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Commissioner's Weekly Update - LEAP, College & Career Pathways, Broadband - August 4, 2017

Understanding the Impact of Poverty on Student Outcomes:

The Department sponsored training for representatives from 16 educational collaboratives who now have the instructional knowledge and materials to help school districts develop sustainable systems and practices to support all students, particularly those who are among the most vulnerable, such as low-income students, students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities. We encourage districts to take advantage of this new opportunity! Please contact the collaborative trainers directly; the resources are available to all districts, regardless of membership status. The Department sponsored the training through a Leading Educational Access Project (LEAP) train-the-trainer program conducted by the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES).

Application Materials Released to Support High Quality College and Career Pathways:

The Baker-Polito Administration has released the Early College Pathway Criteria and Innovation Pathway Criteria application materials for public school districts, community colleges and state universities wanting to seek formal designation to support students in their preparation for success after high school.

Early College Pathways offer at least 12 transferable college credits in a clearly articulated pathway building on the success of dual enrollment, while Innovation Pathways offer a well-structured scope and sequence of relevant courses and experiences in high school that are aligned with a high demand broadly defined industry sector, leading to relevant postsecondary education opportunities. Both pathways require strong partnerships and are intended to increase access to post-secondary education, particularly for students underrepresented in higher education and/or high demand industry sectors.

There will be a webinar on the Innovation Pathways designation criteria and application process from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, August 10 and a webinar on the Early College Pathways designation criteria and application process from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, August 14. Interested parties are encouraged to participate and will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Broadband Upgrade Support Survey:

Massachusetts is working with the national nonprofit EducationSuperHighway to help districts get the broadband connectivity they need to support next-generation learning in the classroom. They can help districts plan and implement their network upgrade, providing technical assistance, tools and resources at no cost. To make sure the state has an accurate picture of your district's Internet connectivity, we are asking for your help to complete a short survey. If you have trouble accessing the survey, please contact Greer Ahlquist from EducationSuperHighway at

EducationSuperHighway will use this data to identify schools that might benefit from upgrade support and also update your district's profile on Compare & Connect K-12 – their free price transparency tool that helps districts get more bandwidth for their budget.

If you have questions about the survey or to discuss your upgrade plans for this year, please contact Greer Ahlquist Mr. Ahlquist.

For Your Info:

  • Celebration of Commissioner Chester's Life: There will be a public celebration of the late Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester's life at 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, 2017 at Harvard University's Memorial Church. Individuals who would like to attend are asked to RSVP online at A map of the campus is also available online. Many people have asked if the family has established a memorial fund, and one has been established in Commissioner Chester's name at The Boston Foundation.

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 4, 2017
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