November 2018 Print

Graduation Task Force Report presented to State Board

The Graduation Task Force report was presented to the State Board in November.  WOW!  PARCC tests as a Graduation requirement, and thus NO MORE BRIDGE PLANS may be in the offing.  A copy of the report is available at this link 


I AM also attaching the powerpoint which was used that succinctly highlights the recommended changes. 

Powerpoint link 


Changes in credit requirements seemed to be accepted without much comment

The Single Diploma, with endorsements and seals, garnered a fair amount of discussion.  It seems clear that the board will want to look at the details of the Career and College Ready endorsement in MUCH greater detail


Fireworks were present at the board meeting, not surprisingly. They came in discussing the changes recommended for PARCC and Gov’t test, eliminating them as a stand alone graduation requirement and instead making them an end of course test component factored into the final grade (20%).  Dr. Stiener, in particular, was passionate in his disagreement. But other board members disagreed just as vigorously  Interestingly, the whole discussion took a bit of a turn at this point, and both Dr. Finn and Dr. Stiener indicated that they might indeed accept the end of course test idea if the percentage of the final grade is increased to higher than 20%.  And if this happens, bridge plans go away.


In general, I think this whole process is good news for our members.  Our committee members Mark Cohen and Ken Goncz did a super job as did all the committee members.  Stay tuned for future developments

Back to top

Executive Director Report

October/November has been a busy month for MASSP.  First and foremost the majority of our membership renewals come due at this time.  Have you check your mailbox and inbox for YOUR renewal notice?  Don't let your benefits lapse.  Scott and assistant Flo Airey work diligently to ensure this does NOT happen.  Don't let membership renewal fall to the bottom of your to-do list.

We are thrilled to report that we have received one excellent application for the position of Executive Director.  Addie Kaufman from Howard County has applied for the position and will complete a formal interview with representatives from the Executive Board in February.  Given that Addie actually served as Scott's assistant principal back in the early 90's, Scott is very familiar with her work, and he has watched her blossom into an incredible professional, serving as the principal of two different Howard County High Schools in the past 25 years.  Dr. Kaufman brings a wealth of experience and talent to this position, and I look forward to her receiving the final approval of the executive board later this winter.

We are thrilled we held two successful conferences this fall.  The AP conference was a huge success based on the evaluations we received, and record attendance certainly helped.  This success was closely followed by the aspiring leaders workshop where 22 teachers successfully completed an array of tasks designed to prepare them for school administration.  Let's hope that our next two workshops attract interested participants as they both address important topics.  Former Sup't Kevin Maxwell will present a lively workshop on December 5 on career stages, sure to be both insightful and entertaining.  Then in early January, we will feature a workshop on NASSP's newest product, Building Ranks.  Experience excerpts of the various modules contained in this professional development tool at this workshop.

All the while, we are involved in the planning stages for our spring conference March 28-30 at the Cambridge Hyatt featuring Jay McTighe.  And finally, we are soliciting applications for our next round of principal of the year applications.  

Don't hesitate to contact Scott if he might assist in any way regarding member benefits.

Back to top

Kirwan Commission Prelimary Recommendations Issued

The Kirwan commission will affect all educators in Maryland for  many years.  It is a LONG report, but I have provided a link to the chapter on the preliminary recommendations here (and that is still pretty long).  Stay tuned on this topic for sure.


link to Kirwan recommendations


Back to top

Join a new committee we are forming at MASSP--The technology committee

It is with great anticipation that we are looking forward to devising a Technology Committee that aides school administrators in understanding content, pedagogy, and technologies integrated in the 21st century classroom. 

Some of the goals of the committee would be to:

- Establish an Instructional Evaluation model for Effective Implementation of Technology in the Classroom

- Enhancing, and Creating a Building Structures/Systems around Computer Science, and Engineering Education

- Offer Professional Development to Strengthen the Maryland Administrator in Becoming More Technologically savvy, and Understanding how to Deliver the Necessary Tools to Educators to grow their capacity. 

- Bridge the Gap Between Engineering and Technology, CTE, and Computer Science Education with Core Content Areas. 

Some models of delivery would be a Webinar Web Ex Series' on developing programs, Interviews with Leading STEM Leaders, Blogs, Current Article Postings, a Website, and Social Media outlets.

We would like to inquire if you, or anybody you know would like to be part of this committee?  Interested folks should complete the form below


After the interest form is filled out, and a committee is devised, meeting dates would be set up to discuss topics as well as devising a form to take an inquiry stance of schools/districts throughout the state to see what their needs are so we can be intentional about our decisions made within the committee with stakeholders input.

Thank you in advance.  

