Category Archives: Press Releases

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

Maine joins New England states to create common system for reporting on educational performance

PORTLAND – A consortium of states including Maine has released two years of reports created under a first of its kind regional common data project.

Beginning in 2009, the five state education agencies participating in the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) —Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont—have been collecting, calculating and reporting high school graduation rates, high school dropout rates, and postsecondary enrollment, persistence and completion rates using a common set of procedures and methodologies developed by a regional team of data specialists from each of the five state agencies. This week, the consortium is releasing the first two annual reports on public school performance for the 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 school years. Continue reading

Maine DOE awarded $14.8 million to expand public preschool access

The Department will pass a majority of the money to 13 school districts to create 33 new classrooms for 4-year-old students and expand 23 others

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education has been awarded $14.8 million to expand public preschool opportunities in 10 counties.

Over the next four years, the Department will pass 95 percent of the funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to 13 school districts with high percentages of low-income students so they can establish or expand preschool programs in partnership with local early childhood program providers. Continue reading

Maine high school students show improvements in math, writing and science scores

Performance of third-year high school students increased slightly in math, writing and science, but most students still aren’t achieving grade-level expectations yet are still being allowed to graduate

AUGUSTA – Maine high school juniors improved their scores in math, writing and science on last spring’s statewide standardized tests, but less than half of students are performing at grade level and many will still graduate anyway.  Continue reading

Charter Commission approves Maine Virtual Academy

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission has voted to enter into contract negotiations with the backers of what will be the state’s second virtual public charter school. Continue reading

Governor LePage and First Lady to host 4th Annual Blaine House Food Drive

AUGUSTA – The First Family invites the public to visit the Blaine House once again this year in an effort to help fellow Mainers who are less fortunate. Since Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage began the food drive in 2011, they have collected thousands of pounds of food for pantries and shelters across Maine. Continue reading

Charter Commission advances virtual school proposal, schedules public hearing

A public virtual charter school opened earlier this year is serving nearly 300 students from 86 school districts and an application for another online charter hoping to open next year has now moved forward

AUGUSTA – 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 today.

At a meeting this morning in Augusta, Maine Charter School Commission  members working in small review teams presented their recommendations on three applications, with the Commission then voting to advance the application for the online Maine Virtual Academy. Meanwhile, the Commission unanimously agreed applications for Acadia Academy, proposed for Lewiston-Auburn, and Inspire ME Academy, proposed for the Sanford area, should not move forward. Continue reading

Education Commissioner to visit Bangor schools Thursday

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

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

In a surprise all-school assembly Thursday at Skowhegan Area Middle School, longtime MSAD 54 special educator Jennifer Dorman was named the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year. She is the second special education teacher ever honored with Maine’s top award for educator excellence. Pictured here: Skowhegan Area Middle School Principal Zachary Longyear, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier, 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

Longtime MSAD 54 special educator Jennifer Dorman is the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year, the second special education teacher ever to receive this honor. Pictured here: Skowhegan Area Middle School Principal Zachary Longyear, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier, 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

In a surprise all-school assembly today, Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Skowhegan Area Middle School’s Jennifer Dorman was selected from nearly 400 nominees as Maine’s top teacher

SKOWHEGAN – A 20-year veteran special educator in Somerset County schools committed to supporting her students succeed despite their challenges has been selected as the 2015 Teacher of the Year.

In a surprise assembly at MSAD 54’s Skowhegan Area Middle School (SAMS) on Thursday, Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Jennifer Dorman had been chosen from a field of 376 nominees as Maine’s top teacher. Continue reading

Mid-Maine Technical Center receives SHAPE award for safety

AUGUSTA— Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that the Mid-Maine Technical Center has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). Mid-Maine Technical Center, a regional school covering Lawrence, Messalonskee, Waterville and Winslow High Schools, offers 24 career and technical education courses to 470 students.

SHAPE recognizes public-sector organizations that voluntary undertake a rigorous safety achievement program for their workers; in the case of schools, students also benefit from improved safety. Continue reading

Governor LePage proclaims October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today joined state and local officials, representatives from law enforcement, business and community leaders and victims’ advocacy groups at the Blaine House to mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Continue reading