MSAA Matters

June 2022 Edition

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"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

June 14th

Dear MSAA Leaders,

I hope this June edition finds you well. At MSAA we know first hand from our membership what a challenging year each of you has faced. You did it though with tenacity, compassion and patience not to mention pure grit. I hope this CONGRATULATIONS is not premature but this is the last MSAA Matters edition for the 2021-2022 school year and I would be remiss if I didn't commend you for a job well done. No one anticipated that this year would have been as challenging as the last two, but I think many of you, if not most would rank this year as the most challenging!

Read further below on Summer Institute, The Revolution Educator Appreciation Night, Soul of Leadership, Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Survey, Horace Mann Loan Forgiveness Program, and Pride Month and Juneteenth Resources.

Summer Institute

Come July 1 hit that restorative button and give yourselves the gift of time; relax, spend time with family and friends, walk the beach, read a thriller, in other words fill your bucket! Speaking of filling your bucket come and spend the end of July with inspiring colleagues to collaborate and learn from one another. Also simply stated it is just a lot of fun! The view of the ocean is spectacular, the variety of restaurants, and the town of Plymouth is just a perfect backdrop for our Summer Institute. Register.

New England Revolution Educators Appreciation Night Sunday, July 3rd

The New England Revolution are excited to announce Educator’s Appreciation Night on Sunday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. when the team takes on FC Cincinnati! Come out to Gillette with your family and friends to enjoy the Revs match and postgame fireworks!

As a thank you for everything you do, all educators receive access to a special discounted ticket rate.

Soul of Leadership

MSAA Matters, June 2022

Over the past four years, MSAA has offered a unique professional learning experience for principals and assistant principals called “The Soul of Leadership: Courage, Presence and Integrity.” With grant funding from the Angell Foundation, over 120 school leaders from a range of districts across Massachusetts have participated, including 23 new participants this year and around 30 who have participated in our ongoing Alumni Network. Last September, the program was featured in an Education Week article.

What is Soul of Leadership?

The Soul of Leadership develops school leaders’ capacity for self-awareness, listening, and reflection. We offer school leaders the time, space, and facilitation to do what Parker Palmer calls “the work before the work.” Principals are invited to reflect on their lives and work through contemplative and reflective practices drawn from the Center for Courage & Renewal and the fields of mindfulness, social-emotional learning, neuroscience, poetry, literature, and the arts. The program provides a lived experience of the process of building relational trust and offers strategies for leaders that can strengthen wellbeing in the adult school community and support an anti-bias, anti-racist culture.

Research Results

Soul of Leadership is evaluated annually by outside researchers. Results from the first three years have found that participants experienced statistically significant increases in optimism, hope, and efficacy. Participants also reported increased mindfulness and reduced feelings of burnout. Results showed that participants made strong connections and established trust with their peers. In interviews with participants, our researchers found that Soul of Leadership “provided an energizing time for self-care and reflection guided by talented facilitators, an opportunity to connect in a safe space with understanding colleagues, and an experience of reorienting to the energy and passion of their core values.”

Plans for 2022-23

State-wide Cohort 5: We plan to offer our fifth new state-wide cohort beginning in the fall. The cohort will begin and end with full-day in-person retreats. Two additional half-day virtual retreats and 3 virtual small group sessions will be held during the year.

Affinity Group for BIPOC Leaders: Still in the development stage, we plan to offer a new affinity group that will provide a safe and brave space that centers BIPOC leaders and the complex and unique challenges that leaders who are people of color face every day.

Alumni Network: Our active Alumni Network will continue next year. We plan to offer two different strands:

· Quarterly Retreats(2 in-person and 2 virtual) for those who wish to continue and deepen their Soul of Leadership experience.

· A new Facilitation Group, led by senior facilitators Pamela Seigle and Chip Wood, focused on planning and facilitating the work of “leading together” in their school communities.

Watch for more information, including dates and registration, coming this summer.

Rick Rogers

Soul of Leadership Coordinator

Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center

The Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center (MASFEC) is conducting a needs assessment to learn more about the relationship that schools and families have with one another. They have developed a survey for educators and one for families. The survey takes about 10 minutes and the family survey is available in seven languages. We ask principals to share the surveys with educators and families,

Horace Mann Student Loan Solutions

Current Articles/Videos/Podcasts/Resources

Some Great resources for celebrating Pride Month and recognizing Juneteenth.

Closing Message from Bob Baldwin

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of ALL children. You are making a difference!

Warm Regards,


Beth Wittcoff

MSAA Assistant Executive Director

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Pride Month Resources

Juneteenth Resources

Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom | A Documentary from @Our Daily Bread Voices Collection
Juneteenth Explained
The history of Juneteenth

MSAA Position Papers



Are over for the remainder of this school year. thanks to all who participated and/or presented!



MSAA Summer Institute Pre-Conference In-Person Workshops @Hotel 1620, Plymouth, July 26, 2022

Kids Do Better When They Can: Creating a supportive school environment to meet the social emotional and mental health needs of our PreK-8 students, Bobbie French, Holliston Public Schools, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

Getting to Work: Why Diversity Equity and Inclusion Work Matters and How it Helps All Students, Henry Turner, Newton Public Schools, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

Work Your Core with Google Workspace, Lytania Mackey Knowles and Kerri O’Donnell, Science and Technology/Engineering

Leading Out of the Pandemic: Seven Strategies to Lead Learning and Rebuild School Culture in 2022-2023, John Clements and Mary Anne Moran, Nipmuc Regional High School, Leadership and Administration

School Law Update, Colleen Shea, Stoneman, Chandler & Miller, LLP, Leadership and Administration



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Franklin Covey Leader in Me Program and Unconscious Bias Program

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