Author Archives: Samantha Warren

Charter Commission approves Maine Virtual Academy

AUGUSTA – 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. Continue reading

Maine DOE Monthly – October 29, 2014

Welcome to the October issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

This month, the Department had the honor of announcing Jennifer Dorman as the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Dorman, who dreamed of being a teacher since her very first day of Kindergarten, has been a special educator in Somerset County schools for two decades, most recently at Skowhegan Area Middle School.  Though there is only one official Maine Teacher of the Year, there are thousands of excellent educators deserving of our recognition and gratitude. On behalf of Governor LePage and the entire Maine DOE, the Department wants to again congratulate Mrs. Dorman and thank her and so many other incredible Maine teachers for the positive role they play in improving our children’s lives and our state’s future.

Also this month, the Department continued its support of schools in their implementation of systems that will support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018, including providing guidance on world language proficiency, sharing strategies for how English language learners can demonstrate proficiency and affirming the expectation of all standards, all students.

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.


Dispatches & Press Releases

Longtime Skowhegan special educator Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year

In a surprise all-school assembly, Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Skowhegan Area Middle School’s Jennifer Dorman as Maine’s top teacher. | More

Commissioner Rier celebrates learning technology educators

Maine’s Education Commissioner Jim Rier thanks technology educators for enhancing the educational environment for our students and better preparing them for success in 21st century college and careers. | More

Department affirms expectation of all standards, all students

A free appropriate public education must include support to allow students with disabilities to achieve the same high standards as other students. | More

Education Commissioner visits Bangor schools

Maine’s Education Commissioner spent a day in the classrooms of the state’s third largest school district to see how proficiency-based education is transforming teaching and learning there. | More

Maine DOE hosts free workshops for world languages educators

The Maine DOE will be again offering free regional workshops for world language teachers statewide. | More

Maine DOE offers strategies to help ELLs demonstrate proficiency

All students in Maine, including English language learners, will need to demonstrate proficiency of both State learning standards and the Guiding Principles in order to graduate beginning in 2018. | More

Maine DOE provides guidance on world language proficiency

The Maine DOE has recently published guidance on what constitutes proficiency in a world language. | More

Turner Elementary named Maine’s National Blue Ribbon School

Turner Elementary School in MSAD 52 is one of 287 public schools across the country to be named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School for high levels of student achievement. | More

Mid-Maine Technical Center receives SHAPE award for safety

Maine Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that the Mid-Maine Technical Center has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). | More

Maine DOE showcases student artwork

The work of student artists from three Maine schools will be displayed at the Maine DOE’s office in Augusta throughout the coming year. | More

Portland principal wins $100,000 for school

Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce has won the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s 3rd Annual Larry O’Toole Award. | More

More

Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner

Planning for success: 2014-15 State assessment

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Tuesday, Oct. 28 regarding Maine’s plans for a successful administration of the 2014-15 State assessment.

Dear Maine Educators, Students and Families,

This October marks the first in recent memory during which Maine students in Grades 3-8 are not taking their State assessment. Instead, next spring students in those grades or in their third year of high school will take the Smarter Balanced aligned assessment that Maine will now use for State and federal accountability purposes. Continue reading

Reminder to superintendents surveys due

The following reminder was sent via Priority Notice to all Maine superintendents on Friday, Oct. 17.

Dear Superintendents,

I am writing to remind you to please complete two surveys that will greatly inform the work of the Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula, established by the Maine Legislature earlier this year.

In partnership with the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI), the Department is compiling information for the Commission about the current use of instructional coaches and the physical space, facility capacity and operations of districts as it relates to existing and expanding preschool programs. Because the Commission begins meeting this coming Monday, I encourage you to submit your responses today, though surveys completed after this deadline will be provided to the Commission for consideration at its future meetings.  Continue reading

Governor LePage and First Lady to host 4th Annual Blaine House Food Drive

AUGUSTA – The First Family invites the public to visit the Blaine House once again this year in an effort to help fellow Mainers who are less fortunate. Since Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage began the food drive in 2011, they have collected thousands of pounds of food for pantries and shelters across Maine. Continue reading

Charter Commission advances virtual school proposal, schedules public hearing

A public virtual charter school opened earlier this year is serving nearly 300 students from 86 school districts and an application for another online charter hoping to open next year has now moved forward

AUGUSTA – A second public virtual charter school being proposed in Maine was unanimously advanced to the next round of review by the state’s Charter Commission today.

At a meeting this morning in Augusta, Maine Charter School Commission  members working in small review teams presented their recommendations on three applications, with the Commission then voting to advance the application for the online Maine Virtual Academy. Meanwhile, the Commission unanimously agreed applications for Acadia Academy, proposed for Lewiston-Auburn, and Inspire ME Academy, proposed for the Sanford area, should not move forward. Continue reading

Education Commissioner to visit Bangor schools Thursday

Commissioner Jim Rier will see how the high achieving district is working toward graduating students with proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2019

BANGOR – Maine’s Education Commissioner will spend Thursday in the classrooms of the state’s third largest school district to see how proficiency-based education is transforming teaching and learning there.

Commissioner Jim Rier will be in Bangor to tour Vine Street School (preK-3), William S. Cohen School (grades 6-8) and Bangor High School with Bangor School Department Superintendent Betsy Webb.

Bangor schools are among the state’s highest achieving and proficiency levels are well above the state average at the middle and high schools that Governor Paul R. LePage’s Education Commissioner will visit. Both schools earned a B on the report cards released by the Maine Department of Education last spring.   Continue reading

Guidance to Maine schools on EV-D68

The following guidance on Enterovirus D68 from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention was distributed by the Maine DOE to all Maine school nurses on Friday, Oct. 3.

Each year, millions of people become ill due to respiratory illnesses. Some of the more common respiratory illnesses in schools may include influenza, pertussis and the common cold. The common cold can be caused by many viruses including enteroviruses, one strain of which (EV-D68) is responsible for several outbreaks in the United States in 2014, including one recent case here in Maine. Schools should be aware of these illnesses, how to prevent them and what is reportable. Continue reading

Longtime Skowhegan special educator Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year

In a surprise all-school assembly Thursday at Skowhegan Area Middle School, longtime MSAD 54 special educator Jennifer Dorman was named the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year. She is the second special education teacher ever honored with Maine’s top award for educator excellence. Pictured here: Skowhegan Area Middle School Principal Zachary Longyear, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier, 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

Longtime MSAD 54 special educator Jennifer Dorman is the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year, the second special education teacher ever to receive this honor. Pictured here: Skowhegan Area Middle School Principal Zachary Longyear, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier, 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

In a surprise all-school assembly today, Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Skowhegan Area Middle School’s Jennifer Dorman was selected from nearly 400 nominees as Maine’s top teacher

SKOWHEGAN – A 20-year veteran special educator in Somerset County schools committed to supporting her students succeed despite their challenges has been selected as the 2015 Teacher of the Year.

In a surprise assembly at MSAD 54’s Skowhegan Area Middle School (SAMS) on Thursday, Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Jennifer Dorman had been chosen from a field of 376 nominees as Maine’s top teacher. Continue reading

Mid-Maine Technical Center receives SHAPE award for safety

AUGUSTA— Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that the Mid-Maine Technical Center has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). Mid-Maine Technical Center, a regional school covering Lawrence, Messalonskee, Waterville and Winslow High Schools, offers 24 career and technical education courses to 470 students.

SHAPE recognizes public-sector organizations that voluntary undertake a rigorous safety achievement program for their workers; in the case of schools, students also benefit from improved safety. Continue reading