Category Archives: Teaching & Learning

Showing up to promote school attendance

It’s been said that the first step to success is showing up and nowhere is that more true than in our schools.

Chronic absenteeism – defined as missing 10 percent of the school year (18 days here in Maine) – increases achievement gaps and decreases student outcomes. Absences add up quickly. In fact, students who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade and are more likely to have poor attendance in later grades. By middle and high school, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign that a student will not graduate on time or even at all. Chronic absenteeism especially hurts children with disabilities or from low income families who are both more likely to miss school and who often lack the resources to make up for lost time in the classroom.

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Maine DOE releases social studies webinar highlighting inquiry-based resources

The Maine DOE has created a free webinar to help educators better understand where Maine students are when it comes to developing evidence-based arguments and how to support them in improving those skills. The webinar is the latest in a series of school improvement webinars developed by the Department to support Maine schools based on needs identified from statewide student performance data.

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Maine high schools awarded three-year grant for computer science instruction

The National Science Foundation  has awarded a three-year $469,369 grant to improve access to computer science instruction for Maine high school students. This project is led by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance  in partnership with RSU 26 in Orono and the University of Maine at Augusta.

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2015 Maine Teacher of the Year finalists in the final stages of the determination process

Finalists for Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year were visited by the Maine Teacher of the Year state review panel last week. As part of the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year review process, the panel spoke with each candidate’s district administrators, fellow teachers, students and parents. The teachers will participate in their final interview with panel members this week–the last step of the determination process. Once decided, the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year will be announced at a surprise event by the end of October.

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Maine teachers spend summer volunteering at Maine State Aquarium

While some teachers were taking advantage of the summer to relax, Deb Clark, a Gifted and Talented Program teacher at Winslow Elementary, spent the better part of one week volunteering at the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor. The experience provided a chance not only to give back to the aquarium, a place she has been bringing her students for years, but to grow personally and professionally.

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Fourth cohort of Maine Governor’s STEM Academy graduates

The 23 Academy Fellows who graduated from the Governor’s Academy for STEM Education Leadership program this summer were provided with professional development opportunities designed to build leadership qualities with a focus on STEM integration.

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Reminders about events that trigger duty to provide parents with procedural safeguards

The Department is reminding school administrative units (SAUs) that, in addition to the requirement that they provide parents of children receiving special education (or adult students receiving special education) a copy of the procedural safeguards once each year, the following events also trigger a duty to provide the procedural safeguards:

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Maine high schools invited to register for Poetry Out Loud competition

Maine high schools are invited to register for Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide program that encourages youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation while helping students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

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Informational meetings on new rural funding scheduled

A new grant is now available to 25 rural schools in Maine to implement a program which has proven to increase academic growth and achievement for first-year high school students by providing a proven, flexible, data-driven system centered on the relationships between students and teachers.

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Report of Services to Students with Disabilities (EF-S-05 Part 1 & 2) due Oct. 31

School administrative units (SAUs) should begin preparing data for the EF-S-05, which includes Part 1: Special Education Child Count as well as Part 2: Special Education Personnel Employed, Contracted, and Needed.

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