2nd Annual MA Summit on Poverty - March 9, 2018

MASC 2018 Massachusetts Poverty Summit Want to close the achievement gap? First—close the effects of the poverty gap!

Poverty in Massachusetts:

  • It’s reality for over 25% of children and families in the state.
  • It’s the 800-pound gorilla stalking the best efforts to close the student achievement gap.
  • It’s the great, grey smoldering issue that too many policy makers, community leaders and folks at the local coffee club have been reluctant (or unwilling) to acknowledge for too long.

This year, however, as Massachusetts evaluates 25 years of progress since passage of the watershed Ed Reform Act, the evidence is irrefutable. In communities across the Commonwealth, poverty and its debilitating effects on students and their families is clearly reflected in poor classroom performance and low overall achievement. Although recent attention to these challenges has inspired new school and student-focused initiatives, many districts are finding the number of young people at risk exceeds the availability of services they or safety-net providers can offer. Nor is it solely an “urban” problem: poverty has long been embedded in small rural communities and in recent years has been creeping, below the radar, into solid suburban districts.

MASC's second annual Summit on Poverty moves beyond the basics that were presented at last year’s event. Our 2018 program has been designed to present real-world examples of how schools, districts, educators and safety-net service providers are collaborating and developing successful intervention strategies to help students break free from the cycle of poverty. The ramifications of this life at risk threatens the future of thousands of students across the commonwealth, but it need not be a life sentence. Research and real-world examples are showing how high poverty/high performing schools have adopted practices that are turning low-income/at risk students into achievers with the academic and social-emotional skills to thrive in career and life.

Join us for this program and learn about the strategies and programs that can be implemented in your district to help all your students thrive!

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Event Details

March 9, 2018

Registration: 8:30am
Program: 9:00am - 2:30pm

Clark University
Higgins University Center
950 Main Street, Worcester MA

Parking Information:
The parking map shows the building where the Poverty Summit will be held (Higgins University Center) and two University garages that are open to our program attendees (the University is on Spring Break this week). The closest lot to the Higgins Center is the Admissions/Visitor Parking lot just up Maywood Street at Maywood and Main.

Please Note: Division IX (Urban Division) will hold a Division meeting immediately following the program at Clark at 2:30pm. Division IX school committee members are welcome and encouraged to attend. RSVP for the meeting here.

Featured Guests

Dr. William Parrett
Dr. William Parrett
Director, Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, Boise State University
Jeff Riley
Jeff Riley
MA Department of Education Commissioner-Elect
James McGovern
Rep. James McGovern
Congressman, 2nd District of Massachusetts


8:30 - 9:00am: Registration and Breakfast (Tilton Room)
Continental Breakfast will be provided

9:00 - 9:30am: Welcome (Tilton Room)

9:30 - 11:30am: Disrupting Poverty: How High Poverty/High Performing Schools are Intervening to Help At-Risk Students Succeed (an audience interactive, hands-on session)
FEATURED SPEAKER: Dr. William Parrett, Director, Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, Boise State University

11:45 - 12:40pm: Box Lunch (Tilton Room) DISTINGUISHED GUEST: MA Congressman James McGovern

12:50 - 1:50pm: Breakout Sessions Community Action Partners: Working with Safety-Net Collaborators in Your Community
Representatives from Massachusetts Community Action Partnership (MASSCAP) agencies will describe their work in various communities to aid families living in poverty and, most importantly, how they partner with school districts to provide supports to help these students learn and succeed. MASSCAP is very eager to increase collaboration with school districts and school committees. PRESENTERS: Joe Diamond, Executive Director, MASSCAP; Karen Frederick, Executive Director, Community Teamwork—Lowell; Clare Higgins, Executive Director Community Action of Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin (Greenfield)
Supporting your Staff to Support Your Students
Superintendents representing Brockton, Franklin and Northampton will discuss the strategies they’ve implemented, including professional development to provide staff members with tools and supports to address the unique needs of students in poverty and help ensure their success. PRESENTERS: Kathleen Smith, Superintendent, Brockton; Sara Ahern, Superintendent, Franklin; John Provost, Superintendent, Northampton
Community Schools Model: Bringing Services Directly to Students and Families
Representatives from the Hartford Partnership for Student Success will describe the Community Schools model of liaising with outside organizations to benefit students. Attendees will learn about the community schools concept, how partnerships are built and examples of the successes that have been realized for students and families as a result. PRESENTERS: Tauheedah Jackson, Director, Hartford Partnership for Student Success; Other Panelists: TBA

2:00 - 2:30pm: Interagency Panel Discussion - Next Steps to Collaboration (Tilton Room)
PRESENTERS: DESE Commissioner-Elect Jeffrey Riley; Glenn Koocher, Executive Director, MASC (moderator); Others: TBA

Event Sponsors

Sodexo New England Dairy Council