MESPA Monday Memo
November 14, 2016
From The MESPA Blog :
“An Evolution of Social Emotional Learning”
by Brian Bemiss, Principal of Huckleberry Hill Elementary School, Lynnfield
In this week’s post, Brian describes the multi-year evolution in his school that began with providing individual supports and accommodations and became a coordinated school-wide approach to social emotional learning.  He quotes consultant Rachel Poliner: “S EL needs to be in the school’s structure, leadership and classroom practices, curriculum, communications, co-curricular activities, even the school building itself.”    Not only does this post describe a comprehensive approach to SEL, it also provides an insightful case study into how meaningful change in a school evolves over time.

From the Executive Director:
Post-Election Thoughts
The day after the election, I had the opportunity to speak with several teachers and principals from Brookline where I last served as principal. They described a challenging and emotional day after the election in a culturally and linguistically diverse community, particularly among the middle school students in their K-8 schools.  

And post-election, we are troubled to hear anecdotes and news reports of increased racist and xenophobic taunts (“Build a wall,” chanted at Latino students or anti-Muslim sentiments directed at students wearing hijabs).    

As educators, we need, to paraphrase the powerful words of First Lady Michelle Obama, take the metaphorical high road as we teach our students about how a democracy works and what it means to have a peaceful transition of power in our country.  

And we need to heed the reminder from Hillary Clinton in her graceful concession speech that our constitutional democracy “ enshrines other things; the rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.”   

Two weeks ago, I wrote: “ 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.”  These words still apply as we move forward beyond the election.  For assistance in utilizing these teachable moments, I offer two posts shared with me by other educators:   Ultimately, it the work we do every day to create and uphold a supportive and respectful community, as is so aptly described by Brian Bemiss in this week’s MESPA Blog post, that will make a difference.

Rick Rogers
#MALeads:
Combined MESPA/MSSAA Twitter Chat a Success!
Last week’s first combined MESPA/MSSAA Twitter Chat saw active participation from membership in both associations.  To review a transcript of this chat focused on school leadership, go to: https://storify.com/PrincipalDodge1/maleads-chat.

Thank you MESPA’s Christopher Dodge and MSSAA’s Martin Geoghegan for hosting this epic chat!
Attention First & Second Year Principals!
NAESP’s premier program, the National Panel of New Principals, is up and running for the 2016-17 year and is actively recruiting panelists.  Now entering its fourth year, the panel includes nearly 700 first and second year principals from all 50 states, who participate in 4-6 brief, topical online surveys during the school year. The time commitment is small—a total of less than one hour per year.  

The results are published in a Rise & Shine brief that is proving highly popular among principals, education policy makers, and the media. And, new to the line-up this year, panelists will get the exclusive opportunity to take part in webinars and book chats featuring guest speakers.  Look over a sample issue of Rise and Shine.  

Becoming a panelist is easy—principals in their first or second year of practice can simply enroll at newprincipal.org. The panel is open to all new principals—NAESP members and non-members alike. Sign-up today!  
Regional Principals’ Support Groups
NOVEMBER UPDATE 
Two Groups Underway in Barre & Wakefield
(and still accepting new members)  

New Reduced Schedule for 4 Other Groups
(Andover, Belchertown, Groton and Holliston)
Try one out for 4 sessions! Groups may elect to continue next year.

For more information on group locations and meeting times and to register,
Our Updated Workshop Schedule
Updated calendar and on-line registration can be found at: http://mespa.org/workshops/
Teachers can register at the membership rate if you are a member. 
Discounts for teams of 3 or more from same school.
We rescheduled several of our on-line workshops which were scheduled too early in the fall.
New dates are in December-March.
Save the Date!
MESPA Spring Conference
New Time:  March 22-24
Beautiful New Location: Devens Common Center