Category Archives: Press Releases

Press releases from before January 1, 2010, are in the archive.

Governor LePage supports SEALSfit Program, allocates $16,000 from contingency fund

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage announced this week he is allocating $16,000 to the SEALSfit youth leadership program. The funding is through the Governor’s contingency fund and the money will enable the program to continue offering support to Maine youth.

The Portland Police Department and the Maine Leadership Institute manage the SEALSfit program, which is a youth leadership course that incorporates physical training (based on the US Navy SEALs regimen) with values-based leadership instruction and mentoring by law enforcement personnel.

“Our children need mentors to help them discover the leadership they have within themselves,” said Governor Paul LePage. “SEALSfit has proven to be an effective program for teens in the Portland area and I fully support broadening its reach so youth across Maine have opportunities to succeed.”

During its previous four sessions, SEALSfit has provided training for a diverse group of Portland-area teenage youth in cross-cultural, interpersonal relations to develop a better understanding of teamwork, character, ethics, anti-bullying and group and individual communications.

Session “5” begins on April 13, lasting sevens weeks and culminates in a graduation ceremony on Friday, May 29. The weekly program consists of two, two-hour physical training sessions and one, two-hour leadership training session led by members of the Portland area educational community. Former US Navy SEALs will conduct physical training. Members of the Portland Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies, including the South Portland Police Department, Westbrook Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will mentor 20 students from Portland area high schools.

Maine high school graduation rate up, achievement gaps down

Newly released state and federal data shows Maine is closing achievement gaps as graduation rates among economically disadvantaged students, those with disabilities and some minorities are on the rise and above national averages

AUGUSTA – Maine’s high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high, as has the percentage of students who are either economically disadvantagedor have a disability and are earning their diploma in four years.

According to newly released data from the Maine Department of Education, 86.48 percent of the students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2010 graduated on time in 2014. That’s up just slightly from 86.36 percent in 2013 and well above the 80.3 percent graduation rate reached in 2009-2010 when the current calculation method was introduced. Continue reading

Governor LePage and Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy honor teen mentors

Governor Paul R. LePage and Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy President and CEO Liza McFadden honored 14 teen mentors with Excellence Awards in leadership and service during a recognition ceremony at the Blaine House this week. Students mentoring in the Foundation’s Teen Trendsetters™ program assist first through third graders with reading during weekly tutoring sessions.

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Maine DOE opens registration for free online AP classes

The offering of free Advanced Placement courses through AP4ALL is another way the Maine Department of Education makes digital learning opportunities available to all Maine students

AUGUSTA – Registration is now open for online Advanced Placement courses provided at no cost to the state’s public school students by the Maine Department of Education. Continue reading

Acting Education Commissioner to visit Baxter Academy Friday

The visit marks the first by a Maine Education Commissioner to one of the state’s six new public charter schools

PORTLAND – Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin will visit the Baxter Academy for Technology & Science on Friday to see how the innovative new public school is engaging its students through hands-on group learning.

The visit marks the first time a sitting education commissioner has toured a Maine public charter school since Governor Paul R. LePage signed legislation making Maine the 41st state to allow public charters and expanded the opportunity Maine students have to attend the school that is in their best interest. Continue reading

Maine Teacher of the Year nominations due today

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. today for the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Mainers who have been positively impacted by one of the state’s many outstanding public school educators are encouraged to extend their thanks by taking a few minutes today to submit their nomination. All nominees will be notified, so even those who do not advance further will receive recognition.

Nominate a great Maine teacher now. Continue reading

Maine DOE recommends, rather than requires, assessment keyboards

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce that mechanical keyboards, while still recommended based on the best interest of some students, will no longer be required for the online administration starting next month of the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. Continue reading

Acting Education Commissioner to visit Auburn schools

AUBURN – Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner will return Wednesday to the Auburn schools he once attended to learn about their efforts to improve outcomes and to inspire students with his own story.  

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Nominations sought for 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year

AUGUSTA – Nominations are now open for the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Members of the public can enter educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students at through Feb. 20. To be considered, a teacher must hold at least a four-year degree and be employed by a Maine public school – including a public charter school or publicly supported secondary school. Continue reading

Tom Desjardin named Acting Education Commissioner

Tom Desjardin has been appointed by Governor Paul R. LePage as Acting Education Commissioner. Continue reading