AMA ESD to offer training for new system

ALPENA – The Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District is working toward strategic planning to support student achievement through a multi-tier support system. Sue Grulke, MTSS liaison/ special education director, said sustainable support system training will be offered to local school districts to build capacity and leadership while using reliable and valid data.

“Our goal is to build capacity within districts,” she said. “All of our staff members have been trained to support our schools with specific training, everyone will be involved. We’ll come in as a district, but we will be working at a building level, based on the needs of the school.”

According to Grulke, the shift in training will focus on general education and obtaining leadership at all levels of the system. She said the emphasis will be on assisting buildings in developing systems for a MTSS model.

‘The ISD is here to support our local schools,” she said. “We’re working as a committee, training for the MTSS, but we’re deciding which districts to start with because we can’t help everyone at once.”

According to Grulke, the MTSS committee will present to superintendents and administrators the opportunity to partner with the AMA within the next two months.

“That way they can decide if they want to partner with us. Our plan is to start off small and grow from there, but all of our districts can apply,” she said. “In two months we will be connecting with districts that are interested to develop an implementation team. The process we are currently going through, they will go through.”

Overall, Grulke said the MTSS will identify student needs and learning development while reducing special education and assisting failing or at-risk students.

“This will help with identifying who needs special education services and who doesn’t,” she said. “It’s about not improperly placing students in special education because of a failing system.”

The AMA ESD will provide coaching support to participating buildings and work toward implementing a sustainable MTSS model within local school districts. The MTSS will add to another service the AMA provides for student achievement, along with Supporting Teachers and Readers Successfully and its math initiative.

Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5687.