It’s been over a week since Governor LePage and I released Maine’s School Performance Grading System. I continue to tour schools that are exemplifying promising practices, including several that have received grades on the lower end of the spectrum. Based on what I’ve seen, these schools are doing many of the right things to get their students invested in learning. It’s important that the Department be engaged with these schools to let them know they have support. That is why we’ll be hosting a webinar next Thursday to start a series of informative sessions for Maine educators. Continue reading
By Alana Margeson
With the amount of time, energy, education and pride that teachers and administrators place in our schools, it stands to reason that we welcome opportunities to share our work with others. A recent visit from Commissioner Stephen Bowen allowed for Eastern Aroostook RSU 39 to share and highlight our innovation, enthusiasm and dedication.
Eighth grader Ken Stump shows Commissioner Bowen a solar panel Oxford Hills Middle School students created to heat the indoor greenhouse at Roberts Farm in Norway.
I had the chance visit three Oxford County schools yesterday as part of my Promising Practices Tour, just a day after releasing the new A-F school grading system designed to improve transparency. As a state, we need to move beyond the one-size-fits-all models of teaching and embrace student-centered models like the ones many Maine schools, like the ones I visited in Oxford County, are doing. Governor LePage and I made reference to that Wednesday when we unveiled the new school report cards, which showed a majority of Maine’s elementary and high schools earned an A, B or C.
Mountain Valley Middle School student Abby LaBrash explains her genetics project to Commissioner Bowen.
SOUTH PARIS – A day after releasing a new school grading system designed to focus on transparency and continuous improvement in schools, Maine’s Education Commissioner toured three Oxford County schools that are embracing new models for educational excellence.
The visit by Maine Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen to Oxford Hills Middle School and Oxford Hills Technical School in RSU 17 and Mountain Valley Middle School in RSU 10 was the latest in his Promising Practices Tour.
Bowen began the tour on Thursday at the Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway, where he talked with Oxford Hills Middle School seventh and eighth graders about the life science and leadership skills they’re developing by participating in the farm’s experiential learning program.
Commissioner Stephen Bowen visited Lake Region High School and Lake Regional Vocational Center, both in RSU 61/SAD 61, Naples, to explore their project-based academies and new career and technical education facility as part of his Promising Practices Tour on Friday.
East End kindergartner Antonio Hernandez explains his math journal to Commissioner Bowen.
When I visited East End Community School and Riverton Elementary in Portland last week as part of my Promising Practices Tour, I was blown away by the measures they’re taking to ensure all students are engaged in learning—not an easy feat in such a multilingual district.
East End and Riverton were both identified as underperforming—one in 2009-10 and one in 2010-11—and applied for and received School Improvement Grants. With the help of those grants and technical assistance from the Department, the schools have initiated a number of promising practices. Last week, these schools showed me they’re doing what it takes to get things done.
AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen praised the work of teachers and administrators at Riverton Elementary and East End Community schools in Portland following his visit Friday, part of his Promising Practices Tour.
AUGUSTA — Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will visit Riverton Elementary and East End Community schools in Portland on Friday as part of his Promising Practices Tour.
LHS students (from left to right) Paige Clabby, Amal Mohamed and Faith Ide describe their early college experiences to Commissioner Stephen Bowen.
View more photos from this event.
I had the chance last week to talk with five students at Lewiston High School who are taking advantage of an early college opportunity that will save them money, expose them to the college experience, and could lead them to future careers. I picked LHS for the second stop on my Promising Practices tour because the kids I talked to are among 68 juniors and seniors who are taking college classes for credit at institutions like the University of Southern Maine and Central Maine Community College. It’s encouraging to see students taking initiative when it comes to their futures, and it’s great to meet teachers and administrators who are making that happen.
CORRECTION: This corrects an earlier version. Rob Callahan is director of the Lewiston Regional Technical Center.
LEWISTON – Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen detailed targeted education supports in Governor Paul R. LePage’s proposed biennial budget Thursday at Lewiston Regional Technical Center. Those supports include funding to help districts implement the proficiency-based diploma and teacher evaluation systems enacted by the Legislature last year; the expansion of college opportunities through five-year high school/associate’s degree programs, dual credit, and Adult Ed transition programs; and making the kinds of supports and technical assistance that have been available only to Title I schools available to all schools.