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Belmont Public Schools News

Governor Patrick Declares October Principals Month


Proclamation is delivered to Massachusetts Principals at MSSAA Convocation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2014
Contact: Art Dulong, 508-541-7997

Proclamation is delivered to Massachusetts Principals at MSSAA ConvocationFRANKLIN – Tuesday, September 16, 2014 –  Senator Will Brownsberger of Belmont attended the annual fall convocation of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association (MSSAA) on Tuesday, September 16 to present Governor Deval Patrick’s proclamation declaring October to be Principals Month in Massachusetts. The announcement coincides with the designation of October 2014 as National Principals Month by a U.S. House of Representatives resolution. The month-long celebration is an opportunity for schools to recognize that high-quality, visionary principal leadership is essential to school success, and to hold activities to engage students, staff, parents and the community in honoring their principals. The presentation was made at the MSSAA offices in Franklin with MSSAA President Dana Brown, Principal of Malden High School, MSSAA Executive Director Bill Gaine, and numerous school administrators in attendance. 

Dan Richards, the principal of Belmont High School, had the idea to bring Principals Month to Massachusetts and reached out to Senator Brownsberger to request the proclamation by Governor Patrick. “On behalf of all principals, I am thankful to the Governor for joining other states in this national effort to highlight the work of principals,” said Dan Richards. “Belmont is fortunate to have Senator Brownsberger representing our school community. He is a strong, responsive advocate for education, and his efforts made this proclamation possible.” Richards serves on the legislative committee of the MSSAA working on all matters pertaining to legislation that affects education. In June of this year, Richards traveled to Washington D.C. and met with Senator Ed Markey, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Congresswoman Katherine Clark to discuss education priorities.

“In issuing this proclamation, Governor Patrick has once again recognized the importance of our educators,” said Senator Brownsberger. “I find it valuable to know the principals in my district. I learn a lot by visiting them, listening to their needs, and understanding the challenges they face.”

The annual convocation of the MSSAA is an opportunity for the association president to set forth a vision for the school year and to provide an area of focus for principals across the state. In his address to the convocation, Dana Brown established the social and emotional needs of school children as a priority for the year. “As principals, we set the tone of the school environment,”said Brown. “We should be mindful of the social and emotional needs of our students and work as partners with teachers, families and the community to create an atmosphere for student success.”

“I am pleased to learn that the social and emotional needs of our children will be high on the agenda for our principals,” said Laurie Slap, Chair of the Belmont School Committee. “Learning and academic achievement need to address the whole child. We recognize that the strong leadership of each school principals vital to helping our classroom teachers meet the needs of our students.”

The leadership and vision of principals throughout the Commonwealth has greatly enhanced every effort to provide the best possible educational experience for all students. By setting the academic tone for their building and working cooperatively with teachers to develop and set performance goals and objectives, principals have helped Massachusetts schools become competitive with schools throughout the world and the model for the nation.

Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester noted in his back-to-school message that, “Massachusetts has the lowest annual dropout rate it has seen in more than three decades, and the four-year graduation rate is the highest it has been since the state began calculating it in 2006. Massachusetts fourth-and eighth-graders are first in the nation in reading and math, and our 15-year-olds rank near the top internationally. Since 1993, we have been on a decades-long trajectory of raising expectations for all students, of ensuring teachers are well-prepared, and of introducing new school models to give families and educators more options.”

The National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals endorsed the efforts of U.S. Representative Susan Davis of San Diego to establish October 2014 as National Principals Month. Governor Patrick’s proclamation will encourage students, parents, teachers, and entire communities in Massachusetts to foster local events that celebrate and recognize the achievements of the district’s school principals.

Schools and parents can find ideas for celebrating Principals Month at PrincipalsMonth.org. Students will find an invitation to submit a video celebrating their principal and have a chance to win a prize.

Ideas for Principals

  • Let National Principals Month be a vehicle for promoting your school. Hold an open house for parents and community members, i.e., local business, the chamber of commerce, and realtor who promote schools to prospective homeowners in your community. For more school promotion tips, visit the NASSP/NAESP Principal's PR Portal.
  • Invite members of the press, board of education, council members, central office staff members, parents, grandparents, and other community leaders to shadow you for a day.
  • Ask your mayor or local council to declare October 2014 as National Principals Month in your community.
  • Ask your superintendent to plan a joint meeting between the local school board and the city council to discuss the needs of school leaders.
  • Invite local colleges or universities to join your school in celebrating National Principals Month.
  • Meet with student leaders from your school to talk about mutual goals for the school year and make this an annual exchange of goals and ideas to assist each group in reaching their goals.
  • Invite members of local youth service agencies to a meeting at the school to discuss ways in which you might work collaboratively.
  • Contact local organizations (Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis Clubs, etc.) and offer to have someone from your school speak on the essential role of the principal.
  • Invite local service clubs to hold a breakfast or luncheon meeting at the school. Talk with them about school leadership and invite them to visit classrooms.
  • Invite neighborhood police to stop by the school for coffee and an informal discussion about how you might support each other.
  • Contact the public service directors of local radio stations and ask them to air a public service announcement (PSA) announcing National Principals Month.
  • Submit an article or guest column in your local newspaper about the critical role of school leaders.
  • Make a presentation at a meeting of your local school board.

