Standard 3:  Teaching and Assessing for Learning

The agency’s services and programs support the educational needs of its constituent schools/systems through meaningful professional learning experiences.

 

Indicator 3.1

Indicator 3.1 – The agency provides equitable, relevant, and targeted support programs and/or services for all schools/systems.

Rating:  3 - Support programs and services provide adult learners with equitable, relevant, and targeted learning experiences. There is some evidence to indicate learning experiences prepare learners to be successful. Similar learning activities have equivalent learning expectations across the agency. Learning activities are individualized to meet some students’ needs.

Support programs and services provide adult learners with equitable, relevant, and targeted learning experiences. There is some evidence to indicate learning experiences prepare learners to be successful. Similar learning activities have equivalent learning expectations across the agency. Learning activities are individualized to meet some students’ needs.

Indicator 3.2

Indicator 3.2 – The agency monitors its programs and services to measure effectiveness and to guide ongoing adjustments in delivery.

Rating: 3 - Using data from assessments and an examination of professional practice, agency personnel monitor and adjust programs and services to ensure alignment with agency’s purpose and improvement goals and to guide ongoing adjustments in delivery. There is a process in place to ensure such alignment each time programs and services are reviewed or revised.

Using data from assessments and an examination of professional practice, agency personnel monitor and adjust programs and services to ensure alignment with agency’s purpose and improvement goals and to guide ongoing adjustments in delivery.

  • MAISD monitors programs, services, and professional learning in a variety of ways. With some professional learning sessions we have the participants complete a survey; other times  we send surveys about the experience via email. This is done for learning we provide to our own staff as well as to local staff.
  • Additionally, MAISD employs a special education planner/monitor for special education programming. Often times, this includes an investigation of a specific complaint.

There is a process in place to ensure such alignment each time programs and services are reviewed or revised.

  • Our GSRP team summarizes participant feedback from professional learning opportunities and reflects on what is said.
  • As part of the CTE Region 10 to which the MACC belongs, there is a plan for program evaluation that is used for reviewing programs and making recommendations.

Indicator 3.3

Indicator 3.3 – Agency staff provide professional learning opportunities that engage practitioners in their learning.

Rating:  3 - Agency staff throughout the agency plan and use instructional strategies that require engagement of practitioners in their learning. Personalized instructional strategies and interventions are used to address individual learning needs of practitioners when necessary. Instructional strategies require practitioners to apply knowledge and skills and to use technologies as learning tools. Technologies are used as instructional resources.

Agency staff throughout the agency plan and use instructional strategies that require engagement of practitioners in their learning. Personalized instructional strategies and interventions are used to address individual learning needs of practitioners when necessary. Instructional strategies require practitioners to apply knowledge and skills and to use technologies as learning tools. 

Technologies are used as instructional resources.

  • In addition to using technology during professional learning sessions, we try to offer professional learning opportunities in a variety of formats. We have created LiveBinders to house information, for example. On our website, we try to feature a variety of resources, including film clips for educators.

Indicator 3.4

Indicator 3.4 – The agency uses collaboration as an essential operating principle in the development and delivery of its services and programs.

Rating: 3

All agency staff participate in collaborative learning communities that meet both informally and formally. Collaboration often occurs with constituent schools/systems. Staff members have been trained to implement a formal process that promotes discussion about the delivery of programs and services. Examination of the results of inquiry practices regarding program and services effectiveness occurs regularly among most agency personnel. Agency personnel indicate that collaboration has encouraged improvement results in the delivery of programs and services and the support of constituent schools/systems.

All agency staff participate in collaborative learning communities that meet both informally and formally. Collaboration often occurs with constituent schools/systems. 

Staff members have been trained to implement a formal process that promotes discussion about the delivery of programs and services. Examination of the results of inquiry practices regarding program and services effectiveness occurs regularly among most agency personnel. 

  • MAISD had 3 groups of staff trained in collaboration during the summer of 2016 at the annual Consortium of Mid-Michigan Instruction Teams (C.O.M.M.I.T.) Summer Leadership Academy. Our teams came from CTE, the Early College, and GSRP.
  • We also had training in collaboration via our ASD START grant. The network's agenda shows training in Meeting Mechanics.

