You Can Get in the Way: How You Can Become a Roadblock to Risk Factors – Dr. John W. Hodge
Risk factors that typically hold students back are very similar, whether they attend a rural, suburban, or urban school. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that children who overcome obstacles and eventually thrive usually have one thing in common: the presence of educators, advocates, and family members – people just like you – who can see beyond demographic and social limitations to the unlimited potential that lies within.
In his keynote address, Dr. Hodge will share stories and lessons learned from schools across the country who are working to close the gap for all students and how the actions of caring adults have been the difference between success and failure for children like the ones you see in your schools every day. You’ll walk away with common-sense strategies that can be put into practice in your district right away and gain insight into ways you can help foster resilience and better support all students.
It Takes a Village: Creating a Culture of How WE Care About Student Engagement
This session will give you an introduction to understand how you could use a framework to to engage building level administrators to improve their leadership and engagement at the building level, or teacher level, to improve engagement and instructional strategies in your district. Participants will leave with practical examples, evidenced based instructional practices, and resources about how to efficiently and practically increase our students sense of belonging and ownership for their own learning.
This session is rooted in the research of Fisher, Frey & Hattie; Pink; Tough; and Stuart.Areas of Focus: Student and staff wellness, School climate, Innovation in teaching & learning, Resiliency and effective self-care strategies.
1. An introduction to the Engagement Framework.
2. An understanding of how two Superintendents have implemented the Engagement Framework in their districts.
3. Insight into how the framework applies to students, teachers, support staff, leadership, and the Board of Education.
Creating Equal Access to Dual Enrollment & Advanced Placement
54 percent of Michigan counties do not have a college main campus, and unfortunately, more than 35 percent of Michigan public high schools offer no Advanced Placement courses. Even for schools near a college or university, students experience barriers in the form of transportation, scheduling, or affordability. In this session, we’ll explore how online learning and creative partnerships help to level the playing field for students lacking access to accelerated learning opportunities through their local district. Listen in as Principal JoLynn Clark from Frankenmuth High School creates pathways for students to pursue a college degree and acclimate to the rigor of college-level learning.
Attendees will learn about the power of leveraging student voice through a student perception survey. Schools will have the opportunity to administer the survey in their districts this spring and participate in a statewide coalition to lead change.
Resilience in Students and Educators (RISE) Service Model
This session will advocate for, and review the data of, a resilience-based framework that focuses on educator wellbeing and retention. The model is crafted of professional learning, reflection, mindfulness, and coaching services that puts into action the recognition that learning occurs best overtime and in the context of relationships. Districts will gain an awareness of how critical adult social-emotional learning is to student success, as well as how districts can embed practices and policies that are rooted in the science of adversity and resilience, attunement and attachment, and safety.
Tell Your Story: Four Key Components to a Successful Communication Strategy
Developing and implementing a comprehensive communication strategy is critical for the success and sustainability of any school district. Public schools are facing an unprecedented level of outside pressure which has escalated the need to “tell your story” in an impactful and relevant way. Effective communication strategies require four key components: Insight - Strategy - Execution - and Management. Being intentional in each of these areas is crucial to frame the perception and narrative of your learning community in order to stay relevant and engage with your communities and families.
Play games with kids while they build mental wellness! Have a conversation with kids
while they acquire thriving skills that promote mental health and provide tools to avert crises. Equip kids through everyday interactions to fail well (build resilience), include others (create belonging), and communicate in a way that promotes empathy and trust (healthy relationships). Learn ways to help our kid’s mental wellbeing without them even realizing it.
Special Education Talent Development - A Leadership Retention Strategy
Do you have a new special education director/supervisor that could use added support and mentoring? Are your principals dealing with complex student needs and wanting professional learning opportunities? Do you have special educator staff shortages? The Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE) is dedicated to supporting Superintendents and your school leaders! Come and learn the new ways our association is working to help you to attract, prepare and retain top talent in your district.
Supporting Educators: Transformational Mathematics Systems Change
Supporting educators in transforming the teaching and learning of mathematics is complex. The leadership role (building and district) is, as you know, a vital piece of the puzzle. Participants of this session will learn about creating and supporting a coherent system of transformational change for the educators they serve. We will spend time reflecting on current practice in a district/building and create space to identify areas of growth.
