It’s been over a week since Governor LePage and I released Maine’s School Performance Grading System. I continue to tour schools that are exemplifying promising practices, including several that have received grades on the lower end of the spectrum. Based on what I’ve seen, these schools are doing many of the right things to get their students invested in learning. It’s important that the Department be engaged with these schools to let them know they have support. That is why we’ll be hosting a webinar next Thursday to start a series of informative sessions for Maine educators. These statewide webinars will be designed for teachers and school leaders and will include presentations on school improvement topics, such as using the Data Warehouse to increase student achievement; reviewing strategies from successful low-income schools; and closing the gap between sub-groups within schools. The webinars will feature practitioners from the field, and we will invite feedback and suggestions from participants for future webinars and other technical assistance. I am looking forward to these conversations with teachers and others to work on continuous improvement within our schools.
Teachers are the foundation of our education system, and this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I encourage you to take the time to say thank you next time you pass a teacher in the hall or elsewhere. It’s important our teachers are reminded how grateful we are for all the work they do not only this week, but year-round.