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In This Issue
MAPSA Member Spotlight
School Spotlight: Charyl Stockwell Academy Prepares for the Start of a Successful School Year

The Charyl Stockwell Academy, with two campuses in Livingston County, is one of the highest-performing charter schools in Michigan. According to school officials, the road to a great school year began long before the students showed up for the first day of class. To see how they prepared for the school year, watch the video below.
Video by MAPSA Vice President of Communications, Buddy Moorehouse
On the Silver Screen!
FlexTech High School in Brighton is taking to the silver screen to recruit students. This ad will be airing as a preview before showings at the MJR cinema in Brighton.
Did you know?
As the school year begins, there are now 298 charter schools in Michigan, including 34 new schools. Click here for the full story.
Sharing Great Ideas!
Preparing your parents for the start of school can be challenging. At Threshold Academy near Ionia, they put together a "Welcome DVD" for the families that includes everything they need to know. Click here for the full story.
Texting and Driving: "It Can Wait"
This summer the "It Can Wait" movement released a new documentary film highlighting the dangers of texting and driving. The film is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog, showing the aftermath of texting and driving.

You can view the film online here.
We Want Your Feedback!
MAPSA's Cooperative Provider Program Can Provide Cost Savings to Your School!
To learn how Holly Academy saves $25,000 a year through the Staples Advantage Program, view the video below.
Staples Business Advantage presents contest winners, Holly Academy, with a pallet worth $1,000 of supplies!  -Video by MAPSA Vice President of Communications, Buddy Moorehouse
Staples Business Advantage presents contest winners, Holly Academy, with a pallet of supplies, worth $1,000!

 -Video by MAPSA Vice President of Communications, Buddy Moorehouse
Find out more about MAPSA's Cooperative Providers in our Virtual Marketplace by clicking on the logos below:

Hertz Logo

General Agency Logo
September 4, 2013

Dan Quisenberry Sunsets, beaches, warm breezes, fun with family and friends...summer means so many things. It also means at least a small break from school in some way. So now another school year...

You see, while I may be "the Lansing guy" for charter schools, the guy on the stage at the MAPSA conference, I do understand life in a school.  My wife is a reading/math tutor.  My oldest daughter is starting her 4th year as a second grade teacher.  My youngest daughter is studying in the Measurement & Quantitative Methods doctoral program at Michigan State University. They each have a "summer break" schedule, and then invest themselves all year long in the business of teaching and learning.

So I understand recent research when it tells us what we all already know, that schools can be a very challenging and discouraging place for far too many students.  And yet, the single key ingredient to a student's "excellent education" revolves around the subjective ideas of hope, belief, persistence, and a student's sense that they have goals and that they can be reached.

Only 26% of kids believe they are motivated to learn in school, and just one in five thinks learning is fun!

No matter what their age, students need someone to believe in them like they desperately want to believe in themselves. The best news is, you can be that person!

Do we believe in our students? Do we see the endless potential in them that is there hidden in their DNA? Can we imagine schools where kids want to go to school? Where the adults enjoy their "work"?  I know many of you teach at and lead schools like that.

As you head back to school this fall, don't forget to bring that special magic with you...belief in better!  

Here is a note my daughter, the 2nd grade teacher, received from one of her students at the end of the last school year.  I hope it's a great reminder of why you are heading back to school. A reminder of the impact you can have with every child.

"Something I will never forget in 2nd grade is Miss Quisenberry the best teacher I had have and I will never forget her as long as I live.  She will always be the best teacher I could ever have.  And nothing will never change that not ever."

Cheers to another year!


Dan Quisenberry
President, MAPSA

Best Practice of the Month:
Begin Building Your School's Culture From Day One!
Nothing impacts the success of a school more than its culture. Defined as the collective behaviors of everyone involved, a school's culture gives life to the aspirations held for it. It is a school's greatest predictor of performance. On any spectrum of performance, the way that people and process connect is either nurtured or impeded by the relationships that are built and the communication that flows.

Inside THE LENS - A Tool for Advancing School Quality™, you will find the perspective of Performance Culture. This perspective organizes 10 school quality elements that start with the need to build relationships. Building relationships is a professional focus that speaks to the need for a school staff that "intentionally demonstrates an interest in building relationships among all stakeholders."  How do you do this from day one?
  • Engage. Greet folks everyday - at the front door, in the hallways, and at the classroom doorway.
  • Be real. Look them in the eye, smile, and shake their hand. If someone doesn't shake hands for cultural reasons, ask them what is appropriate for them.
  • Be interested. Ask questions - be an interested observer and an intent listener. Validate people by re-constructing what they said.
  • Be thoughtful. Elicit feedback.
  • Be open, and be transparent with the opportunities for improvement.

Moving any organization forward is accomplished with greater ease when everyone is moving in the same direction. Whatever the path, your culture will enable the journey.   


What does your school culture feel like? Click here to tell us what you are most proud of about your school culture. 


-Chris Thompson, MAPSA, Vice President of School Initiatives

Conference Connection
Registration for the 16th Annual Michigan Charter School Conference Now Open!

Register your staff for this one-of-a-kind event. We have brought some exciting changes to this year's conference, including a new format featuring five general session speakers, and unique networking opportunities!

It is our vision that the conference will empower educators to be leaders. Through collaboration with peers, exposure to new opportunities in innovative sessions, motivation and inspiration from keynotes and speakers, connection to quality resources that assist schools; attendees will expand their ability to impact all of Michigan's children. 

Click here to learn more about the 16th Annual Michigan Charter School Conference or click here to download a registration form. MAPSA members receive a 15% discount on registration rates.
Lansing Connection
Update on Common Core Standards
The legislature put language into the Fiscal Year 2014 K-12 budget that would prohibit MDE from spending money to implement the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balance testing regime. The prohibition will take effect on October 1, 2014 unless there is an affirmative vote approving further expenditures.

The House of Representatives has held hearings over the summer on Common Core with several experts on both sides of the issue testifying. The Senate held a hearing in late August as well. MAPSA is working with a coalition of every major education association and many business groups in Michigan to support the continued implementation of Common Core. The House subcommittee on Common Core is expected to make a recommendation to the full House this month with a vote in both chambers before the K-12 budget goes into effect October 1, 2013.  

If you would like more information on Common Core, click here for a Fact/Myth document supported by every education group in Michigan, many business folks, and former elected officials. At this time we encourage you to continue implementing the standards, which will support efforts to raise expectations and performance for all students.   

Educator Evaluations
The Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness (MCEE) issued a report on educator evaluations in late July. The charge of the council was to suggest a state growth tool and evaluation system using that tool. The MCEE did not suggest a growth tool, but did suggest other things that could be included in the evaluation system.  

Click here for a copy of the report.  

MAPSA has been working with policymakers and other stakeholder groups to access the recommendations in the report and help craft legislation that will make the best evaluation system to help improve the quality of education in Michigan. We would, however, love to hear from you about your ideas, thoughts, and concerns with the report or educator evaluations in general.  Please free feel to contact Alicia Urbain, Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs, at Aurbain@charterschools.org with any comments, questions, or concerns.

Guidance on 2013-14 Best Practice Incentive, Section 22f - (LEAs and PSAs)
On June 13, 2013 the Governor enacted legislation under Section 22f of the State School Aid Act, 2013 PA 60, that appropriates $80,000,000 to provide $52 per pupil allocations for the FY 2013-14 school year to local school districts and public school academies meeting seven out of eight best practices.

Click here to find out more.
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