Tag Archives: Student Achievement

Mapp and Morrell Promote Early Literacy by Engaging Parents

Why is it important for educators, parents and business leaders to be involved in promoting early childhood literacy?  Do community members have a collective responsibility to support the reading and writing development of the children living in their neighborhoods?  How can families and area residents partner with schools to strengthen and support literacy initiatives?

Learn the answers to these questions and more during the Reading Now Network’s West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium, “Collective Responsibility: Engaging Families & Community,” on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The event will take place at the Bernhard Center on the Campus of Western Michigan University. Continue reading Mapp and Morrell Promote Early Literacy by Engaging Parents

Top 5 Sessions for Admins at PLCON 2017

“Personalized learning is intended to facilitate the academic success of each student by first determining the learning needs, interests, and aspirations of individual students, and then providing learning experiences that are customized—to a greater or lesser extent—for each student. To accomplish this goal, schools, teachers, guidance counselors, and other educational specialists may employ a wide variety of educational methods, from intentionally cultivating strong and trusting student-adult relationships to modifying assignments and instructional strategies in the classroom to entirely redesigning the ways in which students are grouped and taught in a school.” (Glossary of Education Reform, 5/14/15)

On May 3rd, Kent ISD will host The Personalized Learning Conference (PLCON). This conference is beneficial to all educators who want to learn more about personalized teaching and learning.

Leaders in education have a unique opportunity to create organizational priorities and values that support personalized learning for every student.  Administrators can maximize time and teachers to create student success! Continue reading Top 5 Sessions for Admins at PLCON 2017

Creating Digital Learning Experiences

Several years ago, Kent ISD developed the “IT Tool” and worked with a group of local educators to develop 16 courses that focused on core curriculum. These 16 courses were largely designed to be used  as “in-class” resources and assessments that lived within this new tool.

Fast forward to today, the IT Tool is now Kickstand System’s Edify, a learning management system with over 53 pre-built K-12 courses to be used by a teacher and their students.  The most recent initiative is to take the existing courses and adapt them so that they can be delivered as an  online learning experience. Continue reading Creating Digital Learning Experiences

Academic Success of Champions

“If you have a child’s heart, you have his head.”™ – Flip Flippen

I remember over ten years ago when I first got a phone call asking about Capturing Kids’ Hearts.  I went on the internet and did some research and saw the Flippen Groups website. I thought who is this Flip Flippen guy?

Fast forward to 2016 and Steve Dieleman (Kent ISD) has been working with Kent County districts and the Flippen group for over a decade.  All of the schools in Kent ISD’s service area have been trained in Capturing Kids’ Hearts and have had success stories with the program.

Here is a video of Kentwood Public Schools Continue reading Academic Success of Champions

The Key to Student Success


What is the key to student success?

This is an on-going question with no clear answer.

On October 20 at 6:30 pm, Kent ISD and Celebration Cinema North will be hosting a free screening of the film Most Likely to Succeed. It is an exploration of one school’s attempt to prepare students for the demands of the modern world through project-based learning.

Many districts and schools in Kent County are implementing non-traditional educational models, and some were created to align closely with the New Tech High model that is featured in the film. Continue reading The Key to Student Success

3 Unique Reading Strategies You’ll Want to Try!

Learning to read can be difficult for anyone.  Michigan’s proficiency on the NAEP is just over 30 percent for third-grade readers.  Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) Region Three superintendents are tackling this problem through the Reading Now Network, which is beginning to develop resources for the classroom.

This morning I watched a TedX talk that had some unique approaches to improve reading in ALL students.  When I say ALL students, I mean even those with learning disabilities.Chris Bugaj

The TedX talk was by Chris Bugaj, MA CCC-SLP the founding member of the Assistive Technology Team for Loudoun County Public Schools.

In Chris’ TedX talk, he shared three unique reading strategies. Continue reading 3 Unique Reading Strategies You’ll Want to Try!

Successful Teachers, Successful Students

With over 400 principals in Kent County  schools, leadership professional development is necessary in order to continue to be instructional leaders for our teachers and our students.

As many of you are aware, evaluation processes and procedures have inundated our work.  However, do we really know how to help teachers get better?  Is it through evaluation?  Continue reading Successful Teachers, Successful Students

How to Achieve Fully Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is currently one of the biggest buzzwords in education, but it is somewhat vague and certainly a massive topic. Before reading further, take a moment to define personalized learning (maybe even write it down).

Your answer likely had something to do with student choice, individual pacing, flexible structures, and technology. All of these are a part of the personalized learning spectrum. Yes, it is a spectrum. A school system could have Continue reading How to Achieve Fully Personalized Learning

Beyond Hoops- High Achieving Black Males

“Black males are less likely to graduate from high school in four years than their white peers. Only 52% of black males who entered high school in 2006 graduated in four years, compared with 78% of white non-Latino males and 58% of Latino males.” Huffington Post, 9/19/12

Black male students appear to be on the top of all of the wrong academic lists as it relates to dropout statistics, special education referrals and suspension/expulsion rates. Given this reality, what might we learn from black males who are successfully navigating their secondary school experiences? Continue reading Beyond Hoops- High Achieving Black Males

Feeling Overwhelmed? Consider the 80/20 Rule

(Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan, used under CC attribution license.) The peas will make sense in a minute.

Teaching is this hugely complex, challenging calling, and that’s why I’m glad it’s mine. I don’t foresee getting to a place where I’m like, “You know what? I’ve got this all figured out. Done. Turn on the cruise control.”

To be honest, I think few of us will get there, and if we do, it will be after about 30 years and 100,000 hours of intensive, deliberate practice.

But we don’t need to wait until we have it all figured out before we can start being master teachers who make a huge impact with our careers. I think that all of us, if we train ourselves to focus in, can fairly quickly become adept at the 20% of things that yield 80% of the results. Continue reading Feeling Overwhelmed? Consider the 80/20 Rule