Category Archives: Commissioner’s Updates

Commissioner’s Update – October 16, 2014

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.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Education Commissioner visiting Bangor schools today

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 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

Charter Commission advances virtual school proposal, schedules public hearing

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

District leaders share educator evaluation system implementation strategies

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

MMSA selects Ruth Kermish-Allen as Executive Director

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

Schools encouraged to prepare for Alcohol Awareness Day

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 encouraged to enter Verizon Innovative App Challenge

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

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – October 9, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

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. Here she is with her principal Zachary Longyear, Education Commissioner Jim Rier and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

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. Here she is with her principal Zachary Longyear, Education Commissioner Jim Rier and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

Last week I 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 (SAMS) where she is a seventh-and eighth-grade special education and reading intervention teacher.

Those who have had the privilege to learn from Mrs. Dorman – whether as a student or a colleague – were not surprised she received this recognition. And because she noticed the school floors being polished and the lawn being mowed the day before, even Mrs. Dorman had a hunch she wasn’t coming into the auditorium at SAMS for a student fundraising assembly last Thursday.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

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

Final deadline for proficiency-based diploma extension applications Oct. 18

The final deadline for districts looking for an extension in implementing a proficiency-based diploma requirement is next week. | 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

Governor LePage proclaims October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Governor Paul R. LePage recently 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. | More

Superintendents surveyed on use of instructional coaches

The Maine DOE is asking superintendents to participate in a survey on the use of instructional coaches. | More

Guidance issued to Maine schools on EV-D68

In response to a confirmed case of Enterovirus D68 in a southern Maine school, the Department is providing schools guidance from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. | More

Schools recognize National School Bus Safety Week, Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Schools in Maine and across the nation are recognizing National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 20 through 24. | More

Regional school calendars due April 14

School administrative units (SAUs) and private schools approved for tuition purposes are expected to establish regional school calendars. | More

Proposed rule changes: Chapter 101, Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty

The Maine DOE is proposing changes this fall to the rules regarding the provision of child find, early intervention services, and special education and related services. | More

Federal School Bus Replacement Rebate Program announced

The United States Environmental Protection Agency will again make funds available for the School Bus Replacements Rebate Program beginning this fall. | More

Update on new school staff evaluation survey

As originally noted in a dispatch dated June 4, changes to the MEDMS Educator Quality and Effectiveness (EQE) Survey are still in progress. | More

MPBN seeks students for Junior Broadcaster Board

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network recently announced the formation of the MPBN Junior Broadcaster Board. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – October 2, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

As Maine moves toward a proficiency-based education system that will ensure students graduate from our high schools having mastered State learning standards, I am often asked what this expectation means for our nearly 30,000 students with disabilities.

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

I – like all of my colleagues at the Department and so many of you – believe that Maine students with disabilities deserve to graduate knowing that they have the knowledge and skills needed for future success. And I am confident that they can, even if their path toward proficiency sometimes looks different than that of their classmates. After all, in the true learner-centered system envisioned in Maine’s Education Evolving strategic plan, all students are active participants in and directors of their own learning, taking a meaningful role in planning learning activities and being allowed to choose the manner by which they display proficiency, whether it be a final exam, paper, project or other demonstration.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Maine DOE welcomes new federal programs staff

Janette Kirk, David Fisk and Chelsey Fortin have joined Maine DOE as members of the No Child Left Behind Federal Programs Team. | More

Maine DOE announces principals as instructional leaders workshops

The Department is hosting a second series of workshops to support principals as instructional leaders.  | 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

Maine DOE offering free workshops for world languages educators

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

Nominations for Senate Youth Program and Scholarship due Oct. 10

All Maine principals and headmasters are encouraged to nominate one student for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). | 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

Maine DOE offers bomb threat report training for superintendents

The Department is encouraging all superintendents to attend NEO bomb threat report training. | More

Daily education rates set for special purpose private schools

The daily education rates for special purpose private schools have been set for the 2014-15 school year. | More

Notice of proposed rule changes: Chapter 60 & 61, Major Capital School Construction Projects

The Maine DOE is proposing changes this fall to the rules regarding major capital school construction projects. | More

Smarter Balanced Digital Library surpasses 2K item mark, workshops offered

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce the Smarter Balanced Digital Library currently contains more than 2,000 resources. | More

Due date extended for MEDMS Staff Data Collection

The reporting requirement for school administrative units to complete the MEDMS Staff Data Collection for 2014-15 has been extended to Oct. 15. | More

Districts reminded to identify English learners for fall reporting

The Maine DOE is reminding superintendents, Infinite Campus (IC) data managers, building administrators and school office personnel of the expectation to identify English learners. | More

Maine DOE seeking members for NCLB committee

The Maine DOE is seeking recommendations to fill vacancies on the Title I Committee of Practitioners. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – September 25, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

It’s been said that the first step to success is showing up and nowhere is that more true than in our schools.

