SEMIS Coalition is dedicated to building impactful coalitions from grassroots to classrooms


The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS Coalition) is fundamentally about making connections and building bridges. We coordinate relationships between K12 schools and districts, environmental and grassroots organizations, researchers and scientists, government agencies, universities and other regional partners.

Coalition Membership 

Currently involves teachers from 30 schools and 35 community partner organizations in intensive professional development in Place-Based Education. Eighty percent of our students are in the cities of Detroit and Ypsilanti, Michigan. Every year, 50-70 K-12 teachers and community educators take part in SEMIS professional development. The SEMIS Coalition is one hub of a larger state-wide network called the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, the only state-wide initiative in the US that focuses on Place-Based Education as an approach.

Coalition building in schools

When school administrators, teachers and students are members of the SEMIS Coalition, they have access to the resources and fellowship of all of our partnering schools and community organizations through sustained professional development, networking opportunities, our website, and other shared public forums.

In addition, teachers, administrators and students have the opportunity to network statewide with other teachers and community organizations as participants in the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative(GLSI).

The SEMIS Coalition also provides ongoing support to help teachers and students evaluate and communicate their work out to the local community, the region, and the state.

SEMIS Coalition Schools, educators and partners are using place-based learning as a framework for their school and as an approach to whole-school instructional change. Coalition members use this approach to help create coherence and continuity between their mission, practices, and state requirements.

What do SEMIS schools do? Each school in the SEMIS Coalition involves a team of teachers as a professional learning community within the school. Teacher teams engage in sustained professional development centered on the principles and practices of Place-based Education throughout the school year and in the summer during our annual Summer Institute.

Community partnerships Community partners have a special role to play in SEMIS Coalition, helping both individual school projects get off the ground as well as supporting professional learning days with expertise in everything from civic engagement and water quality to place-based history and community tours.

“SEMIS has a community vibe. We are a family! We work together to problem solve.” -Amy Lazarowicz

Teacher, Neinas Elementary

We're growing a community.

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