Does a student have the right to use the bathroom of the gender with which they
identify? May a transgender girl participate on a girls sports team? How do administrators respond to parent demands that students not be assigned to a class taught by a transgender teacher? This session will help administrators understand state and federal law and case precedent related to transgender student and staff rights.
Impactful Practices, Processes, and Tactics that Build and Maintain Healthy Cultures
Participants will learn how Portage Public Schools has committed to continuous improvement by incorporating student voice, suveying parents, employees, and students, and using foundational principles and evidence-based leadership skills at all levels of the organization. Atendees will have opportunities to pause, reflect on, and practice some of the skills presented.
How Do I Know if My Early Childhood Programs is Effective and Worth It?
Participants will learn ways to effectively monitor the success of their early learning and
early childhood programs and why this makes the best financial success. Each participant will be introduced to the resources and tools that are research based on best practices in the field of early childhood education that will allow all participants to have the ability to see if their programs are adequately meeting the developmentally appropriate needs of their students.
Plan, Prepare & Take Action: How to Respond to a Crisis on Campus
While extreme violent acts may be a relatively uncommon occurrence in Michigan,
schools should identify security concerns, implement protections, and develop safety priorities to identify possible dangers and threats. Districts must create a security plan to provide protection, address anxieties, and communicate with the community so if the unthinkable happens you have a clear, controlled and decisive plan.
Year 2100 and Beyond: How Hard Data Changed the Course of Byron Center Public Schools
In 2018, Byron Center Public Schools was in the middle of several large construction projects. At the same time, the popularity of the district was growing at a rapid pace. Leadership realized mid-construction that the new spaces would not be enough to keep pace with student populations and additional capacity would be needed in the near future. BCPS needed to find a way to be more proactive and anticipate future growth so they could better plan for the future.
With support from TowerPinkster, BCPS hired Cooperative Strategies, an educational planner and demographer. The study and report produced - which looked to the year 2100 - significantly changed BCPS’s masterplanning efforts and actually reduced the number of new buildings they planned to build. Other decisions the report has influenced include: land purchase and future facility planning, Bond election timing, school size and grade configuration.
In this session, we’ll discuss the importance demographic forecasting can play in long-range planning. This includes timing your bonds to the right election cycle, giving your community stability and predictability in future construction projects, and building trust with the taxpayers as you deliver new facilities as they are needed.
Finding, Recruiting, Hiring and Keeping New Teachers
Our HR Director, the Hosts of our New Teacher Program, and the Superintendent will present the changes KPS made in order to attract high quality staff members. We also developed a new teacher induction program and focused our philosophy on preparing staff for the new world of education. We believe this "system" can be implemented everywhere. It's much different from giving a new teacher a key and saying, "Good luck."
The 102nd legislature will be a historic one - the first one under Democratic control since 1983. Get your questions answered on what policy issues we expect to come up in Lansing, and learn the most effective strategies for advocating on behalf of your districts.
Looking for a low-cost solution to provide regular staff recognition that has an instant impact on staff morale and district culture? Want to spread kindness and positivity with all staff members engaged?
This session will walk participants through how to engage their staff in defining their collective why and build a robust system for peer recognition around the exercise. Participants will have the opportunity to hear about three leaders' implementation of Golden Circle Awards and the positive impact it has had on staff morale and employees' sense of mission in our field. Participants will walk away with tools, resources, and a blueprint for success.
Heartbeats and Bellybuttons Matter: Making our Schools Safe
Schools are filled with human beings – students and educators. Find out what happened when one school district gave their educators permission to prioritize social and emotional skill development and provided them with the tools they needed to connect with students and support rather than punish their behavior.
Royal Oak Schools has a long-standing commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion which has intensified over the last 6 years. Come join us for an informational session where we will share our journey, key goals and initiatives, deep-learning experiences, and commitments made to the children and families of our community and district.
Why it is important to have DEI work deeply embedded throughout the district and community.
Suggested ways to engage stakeholders at all levels.
Ways to collaborate, learn from and get help from other organizations.
