Massachusetts Elementary School Principals' Association
MESPA Monday Memo
March 13, 2017
It's Next Week!
And it's going to be epic! Who's In?
MESPA Spring Conference: Leading Innovation & Change
March 22-24, 2017
Devens Common Center

For a registration form or to register on-line "
Don't Forget to book your hotel for discounted rate.
3 Keynotes


Be Inspired Stay Current
Learn from and Connect with Colleagues
Be Supported In Your Work


From The MESPA Blog:
Leading Together:
Adult Modeling of SEL Skills & Positive Relationships
A Conversation
between Pamela Seigle & Chip Wood
This week’s blog features a conversation between longtime educators and social-emotional learning program leaders, Pamela Seigle (Open Circle) and Chip Wood (Responsive Classroom).  Pamela and Chip (who were keynote speakers at the 2016 MESPA Spring Conference) talk about new Leading Together sessions starting in August at Wellesley College and Smith College. 

They describe how the program is intended to strengthen positive adult relationships in the school community. They remind us that research on relational trust makes clear that “the quality of relationships among the adults in a school is the biggest variable in whether school are able to improve learning.”   

To read more of the conversation, go to the MESPA blog at:  https://mespa2016.wordpress.com/  

For more information on Leading Together, go to:  http://www.couragerenewal.org/ . You may also want to attend the concurrent session on Leading Together being offered at this year’s MESPA Spring Conference on Thursday morning.    
From the Executive Director:
Where Do Things Stand?
MESPA Prepares to Sell Education Center

Our focus this year had been to keep MESPA “visible and viable” by providing our members with professional learning, support, and advocacy, while, at the same time, planning for our long-term future through the sale our office/training space and the settlement of our financial obligations.     

It is with a mixture of sadness and hope that I report we have signed a purchase & sale to sell our office and education center to the Assabet Valley Collaborative.  We expect to close on the sale on March 31 and, for the short-term, will rent back office space from AVC.   

The sadness comes from a recognition of the work done by our members and long-time Executive Director Nadya Aswad Higgins to make the dream of owning our own space a reality more than 25 years ago.   As a second year principal in 1991, I remember the sense of pride our association felt when the center opened. Over the years, the space made it possible for MESPA to offer new opportunities, including a licensure program, a doctoral program, a Technology Center, and countless other workshops.

The feeling of hopefulness comes from knowing that this sale opens new possibilities for our association. In recent years, MESPA had accumulated a significant long-term debt.  Proceeds from the sale will enable us to settle our long-term financial obligations and free us to explore new opportunities.   

One opportunity we are actively exploring is a unification with the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association (MSSAA). Thirty out of fifty states (including all the other New England states) have combined PK-12 principals’ associations.   The Board of Directors recommended exploring this course of action last year and membership endorsed the idea at last May’s annual meeting.   

While the idea has been on the table for over a year, we are still only in the preliminary stages of discussion with MSSAA.   Now that the sale is imminent, talks can resume in earnest.  The MESPA/MESPEF Board of Directors and I believe that a new unified association would enable us to have a stronger voice in representing principals and to be in a more stable position to offer the professional development and support that members rely on MESPA to provide.  

If you want to know more about MESPA’s future,  please plan to attend the Annual Meeting Breakfast on Friday, March 24 at the Spring Conference.  You should also feel free to contact any member of the Board or me with questions of concerns.   Much more to come….

Rick Rogers

New Job Posting
Public Schools of Brookline: Lawrence School (K-8)
For details & other postings, go to:  http://mespa.org/job-postings/  
Cleaning House
1. Used Book Sale at Spring Conference
MESPA has a large collection of professional books accumulated over the years from various workshops and programs we have offered, including current titles and those that are “classics” in the field.  We will be making many of these books available for sale at the Spring Conference.

Look for the tables in the back of the Exhibit Hall.  All proceeds will go to a special cause – to be announced at the conference.
2. Free Computer Tables!
  18 computer tables still left
(down from 36 last week).
All are in excellent condition and on wheels.
Just arrange for a truck to pick them up
and deliver to your school.
Contact Frank Hefler if interested hefler@mespa.org
Hurry while supplies last!
Pick up should be scheduled by March 31
if possible.
New Elementary Principals’ Science Network
Click on the link for details.
Applications are due March 15.
Elementary principals interested in improving student access to high quality science instruction in the early grades, especially those with a background in science, are encouraged to join a new Elementary Principals’ Science Network. The network is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and MESPA.