June Special Edition
"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
Please see below for a summary of the MSAA Finance Committee's meeting with Commissioner Jeff Riley on May 13th.
On May 13th the Finance Committee met with Commissioner Riley and DESE staff members.
This meeting started with a spotlight on Joseph Bianca and his work as Principal of the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northhampton. This is the first in a series of videos President Kathleen Duff has put together to help Principals in the Commonwealth “Find Your Voice, Share Your Story.” You can view the video by visiting the MSAA website. The videos are in the upper left hand corner of the homepage.
Peter Smith, Associate Director of MSAA/MIAA and liaison to the Student Council Committee, gave an update on the work of the MA Association of Student Councils. He highlighted their work to organize a polar plunge to raise $87,000 for Massachusetts Special Olympics, a truly impressive accomplishment. In addition, he gave an update about their yearly conference which was held virtually this year.
The Commissioner then shared an update on DESE’s planning for the fall. He stated, “We are working with the medical community on guidelines for the fall. With the vaccinations going up, and cases going down, things will only get better. We are hearing that ages 3 and above can be vaccinated as soon as late August. When I speak about this, I put many caveats on this as nothing is solidified. At a minimum, we will have the same mitigation measure in terms of distancing and masking. There is a legitimate possibility that some things will get lifted.”
He anticipates that all school will go back full time in the fall. He stated, “That would be the baseline minimum. I hope we will start reducing some of the restrictions.” He anticipates that an academic road map will be coming with guidelines for the fall coming out in late June or early July. Commissioner Riley and his team will continue having meetings with the Superintendents and will give them updates along the way.
In speaking about the academic road map, Commissioner Riley stated, “We don’t think of pandemic recovery as one year and done. This is a multi-year process. We are not asking people to retain kids. The data is clear that retention is not beneficial. Instead we will need to teach grade level content and scaffold back while continuing to move forward. That doesn’t mean we won’t supplement with remediation over the summer or vacations; whole scale retention is not what we should be doing.”
One of the questions MSAA members asked was regarding the status of Kaleidoscope, DESE’s deeper learning initiative. Commissioner Riley stated, “We have been working with a diverse group of schools over the last year and a half.” Educators across the Commonwealth should be on the lookout for more information on deeper learning to be coming soon. This will include a task gallery as well as information about a new and different assessment tool. Cohort II will get underway next school year with applications for Cohort III becoming available in the Spring.
Elementary members asked at a previous meeting whether recess could be counted as time on learning. We asked for an update on this as it was something Commissioner Riley needed to look into. In consulting with his legal team, he shared that this is something that would require a Board vote. If this is something that MSAA would like to pursue, he encouraged us to attend a Board Meeting and do a presentation during Public Comment. The Elementary Committee will work on this in the fall as it lends itself as a next step after their work to partner with DESE on writing 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). Click here to access that position paper.
Mark Wood, First Past President, urged the Commissioner to consider making changes to the 2023 graduating class’ MCAS requirements. The Commissioner disagreed and stated they will not be making any further changes.
As you know from our previous meetings, we are advocating for DESE to officially endorse our mentoring program for administrators. In previous meetings, Commissioner Riley has stated that DESE would need to go out for bid and review all programs prior to doing that. We asked for an update to which Commissioner Riley stated, “We are not ready to go out for bid yet, but we are doing some work in that area.” MSAA will continue to advocate for this process to begin.
MSAA Vice President
Mark your calendars. Wednesday, July 28th- Friday, July 30th The Summer Institute, a three-day conference for all school administrators, offers an unparalleled gathering and learning opportunity each summer.
The MSAA is proud to announce the Summer Institute in our new venue set in historic Plymouth, MA. The Hotel 1620 will be the host for SI 2021 and for the next three years beyond.
This year’s conference will prove to one of our best, with outstanding speakers scheduled. JC Pohl, a nationally recognized “School Culture and Mental Health” professional, will kick off the conference on Wednesday morning. Thursday morning will feature best-selling author Sean Covey, who wrote the book, the 7 Habits of Effective Teens. Sean has written extensively on The 4 Disciplines within Me, The Leader in Me, and the 7 Habits of Effective People. On Thursday we’ll look forward to DESE Commissioner Jeff Riley’s report on the status of education in the Commonwealth. Finally, we’re excited to announce another outstanding leader who will address our attendees, Coach Sherry Winn. Coach Winn is a two-time Olympian, National Championship Basketball Coach, and a three-time Amazon best-selling author.
The institute offers over 40 exciting and informative presentations from practicing administrators in our state, networking with colleagues, exposure to MSAA Corporate Sponsors, opportunities for family fun, access to all historic Plymouth has to offer, and the amenities offered by the hotel.
The theme for our conference is “Unite and Ignite 2021,” and this is a great way to get excited and prepared for the new school year! Check out this cool SI video made by the SI Committee.
Consider coming as a team with your district leadership! MSAA knows of at least two districts are doing so. This is a great and affordable professional development opportunity in your home state.
Given that this is a special edition I have not included any readings or videos, but I do intend to give you lots of relevant and timely readings as well as videos worth watching.
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
Latest Articles, Videos, Websites this Edition
MSAA Position Papers
DESE INITIAL FALL SCHOOL REOPENING GUIDELINES
Arts: Chorus, band, theater, dance, and visual arts • Physical education (revised03/01/21)
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
4th Monday of the Month All Level Administrators 4 PM
1st Tuesday of the Month PK-8 Administrators 4 PM
MSAA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
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 email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org