September 2021 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 the summary of the meeting with the Commissioner Riley on Thursday, September 16th.
Opening statement from MSAA President Julie Vincentsen and meeting summary from MSAA Vice President Liz Garden
On September 16, the Finance Committee met with Commissioner Riley and DESE staff members. The meeting began with President Vincentsen apologizing to our Jewish employees and members for scheduling this meeting on the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur. She stated, “Commissioner, I also wanted to pass along the regrets of one of our team members who could not attend the meeting today. Beth Wittcoff is one of our Assistant Executive Directors who attends these meetings as she writes our newsletter, MSAA Matters, and we summarize these meetings for our membership. She is also our liaison to DESE's Early Lead Learner team with Donna Traynham and will be presenting her award on Tuesday at Convocation.
Beth can not be here today as she is observing the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur. I apologized to Beth on behalf of the Association for not recognizing this conflict with enough time to reschedule with you. I also pledged, on behalf of MSAA, that in the words of Maya Angelou, ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ We always work to make sure our opening Convocation, Board Meetings and other meetings throughout the year do not conflict with the High Holy Days of all religions and I pledged that we would do the same with these meetings moving forward. With the support of Bob and the future presidents, I hope we can make that pledge come to fruition to support our Jewish employees and our members.”
Past President, Kathleen Duff, recognized Leldamy Correa with the Friend of Education Award. Kathleen shared that Leldamy is an outstanding educator who dedicated a great deal of time and energy to scholarship re-engagement when she was in her previous role. Leldamy is someone who regularly turns her words into action. She provides crucial support to educators across the Commonwealth through her work with DESE. Kathleen shared that “we see you and appreciate you and all of your behind the scenes work with DESE and the Commissioner." Leldamy was unable to attend Convocation in person, but sent a video that was shared where she thanked MSAA for this recognition.
We discussed the Play Position Paper and asked the Commissioner what efforts were being made to formally acknowledge play as an instructional strategy in the MA Curriculum Standards. He stated that professional development around play is being planned and mentioned deeper learning and the work around Kaleidoscope. The Commissioner discussed how highly engaging tasks can be playful. We also brought up the question from last year about recess counting as time on learning. The Commissioner informed us that after researching this question, he discovered that SLT (Student Learning Time) prohibits recess from being counted. He said DESE can not endorse using recess time as time on learning, but he does endorse using outdoor play and outdoor learning time as much as possible.
On the topic of remote learning, the Commissioner is hoping districts can work it out at the local level. When students are at home for long periods of time due to COVID, people are able to live stream, but should try to limit that as much as possible. We discussed the exception for the home and hospitalization program for medically compromised students, and he shared that they are offering course bundles through a virtual platform for students in the home and hospitalization program.
We also discussed the test and stay program and the challenges that many districts have experienced in the first few weeks of school. CIC was clearly not ready and is still struggling with staffing issues. Some districts have been triaging, and some districts needed tests and got them to do their own test and stay plans. The Commissioner said the staffing situation “should be resolved soon.” He shared that smaller districts have a chance to be reimbursed if they are doing it on their own. MA is the first state in the country to be rolling out such a robust program. If you need assistance or have questions about Test and Stay, connect with Anne.Marie.Stronach@mass.gov for more info and support from DESE.
The Commissioner was discouraged to hear that parents in one district were trying to opt out of lessons related to LGBTQ+ and Pride Month. Parents had cited language from the DESE website regarding MGL Chapter 71, Section 32A that allows for an opt out of sexual education classes. It was requested that DESE add to the FAQ page on their site to clarify and address this misinterpretation of the law. Districts can connect with Kimm Topping, the Safe Schools Program Manager, Safeschoolsprogram@doe.mass.edu, if they need more support.
We asked the Commissioner about the formula being used for chronic absenteeism. Rob Curtin explained that “we are working on it,” and reminded us that as long as students attend half a day of school or at least half virtually that counts as present. He said it should be better this year because we are back in school. We also asked about inclement weather days. The Commissioner shared that they are still talking about what to do. He shared the importance of balancing the rights of students on IEPs and the federal government requirements. No decision has been made at this time. There is the possibility that it will end up being a district-based decision.
We continue to advocate for DESE to endorse our mentoring program. DESE has a working group creating a model inclusion/mentoring handbook. We reminded the Commissioner that we would like to partner with DESE to collaborate on any work involving mentoring principals. We are hoping to come together with MASS and DESE to help with the mentoring work. We will be connecting with Stefany Tomlinson who is involved with the Professional Learning Network, Stefany.B.Tomlinson@mass.gov .
MSAA Vice President
Soul of Leadership
Check out this excellent article from Education Week on the Soul of Leadership Program. Our own Rick Rogers is featured. Congratulations, Rick, well deserved! This is a fabulous program no matter where you are in your administrative career.
Upcoming Reminders/Events/Professional Learning Opportunities
#MSAA Chat second Tuesdays of the month September - June at 8:00 PM. Next chat Tuesday, October 12th. Thank you to our facilitators: Marty Geoghegan, Bob Silveira, and Brian McCann!
