We are in the middle of an intense moment for our state, country and our world.

Educational institutions are struggling to address the challenges of the national emergency caused by COVID-19. We're all adapting to a new normal, while implementing new ways to facilitate, monitor and assess learning. To support building administrators in advancing learning through educational leadership, MASSP hosts weekly Leader2Leader sessions. Leader to Leader is a facilitated professional learning network for school leaders to connect, collaborate, and share during the suspension of face-to-face instruction caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The weekly Zoom Leader2Leader meetings take place from 1-2 pm each Thursday during the suspension of face-to-face instruction.  Participants register for each webinar individually and are approved for SCECH's based on their participation in the webinar.  Zoom tracks the duration of each individual's presence in webinar down to the minute.

March 19: School Doors are Closed. Now What?

During Round 1 of L2L Bob Kefgen and Colin Ripmaster provided a legislative update specific to COVID-19 and anticipated implications for schools during the suspension of face-to-face instruction.  Participants then joined virtual breakout sessions specific to: continuity of learning, low tech options and teacher, employee, and student mental health.

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March 26 Accessibility, Accountability and FAPE

During Round 2 of L2L attorneys from Lusk Albertson address issues and frequently asked questions related to distance / e-learning, FAPE, and accessibility. Participants then shift into one of four concurrent break-out sessions developed in response to our member survey.  During the breakout session, MASSP staff shared practical ideas, tools and strategies specific to leading collaborative meetings in a virtual world, tech tools for staying connected, and continuum of practice and considerations during the suspension of face-to-face instruction.

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April 2: Continuity of Learning Plans What ~ Why ~ How

Round 3 of Leader2Leader focused on the role of building administrators in leading stakeholders during the extended school closure. The following topics framed each chunk of the webinar: Continuity of Learning Plans, Communication and Leadership, Reasonable and Appropriate Learning Opportunities, Prioritization of Time, Tasks, and Well-being.

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April 9: Breaking Down and Responding to Gov Whitmer's EO

Round 4 of Leader2Leader focused on frequently asked questions related to EO 2020-35, including grades and credits, admissions/scholarships/NCAA eligibility, Budget and Labor Issues, End of Year Activities / Commencement, and Thinking Forward

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April 23: Rites-of-Passage Creating Moments during COVID-19

Round 5 begins with a general session specific to planning end-of-year activities and backup options given EO to Stay Home / Stay Safe. The session includes modeling of one possible timeline for loosening social distancing restrictions using the criteria in the White House’s “Open Up America“ plan, alongside state /local infection rate projections. In addition, recommendations were provided for use of a continuum-based approach to planning based on updated EO guidance for person-to-person contact, local capacity, priorities of stakeholders, and what might be reasonable and appropriate in one’s local community. Breakout sessions explored What / How / Why That Way. 

HS Edition:

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MS Edition:

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April 30: Continuity of Learning - Lessons Learned

Round 6 is a facilitated panel discussion in which practicing principals share their thinking regarding the opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned from initial implementation of their district Continuity of Learning Plans, Panelist respond to the following prompts: How have you approached continuity of learning during the suspension of face-to-face instruction? Why that way? What’s working and how do you know? How are you monitoring/planning to monitor implementation?  What challenges/struggles have you encountered? What might need rethinking/adapting and how do you know? What are some lessons learned that might inform approaches to curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the 2020-21 school year? 

HS Edition:

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MS Edition:

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May 7: Implications of COVID-19 on School Funding

Round 7 explores the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on state revenue, and potential implications for a district's budgets.   To help school leaders begin planning for the economic impact on local district budgets, Bob Kefgen, MASSP's Director of Government Relations, will moderate a panel discussion featuring school funding experts from the State Budget Office. Bethany Wicksall, the State Budget Office Director of Legislative and External Affairs, and Beth Bullion, the Director of the Office of Education within the State Budget Office will review the projected impact on COVID-19 on state tax revenue generally and school funding in particular and answer participant questions about what the current crisis might mean for school funding this year and next.

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Know Before You Go Video

May 14: Trusted Voices

Round 8 features a panel of counselors and teachers share what they are experiencing under the current conditions and what they think should happen moving forward. Focus questions include: What do you appreciate/value regarding your schools approach to remote learning? What challenges/obstacles does remote learning create for you and/or your dept/team? Students? Families? What do you believe needs further rethinking/reframing/refining? What would you appreciate or need moving forward?

