MAISD AdvancED Executive Summary

As part of our pursuit of full accreditation, Montcalm Area ISD is pleased to share our Executive Summary. This summary is meant to provide insight into the workings of our organization while referencing our growth edges as well as our achievements. This context impacts the way an agency stays faithful to its vision and works to meet its goals.

 

Description of the Agency (MAISD)

Describe the agency's size, community/communities, location, and changes it has experienced in the last three years. Include demographic information about the students (if applicable), staff, and community at large. What unique features and challenges are associated with the schools/systems the agency serves?
 

The Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) is an educational service agency that has served and supported students and local school districts in Montcalm County and the surrounding area for the last fifty-two years.  MAISD provides a variety of supports and services that include student programs, professional learning opportunities, school improvement guidance, special education, career and technical education; leadership development, administrative supports, and business and technology services, among others.  MAISD employs approximately 220 people who serve 7 local school districts and several non-public schools.  MAISD operates in a variety of buildings across the county that include: the Helen Hamler Administrative Building, Montcalm Area Career Center, Seiter Educational Center, the H.O. Steele Center, and classrooms at two local school districts.

Two of the many noteworthy services provided by MAISD are career and technical education and special education programs and supports.  MAISD coordinates, provides, and supports a county-wide Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, the MACC (Montcalm Area Career Center) in Sidney, Michigan, offering 9 CTE programs, serving approximately 350 high school juniors and seniors.  MAISD also coordinates an Early College program in partnership with Montcalm Community College.  Last year 41 of the 76 enrolled students in the program were first generation college students.

There are approximately 1,300 students receiving special education services within the Montcalm Area ISD service area.  Approximately 240 of those students attend center-based classrooms operated by the ISD at the Seiter Education Center.  The remaining students with disabilities receive special education services, support by both ISD staff and local district staff in their home district.

Other ISD departments include the General Education Department, Business Services Department, a full transportation department, maintenance, and technology. These departments provide service to MAISD staff as well as to all seven local districts and at times, surrounding counties.

About Montcalm County

MAISD is located in the central portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula in Montcalm County.  The district covers an area approximately 720 square miles of which 15 square miles are covered with water comprising over 200 lakes.  There are over 23,700 acres of state game areas and national forest representing 5.2% of county land.  Further, there are three rail to trails systems covering approximately 55 miles that provide space recreational activities such as cycling, running, etc.  Montcalm County is the 12th largest county in the Lower Peninsula. 

There are seven local school districts within MAISD that serve approximately 10,750 students:  Carson City-Crystal Area School District (900 students), Central Montcalm Public Schools (1,690 students), Greenville Public Schools (3,670 students), Lakeview Community Schools (1,130 students), Montabella Community Schools (780 students), Tri County Area Schools (1,980 students) and Vestaburg Community School (600 students).  In addition, MAISD serves approximately 240 students enrolled in ISD center-based programs.  Although MAISD serves seven local schools, geographically those districts extend into seven contiguous counties: Ionia, Mecosta, Newaygo, Kent, Gratiot, Isabella and Clinton counties.  Of the students attending school in Montcalm County, 53.7% are eligible to receive free or reduced lunches. 

Montcalm County is predominately rural/agricultural and consists of several small cities and villages.  The largest taxable value class is agricultural and residential.  The population of the county is approximately 62,893 people which reflects a population density of 89.8 people per square mile.  The employment base in Montcalm County primarily comes from the manufacturing industry and education and social services sector, which totals 24.8% and 24.6%, respectively.  Median household incomes average $40,739, which is well below the state average of $48,273.  Montcalm County residents living in poverty represent approximately 20.4% of the population.  Also, according to 2010 census data, 46.5% of persons over age 25 within Montcalm County have had some college or have obtained a college degree.  39.9% of the remaining population have attained a high school diploma or equivalent while the remaining 13.6% had not completed high school in 2010.

Agency’s Purpose

Provide the agency's purpose statement and ancillary content such as mission, vision, values, and/or beliefs. Describe how the agency embodies its purpose through its services, program offerings and expectations for the schools/systems served.
 

MAISD is about service, leadership and collaboration to advance educational excellence for students in Montcalm County.  It is driven by its vision and mission in the context of its goals.  They are:

Our Vision:  MAISD is a catalyst for responsible learners, innovative schools & strong communities.
Our Purpose/Mission:  MAISD Leading, Collaborating & Serving to create education without boundaries.
Our Promise:  Exceptional leadership with unmatched service.

For our latest strategic plan, 2011-2016, we have two main goals:

  1. Students, parents, and staff are invested in leading edge, progressive models that foster and enhance learning.
  2. MAISD is a leader in the community and provides services that help other organizations respond to their constituents’ needs.

Montcalm ISD, together with its seven local districts, coordinates and delivers programs and services designed to improve education in Montcalm County.  Collectively, we provide cost effective, high quality program and services by merging resources and providing services county-wide.  To accomplish this the organization continually collaborates with stakeholder groups to ascertain that services, processes and products align with our agency purpose.  Stakeholder groups include the MAISD Superintendent Council, secondary and elementary principals, special education directors, Montcalm School Business Officials, technology advisors, curriculum directors, and others.   

 

Notable Achievements and Areas of Improvement

Describe the agency's notable achievements and areas of improvement in the last three years. Additionally, describe areas for improvement that the agency is striving to achieve in the next three years.
 

