Parent involvement helps extend teaching outside the classroom, creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better when they are in school. Our parent resource page has been designed to give benefits and aid to our parents. Please check this page for regular updates regarding upcoming legislatures and availabilities.
- Facts for Families: What is the Read by Grade Three Law?
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Michigan Cares
- MI Charters- 2023-2024 Act Now
- Explore the Outdoors!
- Affordable Connectivity
In 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed a law that requires schools to identify learners who are struggling with reading and writing and to provide additional help. The law states that third graders may repeat third grade if they are more than one grade level behind beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. These Facts for Families help families understand the Read by Grade Three Law so they can support their child.
How is my child identified as having a reading concern? Assessments are given to all children who are in Kindergarten through Third grade within 30 days of the first day of school. An Individualized Reading Improvement Plan (IRIP) will be written for all learners who have been identified through these assessments as having a reading concern.
When is an Individualized Reading Improvement Plan (IRIP) developed? An IRIP is developed following identification of a reading concern within 30 days of the screening assessment. The IRIP is developed with the help of teachers, the principal, parent or legal guardian, and anyone else that the team agrees needs to be involved. Your child will remain on an IRIP as long as there is a reading concern. Your child will be assessed several times through the year to check on their progress. IRIPs should be updated to reflect the needs of your child.
What is the “Read at Home” plan? A “Read at Home” plan is developed between the school and family to develop efforts you will take to support your child at home. Resources and activities are provided to families.
What if my child’s reading does not improve? Your child will take the M-STEP in the spring of their third-grade year. The M-STEP is the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress. The M-STEP measures what your child should be able to know and do. If your child scores one or more grade level behind the third-grade reading level, then a notification will be generated for you and your child’s school that your child may be retained.
When do I get notification that my child may be retained? If your child’s reading score on the English Language Arts M-STEP is more than one year below grade level, you and your child’s school will be notified by June 1 of that school year.
When do I need to talk to the school if I don’t agree with the decision to retain my child? If you do not agree with the decision, you should request a meeting with your child’s school and file a Good Cause Exemption within 30 days of receiving a notice regarding potential retention. Your child’s school must make themselves available to discuss your child’s progress.
When will I find out if my child is being retained after I ask for a Good Cause Exemption? Your child’s school needs to have a decision on retaining your child 30 days before the first day of school. This decision is made by the school principal and/or superintendent and is a final decision.
What support will my child get if they are retained in 3rd Grade? The school will provide a reading program that is designed to improve your child’s specific reading concern. This program includes teaching strategies to help your child be a successful reader. Your child may also be assigned to a highly effective teacher of reading, a reading specialist, an evidence-based reading program, daily small group instruction, ongoing assessments, or specialized reading help.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
As a parent, we want our children to succeed both in school and beyond. To prepare them for life beyond the classroom, they need to develop skills to protect their overall wellbeing and confidence.
The Michigan Cares program offers Michigan families and educators FREE digital lessons designed to help students in grades K-12 develop the skills required for social, emotional, and mental well-being.
This portal will provide your family with the tools, resources and understanding you need to support your unique child, from the comfort of your own home. Register below to open the door to conversations with your child, and support for your family today.
On February 8th. Governor Gretchen Whitmer released her proposed fiscal year 2024 budget.
We know students have been hit hard by learning loss from COVID-19. We agree with Whitmer that students need additional support to catch up and get on track for long-term success and support her budget recommendations that will invest millions in personalized learning for ALL students. Whitmer’s "MI Kids Back on Track" program "will offer every child in Michigan personalized learning support that meets their needs.”
However, given that commitment to all students, we believe the Governor missed some opportunities to clearly lay out her budget recommendations for Michigan’s public schools ensuring that all children attending and teachers teaching at public schools are treated equitably.
Online program funding. There are 22,000 students in MI that attend an online public charter school program and another 4 times as many students in similar traditional public school district online programs across the state. While these students may be accessing similar programs and are often attended by the most vulnerable among our children including at-risk and LGBTQ+ students, the Governor’s proposed budget would treat them differently with a cut that will impact only those students attending a public charter school program.
Facility funding. $750 million was allotted for school facility and infrastructure improvements. As described, public charter schools would not be allowed to use any of these funds that would directly impact the overall health and safety for ALL public school students.
As you know, the Governor’s budget proposal represents the beginning of the budget process and we expect the Governor and members of the State Legislature will live up to the spirit and commitment of the “MI Kids Back on Track” by supporting ALL public school students equitably regardless of the type of public school their families chose for them.
We need your help. Lawmakers need to be reminded that charter school students are public school students and their families are constituents, voters and taxpayers. We need to send a clear message that all public school students deserve access to a great school, a safe and welcoming school building, access to mental health supports, and personalized academic supports like tutoring. And when we say “all” we truly mean “ALL public school students” who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and deserve access to all the resources the Governor outlined in her “MI Kids Back on Track” program.
The start of summer and the end of the school year gives us more time to focus on bonding with loved ones. This month’s featured resources provide tips for creative ways to spend quality time as a family, prioritizing play and joyful movement.
Ways to Keep Active Together
Foster play and physical activity year-round, and learn about the benefits of prioritizing movement as a family.
How to Foster Self-Awareness When Challenging Emotions Arise
Learn to understand, communicate, and navigate feelings and experiences as a family with children, youth, and adults. This microlearning was created with AAPI Youth Rising and Act to Change.
Get Outdoors with Healthier Generation
Celebrate Great Outdoors Month with Healthier Generation staff and learn more about how our team likes to spend time enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.
Celebrating How Parks and Recreation Keeps Communities Healthy and Connected
Tune in to hear more about the ways that parks and recreation provide accessible, close-to-home health and wellness opportunities in communities across the country.
Harmony SEL: Buddy Up
Encourage ongoing interaction between young people in this activity that emphasizes empathy and collaboration.
Quality Time in No Time: Quick and Simple Ways to Make Family Time More Meaningful
Improve social skills, boost children’s confidence, and increase feelings of happiness, by following these quick and simple ways to make in-person and virtual family time more meaningful.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
- The ACP is a federal program to help eligible households pay for internet service.
- The ACP provides eligible households a discount of up to $30 per month off their internet bills for households not located on qualifying Tribal lands and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
- There are several ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program such as participating in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch or School Breakfast Program, including the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP); participating in certain other federal assistance programs, including Medicaid, SNAP, WIC benefits, or Federal Pell Grants (current award year); or having a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Eligible households can find out more and enroll by visiting getinternet.gov.Learn More Here