Agency personnel indicate that collaboration has encouraged improvement results in the delivery of programs and services and the support of constituent schools/systems.

  • MAISD has worked collaboratively with Greenville Public Schools' Focus School in providing school improvement services and specific resources for the improvement in student achievement.

Indicator 3.5

Indicator 3.5 – All agency staff members participate in a continuous program of professional learning.

Rating: 2 - Most agency staff members participate in a program of professional learning that is aligned with the agency’s purpose and direction. Professional learning is based on needs of the agency. The program builds capacity among staff members who participate. The program is regularly evaluated for effectiveness.

Most agency staff members participate in a program of professional learning that is aligned with the agency’s purpose and direction. Professional learning is based on needs of the agency. The program builds capacity among staff members who participate. The program is regularly evaluated for effectiveness.

  • MAISD realizes that this is a growth edge for the organization. To tackle this edge, we redesigned our opening day starting with August 2015. The agenda and program for the day was designed so that all staff would be able to participate and all would receive the same learning. We did not follow up with a survey of staff on the effectiveness of the programming.
  • We used the same format this past August but featured different topics and speakers as well as evaluated the day for effectiveness. We will use this feedback when the opening day committee convenes in the spring.

Indicator 3.6

Indicator 3.6 – The agency’s support services meet the unique learning needs of its constituent schools/systems.

Rating: 3 - Agency personnel use data to identify unique learning needs of its constituent schools/systems at all levels of proficiency. Agency personnel stay current on research related to effective schools/systems and provide or coordinate related learning support services to all schools/systems.

Agency personnel use data to identify unique learning needs of its constituent schools/systems at all levels of proficiency.

  • Each district that seeks to partner with MAISD for MTSS must complete a data review. Here is the review for Central Montcalm Public Schools – there is a pre and post assessment.

Agency personnel stay current on research related to effective schools/systems and provide or coordinate related learning support services to all schools/systems.

  • MAISD staff participate in a variety of learning opportunities in order to stay connected to current research. All staff are afforded the training they and their supervisors deem necessary. Here, for example, is a list of professional learning opportunities that were available to our staff and stakeholders in December of 2014.
  • We also provide opportunities related to the learning needs around early childhood.
  • We make sure to stay current on research related to effective schools/systems.

Indicator 3.7

Indicator 3.7 – The agency’s curriculum provides equitable and challenging learning experiences that ensure all students have sufficient opportunities to develop learning, thinking, and life skills that lead to success at the next level.

Rating: 3 - Curriculum and learning experiences in each course/class throughout the agency provide all students with challenging and equitable opportunities to develop learning skills, thinking skills, and life skills. There is some evidence to indicate curriculum and learning experiences prepare students for success at the next level. Like courses/classes have equivalent learning expectations across the agency. Some learning activities are individualized for each student in a way that supports achievement of expectations.

Curriculum and learning experiences in each course/class throughout the agency provide all students with challenging and equitable opportunities to develop learning skills, thinking skills, and life skills. There is some evidence to indicate curriculum and learning experiences prepare students for success at the next level. Like courses/classes have equivalent learning expectations across the agency.

  • MAISD offers a variety of programming across the county. For example, we provide an Early College for students in local districts that targets students particularly who are the first generation to attend college. We also offer a career and technical education center, named the Montcalm Area Career Center, to which our local districts can send students.  At the other end of the age range, we provide quality preschool services around the county.

Some learning activities are individualized for each student in a way that supports achievement of expectations.

Indicator 3.8

Indicator 3.8 – Curriculum, instruction, and assessment are monitored and adjusted systematically in response to data from multiple assessments of student learning and an examination of professional practice.

Rating: 3 - Using data from student assessments and an examination of professional practice, agency and school personnel monitor and adjust curriculum, instruction, and assessment to ensure vertical and horizontal alignment and alignment with the school’s goals for achievement and instruction and statement of purpose. There is a process in place to ensure alignment each time curriculum, instruction, and/or assessments are reviewed or revised at the agency or school level. The continuous improvement process ensures that vertical and horizontal alignment as well as alignment with the school’s purpose are maintained and enhanced in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Using data from student assessments and an examination of professional practice, agency and school personnel monitor and adjust curriculum, instruction, and assessment to ensure vertical and horizontal alignment and alignment with the school’s goals for achievement and instruction and statement of purpose. There is a process in place to ensure alignment each time curriculum, instruction, and/or assessments are reviewed or revised at the agency or school level. The continuous improvement process ensures that vertical and horizontal alignment as well as alignment with the school’s purpose are maintained and enhanced in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Indicator 3.9

Indicator 3.9 – Teachers throughout the agency engage students in their learning through instructional strategies that ensure achievement of learning expectations.