Hispanic Heritage Month
Please see below in the Articles/Video/Podcast section of this newsletter for a PDF link with resources for Hispanic Heritage Months from September 15th - October 15th for grades K-8. Thanks to Bobbie French for making me aware of this resource. Check it out!
DESE MSAA Early Learning Team
2021-2022 Elementary School Principals Networking & Professional Development Series
The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Early Learning Team, the MA School Administrators’ Association (MSAA) and the MA Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (MAECTE) will be hosting a series of networking and professional development opportunities for elementary school principals (Preschool to 3rd grade) and early childhood administrators and educators during the 2021-2022 school year. The theme for this year’s series will be Anti-Racist Leadership in the Early Grades. The 2021-2022 series will be virtual (unless otherwise noted) and will commence with a statewide kick-off event and be followed by webinars, networking sessions, book discussion groups, EdCamp Play, and a culminating statewide convening in the spring. Further details are posted on the Early Learning Team’s webpage. The first convening will take place on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 from 3:00-5:00pm with Matthew Rodriguez from Equity Imperative speaking on Anti-Racist Leadership in Elementary Schools. Registration for the October 19th convening is open.
Statewide Meetings: Anti-Racist Leadership in Elementary Schools
Matthew Rodriguez from Equity Imperative and his team will deliver 3 professional development sessions (each 2 hours in length) on anti-racist leadership in the early grades. These sessions will be interactive and include whole group and small group discussions. The sessions will take place from 3:00-5:00pm on:
· Tuesday, October 19, 2021 (Registration is open.);
· Tuesday, December 7, 2021;
· Tuesday, February 8, 2021.
With participation from DESE Early Learning Team staff, MSAA will host regular Ring Central Gatherings for elementary principals on the first Tuesday of each month (2021 - TBA 2022 - TBA). MSAA will send the link out the day before the ring central gathering. If you don’t receive the link, email Beth Wittcoff at email@example.com. In-person, school-based network meetings will be considered for the Spring 2022, if and when schools/COVID-19 guidance permits.
MSAA/DESE’s Early Learning Team PK-8 Spring Conference - Anti-Racist Social and Emotional Learning: The Importance of Family and Student Voice (In-person)
On March 10-11, 2022, MSAA and DESE’s Early Learning Team will host a convening focused on anti-racist social-emotional learning. A keynote presentation will be provided by Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite along with a mother and her daughter to talk about the impact of race on family and student engagement and social-emotional well-being. Workshops will follow the keynote presentation. (Hours/schedule to be determined)
EdCamp Play 2.0
In honor of Week of the Young Child (April 2-8, 2022), we plan to host EdCamp Play 2.0.
· Monday, April 4, 2022 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
· Wednesday, April 6, 2022 from 7:00-9:00 a.m.
Book Group Discussions (all 3:30-5:00 p.m.)
All book group discussions will take place across two dates, and attendance at both is encouraged but not required. Discussions will be facilitated by MSAA, MAECTE and Department staff.
· November 9 and 17, 2021 – Can We Talk About Race? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
· January 19 and 26, 2022 – Purposeful Play: A Teacher’s Guide to Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day by K. Mraz, A. Porcelli, and C. Tyler
May Statewide Meeting – LGBTQ: The Importance of Family and Student Voice (Date TBD)
The Early Learning team will provide 10 Professional Development Points (PDPs) for elementary school principals who, as part of this year-long professional development series, are able to take on a project or product related to early learning, anti-racist leadership and/or play as an instructional strategy and to engage in at least of 10 hours of professional development over this year long series. More information on PDPs is forthcoming.
For questions about any of the convenings in this professional development calendar, please contact a member of the Early Learning Team (781-338-3010 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Massachusetts Partnership for Youth INC.
Registration is now open for MPY’s webinars
Please visit www.mpyinc.org to view all webinars and conferences for the upcoming school year. We are proud to present over 100 trainings focused on the following topics to promote students’ holistic health, safety and well-being, including:
· Anti-Racism, including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
· Social & Emotional Learning
· Mental & Behavioral Health
· Trauma-Sensitive Schools and Classrooms
Contact Margie Daniels at email@example.com with any questions.
Closing Message from Bob Baldwin
Thank you for making a difference in the lives of ALL children. You are making a difference!
