MSAA Matters

April 2020

April 2, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I almost always start with the opening sentence that I hope this Newsletter finds each of you well. This greeting certainly takes on new meaning in this trying time! May all of you be safe!

It is inspiring to see our education community rise to this unique challenge of facilitating the learning process solely from a distance and balance your own families! To that end MSAA has set up weekly Zoom Gatherings by level so we can support one another, share ideas and collaborate with one another. I encourage you to join one or more. This past week we added a special education gathering that was most successful! This upcoming week on Thursday, April 9th we are going to try out an ELL Gathering at 2:00 PM. We also decided this week that the meetings will be recurring for at least the next several weeks. Therefore the links will remain the same. See below for the links.

I will continue to strive to make MSAA Matters a valuable resource and a one stop shop for all the important information you need complete with valuable links, articles, upcoming virtual PD and other resources, etc. Please see the links below ranging from a doctor's video demonstrating how to handle groceries and take out, to the CDC link, as well as other useful COVID-19 resources. There is a link to the highly acclaimed Kids Health site and to the Padlets by level created by MSAA which are chock full of valuable educational resources.

I would like to make special note of Jostens Renaissance project- they have developed a leadership curriculum that helps build a healthy climate and culture in our schools. Particularly noteworthy is the Rooted in Love video - a must watch! In addition to the Renaissance Project, they have set up a series of thematic webinars to provide comfort and resources through this difficult time! Jostens has always been a wonderful, supportive partner! We highly value their partnership and their work! They have certainly risen to the top as a an organization that you can count on to be there for us! The Jostens link is below. Episodes of the Harbor by Jostens™ are available at using the case sensitive username and password JOSTENS.

Speaking of excellent partners, NAESP has a wealth of resources on their site as well as setting up a national task force to look for ways to support principals. The NASSP is hosting a series of virtual Town Halls on Thursdays at 3:00 PM. I hopped on last week and it was very helpful!

I am very excited to announce that MSAA's Leadership License Program (LLP) is taking applications for the 2020- 2021 school year. As many of you know because you graduated from this program, we are one of, if not the premier, licensure program. (Yes, I'm biased.)

Below is a brief descriptor from Assistant Executive Director, Tom Laliberte who is charge of the program:

It feels very strange to be writing about “normal activities” of the MSAA, given the challenging times we are currently experiencing. However, we are planning to begin a new group of candidates for LLP in June! Our past experience and research on leadership preparation programs show that the best candidates are those recommended from current leaders in the field. Every school has a few teachers who distinguish themselves by serving students well, volunteering to work with other teachers, and extending their day for students and staff in extra-curricular activities and athletics. These individuals are the future leaders of our profession!

We are excited to join Fitchburg University this year to offer a CAGS.

LLP provides the courses to earn the Principal/Assistant Principal license as well as the Department Head license. The GAGS provides an advanced degree with a few more courses added to LLP. The application process is now open. Candidates can find all the information needed to apply on the web site at the bottom of the page. We anticipate beginning LLP at an Orientation in early June. Your recommendations and encouragement of future leaders is critical to the continued success of LLP.

The links for the Zoom Gatherings are directly below, if you simply scroll down into the next sections you will see the links for Jostens, NASSP, NAESP, COVID -19 hygiene, etc. Also there is a registration link for our hot off the presses Jessica Minahan virtual workshop on Tuesday, April 14th and Thursday, April 16th. Register here

MSAA Zoom Gatherings:

Special Education Mondays at 1:30 PM

High School Gathering Mondays @ 3:00 PM

Middle Level Gathering Tuesdays @ 3:30

PK- 8 Gathering Tuesdays @ 4:30

ELL Gathering Thursdays @ 2:00

All Level Gatherings Thursdays @ 4:00

See member email on Fridays for the upcoming week's links.

I know I am speaking on behalf of all of us here at MSAA including Executive Director, Bill Gaine when I tell you we are here for each of you and care about each of you. Please do not hesitate to reach out in any format - Zoom, tweet, a phone call ! We could not be prouder of our administrators and the courageous work you do supporting students, staff and families, being an instructional leader in unprecedented times and keeping up everyone's else's spirits. Please keep your spirit up too, and if that means you need to reach out, do not hesitate to do so!

Warm regards,


Beth Wittcoff

MSAA Assistant Executive Director

Middle Level and Elementary Committee Liaison

MSAA Matters Newsletter

Social Media

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
PSA Safe Grocery Shopping in COVID-19 Pandemic – UPDATED!!!
Five Mindful Habits for All to Increase Happiness and Connection

NAESP Leadership Immersion Institute

NAESP Leadership Immersion Institute

May 5-6, 2020 | Augusta, ME

This 2-day event is a highly structured, interactive professional learning opportunity that integrates research-based best practices in mentoring and adult learning with educators’ knowledge and experiences. Principals from all grade levels and district personnel are encouraged to participate! Training topics include:

  • Mentoring Principals to Lead Learning Communities
  • Build Culture: Creating Schools that are Great Places to Teach and Learn
  • Empower People: Leading Learning to Bring Out the Best in Teachers and Students

· Optimize Systems: Ensuring School Operations, Processes and Contexts Support Effective Teaching and Learning

The program curriculum has been newly redesigned to align with NAESP’s 2019 edition of Leading Learning Communities: Pillars, Practices, and Priorities for Effective Principals, the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, and NAESP’s Mentor Competencies. To learn more about the program, visit or Register

Big picture

Upcoming Professional Development, Special Events & Conferences


Tuesday, 5/12, Recalibrating Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support: Building a Restorative and Accountable Approach, Larry Dieringer, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm, MSAA Office, Register