Share systemic changes that help ensure the work will continue (it’s never “done”)
Establish goals connected to curriculum, professional development, student support, and recruitment and hiring.
Engaging teacher leaders at the building level in DEI work to best support students.
K12 Communication- Craft your message for Better School Climate!
Get ready to learn how to create better school climates with engaging communication. There is a way to use content that welcomes parents and visitors, encourage participation in events, and supports your initiatives. In this session, you will have a great time learning best practices in both traditional and digital communication for your schools.
District Leadership that Works: A Panel Discussion with MASA Superintendents of the Year on how to Implement Research-Based Best Practices
In this session attendees will learn from MASA Superintendents of the Year on how they have utilized research-based best practices. The panel consists of superintendents from rural, urban and suburban school districts. They will share their tools, techniques, and strategies along with how they have overcome obstacles to best serve and support their school communities.
The discussion will be based on the six district-level leadership responsibilities that significantly impact the superintendent's abilities to lead: goal setting process, non-negotiable goals for student achievement and instruction, board alignment supporting district goals, monitoring the goals, use of resources to support the goals, and providing a defined autonomy to principals (based on Marzano and Waters book, District Level Leadership that Works, 2009).
Attendee takeaways from our session:
* Gain an understanding of the evidence based best practices/responsibilities that correlate to student achievement.
* Learn the techniques, strategies and tools that recognized superintendents used when implementing evidence based best practices.
* Find ways to combat the many obstacles that superintendents face when implementing evidence based best practices.
When does a student statement rise to the level of a “threat” and when is it protected speech? Are there special education issues to consider? When and how can we search a student? This session will help administrators understand state and federal law and case precedent related to analyzing and responding to student threats both on and off-campus.
Leverage wellbeing tactics to develop and retain staff. Improve mental health and wellbeing through six simple tools that increase thriving behaviors in ourselves and our staff. In this engaging and interactive workshop, you will explore evidence-informed practices to better understand how the science of wellbeing positively affects mental health, improves job satisfaction, and reduces turnover. You will gain free resources including a wellbeing measurement tool and activities including building positive emotions, job crafting, intentional assimilation, bio poem, the learning loop, and tiny habits.
MiRead and the Literacy Essentials: Integrating Best Practices into Student Reading Plans
The Early Literacy Professional Learning Grant and the Michigan Collaboration Hub at
MAISA are partnering to bring the MiRead system to every district in Michigan. Combining the Essentials with the MiRead platform and literacy coaching creates a systems approach to teaching literacy at all three tiers. See how these cutting-edge resources streamline classroom efforts and ensure that all teachers have access to best practices in creating and implementing student reading plans.
When Common Expectations meet Autonomy: District and Unions in PLCs
Ambitious and equitable classroom instruction requires collective approaches that are not the norm in most schools and districts. Join us to learn how district administrators and the local teachers’ union played important roles in designing successful systems that include common curriculum, assessments, and grading practices while also supporting teachers’ professional autonomy. Though situated in high school biology, research findings are relevant across grades and content areas, and center on teachers’ course-based professional learning communities.
Seeing the System that is Producing Current Outcomes
Every system is perfectly designed to achieve exactly the results it gets and It is hard to improve what you do not fully understand. Through this session participants will learn about two effective practices that help district level leadership teams see the systems that are producing the current outcomes to then support building leaders in identifying next steps for intentional improvement.
Teachers and students face extraordinary challenges post-pandemic, with
unprecedented levels of burnout, stress, and low morale that are impacting school districts around the country. This session will provide attendees with authentic descriptions from Hanover’s member districts around how failures to attend to teacher and/or student wellbeing can lead to an overall downgrading of districts’ climate and culture. After highlighting the importance of these challenges, Hanover will share lessons gleaned from research and member districts on how best to respond to teacher and student wellbeing in efficient and meaningful ways. Participants will be exposed to research-based strategies and practical resources that can be immediately impactful.
Continuing stressors in the education field have made it difficult for school districts to find and retain top employees. Districts can provide attractive benefits to entice prospective employees and increase satisfaction in their workforce. From self-care practices to creative voluntary benefits, districts can incorporate measures to address top employee demands and important benefit trends.
Positively Impacting Curriculum, Student Enrollment and Outcomes through Facility Design and Construction
Participants in this session will learn about the importance of viewing their facilities plans with a new creative lens. This lens will allow them to explore the possibilities and lasting impacts of facilities on curriculum design and wellness. And the resulting benefits to student enrollment and academic success as well as financial sustainability of the district.
Investment in K-12 educational technology grew from $500 million in 2010 to $20.1 billion in 2021. Prior projections had this growing to a whopping $40 billion by 2025, but a global economic slowdown and education policy in China may significantly impact this. In this session, we’ll explore questions such as: What is changing with investment and where is the money going? What can district leaders do to start planning for the changes in school infrastructure and practices? Change is coming. Are you plotting a course?
Student Wellness: The Positive Impact of School Connectedness
This session will focus on student wellness - specifically how fostering connection and creating a sense of belonging can profoundly positively impact our students’ wellbeing. The participants will leave with specific strategies that can be applied district wide. Research from APA, CDC, and ASCD will be presented that states school connectedness is a significant factor in reducing anxiety, depression, suicide, substance abuse and violence as well as being a protective factor for all students.
Attracting and retaining talent is a crucial challenge for many districts. Based on the largest survey of millennial teachers, you will learn key misconceptions about recruiting teachers, what your prospective staff is actually looking for, and private sector best practices on how to stand out.
Accelerated Learning: An Inclusive Systems Approach
The pandemic and the unplanned shift to remote learning have widened the learning gap for many students in our state. Accelerated learning keeps students moving forward on their intended grade-level trajectories by strategically preparing them for success in current grade-level content. This session will highlight administrator supports for accelerated learning and how districts need to plan to systematically support accelerated learning efforts.
Looking to elevate student voice and engagement? Join this session to learn new and exciting ways that the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) and the Michigan Association of Student Councils & Honor Societies (MASC/MAHS) are engaging student groups and cultivating positive school cultures in the state of Michigan. From student leadership training, including new middle level programming, to esports opportunities at both middle and high school levels, this session will offer a variety of options for districts to involve student populations that have traditionally gone under the radar.
This session will cover common collective bargaining issues related to school safety protocols, remote work, and employee retention. Many of these issues can and should be addressed in collective bargaining agreements and may impact mandatory bargaining subjects that need to be negotiated. An experienced Thrun attorney will cover proven strategies for identifying solutions related to these issues and reaching resolutions with employees and unions.
Commitment is a journey! Perseverance and courage is the KEY to reaching the destination. The literacy and mathematics vision we are striving for requires transformational change in the ways we think about systems, educators, and children. This work takes both courage and perseverance. Participants will engage in dialogue around how the MAISA GELN Literacy and Math Essential Instructional Practices and Essential School-Wide and Center-Wide Practices in Literacy and Mathematics set the stage for this transformation and understand the commitments that will help them get there. In addition to the Essential Practices, participants will walk away with resources developed to support local districts in this important work.
Relational Leadership: The Key to Capturing Kids’ Hearts
Many of our students today carry unreasonable expectations, stress from home, trauma, loneliness, not to mention the deep impact that COVID-19 has had on all of us. We know, and the research proves, the weight of these things is greatly impeding educational progress. There has never been a more critical time for leadership to focus on building not only safety and trust in the classroom but genuine connectedness at all levels. We believe, “if you have a child’s heart, you have a child’s mind.” If teachers create a relational connection to students, or “Capture Kids’ Hearts®,” performance accelerates, and behaviors greatly improve because kids want to be in school. The same can be said of leadership and all staff who face challenges. When school culture is built on relationships, it is proven that campuses, districts, and entire communities can be transformed.
How to Build Staff Competence and Building a Safe Community for LGBTQ+ Students
How is your school district addressing DEI? Learn how to support and train your staff in helping address the unconscious bias and heteronorms that are carried into the classroom and school practices that alienate students. See how professional development; especially role-playing simulations, aid in building a more inclusive culture that supports the LGBTQ+ students.
It's Time for a New Adventure: Why Adventure May be the Answer to the Three Biggest Problems Facing Education Today.
The three biggest challenges facing educators today are poor academic outcomes, staff burnout, and student discipline. Come hear firsthand from teachers, coaches, and students who are engaging in an experiential learning designed to impact all three areas. We believe that adventure is a powerful approach for healing for children and adults. Join us as we provide a brief overview of the MCISD’s newly launched Adventure Program! We will highlight the 7 Adventure beliefs, how our program supports the mental wellness of all, and how we intentionally design classroom goals and accompanying experiential activities to help foster a supportive and inclusive classroom environment. Presenters will also lead participants in multiple experiential adventure learning activities!
Developing Intentional Systems to Support Social Emotional Learning in a Rural Community
How do you put out a dumpster fire when you have limited resources, limited buy-in, and a general lack of understanding around mental health and challenging student behaviors? Recognizing significant trauma, mental health needs, absenteeism, and discipline issues connected to missing skills drove our administrative team to find proactive ways to change the school climate to meet the needs of our students, staff, and community where they are. In this session, we will share our story, and help attendees identify spaces within their district where they can embed pieces of this work into existing systems to create positive change. No fancy fire extinguishers needed!
How to make schools safer is an age-old question. Prior to the pandemic, conversations around safety were mainly focused on the physical wellbeing of students and staff. Since 2020, as the mental health crisis among students has grown, the conversation has broadened to include emotional wellbeing. As architects and designers, the desire to create a "safer" school can feel overwhelming and insurmountable. Through their work with more than 100 school districts, public safety institutions, and security organizations, TowerPinkster has developed strategies and programs that support a safer school environment. Matt Slagle, AIA, and Director of K-12 Education, will share the latest trends in school safety, talk about the importance of emotional wellbeing, and discuss approaches TowerPinkster has taken to integrate safety in ways that are both visible and invisible to students and staff.
Effective Educational Practices in Top Performing States and Nations
This session will review information from the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE), who has been researching and teaching about the laws and practices of the top performing jurisdictions, such as Ontario and Finland, for over 35 years. NCEE has also worked with numerous jurisdictions around our country and world to help them research, enact, and implement effective principles in a manner that fits their culture and economy. We will discuss the similarities and differences of the top performers to Michigan’s system of public education.
Align Tiered Support, Systems & Community Partners to Improve Student Well-Being
Oakridge Public Schools is dedicated to partnering with the community to blend resources, training, coaching, tiered systems of support, data, and practices to improve the whole child experience. The Oakridge Public Schools Board of Education conducted a strategic planning process to align priorities and actions from the board room to the classroom to implement tiered systems of support for academics and behavior. Recognizing that schools cannot do it alone, community partners (school-based health center, community mental health agency, local hospital, and MDHHS) have been embedded within the districts comprehensive systems of support and interventions focused on what children and families need to thrive.
The election is over. With your new board members sworn in and at the table, what’s next? Please join former board members and current school board association professionals from the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) as they discuss the next steps for you and the rest of your governance team. Topics of discussion will include the onboarding of your new board members, team building exercises, and board self-assessment, just to name a few. Bring your questions and be ready for a lively discussion directed at maintaining what’s best for the students and staff in your district, a focus on good board governance.
Building Self-Confidence and Preventing Bullying One Child at a Time
"The Milo Project" is a self-confidence and anti-bullying initiative for 1st grade students. The creator of "The Milo Project", Jeff Chamberlain, will be sharing what "The Milo Project" is, who is "Milo", the overall mission of this initiative and Jeff's inspiring personal story of a life changing event that led him to reassess what he wanted his impact on the world to be, This reassessment is when "The Milo Project" was born.
This session will provide a brief overview on a broad range of legal developments, including recently enacted laws, significant court decisions, and other critical guidance impacting school districts. Thrun attorneys will cover a broad range of school law subjects. Noteworthy pending legislation will also be covered to help business officials stay ahead of the game and aware of proposed changes to the law before such laws are enacted.
NOW We're Talking! Purpose Driven Hiring and Development
How do you identify the ideal employee and develop their gifts, skills, and talents in order to engage & retain them...as well as enroll them in your vision? This session will help ground us in who we intend to be as leaders, cultivate the atmosphere we want to lead in & have others believe in, and identify WIN (What's Important Now) practices to hire, develop, & retain exceptional people.
From Diverse Classroom Librairies to Diverse Text Sets: What You Need to Know!
The research is clear. Children need an abundance of reading material in classrooms and need to be read aloud to everyday. The GELN Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy Grades, K-3 as well as the GELN Essential Schoolwide Center-wide Practices in Literacy reiterate this research. Join us as we anchor the Literacy Essentials and Social Studies themes in Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy.
Using Energy Savings to Improve District Facilities
This session will focus on capturing energy savings and using those savings to fund building and facility improvements. Our presentation will highlight ways districts can secure adequate funding for facility improvements. Dr. David Hornak will share Holt Public School's story of how they captured energy savings to fund projects along with their voted school bond.
Trauma-informed care, diversity, equity and inclusion, anti-bullying, mental health, social and emotional learning, restorative practices… Does just the list of priorities and initiatives overwhelm you? What if you considered these practices through a single lens, realized there is a common solution, and wove them together in an easy-to-understand and implement plan? Join this interactive session where you will work with peers and a veteran community partner who specializes in creating simple solutions that weave together existing initiatives. We will explore commonalities in current challenges and solutions, and explore how the evidence-based frameworks of developmental assets, applied positive psychology and social and emotional learning come together to address student wellbeing. Leverage these scientific approaches to create one comprehensive solution and promote an environment of wellness.
All Means All: Staying Above the Fray and Supporting LGBTQ Students
All of our students are our students. All of them deserve safe, welcoming, and supportive learning environments. This session will cover how to support our LGBTQ students while also dealing with pressure to treat LGBTQ kids differently. From knowing what to do when a student desires to no longer be called by their 'dead' name to restroom access, schools and school leaders must find ways to navigate needs and rights of LGBTQ kids while facing sometimes harsh and unfair scrutiny from outside school walls.
Retaining and Supporting your staff with the Virtual Educator Network (VEN)
Are teacher staffing and retention issues keeping you up at night? We know that educators need support now, more than ever, for the challenges and problems they’re facing every day in and out of the classroom. Supporting teachers for issues they’re having often makes a difference between an educator remaining or leaving your district. The Virtual Educator Network, or VEN, is a PD model with proven outcomes that make or break the difference with educator and student support. The VEN brings a dynamic virtual professional platform that works with the busy schedules of staff in your district. This presentation will provide an overview of the VEN model’s implementation and success in Wayne-Westland Community School District. Come and learn about the VEN format, how the VEN serves as a source of teacher retention and support, and how you can implement your own VENs and get some much needed rest!
Future of the Learning Council: A Discusssion of Trends and Actions to shape the Future of Learning for Students (and Adults)
The shift in education from a traditional model to one which embraces mobility, personalization, and equity is happening quickly. Members from the Future of Learning Council (FLC) will provide an overview of the work of the FLC to understand and support new models of learning. This session will provide insights on developments related to microschools, developing pathways, and implementation of student-centered learning. Supporting and developing leaders who are fully equipped to lead the transformation of learning at the local level is a primary goal of the FLC. To support this work, the FLC will share a draft framework to build the capacity of our leaders and redesign learning for Every Child, Every Day in Michigan.
Leaders in Education Networking Reception
Kalamazoo Room (Lower Level)
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Location: Kalamazoo Room (Lower Level)
Game Night! Come play games and mingle with your colleagues and MASA's Strategic Partners.
Game Night Awards
The Future of Learning and a Collaborative Response
MDE Q&A with Dr. Michael F. Rice, state superintendent
Board/Supt Relations; Dr. Tina Kerr, and Debbie Stair, Assistant Director of Leadership Development, MASB
The Future of Learning Council Panel Discussion: This presentation will provide a high-level review of the work being completed by the Future of Learning Council to support local district leaders to build capacity in redefining learning at the local level. In addition, an expert panel of guest subject matter experts and local district superintendents will discuss current trends and actions which are shaping the future of learning for students (and adults). This facilitated discussion which will focus on trends in education such as microschools, developing flexible pathways, education disruptors, and the urgency we are seeing to design new models of learning.
In this general session, Dr. Tina Kerr will sit down with State Superintendent Dr. Rice for a Q&A for information and feedback on hot button and pressing issues your districts are facing.