Author Archives: Maine Department of Education

Maine DOE Monthly – November 25, 2014

Welcome to the November issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

Though the March 16 through May 29, 2015 window schools have for administering the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is months away, the Department recently overviewed the significant work already underway across the state to ensure schools and students are prepared for success.

This month, the Maine DOE also continued delivering on its commitment to supporting schools by announcing professional development for administrators to learn more about the educator effectiveness law, arts teachers to integrate arts across the curriculum and alternative educators to improve HIV prevention efforts. Additionally, we announced that 99 high schools have requested extensions to ensure the thoughtful implementation of systems that support proficiency-based diplomas or said they will be ready in all eight content areas by 2018.

Read on for a roundup of other recent updates from the Department and stay tuned to our Newsroom and weekly Commissioner’s Updates for the latest news you can use from the Maine DOE.

Please note because of the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Commissioner’s Update this Thursday and the Department will be closed both Thursday and Friday.


Dispatches & Press Releases

Commissioner Rier on Leave, CAO Tome serving as Acting Commissioner

Commissioner Jim Rier is out indefinitely on leave, though he remains in close communication with Department leadership. In his absence, Governor LePage has appointed Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome to serve as Acting Commissioner.| More

Planning for success: 2014-15 State assessment

While transitioning to an entirely new assessment requires hard work at schools across the state and at the Maine DOE,  education leaders are excited about the opportunities the computer-adaptive MEA for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy offers in providing timely, accurate information on achievement and growth that will improve teaching and learning. | More

Commissioner Rier: Extension applications show Maine’s commitment to proficiency-based diplomas

To date, 95 applications/confirmations representing 99 high schools have been submitted and the Department has been contacted by superintendents representing seven other high schools that their applications are forthcoming following local school board approval. | More

Department recognizes Maine’s career and technical educators

Career and technical education (CTE) plays a critical role in strengthening the college and career readiness of our students and the economic future of our state. At 27 centers across Maine, CTE educators are engaging and exciting our students with relevant, hands-on learning experiences. | More

Commission approves second virtual public charter school

The Maine Charter School Commission has voted to enter into contract negotiations with the backers of what will be the state’s second virtual public charter school. | More

Maine DOE hosts educator effectiveness workshop on Dec. 12

The Maine DOE is offering a free half-day workshop for new superintendents and building administrators who need general information on the educator effectiveness law, which requires all school administrative units to develop and implement performance evaluation and professional growth (PEPG) systems by the 2015 school year. | More

MEA science testing window extended, will better accommodate AP students

The science portion of the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) will be administered to all students in grades five and eight and to those in their third year of high school during a three-week window from May 4 to May 22. | More

Maine DOE provides PD program for arts educators

The Maine DOE is inviting arts educators to participate in a professional development program that will deepen student learning and appreciation for the arts while energizing engagement and motivation. | More

Maine DOE offers HIV prevention educator trainings

Two HIV prevention educator trainings are scheduled in December as a result of funding provided by the passage of LD1699. | More

Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey registration open

The Maine DOE, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, is encouraging public schools to register for the 2015 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS). | More

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Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner

Commissioner’s Update – November 20, 2014

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE is offering a free half-day workshop for new superintendents and building administrators who need general information on the educator effectiveness law, which requires all school administrative units to develop and implement performance evaluation and professional growth (PEPG) systems by the 2015 school year.

The requirements for PEPG systems combine to provide for a clear set of standards and expected learner outcomes to guide educator practice, professional growth and supportive evaluations. Inquiries received by the Department over the last few months indicate that many administrators need a better understanding of the basic components of a PEPG system and how to approach local development of a system.

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Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Commission approves second virtual public charter school

The Maine Charter School Commission has voted to enter into contract negotiations with the backers of what will be the state’s second virtual public charter school. | More

SAUs encouraged to update data prior to Dec. 1 freeze

As a reminder, the Department will be freezing the school administrative unit data on Dec. 1 for 2015-16 State subsidy calculations. This includes data from MEDMS Financial, student data in Infinite Campus (State Edition) and FTE counts for staff. | More

ACCESS for ELLs testing window opens Dec. 1

The WIDA ACCESS for ELLs® will be a paper-pencil test this year and will be administered to all English learners in grades K-12 during a testing window from Dec. 1 to Jan. 30. | More

Maine FFA students learn about leadership

More than 50 secondary student members of the Maine FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) gathered at the Senator Inn in Augusta earlier this month to practice leadership skills related to communication and taking on responsibility. | More

Registration open for Maine Geographic Bee

Registration is open now for this school year’s Maine Geographic Bee, a competition open to Maine schools with students in grades 4-8. | More

Department provides tips for schools looking to raise awareness of breakfast programs

The Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition Services Team is offering tips for schools looking to grow their breakfast programs. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Maine DOE offers institute on early childhood learning standards

Thanks to a generous grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Maine DOE is holding a one-day institute, “From Preschool to Kindergarten-Connecting the Language & Literacy Standards” at Thomas College on Friday, Oct. 3.

