Category Archives: Professional Development

Save the date for Maine DOE special services webinar

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is encouraging special education administrators to save the date for the Department’s upcoming annual training on the Local Entitlement Application for FY16 and the Year End Report for FY15.

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Professional standards released for food service staff

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a final rule establishing national professional standards for all school nutrition employees who manage and operate the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

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Maine DOE reminds educators of MEA administration resources, new trainings

The following Priority Notice was sent to District/System Administrators, School Test Coordinators and Technology Directors on March 2 to highlight resources from the Maine DOE to support the successful administration of the upcoming State assessment, as well as announce upcoming regional technical assistance sessions.

Dear District/System Administrators, School Test Coordinators and Technology Directors,

With the window for giving the new online Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced opening in just two weeks, we want to make sure you have the resources you need to feel prepared for a successful test administration.

On our assessment website, you can find an extensive library of administration materials. With so many supports available, we wanted to draw your attention to a few including: Continue reading

Maine DOE renews efforts to support local change

The following Priority Notice was sent on Monday, Feb. 23 to inform Maine educators about the efforts of the Maine DOE to support the continued quality implementation of key initiatives that will improve teaching and learning in Maine, including the administration of new assessments, educator evaluation and the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas.

Dear Educators,

Welcome back from a well-deserved February break. As you know, in recent years the Department has successfully advocated for reforms that strengthen accountability, best practices and choice. The result is that our increasingly learner-centered schools will better prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.

Never before has more been expected of Maine students. The same could be said for our schools. Continue reading

Commissioner’s Update – February 19, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE has released preliminary FY 2016 (2015-16 school year) State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, on its website at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

These preliminary amounts are based on Governor LePage’s proposed two-year budget that increases funding for Maine schools and students and assumes State payment directly to public charter schools as proposed in LD 235.  Specifically, the Governor’s FY16 budget proposal includes $964.1 million for general purpose aid for Maine schools – an increase of $20.3 million over the $943.8 appropriated by the Legislature for FY 15 – and $966.3 million for FY17 – an increase of $22.5 million over appropriated FY15 funding.

The proposed budget would bring the subsidy provided by the State per pupil to $5,334 in FY16 and $5,389 in FY17, an increase of nearly 17 percent since the Governor took office in 2011 and per pupil State funding was $4,619.

The subsidy amounts for FY 2016 contained in the preliminary ED 279s do not represent final action of the 127th Maine Legislature and should therefore only be used as initial guidance in informing local budget preparations.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine recognizes Career and Technical Education Month

Students and educators across Maine are joining those across the nation during the month of February to celebrate national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. | More

MaineCare Seed payment adjustments made, report review by April 1

The remaining 2014-15 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs).  | More

Maine DOE shares assessment EL support information

The Maine DOE has released new resources relating to supports available for English learners taking the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. | More

School enrollment contacts posted to support assessment administration

Contact information has been posted to the Maine DOE website to assist School Test Coordinators (SCs) in resolving any discrepancies in the student lists available in the Test Information Distribution Engine during the upcoming administration of the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. | More

RFP issued for 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

The Maine DOE has issued a request for proposals seeking bids to establish or extend 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) in 2015-2016. | More

QZAB Tax Credit Bond applications due April 17

The Maine DOE will accept applications for the Federal Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) Program through April 17. The Department currently has $1,435,000 of QZAB issuing authority to distribute to qualifying schools units. | More

Maine seeks feedback on IDEA Part C application

Maine is seeking input on its application for the Part C (birth through two) program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA. The Part C budget is for State Fiscal Year 2016. | More

Maine State Archives commemorates 150th anniversary of 13th Amendment

The Maine State Archives is celebrating Black History Month by commemorating the State’s 150th anniversary of ratifying the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery. | More

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Maine DOE shares assessment EL support information

The Maine DOE has released new resources relating to supports available for English learners taking the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced.

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Commissioner’s Update – February 12, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The nomination deadline is just days away for the 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. To be considered, a teacher must hold at least a four-year degree and be employed by a Maine public school – including a public charter school or publicly supported secondary school.

