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, Penobscot County, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Public meetings, School Choice, Science & Technology, Standards, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
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.
Commissioner Jim Rier will see how the high achieving district is working toward graduating students with proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2019
BANGOR – 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.
Commissioner Jim Rier will be in Bangor to tour Vine Street School (preK-3), William S. Cohen School (grades 6-8) and Bangor High School with Bangor School Department Superintendent Betsy Webb.
Bangor schools are among the state’s highest achieving and proficiency levels are well above the state average at the middle and high schools that Governor Paul R. LePage’s Education Commissioner will visit. Both schools earned a B on the report cards released by the Maine Department of Education last spring. Continue reading
Posted in Center for Best Practice, Early Childhood, Elementary School, High School, Listening Tour, Middle School, Penobscot County, Press Releases, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Standards, Teaching & Learning
The Maine DOE’s World Languages in Maine: A Standards-Based Teaching and Assessment Initiative, now in its third year, will be again offering free regional workshops for world language teachers statewide during the 2014-15 school year.
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Dispatches, Elementary School, Featured, High School, Instruction, Interests, Middle School, News & Views, Professional Development, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Standards, Teachers, Teaching & Learning, World Languages
The Maine DOE has recently published guidance on what constitutes proficiency in a world language and recommendations for assessing proficiency for graduation reporting standards on the world languages section of its website.
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Dispatches, Families, Featured, High School, Instruction, News & Views, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Standards, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning, World Languages
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.
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Dispatches, Facilities, Families, Featured, Funding, High School, Instruction, News & Views, Operations, Standards, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
The following Priority Notice was sent to Maine Superintendents and Directors of Special Education by Commissioner Jim Rier and Maine DOE Director of Special Services on Sept. 17.
Dear Superintendents and Directors of Special Education,
As Maine moves towards a proficiency-based system that will ensure that all students graduate from our high schools having met rigorous learning standards, some have asked about the impact of this new expectation on students with disabilities. Continue reading
Posted in Academics, Administrative Letters, Administrators, Elementary School, Families, Featured, From the Commissioner, High School, Middle School, News & Views, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Special Populations, Students, Teachers