The mission statement defines our shared sense of purpose, direction, and opportunity. The Massachusetts Elementary School Principals' Association is committed to serving the needs of the elementary and middle level principalship in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by: * promoting elementary and middle level schools as learning communities that provide excellent learning opportunities for all children; * advancing superior professional standards of practice for elementary and middle level principals; * providing high quality professional development experiences for urban, suburban, and rural principals and other educators, statewide, based on their common and unique professsional development needs; * advocating on behalf of elementary and middle level principals and their efforts to provide a high quality education for all children within the framework of our democratic principles; * provide ample opportunities for networking, collegiality, and community.
Ms. Nadya Aswad Higgins
MESPEF; MESPA; MA Elementary Principals Assn., Massachusetts Elementary School Principals' Association, MA Elementary School Education Foundation
28 Lord Road, Suite 125
Marlborough, MA 01752 USA
Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)
Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)
Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
How does this organization make a difference?
Self-reported by organization
Top 3 Accomplishments:1. MESPEF, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals' Association, established an International Leadership Academy through which it is providing leadership training for school leaders from foreign countries. A group of leaders and Ministry of Education officials from Kuwait were successfully trained this year in Massachusetts in the areas of leadership and curriculum. 2. Scholarships for children of MESPA members were provided for higher education that helped students with their expenses for textbooks, etc.3. The Literacy Leadership Academy was a yearlong program to advance literacy in schools. School teams of principals, teachers, and literacy coordinators received training and mentoring on increasing literacy in their student bodies. Goals for 2012-13 MESPA: Day to Day for our members Provide support for our members to address the myriad of challenges they encounter daily, as well as the ever-growing mandates from DESE in the 2012-2013 school year. MESPA: Wall to Wall for our members Continue to reach out to our membership and keep them current and informed in the profession by strengthening and empowering the connections principals make with each other across the state ~ in face-to-face communities as well as virtual professional communities. MESPA: Moment to Moment for our members Continue to develop tools to reach out to our members frequently with information that will support and uplift them, including increased use of MESPA's Facebook page, as well as a plan and timeline for website upgrade.
Self-reported by organization
What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
Literacy Leadership Academy
The Academy was designed to work with teams of educators from rural, urban, and suburban districts. Six days of instruction and meetings were designed to form a network for participants to work together and with experts in the field, both electronically and face-to-face. Building-based teams were selected and guided through the process of establishing the essential components of Multi-Tiered Support Systems such as: Evidence-based Assessment &Curriculum; Assessment-driven instruction for all students in a tiered framework; and ongoing professional development for educators. Topics included: establishing and maintaining a Literacy Team & a Site Action Plan; the critical role of leadership so that all staff are on board; Running Data meetings & Use of Data; the roles of Reading Coaches, Principals, Parents, Paras & Others; Collective Responsibility - reallocating and sharing resources; and Self-Assessment of Implementation to ""Progress Monitor"" a school as it develops this model.
Participants understand the elements of effective literacy programs and will be able to adapt and adjust current literacy instruction to those standards. Students with varying needs will have those needs recognized and instruction customized to assure better outcomes for each student. Teachers will be able to track the progress of students in literacy and will have tools and strategies to work with those students. Improved literacy will provide a stronger foundation for students in all subjects.
Program success is monitored by the trainer in this program through the use of participant surveys, individual consultation, mentoring and reporting of student success. MESPEF staff also provides electronic opportunities for participants to share information about their actions and successes. Program success will constitute the development of literacy teams, more alignment of literacy programs throughout the grades and confidence of teachers in their ability to reach all children at their respective levels.
As the program comes to its conclusion this spring, participants have indicated that teacher enthusiasm for teaching literacy has risen, that their understanding of Response to Intervention has been expanded, that teachers are working together and cooperatively planning in their schools, and that they understand the research behind good literacy programs and the brain theory that underlies these programs. It is anticipated that by next year, more specific statistics can be assembled, once this training program has been completed.
