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.

The Learning Space a Huge Success – Maine DOE Thanks Teacher Contributors!

At the end of March, in the midst of transitioning their own classrooms to emergency distance learning, Maine teachers went above and beyond the call of duty to develop over forty original video lessons (aligned with Maine’s Learning Results) to provide exceptional learning opportunities for Maine students in grades 3-5, which aired on Maine Public Television’s new program, The Learning Space, a project of Educate Maine, the Maine Department of Education, Maine Public, and additional partners (MSMA, MCLA, MSTOYA, NBCTs of Maine, MEA, MPA, MADSEC, Dead River Company, Finance Authority of Maine, John T. Gorman Foundation, Kennebunk Savings, Maine Community Foundation, University of Maine at Augusta, Machias Savings Bank).

HeatherTLSEach weekday at noon, students throughout Maine tuned in to Channel 10, where Heather Whitaker, Maine’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, greeted them with a warm smile and a heartfelt welcome!

Over the next two months, teachers throughout Maine piqued students’ curiosity and challenged them to think deeply, to wonder, to reflect, and to discover through lessons such as: nature notebooking, mini-comics, found poetry, positivity beats, penny science, using maps to ignite storytelling, reading photographs like a historian, understanding plate tectonics, what density is, how the water cycle works via a can crush experiment, math mysteries, fun with equivalent fractions and trail mix, fraction splat, and the cool ways to collect and graph data via a scavenger hunt!

Students listened carefully to Vivaldi’s “Spring,” traveled to Kenya on a special field mission, learned how to create sculptures in the style of Andy Goldsworthy, using materials found in nature, such as twigs, sticks, and pine cones. Students learned how to plant a garden, how to make music with their bodies, and how to make Agua Fresca en español (a refreshing fruity drink) via an introductory Spanish lesson. Check out an archive of episodes! 

Maine authors Lynn Plourde and Tamra Wight shared writing tips with students, and throughout the series, students met these notable Mainers: Margaret Chase Smith, Samantha Smith, and Louie the lobster—who taught the students how a bill becomes a law! In thinking about self-assessment, students learned how they can demonstrate and/or reflect on their learning using simple building blocks or other found objects in their homes. Many lessons included mindful moments and breathing exercises to help students center themselves and manage their emotions—helpful all the time, but especially during this time of emergency distance learning.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the following teachers for not only designing such a wide range of creative and engaging lessons, but also for adapting their lessons for a television audience. For many, this included learning new technology skills, filming multiple “takes” of their lessons to produce high quality video segments, and perhaps, most importantly, a willingness to be vulnerable in putting themselves and their work out on such a public platform. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOU DO!

Ingrid Bergstrom teaches specially-designed instruction at the Harrison Lyseth Elementary School in Portland.

Paula Bourque, National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), is an instructional literacy coach in the Augusta Public Schools.

Heidi Bullen, NBCT, teaches third grade at the Crescent Park School in RSU 44/MSAD 44.

Tracy Deschaine, NBCT, teaches math and science at Orono Middle School in RSU 26 and is the 2019 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.

Cassandra Dunphy teaches at Readfield Elementary in RSU 38.

Marielle Edgecomb teaches math at The Peninsula School in RSU 24 and is the 2017 Hancock County Teacher of the Year. In the fall, Marielle will be teaching math at Sumner Memorial High School.

Talya Edlund is an instructional math coach in RSU 5, and the 2015 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, as well as the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Nesrene Griffin teaches at the Robert V. Connors Elementary School in Lewiston.  Nesrene is the 2017 Androscoggin County Teacher of the Year.

Elizabeth Heidemann, NBCT, is a veteran Maine public school Teacher, and co-founder of Go2Science.  Elizabeth is a Presidential Award-Winning Teacher, and the 2016 Knox County Teacher of the Year.

Hillary Hoyt, NBCT, teaches science at the Leroy H. Smith School in RSU 22.

Carrie Lamothe is an instructional math coach in the Saco Public Schools.

Cherrie MacInnes teaches at Greely Middle School in RSU 51/MSAD 51 and is the 2016 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.