HS Edition:

MS Edition:

May 20: Fall College Board PSAT/SAT Testing

PSAT/SAT Testing may not be something that principals even want to think about with all the pressing issues at hand...and that is understandable.  This being said, the Governor’s Executive Order ensures students in grades 9-12 will be provided a free PSAT/SAT test in the fall and MDE recently provided the testing schedule options.  There are many moving parts to consider as you plan for fall testing and you don’t want to wait until August or September to develop a plan.  Ted Gardella from the College Board will help to unpack the information provided in MDE’s Spotlight testing article and answer your questions.  Following Ted’s presentation, MASSP’s Executive Director Wendy Zdeb along with Steve Carlson (Principal at Sandusky Jr/Sr High School) and Erin Carlson (Teacher at Sandusky Jr/Sr High School) will share their thoughts on setting up a testing calendar and preparing students and staff.

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May 21: Highs and Lows of Remote Learning

Round 9 features a panel of students who share their experience with remote learning and under the current conditions and what they think should happen moving forward. Focus questions include: What did you appreciate/value regarding your school's approach to remote learning? What challenges/obstacles did remote learning create for you and/or your family? What do you believe needs further rethinking/reframing/refining? What would you appreciate or need moving forward?

HS Edition:

MS Edition:

May 28: Kim Marshall and the Marshall Memo

Round 10 features Kim Marshall from the nationally-known Marshall Memo joining the MASSP Leader2Leader webinar to showcase relevant resources related to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Kim will walk participants through the new version of the Marshall Memo which includes dividing the articles into four groups: (a) understanding the pandemic, (b) the human side of online teaching, (c) pedagogical issues with online teaching, and (d) planning for school reopening.

Slide Deck
Additional Handouts

June 4: Remote Learning Superintendent Panel

Round 11 features a panel of Superintendents who share their assessment and reflections related to remote learning, and what they think should happen moving forward. Focus questions include: What did you appreciate/value regarding your schools approach to remote learning? What challenges/obstacles did remote learning create for you and/or your family? What do you believe needs further rethinking/reframing/refining? What would you appreciate or need moving forward?

June 18: Planning for Fall: Here's What ~ So What ~ Now What?

Round 12 will draw closure to MASSP's L2L series with a look forward to the Reopening of Schools.  Bob Kefgen and Colin Ripmaster will provide an overview of each phase of the "MI Safe Start" plan, implications of restrictions at each phase for  schools and examples of what schools might do during each phase.  Participants will receive an overview of the multiple workgroups focused on reopening school in the fall, as well as possible outcomes from each group.  The session will conclude with 8 recommendations for what building principals should do now, consider in the coming weeks, and be prepared to make decisions about in July for the reopening of school.  Strategies for mitigating risk of COVID-19 transmission will be shared, including intentional organization of student cohorts, adjustments to the master schedule and/or school calendar, and considerations for allocation and use of space and time.  Participants will receive a link to a principals checklist, as well as a comprehensive playbook of tools and guidance for planning forward.

Slide Deck


Surveys of Remote Learning Experiences to Plan Forward

Before Planning forward we first need to look in the rear-view mirror and conduct an “autopsy” of our pandemic learning experiences to determine what worked and what didn’t.  Data from students, parents/families and staff should be triangulated for this autopsy.  The following surveys are currently available to gather this information:

Family/Parent Survey
Student Survey
Teacher Survey

Re-Opening Considerations Compilation

MASSP has compiled a document titled, Considerations for Reopening of Schools.  As various other entities released plans for reopening, MASSP made note of the topics being considered and created a master list of all the topics that potentially need to be addressed as schools look to reopen.

Planning for Remote Instruction Principal’s Checklist

MASSP’s Remote Learning Principal Checklist provides project management considerations, tasks and resources that might support, supplement, and/or supplant pandemic learning practices, as schools transition to higher quality remote and blended learning for the 2020-21 school year.  

Additional Resources

July 1: Return to School Roadmap

Governor Whitmer will be releasing Michigan's Return to School Roadmap.  Join MASSP on July 1 – the day after that Roadmap is released – for  Leader2Leader Round 13: Reviewing the Return to School Roadmap. The session will include an executive overview of the Return to School Roadmap and a panel discussion about the recommendations with several members of the Governor's Return to School Advisory Council. Participants will have the opportunity to hear first hand about both the recommendations and the thinking that went into those recommendations from the perspective of the educators and health experts who developed them.

