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Home Bulletins Weekly Updates The MAPSA Connection - December 2013
The MAPSA Connection - December 2013
105 W. Allegan, Suite 300, Lansing, MI 48933 | www.charterschools.org

In This Issue
MAPSA Member Spotlight
School Spotlight: West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science

The West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science in Grand Rapids opened in 1994 as one of the state's original charter schools. True to its name, the school weaves the environment into every aspect of its curriculum. Watch this video to see how they use the outdoors to teach everything from math to ELA.
 

Video by MAPSA Vice President of Communications, Buddy Moorehouse
New School Development Funding Opportunities
Below are several important new school development dates approaching:
  • January 21 - Walton Startup Grant Due
  • March 5 - MDE Planning & Implementation Grant Due
  • March 19 & 20 - Walton Startup Grant Interviews

Click here for more information on funding opportunities.

Backstage Pass
Northpointe Academy's Beasts of the Beat were a huge hit at this year's MAPSA Conference. Check out this backstage look at the group's performance here.
In the News!
The ROTC program at Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods was featured recently on TV20 in Detroit. See the report here.
Thanksgiving Day Parade
Did you catch the Thanksgiving Day parade in Detroit? One of the best floats was designed by a charter school student. See the story here.
Find out more about MAPSA's Cooperative Providers in our Virtual Marketplace by clicking on the logos below:



Hertz Logo



General Agency Logo
December 4, 2013

Thank you for being an involved leader in improving education. Our aim at MAPSA is to make those improvements through the best means possible: choice and innovation. That combination can be unstoppable, with your help, in positively impacting children and enabling them to pursue their dreams while being happy and healthy, and potentially change the world.

 

I have been recently added to the MAPSA team to assist with outreach, and to empower those who share our passion to continue spreading the word of choice and innovation through all forms possible, including social media.

 

Social media has become part of the fabric of modern society. From sports teams to live voting reality shows to celebrities, it has spread like wild fire being integrated into our daily lives.

 

It isn't just about entertainment, though. Facebook and Twitter have become great tools used to influence the media, elected officials, and inform citizens. It is even being used in classrooms across the country in innovative ways to engage students. (See: Once blocked, Twitter and other social media become classroom tools.)

 

Those against more choices in education are and have been engaged and influential. Together, I feel we can empower each other to be better advocates. If we are going to improve education so more kids have access to quality schools, we need to be engaged on all platforms.

 

I invite you to get started by following MAPSA on Twitter and Facebook. There we can keep each other up-to-date on the important and current issues at hand and share stories about how choice improves lives and opportunities. I also encourage you to follow MAPSA's President Dan Quisenberry and Alicia Urbain, Vice President of Legal and Governmental Affairs, for even more information as they attend committee hearings and state board meetings.

 

Let's continue planting the seeds of choice and improve lives in the process.


Greg George

Advocacy Coordinator, MAPSA

Best Practice of the Month:
Finding the Chocolate in Math
For years, educators have been fighting the urge to "put chocolate on math." At this year's Michigan Charter School Conference, speaker Constance Steinkuehler addressed this perfectly, saying, "Instead of trying to put chocolate on math, we need to ask, 'What about math is chocolate?' " As we ponder those words of wisdom, here's a story to inspire you, written by Chris Thompson, MAPSA, Vice President of School Initiatives.
Conference Connection
Survey Winners Announced!

Thank you to everyone that provided feedback on the 16th Annual Michigan Charter School Conference by completing our survey.

 

We are pleased to announce the winners of our survey contest. The following names were drawn at random from the attendees that completed the survey, and each will be the recipient of a $500 Visa gift card:

  • Yulonda Moore of Hope Academy
  • Bilaal Paker of Frontier International Academy
  • Chris Bail of Lincoln-King Academy

Congratulations to the winners and thank you for your input, as it helps us to make valuable decisions about next year's event!

 

If you have additional feedback about the conference, please don't hesitate to contact us by emailing conference@charterschools.org.

 
Check out the Conference Photo Booth Photo Gallery!

Whether you and your colleagues were able to stop by the MAPSA photo booth in the exhibit hall or not, you will enjoy viewing the images that were captured at the booth!

 

Click here to catch a glimpse of the smiles that were shared at the conference!

Lansing Connection
A-F Letter Grading & 3rd Grade Reading Retention Bills
The House Education Committee voted on and passed the A-F Letter Grading Bill (HB 5112) and the 3rd Grade Reading Retention Bill (HB 5111 and HB 5144) today. These will now move to the House Floor and may still go through some changes; we are hopeful that the content from these bills will provide meaningful information to parents.

Criminal History Record Information Policy Changes
The Michigan State Police recently sent a letter to all schools notifying them to some policy changes in the Criminal History Record Information for team members employed by third party contractors. This is the result of an FBI audit. The requirements are mostly federal, but MAPSA is working with MSP to get more information on how this change in policy will affect charter schools. However, please know that schools should start to work to comply with the changes and transfer records back to the schools if they were previously kept off site. For more information, please click here, and stay tuned to MAPSA for more information.

Stay Connected

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Michigan Association of Public School Academies | 517-374-9167 | | www.charterschools.org
105 W. Allegan
Suite 300
Lansing, MI 48933
Advocate. Support. Connect.
Our mission is to improve educational outcomes for Michigan's children by advancing quality education through choice and innovation.


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