Chronic absenteeism – defined as missing 10 percent of the school year (18 days here in Maine) – increases achievement gaps and decreases student outcomes. Absences add up quickly. In fact, students who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade and are more likely to have poor attendance in later grades. By middle and high school, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign that a student will not graduate on time or even at all. Chronic absenteeism especially hurts children with disabilities or from low income families who are both more likely to miss school and who often lack the resources to make up for lost time in the classroom.

This September marks the second annual Attendance Awareness Month. This nationwide event brings attention to the connection between school attendance and academic achievement while mobilizing schools and communities to promote the value of good attendance and take concrete steps toward reducing chronic absence.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Maine DOE welcomes new Higher Education Specialist Angel Loredo

Angel Loredo has joined the Maine DOE as its Higher Education Specialist. | More

Superintendents asked to complete survey of public preschool programs

The Maine DOE is committed to supporting and expanding high-quality public preschool programs. The Legislature passed two bills, now Public Laws, which focus on public preschool programs for children four years of age. | More

Maine DOE releases social studies webinar highlighting inquiry-based resources

The Maine DOE has created a free webinar to help educators better understand where Maine students are when it comes to developing evidence-based arguments and how to support them in improving those skills. | More

2015 Maine Teacher of the Year finalists in the final stages of the determination process

Finalists for Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year will participate in their final interview with panel members this week–the last step of the determination process.  | More

Maine high schools awarded three-year grant for computer science instruction

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year $469,369 grant to improve access to computer science instruction for Maine high school students. | More

Portland principal nominated for $100,000 award

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

Maine teachers spend summer volunteering at Maine State Aquarium

While some teachers were taking advantage of the summer to relax, others spent the better part of one week volunteering at the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – September 18, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

Earlier this week, a 24-person panel came together in Augusta to begin reviewing the state’s math and English language arts standards.

The panel’s membership – which includes parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members, college professors and business leaders – is diverse, as are their perspectives. Over the next six weeks, they’ll assess the rigor and clarity of each standard and make suggestions where improvement is needed.

I personally asked them to participate in this critical process because learning standards underlie much of our work in the coming years to transform education in Maine, from the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas to the implementation of educator evaluations and next generation assessment systems. If changes are needed, the time to make them is now.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Panel convened by Education Commissioner to improve Maine learning results, public input sought

Maine’s Education Commissioner is asking the public and a panel of parents, educators and business leaders to inform improvements his Department plans to make to the state’s learning standards for mathematics and English language arts. | More

Proficiency standard applies to special education students

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. | More

Maine DOE warns of scam targeting schools

The Maine DOE is warning schools to think twice before paying invoices from a Las Vegas based company calling itself Scholastic School Supply. | More

Update of Maine Schools form now overdue

The Update of Maine Schools form is now overdue. This year’s electronic version replaced a paper form previously sent to school administrative units and private schools. | More

Fourth cohort of Maine Governor’s STEM Academy graduates

The 23 Academy Fellows who graduated from the Governor’s Academy for STEM Education Leadership program this summer were provided with professional development opportunities. | More

Reminders about events that trigger duty to provide parents with procedural safeguards

The Department is reminding school administrative units that the following trigger a duty to provide procedural safeguards. | More

Informational meetings on new rural funding scheduled

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. | More

Department provides guidance on learning disability eligibility determinations

The Maine DOE is committed to ensuring the effective and timely identification of learners with special needs. | More

Department shares further guidance for processing charter invoices

The Maine DOE has posted additional guidance clarifying the process for preparing or disputing charter school invoices to resident school administrative units. | More

Report of Services to Students with Disabilities (EF-S-05 Part 1 & 2) due Oct. 31

School administrative units (SAUs) should begin preparing data for the EF-S-05, which includes Part 1: Special Education Child Count as well as Part 2: Special Education Personnel Employed, Contracted, and Needed. | More

