Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  

RSS Feeds Available

Commissioner's Weekly Update - Licensure Changes, EWIS Reports, Adult Ed RFP - August 11, 2017

Summary Now Available on Changes to Licensure and Educator Preparation Regulations:

On June 27, 2017, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved changes to the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00), Educator License Renewal (603 CMR 44.00), and Certification of Supervisors of Attendance (603 CMR 13.00). The amended regulations have been filed with the Secretary of State, and the Office of Educator Licensure has already begun to implement them. In order to assist applicants, school districts, sponsoring organizations and other interested parties, ESE has prepared a summary of the changes. In the near future, ESE will be soliciting public comment on new subject matter knowledge guidelines, a panel review process for educators prepared outside of the United States, and guidelines for the new validity period for the Provisional license.

Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) Reports coming to Edwin:

Early Warning Indicator System reports for the 2017-18 school year will be available in Edwin starting the week of August 25, in time for teams to use EWIS in preparing for the start of the school year. This year, districts will have access to two new Postsecondary EWIS reports. These are useful in understanding students' college-going risk and planning student-centered supports. Training material, videos and other resources are available on the EWIS website. For districts that did not report data by the due dates, EWIS data will be available in mid-September.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is offering a no-cost, full-day workshop, "Maximizing EWIS to Improve Student Achievement", on September 18, 2017. Please encourage leaders, data specialists, counselors, and program specialists to register as a team if possible to get the full impact of the sessions. For more information, email

Four Groups Hope to Open New Charter Schools:

Three groups have submitted prospectuses to open a new charter school, one existing charter school network has indicated their intent to apply for a new charter school, and four existing schools have asked to expand their enrollment, ESE announced this week. Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson will decide by mid-September which applicant groups to invite to submit full proposals. The final applications will be due by November 1, and the commissioner will then decide which finalists to recommend to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for consideration in February 2018.

On the expansion requests, the commissioner and Board will consider comments solicited from the superintendents within each school's district or region. Members of the public may also submit written comments regarding a school's expansion request to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign, 75 Pleasant St., Malden, MA 02148 or by email to

Comments on proposed new schools will be solicited during the final application stage, including at public hearings that will be scheduled in the cities and towns where the proposed charter schools intend to locate.

Request for Proposals for Adult Education Posted:

The Department's Office of Adult and Community Learning Services is pleased to announce the availability of competitive grants to offer high-quality adult education services across 16 local workforce development areas and in correctional institutions. The purpose of these grants is to help adult students progress along educational and career pathways toward economic self-sufficiency. Interested organizations are encouraged to submit an optional letter of intent by October 6, 2017. Proposals are due by 3 p.m. December 22, 2017.

Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement Network Meeting:

The next meeting of the Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement Network will be titled "Rethinking Education Options" and will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. October 27, 2017 at the DoubleTree at 99 Erdman Way in Leominster. There will also be an optional afternoon data session.

All schools and districts are welcome to participate in this meeting, and those with a dropout rate higher than the state average are strongly encouraged to attend. The gathering will present ideas on how to create student-centered school models that offer opportunities for student success outside the traditional school design.

Each participating district is expected to bring a team of four to eight school and district staff to the meeting. Suggested members of the team include leaders from middle and high schools, special education, English language learner programs, guidance or student support services, the superintendent's office, data specialists, alternative education programs, and key community partners. Participating districts should register online, and anyone with questions can email Lisa Harney.

Proportionate Share Guidance:

On Thursday, June 27, 2017, ESE posted guidance that replaces all previously issued guidance regarding school districts' special education proportionate share obligations under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The advisory, Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1: Guidance and Workbook for Calculating and Providing Proportionate Share Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools, and additional guidance, Proportionate Share Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools, are available on the ESE website. Please note that beginning with the FY18 Fund Code 240 application, districts will be required to submit specific data and information regarding proportionate share with their entitlement grant application. This year, districts must revisit proportionate share calculations and expenditures for FY17 as well as report on FY18 information.

Leading the Nation:

Because of students' hard work, educators' dedication, and the consistent, bipartisan support of policymakers and community members, Massachusetts schools are the best in the country and competitive internationally. During the 2017-18 school year, students, parents, and teachers will gather to celebrate their accomplishments and prepare for continued success. To learn more, visit, which has a link to sign up for updates and will include more details as they become available. Join the celebration!

ESE Resource Corner

Revised What to Look For observation guides now available: The Department's popular What to Look For observation guides have been updated! These handy two-page guides are available in English language arts and literacy, math, and science and technology/engineering for K-8 and now for high school courses as well. The guides describe what observers should expect to see in a classroom at a particular grade level in a specific subject area. This includes the knowledge and skills students should be learning and using (as outlined in state learning standards) and examples of student and teacher behaviors aligned to the Standards of Effective Practice used in the state evaluation framework. All math and English language arts and literacy guides have been updated to align to the 2017 curriculum frameworks, and science and technology/engineering guides are aligned to the 2016 curriculum framework.

You can find the guides at Please send feedback to

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: August 11, 2017
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact DESE