Read on to learn more about panel sessions and workshops, additional guest speakers and special event.
(Subject to change) Sessions with an (*) count toward the eight hour new member training requirement.
Wednesday, November 7
Conference registration open
12:45-2:00pm: Panel Session I
• What’s New in Regionalization of School Districts
Since the legislative push for regionalization of towns, school districts and services a few years ago, there has been much activity to create new or expand existing regional school districts. This session will share the latest updates to regional school laws, operational aspects and examples of how many other districts have initiated and implemented the steps necessary to create a regional district or expand an existing one.
• Data Presentation Techniques
This session will focus on presentation techniques that increase understanding by all your stakeholder groups.
• Financial Operation Reviews *
Learn about common operational problems that are encountered during the review process and how existing conditions could be strengthened or changed to create greater efficiencies and which could lead to more cost-effective results.
• Go! Set! Ready? The Chain of Events
This workshop will focus on how to respond to emergencies and what to put in place ahead of time to prepare. Using actual experiences, this session will discuss the interconnected issues of health, communication, coordination and politics that arise from every emergency situation. Topics covered will be extreme weather event preparedness, the sheltering of populations, suspected contagious disease outbreaks, actual contagious disease outbreaks, Ice storms, MRSA, measles, and school lockdowns. Also discussed will be how to handle sensitive situations in our over-the-top age of Twitter, Facebook and texting.
• Developing Regional Capacity: The South Regional Collaborative Organization Experience
Panelists will discuss the challenges and successes met in developing a regional agreement among the 9 educational collaboratives in the south region of the state. The agreement has formalized their working relationship and is intended to provide greater coordination of programs and services for member school districts.
• Orientation for School Committee Chairs and Future Chairs *
How much do you know about what it takes to be an effective chair of your school committee? This session will expand your knowledge of school committee chair responsibilities.
• The New English Language Learning Regulations
This session will review the new requirements for English Language Learners (ELL) as outlined in the RETELL Initiative. Presenters will review the background associated with the changes, discuss the steps that districts will have to take to conform to the new regulations and the timeline for implementation. The session will also provide participants with program models that can be used to support districts as they plan for professional development activities and the integration of the new World Class Instructional Design and Assessments (WIDA) Standards. The session will also alert superintendents and school committee members to the potential costs associated with implementation.
2:10-3:15pm: Panel Session II
• Exemplary Business Practices *
A sampling of cost containment and cost avoidance strategies coupled with district municipal partnering approaches will be shared. A blend of internal performance incentives along with external mutual respect have enabled this thirteen town LEA to secure unanimous local budgetary approval over the past two decades. Aggressive grant pursuits, energy saving techniques, and annual health benefit analysis are among the components.
• Evaluative Walkthroughs Using Technology to Improve Teacher and Administrator Effectiveness
Learn how one district’s administration and union collaboratively implemented the supervision and evaluation tool. Presenters will discuss the process needed to develop and execute the new tool effectively, the use of technology to efficiently use the tools and the resulting enhanced communications between teachers and administrators.
• The Role of School Business Administrators on Your Senior Leadership Team *
Superintendents who have hired successful school business officers will discuss the interview process and explain the follow-up support services offered by MASBO to assist business managers including additional assistance through mentoring options.
• Indicators, Dashboards and Benchmarks—Oh My! Using Data to Transform Schools and Districts
This session will focus on how districts access and utilize data to measure performance, set up dashboards to monitor performance and develop benchmarks to assess performance and identify peer models or best practices to transform school or district performance. Also discussed will be how effective use and communication of performance data serves to enhance transparency and accountability within the schools and within the community.
• Taking the Leap: The Motivators (and Inhibitors) that Impact the Decision to Pursue (or not) the Superintendency
School districts across the country are confronting a shortage of qualified candidates seeking to become superintendents. What factors are currently influencing the decision to seek (or not) the superintendency will be discussed as well as recommendations on how to address issues around the concept of fit and the increasing challenges of the position itself.
• Planning Strategically in an Era of Accountability *
Understand how to create a Strategic Plan that will have an impact on accountability measures such as educator evaluation and learn how to ensure district and educator goals are aligned with the mission and vision of your strategic plan.
• A Collaborative Approach to District-Wide Reform
In partnership with the Working Group for Educator Excellence (WGEE), a state-wide coalition of 25 educational organizations, the districts of Attleboro, Brockton and Revere are currently implementing systemic reform, aimed at aligning each district's systems for supporting teaching, learning and leading. This session convenes each district's superintendent and two WGEE representatives to discuss both the successes in planning comprehensive, systemic reform as well as the outlook for long-term change in each district. In particular, panelists will address the reform’s impact on teacher practice, culture and student learning and its potential for state-wide replication.