Department releases leased space approvals

The Department has completed its review of FY 2015 leased space applications and posted the results here. | More

Maine high schools invited to register for Poetry Out Loud competition

Maine high schools are invited to register for Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide program that encourages youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation. | More

Nominations open for state’s top financial literacy educator

The Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is seeking nominations for the Maine Jump$tart Coalition Educator of the Year Award. | More

Maine’s Teacher of the Year asks for votes

The Department is encouraging Mainers to vote for Karen MacDonald, the current Maine Teacher of the Year, in her quest to win a $2,500 grant. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – September 11, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

Following the horrific attacks of Sept. 11 now 13 years ago, many Mainers stepped up to serve our country and the cause of freedom around the world. Their children are unsung heroes who face frequent moves, the absence of a beloved mom and/or dad during long deployments and daily uncertainty.

Those realities make the supports our schools can provide these special students all the more important. Today, I am proud to announce that our state has been nationally recognized for our above and beyond efforts to do just that.

In a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C., a collaboration between the Maine DOE, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Kittery School Department, the Rotary Club of Kittery and the Maine Military Interstate Compact Council (MIC3) was honored with the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award from the Military Child Education Coalition. The award, one of only five given out this year to partnerships that serve K-12 students, was presented by Pentagon Director of the Joint Staff Lieutenant General David L. Goldfein.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Department provides answers to proficiency FAQs

As the Class of 2018 enters its first year of secondary school, school leaders are thinking deeply and asking questions about what it means to award a proficiency-based diploma after Jan. 1, 2018. | More

Maine DOE offers K-12 educators technology-focused courses

Maine DOE’s Office of Adult Education and Family Literacy is offering four technology focused courses to K-12 educators this fall and spring. | More

Maine DOE creates assessment tool for standards-based IEP goals

The Department has created Self-Assessing for Standards-Based IEP Goals as an optional tool to assist school administrative units (SAUs) to self-assess progress in writing standards-aligned IEP goals. | More

Maine DOE hosts mentoring workshops for gifted and talented educators

New and experienced gifted and talented educators will have a chance to learn new skills and practices at upcoming mentoring workshops. | More

Dine and Discuss to focus on formative assessment, digital library

The Maine Council of English Language Arts (MCELA) with support from the Maine DOE is inviting educators to attend an evening of collegial discussion and a light dinner to learn about formative assessment with an introduction to the Smarter Balanced digital library. | More

Invitation to participate in NECAP science inquiry task field test

The Maine DOE is recruiting schools to serve as field testing sites to administer the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) Science Inquiry Tasks in grades 5, 8 and 11. | More

Resources available to support transition to computerized English language proficiency assessment

In 2015-2016, ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, a computerized assessment, will replace the current paper-based version of ACCESS for ELLs for Grades 1-12. | More

Revisions proposed to Maine School Facilities Program and School Revolving Renovation Fund rule

The enactment of PL 2013, Chapter 506 (LD 1805), authorizes the repeal of several unfunded or burdensome mandates, including the requirement that all school administrative units use State-mandated templates and software to plan facility maintenance and capital improvement plans. | More

NAEP tools available, board members sought

The National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), has unveiled a Back-to-School section on its website. | More

Free webinars on science standards scheduled

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is conducting a series of free web seminars in the coming months with the focus of each webinar on a different grade level. | More

2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge call for submissions

Maine schools are invited 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

John T. Gorman Foundation leadership development program call for applicants

The Maine DOE is encouraging educators and other interested parties to apply for the John T. Gorman Foundation’s new leadership development program in Maine announced this past June. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – September 4, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

Congratulations on the start of the 2014-15 school year!

This week, Maine students are fortunate to be heading back to schools where they will be welcomed by educators who encourage their love of learning and are deeply dedicated to ensuring every one of them is successful.

On behalf of Governor LePage and all of us at the Department, I want to thank those teachers, administrators and other school staff for their care for and commitment to our students. Maine kids are increasingly being inspired in their classrooms and achievement in their studies is rising as a result, putting them on a path for future college and career success.

While young people may not always be quick to express their gratitude, educators deserve to know how much they are valued and appreciated, not just by their students and their families, but our state as a whole. Thank you!