Betsy Mayo teaches at the Songo Locks School in RSU 61/MSAD 61 and is the 2003 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Stacey McCluskey, NBCT, teaches at the Carrabec Community School in RSU 74/MSAD 74.

Angela McLaughlin, NBCT, teaches at the Asa C Adams School in RSU 26 and is the 2015 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.

Argy Nestor is a veteran Maine public school teacher, and is currently the Director of the Sweetland School. Argy was also the previous Director of the Maine Arts Commission, the 2014 recipient of the National Art Education Association’s Distinguished Service Award. Additional recognitions include: Maine Middle Level Outstanding Middle Level Educator of the Year (2005), Maine Art Education Advocate of the Year (2013), and the Maine Teacher of the Year (1995).

Samantha Person teaches physical and health education at the Waterboro Elementary School in RSU 57/MSAD 57.

Connie Russell, NBCT, teaches at the Mabel I Wilson school in RSU 51/MSAD 51 and is the 2018 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year.

Daniel Ryder is the director of the Success and Innovation Center at Mt. Blue High School in RSU 9. Dan holds multiple recognitions, including: 2016 WCSH Inspiring Educator Award, 2017 Apple Distinguished Educator Award, and a 2019 NEA Foundation Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence.

Benjamin Segee teaches science and G/T at Leonard Middle School in RSU 34.

Julie Speno teaches Spanish at Camden-Rockport Elementary in RSU 28/MSAD 28.

Heather Sumner teaches music at Ocean Avenue School in Portland Public Schools.

Rebecca Tapley teaches math and science at Brooklin School, Brooklin Public School District, and is the 2016 Hancock County Teacher of the Year.  In the fall, Becky will be a math STEM Education Specialist at Maine Math and Science Alliance.

Brooke Teller is an instructional coach for the Portland Public Schools and is the 2017 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year.

Heather Whitaker is an alternative education teacher at Gorham Middle School, Gorham Public Schools.  Heather is the 2019 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year and the 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Kaitlin Young teaches music at the SeDoMoCha Elementary School and the SeDoMoCha Middle School in RSU 68/MSAD 68.  Kaitlin holds a Professional Music Teaching Certificate and is a Teacher Member Support at Se Do Mo Cha Schools.  In 2017, Kaitlin is the 2017 Piscataquis Teacher of the Year and the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Maine DOE Update – July 9, 2020

 

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

Maine DOE Data Management Systems Summer Training 2020-2021

The Maine Department of Education Data Team will be holding their annual summer trainings during the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August.  The focus this year will be on tips and resources to assist School Administrative Units (SAUs) with data reporting and with viewing/certifying reports. | More

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |


News & Updates

Maine Adult Education Programs to provide laptops to remote learners with help from Maine Community Foundation grant

Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) is partnering with the Maine Department of Education (DOE) to ensure that adult learners have the technology they need to continue their studies. A grant of $75,000 from MaineCF will fund laptops for 56 adult education programs to allow students to remotely complete their high school equivalency or workforce training programs. | More

A Message from Maine Education Commissioner Regarding Fall 2020 Survey

The Maine Department of Education has released a special video message from Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin and other key leaders from the Department to encourage and remind the people of Maine to provide input for ensuring a safe return to classroom instruction. | More

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Seeking Nominations for MAITC Teacher of the Year Award

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is currently seeking nominations for their 2021 Teacher of the Year Award. This award is for any Maine elementary or secondary school teacher who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom to teach core subjects. | More


Maine Schools Sharing Success Stories

| Submit your Maine School Success Story |


Professional Development & Training Opportunities

FREE Virtual Professional Development for School Transportation Teams July 30-31

Build your excitement for the new technology being developed at Transfinder. See the next generation of Wayfinder Navigation allowing drivers to benefit from turn-by-turn voice guidance. Learn about Tripfinder for managing field trip requests and secure access for district personnel to submit requests and track approvals. . | More

