PSA Newsletter - September 2020
PSA Newsletter - September 2020
Oakland University
Office of Public School Academies

 September 2020

Welcome Back Edition

Oakland University’s public school academies have risen to the challenge of the Coronavirus, providing learning, connection, and compassion to their students and families. We look forward to the start of the school year and continue to be a resource for school administration, board members and staff to best support the school communities served. Thank you for all you do!
Michigan Safe Schools Road Map
Young boy on laptop at home
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team as questions or need for discussion arise. Thanks, everyone. Your thoughtfulness and creativity thus far in planning during these unprecedented times is inspiring! 

News and Resources

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a rapidly evolving issue, and we are monitoring it closely. The PSA Office has created a COVID-19 resource page for schools which is updated often.
MAPSA has created a resource tool for charter school educators, families and advocates, created through the collaborative efforts of MAPSA - MI's Charter School Association & the MI Council of Charter School Authorizers. 

MDE Special Education Memo
Epicenter Logo
Epicenter Is Getting A New Look
Epicenter Updates

Epicenter is getting a new look! All of the coding for Epicenter has been rewritten, the landing pages and interface will be updated beginning 8/29/20. The functionality of the system will be the same but the new code will make searching easier and improve the use of the system on mobile devices too.

Here is the link attached to the webinar they hosted earlier this month. All users should take the time to review the changes. The presentation is only about 25 minutes.

In addition, Epicenter is also hosting some post release webinars; Epicenter Next Gen and a Q&A Session with the updates on Wednesday, September 23 at 3:00 pm. Both are open to all users. Users should be receiving email information from Epicenter on how to register.

NWEA Updates

Schools preparing for the 2020-2021 school year may plan to use a remote assessment platform to track student growth and proficiency.
The remote test-taking experience is nearly identical to its onsite counterpart, with changes mainly in proctor communication and the log-in process. However, the item bank, interface, and test management tools remain the same. From start to finish, the process is straightforward, secure, and easy-to-use. 

With remote testing being new to many schools, NWEA has created an online hub within the NWEA Connection with FAQs, a proctor guide, how-to videos, and resources to share with families. The hub will be updated frequently with new tips and tools as they become available. A specifically helpful resource at this time is the district and school recommendations for MAP Growth administration in a remote environment. There is also a webinar called Work Smart, an Action plan for school restart that may be of assistance.
Webinar Dates
Wednesday, October 7
12:30 PT l 1:30 MT
2:30 CT l 3:30 ET
Wednesday, October 14
3:00 PT l 4:00 MT
5:00 CT l 6:00 ET
Click here to register or email Jessica Lyons at NWEA for more information: 
Drawing of saving for college graduation

FREE OU Webinars on Financial Assistance

Current and future students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every October 1 or shortly thereafter, to apply for financial aid for the next academic year. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid when the FAFSA becomes available in order to increase their opportunity to receive aid awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Complete the FAFSA online or through the MyStudentAid app available on iOS and Android devices. 
MI Charter Mastermind MAPSA logo

MAPSA MI Charter Mastermind Network  

This month the PSA Office wishes to highlight upcoming professional learning opportunities through the MAPSA MI Charter Mastermind Network. 

There are several upcoming offerings which are available FREE of charge to the OU Academies and staff. You can access the information HERE.

Oakland University Offerings 

Beginning in October 2020, Oakland University offers an exciting opportunity to enroll in a 6-credit educational leadership course offered through the Department of Organizational Leadership. 

Board Member Spotlight

This month the PSA Office wishes to spotlight Mr. Jarod McGuffey who is presently serving on the Academy Board of the Dove Academy in Detroit. 

What have been highlights of your time on the board?

I can summarize this into three bullets: building relationships with various stakeholders, learning and developing as a leader myself, and most rewardingly…I get a year by year snapshot of how these amazing students grow academically, socially, and emotionally. 
What did you find especially challenging?
Without question, the greatest challenge I believe any board member faces, is wanting to provide more for our teachers and learners than our resources allow.  Teachers, especially new ones in traditional districts and most in charters are underpaid and deserve more than they receive. 
What do you hope to see the board accomplish in the next year?
Under different circumstances, my response might be different.  However, Covid presented a much broader menu of less-traditional accomplishments to strive for.  For example, I hope our board does everything in our power to support the teaching and learning within Dove Academy’s new environment. I hope our commitment and decisions create a safe and welcoming environment for both our students and staff. Bottom line, I hope and plan for Dove Academy to empower ALL our staff and students so we might overcome any obstacles and move forward together.
Time served:  I served in roles of Trustee, Treasurer, and currently Board President over the last six years.

Thank you, Mr. McGuffey! We appreciate and value your many years of service! 

(Jarod McGuffey is pictured below)
Mr. Jarod McGuffey pictured

Check out Great Reads from Great Places

Watch Great Reads from Great Places, a round-up of children's books selected to represent their state at this year's National Book. KidLitTV
Also check out KidLit Radio - The Children’s Literature Podcast for Kids!
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