Communication and coordination
Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) have many functions. Two very important functions are communicating and coordinating.
Our local districts depend on the ISD to inform them of new opportunities and services that the state is rolling out. The state of Michigan often uses ISDs as a mechanism for communicating with the local districts because ISDs have earned the reputation of being able to get this done.
Here at the Copper Country ISD, we host all of the local superintendents for a monthly meeting. The agenda is filled with updates from many sources throughout the state and locally. The CCISD has a General Education Director who will update the superintendents on recent Michigan Department of Education memos, any new federal regulations, information on new trainings that are available and new state regulations that affect the majority of students and teachers. The superintendents will then hear from the CCISD’s Special Education Director. She will cover information that relates to special education students in the local schools and what services the CCISD has available to help those students. The CCISD also provides I.T. support to our schools. Our REMC Director attends the superintendent meeting to discuss the newest updates, from statewide initiatives to local issues, to help schools make the best use of their technology.
There are times when other organizations from across the state or the local area want to get out information to our local schools. This has always been done the most effectively through the CCISD. The CCISD has created listservs for all the local superintendents, local high school principals, elementary principals and school counselors. This allows us to target the right audience with the message. These same groups also have monthly meetings where the CCISD can help facilitate interactions with individuals or groups that would like to have a dialogue with the administrators and counselors.
During this tough year dealing with the COVID crisis, the CCISD has had to step up and be the central point for coordinating information between the schools and our health professionals. At the start of the crisis, the CCISD invited Health Department officials to many of the superintendents’ monthly meetings. We soon discovered that events can change very quickly. What was discussed at one meeting could be completely irrelevant within a week. So, the CCISD set up weekly video conferences between the local school superintendents, Health Department officials, members of all three hospitals within the Copper Country and the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. These weekly meetings have been very beneficial to our whole school community. They allow everyone involved to hear firsthand what our health providers are seeing and what our local schools are witnessing. These meetings allow for dialogue and a sense of working together to help keep our schools going the best they can.
An ISD is truly the center or portal of education in our local area that supports communication and coordination. Local school administrators call weekly asking for information. The Copper Country ISD has personnel with many different areas of expertise, so one of them is usually able to help that local administrator.
Local schools have come to depend on the Copper Country ISD for the communication of important information and we take that responsibility very seriously.