Superintendent's Notes

State Recognizes Literacy Success



On March 10, 2016, Chris Glass of the West Michigan Talent Triangle and Erin Brown of MAISD’s Instructional Services department took part in an update to the House Education Committee on the success of the Reading Now Network. Along with colleagues Dr. Kyle Mayer from Ottawa Area ISD and Teresa Jarzembowski of Zeeland Public Schools, the team shared the results of work that is underway within selected schools and how this work is influencing other initiatives across the state like the Early Literacy Task Force and MAISA’s General Education Leadership Network. Chris Glass reported that Kyle, Erin and Teresa hit a homerun with incredibly positive follow-up questions and two of the representatives teared up as they offered supportive remarks about the leadership being shown with this initiative.

You may remember the Reading Now Network (RNN) was established by Superintendents from 13 West Michigan counties committed to early literacy. RNN representatives identified what successful schools at every socioeconomic level were doing to outperform their peers in reading proficiency. The study group found five key findings: uncompromised focus on reading, relevant data used deeply, shared leadership and sustained commitment, classroom management focused on learning and a collective responsibility to every child’s success.

The Reading Now Network has teamed up with selected schools including Muskegon’s own Moon Elementary School to help lower-performing school buildings apply what was learned in the successful schools. The Muskegon County Literacy Collaborative was also established here in our area to further work together to improve our local literacy levels.

Hats off to this work that is impacting our local schools and West Michigan region.


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Dr. John Severson
Muskegon Area ISD Superintendent