Next week, I have the honor of speaking about school security at the Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference. I am excited to share all the advancements we’ve made here in recent years to strengthen the safety and security of our schools, especially since the shootings at Sandy Hook.
Most notably, thanks to two security reports commissioned by the Legislature and our Department and produced by Safe Havens International and PDT Architects, Maine schools now better understand their vulnerabilities and opportunities to better ensure student and staff safety.
In an effort to reduce the burden of unfunded education mandates, the Legislature recently accepted the Department’s recommendation to repeal the requirement that the Maine DOE provide a facilities maintenance template and capital planning software to school units. Therefore, the School Facility Management System (SFMS) will no longer be available after June 30, the end date of the current contract with VFA, Inc., the software provider.
Traveling from as far south as York and from as far north as Caribou, 135 educators attended the Maine Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Spring Conference in Brewer this week to network and learn from the efforts of their colleagues as they transition to proficiency-based education and proficiency-based diplomas.
Approximately 150 schools from across the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium including Maine are being recruited to participate in the Paper-Pencil Research Study. Each participating school will be asked to administer one or two test forms to two classes in grades 3 and 6. A classroom will be assigned a single content area and form. The total testing time for any given student as part of the study is expected to be approximately 90 minutes. Testing can be scheduled at the school to occur anytime during the testing window, currently scheduled to begin May 12.
Posted in Academics, Accountability, Administrators, Assessment, Dispatches, Featured, Featured, Smarter Balanced, Standards, Students, Teachers
The Maine DOE is offering a series of free regional workshops this month to support principals in mentoring and coaching teachers to implement instructional practices that allow all students to demonstrate growth and proficiency in State standards.
Posted in Academics, Accountability, Administrators, Assessment, Dispatches, Educator Effectiveness, English Language Arts, Featured, Instruction, Mathematics, Professional Development, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Standards, Teaching & Learning
Kelley Holmes, a teacher at Longfellow Elementary School in Portland, has been selected as one of this year’s Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. Continue reading
Last week, the Maine Education Association (MEA) announced its reservations about the updated math and ELA standards that were incorporated into the Maine Learning Results back in 2011 and have been being implemented in Maine schools since. They also called for a moratorium on the next generation of assessments aligned to those standards, developed in collaboration with Maine teachers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Maine is currently a governing member.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network has launched a new educational offering available to educators across Maine at http://www.mpbn.net.
PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a web-based resource that provides PreK-12 educators with access to free digital content for their classrooms designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement.
Posted in Academics, Accountability, Administrators, Assessment, Continuous Learning, Dispatches, Educator Effectiveness, Featured, Instruction, Professional Development, Teachers, Teaching & Learning, Technology