Dear Special Education Administrators,
I hope these back-to-school days are going well for you. This email has information about two sets of supports from ESE that may prove helpful in your work in collaboration with building principals. The first is a set of online courses, the second is an opportunity for an in-person visit between an equitable and inclusive practice ambassador and your district’s leadership team to share hard copies of the Guidebook for Inclusive Practice (with principals) and strategies from the Massachusetts State Equity Plan Playbook for all.
Foundations for Inclusive Practice courses: The Department has sponsored the creation of two online courses to help educators meet the needs of all learners in inclusive settings. These courses are self-paced and free to Massachusetts educators. The courses are also one way for Massachusetts educators to earn the 15 professional development points in “effective schooling for students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles” that are required to renew a professional license.
The courses are Foundations for Inclusive Practice: Administrator and Foundations for Inclusive Practice: Educator and present a rigorous and engaging sequence of professional development about meeting the needs of all students. Educators can register at the Guidebook for Inclusive Practice website. Districts who are interested in forming communities of practice as a supplement to these courses can fill out this short form. You may also be interested in this short video preview of the content in the course.
Ambassadors Program: As you may know, ESE developed the Massachusetts State Plan for Equitable Access to Excellent Educators in 2015. The Department is sponsoring an outreach program to deliver information about resources that support that plan directly to building principals and other district leaders. This program, administered by the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives (MOEC), involves a team of “Equity Ambassadors” who will visit with district leadership teams and share this information in a face-to-face visit.
The team of ambassadors is composed of current and former principals, teachers, and other educational leaders, and they will share resources and strategies to strengthen instruction. For example, ambassadors will share information about a new grant designed to support innovative partnerships between districts and educator preparation organizations, a district-created interactive planner that helps districts assess and plan for distributing leadership, and information about a free online course on the foundations for inclusive practice.
Center for Instructional Support
Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148