Commissioner's Weekly Update - April 5, 2013
Update on Background Checks Law:
The new national background check law (Chapter 459 of the Acts of 2012) expands the information available to public, private, and parochial schools, including approved private special education schools and child care facilities, about prospective and current employees. It authorizes a national criminal database check for all school employees and certain other individuals who may have direct and unauthorized access to children. The Executive Office of Public Safety is currently evaluating the feasibility of implementing the law on its current schedule. We anticipate that some amendments will be filed. To assist in your planning, refer to the FAQ located at http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/faq-ch459.pdf. The FAQ will be updated as more information is available. If you have any additional questions about the new law, please contact email@example.com.
21st CCLC Funding Opportunity:
ESE has released a new competitive Fiscal Year 2014 funding opportunity for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC). ESE will award a portion of 21st CCLC funds to support a limited number of Title I school-wide schools in offering extended school days and/or years that incorporate inquiry-based, hands-on teaching and learning, enrichment activities, and more time for teachers to collaborate and plan. We encourage plans that expand the school year beyond the traditional, 10-month calendar, as well as those that incorporate blended, digitally enabled learning opportunities to customize and extend the school day.
A non-binding Intent to Apply for funding is required and due by April 23, 2013; go to
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/21CCLCELT. Full proposals are due by May 3, 2013. For more info, go to http://www.doe.mass.edu/grants/grants14/rfp/647B1A.html. ESE has scheduled webinars to answer questions about this funding opportunity on April 8, 22, and 30. ESE will post grant updates to http://www.doe.mass.edu/21cclc/ELT-fy14opportunity.html. The awards are subject to federal appropriation.
ESE also anticipates posting competitive 21st CCLC grants for out-of-school time and exemplary programs later this spring. We will post details once they are available to http://www.doe.mass.edu/21cclc/funding.html?section=02.
Technology/Engineering, Technology Education, and/or Industrial Arts Licenses:
ESE has determined that the technology/engineering, technology education, and industrial arts licenses are equal for employment purposes. However, ESE recognizes that there are instances where an educator may need to engage in specific professional development to ensure they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to lead effective instruction for students. For more info, go to http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=7372.
For Your Info:
- The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a special meeting from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, April 22, 2013 and its regular meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. Both meetings will take place in Malden.
- Voluntary Recall of Rich Products: A commercial recall of certain Rich Products was expanded this week. A number of school districts in Massachusetts have received food products from Rich Products. We recommend that districts that may have products on the recall list follow the recommendations provided in the recall notice posted at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm346633.htm?source=govdelivery. Districts may also want to check with their local health departments for more guidance. If you have additional questions, please contact ESE's Nutrition unit at 781-338-6480.
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