Resisting Inequity: Language as Power and Right

The School Improvement Office and the Dearborn EL Department members teamed up to attend the 2018 National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) 47th Annual Conference.  The NABE is a non-profit membership organization that works to advocate for educational equity and excellence for bilingual/multilingual students in a global society.  Our teams had the opportunity to attend several high-quality sessions that focused on improving instructional practices for linguistically and culturally diverse children.

One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote session by Saul Ramirez. Mr. Ramirez is the chess coach and art teacher at Henderson Middle School in El Paso, Texas, where he coached his students to win the national chess championships in 2015 and 2016. Ramirez grew up in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio, one of the poorest zip codes in the United States, and discovered chess as a child, which became a pathway out of misfortune.  This amazing middle school teacher believed in his students when no one else did. Two students from the winning team shared their stories of struggle and courage and how playing chess helped change their lives. Needless to say there was not a dry eye in the 2,000 seat auditorium. The story of their championship journey is chronicled in the book The Champions’ Game.

Another valuable session that we attended focused upon online educational resources available ​for teachers at no cost.  Here’s the description from this worthwhile session: When English language learners are placed in your mainstream classroom, it’s a huge challenge for them…and for you.  What is out there that can help you reach your student’s families, teach literacy skills, academic content, and English at the same time?  Join us for the latest research and FREE resources on Colorin Colorado. The website is sponsored by the AFT and is filled with a wealth of information for all teachers and parents to explore while working with children.  Here’s the link to the website:

​​The EL and SIP teams are excited to implement some of these best practices with our Dearborn students and teachers. ​

Year One Professional Staff Engage in SIOP Strategies

The February session of the Dearborn Teacher University professional development workshop had a change of scenery with our new staff members meeting at Stout Middle School this past week. This month’s topic was the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol or SIOP.  Our EL Department trainers and coaches, led by Kellie Bugajski, Ameen Elder, Jeannine Oynoian and Nadra Shami spent the hour receiving a brief overview about the eight components embedded in SIOP. Participants were divided up into small groups to engage in Word Sorts, Structured Reading and Structured Conversation activities. The presenters modeled the various SIOP lessons and strategies with the hopes that our new staff could apply these ideas in their classrooms.

The presentation from this session is available on the Dearborn Teacher University tab under “PD Presentations.”

As a reminder, be sure to register for our next Dearborn Teacher University PD on March 20, 2018 from 4:10-5:25 p.m.. The topic will be Special Education Accommodations.

The link for registration is available here: DTU – Year One SE Accommodations & Categories

We hope you have a wonderful mid-winter break with your families and friends! See you all in March!

Michigan Department of Education to introduce new school-rating system (Index)

Greetings Everyone,

Detroit Free Press published an article on the release of the new rating system.

See highlights belows:

The Michigan Department of Education is set to issue a new way of rating schools soon — one that gives them credit for student proficiency and improvement, as well as other factors that have nothing to do with test performance.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston said the new system, called an index, will be released to schools in about a week and will be public in about a month.

Schools will receive an index score that will range from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest. Those with an index score of below 30 will be targeted for improvement, Whiston said during a break in Tuesday’s meeting of the State Board of Education.

Here’s how the index score will be determined:

  • 34% based on improvement on state exams
  • 29% based on the number of students proficient on state exams
  • 14% on other factors such as availability of art, music, library and physical education programs
  • 10% based on graduation rates
  • 10% based on the proficiency of English language learners on a state exam
  • 3% based on how many students are tested

See full article here:

Year One Professional Staff Examine Assessments

The January session of the Dearborn Teacher University professional development workshop was spent with our first year professional staff being introduced to the world of summative assessments. The high school staff, led by Dearborn High Coordinators, Christine Rosbury and Laurie Lintner, spent the hour examining the College Board website and the various resources and tools that are available to classroom teachers. Our new teachers also learned about the differences between SAT and PSAT and their subtests.

For our new elementary and middle school professional staff, Duvall principal Bob Attee, provided an engaging session on how to read and understand the information provided on NWEA reports. The participants were instructed on how the MAP and MPG student, class and grade level reports can increase their students’ achievements in the areas of Reading, Math, Language Usage and Science. The presentation from this session is available on the Dearborn Teacher University tab under “PD Presentations.”

As a reminder, be sure to register for our next Dearborn Teacher University PD on February 13, 2018 from 4:10-5:25 p.m.. The topic will be SIOP Strategies. Please note the session will meet at the Stout MS Team Room NOT at the ASC Boardroom.

