Develop Course Content, Train District Teacher to Deliver Instruction. • • • •

Delivering district establishes cost – must be the same for everyone. May, or may not open up seats statewide. If offering up seats statewide, receives 1st payment% of 80. Educating district determines completion, pays delivering district remaining 20%. • Delivering district pays vendor.

Content & Training Many options are available for free content. The key to success is teacher training. • MI Learns Online - • FL Virtual Courses • Teacher Developed Courses • Blended Learning in the Classroom course • Streaming Video Project – – Special Projects • M.O.R.E. Portal • Michigan eLibrary –


Contact Information Brian Ciloski, Analyst Michigan Department of Education Barbara Fardell, Manager Michigan Department of Education Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO Michigan Virtual University