Leadership Coaching Program
The MESPA Leadership Coaching Program was begun in 2007 with 35 school administrators (superintendents and principals) being assigned individual coaches trained by MESPA. This program was designed to build the capacity of school leaders so that they are better able to guide and direct the large scale, sustained improvement of teaching and learning and the conditions in which they occur. The program is research-based and adheres to the MESPA 6-Point Framework for school reform. Coaches provide quality, comprehensive customized coaching. Coaches serve as the catalyst for change, increase knowledge and skills of school leaders, change leadership behavior, and help those being coached to set goals and guide the development of an action plan to improve teaching and learning so that all students achieve at high levels. Coaches help school administrators to be reflective, think differently, develop confidence, and develop productive behaviors in a confidential and trusting relationship.
Superintendents and principals who have been coached better understand how to become effective leaders of administrators and teachers and instructional leaders. They have learned how to reflect on their practice, understand the principles of leadership, how to implement the change process to improve their respective schools, and how to motivate and empower their staff members. As a result, schools are better organized and more effectively managed. Also, the culture and morale of the schools have improved as a result of the coaching experiences of the school principals and superintendents who were coached. Surveys were distributed to all who were coached, and showed evidence that the coaching experience was highly successful in improving the skills of these administrators.
The coaching program was monitored by MESPEF staff. The success of the program was determined by how effectively those who were coached were able to meet the goals of their individual plans. The coaches were also able to determine the dedication of the administrator being coached, and his or her growth from the beginning of the program to the end of the program. The comments provided by those who were coached, whether they be new administrators, or veteran administrators, were universally positive about how much was learned as a result of their participation, and the impact that their participation had on their leadership in their respective roles, as principal or superintendent.
A principal of fourteen years, who was a participant in this program, indicated that he wished that he had had this program as a new principal and that, despite his years in the principalship, he had learned a great deal about how to be a good leader and run an effective school. Additionally, a superintendent who was coached in this program wrote to the MESPEF Executive Director, applauding the program for its comprehensive approach to leadership and the quality of the content the coaches.
Instructional Technology Teacher Masters/Certification Program
The Technology Teacher MA/CERT Program is an action oriented program, based on the National Technology Standards for Students and Teaches, provides solid instructional and experiential opportunities for participants to begin to develop proficiency necessary to become effective leaders in the (1) development of skills & understandings related to leadership, communication, technology planning and culture of schools; (2) development of skills & strategies related to effective teaching practices & understanding technology's role in teaching, learning and the curriculum; (3) development of skills and stategies related to understanding hardware, software, peripherals and networking as well as their upkeep, maintenance and managment; (4) examination of the ethical, legal, equity and practical issues that impact the operation of technologies in an educational environment. This is an annual program last run with 8 students.
Students in this program obtain a license to teach in the public schools in Massachusetts in the areas of technology and technology integration into the curriculum. They become a resource in their schools and districts for successful and relevant use of technology. In an age where technology has become the norm, not the exception, trained, informed and confident educators provide a distinct service to these schools and districts in this increasingly important area. An example of success is that participants obtain positions in the field, and provide technology support to teachers, students and administrators.
One hundred percent (100%) of those students who have completed this program have gone on to obtain their license in this field. Students report that they feel well prepared for the position for which they studied in this program. Surveys sent to students ask them to report on their experiences in this field, which are reported as being successful.
The program has a 98% grad. rate. Those who complete the program are employed in districts in many IT roles. Survey feedback reports the following in strong agreement: * I am better prepared to meet the challenges of supporting the IT needs of teachers after graduating from the program: 64% AND * I am better prepared to meet the challenges of supporting the IT needs of students after graduating from the program: 68% Graduates use a range of IT to meet diverse student learning needs. This scenario represents how our graduates use technology with students:Christine C., an IT specialist in Westwood set up a Skpe activity between children there and in Bethlehem before Christmas. The link allowed kids living 1000's of miles apart in different cultures to gain a better perspective on how life is different in other parts of the world.""Some of our students created a video about the program.http://teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=18896&title=Instructional_Technology_Program_at_MESPA
Attitude, Diet and Exercise: A Wellness Program with Woburn Public Schools - PROPOSED
MESPEF will partner with the Woburn Public Schools and Tufts Univ. Sch. of Medicine to provide A.D.E.: A Wellness Program. This program will expand on the work begun in Woburn through the ""Be Well Woburn"" initiative, a collaborative effort of the school district, recreation department, Board of Health and Mayor's office. In consultation with the Ass't. Sup't., it has been determined that there is a high level of awareness in Woburn about childhood obesity, and that the school department is ready for a program of this nature to be designed and implemented to support their efforts. ADE will offer professional development for teachers, parents and community members in teams to ensure that children enter adulthood healthy and able to lead emotionally happy, physically healthy, economically productive, and socially rewarding lives. The district administration is supportive, invested in the goals, and is interested in building the capacity across the community to create a ""healthy Woburn"".
