It is amazing how quickly the school year speeds along. It seems like yesterday that final preparations had been made, staffing had been concluded, and the arrival of students and the new school year anxiously awaited. Yet, in a seeming New York minute, here we are close to half way through the school year and in the midst of the holiday season. While others are “making their lists, checking it twice, and trying to find out who’s been naughty or nice” you are documenting your successes and challenges in annual reports and meeting other obligations as required by law and regulation. Where does the time go!
At MOEC, the same kind of blurring of the months is evident. We have analyzed the recommendations of the Commission on Collaboratives, advocated for the Next Generation of Educational Collaboratives and closely monitored the progress of House #458 which is designed to respond to the recommendations of the Commission and promote the value that you provide to your districts and their students and staff. I continue to be impressed by and appreciative of the excellence of your programs and services and energized to tell your story to legislators and policy makers.
This week a number of us will represent Massachusetts as we gather at the AESA annual conference in San Antonio. The conference is always a worthwhile educational opportunity to learn and grow professionally and to share our own experiences. As with many similar educational gatherings we are reassured and to some extent, comforted to know that the challenges we face, the successes for which we strive, and the contributions we make are not unique to us but shared by our colleagues across the nation. We look forward to hearing from and sharing with them. I encourage you to plan to attend this conference next year if you are able to do so.
I recognize and acknowledge the many requirements and initiatives with which you and your districts must comply. The MOEC Board has reached out to Commissioner Chester in an effort to support our school districts and facilitate the implementation of the educator evaluation process, the district determined measures associated with it, the soon to be implemented student expulsion mandates and forensic (fingerprint) testing of staff. We are confident that educational collaboratives can play a critical and supportive role for our districts in their implementation.
Without minimizing the importance and value of these and other initiatives we must not lose sight of what is of critical value. In short, that which is of greatest value is the day-to-day engagement of you and your staff with the many vulnerable and disabled students whom you educate and foster, the programs and services you provide and the efficiencies and economies of scale you create. For that I congratulate and thank you and offer best wishes for the holiday season!