Category Archives: Commissioner’s Updates

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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.”

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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

 

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Commissioner’s Update – July 17, 2014

Featured Press Release

Maine awarded $819,433 for meeting workforce system and adult education performance goals

The following release was originally published by the Maine Department of Labor on July 8, 2014.

AUGUSTA – The Maine Departments of Education and Labor and the State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) have been awarded a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Incentive Grant of $819,433 based on performance in federal Program Year 12 (July 2012 through June 2013).  Only eight states met their objectives and earned such a grant. Maine last qualified for an incentive grant 12 years ago.

The award is based on the performance of all of the statewide Adult Education Programs and all of the partners in the workforce development system, specifically the Department of Labor and its CareerCenters and the service providers that work through the CareerCenter system and the Local Workforce Investment Boards. The service providers are Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, Aroostook County Action Program, Western Maine Community Action and Eastern Maine Development Corporation.

“I have made it a priority to implement reforms in our systems that result in better outcomes for our citizens,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Giving Mainers the tools to enter a good-paying career should be the focus of our training and adult education dollars. This grant recognizes the progress we have made toward meeting that goal, but we have more work to do.”

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Maine high school student wins national contest

Noah Binette, a freshman at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine, has won first place for his exhibit about Malaga Island at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day competition recently held at the University of Maryland. | More

Maine DOE seeking online panel members to set achievement levels

As a governing state in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Maine continues to support the efforts to develop a rigorous assessment system that will become operational in the 2014-15 school year. | More

CDS staff completes routines-based interview training

The Child Development Services team is pleased to announce that as of June 30, the Part C staff at all 9 regional CDS sites has completed the Routines-Based Interview (RBI) training. | More

Special rates for Maine teachers at National Council for the Social Studies conference

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) will host the nation’s largest and most comprehensive social studies professional development conference at its 2014 Annual Conference in Boston, November 21-23. | More

Optional high school assessment opportunities in 2014-15

To assist in preparing students for college and career readiness and post-secondary opportunities, the Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce our continued partnership with the College Board to provide high schools the opportunity to offer students the ReadiStep, PSAT, SAT and AccuPLACER.  | More

Governing board for high school equivalency test selected

Educational Testing Service, the provider of the new ETS high school equivalency test program known as HiSET, has partnered with the Maine DOE and other states who administer HiSET to appoint a governing board to help set overall direction for the program. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – July 3, 2014

Featured Press Release

Governor LePage announces $11.3 million to support at-risk students

The Governor announced the awards from the Maine Department of Education at the Reiche School in Portland alongside the CEO of LearningWorks, one of 15 grantees who will establish or continue 32 community learning centers that provide students extended learning services

PORTLAND – Governor Paul R. LePage announced that the Maine Department of Education is giving out $11.3 million over the next five years to support extended learning opportunities for at-risk students.

The Governor announced the awards alongside Education Commissioner Jim Rier, LearningWorks CEO Ethan Strimling, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk and South Portland School Department Superintendent Suzanne Godin at the Reiche School in Portland.

LearningWorks will receive around $2.5 million over the five-year award period to provide hands-on, engaging and relevant extended day and summer programming at six schools in Portland and South Portland through the establishment and continuation of 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Community learning centers provide academic support and enrichment opportunities outside of school hours that improve the in-school performance of at-risk students – including those who struggle academically or are from low-income or immigrant families.

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Commissioner’s Conference focuses on Proficiency-Based Diplomas and Educator Effectiveness

In closing comments of the Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, Education Commissioner Jim Rier applauded attendees for their attention and participation in the event. that was designed to provide superintendents and other district administrators with guidance, technical assistance and practical tools to use in implementing recently-passed legislation. | More

Maine DOE releases results from proficiency-based Readiness Inventory

The Maine DOE has released results from the proficiency-based diploma Readiness Inventory, a tool designed to help school districts better understand their progress toward proficiency and to help determine which of the six extension options is best for them to pursue. | More

New resource for performance evaluation and professional growth systems

Following enactment of the Maine Educator Effectiveness law in 2012, the Maine DOE worked for over a year to finalize the rules that govern the development and implementation of performance evaluation and professional growth (PEPG) systems for teachers and principals. | More

Maine DOE announces Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program funding opportunity

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Office of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program | More

SAUs invited to apply for “Supporting ALL Teachers for ALL Students” leader team training

The Maine DOE invites district-wide teams of educators from both general and special education to become leader teams for Supporting ALL Teachers for ALL Students. This professional development training includes a two-day eventin Brewer, Oct. 15-16 and ongoing coaching, consultation and technical assistance  | More

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

The Maine DOE has issued 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 | More

Maine Commission for Community Service presents AmeriCorps webinar

Registration is now open for an informational webinar introducing AmeriCorps program basics and the various types of grants available during the major triennial AmeriCorps State program grant competition that will take place this Fall and Winter. | More

Maine DOE adopts rules for suicide awareness and prevention

Rule Chapter 38:  Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools has been adopted by the Department of Education and took effect June 29, 2014. | More

Responsibility for FAPE for deaf or hard-of-hearing students

Notice of statutory change going into effect on July 1 of next year (2015). Under Public Law 2013, Chapter 552 (formerly LD 1769) | More

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