With a little under 500 school leaders and school committee members registered, M.A.S.S. shifted to a 2 day remote format for the Annual Executive Institute. Feedback from participants concluded it was a “tremendous success.”
Kicking off the virtual format, members of the Fairhaven chorus moved us with their rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. John Doherty, Superintendent of Reading Public Schools and Chair of the Professional Development committee, welcomed attendees to this new virtual format. John spoke about the conference would utilize these two days to focus on address immediate needs and long terms goals in the area of communication, re-entry, and racial injustice and equity. These were the themes at the forefront of this year’s virtual institute and M.A.S.S. and its member committed the 2 days to 2 strong keynotes and amazing panels and breakout presentations.
Day 1 started with keynote presenter, Dr. Romie Mushtaq, and her brainSHIFT: Mindful Leaders Rise Above the Panic. Dr.Romie brought her innovative research based in neuroscience, integrative medicine and mindfulness to teach the brainSHIFT protocol.” Following the keynote, participants were able to attend concurrent virtual breakouts for the rest of the morning focused on self-care, mindfulness, trauma informed strategies to reduce anxiety, communication in a crisis, and a panel and presentation on back to school and the re-entry process. Registrants ended the day hearing from Attorney Mike Long, but before that, John Doherty honored Burlington Public Schools Superintendent Eric Conti with the prestigious Daoulas Award to many virtual congratulations.
Day 2 welcomed keynote Professor Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian who encouraged all to “find the hidden figures,” “re-tell stories and narratives to be more inclusive,” and “tell the real multicultural history.” The remainder of the day consisted of more concurrent breakouts with highlights from a MASS Superintendents panel discussing racial equity, Dr. Darnisa Amante-Jackson from DEEP who discussed building a culture of diversity, and the Rennie Center for Education.
After remarks from Commissioner Jeffrey Riley, the 2 day virtual agenda concluded with a powerful Project 351 alumni panel: “Where do we go from here? A Student’s Perspective” moderated by Joseph Corazzini, Assistant Superintendent, Framingham Public Schools. All registrants were incredibly impressed by the students and were thankful for their willingness to share their voices.
One supertendent shared: “Even in the midst of a pandemic and incredibly hard decisions for Supts are making, these kids give me such hope! They make it all worthwhile and have great ideas for how we can and MUST move forward” Thank you Sreenidhi, Ashley, Justin, Marcus and Dominque for your inspiration, candor, and hope. And thanks to Project 351 and the alumni work of Carolyn Casey.
As always this conference wouldn’t be possible without our incredible sponsors, even in a virtual setting. – Thank you KEYNOTE SPONSORS: Renaissance, Mosse & Mosse, TECedge, SMMA, Edgenuity, Kelly Education, & Benchmark Education,. PANEL SPONSORS: Horace Mann, Infinite Campus, Newsela, Fitmonay, HUB Tech, Gaggle, PARS, SAVVAS, & Landed. BANNER SPONSORS: Power & Sullivan, LearnLaunch, Creative Learning, & TeachPoint. FRIENDS OF MASS: ESS, Lincoln Investments, Brain Power, Merrimack College, Class Measures, Discovery Education, and Custin Computer Specialists.