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Civic observances for Maine schools in September

Four observances and recognition days that provide important civic learning opportunities occur in September, one of them required by federal law. They include:

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Maine educators convene to learn effective writing practices

Effective writing requires not only knowledge of writing modes and mechanics, but also strong understanding of content. Last month, 175 educators from across the state assembled at Thomas College to learn about the Vermont Writing Collaborative’s method of building deep content understanding through effective writing practices.

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Commissioner’s Update – June 19, 2014

From the Maine DOE

Over the past month, I’ve had the privilege of speaking at not one, but three, adult education graduations. Having a small part in the celebration of the huge accomplishments of these unique students has been one of the greatest honors I’ve had as your Commissioner of Education.

Earning a high school diploma requires incredible hard work and perseverance, even under the best of circumstances. But the best of circumstances isn’t something many adult education students have known when it comes to their schooling.

Though they don’t make the front pages like their traditional high school or collegiate counterparts, the stories of the graduates I have seen receive their high school diploma or its equivalent through adult education have been especially humbling and serve as a reminder of adult education’s critical role in our communities.

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Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Maine robotics teams excel at world championships

Robotics teams from eight schools represented Maine well at three recent world championships: FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics and FIRST Lego League. | More

Maine DOE offers Infinite Campus, State reporting & school nutrition training sessions

The Department’s Maine Education Data Management System  (MEDMS) Helpdesk Team is partnering with the School Nutrition Team to provide joint training sessions throughout the state in August for Maine schools. Both Infinite Campus District Edition users and non-Infinite Campus system users are encouraged to attend. | More

Maine DOE announces Positive Youth Development Institute

The Maine DOE’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Maine After School Network invite educators, administrators, community members, juvenile justice workers, and after school and youth development program staff to attend the annual Positive Youth Development Institute (PYDI) at the University of New England in Biddeford on July 21-22. | More

Maine DOE’s legislative summary posted

Maine DOE has prepared a summary of major laws related to education enacted by the Second Regular Session of the 126th Maine Legislature. This information may prove helpful to educators when planning for the 2014-15 school year. | More

Department provides additional guidance on FERPA amendments

Last year, the Department posted a dispatch on amendments to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) resulting from the Uninterrupted Scholars Act.  These amendments to FERPA included an Additional Exception to Parental Consent Requirements for Students in Foster Care and an Exemption to Notice Requirement When Records Released Under Court Order. | More

Student lunch prices set for 2015 school year

The maximum price students can be charged for school lunch in School Year 2015 is $3 per lunch. Districts who wish to exceed this amount must complete a price waiver request form and submit it on behalf of their legal agent/superintendent to Maine DOE’s Office of Child Nutrition. | More

Brewer School and Police Departments announce school and workplace violence training

The Brewer Police Department in partnership with the Brewer School Department are inviting members of the community, law enforcement, public safety staff, educators and administrators to a two-day training on August 18-19 at the Brewer Community School. | More

National Core Arts Standards released

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has released the final version of its voluntary national standards in dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts. | More

LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

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Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner

Maine robotics teams excel at world championships

Robotics teams from eight schools represented Maine well at three recent world championships: FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics and FIRST Lego League.

Continue reading

Maine DOE announces Positive Youth Development Institute

The Maine DOE’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Maine After School Network invite educators, administrators, community members, juvenile justice workers, and after school and youth development program staff to attend the annual Positive Youth Development Institute (PYDI) at the University of New England in Biddeford on July 21-22.

Continue reading

National Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) released

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has released the final version of its voluntary national standards in dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts.

Continue reading

Maine DOE’s legislative summary posted

Maine DOE has prepared a summary of major laws related to education enacted by the Second Regular Session of the 126th Maine Legislature. This information may prove helpful to educators when planning for the 2014-15 school year.

Continue reading