Category Archives: Science & Technology

Training webinar for science assessment

Maine DOE and Measured Progress will conduct a training webinar on Nov. 17 from 2 – 4 p.m. for those teachers new to the administration of the Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP).

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Invitation to participate in NECAP science inquiry task field test

Maine DOE is recruiting schools again this year to serve as field testing sites to administer the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) Science Inquiry Tasks in grades 5, 8, and 11. This opportunity allows Maine educators to see science performance assessment tasks in action. The field tests will occur between Nov. 2 and Nov. 20.

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It’s not rocket science, a conference focusing on engineering education

The Maine Science Teachers Association Annual Conference “Building on the Framework for K-12 Science Education” will be held Oct. 9 at Gardiner Area High School.

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Standardized Assessment Scores for 2014-15

AUGUSTA – As Maine shifts to a proficiency-based system by 2018, the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced Assessment scores in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3 through 8 and the third year of high school are the first statewide assessment of our students’ accomplishments in meeting Maine’s college and career readiness standards. These results are reflective of a more rigorous assessment as the world is changing rapidly, and Maine is poised to improve in this educational shift to better prepare our students for future success.

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Presidential recognition

Two Maine teachers are recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. William O’Brien of Camden Hills Regional High School and Lisa McLellan of Windham High School will receive their awards at a Washington, D.C. event later this summer. These awardees teach 7th through 12th grade and were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.

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Materials released in advance of Commissioner’s Conference

The following Priority Notice was distributed to school superintendents today in advance of the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents:

Dear Superintendents,

We look forward to working with you next week during the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 28 at Sunday River’s Jordan Hotel in Newry.

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Maine DOE honors finalists for excellence in mathematics and science teaching

Maine DOE recently honored two state finalists for the 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (PAEMST) with a dinner held at the Maple Hill Farm Inn in Hallowell.  Shari Templeton, Maine DOE Science and Technology Specialist, and Michele Mailhot, Maine DOE Mathematics Specialist, planned the evening event honoring Lauree Gott, elementary science finalist (Veazie Community School) and Laura Stevens, Ph.D., elementary mathematics finalist (Dora L. Small School).

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Commissioner’s Update – April 16, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE is encouraging educators to attend the Fostering Financial Education in Maine Schools conference on May 1 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The conference, which is hosted by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, is intended for educators, administrators and counselors who are interested in improving the financial capability of Maine students. The event will feature free financial education resources for K-12 and college-age students with a variety of workshops presented by classroom teachers and financial literacy experts.

As part of Maine DOE’s ongoing efforts to support financial education, the Department’s Social Studies Specialist Kristie Littlefield will be conducting a session.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Governor LePage supports SEALSfit Program, allocates $16,000 from contingency fund

Governor Paul R. LePage announced this month he is allocating $16,000 to the SEALSfit youth leadership program. | More

SAT irregularity reports due April 17

The College Board is reminding Test Center Supervisors at Maine schools that participated in the April 15 SAT School Day Administration and have their make-up date on April 29, that they must submit any irregularity reports to ETS by Friday, April 17. | More

2015 Educator Talent Pool recommendations due May 1

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

Department announces reporting requirement, resources to help Special Purpose Private Schools support pathways to proficiency

The Maine DOE is providing the state’s Special Purpose Private Schools (SPPS) with new resources so their students are better positioned on the pathway to proficiency. | More

Webinar to overview School Improvement Grant process for eligible schools

The Maine DOE has submitted its federal application for continued School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding. If approved for the sixth straight year, the Department would receive funding to distribute to help the state’s most struggling schools. | More

Maine DOE trains 28 districts in language of science

The Maine DOE ESL/Bilingual Programs recently provided training for 28 school districts in developing and using language effectively to make connections between science language and science concepts. | More

May 20 workshop to focus on supporting young children with autism

The Maine DOE is encouraging educators to attend a May 20 workshop entitled Language and Communication for Young Children with Autism. | More


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Maine DOE trains 28 districts in language of science

The Maine DOE ESL/Bilingual Programs recently provided training for 28 school districts in developing and using language effectively to make connections between science language and science concepts in the science classroom.

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Commissioner’s Update – March 19, 2015

From Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin

This week, thousands of Maine students began the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. More than a decade after we began putting technology in the hands of Maine students and teachers to support their 21st century learning and teaching, our state is finally using this familiar environment to assess what students know and are able to do.

From what you’ve told us, the first week of online testing has been a success. In the words of one district: “So far. So good.” Schools reported no major problems and expressed appreciation that our Department’s staff had quick answers to any questions asked. 

I’m glad things are getting off to such a good start because I believe in the incredible potential of this new online assessment and I know how hard so many of you are working to see that potential fully realized. On behalf of Maine students, thank you.

Unlike the bubble tests of the past, this new assessment measures higher-order thinking and how students actually apply the skills they should be learning and need for 21 century college and career success. Its adaptive abilities – meaning questions and their difficulty are adjusted based on a participant’s previous answers  –  helps teachers better help their students by more accurately pinpointing individual student strengths and weaknesses. Results, available in weeks rather than months, more quickly inform instruction and interventions. Universal tools, accommodations and designated supports like the ability to highlight or have the text read aloud, are available thanks to the online delivery. These integrated features alleviate test-taking anxiety and better support the unique needs of each student, especially those with disabilities. And the lengthened 11-week test window gives schools more administration flexibility and creates less stress for students, even though the assessment actually requires significantly fewer hours to administer than the NECAP.

That said, the administration of this new assessment won’t be perfect.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine DOE overviews updated educator evaluation expectations

Maine’s educator evaluation expectations have changed as a result of legislative action initiated by the Department to ensure the state could maintain flexibility from burdensome federal requirements. A summary of changes to Title 20-A and Rule Chapter 180 as a result of the enactment of LD 692 and the expected enactment of LD 38, are outlined here. | More

Department provides resources in advance of science assessment opening on May 4

The Maine DOE is sharing resources with schools to support their preparations for the annual statewide science assessment, which will run May 4-22. | More

Maine schools selected for personalized learning initiative

Twenty New England public schools in the League of Innovative Schools including five from Maine have been selected by the New England Secondary School Consortium and the Great Schools Partnership to participate in a new initiative. | More

Maine DOE offers resources for increasing rigor in science education

Science researchers and educators from Maine and across the country convened in Chicago last week to share tools and discuss policy to support effective science instruction. | More

Department provides support to ESEA monitor schools through webinar

The Maine DOE has posted a new webinar intended to provide support and guidance to Maine districts with schools recently given “monitor” status under the state’s federally required accountability system. | More

Regional meetings scheduled on improving school attendance

Promoting school attendance is the agenda for two regional meetings this month sponsored by Count ME In. | More

Maine Department of Labor offers technical assistance to support youth employment

The Maine Department of Labor (DOL) is offering increased assistance around youth employment. | More

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