From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier
Last week, I had the opportunity to spend two full days at the annual conference of the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine (ACTEM). To say I was impressed and inspired by what I experienced would be an understatement. Maine has long been looked to as a national leader when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom and the energy and expertise I saw in the hundreds of technology educators at the conference proved why.
I was especially impacted by the session I attended entitled “A Day in the iPad Empowered Elementary Classroom.” To see how Maine educators are using technology to change the way they teach students is almost as exciting as seeing how students – including those only in Kindergarten – are responding. Maine kids are being engaged and empowered as leaders in their own learning through these new tools in ways that many adults like me can’t even imagine. It is critical we keep up with their appetite and aptitude by finding innovative ways to leverage technology to continue to improve not just the experience of our students but their academic achievement.
I want to thank Maine’s many technology educators who are doing just that in classrooms across the state every day. Not only are you enhancing the educational environment for our students, but you are better preparing them for success in 21st century college and careers.
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Maine’s Education Commissioner will spend Thursday in the classrooms of the state’s third largest school district to see how proficiency-based education is transforming teaching and learning there. | More
Turner Elementary School in MSAD 52 is one of 287 public schools across the country to be named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School for high levels of student achievement. | More
A second public virtual charter school being proposed in Maine was unanimously advanced to the next round of review by the state’s Charter Commission. | More
A panel of district leaders who have experienced the challenges and the success of developing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems shared their success strategies at a recent seminar. | More
The board and staff of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance have selected Ruth Kermish-Allen, currently Director of Education at the Island Institute and a resident of Appleton, as the organization’s next Executive Director. | More
Community groups and schools across the state will be conducting activities to raise awareness about alcohol use and abuse throughout Maine’s Alcohol Awareness Week, Dec. 1-5. | More
Maine schools are encouraged to enter the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a creative and collaborative competition that offers up to $20,000 in grants for winning middle schools and high schools. | More
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Posted in Accountability, Administrators, Charter School Commission, Charter schools, Commissioner's Updates, Educator Effectiveness, Families, Governor LePage, Mathematics, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Public meetings, School Choice, Science & Technology, Standards, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Note: This is a joint letter from Commissioner of Education Jim Rier and Guy Cousins, director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Maine schools are encouraged to enter the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a creative and collaborative competition that offers up to $20,000 in grants for winning middle schools and high schools. Designed to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the Challenge shows students exciting new possibilities for their futures, opening doors they may never have known were there.
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Dispatches, Events, Families, Featured, High School, Middle School, News & Views, Science & Technology, Students, Teachers, Technology
Schools in Maine and across the nation are recognizing National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 20 through 24. During the same week, schools will acknowledge the importance of bus drivers to a student’s education with Bus Driver Appreciation Day.
The Maine DOE is proposing changes this fall to the rules regarding the provision of child find, early intervention services, and special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities age birth to 20.
Posted in Administrators, Counseling, Dispatches, Early Childhood, Elementary School, Facilities, Families, Featured, Funding, Health, High School, Legislation, Middle School, News & Views, Operations, Public meetings, Safety, School Improvement, Special Populations, Student Health, Students, Teachers
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network recently announced the formation of the MPBN Junior Broadcaster Board to be made up of Maine high school sophomore and junior students. Slated to launch in February, MPBN is accepting applications to join the board through Nov. 15.
The following guidance on Enterovirus D68 from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention was distributed by the Maine DOE to all Maine school nurses on Friday, Oct. 3.
Each year, millions of people become ill due to respiratory illnesses. Some of the more common respiratory illnesses in schools may include influenza, pertussis and the common cold. The common cold can be caused by many viruses including enteroviruses, one strain of which (EV-D68) is responsible for several outbreaks in the United States in 2014, including one recent case here in Maine. Schools should be aware of these illnesses, how to prevent them and what is reportable. Continue reading
Posted in Administrative Letters, Administrators, Dispatches, Early Childhood, Elementary School, Families, Featured, Health, High School, Middle School, Safety, Student Health, Students, Teachers
Longtime MSAD 54 special educator Jennifer Dorman is the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year, the second special education teacher ever to receive this honor. Pictured here: Skowhegan Area Middle School Principal Zachary Longyear, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier, 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.
In a surprise all-school assembly today, Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Skowhegan Area Middle School’s Jennifer Dorman was selected from nearly 400 nominees as Maine’s top teacher
SKOWHEGAN – A 20-year veteran special educator in Somerset County schools committed to supporting her students succeed despite their challenges has been selected as the 2015 Teacher of the Year.
In a surprise assembly at MSAD 54’s Skowhegan Area Middle School (SAMS) on Thursday, Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Jennifer Dorman had been chosen from a field of 376 nominees as Maine’s top teacher. Continue reading
Posted in Administrators, English Language Arts, Families, Governor LePage, Maine Teacher of the Year, Middle School, News & Views, People, Press Releases, Special Populations, Students, Teachers