MAISD is proud of numerous achievements, among them the following:

General Education Points of Pride

  • We work to provide a continuum of supports that builds capacity for all local districts as they implement a Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS) framework that is durable and sustainable.  In the Fall of 2014, Montcalm Area ISD committed to helping its districts and schools establish full-fledged systems of support that have multiple tiers of evidenced-based interventions embedded in best initial classroom instruction. Implementing MTSS is a systematic and systemic way to increase student achievement throughout the county. MAISD hired a full time MTSS coordinator and convened an interdisciplinary implementation team to oversee MTSS activities.  Central Montcalm, Greenville Public Schools, Montcalm Area Career Center, Great Start Readiness Preschool and the Seiter Education Center have directly partnered with MAISD to support this process.
  • As part of focusing deeply on student needs, MAISD has assigned a staff member to provide community outreach, coordinate efforts between community agencies, and provide training around trauma and the effects trauma can have on student learning.
  • Within the last three years, MAISD initiated and expanded an early college program in partnership with Montcalm Community College that currently serves 88 students.
  • The MAISD Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) has tripled the amount of at-risk 4-year-old students in evidenced based preschool program though increased partnerships and shared resource opportunities.  Within the MAISD over the last three years funding for GSRP increased 37%.  In the 2015-16 school over 390 students were served in 24 classrooms providing half day and school day options.  
  • We are connecting with families of young children in a way that is family centered, strength based, and holistic.   In 2016-17 school year, 88% of our entering kindergartners reported attending a preschool program, 99% reported having a medical home, and 49% reported participation in an early childhood service or support. 
  • GSRP programming surpassed the state average in preschool quality assessment scores for the past three years.  2015-16 scores were: MAISD average 4.48; State of MI average 4.35.   
  • Facilitation of the Montcalm County Great Start Collaborative (MCGSC) has increased the availability of funding, services, and supports for our birth to five families.  More shared funding opportunities and more community partnerships have helped to fill gaps in services.   Welcome Baby, Nurturing Fathers, and Love and Logic parenting classes are just a few examples of family services that have developed from engaging our community in support of early childhood education.  
  • Increased Great Start play group opportunities for birth to three year olds within the MAISD service area are occurring through increased alignment of existing funding sources and increased partnerships between early childhood and the K-12 system. 
  • The MCGSC implemented a Joint Recruitment system for preschool education providers and families with a shared understanding that as many 4 year olds receive preschool opportunities. 
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library serves over 1200 children each month in having in home quality literacy materials.   Over $20,000 has been raised in the last FY to support this parent driven initiative.   
  • Early Childhood services in the MAISD are parent driven.  The MCGSC Parent Coalition is 30 plus members strong and our MCGSC parent board membership remained constant at 28% over the last three years.  The MAISD has one of the highest parent participation rates. 
  • Our Great Start Readiness Program and Great Start Collaborative has had many notable achievements in recent years and continue their work toward improving programs and services that are provided to our youngest students and their families.
  • We sponsor and provide financial support that offers local districts Michigan State University Advising personnel to further their college access network initiatives.
  • Our General Education Department led a curriculum and assessment initiative called “Hair on Fire” that helped local districts deeply understand the new Common Core State Standards using common classroom language and learn how to develop quality classroom assessments.
  • We have recently completed a new and improved website.
  • Finally, we are proud to provide direct business office and technology support services personnel to local districts.
     

Special Education Points of Pride

  • We coordinated and led a successful enhanced special education millage in May 2014.
  • MAISD is proud to provide high quality special education services in collaboration with our local districts that include the hiring and employment of occupational and physical therapists, school psychologists, and teacher consultants for the entire county as part of our ISD special education plan.
  • In addition to staff for special education services, we provide a Project Search high school which is a transition-to-work program that offers a unique employment and educational opportunities for individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities.  Hometown Stanton is another school to work program for students, aged 18-26, who have moderate impairments.
  • MAISD provides a continuum of services through “satellite” programs for hearing impaired and visually impaired students and provides programs for students with disabilities at local school buildings to improve opportunities for interaction between students with and without disabilities.  These programs include moderate cognitive impairments, autism and emotional impairments, early childhood special education and transition.
  • In collaboration with our local districts, we have created a career skills program and the Montcalm Area Career Center (MACC) for students with mild cognitive impairments. Here students have the opportunity to explore six CTE courses per year.
     

Career and Technical Education Points of Pride

  • The MACC offers nine different programs. Students can attend a morning session, an afternoon session, or both.  Some of the programs also offer academic credit.
  • MAISD serves as the fiscal agent for the Perkins funding that is shared among 4 counties.
  • Our CTE principal wrote for and received a grant that funded a curriculum alignment project whereby CTE standards and courses were cross-walked with the Common Core State Standards.
  • The MACC became one of the first career centers in the state to participate in MTSS training and implement literacy strategies across their curriculum.
  • Students at the MACC can take Technical Skills Assessments multiple times. Students often achieve passing scores on their first try earning certifications and licensures.
     

While all of the above is noteworthy, we strongly believe it is vital to continue to make gains and to seek input from stakeholders and the greater community.  Opportunities for future improvement, including new goals and objectives, will be aligned to those needs identified in the self-assessment and those recommended by the findings of the AdvancED external team.  Collectively, improvements will focus on organizational systems and processes that promote continuous improvement. 

 

Additional Information

Provide any additional information you would like to share with the public and community that were not prompted in the previous sections.
 

MAISD is a strong partner in the community, working in collaboration with the Montcalm County Department of Health and Human Services, My Community Dental Center, Mid-Michigan Industries, Ionia/Montcalm Safe Child Advocacy Center and I/M 3rd Meal Program to provide service and supports for students and their families.

MAISD provides support and leadership to the state recognized community collaborative, the Montcalm Human Service Coalition (MHSC).  Monthly coalition board meetings take place at the MAISD, service on the Executive committee is provided by administration, and fiduciary services are just a few examples of the commitment to the MHSC. 

Stakeholder and Community survey feedback will be made available at the MAISD external visitation.

MAISD is committed to continuous improvement and the recommendations that the external visitation will identify to help further our mission of serving students and local districts.