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Commissioner's Weekly Update - November 30, 2012

Guidance on New Student Discipline Bill:

On Aug. 6, 2012, Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law An Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School. The sections of the law affecting districts and charter schools do not take effect until July 1, 2014. The new law adds procedural and reporting requirements for student suspensions and expulsions. It also makes substantive changes, most notably, to require school districts and charter schools to ensure that students who have been excluded from school for disciplinary reasons have the opportunity to make academic progress during the period of their exclusion. ESE has posted the first of a series of communications on the new law under Student Support Headlines at http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=7127.

Public Forums on FY14 Budget:

Education Secretary Paul Reville will host two public forums to solicit feedback that will inform the development of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal. The first forum will take place at the McCormack State Office Building in Boston on Dec. 3; the second forum will take place at Worcester State University on Dec. 6. For more info, go to http://www.mass.gov/edu/2012newsupdates/eoe-fy14-budget-hearing-schedule.html.

Redesigned Educator Evaluation Page:

ESE has redesigned its Educator Evaluation site at http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/ to make it easier to locate important resources related to training, rubrics, and implementation. ESE has also redesigned the Resources section to include:

  • An Implementation Resources page that links to a PowerPoint presentation on the new MA Educator Evaluation Framework;
  • A Rubrics page that includes four model rubrics, guidance on how to develop role-specific Indicators, examples of role-specific Indicators, and links to new support resources related to the use of ESE model rubrics for school administrators, nurses, and guidance counselors.
  • An Evaluation Forms page that includes individual Model System forms and optional tools for each step of the evaluation cycle, including forms that are specific for teachers, school-level administrators, and superintendents. These forms and tools can be individually downloaded and completed electronically.
  • A Presentations page that serves as a central repository for important ESE professional development presentations on the ESE Model System, S.M.A.R.T. goals, and other elements related to the new evaluation framework that districts can download and use in support of their own implementation.

Board Meeting Recap:

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held its Nov. 27 regular meeting at the South Lawrence East Elementary School to hear an update on the Lawrence Public Schools receivership from Superintendent/Receiver Jeff Riley. The Board voted to adopt FY14 budget recommendations, while acknowledging the state's difficult fiscal context and underperforming revenue growth. The Board voted to send out for public comment proposed amendments to the Innovation Schools regulations, and approved an amendment for the Match Charter Public School. The Board heard an update on the conditions placed on Gloucester Community Arts Charter School.

School Visits:

This week, Commissioner Chester visited the South Lawrence East Elementary and Middle Schools in Lawrence, and West Brookfield Elementary School, Warren Elementary School, and Quaboag Regional Middle High School in the Quaboag Regional School District.

For Your Info:

  • iCivics is a new, free, non-commercial collection of interactive games for students and lesson plans for teachers on American government and civic responsibility. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor founded the site to encourage students to become active and involved citizens. The games will appeal to students of all ages, but are targeted for students in grades 5-9 and are a good match with the grade 5 US History I and II standards on practices and principles of US government in the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework. Modules on argumentation are also relevant to the writing standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy. iCivics is supported in the Commonwealth by a team led by Justice Robert J. Cordy of the MA Supreme Judicial Court. For more info, go to http://www.icivics.org.

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Last Updated: November 30, 2012
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