Rating: 3 - Teachers plan and use instructional strategies that require student collaboration, self-reflection, and development of critical thinking skills. Teachers personalize instructional strategies and interventions to address individual learning needs of students when necessary. Teachers use instructional strategies that require students to apply knowledge and skills, integrate content and skills with other disciplines, and use technologies as instructional resources and learning tools.

Teachers plan and use instructional strategies that require student collaboration, self-reflection, and development of critical thinking skills. Teachers personalize instructional strategies and interventions to address individual learning needs of students when necessary.

  • The work teachers do at the Seiter Center with their students is all about using instructional strategies and interventions that address individual learning needs. Some students, for example, use a visual schedule. Others use adaptive equipment to meet their needs.

Teachers use instructional strategies that require students to apply knowledge and skills, integrate content and skills with other disciplines, and use technologies as instructional resources and learning tools.

  • At the MACC, students learn how reading and writing are incorporated into their tech skills classes. Students can even earn a credit in English at the MACC.
  • Students at the Seiter Center also can use a mobile learning system to meet their needs.

Indicator 3.10

Indicator 3.10 – Agency and school leaders monitor and support the improvement of instructional practices of teachers to ensure student success.

Rating: 4 - Agency and school leaders formally and consistently monitor instructional practices through supervision and evaluation procedures beyond classroom observation to ensure that they 1) are aligned with the agency’s values and beliefs about teaching and learning, 2) are teaching the approved curriculum, 3) are directly engaged with all students in the oversight of their learning, and 4) use content-specific standards of professional practice.

Agency and school leaders formally and consistently monitor instructional practices through supervision and evaluation procedures beyond classroom observation to ensure that they 1) are aligned with the agency’s values and beliefs about teaching and learning, 2) are teaching the approved curriculum, 3) are directly engaged with all students in the oversight of their learning, and 4) use content-specific standards of professional practice.

  • This work happens consistently across the district. In our special education programs, teachers must complete and submit lesson plans to their supervisor.
  • Our staff have also been trained to teach self-management strategies to their students to assist with oversight of the students' own learning.
  • In another example, our early childhood classrooms undergo very thorough monitoring of their instructional practices by certified assessors.

Indicator 3.11

Indicator 3.11 – Teachers participate in collaborative learning communities to improve instruction and student learning.

Rating:  2 - Some members of the school staff participate in collaborative learning communities thatmeet both informally and formally. Collaboration occasionally occurs across grade levels and content areas. Staff members promote discussion about student learning. Learning, using, and discussing the results of inquiry practices such as action research, the examination of student work, reflection, study teams, and peer coaching sometimes occur among school personnel. School personnel express belief in the value of collaborative learning communities.

Some members of the school staff participate in collaborative learning communities that meet both informally and formally. Collaboration occasionally occurs across grade levels and content areas. Staff members promote discussion about student learning. Learning, using, and discussing the results of inquiry practices such as action research, the examination of student work, reflection, study teams, and peer coaching sometimes occur among school personnel. School personnel express belief in the value of collaborative learning communities.

  • MAISD teams from the Seiter Center, the MACC, and Early College participated in a regional training during the summer of 2016 for using collaborative structures for learning. Each building is in the process of incorporating strategies from this conference into their building schedules/routines.
  • Our staff does believe in the value of collaborative learning communities and know that the process needs to be formalized. At the MACC, teachers have done work together with peer coaching. At the Seiter Center they have formed a PLC around education for all students.

 

Indicator 3.12

Indicator 3.12 – Teachers implement the agency’s instructional process in support of student learning.

Rating: 3 - All teachers throughout the agency use an instructional process that informs students of learning expectations and standards of performance. Exemplars are often provided to guide and inform students. The process includes multiple measures, including formative assessments, to inform the ongoing modification of instruction and provide data for possible curriculum revision. The process provides students with specific and timely feedback about their learning.

