M.A.S.S. members tour Microsoft facility for innovative insight for students


Members of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents visited the Microsoft Garage campus in Cambridge, Mass., where they met with industry leaders for a tour to learn about what skills these companies are seeking in future employees – the students of today.

On Friday, Feb. 8, M.A.S.S. members toured the facility with Microsoft’s Chris Templeman, where they saw first-hand what the best practices looked like in this work environment of the “forward-thinking” company, as noted by school officials.

John Nguyen of Microsoft led a session on accessibility, to provide insight for additional ways to meet the needs of special education and English Language Learner students, and also held a session encompassing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) computer science briefing about Minecraft, MakeCode, Windows Ink and Micro:bit.

Another session, led by Microsoft’s Aimee Sprung and Tisha Nguyen, discussed computer science grant information and “tangible, immediate steps” for computer science implementation and success, school officials said.

Eric Conti, M.A.S.S. president and superintendent of Burlington Public Schools, said, “It is critical that superintendents and other educators stay connected to the knowledge and skills that innovative companies are seeking in their future employees. We know from these conversations that creativity, collaboration, applying knowledge to new situations and social/emotional abilities are more valued than content knowledge alone.”

He continued, “Massachusetts’ greatest resource is its people. As school district leaders, we need to ensure all of the students in our charge, from all regions and demographics, have an equitable opportunity to succeed and to access the companies that call the Commonwealth home. We will accomplish this goal by continuing to learn ourselves and to encourage changes in our classrooms and at the state level that align with our students’ futures instead of our pasts.”

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