MESPA Monday Memo
December 5, 2016
From The MESPA Blog :
“Oh, Just Be Nice!  Reading, Writing and So Much More”
By Peter Bachli, Principal Chesire Elementary School, Chesire, MA
In this week’s post, Peter describes an initiative in his school to promote kindness among students – and how this work carried over to encourage more respectful and courteous communication with parents.  As Peter reminds us, things go better and issues can be respectfully resolved when we “choose to be nice.”   

Write for the MESPA Blog
MESPA is looking for guest bloggers for the following dates:
December 19 & 26, 2016
January 2, 16 & 30, 2017
Click here to sign up for a post or contact Julie Vincentsen, Principal of Ruggles Lane School at  for more information.
Upcoming Twitter Chats
The Mindful Leader
Wednesday, December 14
8:00-9:00 pm
From the Executive Director:
Add "Usable Knowledge" to Your Reading List
Busy principals can find it difficult to keep up with professional reading.  Many principals have come to rely on the Marshall Memo, a weekly summary of selected articles from a variety of publications.  For over 13 years, Kim Marshall has produced this invaluable resource.  

Over the years, I have tried to keep up with Education Week (for the thoughtful commentaries and the chance to stay informed about education nationally) and Kappan (for more in-depth thinking on educational issues).   Often, the Marshall Memo will steer me to read a particular article in one of these publications.  

More recently, I learned of a free monthly resource available on-line from the Harvard Graduate School of Education called Usable Knowledge.  The site provides short and readable articles that focus on how innovative ideas are being applied as practice. For examples, the November issue included pieces on working with children in military families, processing post-election, teaching poetry and slowing the frantic pace of the school day.  There is also a sorting tool that enables you to look up older posts by category.   It’s free and easy to sign up – just provide your email address to receive a monthly alert when new articles are posted (I’ve been on for several months and have received no additional superfluous emails).  Highly recommended!  

Rick Rogers
MESPA Spring Conference Speakers Announced!
New Time of Year: March 22-24
New Location: Devens Common Center
Registration Information Coming in January 
This year’s Spring Conference will include two different perspectives on leading innovation and change.  Todd Nesloney will offer a an innovative look at change from a current principal and Rob Evans will offer the wisdom of experience of a longtime observer of schools and principals.
Todd Nesloney
Co-Author of "Kids Deserve It!"

Todd Nesloney, the Principal/Lead Learner at a PreK-5 school in Texas and co-author of "Kids Deserve It!", will speak about pushing boundaries and challenging conventional thinking in order to do what’s best for kids.  

Todd took over a struggling, high poverty school n Navasota, Texas, brought in a brand new staff, and used his creative ideas to transform a campus. 

Todd and his Kids Deserve It co-author, Adam Welcome, actively blog and share their stories through many different social media avenues, especially Twitter. Check out the Kids Deserve It website for podcasts of their weekly Kids Deserve It show and follow them on Twitter (@kidsdserveit and #kidsdeserveit).
Rob Evans
Author of "The Human Side of Change"

Rob Evans is s a longtime friend of Massachusetts principals who has appeared at several MESPA conferences and workshops. He will speak about how leaders can cope with the real-life problems of change.  

Rob is a clinical and organizational psychologist and the Executive Director of The Human Relations Service in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Regional Principals’ Support Groups
In Case You Missed It: Check out this testimonial from Catriona O’Reilly, a principal in Ireland, who participates in a support group sponsored by the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN):  

For information on MESPA’s support groups, go to:  

New Group Forming in Duxbury
 Contact us for more information.

Two Groups Underway in Barre & Wakefield  
(And still accepting new members)

Reduced Schedule for 4 Other Groups Begins in January
(Andover, Belchertown, Groton & Holliston)
Try one out for 4 sessions. Groups may elect to continue next year.
Upcoming Workshop Schedule
Presented by MESPA in Partnership with Ribas Associates
9 Available in On-Line Format!

Our 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.