August 17, 2021
Summer Camps a Success
We would like to thank those families that attended our various camps this summer including Kids' College, Math Scholars' University and the Wilson Talent Center Summer Career Camps. All of these camps were well attended, and students were engaged, learning and had some fun. We would also like to thank the instructors who participated and provided students with additional learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom. Please enjoy some photos and video clips from these camps. We hope to offer summer learning opportunities again next year. Keep an eye out at Ingham ISD beginning in March 2022.
COVID-19 Return to School Protocols
With the return to school approaching quickly, we know many families have questions about COVID-19 protocols for the fall. At this time the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) are recommending "universal indoor masking for teachers, students, staff and visitors to schools regardless of vaccination status and for students to return to full-time, in-person instruction."
Effective August 16, 2021, Ingham ISD now requires face masks for all students, staff and visitors while indoors, when medically feasible. Masking is required for all Ingham ISD programs and services regardless of location. Masks are also required on buses as mandated at the federal level. Masks are not required outside. We encourage families to continue to do a daily health self-assessment before leaving for school each day and/or boarding the bus and encourage good hygiene and hand-washing. Please read the Ingham ISD Updated COVID-19 Protocols for Families, to ensure you have all the details about our layered strategies to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.
Health screeners are required for any staff or visitor, which includes family members, to Heartwood School. This is also a federal requirement as Heartwood has a clinic onsite. Families receiving home-visiting services are required to fill out the online health screener prior to a visit. If you or your child is sick, please stay home or cancel your early childhood visit or play group until you're feeling better.
We all need to work together to keep our learning environments healthy and safe.
Ingham ISD Mobile App Is Coming!
Ingham ISD is in the process of creating a personalized mobile app for our families, local districts and staff to provide quality communication in a timely manner. This app provides for on-the-go alerts, calendars, news items and contact information just to name a few. The app will be available for download for both iPhone and Android users. We are currently in the development stage and plan to host some focus groups with stakeholders before finalizing the app. If you are interested in participating in a focus group and have a student who attends an Ingham ISD program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would greatly appreciate your input!
JUNE 11, 2021
In this issue of "The Times," we share the end-of-year celebrations from several of our programs. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our students, staff and families for their dedication and support over one of the most challenging school years ever. We hope everyone enjoys some rest and relaxation over the summer, and we look forward to welcoming students back next August!
The Early College at LCC
The Early College at LCC held a virtual 2021 Convocation event on Wednesday, May 12, for graduates. Forty-two graduates from a variety of local districts were celebrated for completing the three-year early college program where motivated students get a head start on their college program with tuition, fees and books provided free. Congratulations to these students!
Heartwood School held a graduation ceremony for students aging out of the program on Tuesday, June 8, with families and friends. There are four graduates from the 2020-21 school year, and the six graduates from the 2019-20 school year were also invited to participate, as they were unable to have their ceremony due to the pandemic. After the graduation ceremony was complete, all of the graduates did a final parade walk through the building as students and staff cheered them on!
2021 Graduates (from left to right): Ben B., Matthew O. and Cody C.
Not pictured: Soray. A.
2020 Graduates (not pictured): Minju K., Tony W., Tyler K., Lulu G., Logan K. and Zach Z.
Seniors completing the Wilson Talent Center (WTC) programs do not have a graduation ceremony at the WTC because they all participate in ceremonies at their home districts. However, we did put together a Year-End Showcase/Senior Salute video of the Class of 2021. Senior salutes were also shared on the WTC Facebook page over this past month. We congratulate all of our seniors and look forward to seeing what you do next!
Secondary Learning Center
Four graduates from this year's Secondary Learning Center (SLC) program were celebrated on Friday, June 4, in an outdoor celebration on the Ingham ISD campus in Mason. Also invited to attend were the six 2020 graduates who were unable to have a ceremony last spring due to the pandemic. Here we share some photos from their celebration. Congratulations to all of these students!
Class of 2020: Laya Cruz, Riley Sipher, Shawn Petzold, Braxton Brown Not pictured: Trevor Hull and Christopher Lewke
Class of 2021: Zachary Leibrand, Lynde Cruz, Alex Washburn, Sabrina Fell
Spartan Project SEARCH
A celebration was held on Wednesday, June 9, for the Spartan Project SEARCH graduates. As the students were given certificates, portfolios, t-shirts and a memory stick. Students were also presented with yard signs acknowledging their accomplishment. Congratulations to these graduates and their families!
Top row left to right: Zach Fewins, Chloe Klopp, Rachael Wilkes, Marina Schneider, Sue Snyder, Nick Tran
Bottom row left to right: Dominic Burton, Kyle Adams, Josh Sturtevant, TJ Shuster, Kezia Deta
Not pictured: Eric Cate, Bradly Janecke, Ruth Rotta, Raven Wanger
Skills for Adult Independent Living (SAIL)
The SAIL program had two graduates who were celebrated at a ceremony on Wednesday, June 9, with program staff and families. Congratulations to William and Scott, we wish you the best in the future. Enjoy some pictures from their special day!
High School Diploma Completion Initiative
Lansing Community College hosted a virtual graduation ceremony for ten students who have completed the High School Diploma Completion Initiative (HSDCI) program over the past year on the evening of June 10. We congratulate these students for completing this important milestone.
Ingham Academy will host a graduation ceremony in late July. We will share photos from this milestone in a future issue of The Times.
Michigan Literacy Crisis Explored in Documentary
"Right to Read" is a documentary from WKAR to share challenges families face when trying to secure the right to read for their children. The goal is to draw attention to childhood literacy in Mid-Michigan, which receives very few media mentions. Our own Michelle Nicholson, Executive Director of Early Childhood Services, was part of the panel discussion after the preview screening, sharing insight of the literacy challenges we see every day with families and young children. Read the full story on WKAR, and the chances to watch are available on their website or via the PBS Video App. Watch the trailer.
Here is the complete schedule of airdates for "Right to Read":
- Thursday, June 3 at 9:30pm on WKAR-TV
- Saturday, June 12 at 6:30pm on WKAR World
- Saturday, June 12 at 11:30pm on WKAR World
- Monday, June 14 at 1:00pm on WKAR-TV
- Saturday, June 19 at 10:00pm on WKAR World
- Friday, July 2 at 3:30pm on WKAR Create
- Saturday, July 3, 10am on WKAR-TV
- Monday, July 5 at 9:00pm on WKAR-TV
May 18, 2021
Welcome to the May issue of The Times. The Times was designed to reflect that our programs are moving forward and celebrating education in a new way. We hope you enjoy this issue.
Summer Learning Opportunities
Ingham ISD will offer several summer learning opportunities for students including Gifted & Talented Programs and Wilson Talent Center Summer Career Camps. Ages and registration fees vary depending on the particular camp experience and all camps will be held on the Ingham ISD campus in Mason. COVID-19 safety protocols will be based on federal, state or local health guidance. Seats are limited, so register early. Some scholarship opportunities may be available. #InghamImpact
Summer Employment Opportunities - Heartwood School
Heartwood School has half-day summer employment opportunities available for anyone 18 years of age or older for paraprofessionals. The summer school program runs from June 21-August 5. Heartwood School is located on the Ingham ISD campus and serves children and adults ages 3-26 with special needs. Students participating in the program may have moderate and severe cognitive impairments, severe multiple impairments or autism. Non-Ingham ISD staff would be paid $12.24 for a paraprofessional role and parents are encouraged to apply. Please note that parents will not be able to work in their child's classroom. If interested, please reach out to Heartwood School Principal, Alexis Adams or call 517.244.1404. #InghamImpact
Emergency Broadband Benefit
The FCC is rolling out a program to assist low-income families or families who have experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss/furlough since February 29, 2020. Starting May 12, this program would provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband services for eligible households, with a device purchasing kick-back as well.
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or Lifeline;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. For a list of approved providers please visit Emergency Broadband Benefit Providers.
SkillsUSA Competition Updates
Five students from the New Media program at the Wilson Talent Center earned high marks at the SkillsUSA virtual state competition this year. In the Digital Cinema Production category, the team of Benjamin Andrews and Cooper Vallejo were recognized for high scores on technical assessment and won the Bronze medal. In High School Photography, Sydnie Evans, Caitlin Shaw and Katherine Young were all recognized for high scores on technical assessment and Katherine was awarded the Gold medal and advances to the national competition which will be held virtually this year. Congratulations to all of these students and their instructor, Niki Adams. #InghamImpact
WTC Awards Over $21,000 in Scholarships
On Wednesday, May 12, thirty-two graduating seniors from a variety of programs at the Wilson Talent Center were awarded scholarships totaling more than $21,000. Due to COVID-19, the awards program was held via Zoom this year and students, family members, donors and staff were invited to join. These scholarships are made possible thanks to the generous support of business and community partners. Students complete a scholarship application, those applications are reviewed by a team and WTC instructors make recommendations. Congratulations to all of these well-deserving seniors as they plan their next steps in life! #InghamImpact
Ingham Student Art Exhibit Celebrated
The annual Ingham Student Art Exhibit was held on Wednesday, May 12, as a live, virtual event. This event is a celebration of excellence in the visual arts and is hosted by the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, Ingham Intermediate School District and the Michigan Education Leadership Group. The program is open to all K-12 students in the Ingham ISD service area and each student is allowed to enter one piece of artwork. The artwork is then judged by artist Steph Joy Hogan who selects 50 works of art to be professionally framed. Selected artwork is exhibited for one year in a professional partner facility. Congratulations to all of the students in the Ingham ISD service area that participated! #InghamImpact
Watch for Graduation Highlights in June
Several of our programs plan to offer some type of graduation event over the next couple of weeks. Communications will be sent by program administrators to impacted families. In mid-June watch for another issue of The Times where we will share highlights from these milestone celebrations!
February 19, 2021
Welcome to the February issue of The Times. “The Times” was designed to reflect that our programs are moving forward and celebrating education in a new way. We hope you enjoy this issue.
February Celebrates CTE Month
Career & Technical Education Month, or CTE Month, is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. We are very proud of the programs Ingham ISD is able to offer at the Wilson Talent Center (WTC). These programs are preparing students for high-wage, high-demand careers in a variety of fields.
Each year, thousands of students normally have the opportunity to visit the WTC to explore programs that are connected to career pathways. This year, because of COVID-19 and heightened safety protocols, additional students have been unable to enter our building and see the cutting-edge technology and equipment, talk with instructors and students and think about how programs may be aligned with their goals for life after high school. Instead, we have created virtual tour videos for each program, so students and families can meet instructors, see the facilities and learn about program offerings. Check them out!
Ingham ISD will be hosting a virtual Transition Career Expo on March 5, 2021, from 9:00-10:30am for high school juniors in the Ingham ISD service area who are interested in pursuing a career track in college and who have an active Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan. Parents/Guardians, teachers, counselors and transition coaches are also encouraged to attend. Registration for this event is coordinated with your student's teacher or the special education department.
Ingham ISD Staff Vaccinations
Ingham ISD is grateful for the partnership we have with the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) and appreciate their efforts in making educators a priority in receiving the vaccine. At this time, all Ingham ISD staff have been offered the opportunity to receive the vaccine and many have already received their second dose.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also recently announced that staff who have received both doses of the vaccine will no longer need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19, fourteen days after their second dose. This is good news as we continue to look for ways to keep students in the classroom as much as safely possible during this pandemic.
COVID-19 Safety Reminders
We want to thank our families for your continuous efforts to keep our students and staff safe as we navigate through COVID-19. As we begin to look at ways of adding additional face-to-face instruction for students in the coming months, it will be imperative that we continue to adhere to the following mitigation strategies:
- Face masks must be worn at all times
- Social distance whenever possible
- Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
- If your student does not feel well, keep them home
- Anyone with a temperature of 100.7 degrees or higher should not enter one of our buildings
When all of us work together to keep students and staff safe, we can make more opportunities for learning available!
Do you have a high school senior who is planning to attend a post-secondary college or university in the fall? If so, please make sure you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in financial aid to help pay for college or career school each year.
Log in and get started today!
Launch Your Dream Event
On Friday, April 23, the Capital Area College Access Network will be hosting the first-ever, virtual Launch Your Dream Career-Focused College Fair from 9:00am – 1:00pm. The purpose of this event is for students to explore their interests and gain knowledge and skills to successfully launch their dream for a college or post-secondary credential as they transition from school to career. Parents and adult mentors are encouraged to attend to help students understand the process and support their student.
The virtual fair will include nearly 30 curated exhibitor tiles including videos, podcasts, workshops and one-on-one virtual meetings with higher education, union and apprenticeship partners that align with the career pathways students are exposed to in the classroom. Register for the event on the Launch Your Dream event page.
The Ingham ISD Early On team has been very creative with playgroups for the families they serve during the pandemic. Obviously, they have been unable to host in-person playgroups, so instead have offered virtual options for families. The playgroups provide socialization opportunities for families with faces that are familiar to their children. They read books together, watch videos, sing songs and create movement opportunities. Sharing time has also been very popular with the children being served.
Parents have responded that there are advantages to not having to wrangle their children into car seats or getting them dressed and out the door to attend playgroup sessions. They are also thankful for the thought, time and research the Early On team has put into finding creative ways to engage children.
Social Media Sites
Welcome to the December issue of The Times. “The Times” was designed to reflect that our programs are moving forward and celebrating education in a new way. We hope you enjoy this issue.
We know this has been a school year like no other. There have been schedule changes, new protocols to follow, and information coming at you from every direction as we follow the state requirements. We want to thank all of our students and families for your support and diligence in keeping our students and staff safe when in our buildings. Please watch this video from Superintendent Jason Mellema.
We hope you are all able to take some time over the next two weeks to enjoy some downtime and relax. From all of us at Ingham ISD, Happy Holidays!
Classes Resume January 4 Remotely Through January 8
As communicated to all families on November 25, remote learning for Ingham ISD programs will be extended through Friday, January 8, 2021 as outlined below. As of right now, in-person instruction will resume on Monday, January 11, 2021, unless we receive additional direction or extended emergency orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for the following programs:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Programs in East Lansing and Stockbridge
- Heartwood School
- Project SEARCH
- Secondary Learning Center (SLC)
- Skills for Adult Independent Living (SAIL)
- Wilson Talent Center
If your child's program is not listed above, you will be hearing directly from program leadership about their return schedule.
This decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to the surging number of both new and percent positive COVID-19 cases our communities have been experiencing and the potential for insufficient staffing for in-person learning due to quarantines. Prior to the most recent Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) order, if the program was providing instruction in cohorts or attending in-person full-time, those structures will remain in place when resuming in-person instruction on January 11, 2021. Please note that should the MDHHS extend the current order and we need to push back the in-person return date beyond January 11, 2021, we will notify families and staff as soon as possible.
We are very fortunate not to have any active transmission/spread in any of our Ingham ISD programs/buildings thus far. However, when individuals have to quarantine (either staff or students), in-person learning may become a challenge and remote learning may be necessary. We are grateful to families and staff for continuing to adhere to safety precautions, health screening guidelines, extensive cleaning protocols, and the wearing of personal protective equipment to keep our learning environments as safe as possible.
As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to your student's building principal or program administrator.
Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan Update
In August of 2020, legislation was signed into law that requires school districts to prepare an Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan and have it recertified monthly by their Board of Education for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. This plan helps guarantee that each school district is providing, to the best of their ability, different types of instruction to help students stay on pace with their learning whether they are in-person or learning remotely.
A dedicated team of professionals from various Ingham ISD program areas meet monthly to make any necessary adjustments to our plan prior to our board meetings based on recent MDHHS epidemic orders. The most recently approved plan is always available for viewing on the transparency reporting page of our website.
Many of our programs surveyed families regarding your thoughts on remote instruction, cohorts/in-person learning, and health and cleaning protocols. We want to thank all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts with our leadership teams. Your input is valuable as we make decisions about the future. It is likely that we will be surveying families again in the new year to hear from you as we move forward.
Inclement Weather Days
We've learned a lot this year from COVID-19. Remote learning is a way to continue learning when inclement weather appears. When we created the student handbook this summer, we were hopeful that our school year would be a little different than last spring. Now that the school year is underway and COVID-19 is still active, we have one change to the student handbook we want you to be aware of for planning purposes.
For the remainder of this school year, if inclement weather comes to our area, we will move to remote instruction. Now that we have the technology and ability to teach remotely, we are planning for online delivery of instruction. Please be prepared to have your child learn from home as necessary. Staff will either be able to teach remotely or go into the building and teach from their classroom, whichever they prefer. If by chance Ingham ISD makes the decision to close the district entirely instead of moving to remote instruction, we will clearly state that in our messaging.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your principal or program administrator.
Welcome to the October issue of The Times. “The Times” was designed to reflect that our programs are moving forward and celebrating education in a new way. We hope you enjoy this issue.
Ingham ISD continues to educate and provide strong supports for students and families during COVID-19. Our Early Childhood specialists and instructors in Skills for Adult Independent Living (SAIL) go above and beyond to adapt and work together in order find the best learning solutions for each student. Check out this podcast that shows just a fraction of what they do every day for learners.
This school year has been quite a journey! We want to thank all of our families for your diligence in reporting COVID-19 cases. Doing the right things to ensure the safety of yourself and others really goes a long way to minimize the spread. We have had a few positive COVID-19 cases this year and we did not see a spread beyond the initial identified individual. Staying home when you are sick, continuing health screening, washing your hands, keeping socially distant when possible, is truly making a difference. Thank you for your continued support!
Safety protocols are so important to keep our students and staff safe. As more cases continue to rise in our state, we want to reinforce preventative measures, checking for symptoms and how we work with the ICHD to report positive COVID-19 cases.
Take as many preventative measures as possible.
- Stay home if you're sick
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands often
- Social distance when possible
- Keep surfaces clean
- Use a health screener to ensure you are healthy
Please screen your child for symptoms daily before leaving for school. If your child has ANY of the following symptoms or has been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, your child should be EXCLUDED from in-person school.
- Child has ANY of the following symptoms (new/different/worse from baseline of any chronic illness):
- Temperature 100.0 F or signs of fever (chills/sweating)
- Sore throat
- New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing
- Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
- New onset of severe headache
- Child has had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
DISCLAIMER: This screening tool is subject to change based on the latest information on COVID-19.
We work with the Ingham County Health Department when a positive COVID case is identified to determine close contacts and initiate contact tracing. If you receive a call from the health department, it is critically important that you answer the phone, to allow them to verify any needed information about COVID.
On Tuesday, October 6, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHSS) issued an emergency order requiring all K-12 schools to provide public notice of any probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases in their district.
Ingham ISD has created a COVID-19 Dashboard on our website. This dashboard will be updated as we receive information from the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD). Ingham ISD will continue to work closely with and seek guidance from the ICHD in determining who needs to receive notification about probable/positive cases through contact tracing, and they will determine the need for any building closures. We sincerely appreciate the guidance and partnership the ICHD has provided us during this time.
As we all know, orders and requirements are constantly changing. We will continue to provide timely updates to our families and staff as information becomes available. One thing that will NOT change is that student and staff safety will continue to be our top priority.
Did You Know?
Did you know there are a variety of family resources available on our Education Reimagined website? This site was developed as a collaboration between local public school districts and intermediate school districts in Region 5 of the Governor's Economic Recovery Council Reporting Regions. Some of the topics covered include child care services, instruction, mental and social-emotional health as well as safety tips. Check it out!
Last spring we began sending families involved in Ingham ISD programs and services a newsletter called, “Stronger Together” as we navigated finishing the school year amid COVID-19. We received a very positive response to this newsletter so we want to continue sharing news with families during the 2020-21 school year. We are renaming this newsletter “The Times” to reflect that we are moving forward and celebrating education in a new way. We hope you enjoy this first issue.
Podcast - New Year, New Ways to Connect
When a new year starts with so many unknowns, we are all cautious. Many of the programs and services offered through Ingham ISD are most effective when offered face-to-face. With that in mind, we are working hard to balance safety while providing the best educational experience possible. This short 3-minute podcast is a great example of our staff and student connections during this uncertain time and preparing for the move to virtual if that is needed. Thank you to our staff and to our families for continuing to work together!
Extended Continuity of Learning Plan
When schools were closed last March due to COVID-19, school districts were required to prepare a Continuity of Learning Plan (COL) to ensure that each school district was providing, to the best of their ability, students with different types of instruction to help them stay on pace with their learning.
New legislation requires school districts to prepare an Extended Continuity of Learning Plan (ECOL) and have it re-certified monthly by their board of education for the remainder of the school year. Our plan will be updated regularly and placed on the transparency reporting section of our website.
Ingham ISD Program & Service 2020-21 School Year Plans
All of Ingham ISD programs and services continue to deliver instruction that best meets the needs of their families while keeping students safe. Some programs are fully face-to-face, some using cohort models and some delivering online instruction. Each program area has developed a companion plan to accompany our Extended Continuity of Learning Plan (ECOL). These Program Preparedness & Response Plans are also available for viewing on our website.
Transition Program Making the Most of Online Learning
Students and staff from our Skills for Adult Independent Living (SAIL) program have been making the most out of online learning. Over the summer they hosted online pizza parties and now that school has resumed with a hybrid plan, they are continuing to host book studies, library guests and working on their money skills through a variety of games.
According to Sarah Winslow, Director of Transition Services, this team has continued to build relationships, engage with students and keep up the teaching and learning through this time of blended instruction. Thank you to our SAIL Team for all you are doing to keep students engaged!
Fall Fun Fest
Ingham ISD's Special Education Parent Advisory Council is hosting the annual Fall Fun Fest online! In place of the in-person event this year, we will offer an online resource opportunity. The goal of this event is to provide families of students with an Individual Education Plan vital resources to navigate the world of special education. There are a variety of community partners with information on things such as transportation, immunizations, early childhood programs, transition programs and more.
Safety Protocols In Place
Ingham ISD is following all safety protocols recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD). All students and staff are required to wear face masks, socially distance whenever possible, and are encouraged to regularly wash their hands. Temperature checks are not required but are recommended by the health department. Therefore, Ingham ISD is taking the extra step to check student temperatures prior to entering buildings for now. The ICHD has a variety of data, tools, tips and guidance for schools available on their website.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at Ingham ISD Communications.