Signs A Grant Might Not Be Worth Your Time

Written by: guest writer Angela Morris, Kent ISD

As the Grant Writer at Kent ISD, I have been writing grants for education for the past eight years. Along the way I have run into several types of grants that raise alarm bells. These are grants that, for a variety of reasons, may not be a good use of your time to pursue. Below are a couple of “bad players” that you should watch out for: Continue reading Signs A Grant Might Not Be Worth Your Time

Getting Smart With: BLOGS!

“Work smarter, not harder,” is what we are told.

As a Professional Development Coordinator for Kent ISD, the goal of my job is to keep Kent County educators informed about professional learning opportunities available to them.  My team and I have been working hard to do this and have been successful. However, I repeat, we have been working hard, so the real question is “could we do better?”

So we decided to rethink our process and figure out a way to work smarter!  Continue reading Getting Smart With: BLOGS!

What No One Tells You About Secondary Programming at Kent ISD

Kent Innovation High- Kent ISDOn October 2nd, administrators, guidance personnel and other student support service professionals will have a unique opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of the secondary programming that Kent ISD has to offer students and staff in our region.

The Secondary Summit & Fall Update will feature Continue reading What No One Tells You About Secondary Programming at Kent ISD

Students Improve Spelling Skills

Registration is underway for the 37th Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee!

Students who participate in spelling bees improve their spelling skills and expand their vocabularies. In 2014, rounds of vocabulary questions became part of the spelling bee at all levels from the school bee up to the National Spelling Bee. The 2015 Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee and Regional Bees (part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee) will again include vocabulary questions.

014-029-029_#5430Each year 190-200 schools participate in the Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee. Schools with students in grades 4-8 in Allegan, Barry, Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Ottawa counties are eligible to compete. Wordlists are provided for younger students, but only Continue reading Students Improve Spelling Skills

Professional Learning We Love

EdCampGR at Kent ISD
Participants of 2013 EdCampGR gaze in anticipation to see the sessions posted.

School is back in session and students aren’t the only ones excited to learn. With the new school year come many great opportunities for educators to learn, network, and share. One of these unique and fun opportunities of EdCampGR.

EdCampGR is a completely different way of professional learning. Unlike other professional learning opportunities, it’s difficult to explain what you will learn at EdCampGR. This is because a “typical” day of learning at EdCamp Continue reading Professional Learning We Love

Are First Year Teachers Ever Proficient?

I recently read a blog on Education Week Teachers entitled “Are First Year Teachers Ever Proficient?” The author wrote about what it is like to be a first year teacher and “confesses to being something of a mess in his first year of teaching.”

This year alone, there were at least 80 new teachers hired in Kent County! I am sure some of these new educators are feeling the same way.

But there is hope… Continue reading Are First Year Teachers Ever Proficient?

Elevate Learning & Leadership on Nov 12th!

West Michigan Education Leadership Conference
Leaders will gather at Kent ISD on Nov. 12th to learn from one another and share strategies and programs that are demonstrating success.

The West Michigan Education Leadership Conference held at Kent Intermediate School District is an opportunity for area leaders to gather together to share and learn.

The first leadership conference was held last fall and there were over 150 leaders throughout the region in attendance. This conference allows educators to learn from one another and share strategies and programs that are demonstrating success. There are so many amazing things happening locally, we need a venue to collaborate.

Comments from last year include:

“It was a great conference! Every session I attended was truly a learning experience! Thank you so much for planning it!”

“This was a very good day. Thanks for all the hard work to pull this off. Looking forward to the next one!”

The sessions consist of presentations from local and intermediate school district principals, superintendents, and teacher leaders. This year, Dr. Mike Shibler, Superintendent from Rockford Public Schools, will be sharing Continue reading Elevate Learning & Leadership on Nov 12th!

Five Pillars Critical to Building a Culture of Achievement

Doug FisherWhat does it feel like to walk into your school?
Is it a welcoming place, where everyone feels valued?
What is the culture of your school/classroom?
What beliefs shape that culture?
How does the school’s culture align with it’s mission statement?
What is everyone’s (teachers, students, principals, and parent) sense of purpose?

Most school improvement efforts focus on academic goals, instructional models, curriculum, and assessments. But sometimes what can make or break your learning community are the intangibles–the relationships, identity, and connections that make up its culture. Continue reading Five Pillars Critical to Building a Culture of Achievement

3rd Annual Assistive Technology Conference

Boy using Go Talk

Join us for the 3rd annual AssisTechKnow Conference, October 9 & 10, 2014!  This exciting 2-day event, hosted by Kent ISD, focuses on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Educational and Assistive Technology tools and strategies for diverse learners of all ages.  This year we are delighted to be partnering with Michigan Integrated Technology Supports (MITS), Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC), MACUL AssiTechKnow Logoand REMC to bring this one of a kind opportunity to West Michigan educators.

A packed schedule will include:
Continue reading 3rd Annual Assistive Technology Conference

Have you heard of STARS?

Research is clear,  birth through three years of age is when the brain has the most growth! This tells us that childcare providers, whether in a home setting or center are essential to our children’s growth and potential. The STARS program (Standards, Training/Professional Development, Assistance, Resources, Support) is a state wide initiative to promote and encourage quality childcare and preschool programs. Click here to learn more about the STARS program.

News from Kent ISD's Professional Development Hub