Keynote Sessions

Live Your Excellence Starting Today!
[Jimmy Casas, Award Winning Secondary Principal, Adjunct Professor for Drake University and CEO of J Casas & Associates]
As educators, we must regularly ask ourselves: Have we grown complacent? Have we settled for the status quo? It’s our job not to let average become the standard. When a classroom or school is in need of transformation, leadership is at its most critical and the fate of a school rests on its teachers and leader’s ability to gain support. If you’re the type of educator who wants to inspire greatness in everyone who passes through your classroom and school’s halls, this presentation is a can’t miss. You will learn what it takes to raise expectations for all students and staff, foster the belief in one’s ability to achieve, and create an environment where everyone takes pride in supporting each other toward excellence!

I'm Sad, Mad & Traumatized...And You Still Expect Me To Learn?
[Dr. Bryan Pearlman, veteran educator, author and co-founder/board member of Distinguished School of Mental Health & Wellness]
Students that have experienced trauma are coming to our schools in record numbers. Our hearts bleed for these kids, but empathy is not enough. We still have to set the bar high and help all students to reach their potential. Current research, data, and many strategies will be shared with participants. Several real world case studies will be discussed and reviewed. Participants will leave with tools that they can implement right away.


Breakout Sessions

Start. Right. Now. - Teach and Lead for Excellence
[Jimmy Casas]
Excellent teachers lead and excellent leaders teach. Excellent teachers and excellent leaders have much more in common, including 4 key behaviors they exhibit on a daily basis: They Know the Way, Show the Way, Go the Way, and Grow Each Day. Whether leading students or staff, these amazing educators know that in order to lead effectively, we must Start Right Now. In this session, you will explore the importance of teaching and leading from a framework of core values and discover ways to act upon these values to improve the climate and culture of your classroom, school, or district. Learn new ways to inspire, build capacity, model successful behaviors and grow professionally each and every day.

Engaging Teachers in School Wide Initiatives
[Keith Cravotta, Principal, DeWitt Middle School]
Teachers are great at focusing on their students, assessments, and curriculum in their classroom, but how do we engage them in work that affects the whole school? This session will focus on some key considerations and ideas for doing this and allow principals to begin making a plan for implementation this Fall!

Implementing Restorative Practices for School Culture Change
[Sophia Lafayette, Assistant Principal, Walled Lake Norther High School]
This session provides school administrators a deeper understanding of the key concepts and processes around restorative practices and their role as a school leader in implementing and supporting these concepts. This session will provide administrators guidance and resources on restorative practices implementation ideas and prepare them to answer frequently asked questions by teachers and parents about restorative practices.

Michigan Merit Curriculum and Personal Curriculum Flexibility
[Ruth Anne Hodges, Manager, Curriculum and Instruction Unit, MDE]
As Michigan strives to ensure that all students are "Career and College Ready", the graduation requirements may need to be modified to meet every learner's needs. As system leaders; principals are critical stakeholders in understanding the MMC and the allowable modifications in order to support their staff and all students. Using the Personal Curriculum (PC) to individualize the MMC can be a great option to make modifications and individualize any students high school experience. This session digs into the 18 required credits of the MMC and explains the modifications that are allowed as well as guidance on how to make such decisions appropriately and based on a student’s post-school plans.

Official SAT Practice via Khan Academy
[Erin Carlson, ELA Teacher & Khan Academy Student Ambassador, Sandsuky Jr/Sr HS]
Participants who attend this session will learn how to 1)Access resources to let you teach your staff how to create Khan Academy accounts for the purpose of using Coaching Tools 2) Explore ways to use Khan Academy Coaching Tools as part of general instruction as well as targeted SAT/PSAT preparation and 3) Dialogue with colleagues on how Khan Academy Coaching Tools can be used in your building.

Coaching & Evaluation: Blurring the Lines for Educator Growth
[Steve Seward, MASSP]
Both functions have a valuable place in schools, and when intentions are known, congruent behaviors can be navigated allowing for the essential work—student learning—to become the norm. In this session participants will explore concrete ways to navigate conversations, provide feedback, and sustain a culture focused on self-directed growth and learning.

The Intersection of Student Mental Health, Corporate Partnership, and School Improvement Planning
[Christopher Rugh, Director of School Improvement, Plymouth-Canton Educational Park]
The Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (PCEP) recruited the help of a local business to partner and develop school improvement plans addressing social, emotional, and psychological support for 6,200 high school students. PCEP asked local professionals in the community to share their expertise with staff, students, and administration while creating relationships between the workforce and students as an investment in their future workforce. Learn how we started, where we are now, and how introducing your local workforce into school improvement planning can bring focus, energy, and celebration to your school. Your school board will love it!