Ryan Novitski
Ass't Principal, Oxen Hill High School

Back to top

Calendar of Events

December 5, 2018 -- Kevin Maxwell workshop in Laurel

January 8, 2019 -- NASSP's Building Ranks workshop in Laurel

February 9, 2019 -- Executive Board Meeting in Silver Spring

February 16, 2019 -- Aspiring Leaders Workshop in Sykesville

March 28 - 30, 2019 -- MASSP Spring Conference in Cambridge

Back to top

Many thanks to our major sponsor, AXA

Back to top

Check out NASSP's Building Ranks January 8 in Laurel

MASSP will be one of the first states to role out NASSP's new product.  Registration will open in early December. 

NASSP’s new suite of Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) standards-based products

From Breaking Ranks to Building Ranks: Available in the 2018-2019 School Year

This suite of aligned products will help you answer questions about your knowledge, strengths, and opportunities for growth using development tools that are:

  • valid and reliable
  • grounded in new standards
  • authentic

The Building Ranks Framework

Building Ranks: A Comprehensive Framework for School Leaders focuses on two key domains: lead learning and build culture.

The standards-based framework contains authentic examples of principal practices, tools and resources, and a learning community of practice.

Click here to view the Building Ranks Framework.

Click here to purchase Building Ranks: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective School Leaders

Assessment Center

Piloting Fall 2018

This online four-hour “day-in-the-life” assessment has tools to identify and evaluate your leadership strengths and growth areas – all linked to the Building Ranks domains. Receive in-depth feedback reports to inform your practice.

Leadership 360° Survey and the School Culture Surveys

Piloting Fall 2018 (School Culture Survey)

Gain insight into others’ perceptions of your leadership and school culture. Compare your perception of your leadership and school culture with those of your supervisor, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community leaders.

An in-depth confidential feedback report is generated with valid, reliable, and standards-based data.

Back to top

Meet new assistant principal of the year John Seibel

John Seibel grew up in Westminster, Maryland.  He attended Western Maryland College earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with degrees in History and Art History.  Graduating in 1989, John sold cars for one year and loved it.  However, he felt something was missing.  After taking a retired High School teacher on a test drive, he was given the advice that he should be a teacher.  The words stayed with him so much that later that year John started his education course work at Western Maryland and earned his social studies teaching certificate in 1993. 

In the fall of that year, John began his teaching career as a 6th grade social studies teacher at Northwest Middle School in Taneytown, Maryland.  Here, John engaged in developing leadership and service projects for students.  John collaborated with a colleague and the two built the largest anti-tobacco/drug program of any middle school in the county.  The monthly meetings saw nearly half the students in the school attending meetings and developing a campaign to fight teen drug and tobacco use.  In 1998, John was provided the opportunity to move to the 8th grade and a year later he was named team leader.  During this time John worked with the Maryland Stated Department of Education on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program to write social studies test questions and conduct field test analysis.  In addition, he wrote curriculum.  It was also during this time that John enrolled at Johns Hopkins University to earn his Masters in Supervision and Administration. 

2002 saw the arrival of John to Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland.  Although a middle school background, he was given the opportunity to teach Advanced Placement Psychology and Advanced Placement United States Government his first two years.  During this time, John served as a class advisor and the Interact student service club sponsor.  He also continued his work with the Maryland State Department of Education serving on the score setting committee for the new the new Government High School Assessment.  John continued with work on the Government HSA both as a teacher and an administrator as a test question writer, Bridge project writer, and worked on field test and bias analysis.  John had the privilege to serve as an assistant principal at Wilde Lake for eight years.  In 2012, John was placed at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland.  At Hammond John focused on increasing the graduation rate, 9th grade promotion rate, and minority student participation in Advanced Placement classes and SATs.  Since 2012, John has supported and/or implemented programs that have led to Hammond’s metrics in each area making substantial increases showing the increased opportunities for students and helped Hammond narrow the opportunity and achievement gap for students of color.  Most notable was John’s development and implementation of a week long summer acceleration academy for Hammond’s students of color and Free and Reduced Meals students taking their first honors, gifted and talented, and/or Advanced Placement class.   

Back to top

2018 AP conference a great success

Evaluations were excellent for this year's conference, attended by almost 60 folks from around the state (a 20% increase over last year).  We share some photos here so if you didn't attend, you might see what you missed.

Jay McTighe interacts with participants

Steve Bounds from MABE is always a hit.


Kim Stem and Shannon Zepp present. 

Pat Mahoney from Balfour is a great sponsor along with
Beche Sprigg from Avalon


 Scott Pfeifer presents John Seibel his plaque      

We had a great planning committee for our conference this year

Back to top

Federal Grass Roots Network in Action on Capitol Hill

Take your advocacy efforts to the next level


As a school leader, you advocate on behalf of your students and staff every day with the decisions you make. We need you to share your expertise and on-the-ground experiences with policymakers so they are better informed when making decisions on education policy. If advocacy is especially important to you, one way for you get more involved is to join the NASSP Federal Grassroots Network!


