MESPA Monday Memo
October 17, 2016
Convenient On-Line Registration is Now Available for:
Professional Development Workshops:
Our October Twitter Chat focused on Professional Learning  If you missed it, here is a link to a transcript: Check it out for some great ideas and suggestions! Thanks to Liz Garden for moderating and Chris Dodge for assisting.
Join Our Next Monthly Twitter Chat:
Wednesday November 9
8:00-9:00 pm 
From the Executive Director:
School Leadership Under ESSA
Last week, in honor of National Principals’ Month, our three national associations (NAESP, NASSP, and AFSA) co-sponsored a panel presentation on Capitol Hill called “ Revolutionizing School Leadership Under ESSA.”  The panel was moderated by Alyson Klein from Education Week and featured three principals and a teacher/coach. The presentation was livestreamed and recorded. You can watch it at:  (Fast forward through the first 16 minutes of introductory speeches.)   

Among the highlights from panelists:
  • Guidance on ESSA from the U.S. Department of Education has underscored the importance of school principals: “Effective school principals, assistant principals, and other school leaders are essential to student success.”
  • When asked one thing that people should know about principals, panelist and veteran principal Ernest Logan got a laugh after providing a long list of traits and then noting the principal is seen as “the person who can handle everything that no one else can handle.”  (He was not endorsing that view.)
  • ESSA calls for new approaches to school improvement.  Panelist Lee-Ann Stephens reminded us that meaningful change requires more than a nine-month school year to happen.   Timelines for school improvement need to be expanded.  In addition, school improvement needs to be flexible and contextualized.  “Each school is unique and we need to be able to take risks.” Panelist Robert Motley said, “No one knows my school or my students better than I do.”
  • Principals are excited about new emphasis on multiple measures in state accountability systems.  Panelist Carol Hahn spoke about the importance of looking at school climate and social-emotional learning when making judgements about school quality. 
  • ESSA sets aside federal funds for principal development.   Principals need to participate not just in professional development with their teachers (even though this is worthwhile), but also need professional development that addresses the needs of principals. Robert Motley highlighted work in his district using tools from Gallup’s Strength-based Leadership:  Lee-Ann Stephens suggested principals need each other and called for professional learning communities for principals (MESPA’s Regional Support Groups!).
  • ESSA calls for consultation with stakeholders. Robert Motley reminded everyone that they should look to their professional associations to represent their voice in shaping educational policy at both the state and national level.  “Policy makers should ask principals what they need before determining what they need.”
Rick Rogers
Don’t Miss
MESPA's Fall Conference!
“The Connected Leader”
Thursday, November 3, 2016
MESPA Educational Center in Marlborough
See the Flyer and Register On-Line:
Keynote Speaker: Alan November
Alan November will challenge and inspire you to think about technology in different ways.

PLUS: Choose two concurrent sessions (out of six) to connect with and learn from colleagues.

Registration is limited to 100 participants.
From the MESPA Blog
This Week’s Post: “Chief Storyteller”
by Julie Vincentsen, Principal of Ruggles Lane School in Barre, MA

In this week’s post, Julie picks up two themes from prior posts by colleagues about the role of storytelling in leadership and the importance of empowering students.   She describes her own efforts to send out positive messages about her school on a regular basis using social media, as well as the way she provides students an authentic opportunity to write and have their voices be heard via a school blog.   In the words of #KidsDeserveIt, “Make your message about growth, learning - and awesomeness!”   

Read more at:  

Want to write a post for the MESPA Blog? Click here to sign up to write a post.

MESPA Members Invited, Too!
Principals Supporting Principals:
Join Our New Regional Principals’ Support Groups
For information on group locations and meeting times and to register, go to:
Registration has been extended and is now available on-line.    
Professional Development Workshops
Choose In-Person or On-Line
Working in partnership with Ribas Associates, MESPA is providing In-Person and on-line workshops for teachers and school leaders in the areas of:
  1. Addressing the Social-Emotional Learning Needs of All Students
  2. Strengthening Collaborative Teacher Teams
  3. Developing Leadership Skills
Your teachers can register at the membership rate if you are a member.
A complete program of studies and on-line registration can be found at:
# ThankAPrincipal
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