Preparing for next tour of schools

A little over a year ago, I outlined a vision for education in Maine, our strategic plan, Education Evolving, at Capital Area Technical Center. A few weeks later, Governor LePage and I laid out the education agenda at the Somerset Career and Technical Education Center in Skowhegan. We at Maine DOE, in collaboration with schools and school districts, have made great progress in changing policies and focus toward a system that supports students in achieving proficiency in rigorous standards that will prepare them to be ready for college and careers.

As I’ve often said, some of the best thinking and models for the work we want to do comes from the schools themselves. I’m itching to get out to the schools again to see first-hand the kinds of innovative practices that you are implementing that are showing promise and that are helping to forward the priorities in our strategic plan. The first stop on my tour of schools will be at Deer Isle-Stonington High School next Monday, the 25th. Graduation rates there have increased – significantly – for three years in a row through a combination of culture change, professional learning communities, and Student Assistance Teams.

In addition to meeting with teachers and others at the school, we’ll use the occasion and the location to release the 2012 graduation rates in Maine. As with my last set of visits, I plan to get to each of the state’s nine superintendent regions. If you would like to share your school’s innovative practices, please let me know so we can finish fine-tuning our schedule of visits.

6 responses to “Preparing for next tour of schools

  1. Commissioner Bowen,
    You visited Searsport District Middle/High School a year ago, but I would like to extend another invitation so you can see how my professional staff continues to transform their daily practices to increase student aspirations and achievement. Our Investigative Mondays are multi-age and multi-disciplinary through which students engage in investigations, such as Classroom Mythbusting Using STEM Initiatives, and partner our communities. We are also going through the school capacity assessment with Expeditionary Learning to become an EL site.
    Brian Campbell, Principal

  2. Commissioner Bowen we would love to have you visit Northern Penobscot Tech Region III. An example of what we offer students is our unique Health Science Careers program providing up to 8 different certifications and our Welding Program which not only offers AWS (American Welding Society) certification but is a test site as well. We have fostered partnerships with area healthcare providers as well as business and industry. Our seniors will all leave with impressive portfolios documenting proficiency in their field of study.

  3. Steve, I’d like to invite you to attend Falmouth’s sixth Community Dialogue from 11:30 – 2:30 on Thursday, April 11th in Falmouth. The entire staff, parent and student representatives, community officials and town members as well as our legislators come together for an afternoon of presentations and discussions designed to establish goals for the next 24 months. (You’ll find the current plan posted on our website.) It’s an engaging process and has helped us focus our resources effectively for the past ten years.

  4. You are always welcomed at Region Ten Technical High School in Brunswick. We offer exciting programs, and our enrollment has been maintained in spite of the closure of Naval Air Station, Brunswick. Barry J. Lohnes, Director

  5. You are also invited to come to Washburn/MSAD 45 21st Century After School program to see what we offer students, and how we have partnered with pre-service teachers from UMPI to provide field experience for them and needed volunteers for our program.

  6. You are welcome to come to Vinalhaven and visit our wonderful school. We are dealing with many of the issues you describe. You are welcome any time.

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