Ideas for Teachers

Participate in the video contest:
October is National Principals Month! NASSP wants you to give props to your principal. Make a one- to two-minute video with your students showing why your principal rocks, then upload it to Youtube and send the link to bswiatek@marketingdesigngroup.com. Three winning videos will receive national exposure on our websites, as well as a $200 Best Buy gift card. Hurry! Entries must be received by October 31, 2014.

  • Write a thank you note for all your principal does, with specific examples of how he/she has helped you. Better yet, have your class, your child’s class, or have the entire school write thank you letters to your principal by distributing blank greeting cards with directions. The PTA could also initiate this activity.
  • Set up a banner somewhere clearly visible in the school where students, parents, and teachers can write notes of appreciation to the principal.
  • Create a giant “Thank You” card signed by all staff and/or students.
  • Contact a local business to donate thank you or blank cards, then set up a table at lunch where students can write thank you cards to be left in the principal's mailbox.
  • Provide a weekly treat for your principal during the entire month. For example, week one can be a breakfast, week two cupcakes, etc.
  • Create a photo or video scrapbook for the principal with notes from the school/community about why he/she is so valued.
  • Donate something on campus in honor of your principal, i.e., plant a tree or a garden or donate a bench, etc.
  • Write letters to the superintendent showing support of your principal. Use specific examples of things he/she has done to make the school successful.
  • During one of your October pep rallies feature your principal by providing recognition from the entire school. Create a slide show or video presentation that captures your principal doing great things. Students, parents, and teachers can perform songs, skits, and speeches to thank your principal for the hard work he/she does every day.
  • Decorate your principal's door/office in a festive way to promote a sense of celebration.
  • Shadow your principal for a day and then write a report to publish in the local school AND community paper about what you learned, and how difficult a job it is!
  • Read testimonials from students, parents, and teachers each week over the intercom.
  • Have the art, music, and theater classes do one small group project to honor your principal.
  • Contact local businesses to arrange for discounts for principals during National Principals Month.
  • Get your local paper to secure a column each week to spotlight a local principal with a profile and photograph.
  • Purchase an ad in the local paper, radio or television station in appreciation for your principal—thanking them, etc.
  • Ask local restaurant(s) to donate a gift certificate to your principal in honor of National Principals Month.
  • Hold a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a charity in your principal's name.
  • Organize an “Opposite Day” whereby students dress like the principal and the principal dresses like the students—have students vote for the “best of the best” by donating canned food for a local food bank.

Ideas for Parents

  • Write a thank you note for all your principal does, with specific examples of how he/she has helped you/your family. Invite the PTA to participate in this activity.
  • Contact local businesses seeking donations for items such as thank you or blank note cards that students can use to write thank you notes to the principal. You might work with the school faculty to add the note writing as a class or club project. Notes can then be distributed to principals’ mailboxes.
  • Contact other parents and arrange to provide a weekly treat for the principal during the entire month. For example, week one can be a hot breakfast, week two is cupcakes, etc.
  • Negotiate with the local papers to run ads celebrating principals’ every day acts by listing some of the great things going on in the school (include candid photos of the principal being a great school leader).
  • Write letters to the superintendent showing support of the principal. Use specific examples of things he/she has done to make the school successful.
  • Send flowers to the principal as a festive way to promote a sense of celebration.
  • Write a testimonial about your principal that would be appropriate for use during announcements at the school in celebration of National Principals Month.
  • Contact local businesses to arrange for discounts for principals during National Principals Month.
  • Ask local restaurant(s) to donate a gift certificate to your principal in honor of National Principals Month.
  • Invite your local paper to secure a column each week to spotlight a local principal with a profile and photograph.
  • Purchase an ad in the local paper, radio or television station in appreciation for your principal—thanking them, etc.
  • Hold a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a charity in your principal's name.
  • Together with other parents and/or teachers, buy space in the local paper to celebrate principals’ every day acts by listing some of the great things going on in the school (include candid photos of your principal being a great school leader).





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