Commissioner’s Update – June 7, 2012

Commissioner's Update, June 7, 2012

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As part of my tour of schools to see how students are taking charge of their learning – putting the Maine Department of Education’s strategic plan into action – I visited three places Friday where all the students I met were eager to take control of their learning. Below you can read more about each.

In Auburn, I found kindergarteners learning letters and reading with iPads, enabling teachers to give more personal attention to students. At Gray-New Gloucester Middle School, I spoke with a panel of students who like the freedom they have to move at their own pace.

The importance of hands-on learning extends beyond school grounds, too, as I saw during Fort Fairfield Elementary School’s marine biology field trip to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, where sixth graders called upon their creative thinking and technology skills to solve a real-world scientific problem.

Special note:There’s a lot of end-of-the-year reporting due this month and over the summer. Getting these done helps ensure you have the correct data, such as graduation rates, that is much harder to correct after the fact. Thanks for your efforts to complete the reports listed below in Notices and in Reporting.

— Stephen Bowen



ACTION ITEMS

Administrative Letters

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Notices

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Reporting

Please note: We generally provide notice of requirements only once. Please check the Reporting Calendar (link below) regularly for a list of ALL upcoming items.

Reporting Calendar



NEWS & VIEWS

Fairview Elementary highlights student-centered learning with iPads and filmmakingSara Richard, left, and Lauren Fletcher, right, use their iPads in their classroom and Fairview Elementary School to learn letters and to spell words.

Fairview Elementary School was the Commissioner’s first of three stops on his school tour last Friday to see how students use iPads and make movies to take control of their learning, just as the Maine Department of Education’s strategic plan outlines in its core priorities. | More | Ed commissioner tours schools to showcase education plan (press release, 6/1/12)

Proficiency-based education a success in Gray-New GloucesterKayleigh Bowen (no relation) shows Commissioner Bowen how she used a matrix to track her own progress in meeting learning standards at Gray-New Gloucester Middle School.

Students, teachers and administrators at Gray-New Gloucester Middle School in Gray proved they are ahead of the game with their well-received proficiency-based, learner-centered instructional system. | More | Ed commissioner tours schools to showcase education plan (press release, 6/1/12)

Commissioner, students take field trip to Gulf of Maine Research InstituteCory Adams of Fort Fairfield Middle/High School had to decide which part of the lobster is most important for its protection--just one scientific question he answered during afternoon spent at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

As part of Commissioner Stephen Bowen’s school tour, he visited Fort Fairfield Elementary School students during their trip to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland last week. Each year, GMRI’s LabVenture! program presents fifth and sixth graders with a new marine biology-related question that scientists need help answering. | More | Ed commissioner tours schools to showcase education plan (press release, 6/1/12)

Governor presents Promising STEM Youth Awards at State House ceremony, with RobotsGovernor LePage and Messalonskee High School students play with basketballs ejected by the school's robotics team, "Infinite Loop," which participated in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis in April.

AUGUSTA – Science, robots and the students who designed them took center stage Tuesday at the State House as Governor Paul LePage awarded the first ever Governor’s Promising STEM Youth Awards. | More

Registration for 2013 Real World Design Challenge now open

The Real World Design Challenge is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real-world engineering challenges in a team environment. Team registration for the 2012-13 academic year is now available | More

Raising awareness to support children of military parents

Registration for the National Guard and Reserve Institute on October 2-3 in Bangor is now open. The institute illustrates the Military Child Education Coalition’s mission to ensure quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition. | More

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