Maine Department of Education

The Maine Department of Education provides leadership and support to educators and families in preparing all Maine students for success in college, careers and civic life.

The Maine DOE Newsroom highlights the work of Maine schools and the Department of Education.

Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey Administration Postponed

Dear Superintendents and Principals,

The Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) has been conducted in the February of odd-numbered years since 2009, with the next administration due in February 2021. Given the extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIYHS will be postponed to Fall 2021. With a significant portion of students learning remotely in some capacity, high quality data collection is not feasible for the 2020-2021 academic year. Postponing the survey will reduce the burden on schools and increase the chances of securing high quality data on students’ mental, physical, social, and emotional health.

We ask for your help in making the fall 2021 MIYHS successful by registering to participate early. Our partner, Pan Atlantic Research, will send out Fall 2021 registration information this winter. We are also excited to announce that select schools will have the option to conduct their surveys online next fall! Please stay tuned for more information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jean Zimmerman at jean.zimmerman@maine.gov or Korey Pow at korey.pow@maine.gov.

U.S. DOE Seeks Maine Educators for National School Ambassador Fellowship

The U.S. Department of Education’s School Ambassador Fellowship application window for the 2021-2022 cohort is now open.

Applications are being accepted through Monday, January 11, 2021.

This opportunity is for school-based educators. The Fellowship is designed to improve educational outcomes for students by leveraging the expertise of school-based practitioners in the creation, dissemination, and evaluation of national education policy. Founded on the principles of partnership, collaboration and cooperation with school-based educators, the Fellowship seeks to:

  • Create a community of teachers, administrators, counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other school staff members who share their expertise with one another and collaborate with Department of Education leaders on issues important to students and educators nationwide.
  • Involve practicing educators in developing policies that holistically affect learning environments.
  • Highlight practitioners’ voices and expand educators’ critical leadership at the local, state, and national levels.
  • The School Ambassador Fellowship offers two separate year-long tracks: full-time and part-time. The full-time appointment is based at the Department of Education Headquarters in Washington, DC; and the part-time fellowship enables educators to collaborate with the Department while maintaining their regular school responsibilities in their home communities.
    To be eligible for the School Ambassador Fellowship program, participants must:
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
  • Currently be a teacher, administrator, counselor, social worker, or other school staff member (and anticipate being employed in this role during the 2021 – 2022 school year).
  • Be employed by a traditional public, charter, private, virtual, military (DoDEA), or tribal (BIE) school that serves any grade, preschool through twelfth.
  • Have at least five years of experience in his/her role, up to and including the current school year.
  • Have daily interaction with students and/or educators in his/her school/district role.

Ideal candidates for this program are educators from public, charter, independent, magnet, parochial schools, etc. who have made significant contributions to student learning and culture, can effectively communicate to a variety of internal and external education stakeholders, and can promote excellence in education through their collaboration and leadership capabilities.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 – 2022 School Ambassador Fellowship is Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Program and application submission information can be found at the School Ambassador Fellowship Website.

Have Questions About the School Ambassador Fellowship? Contact the School Ambassador Fellowship program office at SAF@ed.gov.

Finding Creative Ways to Extend Career Development: Portland High Internships Go Virtual

More students than ever are participating in Portland High School’s internship program despite its alternate format

While the coronavirus pandemic caused many of Portland High’s regular partners to be unable to offer internships, some organizations got creative in offering safe internship opportunities for PHS students.

A record 20 PHS students are participating in virtual or socially distant internships this fall. Students are interning with organizations including Maine Audubon, The Portland Press Herald, Planned Parenthood, Cultivating Community, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, Little Chair Print Shop, multiple professional photographers, SMRT Architects and Engineers, Tetra Tech, and the New England Historical Society. More students and internship sites are matched daily.

The pandemic has sparked some creative partnerships, such as between Maine Audubon, PHS, and the Portland Press Herald photography team. Neddie Clews, a senior at PHS will be honing her photography skills to tell the stories of the various Audubon trails. Not only will she be mentored by Melissa Kim, the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Audubon; Michele McDonald, photo editor for the Portland Press Herald, and her team will provide guidance.

Clews reflects, “Being able to do this internship with Maine Audubon is allowing me to pursue some of my top interests while at the same time getting me great work experience, working as a trail photographer I get to have free range of the outdoors while improving my photography skills.”

