Massachusetts Workshops

Massachusetts Workshops

Our workshops combine expert insights with peer learning in Building Blocks virtual workshops. Workshops are aligned with the research-based Building Blocks framework and are highly interactive to promote collaboration, idea sharing, and encourage productive discussion.

All workshops are free to Massachusetts district and school leaders and educators through a generous grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Massachusetts Department of Education

Upcoming Individual Workshops

Strategic Shifts Toward Mastery-Based Education

Two-Part Series

This free two-part virtual workshop series will focus on “mastery of core academic content and skills.” Research consistently finds that if done well – mastery-based learning allows all students to thrive – academically, socially, and emotionally.  In this workshop we will examine how and why a mastery learning approach is an essential building block for powerful and engaging learning experiences. Participants will also review the structures that support mastery learning – and those that prevent it.  We will examine common concerns about mastery learning, simple classroom changes, and systemic changes, including new approaches to grading at all levels. There will be multiple entry points, including for those who are already midstream with their efforts and for those who are getting started and looking for ways to kick start their efforts. Participants are welcome to attend either one or both workshops in the series.

In this highly-interactive virtual workshop, participants will learn what mastery learning is as well as what it is not and why mastery learning is important.  Participants will take a readiness assessment to identify possible entry points and next steps.

Come ready to participate by working alongside other district and school leaders to:

  • Understand what mastery-based education is and how it can be an important lever for change;
  • Understand which current structures support mastery learning;
  • Identify your entry point;
  • Learn with and from peers; and
  • Leave with an actionable next step.

This highly-interactive virtual workshop will combine new learning and collaboration. Participants will explore the components of a mastery-based learning system, and will begin to develop an action plan for their specific context.

Come ready to participate by working alongside other district and school leaders to:

  • Compile a mastery learning toolkit;
  • Create an action plan for immediate, short-term, and long-term steps for mastery learning;
  • Learn with and from peers; and
  • Leave with an actionable next-step

This workshop series is facilitated by Lori McEwen. Lori is an educational consultant who works with teachers and leaders to discover their guiding purpose, empower their best selves and partner with others to make their schools places of deep and joyful learning. She has taught and led in suburban, urban and charter school districts; provided professional development on creating PLCs, distributing leadership and revising curriculum and assessments; taught courses in teacher leadership; evaluated large-scale educational programs and researched and written about leadership. Prior to becoming a consultant, she served as the Assistant Superintendent of North Attleborough, MA Public Schools, the Chief of Instruction, Leadership, and Equity, for Providence (RI) Public Schools, and the Director of Academics at Blackstone Valley Mayoral Academy (RI).

Building a Community of Care: Strategies to Support Adult Wellbeing

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had an unequal impact on both adults and students. Because of the substantial evidence indicating the effect of adult wellbeing on both students’ wellbeing and their academic performance, school and district leaders need a concrete understanding of this topic as well as specific strategies to support teachers and staff. As we embark on the second half of the school year, school and district leaders can strategically address adult wellbeing by identifying needs and tailoring wellbeing supports to meet those needs. While individual strategies that address self-care are valuable, this workshop goes beyond these more immediate strategies to highlight the leadership competencies and communication strategies that leaders can leverage to enhance the wellbeing of all adults in their community.

This 90-minute highly-interactive virtual workshop will support participants to:

  • Provide leaders and educators with concrete language to talk about adult wellbeing in order to identify meaningful solutions that meet the specific needs of each school or district community;
  • Consider ways to strategically identify staff needs through targeted surveys and active listening;
  • Understand the ways in which positive and consistent communication can enhance staff wellbeing;
  • Learn with and from your peers; and 
  • Leave with actionable next steps

                Facilitated by Beth Holland and Bianca Dávila, The Learning Accelerator

                Beth Holland is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator and leads their work in research and measurement. For the past several years, she has been examining the challenges of equity and communication within K-12 public school systems for her dissertation, as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Rhode Island, where she worked on a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Learn Initiative, and at the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) where she led their Digital Equity and Rural initiatives. From these experiences, she brings both a rigorous academic background and practical experience to the team’s research efforts..

                Bianca Dávila is Chief of Staff at The Learning Accelerator. A passionate advocate for educational equity, she blends her expertise and passion for educational leadership, team culture, process innovation, and organizational management to support the TLA team. Bianca began her career in education with Teach For America as a Houston corps member where she taught fourth grade in a bilingual Spanish-English classroom. She then served as an Assistant Principal, where she helped lead her team to be the highest performing elementary school in the KIPP network for three years in a row.