Last week, Maine DOE Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome and I had the honor of visiting two Lewiston elementary schools undergoing transformation thanks to support from our Department and the federally-funded Title I School Improvement Grant program (SIG). To say I was impressed by what I saw at Longley and Montello would be an understatement. Continue reading
Posted in Accountability, Administrators, Androscoggin County, Center for Best Practice, Educator Effectiveness, Elementary School, Families, From the Commissioner, Instruction, Listening Tour, School Improvement, Special Populations, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
With the holidays approaching, now is the time to thank all of our teachers and school/district leaders for the work you do each day to meet the needs of all Maine students. It is also the time to share with all of you our vision for how the Maine DOE can better support your important work. Continue reading
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Center for Best Practice, Continuous Learning, Educator Effectiveness, From the Commissioner, Listening Tour, News & Views, Proficiency-Based Diploma, School Improvement, Standards, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Maine DOE’s Center for Best Practice has released a new video, “Everything in the Building is Tied to a Learning Standard,” which focuses on Troy Howard Middle School’s transformation over the past seven years. Continue reading
Posted in Accountability, Center for Best Practice, Dispatches, Listening Tour, Middle School, News & Views, School Improvement, Standards, Teaching & Learning, Video, Waldo County
Tagged Best educational practices Maine, Maine Center for Best Practice, Maine School Performance Grading System, standards-based learnin, Troy Howard Middle School
Following the launch of the Maine School Performance Grading System, we’ve spent our time reaching out to underperforming and at-risk schools to learn more about their challenges and the supports they’d like Maine DOE to provide.
What we continue to hear is that schools want to learn from other Maine schools that are like them. In the words of one school leader, “Tell us what’s working in other places with similar populations and budget concerns.” That’s the thinking behind our Center for Best Practice, which provides success stories (and videos) from schools in our state implementing learner-centered instructional practices. Continue reading
Biddeford Middle School student Breneg Howard listens as math lab coach Heidi Miller shows students how to measure the rebound of a bouncy ball.
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Last week I visited Biddeford Middle School as well as elementary schools in MSAD 54, where administrators and teachers are taking hands-on, customized learning to the next level with math labs, academic coaches and workshop-model classrooms.
These districts were the last stops on my Promising Practices Tour, which has taken me to all nine superintendent regions to see innovative practices schools are implementing that show promise and support the Maine DOE’s vision of an evolving education system.
While touring Biddeford Middle School, I was struck by the school’s highly effective use of a full-time math coach. Students attend Coach Heidi Miller’s math lab once a month with their core math teachers, receiving dual instruction as they solve experiential problems. Continue reading
Posted in Administrators, Data Management, Elementary School, From the Commissioner, Images, Instruction, Listening Tour, Mathematics, Middle School, Somerset County, Teachers, York County
Today I visited the Troy Howard Middle School in RSU 20 as one of the final stops this spring on my Promising Practices Tour. The Belfast school is undergoing a transformation, using data, strong leadership – most notably at the principal level – and customized learning to engage students and improve proficiency and progress.
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.