Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Education Trust Co-Facilitating First Urban Literacy Meeting!

This year, ESE is pleased to announce that the ongoing Urban Literacy Leaders Network will focus on supports for educators to design and implement complex and engaging student tasks/assignments. The Network will use the Four Domains of the Literacy Assignment Analysis Framework and corresponding indicators created by The Education Trust to guide its work throughout the year. In the first meeting, participants will be introduced to the framework. Each subsequent meeting will focus on one of the four domains of the framework: (1) alignment to standards, (2) centrality of texts, (3) cognitive challenge, and (4) motivation and engagement. Participants will collaboratively review tasks/assignments and samples of student work in an effort to develop new strategies for improving the quality of instruction in their districts.
Our first meeting will be held next Thursday, October 26, 2017 in Devens at the Devens Commons at the Hilton Garden Inn (59 Andrews Parkway) from 9:00 - 12:00pm. To register please click on the following link.

Monday, September 25, 2017

WIDA Workshop: Engaging ELs in Math

Why am I blogging about math? I could not help but spread the word of this opportunity sponsored by the Greater Boston DSAC!

WIDA Two-Day Workshop: Engaging English Learners in Math
This interactive two-day workshop offers teachers of English Learners time to delve into combining English Language Development Standards and Mathematical Practices. In collaborative groups of educators, participants will develop a common understanding of language expectations, we will explore strategies and supports that foster a language rich environment. Through hands-on experimentation and analysis of language embedded within the content and practices, participants will have a deeper understanding of how to engage language learners of a variety of proficiency levels. For more information click here for access to the registration link and details.

Here are the details:

When: November 29-30, 2017
Where: Revere High School, East Wing Conference Room, 101 School Street, Revere, MA
Registration: http://www.doe.mass.edu/conference/?ConferenceID=9549

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Instructional Support Networks for 2017-18 School Year!

ESE is pleased to announce the launch of content specific instructional support educator networks for the 2017-18 school year. These networks are designed to drive implementation of the 2017 Massachusetts Mathematics, ELA/Literacy Frameworks and the 2016 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Framework. We are calling on classroom leaders, school leaders, and district leaders to partner across districts to learn, to test, and refine tools and strategies, and to innovate.

Our network offerings this year include:

  • Middle and Secondary Literacy Network (4-12): Promoting Integrated Literacy Learning in Grades 4-12
  • Secondary Literacy Network (9-12): Promoting Variety and Flexibility in Student Writing
  • Urban Literacy Leaders Network: Designing Complex Literacy Tasks
  • Early Numeracy Network (Pre-K-3): Steppingstones to Addition and Subtraction
  • Middle Grades Math Network (4-7): Proportional Reasoning: The Bridge from Fractions to Ratios
  • Secondary Math Network (6-12):Access Math: Building Middle/High Coursework Pathways for the Future
  • Urban Mathematics Leaders Network: Advancing Access for English Learners
Science and Technology/Engineering Networks:
  • Elementary Science Network: Time on Science: Creating Robust Elementary Science Programs
  • Middle Grades Science Network: Aligning STE Assessments to the Middle Grades STE Standards
  • Urban Science Leaders Network: Developing Authentic STE Assessments K-12
For more information and registration details, please click here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

ELA/Literacy Frameworks Quick Reference Guides

We are pleased to present a new set of resources designed to support implementation of the 2017 ELA/Literacy Curriculum Framework: a set of four Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) now available on our Curriculum Frameworks home page. (Additional QRGs focused on math and on other aspects of the ELA/literacy standards are forthcoming.) At just two pages each, the QRGs are designed to be widely accessible and easy to distribute, and we hope they will serve as useful entry points and conversation starters for educators and families alike. The QRGs now available are:
·         Massachusetts Anchor Standards for Reading – an illustration of how the ten Reading standards work together to define what and how students should read in school at every grade level. Possible uses:
o   Teachers meet in vertical or horizontal teams to explore how each grade level’s standards contribute to the QRG’s “big picture.”
o   Educators use the QRG to discuss with families various ways in which they might approach reading with their children at home.
·         Reading Closely to Analyze Complex Textstwo QRGs, one tailored to the elementary grades and another for the secondary grades, describing the role of close reading in the standards and in the classroom. Possible uses:
o   Teams of teachers discuss how the QRGs’ sample instructional scenarios reflect or inform their everyday classroom practice.
o   Educators and families work together to brainstorm a list of text-dependent questions to use when reading with students.
·         Text Complexity and the Growth of Reading Comprehension – a collection of suggestions and links to resources designed to inform the choice of appropriately complex texts for young readers. Possible uses:
o   Teachers work in grade-level teams to assess the complexity of their classroom texts using the qualitative criteria listed in the QRG.
o   Educators work with families to choose texts appropriate for their children’s interests, motivations, and background knowledge.

