President’s Message – September 2018

And so we are off! Another school year begins, and with it one of the most significant years for MCSS in recent memory. First, let me wish each and every one of you a great school year, whether you are actively in the classroom, serving as an administrator overseeing the curriculum in our schools, or carrying on the role of advocacy that the Social Studies so genuinely needs.
We have made progress. The Commonwealth has a new Social Studies Frameworks in place and with it a new assessment instrument is being crafted. Please speak up on behalf of the Social Studies at every opportunity – to administrators in your school system, to your state representatives and senators, to parents – so that we can continue on the path to be seen as equally important as Math, ELA, and Science. We collectively are the four cornerstones of education in our society, and our education has been limited by the lack of attention to the Social Studies over the past several years. We owe a great deal of thanks to several MCSS voices (Gorman Lee, Casey Cullen, Kerry Dunn, and Roger Desrosiers foremost, but many others too) and the dedicated work of many DESE members as well. Social Studies is headed in a good direction and we are proud to be the advocates that we are. 
Internally, we have presented a revised set of by-laws for MCSS and seek to streamline some of our sessions, practices, and duties. There is a great deal to do, fewer people willing to take on a role, and yet we are expanding all that we offer to the Social Studies community. Our conferences are bigger and better than ever (more on that below), and we encourage everyone, members and nonmembers, to attend the conferences, take a greater part in them, consider becoming more involved in presenting the sessions, and bring back to your schools ideas and information that can benefit you, your colleagues, and most importantly, the students.
Our theme for the coming year is “E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One” and you will see this reflected in our One Day conference, NERC in March, and in our annual awards in the spring. Please mark the dates, fill out forms for your school system, and register for:
Our Fall One-Day Conference at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Marlboro, MA on October 29. Our Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Christopher Martell from Boston University, sponsored by McGraw-Hill. There will also be a DESE update session with David Buchanan and Michelle Ryan. At the conclusion of the day, there will be a MCSS Board Meeting to address the newest by-laws and election of officers.
NERC 49 March 18-19, 2019 at Framingham State University. This is a new site for NERC and we are excited to use the technology available at Framingham State and it facilities. This will afford MCSS the opportunity to plan future conferences with a different perspective and greater opportunities for more sessions to be offered at NERC. And let’s not lose sight of what is next on the horizon for MCSS and NERC – NERC 50!! A special program will be in the planning before you – or we! – know it.
All registration information and program highlights will be on the MCSS website (, so please check it regularly as the early school year settles down for everyone. And please keep in mind the many deserving colleagues you work with when it comes time to nominate people for awards in the coming year. MCSS seeks to present awards for Outstanding Teachers at the Secondary, Middle, and Elementary levels, Outstanding Geography Teacher, Outstanding Economics Teacher, and many others (all information is on the MCSS website). Your colleagues deserve to be recognized!
My sincere best wishes to all for a great school year and a great year for MCSS. 2018-19 is going to be a great year.
Norm Shacochis
Acting President, 2018-19