Category Archives: Students

Simple strategies for safer, more effective schools

Next week, I have the honor of speaking about school security at the Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference. I am excited to share all the advancements we’ve made here in recent years to strengthen the safety and security of our schools, especially since the shootings at Sandy Hook.

Most notably, thanks to two security reports commissioned by the Legislature and our Department and produced by Safe Havens International and PDT Architects, Maine schools now better understand their vulnerabilities and opportunities to better ensure student and staff safety.

Knowing how important this work is can often make it daunting for districts and schools boards to figure out where to best begin. That’s why as a follow-up to those assessments and in partnership with Safe Havens International, we are pleased to provide a free school security guide entitled 20 Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Schools.

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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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Committed to rigorous standards, aligned assessments

Last week, the Maine Education Association (MEA) announced its reservations about the updated math and ELA standards that were incorporated into the Maine Learning Results back in 2011 and have been being implemented in Maine schools since. They also called for a moratorium on the next generation of assessments aligned to those standards, developed in collaboration with Maine teachers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Maine is currently a governing member.
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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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Maine high school graduation rates continue to climb

The State Department of Education is encouraged by the increase, but says a wide graduation-proficiency gap and high college remediation rates show Maine schools must prioritize proficiency

AUGUSTA – Maine’s high school graduation rate continues to climb with 86.36 percent of all students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2009 earning their diplomas on time in 2013, but State education officials stress that proficiency must be the top priority.

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Learning from the latest NECAP results: Part II

In last week’s Commissioner’s Update, I shared with you an analysis of the statewide math and reading results for the 2013-14 New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), administered this past October.

With the exception of Grade 5 math and writing, we saw flat or declining scores in all other grades and content areas. Digging into the data shows us where strengths and struggles are, and focuses improvement initiatives.

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Maine schools participating in field test for next generation of assessments

Schools across Maine voluntarily began participating in the field test of the Smarter Balanced assessments in grades 3-8 and 11 this week. Smarter Balanced assessments are a key part of implementing Maine’s college and career readiness standards and preparing all students for success beyond high school.

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Maine’s 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool programs support tobacco prevention

March 19 marked the 19th annual Kick Butts Day, a nationwide celebration of youth leadership and activism combating tobacco use.

Over 1,400 events took place across the country in cooperation with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, including in Maine where 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool programs stepped-up to help youth educate their peers and communities about the harmfulness of tobacco and the industry’s marketing practices.

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RFP issued for 21st Century Community Learning Centers

The Maine DOE has issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking bids to establish or extend 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) in 2014-15.

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Arts educators recognized at State House celebration

AUGUSTA – Arts educators were recognized at the Maine State House Wednesday as part of Maine’s annual celebration of Arts Education Day.

Each year the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), an affiliate of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, recognizes educational leaders who have made a significant difference in the lives of young people through arts education.

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