Friday, June 30, 2017

2017 ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks NOW AVAILABLE!!

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy and for Mathematics are now available in their final form. Please note that these documents have not changed substantively since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted them in March. Standards have been proofread for typographical errors, guidance material has been copyedited for clarity and consistency, and all content has been reformatted. Each framework is accompanied by a brief “highlights”document, available at the link and also attached here, focusing on the more substantive differences between the 2011 standards and the 2017 ones.

Additional resources supporting implementation of the 2017 frameworks will be released throughout the 2017–2018 academic year. Currently in various stages of development are:
  • Family-friendly summaries of the learning standards for each grade level, to be published in Spanish and English
  • Quick Reference Guides to specific aspects of the revised standards, written and formatted for wide accessibility
  • Updated Writing Standards in Action materials, Model Curriculum Units, and What to Look For observation guides
  • Sets of regional network meetings for school and district personnel, focused on specific subjects and grades
Please note, ESE will not be printing these documents as they are interactive and contain live links.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Educators Needed! MCAS Panel Standard Setting

Beginning August 14, 2017, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will conduct a week-long standard setting event for the next-generation MCAS tests in grades 3–8 ELA and mathematics. The standard setting will be conducted by panels of Massachusetts educators and other stakeholders, working in coordination with expert facilitators. We are pleased to invite educators and stakeholders from across the state to apply to participate on one of these panels.

Panelists will be organized into six committees: grades 3–4 ELA, grades 5–6 ELA, grades 7–8 ELA, grades 3–4 mathematics, grades 5–6 mathematics, and grades 7–8 mathematics. Each panel will consist of 20–24 members, divided into tables of 4–5 panelists, one of which will serve as a table leader.

More information, including the application and online survey, can be found here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=24326

Friday, April 28, 2017

5DP Educator Showcase- Register Today!

The Five District Partnership is hosting its first-ever Educator Showcase on Thursday, May 25th from 5-7pm at the Winthrop High School. This free event will feature educators from all five districts (Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Revere, Winthrop) sharing examples of their work -- how they're supporting students, collaborating and thinking creatively. Presentations at the Showcase will include:

"Gimme the Codes: Introducing Coding in the Classroom"
by Damian DeMarco,
Computer Science Teacher, SeaCoast High School, Revere Public Schools
"Increasing Mathematical Discourse"
by Chris Fitzpatrick, Elementary Math Coach,
Beebe/Forestdale Elementary School, Malden Public Schools
"Empowering ELL Students by Turning the Tables: ELL Students Teaching Teachers"
by Sarah Harrington, English Language Learner History and Social
Studies Teacher, Chelsea High School, Chelsea Public Schools
"Guided Math to Reach All Students"
by Ryan Heraty, Principal, Dawn Letterie, Math
Coach, Kristen Reynolds, Third Grade Teacher, and Courtney Pino, Special Education Teacher, Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School, Winthrop Public Schools
“Increasing Awareness Beyond the Classroom: The Genocide Research Project"
Amanda Judd, English Language Arts Teacher, Brandi Coffey, English Language
Teacher, Riley Dunn, English Language Arts Teacher, Michael Scarfo, English Language Arts Teacher, Everett High School, Everett Public Schools
"Transition in Action: Supporting Student Dreams"
by Karen Suttle, School Social
Worker, SeaCoast High School, Revere Public Schools
“Taking Risks, One Poem at a Time"
by Althea Terenzi, English Language Arts
Teacher, Revere High School, Revere Public Schools
To register for this event click here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New Updates from Next Generation MCAS

Last week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the revised descriptors for the new Next Generation MCAS assessment performance levels.  Scores will fall into the following four categories:
  • Exceeding Expectations
  • Meeting Expectations
  • Partially Meeting Expectations
  • Not Meeting Expectations.
The legacy grade 10 MCAS will continue to use the existing descriptors (Advanced, Proficient, Needs Improvement, Warning) until the Next Generation grade 10 MCAS is adopted. For more information on the descriptors, click on the following link: http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/docs/FY2017/2017-03/item5.html#levels-descriptors
Additionally, ESE has confirmed the following data highlights for the 2016-2017 MCAS layout:
  • Item analysis will be back!
  • Students will receive a percentile ranking in the state for math and ELA separately.
  • Students will receive an SGP in ELA and math (with the exception in grade 3).

