Category Archives: News & Views

Extension applications show Maine’s commitment to successful proficiency-based diploma implementation

Earlier this year, the Department released six options by which districts could apply for extensions to fully implementing systems to support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018.

I continue to be appreciative of the positive feedback we regularly receive in response to offering that flexibility. Many educators and district leaders have commented that while they had initially been uncertain about the extension application process, it ended up being a valuable opportunity for reflection that helped focus local efforts moving forward to best ensure quality implementation.

But nothing has been more encouraging than seeing the high number of extension applications and confirmations of readiness that the Department received by the Oct. 18 final deadline. Continue reading

Maine DOE welcomes new assessment and accountability staff

Charlene Tucker and Nancy Godfrey have joined Maine DOE as members of the assessment and accountability team.

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Workshops offered for suicide prevention

The Maine Suicide Prevention Program, as part of the Building Caring Connections in Maine (BCCIM) youth suicide prevention grant, is offering a series of workshops for school personnel to create and strengthen protocols around suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.

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Input sought for teacher shortage areas

The Maine DOE has been notified of the requirement to submit Maine teacher shortage areas by Dec. 11 for designation by the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) for the 2015-2016 school year.  The U.S. DOE annually designates teacher shortage areas for purposes of deferment of loan repayments or reductions of teaching obligation under the following student loan programs:  Continue reading

School food service employees recognized for years of service

The Maine DOE and Maine School Nutrition Association recently honored several local school food service staff members for their 20 years or more of service at their fall conference. Local districts, Department staff and local businesses attended the ceremony.

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RFP issued for education-related services for homeless children and youth

The Maine DOE has reissued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking bids to develop and implement programs providing educational and related services beyond those provided in the general education program to facilitate the enrollment, attendance and school success of homeless children and youth under the McKinney-Vento Act. The RFP was initially issued in July however the Department did not make an award based on the proposals that they received.

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Portland Public Schools publish learning guides for families

A series of new learning guides for families that outline what students in kindergarten through grade five are expected to know and be able to master in mathematics and English language arts at the end of each school year has been developed by Portland Public Schools.

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Hyde School to host Maine Youth Leadership Day, students invited

Hyde School in Bath will be hosting its second annual Maine Youth Leadership Day on Nov. 6. The day will bring together high school students from all over the state with Maine business people to focus on entrepreneurship and leadership development.

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Maine DOE Monthly – October 29, 2014

Welcome to the October issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

This month, the Department had the honor of announcing Jennifer Dorman as the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Dorman, who dreamed of being a teacher since her very first day of Kindergarten, has been a special educator in Somerset County schools for two decades, most recently at Skowhegan Area Middle School.  Though there is only one official Maine Teacher of the Year, there are thousands of excellent educators deserving of our recognition and gratitude. On behalf of Governor LePage and the entire Maine DOE, the Department wants to again congratulate Mrs. Dorman and thank her and so many other incredible Maine teachers for the positive role they play in improving our children’s lives and our state’s future.

Also this month, the Department continued its support of schools in their implementation of systems that will support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018, including providing guidance on world language proficiency, sharing strategies for how English language learners can demonstrate proficiency and affirming the expectation of all standards, all students.

Read on for a roundup of other recent updates from the Department and stay tuned to our Newsroom and weekly Commissioner’s Updates for the latest news you can use from the Maine DOE.

Dispatches & Press Releases

Longtime Skowhegan special educator Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year

In a surprise all-school assembly, Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Skowhegan Area Middle School’s Jennifer Dorman as Maine’s top teacher. | More

Commissioner Rier celebrates learning technology educators

Maine’s Education Commissioner Jim Rier thanks technology educators for enhancing the educational environment for our students and better preparing them for success in 21st century college and careers. | More

Department affirms expectation of all standards, all students

A free appropriate public education must include support to allow students with disabilities to achieve the same high standards as other students. | More

Education Commissioner visits Bangor schools

Maine’s Education Commissioner spent a day in the classrooms of the state’s third largest school district to see how proficiency-based education is transforming teaching and learning there. | More

Maine DOE hosts free workshops for world languages educators

The Maine DOE will be again offering free regional workshops for world language teachers statewide. | More

Maine DOE offers strategies to help ELLs demonstrate proficiency

All students in Maine, including English language learners, will need to demonstrate proficiency of both State learning standards and the Guiding Principles in order to graduate beginning in 2018. | More

Maine DOE provides guidance on world language proficiency

The Maine DOE has recently published guidance on what constitutes proficiency in a world language. | More

Turner Elementary named Maine’s National Blue Ribbon School

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

Mid-Maine Technical Center receives SHAPE award for safety

Maine Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that the Mid-Maine Technical Center has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). | More

Maine DOE showcases student artwork

The work of student artists from three Maine schools will be displayed at the Maine DOE’s office in Augusta throughout the coming year. | More

Portland principal wins $100,000 for school

Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce has won the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s 3rd Annual Larry O’Toole Award. | More


Press Releases
From the Commissioner

Planning for success: 2014-15 State assessment

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Tuesday, Oct. 28 regarding Maine’s plans for a successful administration of the 2014-15 State assessment.

Dear Maine Educators, Students and Families,

This October marks the first in recent memory during which Maine students in Grades 3-8 are not taking their State assessment. Instead, next spring students in those grades or in their third year of high school will take the Smarter Balanced aligned assessment that Maine will now use for State and federal accountability purposes. Continue reading