All teachers throughout the agency use an instructional process that informs students of learning expectations and standards of performance. Exemplars are often provided to guide and inform students. The process includes multiple measures, including formative assessments, to inform the ongoing modification of instruction and provide data for possible curriculum revision. The process provides students with specific and timely feedback about their learning.

  • At the Early College, teachers use a syllabus to provide information to the students about course content and expectations.
  • At the Seiter Center, teachers use a diagram that helps them differentiate their instruction for students and provide the best level of support.

 

Indicator 3.13

Indicator 3.13 – Mentoring, coaching, and induction programs support instructional improvement consistent with the agency’s values and beliefs about teaching and learning.

Rating: 2 - Some agency personnel are engaged in mentoring, coaching, and induction programs that are consistent with the agency’s values and beliefs about teaching, learning, and the conditions that support learning. These programs set expectations for agency personnel.

Some agency personnel are engaged in mentoring, coaching, and induction programs that are consistent with the agency’s values and beliefs about teaching, learning, and the conditions that support learning. These programs set expectations for agency personnel.

Indicator 3.14

Indicator 3.14 – The agency and its schools engage families in meaningful ways in their children’s education and keep them informed of their children’s learning progress.

Rating: 3 - Programs that engage families in meaningful ways in their children’s education are designed and implemented. School personnel regularly inform families of their children’s learning progress.

Programs that engage families in meaningful ways in their children’s education are designed and implemented. 

  • At the Seiter Center, parent involvement is integral to children's education. Our Great Start Collaborative has a specific focus on fathers.

School personnel regularly inform families of their children’s learning progress.

  • Program/school staff at MAISD keep parents informed in a variety of ways. One way, at the MACC, is to send emails, as in this example.

Indicator 3.15

Indicator 3.15 – The agency designs and evaluates structures in all schools whereby each student is well known by at least one adult advocate in the student’s school who supports that student’s educational experience.

Rating: 4 - School personnel participate in a structure designed and evaluated by the agency that gives them long-term interaction with individual students, allowing them to build strong relationships over time with the student and related adults. All students participate in the structure. The structure allows the school employee to gain significant insight into and serve as an advocate for the student’s needs regarding learning skills, thinking skills, and life skills.

School personnel participate in a structure designed and evaluated by the agency that gives them long-term interaction with individual students, allowing them to build strong relationships over time with the student and related adults. All students participate in the structure. The structure allows the school employee to gain significant insight into and serve as an advocate for the student’s needs regarding learning skills, thinking skills, and life skills.

  • The Seiter Center uses a chart that explains appropriate interactions with students given many different disabilities that make our students unique. When all staff know the best ways to interact with students, we help to ensure they are building strong relationships with students and are gaining insight in ways to advocate for the children.

 

Indicator 3.16

Indicator 3.16 – The agency ensures that school staff participate in a continuous program of professional learning.

Rating: 3 - All staff members participate in a continuous program of professional learning that is aligned with the agency’s purpose and direction. Professional development is based on an assessment of needs of the agency, school, and the individual. The program builds capacity among all professional and support staff. The program is systematically evaluated for effectiveness in improving instruction, student learning, and the conditions that support learning.

 All staff members participate in a continuous program of professional learning that is aligned with the agency’s purpose and direction. Professional development is based on an assessment of needs of the agency, school, and the individual. The program builds capacity among all professional and support staff. The program is systematically evaluated for effectiveness in improving instruction, student learning, and the conditions that support learning.

 

Indicator 3.17

Indicator 3.17 – Grading and reporting are based on clearly defined criteria that represent the attainment of content knowledge and skills and are consistent across grade levels and courses.

Rating: 2 - Most teachers across the agency use common grading and reporting policies, processes, and procedures based on criteria that represent each student’s attainment of content knowledge and skills. These policies, processes, and procedures are implemented in most or all schools across grade levels and courses. Most stakeholders are aware of the policies, processes, and procedures. The policies, processes, and procedures may or may not be evaluated.

Most teachers across the agency use common grading and reporting policies, processes, and procedures based on criteria that represent each student’s attainment of content knowledge and skills.

  • The special education staff guidelines speak to grading practices and timelines - page 3.
  • Early college course information, including grading practices, are found in each course syllabus.