NASSP's Federal Grassroots Network brings together individuals who want to build close relationships with their members of Congress to inform them about how policies they create in Washington impact education in their districts and states. Members of the FGN can tap into the following resources:

  • A community of advocates who commit to regularly meeting with their federal representatives to discuss state and federal policies that will benefit schools and students nationwide
  • A monthly FGN email newsletter highlighting recent changes in federal education policy
  • Weekly advocacy update blog posts on the School of Thought blog with the latest news and resources regarding federal education policy
  • The opportunity to attend the annual NASSP Advocacy Conference, a unique event that brings like-minded education professionals together to share ideas and discuss the top education policy issues of the day
  • Resources to become more effective advocates at all levels of government, including a basic guide on advocating on behalf of schools and principals

There has never been a more crucial time for you to voice your insight on effective school leadership and education policy. Join NASSP's Federal Grassroots Network today at the NASSP website

Back to top

McGraw Hill Education has been an MASSP partner for many years

Back to top

National Principals conference takes place July 18 - 20 in Boston


The National Principals Conference is an unrivaled opportunity for K–12 school leaders to collaborate across all levels to mold the course of student success. From authentic peer-to-peer conversations, innovative learning opportunities, and access to world-class thought leaders, gain the resources needed to positively impact the lives of all students.

Boston is a great town for this conference.  And the weather this time of year is perfect.  You won't regret networking with colleagues here this summer

Back to top

College Board Scholarship information

Getting into college can be complicated and overwhelming. To support students and families, the College Board has introduced the College Board Opportunity Scholarships, a first-of-its-kind national scholarship program. It’s unique because it serves as a simple college planning guide for all students. It explains what to do and when to do it. 


The College Board Opportunity Scholarships lay out six simple steps that all students can take to get into college. Completing each step will earn a chance for a scholarship; completing all six will earn students a chance to win $40,000 for their college education.  


The six steps in this program help students plan by making a good starter college list, help them prepare so they can take their best shot, and help them pay for college. The six actions are:

  1. Building a College List—Students get started by exploring colleges they’re interested in.
  2. Practicing for the SAT—Students use Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy to get ready for test day.
  3. Improving SAT Scores—Students show how practice pays off by improving their SAT scores.
  4. Strengthening Their College List—Students make sure their college list is a mix of academic safety, fit, and reach schools.
  5. Completing the FAFSA—Students fill out the free government form to apply for financial aid.
  6. Applying to Colleges—Students apply to the schools they want to attend.


The College Board Opportunity Scholarships are different from other scholarship programs because they’re about how much students grow, not how high they score. The College Board Opportunity Scholarships don’t require an essay or an application and don’t have a minimum GPA or SAT score requirement. Instead, the program rewards all students’ efforts and actions on their way to college. The more effort that students put in and actions they complete, the more chances they have to earn a college scholarship.


The College Board is investing $25 million over five years. A total of $5 million is available for each graduating class, beginning with the class of 2020. All students are invited.


Students can sign up at The program officially launches in December. However, students can start today by going to BigFuture to make a starter list of six colleges they’re interested in. Just by making that list, students earn a chance for a $500 scholarship. Then students can take the next step toward earning a $40,000 scholarship by going to to receive free, personalized practice on Khan Academy.


Back to top

Experience a sample of McTighe and Wiggins work to be on display at the AP conference and Spring Conference this year

Jay recently wrote an article, “Three Lessons for Teachers from Grant Wiggins.” I have found that this can be an excellent article to distribute to teachers at the start of a new school year. It can also be used for an engaging and interactive “jig-saw” reading and discussion activity with faculty. 

Grant Wiggins passed away last year, but the team of Wiggins and McTighe is an unbeatable one in education.  The best thing about their work is that it just makes sense.  It doesn't take fancy implementation.  It only requires stepping back from your work and looking at it differently.


Here is a link to the article:

Back to top

Legislation update

Paul Pinskey presented a great overview of the Kirwan commission recommendations at our last exec meeting.  He was clear that the major education legislation considered during the session will focus on the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, in particular the funding aspects

Some of the funding can certainly come from the recent "lock-box" legislation passed by the voters, but that only addresses about 25% of the total.  MASSP will send you updates during the session to keep you posted.

Back to top

Earn a cash reward for member recruitment!

Can you use and extra $25?  Recruit a new member to NASSP/MASSP, email exec Scott Pfeifer when you do, and when we receive a membership check or notice of payroll deduction, we will send YOU a check for $25.  How simple!  But it requires focus on you, our existing members, part.  So spread the word.  Be an MASSP ambassador.  In unity there is strength, and we become a more effective voice for administrators around the state when more folks join us.  Membership has increased these past three years, but we can do better.  But the secret to success rests with YOU, our current members.  Help us spread the word and earn cash for your effort.

Back to top