MESPA Monday Memo
December 19, 2016
Season’s Greetings from MESPA!
Best Wishes for Peace, Health, and Happiness in the New Year.
Be sure to take time for yourself and your family during the December break.

The Monday Memo will resume on January 9, 2017.
Call for Proposals: Spring Conference
We invite school leaders and teams to present during the concurrent break-out sessions at our Spring Conference.  Share your craft knowledge and best practice with colleagues.
To submit a proposal, go to: Spring Call for Proposals
From the Executive Director:
Giving Principals a Voice

Annual Survey on the Principalship

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RTC9NCP

MESPA conducted its last survey on the conditions of the principalship in 2014. We invite you to take this year’s survey. Please complete it by January 9, 2017. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. In appreciation for your time, you will have the option to enter your name at the end of the survey to be entered into a drawing for a half-price registration to our Spring Conference March 22-24. Your responses will still be anonymous and confidential.  

The results of this survey will be sent to MESPA members and will be made available to all participants in the survey upon request. Past survey information has been very useful to members in negotiating their employment contracts and providing them with an overview of the principalship in Massachusetts. Thank you for your time and insights.  

State Legislation

One sometimes overlooked reason for joining MESPA is the role that MESPA plays in advocating for principals at the state level.  A recent example: the Massachusetts Legislature passed H 2319 on December 1  (“An Act protecting the rights of custodial and other non-teaching employees of school districts.”).   The bill would have limited principals’ abilities to hire and fire non-teaching personnel in their schools.  

MESPA became aware of the bill after it had passed. Working with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS), MESPA contacted the Governor’s office in order to make the case that this bill ran counter to the Education Reform Act of 1993 that granted principals the authority (subject to district policy and the approval of the Superintendent) to hire the personnel who work in their schools. Principals are held accountable for the overall learning environment in a schools and all personnel, including non-instructional personnel, contribute to creating a safe and caring learning environment.

We are pleased to report that Governor Baker chose to veto this legislation last week. As was noted in the recent tribute to long-time MESPA leader, Jim Argir, principals deserve a voice and MESPA can help be that voice.

Rick Rogers
From The MESPA Blog :
“Online Learning & Inclusive Practice”
By Matt Holloway, Coordinator for Educator Development
at the Center for Instructional Support, Massachusetts ESE
  In this week’s post, Matt (an active Twitter user on #MESPAChat) describes two on-line courses available at no cost:  Foundations for Inclusive Practice: Educator and Foundations for Inclusive Practice: Administrator. These courses are one option for educators to meet the 15 PDPs  license renewal requirement related to training in strategies for effective schooling for students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles.   

To read more and learn about these courses, go to: https://mespa2016.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/online-learning-inclusive-practice/
Last Call - Sign-up This Week
Regional Principals’ Support Groups
New Group Forming in Duxbury
Beginning January 19. Meeting one Thursday per month 7:30-9:30 am
Contact us for more information.

4 Groups Underway in Andover, Barre, Holliston & Wakefield  
(And still accepting new members)

Last Call for Belchertown & Groton
Still need members in order to run these groups.  Try one out for 4 sessions!   Groups may elect to continue next year.  

For information on MESPA’s support groups, go to: http://mespa.org/regional-support-groups/
January Workshop Schedule
Click on titles for details.  

Teacher Workshops
On-Line Workshop - Opens January 16, 2017
On-Line Workshop - Opens January 23, 2017
In Person Workshop - January 27, 2017
On- Line Workshop - Opens January 30, 2017  

Leadership Workshops
In Person Workshop - January 9, 2017
In Person Workshop - January 10, 2017

On-line registration can be found at: http://mespa.org/workshops/
Teachers can register at the membership rate if principal a MESPA member.
Earn 6 PDPs toward new requirement in Special Education
Discounts for teams of 3 or more from same school.
Registration Information Coming in January
MESPA Spring Conference 
New Time of Year: March 22-24
New Location: Devens Common Center 
Call for Proposals
To submit a proposal for a concurrent break-out session, go to: Spring Call for Proposals
Share your craft knowledge and best practice with colleagues.  

This year’s Spring Conference speakers will include two different perspectives on leading innovation and change:
  • Todd Nesloney, co-author and co-founder of Kids Deserve It! will offer an innovative look at change from a current principal.
  • Rob Evans, author of The Human Side of School Change, will offer the wisdom of experience of a longtime observer of schools and principals.