June 25, 2019
Last Chance!
2019 MEMSPA Summer Leadership Institute
July 30th-31st | Mission Point Resort
Ending with the Beginning in Mind
Paul Liabenow, Executive Director
My guess is that relieved and hopeful describe most of you. You are ready for a summer break R & R and family fun. How would you describe your past school year 2018-19?

Did you finish well? Did you see gains in student achievement that you hoped for, that you planned for? If you did so, are you planning to continue to grow? If not, did you set a new vision and develop strategies to realize your vision for increase?

I find it difficult to identify 2-3 really important goals to focus on to improve, grow and realize the vision I have for my work. I have discovered a guide - Sean Covey’s “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” and it is helping to narrow my view. There are so many issues that need to be resolved in Michigan education today: literacy achievement, math proficiency, science and SEL to name a few of the dozens. We must identify our 2-3 most important goals and make them our most important daily work. That is not to say that we ignore the other daily stuff that has to be improved, fixed or remedied each day, but fewer is better.

The following is an excerpt from a book I co-authored with Melissa Patschke & Christine Mason called “Visioning Onward” published by Corwin Press:

Children Greatest At-Risk Overcome Major Deficits TO BE Kindergarten Ready Through Whole-Child Education
Richard Lower, Director, Office of Preschool and Out-of-School Time Learning, Michigan Department of Education
Submitted to be published in MEMSPA Weekly Update as response to Ready for Kindergarden? Maybe not published in the May 7, 2019 MEMSPA Weekly Update.

As a national colleague of mine, Vincent Costanza who just finished his term on the board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, recently noted in an April 19, 2019 EdWeek commentary titled, Your Objections to Whole-Child Education Aren’t Wrong. They’re Just Outdated , “two competing narratives have taken root in communities of early-childhood education policy and practice:

On one hand, an increased emphasis on numeracy and literacy in a child's early years comes at the expense of developing the whole child, including the social-emotional learning and executive functioning that have a profound impact on later learning. On the other hand, adopting whole-child curricula in kindergarten that widen the aperture of key learning outcomes to incorporate social interaction, self-regulation, and other psychosocial development milestones puts academic progress at risk.”1

This short-term view with emphasis on one or two aspects of development is one of several contributing factors (e.g., lack of adequate and equitable funding, lack of quality Tier 1 instruction within a MTSS framework) that has gotten Michigan into our education crisis to begin with and why we now have a Top10in10 Strategic Plan to get Michigan out of the bottom 10 states in education with the goal of being back among the top in the country by 2025, which includes a whole-child approach to education.

MEMSPA Golf Outing - Rescheduled for June 27th!
Well, heavy rain has forced the postponement of our MEMSPA Golf Outing that was scheduled for last week. We’ve rescheduled the outing for next Thursday, June 27 , at Royal Scott in Lansing. It’s a 10:00 AM shotgun start. MEMSPA members, friends, and guests are still welcome to sign up and play! Just contact Annette Erickson at the MEMSPA offices to sign up ( annette@memspa.org ). We’d love to see as many members play as possible! “Rain, rain go away, come and visit us another day (not June 27th)”!!!
Independent Bank
Independent Bank has customized a special banking offer for YOU, because of the significant banking relationship we share with MEMSPA! We would like to bring relationship banking to a new level for you! We are located throughout the lower peninsula, convenient to virtually anywhere you may have banking needs. Thank you for considering Independent Bank! 
Partner Spotlight
Welcome MEMSPA's Newest Partner, Children's Choice Initiative!

Children’s Choice Initiative, Inc. “Unlocking Children’s Unlimited Potential Through Reading.”
 
At Children’s Choice Initiative we “Train Teachers to Teach Structured Language” in a whole classroom setting.
 
We have a 19-year track record and a 92.4% success rate of bringing children to meet or exceed their proper reading grade level within 2-years.
 
To learn more please visit us: https://childrenschoice.us