Category Archives: Professional Development

Commissioner’s Update – January 29, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE will begin visits next month to provide targeted technical assistance to schools preparing to award proficiency-based diplomas.

Last May, the Department released six options by which districts could apply for extensions to fully implementing systems that support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018 as a 2012 Maine law requires. Extension options five and six were designed for districts early in their transition and thus in need of the most structured support from the Maine DOE. It is the 50 or so districts who applied under one of those options, which extend full implementation to 2021, that will be visited by teams of up to four Department staff.

The half-day visits are intended to positively support schools in progress toward their benchmarks; identify and validate progress since the application; inform the Maine DOE of district needs; and as needed, to clarify Maine DOE understanding of district work and benchmarks.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Feb. 4 deadline for picking paper-pencil assessment administration

Maine schools wanting to give the upcoming Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced as a paper-pencil test rather than online must let the Department know by Wednesday, Feb. 4. So far, only one school has indicated they will do so. | More

Department seeks feedback on ESEA waiver in advance of renewal

In preparation for Maine’s application for a renewal of its existing ESEA waiver, the Department is seeking feedback on how the State’s current accountability and improvement system is serving Maine’s students and schools. | More

Maine DOE posts video of assessment administration training

Maine educators who will be helping to administer the upcoming online State assessment but couldn’t attend one of the Department’s recent regional workshops can now see the entire training online. The Maine DOE has posted a four-hour video on its YouTube channel filmed at the southern Maine workshop session on Friday, Jan. 16. | More

iOS 8 compatible secure browser available for assessment administration

An iOS 8 compatible secure browser application that will be used for the upcoming administration of the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy is now available. | More

Outstanding educators sought for Maine talent pool

The Maine DOE is seeking recommendations through May 1 for the 2015 Maine Educator Talent Pool. | More

Transition Career Exploration Workshop available

The Maine DOE’s State Personnel Development Grant and the Maine Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) have partnered to offer schools a free e-workshop that helps students discover employment possibilities. | More

ACCESS for ELLs® testing window closes, materials due to MetriTech

The ACCESS for ELLs® testing window is set to close Friday, Jan. 30 and districts are required to pack and return all testing material to MetriTech by Feb. 6. | More

Department, State Board reopens rules related to exams for educator credentialing

The Maine DOE and the State Board of Education have reopened for further public comments the rules regarding the qualifying examinations for credentialing purposes for teachers, educational specialists and administrators. | More

Department reschedules NEO facilities training sessions

A NEO facilities training has been rescheduled to Feb. 12 due a snowstorm this week. | More

Requirements change for bus driver physicals

The Maine DOE has updated its physical form for bus drivers, which can be found here on the Department’s website along with instructions. | More

Maine students invited to share vision in digital storytelling challenge

Maine schools are invited to enter a free digital storytelling competition that asks students to share their visions for the future. | More

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LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Department posts video of recent assessment administration training

Maine educators who will be helping to administer the upcoming online State assessment but couldn’t attend one of the Department’s recent regional workshops can now see the entire training online.

Continue reading

Maine DOE to visit schools to support proficiency-based efforts, provides webinar

The Maine DOE will begin visits next month to provide targeted technical assistance to schools preparing to award proficiency-based diplomas.

Continue reading

Department, State Board reopens rule related to exams for educator credentialing

The Maine DOE and the State Board of Education have reopened for further public comments the rules regarding the qualifying examinations for credentialing purposes for teachers, educational specialists and administrators.

Continue reading

Transition Career Exploration Workshop offered

The Maine DOE’s State Personnel Development Grant and the Maine Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) have partnered to offer schools a free e-workshop that helps students discover employment possibilities.

Continue reading

Department reschedules NEO facilities training sessions

A NEO facilities training has been rescheduled to Feb. 12 due a snowstorm this week.

Continue reading

Commissioner’s Update – January 22, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE has selected one of the state’s leading learning technology integrators and a 30-year veteran educator to head its Learning Through Technology Team, which administers the groundbreaking 1:1 Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI).

Dr. Mike Muir, who now serves as the Multiple Pathways Director for the Auburn School Department, will join the Maine DOE starting Jan. 26. In his current role in Auburn, Muir supported the district’s large scale school change initiatives, including customized, performance-based learning; shared leadership teams; proficiency-based professional development; and one of the first 1:1 primary grades iPad initiatives.

Prior to his tenure in Auburn, he worked as a mathematics teacher in Winslow and Skowhegan, and later as a practicum supervisor and professor of middle grades education and educational technology at the University of Maine at Farmington.

While this is the first time Muir has worked for the Maine DOE, he has long been an advocate of MLTI and a leader in integrating technology provided by the State into the classroom to improving teaching and learning.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Nominations sought for 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year

Members of the public can enter educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students at www.mainetoy.org through Feb. 20. | More

LePage Administration proposes public charter school funding fix

The LePage Administration is proposing legislation that would have the Maine DOE make monthly payments directly to approved public charter schools starting in FY16, the same way the Department has long distributed funds to traditional public school districts. | More

Schoolwide Plan due, Department schedules guidance webinar

The Maine DOE is hosting a webinar next month to provide guidance to Title I schools as they complete their Schoolwide Plan, which now must be submitted to the Department. | More

Maine FFA students discover Agricultural Trades Show

Student leaders from the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) traveled to the 74th annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center last week. | More

Maine teachers invited to apply for STEM scholarship

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Alumni Club of Maine is inviting Maine middle school and high school science and engineering teachers to apply for Club scholarships to the MIT Science and Engineering Program for Teachers (SEPT). | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Mike Muir joins Maine DOE as Learning Through Technology Director

The Maine DOE has selected one of the state’s leading learning technology integrators and a 30-year veteran educator to head its Learning Through Technology Team, which administers the groundbreaking 1:1 Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). Continue reading

Schoolwide Plan due, Department schedules webinar

The Maine DOE is hosting a webinar next month to provide guidance to Title I schools as they complete their Schoolwide Plan, which now must be submitted to the Department.

Continue reading

Maine teachers invited to apply for STEM scholarship

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Alumni Club of Maine is inviting Maine middle school and high school science and engineering teachers to apply for Club scholarships to the MIT Science and Engineering Program for Teachers (SEPT) which will be held June 21-27.

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