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Commissioner's Weekly Update - May 30, 2014

New Senior Associate Commissioner:

On Tuesday, Commissioner Chester announced the hiring of West Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Russell Johnston as the Department's new Senior Associate Commissioner for Accountability, Partnerships and Technical Assistance. In this role, Dr. Johnston will oversee the state's accountability and assistance system for all public schools and districts. For more information, go to

Title III Funds and Consortia Applicants:

The Department typically awards Title III subgrants to local education agencies (LEAs) that enroll more than 100 English language learner (ELL) students. However, districts may also apply for Title III funds as part of a consortium of LEAs if the total number of ELL students in the consortium exceeds 100. For the 2014-15 school year, districts that wish to apply for Title III funds as part of a consortium must submit specific and detailed letters of intent signed by all superintendents of consortium member districts by Friday, June 13, 2014. Please send letters of intent to Melanie Manares, Office of English Language Acquisition and Academic Achievement, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148. To learn more, go to Additional guidance for consortia is available at

Security Portal Update:

The Department has instituted a new User Self Care option to the Security Portal as of May 30, 2014. This option will allow users to retrieve forgotten user name information as well as to reset their password directly through the Security Portal. The next (or first) time a user logs on will require her or him to set up three challenge questions and corresponding answers. To retrieve an ID or reset a password, a user must correctly answer two of these questions. Please double-check the accuracy of the information included in your user profile page, including your email address, as the retrieval system will rely upon this information.

Commissioner's School Visits:

On Tuesday, Commissioner Chester visited The English High School in Boston. On Thursday, the Commissioner visited Kelly Elementary School and William J. Dean Vocational Technical High School in Holyoke. On Friday, the Commissioner visited Boland Elementary School and Chestnut Accelerated Middle School in Springfield.

For Your Info:

  • Congratulations to Revere High School: As part of its 2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Awards, the National Center for Urban School Transformation at San Diego State University has selected Revere High School as its Gold Award winner for high schools. To read more about Revere High and this award, check out Kevin Cullen's Boston Globe column and a Revere Journal article.
  • Speech Pathologists: The Board of Registration of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is considering changes to two sections of its regulations: Application and Licensing Requirements (260 CMR 2.00) and Continuing Education (260 CMR 7.00). For more information on an upcoming special meeting and how to submit comments, go to

  • Licensure Renewal – Reminder: Educators must renew their professional licenses every five calendar years. As we fast approach the June 17 deadline for renewal, the Department has already renewed more than 36,500 licenses for over 23,500 educators. Given the volume of renewals expected in the coming weeks, we encourage educators to complete the application process as early as possible. For more information, including answers to questions the Department has received on licensure renewal and the impact on employment, go to

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Last Updated: June 2, 2014
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