These policies, processes, and procedures are implemented in most or all schools across grade levels and courses. Most stakeholders are aware of the policies, processes, and procedures. The policies, processes, and procedures may or may not be evaluated.

  • Due the small and often individual and specialized nature of our classrooms and the students we serve, it has been difficult to set grading policies across all grade levels. Developing consistently where we can is certainly a growth edge for our organization and its schools.
  • The career center is one school where within each course there are common standards that must be met. There is a consistent rating scale that is used for each student.

Indicator 3.18

Indicator 3.18 – The agency and its schools provide and coordinate learning support services to meet the unique learning needs of students.

Rating:  4 - Agency and school personnel systematically and continuously use data to identify unique learning needs of all students at all levels of proficiency as well as other learning needs (such as second languages). Agency and school personnel stay current on research related to unique characteristics of learning (such as learning styles, multiple intelligences, personality type indicators) and provide or coordinate related individualized learning support services to all students.

Agency and school personnel systematically and continuously use data to identify unique learning needs of all students at all levels of proficiency as well as other learning needs (such as second languages). Agency and school personnel stay current on research related to unique characteristics of learning (such as learning styles, multiple intelligences, personality type indicators) and provide or coordinate related individualized learning support services to all students.

  • MAISD employs a wide variety of staff to meet student needs especially for students with disabilities. 
  • This Status of the Young Child report highlights data about young children in Montcalm County. It is made available to stakeholders who support early childhood programming.

Narrative

Reflection on MAISD’s responses as well as reflection on responses from stakeholders indicates that MAISD generally scores at level 3 for providing services and programs that support local districts through quality, meaningful professional learning experiences.

MAISD provides adult learning experiences through quality, targeted professional development. Inter-departmental collaboration is a key to meeting the needs of all staff and external stakeholders in local districts. For example, for the past three years we have been working on helping constitute districts understand and implement the State of Michigan Common Core Standards; this project is called “Hair on Fire.” We began our efforts mainly directed at teachers of students in typical K-12 classrooms. In the second year, we brought in teachers of students with special needs, pre-school teachers, and career technical education teachers. The second phase of the project incorporates a focus on multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). Please see evidence for 3.1 of the mission and vision for supporting local school districts with MTSS.

As a regular part of planning for our efforts to assist local districts, we rely on data from a variety of sources that include state assessment data including M-STEP and MME. We also collect data from workshop evaluations through an online process with Survey Monkey, although admittedly, our efforts in doing this are inconsistent. The general education department acknowledges that we need to be more consistent with sending out the post-session evaluation and using the data it presents. 

To provide a variety of professional learning opportunities that meet the needs of the widest possible audience, we use several delivery formats. While the majority of our offerings are held face-to-face during the school day or during the summer months, we do host workshops and courses in a blended learning format such as Moodle in addition to evening and Saturday sessions. We have recently completed creating on-demand courses utilizing LiveBinders. Other formats for professional learning include book studies and modified Harvard Instructional Rounds. We continually seek input from our stakeholders as to their preferred venue for participating in professional learning and through their feedback we make adjustments to our methods. 

One of our strengths as an agency has been our willingness to collaborate with others.  Each year we plan and facilitate a summer leadership academy with Gratiot-Isabella RESD, Clinton County RESA, and Clare Gladwin RESD. This past June marked at least the 15th year of this collaboration. We are also partners in CTE Region 10 and have been at the table when Region 3 created a study of reading practices that make a difference in elementary schools (Reading Now Network). Our survey work shows that our staff would benefit from some official training on the use of professional learning communities and training in collaboration techniques in general. We will look to include this as one of our new strategic planning goals.

To help meet the needs of each of our constituent districts, we maintain monthly meetings for superintendents, curriculum directors, special education directors, principals, and counselors. Additionally, business officials from around the county gather frequently; we also host meetings for maintenance staff and school counselors. Through these meetings, we maintain constant contact with our districts and gather data from our direct planning with these groups. Additionally, through our strategic planning process, we have met with groups of participants representing each district. When, for example, we were attempting to pass a millage for special education funding, we met with each local district to elicit an understanding of their needs. These discussions resulted in the passage of the millage and the subsequent placement of at least one school psychologist and one teacher consultant in each district.