Category Archives: Center for Best Practice

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.

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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

Materials released in advance of Commissioner’s Conference

The following Priority Notice was distributed to school superintendents today in advance of the 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents:

Dear Superintendents,

We look forward to working with you next week during the 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, scheduled to begin at noon on Monday, June 23 at Point Lookout in Northport.

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Maine DOE provides flexibility to SAUs to ensure implementation of proficiency-based diploma

The following Priority Notice was distributed to superintendents today, affirming the Department’s commitment to the state’s students being awarded diplomas based on proficiency and previewing the flexibility it was providing to districts in meeting a requirement to do so by 2018.

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State releases 2014 report cards, congratulates high performing and high progress schools

The rollout of the report cards at www.maine.gov/doe comes as Education Commissioner Jim Rier completes a statewide tour celebrating the many Maine schools that improved by at least one letter grade

AUGUSTA – The 2014 school report cards are out and certificates of achievement signed by Governor Paul R. LePage and Education Commissioner Jim Rier are in the mail for 121 schools that earned an A or B grade.

Dozens of schools that demonstrated high levels of student growth over the past year will also receive a certificate and a letter recognizing their success in better serving all students.

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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.

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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