Office of the Commissioner

Superintendent's Checklist and Adjustments Due to COVID-19

To: Superintendents and Charter School Leaders
From: Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner
Date: November 30, 2020

The Department creates a superintendent's checklist at the beginning of each school year to help school and district leaders meet a variety of federal and state requirements and responsibilities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department is presenting the superintendent's checklist to you with a companion document outlining how we have modified some of the Department's monitoring and other activities, as permissible under the applicable requirements, in recognition of the challenges that schools and districts are facing.

Attached to this memo are both the Superintendent's Checklist Download Excel Document and a list of modifications to the Department's monitoring and other activities. Highlights of those adjustments Download Excel Document include:

  • Extending Timelines: The Department has extended certain timelines within its authority. For example, the deadlines for submission of documents for the required public school monitoring and educational stability monitoring have been extended, and further extensions may be granted as appropriate. Similarly, the Department has postponed the deadlines for certain data submissions, such as those for 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

  • Simplifying Waiver Processes: The Department has streamlined waiver processes in various areas. For example, the Department has simplified the waiver application process for special education age span waivers. The Department also made a number of changes in the licensure area, including streamlining the process for license hardship waivers for educators by accepting internal postings for those educators that were employed in the district in 2019-2020.

  • Reducing Onsite Presence: To the extent appropriate and permissible under the applicable requirements, the Department will reduce its onsite presence in schools and districts during monitoring. For example, the Department will conduct certain reviews or components of reviews virtually.

  • Eliminated: The Views on Instruction, State Standards, Teaching, and Assessment (VISTA) survey will not be administered in 2020.

Thank you for helping your students grow and learn in the midst of a pandemic. We will continue to support your efforts.

Questions or suggestions for improving the checklist should be directed to Helene Bettencourt, associate commissioner for communication and planning.

Last Updated: November 30, 2020

Jeffrey C. Riley
Jeffrey C. Riley
Commissioner of Elementary
and Secondary Education

Presentations and Reports
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.