President’s Message – February/March 2015

President’s Message – February/March 2015

 

Because of the unprecedented snowstorms this past month, our spring one-day state conference has been postponed to this fall. As we are currently looking for a date and location to hold our one-day conference, I am looking at an opportunity to expand our one-day conference to a state-wide event, where we will be able to offer professional development opportunities across the state. This year I will be looking to coordinate full-day workshops in every part of the state to provide teachers the geographic convenience so that they do not have to travel far to take part in this opportunity.

Great news to Merrimack Valley and North Shore social studies teachers: the Merrimack Valley Council for the Social Studies will be hosting an after school reception for all social studies teachers in districts north of Boston at The Chateau in Burlington, MA, on April 29, 2015, proudly sponsored by McGraw-Hill.

Dr. David Pook will be our special guest. Dr. Pook is a high school and college classroom teacher and educational consultant who worked with the Council of Chief State Officers on developing the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and the Framework for English Language Proficiency Standards. He currently has several projects under way on work aligned with the CCSS.  He works with both large urban districts such as New York, Boston, Memphis, Chicago, Mesa, and Hillsborough County Schools as well as smaller districts in New England and elsewhere on implementation issues related to the CCSS. There will be complimentary refreshments and free resources by our sponsor, McGraw-Hill. The location of the reception will be announced shortly.Another exciting opportunity will be happening this summer. Mass Council is putting together a four-day summer content institute seminar in Boston focusing on the First Amendment. My hope is that we will be offering a summer content institute annually. We are currently in communication with some nationally renowned individuals who have expressed great interests in coming and speaking to K-12 social studies teachers this summer. We plan to confirm a few things and begin promoting the institute later this month and open registrations soon, so watch this space!

Mass Council will be holding its annual meeting on May 20, 2015. We will also be recognizing and celebrating outstanding social studies educators of the 2014-15 school year at the annual meeting, and will be announcing our plans for the 2015-16 year including our fall one-day statewide conference and NERC in April 2016. Location of the annual meeting will be announced shortly.

Recently, I wrote a letter to Governor Charlie Baker to congratulate him on becoming governor of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and introduce Mass Council as an active partner in achieving excellence in social studies education in K-12 public, charter, and private schools across the Commonwealth. A similar letter has been written to the newly appointed Education Secretary, James A. Peyser. I ask you, as members of Mass Council, to establish communication with your respective local representatives serving in the Massachusetts General Court to express the importance and value of high quality K-12 social studies education. A general letter template will be available on the Mass Council website later this month.

So, as you can see, there are lots going on in the world of social studies education. Mass Council is always looking for social studies educators, teachers and administrators, who are interested and available to volunteer and participate in our events, and potentially become active leaders in our organization. I invite you to come to our annual meeting in May. For more information, do not hesitate send an email to our Executive Secretary, June Coutu (coutuj@comcast.net) or you can send an email directly to me at president@masscouncil.org.

Happy spring!

Best,
Gorman Lee, Ed.D.
Mass Council President