Principals' Weekly Newsletter

Maryland State Department of Education - February 1, 2016

Collaboration and New Learning Opportunities

“Assessment is the bridge between teaching and learning”- Dylan Wiliam

You are invited to the SECOND meeting of the new Maryland Assessment Literacy Collaborative (MALC). The purpose of the MALC is to develop the assessment literacy of all Maryland educators to improve student learning with regionally based support and professional learning.

The theme of this meeting is "My Assessment and What it Means to Me” and you are invited to attend, along with your colleagues. These meetings will be held regionally from March 3-9; please RSVP here to the location that is most convenient for you.

Our goal is to foster connections and dialogue between a variety of education stakeholders. If you know of education professionals in higher education, non-profits, and other partner organizations whom you think should attend, please send me their information.

If you would like to present about work happening in your school or office around assessment or FAME, please share your proposed presentation in the RSVP form. We look forward to increasing the level of collaboration and supporting educators assessment learning needs.

Spring 2016 Virtual Learning Professional Development Opportunities

Begin Registration on December 1st for online courses offered through MSDE, Maryland Public Television, and McDaniel College.

To view Spring 2016 catalog: Click Here

To register for courses: Click Here

Special Course Highlight:

CFIP—Supporting Data Dialogue in the Classroom through the Classroom-Focused Improvement Process

Dates: February 24—April 26 This course is an introduction to the Classroom-Focused Improvement Process (CFIP) and is recommended for school-based educators. CFIP is a school-based data analysis process that empowers teachers to make data-based decisions that will increase student learning. Course outcomes focus on understanding the underpinnings of the protocol, the steps in the process, and Implementation insights. Instructional materials include analysis of current school data processes, completed CFIP templates, and embedded videos of Maryland educators using and commenting on the CFIP process. It is recommended that you attend with a school content or grade-level team, but this course is also appropriate for individuals.

Maker Mondays Webinar Series

Learn more about the Maker Movement and how Makerspaces can be used in the school setting. Webinar topics include the following:

  • An introduction to the Maker movement
  • Implementation in elementary school, middle school, and high school
  • Alignment to the standards
  • Implementation based on budget

For more information about each webinar - CLICK HERE!


English Language Arts Presents: Technology Tuesdays!

Join the Maryland English/Language Arts team Tuesday afternoons, to explore how Technology and ELA can be used together in the classroom with students.

For more information about each webinar - CLICK HERE!


"Innovative Instructional Strategies" Online Collaboration Series

Beginning January 6th, every Wednesday through February 17th will be a live online collaboration session around best practices and ideas in the classroom. You are welcomed to sign up for webinar in the series or all of them at the same time.


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World Languages & Financial Literacy Webinars

Register Now:

2016 edCamp Maryland Registration is NOW open!

Registration for Edcamp Maryland is now open! On February 15th, we are hosting four locations across the state to support teachers in discussion, collaboration, and networking! You are cordially invited to attend an Edcamp at a location of your choice. Space is limited.

If you are interested, please register:

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Please take this brief survey so that MSDE can better meet your professional learning needs!

Additional Opportunities

Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound Scholarships for Students

Get Out And Lead (GOAL) is an Outward Bound scholarship program that has been developed to cultivate budding leaders through the unique challenge of a 10-day wilderness expedition. Students learn the skills that are critical to success and often not learned in the classroom- leadership styles, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and decision making. The ideal GOAL applicant is a 12-14 year old who already shows natural leadership abilities. Time is running out to apply! Applications are due by February 6! For more information, click this link to the website.

Join Jay McTighe in Columbia on February 9 at this MASSP sponsored workshop on Essential Questions:

A good essential question serves as a doorway for engaging student inquiry, helps teachers in “uncovering” the big ideas of the curriculum, and lead students to deeper understanding. In this session, we will examine key ideas from the new ASCD book, Essential Questions: Opening Doorways to Student Understanding (McTighe and Wiggins, 2013).

Go to to register. Space is limited. Don’t delay

Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators (MAEOE) Annual Conference

Join us for the 31st annual MAEOE Conference! This year Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and MAEOE are hosting a new Conference Welcoming Happy Hour! After Happy Hour, we welcome for the first time, Mamie Parker, the keynote speaker during our opening ceremony. This year we are introducing a Science Strand and an Agriculture Education Strand on Saturday. Check out all of the workshops and other activities. We are very excited about the new additions and we hope to see you there.

February 4-6, 2016

Ocean City, Maryland

For more information:

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ASCD Maryland Super Saturday Event!

Saturday, February 27th


Stevenson University

This session focuses on the important role of a growth mindset and social emotional learning as an essential part of our core instruction.

For more information:

Breakfast and Lunch Provided!

Cost is $25 for members, $35 for non-members (fees will be collected at the event)


March 16, 2016


Power of Protocols

Protocols are powerful designs that allow teams of teachers to enhance their collaborative efforts to deepen reflection, heighten thinking and strengthen professional learning. Structures such as these, when selected with precision, equip facilitators to guide teams through opportunities that improve collaboration and delve deeper into teams' collective learning.

This interactive workshop is suited for those who lead or support those who lead teacher teams exercising collaborative inquiry as professional learning.


Mini-MAG 2016

MAG and MALC are partnering to offer Maryland educators deeper learning about formative assessment and innovative classroom practices by content areas.

Saturday, March 19th

Chesapeake College

Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals - Annual Conference

Thursday, April 14th, 3pm to Saturday, April 16th, 1pm

10100 Coastal Highway

Ocean City, MD

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Thursday, April 28th and Friday, April 29th

Ocean City Convention Center

Please visit for conference details!

Learn. Grow. Share. Join approximately 1,500 education colleagues from across the state and surrounding areas for the fourth annual Common Ground, Maryland's top professional development event of the year. Thought-provoking speakers, hundreds of inspiring sessions, and demonstrations of the latest products and services will provide you the 21st-century know-how you need.

Together, fourteen non-profit educational organizations are focused on creating an unforgettable learning experience rich in innovative ideas, best practices, and sharing what works. Don’t miss this opportunity to join your fellow educators and be teaching, leading, and learning in the digital age!

Mid-Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning (MACPL) "Connecting Innovative Educators"

Monday, Feb. 29th, 9pm to Wednesday, March 2nd, 4pm

700 Aliceanna Street

Baltimore, MD

This conference will serve as a premier conference for those transforming education in the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions. More than 60 sessions focused on personalizing learning for K-12 students will be offered.

The conference is jointly organized by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) and is supported by the Maryland State Department of Education. iNACOL is known for offering relevant and high quality sessions.

Information and Registration link

Scholarship/Award Information

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

The 2016 Awards will honor mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers working in grades K-6. Nominations close on April 1, 2016.

Nominate a Teacher:

Additional Information:

Maryland Professional Learning

The Office of Professional Learning fosters continuous professional growth that empowers Maryland educators to develop world-class students, who are life-long learners, and productive, responsible citizens of a global society.