DESE Updates

National School Nurse Day – May 6th, 2020

To our amazing school nurse friends and colleagues: On this School Nurses Day, we celebrate your skill, dedication, and service. Even in the midst of a pandemic that has shuttered businesses, closed schools, and forced us to isolate in our homes, you continue to step up to do what it takes to keep your students safe, healthy, and ready to learn. From delivering food, to contact tracing, preparing training videos, and beginning to plan for school reentry, you are stepping outside of your usual comfort zones, providing leadership in your communities and compassion to your families. These are historic times and we are in awe of all of you. Thank you for all you do. We celebrate your contributions and look forward... More

DESE Update, October 11th, 2019

1. Application Open for the Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning: The Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning is a pilot program created to nurture deeper learning in Massachusetts public schools. The pilot will run from January 2020 to June 2021 and will give individual schools and entire districts the chance to rethink classroom instruction around deeper learning. Schools, districts, and collaboratives that want to push innovations in professional development, instruction, learning spaces, community partnerships, and other areas to improve student outcomes are encouraged to apply to the pilot program by Friday, November 15. Picture of the Week: On October 4, Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago, Early Education and Care Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy and Commissioner Riley spoke at “In Pursuit of Equity, Accountability, and Success: Latinx Students in... More

DESE Update: September 27th, 2019

1. Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Meeting: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met September 24 at Taconic High School in Pittsfield. They heard from a Pittsfield educator diversity panel and a presentation by the Berkshire County Education Task Force. The Board voted to solicit public comment on a proposed amendment to Competency Determination regulations. Members also discussed Commissioner Riley's goals for 2019-2020 school year; 2019 student, school, and district MCAS and accountability results; the FY20 budget; and the FY21 budget timeline. 2. 2019 National Green Ribbon Honorees: Picture of the Week: Students and staff at Boston Green Academy display the Green Ribbon Award plaque they received this week for being a National Green Ribbon School. (Photo courtesy of Boston Green Academy) Three Massachusetts schools and districts – Boston Green Academy, More

DESE Update September 20th, 2019

1. Board to Meet: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24 at Taconic High School in Pittsfield. The agenda includes a Pittsfield educator diversity panel; a presentation by the Berkshire County Education Task Force; a discussion of Commissioner Riley's goals for 2019-2020 school year; a discussion of 2019 student, school, and district MCAS and accountability results; a vote to solicit public comment on a proposed amendment to Competency Determination regulations, and an overview of the FY20 budget and the FY21 budget timeline. The Department plans to stream the meeting online at Picture of the Week: September 19 was STEM Day at Fenway Park. With funding from CITGO, the Red Sox donated 500 tickets that DESE distributed... More

DESE Update: August 30th, 2019

1. Memorandum on School Fire Drills: State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey has sent a memorandum to local Heads of Fire Departments reminding them of the state requirements for school fire drills, multi-hazard evacuation plans, and Medical Emergency Response Plans. School superintendents or their designees are required to meet with local police and fire chiefs to develop a multi-hazard evacuation plan for each school under the superintendent’s supervision. A copy of the Fire Prevention in Schools pamphlet and a fire drill checklist are included with the memorandum to assist emergency response partners and school administrators to comply with regulations and keep accurate records. Fire departments are required to conduct fire drills in schools four times a year, and one of the drills must happen within three days of... More