Mission Statement
To assist teachers, students, parents, and community members in their efforts to create true learner-centered schools, using the principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools.

Smaller Learning Communities Consortium Receives $6 Million Grant

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The Michigan Coalition of Essential Schools (MCES) has serviced over 60 public and private schools in the state over the past 14 years. Our experienced staff, consisting of K-12 educators in the classroom and building and district leadership, is poised and ready to help schools build and sustain capacity for whole school change and increased student achievement. MCES delivers on-site coaching to support teaching and learning in the classroom, at the leadership level, and with parent groups. Our professional development is designed with the school to meet its specific needs after careful analysis of data. All work follows a cycle of continuous improvement and is aligned with MDE requirements. Special areas of focus are: High School and Middle School Small Learning Communities, K-12 comprehensive reform, Critical Friends Groups and Studying Student Work, Professional Learning Community, Secondary Literacy, Lesson Study, Student Exhibition, Critical Thinking and Inquiry, and Parent Involvement.


Critical Friends Group
As teachers we make difficult instructional decisions while we juggle informal data and questions with evidence about what students know and what must be taught. Think about the ways we are expected to navigate quickly and effectively through the changing tides of our classrooms. Since student work is the real window into our classrooms, let's think of collaboratively looking at student work as the anchor needed on a regular basis.

High Schools Redesign with "Breaking Ranks II"
The overarching priority is to Prepare All Students to Succeed in Postsecondary Education and Careers by implementing the Breaking Ranks II Cornerstone Strategies and Recommendations as well as the Michigan School Improvement Frameworks.

Professional Learning Community
Teacher collaboration impacts student achievement and, in particular, collaboratively looking at student work improves student achievement.

School Improvement
MCES aligns school change with the state School Improvement Framework by strengthening or creating a schoolwide professional learning community that collaborates, inquires, and reflects about teaching and learning.

Secondary Literacy
The major thrust of Reading Apprenticeship (RA) is to create communities of inquiry among teachers and students across all content areas. Each discipline has its own specific reading processes. When teachers become aware of their own mental processes used to make sense of text and can converse out loud, they can help their students do the same. Teachers then see themselves as valuable resources in the teaching of reading and overtime students begin to see themselves as independent problem solvers with text.

School - Parent and Community - Involvement
MCES follows the model from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University on school, family, and community partnerships, directed by Dr. Joyce Epstein. This model aligns with the Strand IV of the Michigan School Improvement Framework.



MCES prepares all students to succeed in post secondary education:

  • Experienced staff
  • Evidence of results
  • Collaborative approach
  • Connected to a national network of schools and organizations
  • Aligned with Michigan Frameworks and Standards


Middle School Application


High School Application

Elementary School Application

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