The Keep Michigan Learning website is brought to you by the Michigan Virtual Learning Continuity Workgroup, a team of 25 classroom teachers, building administrators, and district-level leaders who joined forces at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis to provide Michigan educators with the tools and support they need to ensure ALL of their students have access to high-quality learning opportunities during the pandemic and beyond. 

Bringing the right people to the table

To develop a deeper understanding of the needs and challenges facing educators in Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Virtual convened a group of educational leaders who possess a deep understanding of instructional design, online learning, and the leadership challenges associated with this level of systemic change.

Members of the workgroup consist of 25 classroom teachers, building administrators, and district-level leaders. The purpose of this group was to serve as a sounding board on issues from the field, propose solutions, and explore new scalable delivery models that enable effective anytime, anyplace, and any pace teaching and learning.

Forging three pathways based on statewide need

The Michigan Virtual Learning Continuity Workgroup began meeting in early April 2020 with a focus on developing a rich understanding of the current challenges facing educators in the transition to emergency remote learning. During these conversations, three areas emerged that required in-depth research and development. As such, three sub-committees were developed and given the following charges:

  • Professional Learning — Investigate professional learning needs for staff to transition to a high-quality remote learning environment. Development of playlists based upon competency model for various levels of development. 
  • Selecting a Learning Management SystemDevelop a decision matrix for school leaders that will assist them in selecting a Learning Management System.
  • Aggregating Online Content for Core Subject Areas — Develop a repository of resources for district leaders to consider when selecting online content in the core subject areas.

Digging into the research

In parallel to these sub-committees and in coordination with the workgroup, Michigan Virtual engaged the Southfield-based and nationally recognized design thinking firm of Sundberg-Ferar to conduct an assessment of activity happening related to the emergency remote learning implementations. During this process, the team at Sundberg-Ferar conducted interviews and small group sessions with students, parents, teachers, and administrators from learning communities across Michigan.

The Michigan Virtual and Sundberg-Ferar teams are currently in the midst of analyzing this information and developing hypotheses, summarizing knowledge gaps, generating recommendations and ideating solutions for consideration as districts continue to move forward with flexible models for student learning. The project will coordinate efforts to create tangible outputs, with clear project roadmaps and objectives for larger projects to be developed and executed in the near future.

Sharing additional resources

Finally, in addition to the support of the workgroup, Michigan Virtual has developed and released a plethora of learning continuity resources to support educational leaders in their learning continuity planning and transition to emergency remote learning.

Contact the Workgroup Chairs

Meet the Team

Workgroup Chairs
  • Dr. David Richards, President of Core2Edge, LLC
  • Dr. John VanWagoner, Superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools as of July 1, formerly Superintendent of Alpena Public Schools
Michigan Virtual Lead
  • Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Michigan Virtual
Subcommittee Chairs
  • Ben Gilpin, Principal of Warner Elementary School
  • Dr. Sarah Pazur, Director of School Leadership at FlexTech Academy
  • Monique Uzelac, Director of Washtenaw ISD, WAVE
Workgroup Members
  • Jeff Bush, Principal of Kent Innovation High School
  • Steve Carlson, Principal of Sandusky Jr/Sr High School
  • Anupam Chugh, Manager of Instructional Technology at Wayne RESA
  • Dr. Kelly Coffin, Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives at Farmington Public Schools as of July 1, formerly the Assistant Superintendent for Professional Learning and Innovation for the Traverse Bay Area ISD
  • Christopher Davidson, Superintendent of CLK Schools
  • Steve Dickie, Computer Science Teacher & Instructional Technology Coordinator at Divine Child Catholic High School
  • Amy Gwizdz, Technology Instructional Coach at Dearborn Public Schools
  • Dr. Gerald Hill, Superintendent of West Bloomfield School District
  • Andy Mann, Director of REMC 4 at Muskegon ISD
  • Ann-Marie Mapes, Educational Technology Manager at Michigan Department of Education
  • Gianna Mrozek, Assistant Principal of Oxford Virtual Academy
  • Troy Patterson, Technology Director at Dearborn Public Schools
  • Beth Rayl, Chief Academic Officer at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
  • Patricia Sattler, Principal of Mercy High School
  • David Tebo, Superintendent of Hamilton Community Schools
  • Kelly Tillman, Art Educator and Technology Teacher Leader at James R. Geisler Middle School
  • Dr. Chris Timmis, Superintendent of Dexter Community Schools
  • Carrie Wozniak, Superintendent of Fraser Public Schools