Great Start Communications Bulletin (10.23.2017)


Group Concept Mapping is Now Closed!
The sorting and rating phase of the group concept mapping process is now closed. The evaluation team will now be conducting analyses of the data.

The staff at PPA and iEval send a big THANK YOU for your contribution to this process and they look forward to sharing the findings with you!


FY18 Training Dates
The ECIC and Office of Great Start are finalizing the contract and budget for GSC/GSPC training and technical assistance in fiscal year 2018, however, we have finalized some of the training dates for the first two quarters. Please see these below and more information and registration will be sent in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please let us know!

  • System Change and Community Organizing Training – focus is to build GSC/GSPC staff skills for explaining a systems change approach and strategies for engaging members in GSC/GSPC efforts. December 13, 2017 in Mount Pleasant and December 14, 2017 in Sault Ste. Marie
  • Data Training  – ECIC in partnership with the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) will focus on increasing understanding, using, and confidently presenting information about quantitative and qualitative data. January 10-11, 2018 in Gaylord and January 22-23, 2018 in Lansing area (first day will be a half day, beginning at noon)
  • Strengthening Families 2-day Training  – open to any GSC Directors and Parent Liaisons who have not participated in a Strengthening Families training previously. February 7-8, 2018 in Mt. Pleasant

Orientation Training
Our first in-person GSC/GSPC Orientation training for this fiscal year will be held on Wednesday, November 8, in Lansing and registration is open.

Please note our new start time, networking and sign in will begin at 8 a.m., the training will start promptly at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m.

Great Start Orientation sessions are available for new Collaborative Directors and Parent Liaisons, and offer a comprehensive overview of the Great Start Initiative, system building, the purpose of the Great Start Collaboratives and Coalitions, an introduction to important documents and requirements, key roles, objectives and partnerships, resources available through training and technical assistance, and time to interact with other Great Start staff and Consultants and meet Rachel Pritchard from the Office of Great Start. 100% of past participants say they would recommend this training to others and that they were glad that they attended as a team.

Great Start Logos
Our TA staff has received several requests recently for individual GSCs’ logo. These logos are available in several formats on Great Start Network and here are directions to download your logo.


Trusted Advisors Webinar
On October 13, a webinar was held to provide an overview of the second round of the Trusted Advisors grant opportunity. Participants also heard from two communities funded in the first round: Branch and Washtenaw. If you missed the webinar or want to share it with others, you can access the recording here.

PLEASE NOTE: The Trusted Advisor grant applications are due November 10, which is also a State of Michigan holiday. The Office of Great Start strongly encourages applicants to submit applications prior to the final due date as there will not be staff available to assist if technical problems occur on November 10.

FY17 32p Year End Report Webinar
Now that the FY18 application process is done…. the FY17 32p year-end report is now available to complete.  Rachel Pritchard and Holly Wingard have recorded a webinar that walks you through how to access and complete the report and what the requirements are from MDE-OGS. Please remember that this report is due in MEGS+ no later than November 30, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rachel at the Office of Great Start or the TA staff via the Great Start Helpline!


Regional Community Sharing for Healthy Caring Conference
Registration is open for the 27th Annual Regional Community Sharing for Healthy Caring Conference to be held on November 11, 2017 at the Howell High School 1200 West Grand River, Howell from 7:15 a.m – 4:30 p.m. – 6 hours of professional development!  SCECHs are available at no extra charge. Breakfast and lunch included. $65.00 Early Bird Registration. Over 80 workshops to choose from PLUS Keynote Speaker Richard Cohen, Author of “Zen and the Art of Early Childhood Education.”  Download a full copy of the Brochure Here!  Register online at childconnect.

ExCEL P-3 Project
Recently, there is expanded interest from the research community to investigate and better understand P-3 approaches. MDRC, in partnership with Boston Public Schools, the University of Michigan, and Harvard Graduate School of Education — has launched the ExCEL P-3 project, a longitudinal study that will explore several leading approaches to sustaining children’s early preschool gains into the elementary grades and beyond.

The partnership has released an introductory brief, The Challenge of Sustaining Preschool Impacts, which outlines several leading approaches to P-3 that will be investigated in their research:

  • Addressing the full range of relevant skills that children need for long-term success;
  • Improving instructional alignment between preschool and early elementary school;
  • Boosting the magnitude of early impacts of preschool; and
  • Promoting quality in the years after preschool.

Infants and Toddlers
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and ZERO TO THREE released a set of publications in their series “Building Strong Foundations: Advancing Comprehensive Policies for Infants, Toddlers, and Families” regarding the importance of intervention, child care, and early head start in family outcomes and targets for policymakers.


New Policy & Practice Report from Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child
Recent advances in the science of brain development offer us an unprecedented opportunity to solve some of society’s most challenging problems. In this new paper, the Center identifies three science-based design principles that provide a simple way of looking at how public policies and front-line practices can best support children’s development-and the adults who care for them. View the report here.


SAVE THE DATE: Infant Mortality Reduction Plan – Community of Practice Webinar
The Communities of Practice Webinars, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, provide opportunities for collective learning and continuous improvement to improve birth outcomes. These webinars will provide a forum for discussion about best practices and community efforts for each goal in the Infant Mortality Reduction Plan.
Next Webinar:  November 17, 2017, from 1 – 2 p.m.
GOAL 9: Promote Behavioral Health Services and other Programs to Support Vulnerable Women and Infants
TOPIC:  Adverse Childhood Experiences and Impact on Women and Children

To join the AT&T Connect Conference:  Click here.

  1. Dial one of the numbers listed below
  2. When prompted, enter the meeting access code: 9192610#

* Caller-Paid number: 215-446-3649
* Toll-Free Number (in USA): 888-557-8511.


Sesame Street Website
The Sesame Street in Communities website has hundreds of bilingual multimedia tools to help families enrich and expand their knowledge during a child’s early years from birth through age 6. There are many resources available for community providers, such as Coping with Incarceration, Helping Kids Grieve, and Autism, that use research-based resources to improve child and family well-being.

A Bridge Between Schools and Faith
According to professionals at the Harvard School of Education, there’s one resource that educators may not be tapping when it comes to supporting struggling students. Populations at risk of adverse academic outcomes, especially black and Latino students, tend to have strong ties to faith communities.

Religion provides stability, support, and guidance to millions of young people in the United States. Churches, mosques, temples, and other religious centers often take the lead in giving at-risk kids academic assistance, mentorship, and lessons in resilience and self-control. Can schools leverage the support these institutions provide, in order to enhance achievement for children?

“To be clear, we’re not talking about pushing faith onto people, and this is not about trying to get one faith to be more predominant than others,” says Irvin Scott, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “This is about looking for the institutions that support the children who need it most, and improving outcomes for those children.” Read more about the initiative here.