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Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)

Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning

To:Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner
Date:November 8, 2019

Deeper learning — learning that is interactive, relevant, and collaborative — is central to the plans I outlined in "Our Way Forward ," the report that I presented to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) in June 2019. In the months since then, we have taken several concrete steps toward making that vision a reality.

This fall, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) released the application for the Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning pilot program, giving individual schools and entire districts the opportunity to apply to rethink classroom instruction around deeper learning. Schools and districts have responded enthusiastically. Hundreds expressed interest over the summer, and we have received 77 applications so far. The deadline to submit an application is November 15.

We have also added two strong members to our team to bring the Kaleidoscope Collective to life:

  • Komal Bhasin joined the Department on November 4 as the senior associate commissioner leading Kaleidoscope. Komal was principal of UP Academy Leonard Middle School, part of the Lawrence Public Schools, for six years and prior to that was principal of Excel Academy in East Boston. Her previous experience also includes serving as an assistant principal in a district turnaround setting in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Before entering school leadership, she was a science teacher and an English teacher in Laplace, Louisiana.

  • Tera Carr joined the Department on October 15 as the associate commissioner for the Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning. Tera recently served students as the director of teacher development and pathways for the Tulsa, Oklahoma Public Schools. Prior to that, she was principal of Hamilton Elementary School in Tulsa, and she has also been an assistant principal, a high school math teacher, a special education teacher, a pre-K teacher, and, in Harbin, China, an English language teacher for first-year students.

I look forward to introducing Komal and Tera to the Board at the November 19 meeting. We expect the pilot program to run from January 2020 to June 2021, and will update you periodically on Kaleidoscope's progress.

Last Updated: October 21, 2019

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