MSAA Assistant Executive Director
MSAA Matters Newsletter
Middle Level and Elementary Committee Liaison
Ring Central Gatherings
Latest Articles, Videos, Websites, Podcasts for this Edition
DESE LATEST RESOURCES
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
October 4 (Labor Day Monday, September 6th - no Gathering)
2nd Monday of the Month Assistant Principal Gatherings 3 PM
November 8th (Indigenous People's Day - no Gathering in October)
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
October 5th (Rosh Hashanah no - Gathering in September)
MSAA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FALL 2021
Professional Development Opportunities
October 13, 2021, How to Supervise and Evaluate the Low Proficient, Unsatisfactory, and Needs Improvement Teacher, Leadership and Administration, presented by Carol Gregory, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register
October 19, 2021, Practical Trauma-Informed Strategies to Reduce Anxiety in Students, Special Education, presented by Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, Register
October 21, 2021, DEI 101: Taking Your First Steps Towards Creating a More Equitable School Culture, Leadership and Administration, presented by Ted McCarthy, and, Coleen Motyl-Szary, Sutton High School,
October 25, 2021, Bridging the Gap: Connecting Academics and Social Emotional Learning to Maximize Student Learning, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Maureen Gilman, Seaside Educational Consultants, Register
November 2, 2021, 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, Inc, Register
November 8, 2021, Examining Student Engagement: Moving from Compliance, to Cognition and Intellectual Risk-Taking, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Teresa Sullivan, Ph.D., Register
November 9, 2021, Pre-Assessing, Formatively Assessing, and In-the-Moment Assessing of Student Mastery in the Classroom, Special Education, presented by Dr. Deborah Brady, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register
November 15, 2021, Re-JOY-ning the Math Class! - Math Openers, Routines, and Experiences to Build MATH Positivity and Better Discourse in Your Classroom: Grades 5-9, Mathematics, presented by Marcie Abramson, Athena Educational Consulting, Register
November 17, 2021, Components of a Multi-Tiered System of Support and the Role, of the SST (Student Support Team) How do Both Structures Impact Teaching and Learning?, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Dr. Curtis Bates, Seaside Educational Consultants, Register
December 1, 2021, Strategies for Motivating the Low-Motivation Learner that Every Teacher Should Use Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Dr. Roseli Weiss, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc, Register
December 6, 2021, How to Reinvent Schools and Learning for Your School/District, Leadership and Administration, presented by Maureen Gilman, Seaside Educational Consultants, Register
December 8, 2021, Specially Designed Instruction (SDI): What it Is and What it Is Not, Special Education, presented by Abby Hanscom, Athena Educational Consulting, Register
December 10, 2021, Re-JOY-ning the Math Class! - Math Openers, Routines, and Experiences to Build MATH Positivity and Better Discourse, in Your Classroom: Elementary, Mathematics, presented by Marcie Abramson, Athena Educational Consulting, Register
Start Date October 6, Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Course for All Classroom Teachers and School Clinical Staff, Curriculum and Instruction, Karen Dodd Antonelli, M.Ed., Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register,
Subsequent Dates on Flyer
Start Date October 7, Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Course for Vocational High School Teachers and School Clinical Staff, Curriculum and Instruction, Karen Dodd Antonelli, M.Ed., Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register,
Subsequent Dates on Flyer
Start Date October 12, Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Course for Administrators, Leadership and Administration, Kaitlyn Torossion, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register, Subsequent Dates on Flyer
Asynchronous - Learning Portals open Oct 1, 2021 through January 15, 2022
The Inclusive Classroom: Reaching Students of ALL Abilities, through Co-teaching and Creating Tiered Interventions, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Dr. Judy Ann DeLucia, Seaside Educational Consultants, LLC, Register
Classroom Management: Keys to Maximizing Opportunities, for Student Learning, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Dr. Curtis Bates, Seaside Educational Consultants, LLC, Register
Differentiated Instruction to Promote Maximum Learning Recovery, Curriculum and Instruction, presented by Carol Gregory, Ribas Associates and Publications, Register
How to Deliver Effective Feedback: Addressing What Matters Most to Improve Professional Practice, How to have a Difficult Conversation!, Leadership/Administration, presented by, Dr. Judy Ann DeLucia, Seaside Educational Consultants, LLC, Register
Expanding Math Mindsets: Digital Tools & Resources, to Engage Middle & High School Students, Mathematics, presented by Brian Skeffington, Seaside Educational Consultants, LLC, Register
Understanding the Differentiated Instruction Classroom: A Certificate Program for Paraprofessionals and Assistant Teachers, presented by Carol Gregory, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register
Succeeding with Students with Special Needs: A Certificate Program for Paraprofessionals and Assistant Teachers, presented by Bill Simmons, M.Ed., Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register
Succeeding with English Language Learners: A Certificate Program for Paraprofessionals and Assistant Teachers, presented by Dr. Cindy Crimmin, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register
Bridging the Gap: Connecting Academics and Social Emotional Learning to Maximize Student Learning, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Maureen Gilman, Seaside Educational Consultants, LLC, Register
Getting Back on Track: Using PBIS Strategies to Create Safe and Supportive Classrooms, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Maureen Gilman, Seaside Educational Consultants, LLC, Register
Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom: The Gateway to Learning Recovery, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, presented by Dr. Deborah Brady, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register
1 Graduate Credit Available
Succeeding with Students with Special Needs, Special Education, presented by Bill Simmons, M.Ed., Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register Approved by DESE for the 15-PDP Special Education License Renewal Requirement
Recovering Learning Loss for Students from Low Income Homes, Special Education, presented by Dr. Roseli Weiss, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc., Register