The eventual winner of the state’s highest teaching honor, which is awarded by the Maine DOE through a program administered by Educate Maine, serves as an advocate for teachers, students and the efforts underway in Maine’s public schools to prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine DOE recommends, rather than requires, assessment keyboards

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce that mechanical keyboards will no longer be required for the online administration of the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy. | More

Governor LePage proclaims February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Governor Paul R. LePage is requesting Mainers observe Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month this February. | More

JMG receives $200,000 to expand to Cony High School

Governor Paul R. LePage and Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin were on hand Tuesday as Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG) accepted a $200,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation. | More

School day SAT administration support available

The Department is letting schools preparing to administer the optional SAT to their students on Wednesday, April 15 know of support available from College Board. | More

Nominations open for Maine’s 2015 Curriculum Leader of the Year

The Maine Curriculum Leaders’ Association (MCLA) is seeking nominations for the 2015 Maine Curriculum Leader of the Year through March 30. | More

Maine DOE sets reduced AP test fees for low-income students

The Maine DOE has worked with the U.S. Department of Education and the College Board to acquire grant money to cover a portion of the exam fee for low-income students. | More

Department updates guidance on adult ed and MUSER

The Maine DOE has recently revised its FAQs on adult education and its role in Maine’s Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER). | More

Students encouraged to enter Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest

The Maine Secretary of State’s Office is inviting students to enter its Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest. | More

Maine schools educating boys of color eligible for $10k COSEBOC award

Qualifying Maine schools are invited to enter the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) fourth annual COSEBOC School Awards. | More

Webinar on Feb. 24 on nuisance birds around schools

Maine schools that have issues with nuisance birds are invited to a free webinar overviewing the challenges that avian pests present and ways to deter them. | More

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Webinar on Feb. 24 on nuisance birds around schools

Maine schools that have issues with nuisance birds are invited to a free webinar overviewing the challenges that avian pests present and some tried-and-true ways to deter them from your school buildings and grounds.

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Nominations open for Maine’s 2015 Curriculum Leader of the Year

The Maine Curriculum Leaders’ Association (MCLA) is seeking nominations for the 2015 Maine Curriculum Leader of the Year through March 30.

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Commissioner’s Update – February 5, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

There are many benefits to an online administration of the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. The computer delivery will better allow students to demonstrate critical and higher-order thinking skills; more accurately measure where students are; give educators and parents more timely information to inform instruction; and allow for a more efficient, cost-effective administration.

As a result, the Department is highly recommending schools give the test electronically but understands there may be individual students who are unable to access the assessment using a computer (e.g., medical reason for avoiding screen viewing). For those cases, the Maine DOE is providing a procedure for requesting a paper-pencil version of the assessment.

Please note, this is a different process than requesting to provide a schoolwide paper-pencil administration of the assessment, which only a few schools did by yesterday’s deadline.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin shares a laugh while talking with young students at his alma mater, Washburn Elementary. He was joined on the first stop of his tour yesterday of Auburn schools by his first grade teacher, Mrs. Bristol, who retired from that district in 2005. To invite the Acting Commissioner to see how your school is putting students first, contact Maine DOE’s Communications Director at samantha.warren@maine.gov.

Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin shares a laugh with students at his alma mater, Washburn Elementary. He was joined on the first stop of his tour yesterday of Auburn schools by his first grade teacher, Mrs. Bristol (at left), who retired from the district in 2005.

Acting Education Commissioner visits Auburn schools

Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner returned Wednesday to the Auburn schools he once attended to learn about their efforts to improve outcomes and to inspire students with his own story. | More

Maine DOE provides student roster guidance to ensure assessment administration success

Accurate student lists for this spring’s computer-based Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced will depend on ongoing collaboration between the Maine DOE and the local school districts. | More

Comprehensive School Health Education Spring Conference to focus on proficiency

The Maine DOE is inviting educators to its 2015 Comprehensive School Health Education Spring Conference, which will focus on transitioning health education curriculum to a proficiency-based system of learning. | More

Department encourages recognition of school counselors during National School Counseling Week

The Department is reminding Mainers about the unique contributions of professional school counselors and how students are more prepared for success in college and career as a result of what school counselors do as the nation recognizes National School Counseling Week. | More

Maine DOE releases webinar on College, Career and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies

Maine DOE has released a short webinar to provide educators with information about the College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. | More

Inaugural Maine Science Festival scheduled for March 20-22 in Bangor

Maine educators, students and families are invited to attend the first annual Maine Science Festival in Bangor this March 20-22. Events include a Teen Tech Night, high school state science fair, science scavenger hunt around Bangor and sessions on science in children’s literature, crime scene investigation and the intersection of science and economic development. | More

Department hosts Summer Food Service Program trainings

In preparation for the fast approaching summer season, the Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition Services Team will offer Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) trainings through the state in the coming months. | More

Maine DOE promotes financial literacy education resources

As part of its ongoing efforts to support financial literacy education, the Maine DOE is encouraging educators to save the date for the 6th Annual Fostering Financial Education in Maine Schools Conference on May 1 in Rockland. | More

Maine Humanities Council announced Student Humanities Ambassadors

The Maine Humanities Council (MHC) announced that Abigayle Hopkins from Machias Memorial High School in Machias and Victoria Simons from Noble High School in Berwick are the first Student Humanities Ambassadors in Maine. | More

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