Panelists who joined the webinar include:

  • JoLynn Clark, Principal, Frankenmuth High School
  • Dr. David Hecker, President, AFT Michigan
  • Brandy Johnson, Policy Advisor for Education & Workforce Development, Governor Whitmer's Staff
  • Dr. Elizabeth Koschmann,  Assistant Research Scientist, Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School
  • Justin Michalak, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Services, Macomb Intermediate School District
  • Dr. Robert Shaner, Superintendent, Rochester Community Schools
  • Josh Smith, High School Counselor, Western High School in Parma
Watch the MASSP Return to School Roadmap Overview Video

July 16: The Principal's Guide to Safely Reopening Schools

On Thursday, July 16 at 1 pm, MASSP will host Leader2Leader Round 14: The Principal's Guide to Safely Reopening Schools, in which Bob Kefgen, Colin Ripmaster and Wendy Zdeb will revisit the Governors Return to School Roadmap from the lens of a building principal, including specific scheduling and cohort mitigation strategies that should be explored and addressed now in order to transition between remote, blended and face-to-face learnings.  Participants will receive MASSP's Principal's Checklist that lays out tasks and considerations for all phases at-a-glance by each category.  

Reopening of Schools Toolkit
Slide Deck

July 22: Pupil Accounting and Flexible Learning Options

The challenges of pupil accounting in a non-traditional setting have never been more important as districts plan ahead for educating in an unknown and possibly fluid environment this fall.  On Wednesday, July 22 at 1 p.m., join MASSP and Michigan Pupil Accounting and Auditing Association Executive Director Robert Dickenson for a review of the flexible learning options currently available to schools through Michigan's pupil accounting rules. The session will review the need-to-know requirements for virtual learning (including blended learning environments), distance learning, seat time waivers and other similar non-traditional learning formats. We will also take participant questions.

Slide Deck
Pupil Accounting FAQ

July 23: Local District Panel Discussion on Approaches and Models for Reopening Schools

Listen in on this panel discussion as school and district leaders share their plans for providing remote instruction in the fall.  Panelists will represent districts of varying sizes and student populations as well as approaches.

Panelist Resources

July 29: Michigan Virtual Resources, Tools and Partnership Options

Join MASSP and Michigan Virtual for a structured review of the plethora of resources available to help provide learning continuity to students through the COVID-19 pandemic, including 1) online professional learning playlists and modules for educators 2) online and blended learning evaluation and planning resources, including decision-matrix for school leaders on selecting an LMS 3) crowd-sourced repository of online content options including access to FREE academic, SEL and mental health content and 4) resources on web accessibility to support students with disabilities and ensure ADA compliance.

Slide Deck

July 30: GELN Model Plans for Reopening School Safely

Join MASSP and MAISA-GELN on a structured review of the 10 steps to developing Safe Schools Preparedness Plan, including how to utilize the MAISA COL Enhanced Guidance Document, MASSP Roadmap Tracking Tool, and MV resources to not only create, but implement and progress monitor local MI Safe Schools Preparedness Plans.

Reopening of Schools Toolkit

August 12: Managing Attendance, Health Screening and EDPs

During this webinar, participants learned how Mavin "Solution" automatically deploys and documents daily attendance, weekly two-way communication, and EDP's in compliance with pupil accounting requirements, as well as provides health screening and tracking, in accordance with MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap, CDC and Michigan Association for Local Public Health (MALPH) guidance, and NEW MHSAA eligibility requirements. During the session, participants viewed a live demonstration of each of the following resources within Mavin Solution:

  • Daily Attendance and Wellness Tracker
  • Daily Health Screener (MHSAA Compliant)
  • UM TRAILS Anxiety & Depression Screener
  • Elementary and Secondary EDPs required for Virtual Learning
Learn More
Get Started with MAVIN

August 27: Pandemic Related Handbook and Legal Issues

Principals know there are many challenges and opportunities that will present themselves from enforcing social distancing, wearing of masks and addressing staff and student behaviors that may present at school, home or online. Knowing no handbook addresses all possible situation or scenario, and there is no legal precedent for student discipline during a pandemic, MASSP has partnered with Lusk Albertson to create a “Legal Survival Guide” and recently updated it to reflect the unique circumstances that the required and strongly recommended practices of the "MI Safe Schools 20-21 Return to School Roadmap." During this webinar, Kevin Sutton will address handbook revisions to consider related to return to school and updated Title IX, some best practices in setting expectations and responding to undesirable behavior during a pandemic, and address questions from the field.

Slide Deck
Legal Survival Guide Subscription