CARMEL – Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen commended regional sharing of resources as well as professional development efforts at Indian Township School in Princeton and Caravel Middle School (RSU 87/MSAD 23) in Carmel, which he visited Thursday and Friday as part of his Promising Practices Tour.
Posted in Accountability, Administrators, Elementary School, Governor LePage, Middle School, Penobscot County, Press Releases, Professional Development, Students, Teachers, Washington County
Lewiston High School’s school board has recently approved a plan to expand and formalize the work of College for ME by implementing a College Scholars program, set to begin this fall in collaboration with the University of Southern Maine.
“What can we all do to help you?”
Three years ago, the state labeled Deer Isle-Stonington High School as one of 10 “persistently low-achieving” schools in Maine. Now DISHS is drawing nothing but acclaim as a result of the dedication of principal Todd West and his faculty to school-wide improvement, from the ground up.
Being labeled one of the lowest-achieving schools impacted not only the reputation of DISHS, but also the students’ opinions of their education. “The damage that that did to the psyche of the school was incredible,” said Leslie Billings, special education/math teacher. “There’s got to be a better way. For many students, their thought process was, ‘If you’re going to be at the bottom, then what’s the point?’ For some of the students, there is no pride in the school because of that.”
Bridge Year student Taylor Smith gives a tour of the United Technologies Center in Bangor. Smith is enrolled in the business management program at UTC and hopes to become a nurse.
In the spring of 2014, fourteen Hermon High School students will graduate with a high school diploma, a year’s worth of college credits and the incentive to continue their education thanks to Hermon’s Bridge Year program, launched during the 2012-13 school year. Now the program’s steering committee is seeking funding to replicate this progressive program all over the state—and Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen recently announced to committee members and area legislators Gov. Paul R. LePage’s plan to do just that by including money for Bridge Year in his proposed budget. Continue reading
Teachers, administrators and superintendents eager to incorporate response to intervention (RTI) and student-centered learning practices into their curricula flooded the Augusta Civic Center for breakout training sessions at the Experts Down the Hall conference on Monday. But it was seven RSU 2 students who stole the show during the student panel on learner-centered instruction.
This year’s Hall-Dale High School seniors will be the first graduating class to have spent all four secondary education years in a student-centered learning environment—and they raved about their experience.
Mount Desert Elementary students Ivanna Dmitrieff (left) and Faith Reece press apples for cider during Harvest Lunch Week.
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At Mount Desert Elementary School, students and staff took Maine’s annual Harvest Lunch Week very seriously by incorporating local ingredients into their lunch menu five days in a row, with some produce from as nearby as the school’s own backyard.
For this year’s Harvest Lunch Week, held September 24 through 28, Mount Desert celebrated a harvest-related theme each day.
Students in grades K-8 worked in the kitchen with school cook Linda Mailhot to learn more about Maine-made produce and the importance of using local ingredients. “It’s like the whole school’s in and out of here all the time,” Mailhot said. “Everybody gets into the meals—even the teachers.”
Brooklin students in grades 4 through 8 are on a rotating schedule to help cook Lori Boyce in the kitchen. Last Thursday, Colby Schneider (left) served broccoli to students, and Lucas Torrey dished up corn.
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During Harvest Lunch Week, schools statewide are encouraged to incorporate Maine-made ingredients into their lunch menus. But at the Brooklin School in Hancock County, Harvest Lunch Week is nothing out of the ordinary – cook Lori Boyce serves local food every day of the year.
Instead of consuming instant mashed potatoes or from-the-box desserts, Brooklin students eat potatoes they dug up in the school’s garden and pumpkin bars baked with gourds they grew themselves.
Boyce makes nearly all her food from scratch, which is difficult yet feasible at a K-8 elementary with a 46-student enrollment for 2012-13.
Teachers from RSU 12 learn to evaluate teacher effectiveness by using rubrics their district created.
A handful of teachers and administrators from Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), Maine Schools for Excellence (MSFE) districts around the state are undergoing training to use teaching evaluation rubrics to accurately rate instructional effectiveness. During a two-day summer institute, attendees observe videos of educators in the classroom and evaluate the teaching practices based on rubrics the districts built themselves.
The rubrics are anchored in the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Training is conducted in part by Teachscape and will continue over the course of the grant.