Upcoming and Ongoing Virtual Sessions and Recordings Offered by the Maine DOE

Check out the Maine Department of Education’s Professional Development Calendar for upcoming professional development offerings. The Department continues to offer office hours for School Based Mental Health Supports and School Counselors each week. Now is the time to register for two of our upcoming series, one on Reading Differentiation using Jan Richardson’s Practices and our Pre K for ME Curriculum Training  | Find a schedule of upcoming sessions here | Find recorded sessions here.

| Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

View current Maine Department of Education employment opportunities here


 

Upcoming and Ongoing Virtual Sessions and Recordings Offered by the Maine DOE

Check out the Maine Department of Education’s Professional Development Calendar for upcoming professional development offerings. The Department continues to offer office hours for School Based Mental Health Supports and School Counselors each week. Now is the time to register for two of our upcoming series, one on Reading Differentiation using Jan Richardson’s Practices and our Pre K for ME Curriculum Training 

Be sure to browse our webinar library for recorded sessions, we have recordings on a range of topics, everything from ESEA Office hours to World Languages! We have newly uploaded sessions on Physical Education, Health Education and coming soon will be playlists for Business Managers in addition to a series of recorded sessions about ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds).

Find the Professional Calendar here.

Find the Webinar Library here.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Adult Education Programs to provide laptops to remote learners with help from Maine Community Foundation grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Maine CF:  Carl Little
Contact Maine DOE:  Kelli Deveaux

AUGUSTA—Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) is partnering with the Maine Department of Education (DOE) to ensure that adult learners have the technology they need to continue their studies. A grant of $75,000 from MaineCF will fund laptops for 56 adult education programs to allow students to remotely complete their high school equivalency or workforce training programs.

The partnership is based on the mutual belief of MaineCF and Maine DOE that better access to educational opportunities will help improve the quality of life for Maine people. While much attention has been given to Pre-K to 12 schools in Maine, adult education programs are a key support for Maine’s most at-risk students and workforce development to strengthen Maine’s economy.

The shift to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility and fragmentation of technology access in Maine. The progress of many adult education students has been stalled by their inability to participate in online classes. MaineCF hopes that closing the technology gap will help adult education students complete their programs and continue their path to lifelong learning.

“Adult Education students already are facing significant barriers in their pursuit of education,” noted Cherie Galyean, MaineCF director of strategic learning and staff member behind the foundation’s Access to Education strategic goal area. “MaineCF does not want technology to be one of those barriers. Our hope is that this grant will help address the problem of digital inequity and help adult learners continue on their path to success.”

MaineCF worked with Maine DOE’s Adult Education team to survey the adult education programs in Maine and found technology access was a barrier that needed to be addressed.

“Though adult education programs quickly transitioned to remote learning, students without computer devices were unable to continue,” said Dr. Gail Senese, Maine DOE director of adult education. “As a result, hundreds of students enrolled in high school equivalency and workforce training programs were unable to earn their credentials, college transition learners were cut off from classes preparing them for postsecondary admission, and English language students were left isolated,” she noted. “The advocacy of Maine Community Foundation for adult learners is demonstrated in a generous donation, resulting in the acquisition of 375 devices, including laptops and Chromebooks, that local programs will be able to provide to the most in-need students.”

School and daycare center closings also have impacted adult learners who need flexible learning schedules as they care for their children. Adult education programs have expanded their capacity to provide remote instruction to ensure that learning can continue, regardless of schedule or location. But access to technology remains critical for these students.

“Many of our students do not have the necessary technology at home to access online learning classes, and we know that with access comes opportunity,” said Biddeford Adult Education Director Paulette Bonneau. “These computers take away one more barrier to our students’ success, allowing them to continue their learning without interruption and to learn anytime, from anywhere.”

The Department of Education is expected to deliver the laptops to adult education providers regionally by the end of the month to be distributed as soon as possible to students with the greatest need.

“Adult education programs are vitally important and are successful because they provide adult learners with a more flexible schedule to fulfill their education needs anytime during the year,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “The need for these devices to help them continue this important work is critical and the DOE is extremely grateful to MaineCF for its generosity in providing this much-needed funding to Maine’s adult education programs.”

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