The link for registration is available here:


Good Afternoon,
A parent dashboard was created by the Michigan Department of Education for parents and other stakeholders wanting to know more about public schools down to the building level.

This tool replaces the color-coding system of green, lime, yellow, orange, red, and purple in the previous accountability Scorecards. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has developed a set of communication tools to help schools and districts discuss and share the new Dashboard with parents and the community.

The dashboard is now available to the public on MI School Data ( ParentDashboard) and can be accessed on any computer or mobile device.
Fatme Faraj
Director- School Improvement/Leadership Coaching
Dearborn Public Schools | Students First: Inspire, Educate, Celebrate.

Year One Professional Staff Explore Culturally Responsive Teaching

During our last Dearborn Teacher University PD session, our first year professional staff examined the critical topic of Culturally Responsive Teaching. The EL Department trainers and coaches presented information and activities that introduced the staff to the challenges that our refugee students face on a daily basis. Time was spent in small group and whole group reflecting on how educators can best support our students that endure these hardships. In addition, an eye-opening discussion on students with poverty and how to develop empathy for these students was also addressed. Several teachers requested more information on this topic. Eric Jensen’s book Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind is a wonderful resource to learn more on this subject. The presentation from this session is available on the Dearborn Teacher University tab under “PD Presentations.”

As a reminder, be sure to register for our next Dearborn Teacher University PD on January 16, 2018. The topic will be Assessment with two sessions available. High School Year One staff will meet at 2:45-4:00 for SAT/PSAT and our K-8 session will focus upon NWEA from 4:10-5:25.  Both workshops will meet in the board room at ASC. The link for registration is available here:

High School registration:

K-8 registration:

We hope you have a wonderful holiday break with your families and friends! See you all in 2018!

Year One Professional Staff dig into curriculum

Our first Dearborn Teacher University Year One PD session met in November. Participants spent time learning about our district curriculum, resources and pacing guides. Elementary professional staff examined resources available to them on DEC through a scavenger hunt and group discussion activity. The secondary professional participated in a carousel learning activity to identify how the curriculum and resources on DEC can assist them when planning their daily lessons and assessments. Our special education staff met with the coordinators from the Special Education Department to discuss specific job related content. It was a very productive session for all!

Busy month for our New Professional Staff

Greetings everyone!

We hope your first few months at school have been rewarding for you and your students. During the month of October our department met with over 600 new professional staff and their mentors. The mentor/mentee sessions focused on state and district obligations for our new staff and how the mentors can best support their new colleagues during the process. Staff were highly encouraged to visit the School Improvement blog for current information, updates, as well as copies of all three presentations ~ Year One, Two and Three. Our office is always available to answer any questions during the year to ensure that our new teachers have a successful school year.

Looking forward to seeing you at our upcoming Dearborn Teacher University PD sessions throughout the year!

New Teacher Reception


This is a reminder that the human resources department is inviting all new teachers to a reception prior to the board meeting on Monday, October 9 at 6:30 PM. Over 160 teachers were hired this year. Principals, please encourage your new hire teachers to attend and administrators are also welcome.

We are excited to welcome our new teachers to the school district.

Thank you,

Fatme Faraj

Newly Hired Professional Staff/ Attendance Bonus

News you may have missed!

From the HR Department Blog on June 12, 2017.

Employee Merit/ Attendance Bonus Pay for 2017-18 School year

 The Dearborn School Board will be providing an attendance incentive and merit pay bonus for all employees who have been employed from July 1, 2017 through June 14, 2018. Please be aware that this extra incentive money is a positive program that the district has created in order to reward employees who save the district money through reduction in paid substitutes and who demonstrate a commitment to the students by maintaining excellent attendance. This money is above and beyond any contract compensation rates. All union heads were consulted and were provided with an opportunity to give input regarding this incentive program.

 For 2017-18, the maximum bonus available will double to $1,200.  The time of measurement will expand to encourage attendance for 12 month employees through the summer months.  The district is allowing the use of up to 2 personal business days and 1 funeral day that will not be counted against the incentive.  Employees hired during the school year will be eligible for the incentive but at a reduced rate to account for their partial year employment.

Click here to view 2017-18 Attendance Incentive-Salaried Employees Document

Click here to view 2017-18 Attendance Incentive-Hourly Employees

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