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

SAUs invited to apply for coaching and evidence-based practice PD

Creating standards-based Individualized Education Programs (IEP) was the first step; implementing those plans is next. | More

Maine DOE offers institute on early childhood learning standards

Thanks to a generous grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Maine DOE is holding a one-day institute, “From Preschool to Kindergarten-Connecting the Language & Literacy Standards” at Thomas College on Friday, Oct. 3. | More

Cross Disciplinary Literacy Network registration now open

The Department is encouraging Maine educators to register for the Cross Discipline Literacy Network (CDLN) for the 2014-15 school year. | More

Pilot participation, training offered on alternate assessment

The Maine DOE is encouraging schools to participate in an upcoming pilot of the State’s alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. | More

Maine DOE provides resources to support English Learners

Maine’s population of English Learners (ELs) continues to increase. The Maine DOE offers the following EL guidance and resources to support districts in effectively serving these students. | More

Maine DOE publishes guidance for districts processing charter school invoices

The Department has posted documents clarifying the process for preparing or disputing charter school invoices to resident school administrative units (SAUs). | More

Maine Harvest Lunch Week celebrated Sept. 22-26

The Maine DOE School Nutrition Program is inviting Maine schools to celebrate Maine Harvest Lunch Week Sept. 22-26. | More

Annual notification of eligibility for schoolwide programs

Schools that receive federal Title I funds, have poverty rates of at least 40 percent and have approved Title IA Schoolwide Plans are eligible to use their Title I funds – and funds from other sources – to develop “schoolwide programs.” | More

Maine educators convene to learn effective writing practices

Effective writing requires not only knowledge of writing modes and mechanics, but also strong understanding of content. Last month, 175 educators assembled at Thomas College to learn about the Vermont Writing Collaborative’s method. | More

Maine picked for fresh fruit and veggie program pilot

Maine has been selected as one of four states in the country for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Pilot Project. | More

Civic observances for Maine schools in September

Four observances and recognition days that provide important civic learning opportunities occur in September, one of them required by federal law. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – August 28, 2014

Featured Dispatch

Smarter Balanced digital library of formative assessment tools passes 1K item mark

Members of Maine’s Digital Library State Network of Educators were among 80 educators from the Smarter Balanced participating states that convened July 14-17 for a marathon work session to review and evaluate resources submitted to the Digital Library. Marilyn Joyce of Brewer and  Sandra Cookson of RSU 87 along with Maine DOE specialist Morgan Dunton were on hand as the Digital Library count passed 1,000  items and kept climbing.

The Smarter Balanced Digital Library is a clearinghouse of instructional resources vetted by educators trained to recognized key criteria such as alignment to standards and elements of the formative assessment process. Each resource in the library underwent a rigorous review process. This peer-reviewed process included monitoring for essential elements as well as a quality criteria review.

During the four day work session, more than 600 items were approved through the review process raising the number of resources in the library to over 1200. That number is still climbing as the library preview period continues. The Digital Library preview will end on September 30 and is expected to go live later this fall. Specific details will be shared as soon as they are available.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

9/11 Remembrance lesson plans available

The Corporation for National and Community Service is sharing free lesson plans focused on teaching 9/11 to children to bring the message of service and remembrance into the classroom. | More

Call for Senate Youth Program nominees

The Maine DOE is encouraging principals and headmasters in Maine schools to nominate one student for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP).  | More

Maine DOE hosts webinar on proficiency-based diplomas readiness

In response to requests, the Department is offering a webinar titled Proficiency-Based Diplomas: Extension or Confirmation on the morning of September 5 from 9-10:00. | More

FAQs on the piloting of PEPG systems

As educators across the state know, the last two years have been abundant with conversation, revision and activity related to developing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems. | More

Student behavior management and update on restraint and seclusion rules

A recently-adopted rule regarding the use of restraint or seclusion in schools limits the use of restraint or seclusion to manage behavior to situations in which the health or safety of a student or others is at risk. | More

New Staff EPS FTE Reports by district available in NEO

The new Staff EPS FTE Reports provide information by SAU pertaining to current staff data as entered into the MEDMS staff reporting system and used in the EPS subsidy calculation. | More

Maine DOE applying for federal school nutrition pilot program

The Maine DOE is applying to be part of a pilot program that would enable local food service departments to utilize part of their USDA food entitlement funds (PAL) to purchase unprocessed products. | More

Upcoming Maine Security School Workshop

The Maine DOE is encouraging school staff to attend a Maine School Security Workshop to be held September 18 at Hampden Academy and September 19 at Westbrook Middle School. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – August 14, 2014

Featured Dispatch

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative hosts New England Summit on Arts Education

The Maine DOE joined over 90 educators, teaching artists, and interdisciplinary teams at the New England Summit on Arts Education, July 29-August 1, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. This three day professional training opportunity was coordinated by the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and provided participants with a collaborative approach to explore methods of teaching, learning, and assessment in arts education.

Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Coordinator for Americans for the Arts, delivered an important message about the critical role of arts education in developing essential knowledge, skills and creative abilities needed for success in school, work and life. During the Summit, educators developed individual action plans focused on essential components of student learning and proficiency including arts integration, studio habits, technology and assessment.

Veteran teacher-leaders and educators new to MAAI joined together to learn from each other through numerous presentations, workshops and lectures. Over the past year, the MAAI teacher-leaders have developed standards-based units, including assessments, lesson plans and resources, and have provided guidance on how to select appropriate tools for classroom assessment. These materials are now available for review and use on the MAAI Resource Bank.

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Opportunity to learn is central in proficiency-based education

Student demonstration of proficiency as outlined in the State standards in all eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results and the Guiding Principles has at its foundation an infrastructure built on providing opportunities for students to access knowledge and to develop understanding that fosters transferable learning. | More

Maine DOE announces PEPG resources

Discussions at the Commissioners Conference in June yielded valuable input for the development of the Maine DOE Teacher Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) Model. In the weeks following the conference, the Department met with a variety of stakeholder groups to revise and finalize the model and companion documents, a collection of resources that will support schools in ensuring that every learner has access to highly effective teachers and school leaders. | More

Maine DOE provides complimentary 2014-15 law books to superintendents

The Maine DOE acquired enough copies of the Maine Education and School Statutes 2014-2015 edition law book from the publisher, Swan Island Press, to distribute one at no charge to each superintendent of schools in Maine. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Commissioner’s Update – July 31, 2014

Featured Press Release

Maine Department of Labor Proposes Rules Changes to Assist Students in Career and Technical Education Programs

The following release was originally published by the Maine Department of Labor on July 29, 2014.

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Labor announced in a news release proposed changes to rules surrounding job training programs for minors. The purpose of the proposed change is to allow students enrolled in approved Career and Technical educational programs to train on specific equipment, located at a business that is necessary for their course of study.

Due to the size and expense of some modern, standard industrial equipment, CTE schools cannot afford to purchase or maintain that equipment solely for training students. The changes would allow students to train on the equipment at a business under strict supervision.  Businesses hosting the training will have to comply with a number of conditions under the proposed rules.

“Many technical educational programs are at a disadvantage because some of our labor laws have not kept up with the changes in technology and job training,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “These changes will keep students safe but provide the opportunity to gain specific skills on updated equipment that our schools cannot afford to buy. This helps our students start on a great career and our businesses remain competitive.”

Continue reading


Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

OSEP letter cautions on using alternative graduation requirements for students with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education has advised Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education John White that a new Louisiana law allowing students with disabilities to follow a different route to a high school diploma than what’s required of other students may violate the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). | More

Maine DOE awards ConnectME technology grants

The Maine DOE’s Office of Adult Education and Family Literacy awarded twelve $5,000 ConnectME technology grants to adult education programs and four $2,500 technology grants to literacy volunteer programs. | More

Commission established to study essential programs and services

The Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula was established pursuant to Resolve 2014, Chapter 114 and held its first meeting on July 25. | More

Child Development Services announces web-based inventory system

Maine Child Development Services (CDS) system, in collaboration with the Maine CITE Coordinating Center, the statewide Assistive technology (AT) program, has created a web-based inventory system to track adaptive equipment/AT. | More

Maine FFA Association student officers participate in national leadership conference

Student officers of the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) attended the National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO), a regional leadership training in Croghan, New York, June 28-July 2.  | More

National Assessment Governing Board accepting nominations in mid-August

The National Assessment Governing Board will be issuing a call for nominations in mid-August; information will be available on their website at www.nagb.org at that time. | More

Update of Maine Schools form to be filed electronically for 2014-15

This school year the Maine DOE will be requiring all superintendents and private school administrators to file the Update of Maine Schools form electronically through NEO, the Department’s new data management system. | More

Maine’s County Teachers of the Year one step closer

Maine’s County Teachers of the Year have been hard at work this summer. They have now completed their oral presentations and are one step closer to becoming Maine’s State Teacher of the Year. | More

 

More Dispatches | Press Releases | From the Commissioner


LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities