Category Archives: Center for Best Practice

Simple strategies for safer, more effective schools

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.

Knowing how important this work is can often make it daunting for districts and schools boards to figure out where to best begin. That’s why as a follow-up to those assessments and in partnership with Safe Havens International, we are pleased to provide a free school security guide entitled 20 Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Schools.

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Maine DOE prepares to release school report cards, outlines changes

In an effort to expand the snapshot of a school the report card provides, the Department will add information about student poverty, teacher tenure and education levels, and funding

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education has begun creating the 2014 school report cards that will be published in May.

For the second straight year, the Department will use existing school performance and progress data to provide the public a snapshot of how the state’s 600 schools are doing.

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Notice to superintendents, principals on school grades

Dear Superintendents and Principals,

Next month, our Department will release the second round of school report cards, using existing data to provide the public a snapshot of how all Maine schools are doing.

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Schools to represent Maine at regional conference on educational innovation

PORTLAND – Three Maine schools and one Maine school district—Ellsworth High School, Troy Howard Middle School (Belfast), Westbrook High School and Regional School Unit 2 (Hallowell)—have been invited to represent their state at a regional conference on effective strategies for improving teaching and learning in the 21st century. Continue reading

General and special educators working together to improve students outcomes

High expectations, inclusion/collaborative teaching practices and frequent assessment of progress are known to improve student outcomes.  Continue reading

Literacy for ME community literacy webinar series underway

Recognizing the value of literacy to social and economic well-being, communities across Maine have formed literacy teams to promote birth to adult literacy education efforts.  Many of these teams formed in response to the Maine DOE’s Literacy for ME initiative. Continue reading

MPA workshop on having hard conversations in education

Courage.  It’s perhaps the most essential ingredient of a successful performance evaluation and professional growth system, and yet, it is one element that cannot be legislated. Continue reading

Security reports suggest improvements to keep schools, students safe

Maine schools have positive climates and State agencies are proactive in providing them meaningful safety-related resources, but there are extensive opportunities to better ensure safety.

Those are the high-level findings of two school security reports the Maine DOE overviewed to the Legislature’s Education Committee this week. Continue reading

Themes emerge in transition to proficiency-based system

Focusing funding on professional development, communicating early and often with educators and parents, and the need for strong leadership were the leading learnings that emerged in an analysis of the case studies currently featured on the Maine DOE’s Center for Best Practice. Continue reading

Drop-in history lab supports National History Day prep

UMaine faculty and graduate students are hosting an informal drop-in history lab to provide one-on-one support for grade 6-12 students and teachers who are preparing a National History Day (NHD) research project.

The lab will be held on Wednesday, March 5 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the Computer Classroom at the Fogler Library on UMaine’s Orono campus.  Anyone interested in talking about any kind of historical research, local resources and current developments in historical scholarship (whether local, regional, national or global) is welcome to attend.  Continue reading