Focus of Our Work
“ Readiness Centers represent a new step forward in the Governors Education Action Agenda. The core work of education is classroom interaction between teacher and student in the presence of content. Readiness Centers will help improve every aspect of that work.”–Paul Reville, Massachusetts Secretary of Education
Readiness Centers and DSACs are sharing information and planning together at the state and regional levels. The distinctions between the two entities are outlined below:
State Initiatives Coming Together
Currently, the work of the Readiness Centers across the state focuses on three major areas: the Common Core at both the PreK and K-12 level, transitions within the PreK – Grade 16 continuum (one between PreK and K-12 and one between K-12 and higher ed.), and helping prepare students for post secondary life either in the workforce or in institutions of higher learning. In addition to these areas, each Center has identified regional needs and is in the process of developing plans to address them.
Evaluation System Serves as Link
The newly designed K-12 Educator Evaluation System, while not an identified major focus of EOE for the Readiness Centers, has the potential to be the unifying initiative for the entire body of the Readiness Centers work. Knowledge of the Common Core by all educators PreK-16 is potentially the driving force in curriculum development, instruction, supervision and evaluation. The K-12 Common Core will be the basis of our future statewide assessments. With the PreK Common Core as the foundation for the K-12 standards, students will enter Kindergarten with a better understanding of science and math concepts and more familiarity with the conventions of reading and writing as a result of it. Unlike in the past, and in some areas what is unfortunately still the practice, when driving down the upper elementary curriculum into the early elementary grades and the early elementary curriculum into the Kindergarten and PreK years, was the practice to improve student performance. The Common Core will foster a thoughtful, comprehensive series of learning experiences that will build in each student a level of understanding that will be sustained and enhanced through their formal schooling and beyond.
Concurrently, higher education will be preparing our future teachers for service in our PreK – grade 12 programs. Pre-service teacher training will mirror the work for in-service teachers and highlight the importance of the Common Core. In addition it use will provided examples of effective instruction and demonstrate the artful use of formative assessments. Higher education will also be expected to assume a key role in the professional development of our current and future teachers and administrators. Keeping them abreast of research, effective practice and emerging strategies that will improve the collective functioning of schools and districts. With the Common Core as a base, ongoing communication among and within PreK, K-12, and Higher Education will be easier.
In the Evaluation System, teachers are expected to reflect on their personal practice to build on strengths and improve in weaker areas. The Common Core and related instruction serve as standards for self-reflection and later as the measure of student and teacher progress and success. Administrators also will rely on their working knowledge of the Common Core and related instruction to assess teacher effectiveness, identifying with the teachers goals and priorities in their personal professional development plan.
The implementation of the Educator Evaluation System is probably the most important initiative in education today. It will have a significant impact on the daily practice of all educators and, if done well, will have a number of positive and powerful outcomes in districts beyond evaluation. Communication and collaboration to gain agreement on what good instruction and assessment look and sound like, a working knowledge and application of SMART goals, and an individual and collective focus on student and self improvement will all serve the students and the district well in areas other than evaluation.
CMRC and brain building in progress
Brain Building in Progress is a coordinated effort to raise visibility and change the conversation about children’s issues in Massachusetts. This statewide,public-private partnership, led by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and United Way, aims to raise awareness of the importance of the first few years of a child’s development to their future success – and our region’s future workforce and prosperity.
The campaign aims to provide lift and visibility to the many innovative movements and organizations that are happening across the state around early childhood development and serve as an overall frame for why all of this work is critical to the future of Massachusetts. Its ultimate goal is to change the way the public thinks about early childhood and its link to our future success, and the critical role that all of us play to ensure that every child’s social, emotional and academic development is nurtured from birth through age five.
JUST ANNOUNCED - Weeklong Summer Institute for Math Teachers, Grades 4-16
Math faculty from area middle and high schools, along with college and university faculty will convene to examine the Common Core in Mathematics, discuss alignment of skills from grades 4-16 and develop effective teaching strategies to address the common core. Led by professors Ray Lewis at Worcester State and Jenn Berg at Fitchburg State, the institute will take place simultaneously on each of these university campuses.
July 15-19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. & September 26 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Registration deadline, June 7th.
Additional Information can be found here. Download the application here.
The Breakthrough Coach/2-day Program with Malachi Pancoast
Monday, July 29, 2013 (Administrators Only)
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 (Administrators and Secretaries)
at the MESPA Education and Technology Center, Marlborough, MA
Where are 2013 Summer STEM Programs for Middle School Students?
The Regional Science Resource Center @UMMS and the Central MA STEM Network have compiled a guide of summer science, engineering and technology programs offered in the Worcester area for middle school students. Descriptions, locations, dates and costs are included in the list at: http://umassmed.edu/rsrc/
Working with Children with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom
This hybrid course is designed for early educators, preschool through 2nd grade and will be offered for both undergraduate and graduate credit. It is made available through the Early Learning Challenge Grant.
Registration deadline is May 24, 2013.
For more details click here or to register click here.
Echoes and Reflections: Holocaust Education for 21st Century Classrooms
This four-hour professional development program is available to middle and high school educators at no cost to the teacher or school. Registration deadline is May 20, 2013. Flyer and registration information.
Framingham State University hosts Dr. Story Musgrave, NASA Astronaut
Education: Preparation for the Unknown and Unexpected
This event is free and open to the public. For more information click here.
Problem-Based Learning in the Classroom Using STEM Topics
EASTEC Eastern States Exposition
A NEBHE Meeting Sponsored by The Society of Manufacturing Engineers
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For details and registration information click here.
Online workshop (Free)12 Hour online QRIS Course available here: wheelock.educommons.net/courses This is a great place to start with the QRIS system. Work at your own pace!
Wilson Language Training Program Available through Fitchburg State University's Center for Professional Studies. For registration information visit: Wilson Language Training Program
Additional events will be added continually. Please contact Keyna Thomas at 978.665.3238 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding upcoming events.