About ISDs in the Transformation Zone


BY NOW, MOST MICHIGAN EDUCATORS ARE FAMILIAR
WITH SUPERINTENDENT WHISTON’S TOP 10 IN 10 PLAN AND THE FOCUS AREAS THAT ORGANIZE THE
WORK. THERE’S BEEN A FAIR AMOUNT OF PRESS AROUND
THE PARTNERSHIP DISTRICTS, WHERE AN MDE LIAISON WILL COORDINATE SUPPORTS FOR DISTRICTS WITH
SCHOOLS THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE SLATED FOR CLOSURE. AND NOW, IN ADDITION TO THIS WORK, MDE HAS
FINALIZED AGREEMENTS WITH THREE ISDs TO WORK COLLABORATIVELY AROUND ADDITIONAL TOP 10 IN
10 INITIATIVES. SAGINAW ISD, LENAWEE ISD, AND INGHAM ISD,
ALONG WITH OUR PARTNERS FROM THE STATE IMPLEMENTATION AND SCALING-UP OF EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES
CENTERS, OR SISEP, JOIN MDE IN BUILDING A HIGH-QUALITY EXAMPLE OF SYSTEMIC INFRASTRUCTURE
TO IMPLEMENT LEARNER-CENTERED SUPPORTS. THE INITIAL FOCUS IS ON IMPLEMENTING MULTI-TIERED
SYSTEMS OF SUPPORTS AS AN EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE IDENTIFIED AND DEFINED BY MDE. THE THREE ISDs FORM A REPRESENTATIVE SLICE
OF THE STATE, WHICH WE ARE CALLING THE TRANSFORMATION ZONE. THE TRANSFORMATION ZONE APPROACH UTILIZES
PRINCIPLES OF IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE AND RELIES ON A SERIES OF LINKED TEAMS WITH ESTABLISHED
FEEDBACK LOOPS. IT FUNCTIONS AS A LEARNING LAB WHERE TOOLS
AND PRACTICES ARE BROUGHT FORWARD, TESTED AND REVISED ON A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT CYCLE. THIS PURPOSEFUL APPROACH ALLOWS US TO DEVELOP
A SUSTAINABLE, REPLICABLE AND EFFECTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE. THE INFRASTRUCTURE PIECE IS NECESSARY IF OUR
EFFORTS TO IMPLEMENT EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES ARE TO HAVE ANY LASTING IMPACT. THE ZONE PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO
LEVERAGE WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE, TO BRING FORWARD A SET OF BEST PRACTICES
ALONG WITH THE INFRASTRUCTURE PIECE, AND SUPPORTS SUSTAINABILITY IN A WAY WE HAVEN’T TRIED BEFORE. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO WORKING SHOULDER TO
SHOULDER WITH OUR ISDs AND OUR DISTRICTS AND THEIR BUILDINGS IN THE TRANSFORMATION ZONE. I THINK TAKING MTSS AND IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE
AND FIGURING OUT HOW IT WORKS BEST TO IMPLEMENT THOSE, BOTH EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENTLY, IN
THE ZONE ARE GOING TO HELP US SCALE UP TO THE STATE TO MAKE THIS WORK FOR EVERYONE. KATHY STEWART, SAGINAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT. I’M VERY PROUD AND PLEASED TO BE PART OF THE
IDENTIFIED TRANSFORMATION ZONES AS A PARTNER WITH THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. JUST HAPPENED TO ATTEND A FALL MICHIGAN INTERMEDIATE
SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR’S MEETING WHERE SISEP PRESENTED THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO INTO
A TRANSFORMATION ZONE. SENT A QUICK EMAIL TO MDE, AND HERE WE ARE
TODAY. I KNEW I HAD THE INSTRUCTION TALENT AND TEAM
TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS INITIATIVE, SO I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE MY COLLEAGUE, REBEKAH
HORNAK, DIRECTOR OF INSTRUCTION FOR SAGINAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT. I’M DELIGHTED FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS, I HAVE WORKED REALLY
HARD TO REBUILD THIS TEAM AT THE ISD AND THE INSTRUCTIONAL DEPARTMENT AND THEIR WORK IS
BEING PAID OFF NOW. SO WE’RE REALLY EXCITED. LENAWEE AND SAGINAW ISD WILL SERVE AS FULL
PARTNERS IN TAKING MTSS TO SELECTED DISTRICTS UTILIZING AN APPROACH GROUNDED IN THE PRINCIPALS
OF IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE. INGHAM ISD WILL PARTICIPATE AS A THOUGHT PARTNER,
PROVIDING FEEDBACK ON MDE DEVELOPED GUIDANCE RELATED TO MTSS, INCLUDING EVALUATING, VALIDATING
OR SHAPING EXISTING CONCEPTS. WE WELCOME THE THREE ISDs AND THEIR VARIOUS
ROLES, AND LOOK FORWARD TO BUILDING OUR COLLECTIVE CAPACITY AND SCALING PRACTICES, WHICH LEAD
MICHIGAN EVER CLOSER TO THE GOAL OF A TOP 10 EDUCATION STATE IN 10 YEARS.

1 thought on “About ISDs in the Transformation Zone”

  1. I have a HUGE concern about the Michigan Legislature’s support of the Top 10 in Top Plan.
    With the present legislation under consideration regarding the abandonment of a proven and effective Teacher Retirement Plan, I believe they are undermining the whole concept because they are failing to understand the importance of the “Effective Education Workforce.” It is important that we continue to bring dedicated, talented, and sincere individuals into the education system as teachers. Businesses are interested in the same pool of candidates. Without an effective Teacher Retirement Plan in place, we (school districts) will have a difficult time finding the talent needed to meet the “Effective Education Workforce.” Yes, we may get candidates, but the best, most talented candidates will be pulled to the private sector to jobs that will provide them a better financial future.

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