• Bargaining Health Insurance *
Learn the important facts of collective bargaining for health insurance benefits and the pitfalls to avoid.
3:20-4:30pm: Panel Session III
• Labor Management Issues and Challenges *
The panel will provide an update on the current issues that face School Committees in labor negotiations.
• HR 101 for School Committees: A Review of Effective HR Management Policies, Procedures and Practices for School Districts
Professional personnel management will be explained to help you understand the importance of proper policies and procedures.
• Virtual Learning: A Collaborative and Regional Approach
To solve their common need to provide innovative online learning opportunities to their high school students, the superintendents of TEC’s member districts decided to collaborate with TEC to develop an effective model for online learning that mirrored the rigorous high standards and expectations of daily classroom instruction. TEC Online Academy currently offers 40 online courses all taught by teachers from TEC member districts. This session will provide a brief overview of how the Academy was developed and the professional development provided to teachers, as well as reports from several teachers who designed and taught online courses for the program.
• College and Career Readiness
In November 2011, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education called for the creation of a task force of the state’s leading educators, employers, and labor experts to focus on the issue of career readiness to better prepare students for success beyond high school that will produce a more college and career ready workforce to drive future growth in the Massachusetts economy. The Task Force Report, “From Cradle to Career: Educating our Students for Lifelong Success,” sets out a clear vision and specific recommendations that are focused on promoting what works, and on partnering with other stakeholders on the state, regional and local levels to produce a career ready workforce that will drive Massachusetts’s economy for decades to come. Come and join a discussion about how DESE is implementing these recommendations and share your perspectives of how the recommendations could be rolled out in your districts.
3:00-6:30pm Exhibit Hall open
4:30pm MASS Business Meeting
5:00-6:30pm Reception with Exhibitors
Sponsored by: Kopelman and Paige, P.C.
7:00pm: Keynote Dinner
Guest Speakers: DESE Commissioner Mitchell Chester will lead a discussion with Associate Commissioner Alan Ingram, MASC President Penny Blackwell and MASS President Paul Dakin on key educational issues.
Presentation: MA School Health and Wellness Awards
Thursday, November 8
7:30-11:30am; 2:00-5:00pm: Registration Open
7:30am-3:00pm: Exhibit Hall open
7:30-9:30am: Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
8:45-10:00am Panel Session IV
• Keeping Students Safe
The Middlesex County District Attorney and others will discuss from a law enforcement perspective policies and procedures on bullying, sexual harassment and information sharing in schools.
• School Law 101 *
A review of state ethics, and the open meeting and public records laws and their new applications for school districts.
• What We Can Learn from Early Adopters about Educator Evaluations *
Panelists will describe the challenges and successes met in implementing the educator evaluation standards during their pilot implementation year.
• What can Finland Teach us about Student Achievement
A report from members of a MA team that visited Finland and met with school and ministry officials. Presenters will discuss how Finland structures teacher preparation, education policy and in-service programs to promote student achievement, how they prepare students for the interconnected world of the 21st century and which strategies might be applied successfully in Massachusetts schools.
• District Governance: Norms and Protocols *
We all have operating norms and protocols for how we manage our work as school committees, but how we do we formalize them and how do we use them.
• Ideas to Improve your District’s Budget *
Ideas on how to improve your budget, make it understandable to a broad audience who need to support it, build credibility, and maximize your ability to garner support for your funding request.
• Performance Contracts for Energy Audits
Performance contracting allows municipalities to seek RFPs from energy service companies to do energy audits and make productive use of the savings that follow. Learn about these options for you and how much you might save.
10:00-10:45am: Coffee with Exhibitors
11:00am-12:15pm General Session
Guest Speakers: Radio/TV host Jim Braude will moderate a post-election analysis and discussion with Common-Wealth magazine’s executive editor Michael Jonas, political advisor/freelance columnist Jennifer Braceras, and President Emeritus MA AFL-CIO Robert Haynes
12:30pm: Buffet/Network Lunch
1:30pm: Ice Cream Social with Exhibitors: Sponsored by: Cape Dairy, LLC
2:30-3:45pm: Panel Session V
• AP Regional School Finance *
This session will focus on the legal establishment and use of Excess & Deficiency and Stabilization funds in today's volatile financial climate and the value of taking a multi-year (3-5 years) approach in your district financial planning. Discussion will highlight constraints to their use and sufficient funding to develop as strong fiscal management strategy. There will also be a discussion on legislative initiatives for covering unfunded liabilities in sick leave, retirement, etc. as well as regional school transportation planning.
