Category Archives: Charter School Commission

Maine Charter School Commission welcomes new leadership

For Immediate Release from the Maine Charter School Commission Thursday, July 17.

Contact: Bob Kautz, Executive Director, (207) 592-8352

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission (MCSC) has new leadership, having elected Shelley Reed as chair and Ande Smith as vice-chair.

Reed, of Wayne, had previously served as vice-chair and replaces outgoing chair Jana Lapoint, who has served as Chair for two terms and will remain on the Board. Ms. Reed has served on the Maine Charter School Commission since its inception in 2011. Currently, she is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine.

Reed has long been active in public education, having served as the State Homeless Education Coordinator, School Counselor Consultant, and Truancy, Dropout Alternative Education Consultant in the Maine Department of Education for 10 years, retiring in 2011. Previous work in education included 16 years of service as an elementary school counselor in Lewiston and 13 years as a grade 1 and 2 teacher in Auburn. Reed has a Master’s in Counselor Education from the University of Southern Maine and a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Maine, Farmington.

Smith is a resident of North Yarmouth with his school-age children. He graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BS degree in Nuclear Engineering, the University of Connecticut with a Masters of Public Affairs, and the University Of Maine School Of Law with his Juris Doctor. He is President of Deer Brook Associates, a privately held firm providing legal and consulting services principally in information security, technology, and privacy. Having earned his submarine warfare qualifications, Smith also holds the rank of Captain in the US Navy Reserve, where he commands a Pentagon-based undersea warfare unit and is the director of the Reserve component’s undersea warfare operations program for the US submarine force.

Both Reed and Smith were elected to one-year positions that began July 1 and are eligible for re-election after serving their terms.

The Maine Charter School Commission is one of two types of entities permitted to authorize public charter schools in Maine. The Commission can authorize up to 10 public charter schools throughout the state during the first 10 years of Maine’s charter school law.

As of this September, there will be 6 public charter schools in Maine serving over 700 students. These schools are the Baxter Academy for Technology and Sciences in Portland, the Cornville Regional Charter School in Cornville, the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Science in Gray, the Harpswell Coastal Academy in Harpswell, the Maine Connections Academy, a state-wide virtual school in South Portland, and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley.

The Maine Charter School Commission is an independent state agency. The Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Maine State Board of Education. Three of the seven are members of the State Board. The remaining four members are required by law to come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds.

For more information, visit the Maine Charter School Commission.

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Notice of intent for 6 charter school proposals received

Six groups informed the Maine Charter School Commission (MCSC) that they plan to submit applications to open public charter schools in Maine.  All of the groups hope to open a school in the fall of 2015.

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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.

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Charter commission seeks proposals for 2015 school opening

The Maine Charter School Commission is currently soliciting proposals for new public charter schools that would begin serving students in the fall of 2015.

In a request for proposals (RFP) published Wednesday, the Commission seeks detailed applications from capable school developers who are committed to educating their students well in a successful, sustainable, high quality charter school.  Continue reading

Schools sought to participate in paper-pencil research study

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.

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Longfellow teacher selected for National Geographic Teacher Fellowship

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

Educators invited to Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine’s Summer Seminar

K-12 educators and librarians are invited to attend the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine’s (HHRC) 24th annual Summer Seminar July 7-11. The seminar, Relevant Lessons of the Holocaust and Human Rights, will meet Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Michael Klahr Center in Augusta.

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Tripp Middle School wins top nutrition award

TURNER – Tripp Middle School is the first middle school in Maine to earn a Gold Medal in the US Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS School Challenge.

Students and staff at the RSU 52 school were presented the prestigious award last week by USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon at an assembly also attended by Maine DOE’s Gail Lombardi.
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2014 Educator Talent Pool recommendations deadline coming up

The Maine DOE is accepting recommendations for the 2014 Maine Educator Talent Pool through May 2.

The Talent Pool is made up of teachers and principals who may be considered for membership on local and state advisory boards and task forces, along with special recognition opportunities through the Maine DOE.
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Education Commissioner applauds expansion of student learning opportunities

The Maine Charter School Commission voted today to approve the state’s first virtual charter school, which could begin start serving students this fall

AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Jim Rier released the following statement today in response to the Maine Charter School Commission’s approval of the state’s first public virtual charter school.

The unanimous approval authorizes the independent Commission to enter into contract negotiations with Maine Connections Academy, which plans to start serving as many as 300 students from across the state this fall.

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