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June 2019

Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan states that we will further develop a more coherent and aligned education system at all levels.

Based on the work of Fullan, Kirtman, and others, leadership at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has identified three priorities (Literacy, Whole Child, and P-8) to provide a focused direction and guide work at the department during the next few years. These three priorities are designed to sharpen our focus in the department, increase cross-agency work within the department, and explicitly link that work to Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Years strategic plan.

Literacy is an essential skill for everyone. It begins early in a child’s development and continues throughout life. In Michigan, our current focus is on early literacy to ensure that every child is on track for literacy success. Instrumental to this work are essential literacy practices to guide instruction for every child, in every classroom, every day.

Training modules are available to support educators with the implementation of the essential literacy practices. These modules show Michigan teachers expertly using these literacy practices with the students in their classes. MDE is also working directly with ISDs, local districts, and education partners to support the implementation of the essential practices. In addition, each office within MDE is committing to activities that align to the three goals of Michigan’s Action Plan for Literacy Excellence.

Whole Child
Every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged for long-term success in school and beyond. We know that factors outside of school can dramatically affect a child’s learning and well-being. When children are food insecure or feel unsafe, they find it difficult to engage in the learning environment, just as adults cannot focus on work when they do not feel well.

MDE has crafted a definition of the Whole Child and is using a model of connected efforts that include: Whole Community, Whole School, and Whole Child. This model provides a broad framework for addressing both the academic and non-academic needs of students in an integrated approach. MDE is working with strategic partners to recognize and support the needs of every child so that they enter the classroom ready and eager to learn.

Prenatal through Age Eight (P-8)
Children need to have a strong start in life from prenatal to age eight (P-8). MDE's Prenatal through Age Eight (P-8) Priority Initiative will provide connections among our early childhood education, K-12, and other efforts to ensure that our work is aligned. The P-20 System and Student Transitions team is taking the lead to launch, develop, and manage the department's P-8 initiative and will work with a technical assistance partner to support this work.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is seeking proposals from school- and district-level practitioners for breakout sessions of the MDE Fall 2019 Continuous Improvement Conference, which will take place on November 18. Request for Proposal forms are due to MDE by June 28

For conference registration and information, please visit the event website

The MDE School Improvement Support Unit provides technical assistance and support for ASSIST users. For detailed instructions on submitting reports, please see the Resources section found on the AdvancED/MDE website. Note that there are tabs for SchoolsDistricts, and Quick Guides, along with additional information. Please contact our office if you need further assistance.

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