• Vocational–Technical School Issues
An annual update and briefing on issues of concern to vocational technical schools and districts with Chapter 74 programs as well as presentation of “best practices”.
• School Law 201
A discussion by MASC and MASS Legal Counsels of recent state and federal education-related legislation.
• Educator Evalution: Perspectives from Early Adopters
Districts that were among the “early adopters” of the Educator Evaluation tool will discuss how the school committee, administration and union leadership collaborated on implementation, the value of establishing relationships and developing a culture of trust.
• Creating and Presenting an Executive Summary of Your Budget for Town Meeting *
When voters are confused about an issue, they tend to vote “No.” Learn techniques about presenting your budget in a clear, concise and meaningful format that is easy for the public to read and understand.
• Transportation Program Reviews
These comprehensive reviews focus on efficiency, cost savings and safety, resulting in significant savings to districts. The session will also include an update on the DESE –funded Special Education Transportation project designed to help contain out-of-district transportation costs.
• Blended and Digital Learning in the Commonwealth
This session will explore the current trends in the use of technology in education, provide a national and local policy and readiness perspective and discuss current and future DESE digital learning initiatives.
• Prepping for the Common Core Curriculum
The common core curriculum will require us to encourage analysis, creativity, and through provoking measures, in addition to mastery of skills. Learn how in this session.
4:00-5:15pm: Panel Session VI
• Superintendent Evaluation *
Presenters will explain the new Superintendent evaluation requirements and how to implement the new evaluation model and SMART goals.
• School Committee Self-Evaluation *
Are your meetings as effective as they can be? Is information shared quickly and equally? This session will outline methods of evaluating the effectiveness of your meeting.
• What Teachers Know: Providing a Contractual Basis for Great Teaching *
An interactive session in which the evolving climate of teacher contract negotiations will be discussed and current information on teacher contract salaries and benefits along with examples of effective language will be provided. Discussion will focus on how administrators can tap into what teachers know about what their students are learning to elicit effective evaluation results.
• Communications: The Good, the Bad and the Really Ugly
By looking at the highlights of the past year, understand what you can to improve communications and manage potential public relations crises.
• Health Insurance Trusts
In addition to pensions, many state and local governmental employers provide other postemployment benefits (OPEB) as part of the total compensation offered to attract and retain the services of qualified teachers and other staff. OPEB includes postemployment healthcare, as well as other forms of postemployment benefits (for example, life insurance) when provided separately from a pension plan. This session will explain the obligations of your district, including regions and collaboratives, to meet state and federal requirements and need to understand the cost implications.
• K-12 Learning School Systems: Why We Need Them and How to Develop Them
Learn about the four key elements that support the transformation of individual schools into a K-12 learning organization for all adults and students and some of the political, educational, financial and emotional challenges administrators will encounter as they create a K-12 collaborative team environment to raise achievement for all students.
• New Superintendent Induction Program
This coaching program focuses on instructional leadership, building collaborative relationships, developing effective leadership teams, strategic resource management and the new educator evaluation system.
6:00pm: MASC Awards Banquet
Honors: MASC All-State School Committee and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Copies of Friday General Session Speaker Meira Levinson’s books Making Civics Count and No Citizen Left Behind will be available for purchase outside the Ballroom on Friday prior to and immediately following the General Session at 11:00am. In addition, copies of The Essential School Board Book by MASC Life Member, District Governance Coach and conference presenter Nancy Walser will also be available for purchase.
Friday, November 9
7:30-11:30am Registration Open
7:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
8:00-8:45am Division Meetings: Divisions VIII and IX
9:00am-4:00pm: COSCAP Workshop
School committee secretaries/administrative assistants: Join your colleagues at this information-packed program on issues including records retention, CORI checks and others. (Cape Cod Room)
9:00 – 9:30am Registration
9:30 – 10:15am The 21st Century Executive Assistant: Craig Finley, Assistant Superintendent of District Operations, Whitman-Hanson Reg. School District
10:15 – 10:30am: BREAK
10:30am – 12:30pm?Charting the Course Part II: Michael Gilbert, MASC Field Director
12:30 – 1:00pm: Box Lunch
1:00pm – 2:00pm CORI review: Agapi Koulouris, Deputy General Counsel, MA?Department of Criminal Justice Information Services
2:00 – 3:00pm: COSCAP business meeting
9:00-10:15am: Panel Session VII
• Reallocating Resources *
In collaboration with the MA Association of School Business Officials, the Rennie Center has developed a user-friendly guide to information on school budgeting and resource allocation. Presenters will discuss effective approaches for achieving locally defined educational goals through strategic budget analysis, resource allocation and cost-cutting measures.