Leading Change for Personalized and Blended Learning, I’s Not Just Buying Devices
[Stacey Schuh, Michigan Virtual]
When it comes to personalizing student learning at a school-wide level, you need more than just devices. In this session, you will hear from administrators and educators about their journeys to leverage technology to increase student agency. You’ll learn how these districts have created a customized blueprint for implementing blended and personalized learning, designed teacher-led professional development, implemented personalized coaching, and gave stakeholders — including students — a voice in their learning.

Balancing the PSAT and Career Development Education at the Middle Level
[Dave Kushman, Interim Principal, Hayes Middle School, Grand Ledge Public Schools]
The transition from MSTEP to PSAT8/9 took tremendous amounts of planning and coordination to meet the college board test administration requirements that challenged many middle schools this year. Not only did it impact our 8th graders, but our other MS students that were not testing. In order to administer the PSAT8/9 with fidelity and provide a meaningful instructional opportunity for our other middle school students, we reimagined the use of time and space on this test day. Attend this workshop to learn how one middle school successfully balanced the administration of the PSAT8/9, while simultaneously hosting a career exploration experience for students in other grade levels. This workshop is intended for: Middle School Principals/Assistant principals, Curriculum Directors, Career-Based RESA/ISD staff.

Tech Toolbox for Administrators: Work Like a Boss!
[Ryan Cayce, MASSP]
Participants will learn about valuable tech resources in the areas of organization, communication, and collaboration so they can better engage with students, staff, and parents. Attendees are encouraged to bring a device and explore these resources, as well as their own tech tools, with peers during the session.

Tiered Interventions that Work
[Paul Deangelis, Tracey Lowder, Kevin Hudson, Jason Skiba, & Dan Hyliard, Ann Arbor Pioneer High School]
An interactive session for administrators to hear interventions implemented at other schools and to offer their own expertise about interventions that work with students at their school. Led by Ann Arbor Pioneer High School’s Administrative Team, this session will have participants walking out with 2-3 new intervention ideas that they can add to their toolbox and incorporate into their School Improvement Plan.

Using SLOs for Teacher Evaluation: One District’s Process
[Anthony Ruela, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools]
The past five years have been a time of evolution for educator evaluations across the state of Michigan. This session will highlight how Plymouth-Canton Community Schools’ (P-CCS) revised the district’s educator evaluation processes to better support professional growth while complying with changes in Michigan's educator evaluation legislation (PA 173 of 2015). Participants will learn how P-CCS revised existing practices to more effectively utilize Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) and state assessment data alongside classroom observations to advance professional growth. Multiple resources will be shared.

We've Broken Down Our PSAT/SAT Data and Set Goals, Now What?
[Colin Ripmaster, MASSP]
Continuing to cover too much content and administering more tests will not lead to different outcomes. Learn how to engage teacher's in collaborative inquiry to maximize use of PSAT and SAT data and resources, in order to prioritize specific academic skills, provide targeted instruction, and progress monitor learning throughout the year utilizing the College Board’s Skills Insight Report and Report Portal.

Raise Student Engagement: Invite Six Co-Teachers to Join Your Classrooms Daily
[ Marlene Scott & Jillian Hartmen, Algebra Nation]
Learn about the five components of Algebra Nation resources, including free videos, online testing platform, an interactive algebra wall and more. Participants will also learn about pedagogical strategies that teachers are using to implement these resources and direct student learning to meet the needs of diverse populations

Whatever It Takes (for Students to Succeed In Life and School)
[Dr. Bryan Pearlman]
"Whatever It Takes” is the title of a new book for educators by Dr. Bryan Pearlman. This has also been his motto and mission for decades. He shares his own personal struggles as a student in the 1970s and 1980s, and his successes as a teacher and administrator helping students with challenging behaviors and those that have been traumatized. Dr. Pearlman infuses many stories, strategies, and out of the box ideas for helping all students to be successful in school and in life in this engaging presentation.

Leaving a Legacy Sponsored by Jostens
[Mike Wolf, Vice-President, Jostens Renaissance]
Take a look at the mark you're making and the legacy you will leave on your school. What do you stand for, what does it look like, and how do you live it? With proven ideas from our Jostens Renaissance program as well as Jostens SchoolMark, we hope to help schools renew and re-energize the climate and culture in the hallways and in the classrooms of America's schools.

