MOISD continues working for area schools as resource center


BIG RAPIDS — The new year has come and gone, and with it many school districts have made fundamental resolutions to continue their work in educating and providing resources to students, staff and parents.

As the hub of area districts, a place where students in Mecosta and Osceola counties can come together to learn and grow, the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District’s New Year's resolutions seek to enhance its support of area school districts and to continue serving local administrators, staff and students.

“We want to be in the shadows of the schools,” said Curtis Finch, Superintendent at the MOISD. “We’re the backroom support for them.”

The first area of focus for this new year is the continued communication between the MOISD and the school districts, as well as the public. According to Finch, the ISD will continue to use survey tools, notes, training opportunities and social media to make a push for the ISD’s role as a resource center.

“We want to help local districts find answers,” said Finch. “One of our roles is to get the right people in the room. If we don’t know an answer, we can find it; or we can find someone who does.”

Increased use of Facebook, Twitter and even online blogging is also expected to spread awareness of the ISD’s services to the public.

The ISD also plans to extend its reach into other ISDs in the area, promoting good relationships and providing support for other administrators, staff and students as well. It will continue to host 21 other ISDs from Michigan once a month to brainstorm and exchange ideas.

Another area of focus for the rest of the year is confronting “the brutal facts,” a foundational principal taken from "Good to Great", a book written by Jim Collins. Confronting the facts involves making not-so-appealing decisions for the good of the district, or even just facing problems that other people could easily avoid.

“Education in general is not very good at accountability,” said Finch. “We’re weak at that historically. We’re focusing on creating a culture where asking what the problem is and why it’s a problem is normal. It takes conviction, patience and persistence.”

With the MOISD working as a resource and support center for local districts, the improvement of its facilities is a top priority as well.

“Our facilities are in decent shape because we take care of them,” Finch said. “But they’re tired. Some of our internal systems are 30 to 40 years old.”

Although no immediate action is necessary, Finch hopes that the near future will bring some large-scale changes.

“We have to take a long-term approach,” Finch confirmed. “We have to save money every year — we already have to spend some just for the upkeep of our facilities. A couple of our buildings, the resource center and education center, are our main concerns for now.”

Some changes were made last summer, including resealing parking lots, repaving the transition center and education center driveways and installing a back-up generator for the ISD’s computer systems.

If anything, the MOISD hopes to continue supporting the local school districts, focusing on its increased involvement as a driving force working behind the scenes to deliver support for the area.

“It’s the concept of designing our systems to support our needs,” Finch said.

For more information on the MOISD and its mission, visit