Category Archives: Charter schools

Education Commissioner applauds expansion of student learning opportunities

The Maine Charter School Commission voted today to approve the state’s first virtual charter school, which could begin start serving students this fall

AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Jim Rier released the following statement today in response to the Maine Charter School Commission’s approval of the state’s first public virtual charter school.

The unanimous approval authorizes the independent Commission to enter into contract negotiations with Maine Connections Academy, which plans to start serving as many as 300 students from across the state this fall. Continue reading

Charter Commission to vote on applications March 3

The Maine Charter School Commission will vote at its March 3 meeting on whether to move forward the applications of three public charter schools proposed to open in Maine this fall. Continue reading

Charter Commission advances 3 applications, schedules public hearings

Following committee reviews, three proposed public charter schools including one in Lewiston and two virtuals have moved to the next stage in the State’s application process, which includes public hearings next week

AUGUSTA – The public will have the opportunity to weigh-in next week on three public charter schools proposed to open in Maine this fall.

Earlier today, Maine Charter School Commission (MCSC) members working in small review teams presented their recommendations on four applications, with the entire seven-member Commission then voting to advance applications from Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School, Lewiston; Maine Connections Academy; and Maine Virtual Academy. The application for Many Hands Montessori School in Windham did not move forward. Continue reading

Commissioner applauds strong start of charter schools

Monitoring by the Maine Charter School Commission of the two charter schools that served students during the 2012-13 academic year show the state’s first charters are meeting their missions

AUGUSTA – The State’s Acting Education Commissioner is applauding the state’s first two public charters after their inaugural monitoring reports show the central Maine schools are engaging students and adapting quickly to meet emerging needs.

Cornville Regional Charter School in Cornville, which served approximately 60 grade K-6 students, and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS) in Hinckley, which served 52 students grades 9-12, opened in the fall of 2012 after Maine, under the leadership of Governor Paul R. LePage, became the 41st state to allow public charter schools.  Continue reading

Clarity on charter school special education student funding

In response to several questions from the field, the Department is providing clarity for charter schools regarding funding allocations for students who are newly identified as special education but were not identified as such by their attending school administrative unit (SAU).

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Transfer decisions refocused on student best interest

AUGUSTA – Starting today, superintendents who reject a parent’s request to send their child to school in another district will have to explain why that transfer would not be in the best interest of the student.

Under Maine law, a parent who believes it is in the best interest of their child to attend school in a different district than where the student lives can request the two superintendents agree to a transfer. Continue reading

Commission receives notice of 7 charter school proposals

AUGUSTA – Seven groups informed the Maine Charter School Commission (MCSC) that they plan to submit applications to open public charter schools in Maine.  All of the groups hope to open a school in the fall of 2014.

The deadline for delivery of the letters to the Maine Charter School Commission or having them postmarked was this past Tuesday. Continue reading

Bowen tapped to lead nationwide education innovation

AUGUSTA – The success of the LePage Administration’s school reforms have been recognized across the country, and now its Education Commissioner is being tapped to take that transformation nationwide.

Commissioner Stephen Bowen has been recruited by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to become their Strategic Initiative Director of Innovation, which includes oversight of their Innovation Lab Network. Continue reading

Commissioner Bowen to help honor inaugural grads of Maine’s first charter school

HINCKLEY – Less than two years after Governor Paul R. LePage’s landmark student choice legislation finally allowing public charter schools in Maine went into effect, his Education Commissioner will help celebrate the state’s first charter school graduation.

Commissioner Stephen Bowen will speak this evening at the ceremony for the 10 students in the first class to graduate from The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley (MeANS). The event will be held at 5 p.m. at the Moody Chapel on the campus of Kennebec Valley Community College in Hinckley. Continue reading

Commissioner Bowen to address Rockland Kiwanis Monday

ROCKPORT – Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will speak to the Rockland Kiwanis Club Monday about his department’s commitment to seeing all Maine students leave school college and career ready.

In his remarks as the guest speaker at the June 10 lunchtime Kiwanis meeting at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Commissioner Bowen will share how the Maine Department of Education is increasingly a resource to districts in developing and deploying the best practices that ensure educator effectiveness and high student achievement. Continue reading