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Good morning!

We have a ton of resources to share this week, so be sure to take a look below. Also, just a friendly reminder that there is an opening for a one-year Director position to complete Dr. Brian Davis' term on the MASA Executive Board for the 2021-22 school year. Superintendents interested in serving in this role are asked to complete this interest form no later than Friday, May 7 at noon. The Executive Board will review the submission of each interested individual and vote on an appointment.

Don't forget next week, May 3-7, is national Teacher Appreciation Week! If you haven't yet made a plan, here's your chance to ensure that your team knows just how much they are appreciated – especially this year! Share the love with your staff and some good news about your district! Be sure to hashtag your social media posts with #ThankATeacher and #MIteachAppreesh.

As always, take care and let us know how we can help!

Dr. Tina Kerr
Executive Director, MASA

Legislative Update & Budget Video

ICYMI: The big news out of the Capitol last week was all about money. Both the House and the Senate began moving their budget proposals for FY 22 and the House made moves on one of the largest supplemental bills in the state’s history. MASA released a short video (see below) to provide a high-level briefing on the competing FY 22 proposals. You can also check out the written version in Friday's Legislative Update email.

Also, while we continue to stress the importance of suspending third grade retention, evaluations, and many of the accountability provisions surrounding state testing, lawmakers have not yet made significant moves to that end. MASA encourages you to reach out to your House and Senate members with these concerns. 

Webinar Recording: Michigan’s Journey to Create Social Justice Leaders Through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

If you missed last week's fantastic AASA webinar "Michigan’s Journey to Create Social Justice Leaders Through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" presented by MASA's Dr. Sarena Shivers; Dr. Brian Davis, Superintendent at Holland Public Schools; and Dr. Shayla Griffin, Co-Founder & Facilitator of the Justice Leaders Collaborative don't worry – we have the recording! This one-hour session provided a great overview on how we're working toward Leading for Equity and a sneak peak into MASA's new professional learning program coming in Fall 2021. 

USDA Extends Free School Lunch Program Through Next School Year

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week announced it is extending the current universal free lunch program through the 2021-22 school year. The program was originally set to end this September. More information about the extension and other waivers can be found here.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education released Volume 2 of its COVID-19 Handbook, “Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs,” which includes initial recommendations and resources for schools and communities to support our nation’s most vulnerable students during the pandemic, including those facing food insecurity. The Handbook includes strategies to increase student and family access to meal programs during the school year and over the summer, including specific strategies for underserved students such as students experiencing homelessness and English learners, and how federal funding can support these efforts.

Save Money and Resources with a Free Consumers Energy Assessment

Did you know Consumers Energy provides complimentary energy assessments that can save your district thousands of dollars? Since 2018, Consumers Energy Business Energy Efficiency Programs have helped Michigan schools:

  • Complete 1,541 projects from 580 schools
  • Receive nearly $9 million in energy efficiency rebates
  • Save more than 408,000 Mcf in natural gas
  • Save more than 57,771,000 kWh in electricity

If this energy wasn’t saved, it would take more than a million trees 10 years to absorb the amount of carbon expended. The energy saved is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions of 69.7 million pounds of burned coal.
 
Want to know more? See how Ionia Public Schools saved $125,215 on its annual energy bills by participating in Energy Efficiency Programs, view the case study here [cetradeally.com]. Easy savings can come from swapping older light bulbs to LEDs, in fact, a typical school would have to save the equivalent cost of 127,584 pencils annually to equal the amount of money saved by upgrading to LED lighting. 
 
Join the 580 Michigan schools who have already started an energy efficiency journey by signing up for a complimentary energy assessment. Get started: ConsumersEnergy.com/education.

MSPRA Resource: How to Approach Student Activism

In February 2018, the Michigan School Public Relations Association (MSPRA) worked together with education organizations, including MASA, to create a document about Student Walkouts. MSPRA recently refreshed that piece and shared it with school communications professionals under a new, more generic title: How to Approach Student Activism. We wanted to make sure you had a copy of the handy resource, which includes talking points, legal precedence, and other helpful information. Feel free to share it with your central office staff and other key stakeholders.

School Administrators Must Hold Certification/Permit 

It’s interview season! For educators seeking positions and those hiring, it's important to remember that state law requires many school administrators to hold a Michigan School Administrator Certificate or Permit before employment.  

School Administrators who are "grand-parented" must obtain an Experience-Based School Administrator Certificate. All others have six months to begin, and three years to complete, an approved program leading to School Administrator certification (like MASA's Horizon Leadership Academy). For more information review MDE's November 2019 memo

MDE is also reminding educators to check-in on certificate renewal, particularly for those with certificates expiring June 30, 2021. Valid certification is required for placement in Michigan’s K-12 schools. Please review all certificate expiration dates to ensure that there is no lapse in certification. Educators facing an unavoidable lapse in certification should consult with the employing school district to discuss staffing and substitute permit options. Educators should access the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) at least annually to maintain updated contact information and review Education-Related Professional Learning totals.  

Virtual Women of Aerospace Event for Students

Do you have female students interested in STEM and/or aerospace field? The Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan and FIRST in Michigan are inviting students, recent graduates, and parents to a free Virtual Women in Aerospace Event on May 15, from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Professional women from NASA and Michigan’s aerospace industry will share their journey that led them to some of the most exciting careers in the universe…literally! Space is limited so do not miss out on this free virtual event!

MDE Memos

MEMO #038-21

Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educators Campaign 

In support of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan to increase the number of certified teachers in critical shortage areas, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce the Welcome Back Proud Michigan Educators (PMEs) campaign.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Welcome_Back_PME_723106_7.pdf
 

MEMO #COVID-19-180 

U.S. Department of Education – COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs

This memorandum is to share Volume 2 of the U.S. Department of Education’s COVID-19 Handbook series designed to provide additional strategies for safely reopening schools and promote educational equity by addressing opportunity gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/USED_COVID-19_Handbook_722877_7.pdf
 

MEMO #COVID-19-182 

Initiating School and Community Action Against Asian-American Discrimination, Bias, and Violence 

It was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” who once wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It was that deeply felt sentiment that helped spark rallies and marches across the country and world last spring after the killing of George Floyd. 

Among many forms of unacceptable discrimination, ethnic discrimination should never be tolerated, ignored, condoned, or otherwise accepted. It is a stain on our collective humanity.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Resources_Anti_Asian_723070_7.pdf

"A leader...is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind."

— Nelson Mandela
The following are learning opportunities that you might want to consider attending. (NOTE: All events are currently virtual.) Click the links below to register and reserve your spot:
  • Superintendent Administrative Professionals Workshop w/ MASB – THIS WEDNESDAY, April 28
     
  • School ADvance: New Administrator and Refresher Training April 29
     
  • So, You Want to Be A Superintendent? Calling All Aspiring School District Leaders – May 5
     
  • New Superintendents Leadership Academy: Equity in Teaching and Learning – May 12
     
  • New Superintendents Leadership Academy: Communications and Expectations – May 13
     
  • Emergency Operation Plans and What COVID-19 Has Taught Us! – June 2
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