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41st Annual MSMA Fall Conference

MSMA Fall Conference: Public Education for ME

The essential and changing role of public schools in Maine is the focus of the 41st Annual MSMA Fall Conference, featuring keynotes on how school boards and administrators can help improve and support student success.

Scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Oct. 23 and 24, at the Augusta Civic Center, the conference offers more than 50 professional development clinics, including 16 from attorneys with expertise in school law.

The keynote speakers this year will talk about how school boards and superintendents can effectively lead change that improves our public education system and supports student achievement.

Ken Kay, head of EdLeader21, will kick off the conference with his address at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, on how school districts can successfully make the transition from industrial-age education to 21st century learning. He will talk about the Common Core standards and relevant curriculum; ways to inspire creativity in the classroom; and, fostering genuine community involvement in public schools.

Kay’s organization works with educational leaders to help them innovate using a seven-step program that starts with adopting a vision and ends with school improvement. In addition to his keynote speech, Kay also is giving a workshop.

The lunch speakers on Friday, Oct. 24, are Arnold Shober and Michael Hartney, who on behalf of the Thomas Fordham Institute co-authored a study entitled “Does School Board Leadership Matter?”

It does, and the authors of the study will talk about what types of boards get results in terms of improving student achievement.

Shober and Hartney also will give a clinic talking about the characteristics of an effective board; how to create a vision for districts; and, accountability.

For the first time this year, there will be regional breakout sessions based on the nine superintendent and school board regions in the state. These regional sessions will allow school board members and superintendents in each region to meet each other and their regional leaders and talk about strategies for legislative advocacy.

The 16 legal clinics being offered at the conference cover a range of topics including aspects of collective bargaining, the impact of RSU and AOS withdrawals, health care and the always popular School Law Year in Review.

Other titles from the attorneys include:

  • Standards Based Education and the World of Special Education
  • The Implications of Social Media in School Administration
  • Teacher Tenure Laws are Constitutional, Right?
  • New Educator Evaluation Systems: The School Board’s Role
  • Protecting Students: Board Responsibilities

Along with the legal clinics, there is an excellent mix of clinics offered by people in the field who will share their expertise and experience.

Some examples are:

  • When Good School Boards go Bad
  • The DNA of a Successful Online Program
  • The Domino Effect: Managing Grief and Loss
  • 90 Percent Proficiency Goal for K-2 Schools
  • Proficiency Based Diplomas
  • MSMA’s New Teacher Contract Database
  • Proficiency for ALL Students
  • Communications 101 or KISS (Keep It Simple…)

Conference registration should be done through your superintendent’s office.

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