April Volume I
"Believe in the possibility that we can strive to be antiracist from this day forward."
From author Ibram X. Kendi in the book: How To Be An Antiracist
Happy Friday Junior! Even better news is that after the real Friday tomorrow, the next week is April Break and time for you to get much deserved rest, relaxation and rejuvenation! Please model for your staff and take time for yourself as it has been an exhausting times since February Break. You need to take care of you! To model this need you could put an away message on your email that says that you are stepping away for much needed rest, relaxation and rejuvenation to be refreshed for the last chapter of the school year. Think about it as it could be an important message to send to your staff.
In this pre vacation edition you will find the following: (1) DESE/MSAA joint position paper on play, (2) a call for future leaders to enroll in our Leadership Licensure Program (LLP), (3) professional development on mental health offered over the next few months via the Rennie Center, (4) NAESP/NASSP are offering an anonymous survey in conjunction with the CDC to identify how to safely sustain or return to in-person learning and optimize educational and mental health outcomes for students and school communities, (5) and, finally, five thought provoking articles which hopefully lead to positive actions in your schools and districts.
Play Position Paper
DESE and MSAA are pleased to release a joint position statement on play as an instructional strategy in the early grades. Entitled Approaches to Intentional and Playful Learning in Preschool through Grade 3 (PK–3) Classrooms: A Joint Position Statement of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts School Administrators Association (MSAA), this statement calls attention to the importance of deepening the learning and engagement of our youngest students through intentionally planned playful learning opportunities that are tied to our state's learning standards.
The importance of this statement has been heightened with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and our planning for recovery and beyond.
We encourage district and school administrators, classroom educators, community organizations and families to engage with this position statement, create opportunities to talk about what playful learning looks like in school-day classrooms and out-of-school time programs and how families and organizations can extend playful learning into the community and beyond. The position paper is below after Bill Gaine's message and before the Most Recent Articles section.
Leadership Licensure Program LLP
Please consider who in your building is that standout teacher leader(s) and encourage them to pursue their licensure in administration! Our LLP (Leadership Licensure Program) is the premiere program in the Commonwealth - we need to support our future leaders! See below for the descriptor and link.
The Leadership Licensure Program (LLP) has been in existence for more than 15 years. LLP candidates share that their supervisors (Superintendents, principals, assistant principals, etc.) were instrumental in leading them towards application.
Some of the strengths of LLP is that instructors are practitioners in their field. They are full time superintendents, principals, and other leaders across the state and then teach LLP courses during the summer and weekends. These leaders combine the theoretical and real-world experiences of today’s leaders in all their classes. In addition, the LLP Coordinator is a scorer of the MAPAL system and trains new scorers, resulting in unprecedented support for candidates in completing MAPAL.
MSAA needs each of its members to seek teacher-leaders and encourage them towards a career in educational leadership. The 1+ year LLP is the vehicle to train aspiring leaders to the necessary skills that are necessary for the future.
If you know of likely LLP candidates, please direct them to the LLP website at www.leadershiplicensure.org, and encourage them to apply.
Rennie Center Mental Health PD for Schools
Check out the Rennie Center link that is offering some outstanding professional development opportunities over the next few months. This professional development is specifically dealing with mental health issues for school staff.
Through a partnership with the Department, over the next several months the Rennie Center, Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium, and BRYT (Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition) will offer a comprehensive school mental health PD program to Massachusetts district and school staff. Click here for a listing by date of the PD offerings.
NAESP/NASSP Anonymous Survey
NAESP and NASSP just began working with the CDC Foundation to provide assistance on an important new national data collection project. We are promoting this anonymous survey to all school leaders that seeks to gain the most up to date insights about their experiences guiding their schools through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
We believe that this new research effort will have a far reaching impact on education policy as schools and communities continue to weigh challenging decisions regarding the safety of in-person versus remote learning. CDC Foundation is collecting data from many different communities as part of this study including teachers, parents, other school staff, and government officials. We need to make sure that the principals’ perspective is adequately represented in this expansive new research. The data that participants provide will help the CDC Foundation identify how to safely sustain or return to in-person learning and optimize educational and mental health outcomes for students and school communities.
The CDC Foundation is offering a $20 gift card when someone completes the survey. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, and personal information is kept completely confidential. If you have the capacity, we would greatly appreciate your assistance in spreading the word about the survey and asking your members and stakeholders to participate. Feel free to use the information in this message or let us know if you have any questions. You can share the link to the survey in emails, newsletters, social media, or anywhere you think it will have the most impact.
I have included five articles I believe are important reads as we return to in-person learning. The first two address anti-racism. The first is titled Decolonize Reading Instruction for Black Boys. The second article is titled The Exhaustion of being a Black teacher when you are one of too few educators of color. As well-intentioned schools with mostly white staffs scramble to respond to a reckoning on racism, an “invisible tax” of work falls on too few teachers and administrators like Malcolm Cawthorne in Brookline.
Articles 3 & 4 are of particular interest to me as they address the pitfalls of deficit thinking in terms of "lost learning". These articles will get you thinking about how important it is that we choose our words and actions carefully as our students return to in person learning.
