WAKEFIELD – Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth (MPY) is pleased to announce it has been one year since the nonprofit started holding remote webinars amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and over the past 12 months thousands of school professionals have accessed critical training and support as a result. 

When Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth (MPY) was forced to cancel in-person trainings one year ago due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, a critical need for training, resources and support for educators became apparent as schools transitioned to remote learning. MPY swiftly pivoted, also, and began to provide remote trainings.

Virtual webinars began on March 24, 2020, and MPY ultimately presented 56 webinars with approximately 35,000 registrants. These were offered to school- based professionals, at no cost, to support educators and their students as they grappled with the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

Webinar topics included supporting students navigating isolation, depression, and anxiety amid the pandemic. Support included reinforcing healthy activities in the home during remote learning; balancing screen time; managing stress; promoting resilience and positive outcomes for students; engaging with families while working remotely; utilizing telehealth; promoting anti-racism, equity, inclusion, and diversity; and more. To view a full list of past webinars, as well as future and ongoing training opportunities, click here.

“The historic events of last spring caught all of us by surprise. A year ago, I barely knew the word “Zoom,” Executive Director Margie Daniels said. “Last spring was unique and I am tremendously proud of the MPY staff and presenters who helped school professionals support the mental/behavioral health of students and families during this time of remote education and social isolation. It was also important for MPY to promote trainings on anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion.“

Beginning in the summer of 2020 and continuing this school year, MPY has offered two-hour and ten-hour webinars to member districts as professional development. From March 2020 until now, MPY has provided approximately 160 online trainings, featuring 51 speakers, and cumulatively there have been 46,861individual registrations.

“Early on in the pandemic, Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth (MPY) pivoted their entire professional development and conference offerings to a web-based platform and designed a series of trainings that included timely topics for supporting youth, families, and staff throughout the pandemic,” said Director of School Mental Health and Behavioral Services at Methuen Public Schools and MPY webinar presenter John Crocker. “These trainings not only yielded actionable strategies in a manner that was responsive to current needs, they served as a vehicle to foster connectedness and community amongst those striving to make positive change. Proof of concept has been achieved, and the reach of MPY to all corners of the state will continue to be fostered through web- based means. What came out of necessity has yielded a successful approach to professional development that is sure to extend long into the future.”

“When our world changed as never imagined a year ago, MPY was there to change with us and for us. Their hallmark of highly anticipated workshops and conferences with incredible content swiftly transformed to readily available webinars with stellar content– and then multiplied,” said Director of School Counseling and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at Arlington Public Schools and MPY webinar presenter Sara Burd. “Their offerings grew tenfold to meet the needs as they ballooned and their accessibility matched the needs of the field as well. Here’s to a one year anniversary that we never would have expected. Well done, MPY!”

During the 2020-2021 school year, MPY membership has grown significantly to more than 200 school districts, private schools, educational collaboratives, and other entities. MPY now has member districts from twelve counties in the Commonwealth.

MPY has held 190 in-service workshops this school year for member districts. A full listing on in-service workshops may be found on the MPY website, www.mpyinc.org.

“I had always been impressed with the exceptional professional development opportunities offered through the Massachusetts Partnership for Youth, but what Margie Daniels and her team accomplished during the pandemic was extraordinary,” said Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School guidance counselor Angela Caira, a participant of MPY webinars. “During a time when educators were struggling to manage their own anxiety while helping their students cope with anxiety of their own, MPY provided quintessential support when we needed it most. Needless to say, MPY is and will continue to be among the finest organizations in the state.”

About the Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc.

Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides training, fosters collaboration, and develops programming to increase the health and safety of students. MPY is committed to bringing cutting-edge information and high quality trainings to constituents and endeavors to provide solution-oriented, community-based, multi-disciplinary approaches to reducing and ideally eliminating risky behaviors for youth.

The nonprofit is governed by a Board of Directors made up of school superintendents, police and fire chiefs, and other community leaders who work closely with MPY staff to deliver this mission.

To learn more, visit www.mpyinc.org.


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