As a result of participation in the Attitude, Diet & Exercise Program, the school department will see a positive impact over the long term on BMI percentages for students as measured by the district annually. They will be able to report, based on record keeping and surveys, an increase in children's and adolescent's participation in exercise programs as well as a greater awareness and understanding of the importance of good nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle, among students, parents, and community members at large.
Program success will be monitored by maintenance of attendance records at professional development sessions, including data showing broadened participation throughout the community as the program unfolds starting in the first year. Evaluations of professional development sessions will be completed. Success will also be monitored by keeping records of the number of health related programs that are run as a result of this project and the number of participants in each program. Participants will be asked to provide feedback on the programs offered, suggest new programs to offer the community, and encouraged to volunteer their own time in promoting or implementing new programs that will be of interest to the community and further the goals of the project.
Project participants will be asked to do summative evaluations of the two-year project including their perceptions about the success of the program in creating greater awareness of the need for healthy lifestyles, their perceptions about whether capacity has been strengthened in the community and school district to maintain and further advance the project goals as a result of the project being successfully implemented, and their intentions for remaining committed to continuing their own participation in the program after the funding period has ended.
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General
The most pressing needs of MESPEF and MESPA are as follows: 1. Funding is needed to support two programs: a statewide coaching program as new principals have represented 50% of the principalship in the last six years and need this service. Cost is $100,000. A Wellness Program to be offered to Woburn Public Schools at a cost of $100,000. 2. The Web site needs to be redone and updated. This is a significant cost that we have been unable to fund. The Web site needs to include on-line registrations for programs, an opportunity for principals to communicate and share best practices with each other, have the capacity for video, and represent the professionalism of the Foundation and Association in a better way. Estimate of $20,000 have been received. 3. Development of an on-line training program for administrators and teachers so that they can access professional development without leaving their buildings. This would be roughly about $30,000. 4. New computers and other technology for training purposes and for staff needs to be updated. A cost of $15,000 is estimated. 5. The Certification Program for Administrator Licensure would like to offer scholarships for its incoming students. An estimated $45,000 would assist fifteen students to be able to access the program.
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
Ms. Nadya Aswad Higgins
Nadya Aswad Higgins is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals' Association, the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals' Education Foundation, and the MESPA Technology Center. She is an educator who has had teaching, administrative and association management experience since 1961. Her experience in association management totals thirty-seven years, having served concurrently as Executive Director for MESPA for thirty-four years, for MESPEF for twenty-eight years, and the Technology Center for eighteen years. Her responsibilities include development and overall management of the professional development, licensure program, advocacy, and development programs of these organizations and for liaison activities with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care. She has served on numerous advisory task forces and committees for these entities. She has written state, national and international grants and has designed the Study Tours for Kuwaiti educators over the past few years. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Harpur College of the State University of New York at Binghamton, with graduate work completed at Cornell University, Loyola College (Baltimore), and SUNY Binghamton. Prior to coming to Massachusetts, she served as the Executive Director for the American Association of University Professors for the New York State Conference. She is widely credited for the growth and success of MESPA and MESPEF, the development of the MESPA licensure programs, the establishment of the MESPA Technology Center and for leading the development of all of the major programs of the Association and Foundation.
Mr. Anthony Cipro
Florence Houghton Elementary School
Term: July 2009 - June 2015
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