Category Archives: School Improvement

Commissioner’s Update – December 11, 2014

From the Maine Department of Education

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.

In total, 33 new classrooms will be created with the funding and most will open next September, adding to Maine’s existing 205 classrooms serving 4-year-old students. Another 23 classrooms already in operation will be expanded so students can attend five days a week for the full day. With up to 16 students per preschool classroom, the award can potentially allow access to early childhood education to more than 500 additional Maine children.

Participating districts include Lewiston, Millinocket, Sanford, Westbrook, SAD 58 (Phillips, Strong and Kingfield) and RSU 3 (Brooks, Liberty, Monroe and Unity), 12 (Chelsea and Somerville), 13 (Rockland), 37 (Addison, Harrington and Milbridge), 39 (Limestone), 49 (Albion and Clinton), 53 (Pittsfield) and 74 (Anson, North Anson and Solon).

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine DOE launches web resources for assessment

The Maine DOE has launched a new section on its website with resources related to the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy as well as a portal developed by its vendor for assessment administration. | More

Maine DOE offers regional assessment administration workshops

The Maine DOE is offering four regional workshops in January to support school districts as they prepare for the spring administration of the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy. | More

Maine DOE releases resources to support new educator evaluation system development

The Maine DOE has released new online resources to support school administrative units (SAUs) in designing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems. | More

Student art submissions sought for MLTI screensaver contest

The Maine DOE is seeking artwork created by students to feature next year on the screensavers of the thousands of devices it provides to Maine schools through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). | More

Cooking with USDA Foods webinar on Dec. 18

School food service professionals are encouraged to register for the webinar K-12 Cooking with USDA Foods with White House Champions of Change chefs Garrett Berdan, Carlin Breinig and Cyndie Story on Dec. 18. | More

Maine schools receive funds to purchase local foods from local farmers

Projects in RSU 18 and Downeast Maine have been awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to bring more food grown by local farmers to students. | More

Students invited to do service projects to benefit Toys for Tots

Maine schools are invited to engage students in service to others through the 2014 Joy Maker Challenge this holiday season. | More

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LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Maine DOE releases resources to support new educator evaluation system development

As part of its commitment to ensuring great teachers and school leaders, the Maine DOE has released new online resources to support school administrative units (SAUs) in designing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems.

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Call for 21st century learning exemplar schools now through Jan. 31

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is seeking PreK-12 schools from across the nation to apply for their 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program. Continue reading

Maine DOE hosts educator effectiveness workshop on Dec. 12

The Maine DOE is offering a free half-day workshop for new superintendents and building administrators who need general information on the educator effectiveness law, which requires all school administrative units to develop and implement performance evaluation and professional growth (PEPG) systems by the 2015 school year.

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Resource available for elementary school principals

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has released a new resource for elementary school principals that defines new competencies and outlines approaches for providing high-quality early childhood programs.

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Notice of proposed rule changes: Chapter 13, Qualifying Examinations for Teachers, Educational Specialists and Administrators

The Maine DOE and the State Board of Education are proposing changes this fall to the rules regarding the qualifying examinations for credentialing purposes for teachers, educational specialists and administrators.

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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 with more than 100 participants from across the state at a recent seminar hosted by legal firm Drummond Woodsum in partnership with the Maine School Management Association.

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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.

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Notice of 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 to eligible children with disabilities age birth to 20.

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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. The changes discussed in June have since evolved.

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