MESPA Monday Memo
October 31, 2016
Upcoming Twitter Chats:
Wednesday, November 2
8:00-9:00 pm
Moderated by Chad D’Entremont
From the Rennie Center
for Education Research & Policy
Read the Rennie Center 2015 report:
Social and Emotional Learning: Opportunities for Massachusetts, Lessons for the Nation  
A Special Combined MESPA & MSSAA Chat
Wednesday November 9
8:00-9:00 pm
From the Executive Director:
Talking about the Election: The Children Are Listening
This year’s Presidential Election has seen unprecedented vitriol and divisiveness.  And, in the words of Stephen Sondheim’s poem , “Children Will Listen.”  As educators and parents, we need to use the “teachable moments” that this highly visible election creates to help children learn about democracy, human rights, and respectful dialogue.

Warren Blair, principal of the Lawrence School in Brookline, put it well in a recent weekly post:  “ Students need our guidance in making sense of the word.”  He highlighted a good resource for educators at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s   Teaching Tolerance website: The website includes activities to promote civic activities, as well as lessons on getting along and countering bias. Also included are links to other student-centered election sites.   

As we head into the home stretch leading to the election, principals need to take the lead in setting an inclusive tone and supporting teachers and parents as we struggle to help children “making sense of the world.”  In the words of Peter Yarrow’s song (echoing Stephen Sondheim’s poem): “ The Children Are Listening.”

Rick Rogers
From The MESPA Blog :
by Kirk Downing, Principal of Brown School, Natick
In this week's post, MESPA President Kirk Downing writes about why principals should join their state association. The most important reason?  The support that comes from meeting the wide array of talented principals across the state and the opportunity to share and learn from each other.  Read more at

See You at the Fall Conference!
“The Connected Leader”
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Keynote Speaker: Alan November  

Concurrent Session I
Chatting on Twitter: How to Participate, Facilitate and Share
Brenda Maurao, Assistant Principal, Miller Elementary School, Holliston, MA
Managing School Wide Systems of Support in an RtI Framework with Google Drive
Thomas Martellone, Principal, Fiske Elementary School, Lexington, MA
How To Be An Effective Principal: ‘Be yourself’ and other tips for connecting with staff, students and parents            
Paul S. Haughey, Ed. D, Principal, Millville Elementary School, Millville, MA  

Concurrent Session II
Storytellers in Chief: Using Technology to Share Your School’s Story
Chris Dodge, Principal, Orange Elementary School, Orange, MA
Julie Vincentsen, Principal, Ruggles Lane School, Barre, MA
Social-Emotional Learning in Your School: The Principal’s View
Bill Ribas, President, Ribas Associates and Publications, Inc.
UD What?...The What, the How, and the Why of Learning with Universal Design for Learning
Liz Garden, Principal, Florence Roche Elementary School, Groton, MA
MCAS News for Middle School Principals
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education recently approved extending the “legacy” Gr. 10 MCAS through the class of 2020.  This means that current Gr. 8 students (class of 2021) will be the first to take the Next Generation MCAS for their high school competency determination and will have had at least one exposure to on-line testing before they are required to take it in high school.  

Early Learning Focus Groups
ESE’s Early Learning Team, in collaboration with MESPA, will be hosting focus groups with elementary school principals this fall.

Elementary principals play a critical role in supporting teachers as well as in the developmental and learning outcomes of young children. Early childhood research has shown that leadership is one of the primary predictors of children’s outcomes. The purpose of these focus groups will be to gather information from elementary principals on their role as instructional leaders in the early grades (PK-3) and to learn more about how ESE and MESPA can best support them. Information gathered from these discussions will inform ESE’s plans for work in the early learning space. 

We will host 6 regional focus groups (9:00-11:30)
  • November 14– Fall River (Kuss Middle School)
  • November 16 – Holyoke (Holyoke Community College) 

  • November 28 – Marlborough (MESPA Office) 

  • December 2 – Lawrence (EEC Regional Office) 

  • December 7 – Malden (ESE) 

  • December 12 – North Adams (MA College of Liberal Arts) 

ESSA Focus Groups
This past December, President Obama signed into law the new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires that states develop a plan that describes how we will improve our educational system in accordance with the new law. In developing our state plan, it's critical that we reach out and include engaged stakeholders like yourself. While an early round of feedback informed our initial planning, we’re now ready to share some proposals for further input.   

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold five public forums to gather feedback. You can register here for one of the following events, all of which will run from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, November 14, second floor of the Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St., Roxbury
  • Monday, November 21, Oak Middle School, 45 Oak St., Shrewsbury
  • Tuesday, November 29, Brockton High School, 470 Forest Ave., Brockton
  • Thursday, December 1, Holyoke High School, 500 Beech St., Holyoke
  • Tuesday, December 6, Collins Middle School, 29 Highland Ave., Salem

Our Updated Workshop Schedule
Updated calendar and on-line registration can be found at:
Teachers can register at the membership rate if you are a member.  Discounts for teams of 3 or more from same school.
We have recently rescheduled several of our on-line workshops which were scheduled too early in the fall. New dates are in December-March.

Still Seeking Participants
For New Regional Principals’ Support Groups
For information on group locations and meeting times and to register, go to: 
Name | Company | Phone | Fax | Email | Website