• Legislative Update
A panel of state legislators will discuss recent and pending legislation and the impact on communities and school district budgets and policy.
• Staying In or Going Out: Should you Outsource Special Ed? *
As schools continue to face economic pressures, school leaders may view outsourcing as a way to contain costs. However, outsourcing is not a simple solution and many factors need to be considered. This session will explore outsourcing options and other methods of purchasing and procurement.
• Advocacy Strategies for School Leaders
Learn why advocacy is one of the most important responsibilities of school committees and how and effective advocacy plan can help engage all local stakeholders.
• Five Steps to Effective Governance Focused on Student Achievement *
Sharpen your leadership skills with five key activities and see how school committee-superintendent teams can work together on a sustainable plan for focusing the district on student achievement.
• New Nutrition Regulations: A Guide to Implementation
Presenters will discuss the new regulations, best practices around implementation and the cost implications for school districts.
• How Successful School Committees Think! *
If we gathered successful School Committees from all over – what would they have in common? How do they think? Based upon John Maxwell’s How Successful People Think and CPE’s Characteristics of Effective School Boards, this session will help you tap into your School Committee’s potential, develop shared ideas, and derive lessons from the past to better understand the future.
• Chapter 43: The Role of School Committees and Superintendents in Implementing the New Educational Collaborative Law
Panelists will describe how the enactment of Chapter 43 and subsequent regulations adopted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education have impacted and changed the requirements of school committees and their designees on educational collaborative boards of directors and the due diligence they are now required to perform.
• The Foundation Budget and Chapter 70 *
An overview of the current formula including a step-by-step explanation of how it works, a discussion of the ongoing underfunding problem, and major areas in the formula that need to be addressed.
• Creating a Social Media Policy
How does a district create a social media policy as technology changes at lightning speed? In this interactive session you will learn how one district created their policy, involving the community in the process.
10:30-11:45am General Session
Greetings: Anne Byrne, Secretary-Treasurer, National School Boards Association
Guest Speaker: Harvard School of Education professor and author Meira Levinson will discuss engaging and empowering students, parents, and the community as a means of encouraging civic participation and raising overall student achievement.
12:00-1:45pm Leadership Lunch
Guest Speaker: Dr. Lauren Smith, Medical Director, MA Department of Public Health
Presentation: MASC Legislator of the Year Awards
Sponsored by: Deutsch Williams
1:45-2:30pm Division Meetings
Special Session: The Curriculum of Educational Athletics
This session will prvide school committee members and superintendents insight and expectations as to the curriculum that should be implemented within their interscholastic programs. The need for administrative leadership and supervision necessary to achieve excellence in education-based athletics will also be addressed.
2:00pm Delegate Registration
• MASC Resolutions Clinic
2:30-3:45pm: Panel Session VIII
• Sharing and Consolidating Services *
Do your in-town partnerships end with the school resource officer? Panelists will discuss other partnership opportunities between schools and local municipal departments.
• Electronic School Committee Meetings
See how local districts utilize technology to distribute meeting information without extensive copying costs.
• School Building Authority Update
An update on the activities of the MA School Building Authority: what have we accomplished and where are we going?
• The Elephant in the Room: Working Productively with Difficult People
This session will discuss the consequences of a communication breakdown between school committee members as well as the school committee and superintendent.
3:00pm MASC Delegate Assembly
5:00pm Past Presidents Council Meeting
6:00pm Life Member Reception
7:00pm: Leadership/Life Member Dinner
Honors: MASC Board of Directors 2012 and Life Members
Saturday, November 10
9:00-11:45am New Member Orientation*
• This key session for new and veteran members will focus on changes to the open meetings, conflict of interest, and public records laws and requirements.
9:00-10:15am Superintendent Evaluation*
A briefing on the new educator evaluation system as it applies to superintendents.
9:00-10:15am Parliamentary Procedures
• An intensive review of parliamentary procedures for school committees.
10:30-11:45am Collective Bargaining*
• Everything you need to know to bargain strategically for student achievement.