The 5th article from NASSP is a delightful read on building connections through storytelling and penned by our own MSAA Board member and Principal of Joseph Case High School!
Closing Message from Bill Gaine
On behalf of MSAA and Executive Director, Bill Gaine: Stay safe, stay strong, and take time for yourself.
MSAA Assistant Executive Director
MSAA Matters Newsletter
Middle Level and Elementary Committee Liaison
Ring Central Gatherings
DESE/MSAA Joint Play Position Paper
Latest Articles, Videos, Websites this Edition
DESE INITIAL FALL SCHOOL REOPENING GUIDELINES
Arts: Chorus, band, theater, dance, and visual arts • Physical education (revised03/01/21)
MSAA Position Papers
RING CENTRAL GATHERINGS
See member email for links to these gatherings!
There will not be a meeting on the Monday holidays.
1st Monday of the Month High School Administrator Gatherings 3 PM
2nd Monday of the Month Assistant Principal Gatherings 3 PM
3rd Monday of the Month Middle Level Administrators 3 PM
April 19 Holiday
4th Monday of the Month All Level Administrators 4 PM
1st Tuesday of the Month PK-8 Administrators 4 PM
MSAA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Synchronous Online Workshops: dates as listed
Save The Date!
Taking on Social Justice and Equity in Massachusetts Schools: A Collaborative Discussion
A virtual discussion hosted by MSAA, MASCD and Mewsela, Leadership and Administration, Presented by Henry Turner, EdD and Kathy Lopes, LICSW, Newton Public Schools, May 20, 2021
Open now through May 15, 2021 - registrants may work at their own pace
Succeeding with English Language Learners Approved by DESE for Use Toward the 15 PDPs in ELL for License Renewal for Teachers, School Clinicians, and Administrators, five-part series; take one session or all,
English Language Arts/Literacy, presented by Dr. Cindy Crimmin, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Succeeding with Students with Special Needs: Approved by DESE for Use Toward the 15 PDPs in Special Education for License Renewal for Teachers, School Clinicians, and Administrators five-part series; take one session or all, Special Education, presented by Jane Hardin, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Teaching Face-to-face, Hybrid, and Remote for Maximum Academic and Social-Emotional Learning Growth, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Elayne Gumlaw, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Classroom Management (with a component on remote teaching), Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Cynthia Marchand and Carol Gregory, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Low Socio-economic Status (SES) Students and Families: Strategies for Closing Achievement Gaps and Reducing Special Education Referrals, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Dr. Roseli Weiss, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Understanding and Addressing Implicit Unconscious Bias in Our Schools, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Karen Dodd Antonelli, M.Ed. Ribas Associates and Publications Register
The Impact of Trauma on Teaching, Learning and Living in the Era of Covid 19 Two-module program,
Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Jane Hardin, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Succeeding with Students with Special Needs: A Certificate Program for Paraprofessionals and Assistant Teachers, presented by Jane Hardin, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Succeeding with English Language Learners: A Certificate Program for Paraprofessionals and Assistant Teachers presented by Dr. Cindy Crimmin, Ribas, Associates and Publications Register
Understanding the Differentiated Instruction Classroom: A Certificate Program for Paraprofessionals and Assistant Teachers, presented by Carol Gregory, Ribas Associates and Publications Register
SEL in the Classroom: A Certificate Program for Paraprofessionals and Assistant Teachers, presented by Deborah Brady, Ph.D., Ribas Associates and Publications Register
Positive Anxiety - Making the Shift ALL FIVE MODULES five-part series; take one session or all, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, Patrick Barbieri, Seaside Educational Consultants Register
How to Deliver Effective Feedback and Have a Difficult Conversation: What is the Impact of Covid-19 on Evaluative Criteria? - ALL FIVE MODULES five-part series; take one session or all, Leadership/Administration, presented by
Dr. Judy Ann DeLucia, Seaside Educational Consultants Register
How Co-teaching Can Help Teachers Support Students: Returning to In-person and On-line Schooling - ALL FIVE MODULES five-part series; take one session or all, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Dr. Judy Ann DeLucia and Shannon Pirrello, Seaside Educational Consultants Register
Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day: Creating Safe and Supportive Classrooms Across Every Learning Environment, ALL FIVE MODULES five-part series; take one session or all, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Maureen Gilman, Seaside Educational Consultants Register
Expanding Math Mindsets: Digital Tools & Resources to Engage Middle & High School Students five-part series; take one session or all, Mathematics, presented by Brian Skeffington, Seaside Educational Consultants Register
SEL for Adults five-part series; take one module or all, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Christopher Dodge, Seaside Educational Consultants Register for all 5 modules, To register for individual modules, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Creating Safe and Supportive Classrooms Using PBIS Strategies - ALL FIVE MODULES five-part series; take one session or all, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Maureen Gilman, Seaside Educational Consultants Register
Managing Student Behaviors in All Settings: Home, School, Remote, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by
Dr. Curtis Bates, Seaside Educational Consultants Register
For more information please contact: email@example.com