Category Archives: Technology

Conference focuses on effective teaching with an emphasis on tech and social media

On August 6 and 7, a conference entitled “ECET2 Maine Teacher Leadership Summit” (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers) was held at Colby College in Waterville. It was organized by the Maine Teacher of the Year Association, and Maine DOE’s Learning Through Technology Team (LTTT) joined in offering support with social media.

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Maine educators expand learning technology skills this week

Connecting the dots, online and blended learning, digital content using widgets, iTunes U Course, digital storytelling, GarageBand, and much more are buzz phrases educators will be hearing about this week at the Maine Department of Education’s MLTI 2015 Summer Institute at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Tuesday the 21st through Thursday the 23rd.

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High school students have a challenge-pass it along

Tyler Technologies, Inc. has launched a first application development challenge solely for high school students in the state, called Maine App Challenge. With it comes $10,000 in total scholarships to be awarded to the top three finalists.

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Commissioner’s Conference

In case you missed the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference, here is a recap with valuable links.

Acting Commissioner of Education, Thomas Desjardin opened and closed the conference at Sunday River with timely updates on the ongoing FY16 budget discussions and voting at the State House at the time. He also acknowledged the ever changing educational climate and the hard work and successes of school leaders and Maine DOE’s support through its multi-faceted services.

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Competitive Skills Scholarship Program now accepting applications

The Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, designed to help Maine residents learn new skills and succeed in a changing economy, is currently accepting applications.

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Say goodbye to MEDMS Staff Collection and hello to NEO Staff; training is next

In the early 2000s, the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS) was created to communicate with local school administration districts and cooperatively manage their staff- and student-level data for state and federal regulatory compliance. Since then, there have been many changes to regulation, as well as advances in technology. In 2005, the Maine DOE removed the student collection piece of MEDMS and added an application known as Infinite Campus to serve as the Department’s Student Information System (SIS). Now, NEO is around the corner.

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Maine DOE announces school transportation software that’s going places

A new and important release of Transfinder school transportation software is scheduled for June 20, 2015. Transfinder Routefinder Pro Version 12.0 is the largest release in the 27-year history of Transfinder, including nearly 40 new features and over 100 enhancements.  For example, simultaneous school routing allowing multiple users to route for the same school at the same time, every grid includes a map allowing users to see the grid and the map at the same time, and much more that is user friendly and requires less clicks. The update is free to Maine public school districts. School districts that now use Transfinder are expected to see the change occur by late June.

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Educators invited to attend the 2015 MLTI Summer Institute – Don’t miss out

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) invites educators to attend its 2015 Summer Institute scheduled July 21-23 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. This is an opportunity you do not want to miss as you learn new techniques and strategies that will help address proficiency-based learning, teacher accountability and higher order thinking skills.

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Commissioner’s Update – June 4, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Maine’s top Career & Technical Education students were honored as students of the year recently at a ceremony at the Lewiston Regional Technical Center.

It was a great night to celebrate the best CTE students in Maine. Twenty six centers were represented. State School Board Chair, Peter Geiger, indicated that it was the best celebration for students he has seen. Senator Brian Langley, Education Committee Chair, was also impressed and gave the audience a superb presentation with his remarks aligned to CTE in Maine.

Each of the 26 students was presented with an award certificate and two received scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each at the event sponsored by the Maine Administrators of Career & Technical Education (MACTE).

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

FFA students celebrate accomplishments at 85th annual state convention

Secondary and middle school students in the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) celebrated numerous accomplishments during the annual state convention held on May 14-15 at the University of Maine. | More

Data training sessions announced

There are many changes coming in the 2015-16 school year. In order that accurate student and staff data is reported to the Maine DOE, it is important that the appropriate staff attend one (or more) of these training sessions. | More

Learning Disability Report (LDR) form guidance

In a letter dated February 23, 2015, the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services directed the Maine DOE to issue guidance clarifying the use of the Learning Disability Report (LDR) form. | More

Office of Special Services notice of changes in special education forms

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services has revised the forms listed below. Revised forms are to be used effective August 1, 2015. | More

Maine DOE provides assistance for Civil Rights Data Collection to districts

The Maine DOE is offering some assistance to local districts who are working to comply with the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection. | More

Fact sheet highlights academic performance and student health risk

A newly available one-page fact sheet on the relationship between Academic Performance and Student Health Risks is available. | More

School and workplace violence training Aug 19-20

The National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) and the Brewer Police Department will host a two-day training event on school and workplace violence on Aug 19-20 in Brewer. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – May 21, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

On Monday May 18 the legislature’s Joint Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs held a work session on LD 695 “An Act To Empower Parents in the Education of Their Children by Allowing an Opt-out from Standardized Assessments.” The end result was that 11 of the 13 committee members voted not to force local school districts to inform parents of their right to opt-out of statewide assessment. Two of the eleven voted to pass a version of the bill without that requirement. The bill now goes to the Maine House and Senate.

Discussion of the bill included a lot of information regarding the legal aspects of this potential action. This included legal opinions from attorneys with both the Office of the Maine Attorney General and the legislature’s Office of Policy and Legal Analysis.

Both attorneys advised the committee that parents and students have a right to not take the standardized statewide assessment. No one is going to force a child to sit and take the test. They do not, however, have a right to be shielded from the consequences of that act which could range from action by the school district or loss of federal funding for the school. Local school districts in Maine have the authority under state law to place requirements on students and not award a diploma if the student does not meet these requirements. This could include things such as community service, a senior year graduation exam, or participation in statewide or local assessments.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Annual MLTI student technology conference brings 1000+ to UMaine Thursday

Over 1,000 students and educators will bring their Maine Department of Education provided digital devices to UMaine on Thursday for a one-day conference. | More

Maine DOE announces teacher leadership summit

The Maine DOE is promoting the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) summit at Colby College in Waterville on August 6-7. | More

Hiring standards for school nutrition program directors take effect July 1

Beginning July 1 school nutrition program directors will be required to meet new hiring standards as a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent ruling establishing national professional standards for all school nutrition employees. | More

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LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities