Partner Communications

April 2021

I hope you are doing well on this chilly April day. My colleagues at Michigan Virtual and I have several updates we’re thrilled to share with you and your members that I believe will be helpful in those endeavors.

As part of our sponsorship, I ask that you please look over the announcements on this page and promote them in your upcoming communications and on your social platforms. We also ask that you reshare our social media posts when you see content relevant to your members! 

Thank you for your partnership. Because of you, we’re able to share our resources more widely and significantly impact student success in Michigan. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to follow up with me at [email protected]michiganvirtual.org.

Sincerely,

Anne Craft Signature for letter to partners

Anne Craft

Executive Director of Outreach

Michigan Virtual

Every student, every teacher, every person has a story. In this episode of BRIGHT, we talk to Ben Gilpin, principal of Warner Elementary School, who explores how he and his staff have cultivated a family-like atmosphere at their school and why educating the “whole child” means listening to and honoring their whole story.

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Do you know any inspiring & innovative educators in your community who would be a good fit for our BRIGHT podcast? In exchange for a 60-minute interview, they will receive a $50 Amazon gift card for their time and energy.

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The Michigan Cares customized portal is available through the summer. Students, teachers, and parents can take advantage of more than 600 grade-appropriate SEL lessons, ranging from bullying to social awareness through Michigan Cares. Schools and administrators can also apply for a grant to receive premium features, which include custom reporting, single sign-on, and district/school-specific branding.

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Earn 3 SCECHs for free and at your own pace with this new PD course. Participate in self-reflection, celebrate your successes, and learn from experts about how to show up for yourself in order to show up for your students. Teachers from all grade levels will be able to explore resources that support areas of growth and identify the next steps to becoming a more reflective practitioner.

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Key Strategies for Engaging Students in Virtual Learning Environments is a recent report published this month. Based on the current practices provided by 1,721 virtual teachers who participated in this study, the report is aimed to aid teachers and administrators of both traditional and nontraditional schools and districts who are developing their skills and abilities as virtual educators. 

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In addition to the French and German Language Boost programs, Michigan Virtual will be offering Spanish Language Boost this summer. Using these online summer programs powered by Lingco Language Labs’ artificial intelligence-driven software help grades 8-12 keep their language skills sharp for the upcoming school year. Stay tuned for more information.

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Holly Boleski writes about what it’s like to be an online instructor. She shares what 10 online instructors at Michigan Virtual, who have a combined 60+ years in teaching online, have learned about teaching in a digital environment.

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Dr. Nikolas McGehee shares the history of tutoring, types of tutoring systems, and the best practices for this kind of instruction.

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Dr. Nikolas McGehee shines a light on how transitioning to a competency-based education model can be challenging; however, teachers often already participate in some form of competency-based education as they track students’ performance and knowledge during unit progression.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.