Harnessing Professional Learning Opportunities to Create SUPER Schools
[Elizabeth Mosher, Brighton Area Schools & Deirdre Brady, Plymouth Canton Community Schools]
In this interactive session, participants will learn how effectively utilizing professional learning opportunities can lead to a building-wide cultural transformation. Explore how two administrators create long-term professional learning plans to build coherence in developing a culture of learning. Participants will leave with several tools to construct a long-range plan. In addition, discover multiple professional learning topics that could be used to start or enhance the transformation process.

College Board's New Career Finder Tool
[Ted Gardella, College Board]
The College Board has launched a new tool for career exploration and planning that uses PSAT data, not an additional test. The new tool is connected with Roadtrip Nations video library, and with local workforce data. Launch year is upon us - the new tool is ready to use with this springs MME assessment results. See a live demo of the tool, and learn about opportunities to pilot in Michigan.

Active Violence Preperation - ALICE
[Nicholas Toodzio, Assistant Principal, Mason High School]
Introduction and Summary of the ALICE strategies for schools.

Are You Planning for Retirement?
[Ray Flemming & Elaine Scott, ORS]
You are working your way towards a pension and that’s a good thing. Retirement planning is always important, but even more so as you get closer to retirement. This session will give you important pointers about your own retirement plan, as well as the slightly different retirement plans of newer employees. We’ll talk about how to become eligible for your plan, the differences between different plans in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement system, and the importance of making informed choices along the retirement planning journey. A representative from the Office of Retirement Services will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about MIP, Basic, Pension Plus, and Defined Contribution retirement plans.

Middle School Scheduling Maze
[Moderator: Tammy Jackson, MASSP Panelists: Jason Messenger/Portage West MS, Mitch Cummings/Big Rapids MS & Rick Frens/Hamilton MS]
Are you looking for ways to change up your middle school schedule to include programming that meets the needs of your students? Are you already doing some creative scheduling that you can share? MASSP's Tammy Jackson will moderate a panel of three current middle-level Principals will share their thoughts around scheduling as well as schedules that have worked in their buildings. Round table discussion will also be included to allow for sharing, question/answer and problem solving.

Your PSAT 8/9 Results are in, Now What?
[Wendy Zdeb, MASSP]
This breakout is specifically targeted for Middle-Level Principals and High School Principals who are not familiar with the College Board Reporting portal. Individual student results are already available to access in the College Board reporting portal- Are your students & parents aware of this? School level results will be available any day- Do you have a plan to share the results & work with your staff?  In this session participants will: 1) Learn how to equip parents and students with information on how to create College Board accounts and access student scores 2) How to access the College Board portal for whole school results 3) Learn what types of reports are available 4) Talk about next steps in terms of breaking down data with staff for SIP purposes.

Going Global, Lessons from Home and Abroad
[Chris Huff, Waverly High School]
The Global economy of the 21st century demands that students come to employers equipped with the skills to communicate, problem-solve, and collaborate across many different cultures on an international scale. By focusing on "Global Competencies," highlighting cultural diversity, and exposing students to international collaborators, Waverly High School has able to bring the world to our students so that they may thrive in the Global Society.

Using a Mentoring & Evaluating Model to Increase Administrator Growth
[Dr. Adam Hartley & Heidie Cielsielski, Fenton Area Public Schools]
The Executive Team at Fenton Area Public Schools helped to create a mentoring + evaluating model this past school year that gives all building leaders a mentor and an evaluator. The mentors help engage administrators in personal/professional goals, holding them to their mission and vision for the year, a collegial dialogue model that they could implement in their buildings with teacher leaders. The evaluator helps engage administrators in school/district goals, holds them to the mission and vision of the school and district and uses all of the collegial mentoring dialogue to improve the administrator professionally, thus improving the school buildings and district.

Superintendent Panel - Up Close & Personal
[Chris Wigent, MASA]
MASA Executive Director, Chris Wigent will facilitate a panel of current superintendents who will provide information about serving in this position in today's educational climate. Time will be allocated for questions from those in attendance.

Positive Climate and Culture = Your Success
[Dave Feenstra, Commissioner, OK Conference; Retired Principal, Hudsonville High School and MASSP Past-President]
Your success as a principal is based on your ability to create positive climate and culture at your school. During this interactive session, participants will learn strategies to de-escalate and manage difficult educational situations by developing therapeutic rapport with students, teachers and parents. We'll collaboratively answer important questions to consider in effective student behavior modification and discipline.

