MSAA Matters

August 29th 2022

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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

August 29th, 2022

Dear MSAA Leaders,

It is hard to believe our summer has come to an end. I know many of you are starting this week and many of you start after Labor Day. No matter when you are starting we are thinking of you here at MSAA and we remember the myriad "things" that need to get done before the students arrive!

My friend, and retired principal colleague, Jill Flanders reminded me of all the feelings that wash over us as administrators at this time of year. Jill wrote, "It is the last Friday in August and no matter how long we have been retired, my stomach is still rolling, because I know I've forgotten something (no matter how many lists we make) or someone. The school never felt quite ready."

To those having those feelings, my retired advice is: You've got this! As long as you keep in mind that the most important aspect of your job is welcoming your students into a building whose culture is warm, inclusive, empathetic, accepting and filled with love! Make that clear from Day 1 and your year will assuredly be a positive one.

Please know as always MSAA is here for you to provide any support you need. Do not hesitate to reach out to anyone of us.

I would like to welcome Yolanda Burnett, Steven Dubzinski and John Quinn to MSAA as Assistant Executive Directors! Already your exuberance, helpful approaches and your "can do" attitudes are most welcome!

This newsletter will be quite brief as its intent is to welcome you to the 2022-2023 school year, but there are a few things you should know about. Please see below for some important DESE updates. There is a call for principals to be on a DESE Advisory Cabinet with the link to apply, and some important updates form the Early Learning Team. Additionally there is information from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for a free virtual summit in November. Registration is below.


School Leaders: Join DESE’s Principal and Teacher Advisory Cabinet!

Your voice makes policy stronger – help shape educator preparation policy that promotes anti-racist, high-quality teaching and leading! We’re seeking applications and nominations for paraeducators and school leaders for the 2022-2023 Principal and Teacher Advisory Cabinet! As a Cabinet member, you’ll be part of a community of MA educators that help update the educator preparation program formal review process. This process will ensure that educator preparation programs are preparing anti-racist, culturally responsive educators that use evidence-based instructional practices. You’ll earn professional development points (PDPs) and potentially stipends, pending funding.

Nominate a paraeducator or school leader by August 29 and apply by September 6. Questions? We’re here to support you at

The Early Learning Team wanted to share a few updates:

Posting of Contracted Early Learning Program Specialist Position

On August 29th, our Human Resources Team will post a position to MassCareers for a contracted Early Learning Program Specialist. Information about this position can be found on the attached flyer along with a link to where this position will be posted. Please share the flyer with those who you think might be interested in the work of the Early Learning Team.

2022-23 Professional Development Calendar for Elementary Principals and Early Childhood Coordinators

We anticipate that the professional development calendar for the 2022-23 school year will be posted in the next few weeks. The calendar will be posted under the Early Learning News Headlines on our Early Learning page. The theme for this year’s professional development will be play as an anti-racist practice in the early grades. We will send an email with the calendar when it is posted but feel free to check our Early Learning page for any updates. We look forward to engaging with you in one or more of the offerings this year.

We wish you an engaging and enriching school year!

Donna Traynham, MA DESE Early Learning Team Lead

(sent on the behalf of the Early Learning Team – Emily Taylor and Jane Haltiwanger)

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Please join the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for the 2022 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security on November 1-3, 2022. This three-day, virtual event will convene school safety experts, practitioners, and leaders from across the country to discuss current threats in school safety and explore research-informed strategies for addressing security challenges and risks in K-12 schools.

Registration is now open for the Summit and attendance is free of charge. Sessions are planned for all members of the K-12 community and will include keynote remarks, one-on-one interviews, and panel discussions on issues such as targeted violence, violence prevention, cybersecurity, emergency planning, and physical security. The event is designed to foster a nationwide dialogue on school safety, as well as equip school stakeholders and personnel with resources, training, and expertise to apply in their local school settings and communities.


ABOUT THE SUMMIT: The Summit is a free, virtual event that combines discussion, education, networking, and knowledge-sharing among federal, state, and local school safety stakeholders. Through the event, attendees will hear from government, private sector, and community leaders in the field, who will speak about current and critical school safety issues, threats, and solutions.

EVENT DETAILS: The Summit will be held virtually over the course of three days in November. Each day will consist of a two-hour session centered around the themes of violence prevention (Day 1); cybersecurity and online safety (Day 2); and physical security (Day 3). Additional event details include:

· Dates: November 1-3, 2022

· Time: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET each day

· Location: Held virtually via Microsoft Teams

· Registration: The Summit is open to all interested participants and there is no cost to attend. Registration is required. To register, please visit

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: The Summit is open to anyone with a passion for improving school safety. K-12 educators, administrators, principals, school-based law enforcement, mental health professionals, policymakers, cybersecurity experts, community liaisons, and other school safety and security professionals are especially encouraged to attend.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Additional details, including confirmed speakers and a final agenda, will be shared when available. To learn more about the Summit, please visit You can also download a one-page overview here. If you have any questions, please contact the CISA School Safety Task Force at

Horace Mann Student Loan Solutions

Current Articles/Videos/Podcasts/Resources

See link to Learning for Justice website as they have some wonderful new workshops they are offering.

Speak up for School sounds excellent and quite relevant. today!

Become familiar with strategies that educators and students can use to speak up to bias and injustice instead of remain silent.

Many workshops are already sold out unfortunately.

I have also included an article (link below) on how to reenergize teachers and students it is from Education Week

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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Current Articles/Videos

Joint MSAA DESE Position Paper on Play







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Franklin Covey Leader in Me Program and Unconscious Bias Program

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