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Commissioner's Weekly Update - May 10, 2013

Message from Secretary Duncan on Teacher Appreciation Week:

Reflecting on the teaching profession this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote that, "Great teaching can change a child's life. That kind of teaching is a remarkable combination of things: art, science, inspiration, talent, gift, and - always - incredibly hard work. It requires relationship building, subject expertise and a deep understanding of the craft. Our celebrated athletes and performers have nothing on our best teachers." Secretary Duncan added that while teachers deserve a week of celebration, they need support throughout the year to implement key reforms and improve teaching and learning. To see Secretary Duncan's full remarks, go to http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USED-79f1ff.

New Superintendents Induction Program:

Congratulations to the 19 Massachusetts superintendents who recently received the first Certificates of Completion under the Commonwealth's three-year New Superintendents Induction Program (NSIP). Launched in July 2010 as a partnership between ESE and M.A.S.S., the program supports district leaders new to the role of superintendent or new to Massachusetts. NSIP prepares superintendents to implement "The Massachusetts Way of Leading," an approach to district leadership that intensifies the district's focus on improving teaching and learning and focuses the new superintendent's efforts on developing and implementing a strategic approach to building the capacity of leaders, teachers, and the organization. NSIP currently has three cohorts of participating new superintendents who lead 68 school districts serving approximately 240,000 students, or roughly a third of all Massachusetts's students. If you have questions about NSIP, please contact Lynda Foisy at lfoisy@doe.mass.edu.

The 19 Cohort 1 superintendents are: Kathleen Bodie, Arlington; Mary Bourque, Chelsea; Michael Cozort, Nantucket; John Doherty, Reading; David Dupont, Holyoke; Nancy Follansbee, Easthampton; Marie Galinski, Beverly; Jeffrey Granatino, Canton; Mary Beth Hamel, Ayer-Shirley RSD; James Hayden, Norwood; Russell Johnston, West Springfield; Marc Kerble, Newburyport; Steven Lamarche, Bourne; John Lavoie, Greater Lawrence Technical; John O'Connor, Tewksbury; Oscar Santos, Randolph; Stacy Scott, Framingham; Gordon Smith, East Longmeadow; and Elizabeth Zielinski, King Philip Regional.

TIME Collaborative Seeks New Districts for Cohort 2:

The TIME Collaborative is a partnership between the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) to develop high-quality and sustainable expanded learning time schools in five states. NCTL working closely with ESE launched the initiative in Massachusetts in fall 2012. NCTL is seeking districts to join a second cohort that will begin work in July 2013.

Districts selected for Cohort 2 must commit to engaging fully in an intensive planning process with a small group of its elementary, middle, and/or K-8 schools during the 2013-14 school year. Those schools will re-engineer their schedules by adding a minimum of 300 hours to the conventional school year for all students. Districts and schools will receive free technical assistance and coaching on how to rethink their school design. Selected districts will also receive capacity-building funds to help cover costs during the planning year. In spring 2014, NCTL will approve qualified applicants from among the participating districts to move forward with implementation using a combination of re-allocated local, state, and federal funding.

Districts in Gateway Cities or where at least 65 percent of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch - and where at least two Title I schools would implement expanded learning time under this proposal - are eligible to apply for Cohort 2. For more info on eligibility criteria or to view the application form, go to http://www.timeandlearning.org/MATCapplication. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Raine of NCTL at eraine@timeandlearning.org.

For Your Info:

  • Vocational Non-Resident Tuition Rates: The Feb. 15, 2013 Weekly Update summarized a decision to cap FY14 non-resident tuition rates for vocational students at 142 percent of the vocational foundation rate, or $18,309. It is important to note that this cap does not apply to the two county agricultural schools, which calculate their own rates in accordance with Chapter 6 of the Acts of 1991. The FY14 rate for the Bristol County Agricultural School is $18,860. The rate for the Norfolk County Agricultural School is $22,594. A list of all FY14 non-resident tuition rates is available on ESE's website at http://www.doe.mass.edu/cte/admissions/fy14-trates.html.
  • Update on May Board Meeting: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has cancelled its special meeting on Monday, May 20, 2013. The update on the RETELL initiative will take place at the Board's Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Franklin.

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Last Updated: May 10, 2013
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