Big Offerings for Small Schools: Creating a Master Schedule with Multiple Options
[Michael Ostrander, Principal, Belding High School]
Small schools often struggle to offer a variety of high-interest elective courses that move beyond traditional core instruction. At Belding High School, we created a plan to offer "skinny" courses (9-week electives) that would ignite the passion of both teachers and students. This presentation will show how we used creativity and flexibility to change our master schedule from traditional to motivational.

"If You Think it, Ink It" in the Cloud Computing Age - Coming Soon!
[Adel DiOrio, St. Johns Middle School]
As Simon Sinek says, "Start with the why." But there is always so much what, how, and when to consider and communicate. Perhaps you have shared one of these sentiments:

  • Trainings and initiatives seem to come and go without meaningful implementation.
  • It feels impossible to hand off or collaborate on tasks because it would take longer to explain it than to just do it yourself.
  • Twelve versions of that required form are floating around your organization, and no one seems to know which is the most current.
  • You never get on top of your email, and it feels like you are the on source for answers for your staff.
  • Legislative requirements changed, yet again, and you need to ensure that your staff is implementing the new requirements with fidelity...even though the requirements have only just been released.

How can you use Google applications to grow your organizational systems and create of culture of continuous organizational improvement? During this session, we will discuss systems mindset, how to use live documents in the Google Suite to sustain organizational growth, and the critical role predictable, serial communication plays in implementing systems. You will be provided examples to copy, modify, and use in your school setting.

CLEP - what is it, and how does it enhance your college credit opportunities for students?
[Ted Gardella, College Board]
CLEP - the College Level Examination Program - is new to Michigan K-12 schools, but is funded by the same funds which cover low income AP students. Come learn how you can add another layer to your college credit opportunities for students at a very low cost, and with easy to implement procedures. Plainwell High School will be on hand to discuss some innovative ways they are adding college credit opportunities to existing classes.

EDP’s, Internships & Career Awareness - Coming Soon!
[Wendy Zdeb & Bob Kefgen, MASSP]
A number of new legislative requirements took effect in December of 2018 and additional laws on these topics take effect at the start of the 2019-20 school year.  These broad and sweeping changes have K-12 implications and require a systemic district approach.  This session aims to shed light on Michigan's new changes and inspire attendees to move beyond compliance toward a comprehensive career development program for all students.

HELP! Student Growth Didn't Go Away. Now What?
[Colin Ripmaster, MASSP]
As districts grapple with implementing the state’s requirements for annual evaluations, a common pain point has been the use of student growth and assessment data. With 40% of an evaluation based of SGA in 2019-20, principals need a solid plan for the collection, analysis and reporting of educator impact on student learning. Prepare now to perform later, by learning how to use Eidex' Prism software to calculate SGA ratings from local, vendor, and state assessments.

Social-Emotional & Academic Student Support Systems
[Cory McElmeel, Principal & Casey Elmore, SLC Principal, Skyline High School]
Listen and learn about how a large comprehensive high school creates systems and networks to support students' social-emotional and academic needs. Learn from our mistakes and successes as our school has ventured through the process of developing innovative ideas into sustainable systems and networks.

No Room to Fail: Keeping Students on Track in Mathematics
[Jamie Dewitt, Principal, NexTech High School of Lansing]
With four years of required mathematics courses, there is little room for Michigan students who fail algebra or geometry to recover credits and still stay in cohort. In this session, you will hear from a high school principal about how she uses digital tools to support her most at-risk math learners while keeping them on track to graduate. You’ll have an opportunity to discuss this common challenge with other schools and discover effective ways to target knowledge gaps, help students meet grade-level expectations, and provide early interventions to prevent future failure.

Simulations & Scenarios: A Digital Style of Professional Development for Administrators
[Tammy Jackson & Ryan Cayce, MASSP]
In this session, participants will engage in a digital style of PD developed by MASSP which will focus on decision-making in real-life and everyday situations that come across a principal's desk. These lessons utilize dynamic multi-media presentations and gamification style learning while having learners reflect on current practices and strategies for improvement. Participants attending this session will jump into a simulation facilitated by Tammy Jackson and Ryan Cayce of MASSP.

System of Support: Building a Resource Room
[Allyson Walroth, Assistant Curriculum Director, Grand Blanc High School]
In this session, attendees will hear about how Grand Blanc High School recreated a Resource Room opportunity for Special Education students that provides them with a strong community base, academic and skill support, and a chance to complete credit recovery during the school day. Discover how administrators and teachers worked hand-in-hand with intentional team planning to develop this support system so that all students can achieve.

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