“We’re always looking for ways to connect with young people, and that’s been challenging this year,” said Melissa Kim, Maine Audubon’s Director of Communications. “This project allows for collaboration, learning, creativity, and content, all within the confines of pandemic restrictions. Having Neddie explore and photograph trails at our sanctuaries, and help us create visual stories of each trail, will give us new ways to engage our supporters and provide reasons for people to come visit and connect with wildlife and habitat.”

If your organization is interested in hosting an intern, contact Andrea Levinsky, Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator at levina@portlandschools.org.

 

MYAN Hosting Fall and Winter Virtual Training Series & Youth Action Forum

Fall and Winter Virtual Training Series

Looking for some professional development opportunities to get you through the winter?

This year, MYAN (Maine Youth Action Network) has eight new virtual trainings across three topic areas: Supporting Social Justice Movements, Community Based Action, and Positive Youth Development.

Each training will be run two to three times between November and February. All of our trainings this year will be held virtually and are free to attend. Space in some sessions may be limited, so sign up early to reserve a spot!

Our Winter Trainings include:
• Practicing with a Restorative Lens
• Neuroscience, SEL, and Racial Equity
• Fostering Strong Relationships with Young People
• Community-Driven Research with Youth
• Uprooting Inequities: Using Dialogue to Build Community
• Play to Learn: Gamifying Learning Experiences
• Youth-Driven Programming
• Beyond the Book Club: Building and Sustaining Anti-Racist Work

For more information, visit MYNA’s website (https://www.myan.org/trainings/) for more details about training content and links to register.

A Youth Action Forum

Young Mainers across the state continue to take action on the issues that matter to them the most – from mental health, to Black Lives Matter, to implementing restorative practices in schools, young people are leading the way.

MYAN and the Youth Planning Team want to continue supporting youth leadership and we didn’t want to wait until our annual Youth Leadership Conference in March. We’re providing a virtual space to meet, discuss, and tackle the topics that are most urgent to young people.

On November 14th, Join MYAN and the Youth Planning Team for a special virtual event designed for current and aspiring youth leaders all over Maine!

With an exciting Youth Leadership panel and inspiring break-out sessions representing 6 major topics – Mental Health, Restorative Practices in School, Black Lives Matter and Racism, Youth Leadership, Climate Change, and Body Positivity – young people will have the opportunity to discuss and explore perspectives and effective actions to take now.

While this event is designed primarily for young people, adult participants are welcome to attend the Youth Leadership panel discussion. However, the breakout topics will be reserved exclusively for young people.

For more information visit https://www.myan.org/conference/now/

If you have any questions about either of these opportunities, email myan@opportunityalliance.org

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE Launches Social Emotional Learning Curriculum

The Maine Department of Education is excited to announce the release of Maine’s first, state owned and free, PreK-12th grade Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum.

SEL4ME has been constructed by professionals with 50+ years of experience in education, student/parent engagement and staff/administrator professional development. Lessons are aligned with industry established best practices, are leveraged through an equity lens and include over 450 modules that cover PreK-12 scaffolded by grade.

Following research and findings from the Maine’s Opioid Prevention Task Force and Task Force on Childhood Trauma, incorporating SEL into education is evidenced to be a primary prevention and trauma informed practice and the DOE is dedicated to meeting the social emotional and mental health needs of our educators and students. The SEL4ME curriculum honors Maine’s strong history of social emotional learning and is flexible by design so that it can be used as an additional support for existing SEL, health or counseling programs, while also being a reliable and foundational way to enable schools to create brand new SEL programs across our State.

What we have here is only the beginning! The SEL4ME Team, consisting of diverse Maine experts and stakeholders, will continue to edit, add and develop new SEL content, ensuring that our State’s unique SEL needs are met. Moving forward, expect the curriculum to expand from classroom supports to include school and district wide resources in the structured, best practice use of SEL throughout school culture. While this curriculum is not a requirement, research shows that the benefits of incorporating social emotional learning into our schools are significant and the SEL Team will be providing free training and support to educators looking to use the SEL4ME curriculum.

We hope that every Maine educator will take advantage of this free, readily available and low barrier, SEL curriculum to supplement everyday classroom instruction or to assist with remote learning. We will continue to grow SEL4ME with your feedback and support!

Thank you for your dedication to Maine youth.

Please use these links below to access the new SEL4ME curriculum, trainings and support:

For further questions, please contact Kellie Bailey, Maine DOE Social Emotional Learning Specialist at Kellie.Bailey@maine.gov.