The Copper Country Intermediate School District (ISD) is one of 56 ISDs in the state of Michigan. The CCISD serves thirteen individual school districts in a three-county area. The main mission of an ISD is to add value to students, schools and communities by providing student-centered, data-driven, expanded educational opportunities.
So how does an ISD add value? An ISD helps maximize resources for K-12 school districts by providing shared operational services. We help train teachers and support staff in using the latest research-based methods and best practices. We pilot innovative programs that individual districts could not afford on their own. We coordinate special education and other specialized student services across our region.
ISDs are often key partners in local economic development through their community ties with colleges and universities, businesses, industries, and human service agencies. Many of these partnerships benefit our schools and students by readying them for 21st Century careers. Here at the CCISD, we have partnered with all four local colleges and universities to provide Career & Technical Education. The CCISD has also partnered with Michigan Tech on many professional learning opportunities for our local educators.
ISDs are technology leaders in their region. ISDs often manage the area’s fiber network, provide Internet access, obtain lower costs for computer hardware and software, provide internet safety filters, purchase digital collections, promote online and digital learning options, and provide technical support. The Copper Country ISD provides internet access and network security to over 40 districts, servicing more than 35,000 computers across five ISDs in 11 counties (almost 12,000 square miles). We also provide full technical support and helpdesk services to 31 agencies, which means that we support 10,000 computers in six counties. We also manage many local school building access controls and video security management services.
ISDs from all areas in Michigan work together to help all of the students and local schools within Michigan. To aid in that effort, ISDs have created specialized networks, such as the General Education Leadership Network (GELN). The GELN put together an Early Literacy Task Force that has created a set of documents called Essential Instructional Practices for Early Literacy. These documents will help increase Michigan’s capacity to improve children’s literacy by identifying a small set of research-supported literacy instructional practices that could be a focus of professional development throughout the state. The Copper Country ISD hired a literacy coach three years ago, who has immersed herself in the literacy essentials and has brought that knowledge to our local schools, who have in turn designated their own literacy leaders. The literacy essentials have been such a positive contribution to our local schools that the GELN has set up a task force to create the same for math.
The Copper Country ISD is here to help support all 13 of our local districts. There are 55 more ISDs doing the same for their region. Working together, all of the ISDs within the state of Michigan are able to provide even more to our local schools and communities as a whole. By combining resources, time, ideas and commitment to the success of all students, ISDs are an integral part of the opportunities provided to our students and communities.