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Professional Development

MESPA professional development is designed to meet the needs of today's principals. Working with members, MESPA identifies the most relevant and engaging professional development topics each year to ensure MN principals have the training and support they need.

"Institute and MESPA workshops help keep principals informed with high quality professional development... MESPA keeps us connected, provides us with assistance, and supports us with our needs.”

– Jeffrey Lund, Marshall County Central Schools

MESPA PD Snapshot

MESPA Members: Interested in leading a seminar? Do you have a great idea that other members need to hear? Contact Rachel Dillon, Program Manager (rachel@mespa.net) with your ideas!

Last chance! Building Rigorous & Robust PreK-3 Classroom Environments

This is our final offering of this course.

This FREE online course, focused on communication and oral language development, is designed to improve student learning, classroom community and the culture of collaborative inquiry in schools.

Who should enroll?

ALL Minnesota PreK-3rd grade educators, principals, directors, instructional coaches, and other school leaders are invited to enroll. At least two colleagues should enroll from any school, agency or program. You can earn 40 CEUs through this course!

Course details

Two tracks are available: one for administrators and an educator track tailored to PreK-3 teachers

Comprises 12 modules on topics such as conversation, formative assessment, equity, collaboration, student communication in literacy and math instruction, and more

Course kick-off: January 23, 2018!

Click here for more info.

MESPA Literacy Leadership Retreat

Join us for this 1-day reunion session of MESPA's Literacy Academy!

Thursday, March 1 - click here for more info!

This is a follow-up session to renew, refresh, celebrate, and continue your learning. This retreat is designed for educational leaders that have attended our 4-day MESPA Literacy Academy facilitated by Bonnie Houck and Sandi Novak over the last six years. 

Bring a team! Bring your school literacy team at the MESPA rate!

During this 1-day retreat, school and district leaders will:

  • Collaborate and learn from the successes of colleagues
  • Share their school’s literacy professional development successes and challenges
  • Learn about new, refined instruments to help with implementing literacy professional development
  • Plan next steps for their school’s continued journey of improved instructional practices

MESPA Institute 2018 - Feb 7-9

Join us for the professional development event of the year!
Registration opens November 1st!


Institute hosts over 400 of your elementary and middle level principal colleagues. With presentations from THREE incredible keynotes, over 25+ sessions rooted in technology and innovation, education equity and leadership development, MESPA Speaks performances by your own colleagues, a Makerspace Showcase, and an Unconference in which you guide your own learning, how could you go wrong?!

Visit mespa.net/institute for more info.

Urban Leadership Academy

Make it Real: Instructional Leadership = Racial Equity

We are thrilled to partner with the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development to support our school leaders in creating equitable and culturally responsive space for all students to learn.

MESPA members can attend this workshop at a discounted rate ($125 per session) by using the code shared in our e-news or by calling 651.999.7310. 

Click here for more info.

December 6, 2017: Race, Immigration, and Being Known in School: Teaching to Engage Identities with Dr. Vichet Chhuon

February 22, 2018: Culturally Grounded Academic Interventions that Build on the Strengths of Indigenous Students with Dr. Stephanie Fryberg

April 12, 2018: Instructional Leadership to Support Teacher Cultural Responsiveness in the Classroom with Zaretta Hammond 

Professional Development and Learning Resources

Free Professional Resources From Crayola
As part of its Champion Creatively Alive Children Grant program with NAESP, Crayola hosts free professional arts-themed resources for educators. The complete program covers: Art Builds 21st Century Skills, Creativity Connects Us, Advocacy, and Creative Leadership workshops and videos and guides. Along with a supplemental introductory leadership guide, additional resources help you facilitate workshops and arts-infused education advocacy meetings--everything you need from PowerPoint presentations to flyers, handouts and evaluation forms. These resources will help transform your school culture, and infuse arts across your curriculum. Click here to access these resources now.

Code.org Workshops
Code.org is offering free 1-day workshops to prepare educators and content-area teachers to introduce computer science basics in a format that's fun and accessible to k-5 learners. The workshop will cover content for all three courses and teachers will receive the supplies they need to teach the course- at no cost. These workshops will be led by experienced Code.org K-5 Facilitators in over 60 cities across the United States. Visit their website to find a workshop near you.

Partners in Learning
The Microsoft Innovative Schools Program helps district and school leaders embrace innovation and implement technology effectively to support teaching and learning. Through this program school leaders can explore the possibilities, collaborate with other leaders and create a vision for the future of your school community.

Educating K-12 English Language Learners with Disabilities
The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota released a publication titled Impact: Feature issue on Education K-12 English Language Learners with Disabilities, which offers information on how to effectively educate English-language learners with disabilities and measure their progress.

Green Strides - Webinar Series 
This webinar series, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools initiative, features experts from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal programs. Topics include fitness, solar energy, life in space, and more.

Implementing Common Core Standards in Math - Webinar Series 
This free webinar series and online professional learning community, sponsored by ETA/Cuisenaire, provides advice and support regarding the national math curriculum. The program provides free webinars, live chats, lesson plans and online discussions to assist teachers in connecting and collaborating with others in the same grade level.

Global Learning for Educators - Webinar Series
The Asia Society is providing a free, year-long webinar series, Global Learning for Educators, designed to help educators prepare students for college and the interconnected world beyond. Topics include project-based global learning, preparing your school for global learning initiatives, and more.

RTI in Early Childhood Settings - Webcast
“Implementing Response to Intervention in Early Childhood Settings: National, State, and Program Perspectives,” an 80-minute webcast from the RTI Action Network, features a panel of nationally recognized researchers and dynamic RTI implementers on RTI’s role RTI in early childhood. This unique blend of multiple perspectives targets matching high-quality instruction and interventions to meet learning needs during the early childhood years.

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