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Planning and Providing Professional Support

The theme for this month's issue is planning and providing professional support, and there is no time like summer to do just that. Summer break brings an opportunity for district and school leaders to reflect on their school improvement efforts. It's a time to question whether their initiatives were aligned with their actual improvement needs, received ample resources, training, and support to ensure successful implementation, and it's also a time to plan supports for both continuing and new initiatives. The MI Excel team at the Office of K-12 Outreach in Michigan State University has had an action-packed summer hosting five summer institutes for Michigan's Priority and Focus district and school leaders where educators were offered opportunities to examine various components of professional support that are currently present and available to teachers, or may need improvement in order to support successful implementation of their initiatives/interventions including, resources, training, assistance, in-service, coaching, etc.

For educators wishing to further enhance their professional learning, this month's issue offers ideas and resources. Sean Williams explains why providing professional support is a critial step in school improvement. Dorinda Carter builds on her last article about enacting multiculturalism in the classroom by addressing how to incorporate it into professional development. Jacquelyn Thompson addresses the challenges and resources around creating a PD agenda around students with IEPs. Madeline Mavrogordato and Jennifer Paul provide information and resources for supporting teacher learning about ELLs. Diane Jackson discusses the role of educational coaching in supporting teachers think more deeply about his/her practice, and MI Toolkit is happy to announce a new Book Review feature. We launch this feature with several books that have been provided to Priority and Focus schools through the MI Excel program. These books, carefully selected by MSU's MI Excel leadership team at the Office of K-12 Outreach at Michigan State University, have been selected because they support rapid turnaround for Priority schools and closing achievement gaps in Focus schools. These books will give you a foundation upon which to reflect on your current improvement activities, and consider ways to improve teaching and learning in the future.

Which of these eight books interest you? What are some other books you plan to read this month? We'd love to hear your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

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