By Curt Finch MOISD Superintendent

At the center of the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District (MOISD) logo is the word “service.”

It’s the very being of our organization. As we “Help Schools Help Students,” our mission is to provide the best service to our customers. Our three main branches of service fall under general education (professional development), special education (special needs students), and vocational training (the Career Center). Although we have worked very hard over the past 10 years to teach our surrounding communities of what we do, I often hear that the MOISD is “the best kept secret in our communities.”

As the MOISD seeks to continue to educate the community of what we do, we decided to try something new this year. In the past, the week before school started, all MOISD staff would come together for a few days of professional development. This year we decided to try something different for our opening day. There’s a concept sweeping the nation called “flipped” classrooms. A flipped classroom is a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework (assigned problems) is now done in class with teachers offering more personalized guidance and interaction with students, instead of lecturing. We decided to try “flipped” professional development on our opening day where we will start with the presentation/lesson coming after an activity in the community.

This year, hundreds of MOISD employees will be going to their surrounding communities volunteering to work for a couple of hours in local libraries, charities, senior centers, neighborhoods, etc., to take the MOISD message to each community. As they serve others, they will be spreading the joy of serving others to their customers, the community. Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian poet from the late 1800s once penned, “I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted, and behold, service was joy!” The MOISD exists to serve others.

So, if you see an MOISD employee serving your local neighborhood charity, library, shelter or senior center over the next couple of weeks, thank them for their service and ask them about what ISDs do for our communities. "Helping Schools Help Students" through service is not just a slogan, but a way of life for our staff. Service is joy for us and our staff is really good at it!

Dr. Finch can be reached at cfinch@moisd.org or followed on Twitter at CFinchMOISD