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Commissioner's Weekly Update - June 3, 2016

Accountability and Assistance Advisory Council to Meet:

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's Accountability and Assistance Advisory Council will meet from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Friday, June 10, 2016 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel, 181 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough. The meeting will be a continued discussion of potential modifications to the Commonwealth's school and district accountability and assistance system that would begin with the 2017-18 school year as Massachusetts transitions to new assessments at the state level and to new federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

In addition to discussions with the Accountability and Assistance Advisory Council, ESE has launched an online statewide feedback form to gather thoughts and ideas from a variety of stakeholders. The form will be available through June 17, 2016 and can be accessed here or through the following link:

Learning Standards Survey:

The Department would like to thank the hundreds of people who have completed the survey about the Massachusetts English language arts and math curriculum frameworks. The survey will remain open until June 17, 2016, and ESE encourages educators, parents, and others to respond. Please consider sharing the survey link through social media and any other communications tools your district uses.

Out-of-School Time Funding Priorities and Alignment Survey:

Both ESE and the Department of Early Education and Care are seeking feedback from school-based and community-based out-of-school time program providers to inform possible focus areas and priorities for anticipated funding opportunities, and ways to better align program requirements and quality initiatives. The survey will remain open until June 10, 2016.

Update on SAFIS Background Checks:

The state is approaching the end of the transition period for implementing the new fingerprint-based national background checks through the Statewide Applicant Fingerprint Identification Services (SAFIS) system. All required background checks for returning staff must be completed prior to the start of the 2016-17 school year. MorphoTrust fingerprinting locations will continue to operate over the summer for both new hires and returning staff. To ensure that all required checks are completed in a timely manner, ESE is asking superintendents to encourage staff not to wait until the last minute.

For Your Info:

  • Social and emotional learning grant opportunity: The NoVo Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors are offering grants to teacher-led projects that foster social and emotional learning (SEL) skills in students in grades K-12. Grants of up to $5,000 will be available for implementation in the 2016-17 school year, and grantees will have a chance to present their works at a national convening of SEL practitioners. Applications are available online and are due June 13, 2016.

Subscriber Information: Superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and charter school leaders will receive the update automatically. For others wishing to subscribe, send an email to with the following information in the body of the email: subscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: subscribe ESEUpdate John Smith) Leave the subject line blank. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: unsubscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: unsubscribe ESEUpdate John Smith)

Last Updated: June 3, 2016
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