Friday, March 31, 2017

Opportunity to Have Your Voices Heard: SEI Guidance Project

The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELAAA) at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) in the early stages of developing a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Guidance Project, tht will include statewide programmatic and curricular guidance, as well as 8 SEI Model Curriculum Units (MCUs). 

They need your help, and are seeking the voices and expertise of educators working with English Learners (ELs) to support this project. To find our more information  and review a project description or to apply, click on the link here:


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Massachusetts Adopts Revised English Language Arts Standards!!!

This morning, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously to adopt revised learning standards in math and in English language arts and literacy.
In English language arts and literacy, the changes include:
         Multiple cross-references to make the reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language standards more coherent;
         Instructional examples and samples of student writing from Massachusetts classrooms to clarify the meaning of the standards; and
         An explanation of how literacy instruction — particularly in the early elementary years — is intertwined with mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, and other subjects in a well-balanced curriculum.

Stay tuned for opportunities to learn more about the implementation of the revised standards coming soon from ESE!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Three Professional Development Opportunities from OELAAA

OELAAA is happy to announce an opportunity for qualified K-12 instructional coaches and teachers to apply for a seat in no-cost courses sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE):
  • Integrating SEI into Literacy Coaching - For Literacy and SEI/ELL Coaches 
  • Integrating SEI into Mathematics Coaching - For Math Coaches
  • Six Standards of Effective Pedagogy in SEI Literacy and Math Instruction - For math teachers and teachers responsible for literacy instruction

The coaching courses are based on the Six Standards of Effective Pedagogy Coaching Framework, and are part of the state’s Extending the Learning phase of RETELL. They focus on the roles of the coach in supporting, expanding, and sustaining effective standards-aligned practices and SEI practices both, in diverse classrooms with ELLs, and supporting long-term integration of sheltered instruction into core instruction through instructional coaching.

The companion teacher course prepares teachers to use enduring principles of learning to shelter instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) in Pre-K-12 classrooms. 

Priority will be given to applicants applying together to take the course as a Coach/Teacher team.

Application deadline: March 1, 2017

Course dates: June 21-30, 2017 (coaches), June 21-27, 2017 (Teachers) 

View application information on the MATSOL website...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Next Generation MCAS Practice Tests POSTED!

Finally, the moment many of you have been anxiously waiting for, the Assessment Team at ESE is pleased to announce that the majority of the Next Generation MCAS ELA practice tests and draft rubrics have been posted! To access these resources, click here: http://mcas.pearsonsupport.com/tutorial/practice-tests-ela/

 The practice tests are currently available in two formats: paper-based tests (PBT) and computer-based tests (CBT).   Grades 7 & 8 should be posted within the next week.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Next Generation MCAS Resource Center

Next Generation MCAS has recently launched their resource center  to provide access to test administration, information, training, practice tests and additional resources to help educators and administrators as they prepare for the Next Generation MCAS. The site is currently under construction, but keep checking back as ESE continues to actively add resources. The gain access to the resource center, click here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Applications for 2017 FOCUS Academy Courses Now Being Accepted

Applications for participation in the spring semester for ESE's Focus Academy are now being accepted. The Massachusetts FOCUS Academy (MFA) is offering ten (10) graduate level online or hybrid courses for this spring. These classes are at no cost to eligible districts. ESE requires each educator interested to provide a statement of support from their supervisor/principal declaring that the course is aligned with the educator's and school's professional development plan. This statement of support should be uploaded as part of the educator's application.

FOCUS Academy Courses this spring include:
  • Assessment of Students with Disabilities who are English Language Learners
  • Assessment of Students with Disabilities who are English Language Learners II - Case Studies
  • Collaborative Co-teaching: Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • Creating and Sustaining Positive School-Wide Learning Environments
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Partnering with Families of Middle and High School Students with Disabilities
  • Partnering with Families of Preschool and Elementary School Students with Disabilities
  • Universal Design for Learning: Addressing Learner Variability 101
  • Universal Design for Learning: Mathematics Instruction 201
  • Universal Design for Learning: Student Affect and Engagement 201
For more information, eligibility and to apply, click here.