E-News Fall 2011



Message from the Director

Dear Colleagues,

In 2010-11, the GVSU Charter Schools Office began a Learning Network with The Education Trust of Washington DC. GVSU’s chartered schools throughout Michigan built teams of teacher and administrator to participate in the program. EdTrust’s National Team led by Dr. Richard Lemons will continue their work in the program through the coming year. We anticipate several more schools signing on as well.

This year the Network will add an additional dimension to assist with implementation of the teaching and learning strategies discussed in the Network. Each participating school will be assigned a coach to assist with the execution of the Network’s programs. The coaches will be experienced educators who will visit schools monthly to assist participating teams.

Data and information collected through the course of the Learning Network will improve the successful program as well as foster ways to benefit all GVSU chartered schools.

In the coming year we look forward to implementing even more beneficial programs and tools to build on the high quality of teaching and academic achievement in GVSU authorized charter schools.


Timothy H. Wood, Ph.D.                                                                 Special Assistant to the President for Charter Schools

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2011 ArtPrize Education Days

As part of ArtPrize, ARTcation is a community wide collaboration between art and humanities organizations that use downtown Grand Rapids as a learning laboratory. By combining their resources and expertise, they provide students with free programming that supports multi-sensory learning experiences and active curriculum investigations.

The GVSU CSO will reimburse bus costs up to $1000 to send your school to ARTcation.   We will also provide lunch to students who attend.   Contact Amirah Vosburgh for specific details.

The ARTcation dates are:

  • September 23 - 9am to 2pm (Middle and High Schools)
  • September 26 -  9am to 2pm (Elementary Schools)

Registration for ARTcation opened on September 6. Space is limited, so register early! For more information, visit the ARTcation website.


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Fall Professional Development Workshops

This fall the Charter Schools Office presents numerous professional development opportunities to give teachers additional tools for educating their students. Look for a mailing to reach you soon with details about dates, times, locations and registration information for these workshops:

  • Differentiated Instruction
  • I've Got Reading Data, Now What?
  • Five Essential Components of Reading
  • Math RtI
  • Classroom Management
  • NWEA MAP Training
  • Technology in the Classroom
  • Writing
  • Intervention Training (Grades K, 1-3, 4-8)
  • Becoming a Leader in the Classroom and School
  • Curriculum Crafter
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Join Us for Lakers Football!

The Charter Schools Office invites you to a tailgate party and Lakers game on September 24. 

4pm-7pm:  Tailgate 

4pm & 5pm: Tours of the GVSU Allendale campus - you will want to see all the changes taking place.

7pm: The GVSU Lakers take on the Findlay Oilers.

The evening is free and we invite you to bring your children. Email Amirah Vosburgh to RSVP.

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Three New GVSU Charter Schools

Grand Valley State University is authorizing three new charter schools this fall. These new schools are possible due to five GVSU schools being designated as Schools of Excellence during the last school year, opening up their charter for a new school. We welcome:

 1.  East Arbor Charter Academy, Ypsilanti

 2.  Forest Academy, Kalamazoo

 3.  South Canton Scholars Charter Academy, Canton


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Welcome to New Charter School Administrators

Several of our charter schools are beginning the school year with new administrators in place and we would like to take a moment to recognize them. They are:

  • Julie Breakiron, Reach Charter Academy
  • Angelia Coleman, Timberland Charter Academy
  • Jennifer Cook, South Canton Scholars Charter Academy
  • Amanda Dickens, Forest Academy
  • Holly Hillary, Vanderbilt Charter Academy
  • Reedell Holmes, Waypoint Charter Academy
  • Shawn Leonard, East Arbor Charter Academy
  • Melissa Martin, Arbor Academy
  • Eric Redwine (Superintendent),  University Preparatory Academy. 

We welcome each of you to your new role and wish you all the best in the innovations and challenges you face ahead.

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Introducing Jill Weber

This summer, Jill Weber joined the CSO team as our second Reading Specialist. She spent 10 years teaching third grade at Walker Charter Academy, and for two years was the Reading Specialist, Title I Coordinator, and Intervention Action Team Coordinator. She received her teaching degree from GVSU and has taken Master’s classes in literacy. Jill will be working with our other Reading Specialist, Wendy Miller, to reach all of our charter schools with literacy and reading programs and training.

Watch for brochures in the mail to learn how our Reading Specialists can be a great resource for your school.

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Compliance Cabinet Reminders

With the new school year starting up, please remember the following while submitting items to the Compliance Cabinet:

1.  Submit all academy board meeting agendas, notice of meetings and cancellations, draft minutes, and final minutes.

2.  Approved minutes must have a signature before they are submitted.

3.  Please do not submit items created in PowerPoint, they will not open.

If you ever have problems or questions when working with the Compliance Cabinet, do not hesitate to call Alyson Poe, at 616-331-3656. Thank you!

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Master's of Education Reimbursement

Don't forget that the GVSU Charter Schools Office offers financial support for teachers and administrators employed within our portfolio of schools who wish to participate in select GVSU Master of Education programs. The five Masters degrees are:

  • Master of Education in Instruction and Curriculum with an Emphasis in Educational Differentiation
  • Master of Education in Leadership with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Technology
  • Educational Specialist Degree in Leadership
  • Master of Education in Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education Administration

The CSO provides tuition reimbursement of 50 percent after satisfactory completion of required program courses upon student request. Please note that elective courses, books, or additional fees incurred are not reimbursable by the CSO. Click here for additional information. 

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14th Annual MAPSA Michigan Charter School Conference

Mark your calendars for the 14th Annual Michigan Charter Schools Conference taking place November 7 and 8. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Debbie Silver and Geoffrey Canada at Detroit’s Cobo Hall!

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AdvancEd Conference

The AdvancED Michigan Fall Conference 2011 takes place November 8 and 9 in Lansing. Topics include ways to inspire, create, and accelerate your institution’s goals for powerful school improvement. Register at www.advanc-ed.org. Conference highlights include:

• An introduction to the new AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools and Systems
• An overview of the new AdvancED Accreditation Process
• The unveiling of the Adaptive System of School Improvement Support Tools (ASSIST®), a new web-enabled School Improvement and Accreditation Platform

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Stay Connected

"Like" the GVSU Charter Schools Office on Facebook to always stay up to date on events and programs offered!



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Page last modified September 11, 2012