#MESPAChat Is Trending!
MESPA Monday Memo
August 8, 2016
#MESPAChat Is Trending!
What is a Twitter chat?   It’s an opportunity to engage in a “live” conversation on a designated topic at a designated time using Twitter.  And the ideas from the chat remain posted for others to review later.  It’s a fun way to network and share ideas – from the comfort of your home.  

For the past few months, MESPA has scheduled a chat on the first Wednesday evening of the month (#MESPAChat). Last week, the August chat saw 18 principals actively participating. While most were from Massachusetts, the chat included the president of our sister organization in Minnesota (also MESPA!) and a principal from California.  The chat saw so much activity over 30-45 minutes that it made the list of “Top Ten Trending” twitter hashtags (just ahead of Eminem!).  Who knew principals could be so cool?  

Moderated by Liz Garden (@PrincipalGarden), the chat focused on sharing back to school ideas with participants answering five questions:
  1. What new idea from your summer learning are you “buying into” and incorporating this year?
  2. How will you get the most bang for your buck this year?
  3. What worked well last year that you will carry into this year?
  4. How will you market your school this year?
  5. If money were no object, what would you do for your school this year?
  Thanks to all who participated and for providing inspiration for the opening of school!  

The next #MESPAChat will be Wednesday, September 7 at 8:00 pm.  Mark your calendars!
Please Renew Your Membership!
New This Year: Choose MESPA only ($299) or MESPA/NAESP ($534)
Current members should have received a membership renewal form and invoice in the mail in late July.   Or you may download the membership form ( http://mespa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Membership-Enrollment-Form-2016-2017-REV..pdf)  and submit it for processing.   Please share this information with new principals in your district.  And encourage your assistant principals to join us!   

The new split membership has raised some questions.  For the first time, principals in Massachusetts can choose whether to join just MESPA or join both MESPA and NAESP (previously you were required to join both organizations).   While we hope the lower membership cost will help attract new members, we do encourage you to continue your national membership if your budget allows. In addition to NAESP’s publications and on-line resources, a major reason to joining NAESP are the legal benefits they provide.  For more information, go to: http://tinyurl.com/jxytgvj.

If you have questions about membership, please contact Vickie Ellison at vellison@mespa.org.
New Professional Learning Opportunities
(offered in Partnership with Ribas Associates)

MESPA and Ribas Associates are pleased to offer a series of over 30 workshops that will be of interest to you and your teachers. Remember that your teachers can register at the membership rate if you are a member.  Workshops (both live and on-line) are available in the following categories:

  • Addressing the Social-Emotional Learning Needs of All Students
  • Strengthening Collaborative Teacher Teams:  A Key to Academic, Social and Emotional Success
  • Developing Leadership Skills

A complete program of studies and registration form can be found at: http://mespa.org/professional-development-calendar/.

Regional Principals’ Support Groups
We are working to organize low-cost regional support groups for principals that will meet 6-8 times during the year (some groups may use a blended in-person/on-line approach).   These groups of 8-12 principals from different districts will be facilitated by an experienced or retired principal. 

If you are interested in facilitating or participating in one of these groups, please contact Rick Rogers ( rrogers@mespa.org).
MESPA Blog:  Hiring and Interviewing

Be sure to read the most current MESPA Blog, “Hiring and Interviewing: Do’s, Don’ts, and Duh’s” by Anthony P. DiFonso, Principal of Henri A. Yelle Elementary School in Norton.   https://mespa2016.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/hiring-and-interviewing-dos-donts-and-duhs/  

Heading into August, Anthony’s post is a good reminder of the importance of the hiring process.  During the spring hiring season, the hiring process can be thoughtful and thorough. It is the unexpected openings at the end of the summer and the time pressure to be fully staffed on the first day of school that can pose challenges.  Nothing a principal does is more important than hiring the staff who will work directly with students.  Do not make the mistake of rushing in August. Take the time to see the process through!  

Receive alerts about new posts by following us on Twitter @mespa1 and #mespachat. 

Rick Rogers

MESPA Executive Director


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