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 DOE Update – November 7, 2019

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

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News & Updates

Call for Student and Educator Team Proposals: MLTI Student Conference

The MLTI Student Conference Planning Committee is issuing the call for student and educator team proposals for the 17th Annual MLTI Student Conference, to be held on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at the University of Maine in Orono. | More

MLTI T-shirt Design Competition Accepting Entries Until February 24th, 2020!

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) is hosting a T-shirt Design Competition again this year. The theme for the T-shirt design is “Celebrating 200 Years in Maine” or “Maine’s Bicentennial”. | More

MLTI Student Conference 2020 Musical Performance Applications Due February 24th, 2020

The MLTI Student Conference has included live musical performances over the past several years, and this year, we would like to feature students from our PK-12 schools or local universities. There are several potential opportunities which could be filled by students from one school or from a two schools. A tentative schedule is below. More


Maine Schools Sharing Success Stories

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Professional Development & Training Opportunities

No Cost Mandated Reporter Training Available to School Personnel

In 2015, Maine revised its mandated reporting law, requiring state-approved training for certain professions every four years. Specifically, it includes school personnel described as the following: teachers, guidance counselors, school officials, school bus drivers and school bus attendants. | More

| Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Manchester School of RSU 14 in Windham Celebrates National Farm to School Movement

Students, teachers, school garden coordinators, and school nutrition staff from Manchester School in RUS 14 along with representatives from The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry and the Maine Department of Education participated in a day of activities to celebrate growing, harvesting and eating local food on Monday November 4th.

The event included education about the importance of local food and the relationship schools are developing with local farmers to provide fresh, quality fruits, vegetables, and produce to Maine schools. Students worked with recently harvested carrots from their school garden to prep, cook, and sample fresh carrot curry soup and carrot muffins.

A fixture at the Manchester School for the past 20 years, the School Garden has become a big part of the community providing fresh produce for the school nutrition program, local shelters, as well as students, staff, and community members who provide a helping hand in keeping the garden going.

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To optimizing the growing season, the Garden features a hoop house and raised beds that allow students and school staff to grow fresh produce for almost the entire year-round. The Garden is also rooted in the curriculum, providing a bases for many lessons from science to English, and community development. “The learning continues even though we’re not out in the soil,” said Stacy Sanborn, 4th Grade Teacher and School Garden Coordinator. Staff members from the Manchester School wrote grants and utilized local volunteers, and local experts to put the hoop house in place, and it has been a huge success for them.

It was an exciting day of activities drawing TV cameras and photographers to capture students happily engaged in chopping, cooking, and learning for the very purpose of celebrating a moment that is quickly moving across Maine. The Manchester School in Windham is one of the more than 400 Maine schools that participate in a farm-to-school program.

The collaboration between the Department of Education and The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry continues this fall. The two departments are producing a series of public service announcements to showcase how more Maine farms can establish relationships and sell their produce to Maine schools.

For more information about the Farm-to-School Program, please visit this website.

 

 

‘Fridays with Finn’ Provides Lewiston Students, Teachers, and School Leaders with Invaluable Experiences and Information

A new leader brings along new practices and fresh ideas. In Lewiston Public Schools, Superintendent Todd Finn’s new idea is turning heads, not only in the news, but more importantly, getting the attention of the staff and students as well.  Fridays with Finn aims to take on the very important goal of staying connected with students, teachers, and staff in Lewiston’s 10 schools and programs. Recently, Maine Department of Education staff got the unique opportunity to experience Fridays with Finn by being cordially invited to tag along.

The morning started in the busy lobby of Lewiston Regional Technical Center (LRTC) as students were arriving for class. One of 32 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Centers and Regions, LRTC is connected to Lewiston High School, providing Lewiston students with the chance to experience hands-on, career-based curriculum only steps away from their general education classes. In addition to serving Lewiston residents, LRTC also caters to an abundance of surrounding schools – all of which arrive in droves as an eventful Friday with Finn begins.

The first stop is to drop baked goods off at the front office at LRTC, a tradition many school leaders swear by to keep in good graces, knowing the vital role front office staff play in school operations. The second stop is to find a certain student enrolled in the Education/Development of Children Program who tweeted at Mr. Finn earlier that day, inviting him to stop by during his visits – an invitation he was eager to accommodate. An avid communicator, like many school leaders tend to be, Finn takes to Twitter on a regular basis to stay connected and share his thoughts and ideas with the community. Tweeting about Fridays with Finn ahead of the day’s visits was no exception.

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IMG_2523.JPGPopping in and out of LRTC classes happening that morning, Mr. Finn had many interesting and pertinent conversations along the way, including a talk with welding students about new ways to learn and appreciate math. He also took an impromptu quiz in the nursing assistant class and stopped to fist bump a student in the digital media class who follows him on Twitter. We finally found the Education/Development of Children Program student as she was working with pre-school children who attend LRTC’s Education & Development of Children class. True to form, Mr. Finn sat right down to share the moment and connect with the students, teachers and children in the class, taking the time to ask for feedback at each and every turn.

“These weekly visits are vital to me because they provide me with an opportunity to connect with students and staff regularly,” said Finn.

IMG_2540.JPGBefore heading out to visit another school, Mr. Finn made a stop at the Store Next Door to check in with store staff Jamie Caouette and Katie Karantz just in time to help bring in a load of donated items. A well-known fixture in the Lewiston School Department for the past 20 years, the Store provides homeless students with clothing, food, supplies, and other necessities they may not have access to. When asked about Fridays with Finn, Katie eagerly responded, “It’s a big thing, it gets his face out there and gives him the opportunity to get to know the kids.”

Following the visit to LRTC, were visits to Montello Elementary School, Farwell Elementary School, and Connors Elementary school, 3 of Lewiston’s 5 elementary schools. At each stop, Mr. Finn made his way around the halls, poking his head into open doorways. While some students were working on understanding different emotions, others were painting during art class, playing basketball during physical education class, testing buoyancy in a science experiment, or reading their own original Halloween stories out loud to their classmates (among many other activities happening that morning). As usual Mr. Finn took the opportunity to ask for feedback whenever possible and always greeted students and staff along the way, many of whom recognized and appreciated his presence.

The eventful morning was enough to see that students, staff, and teachers are certainly appreciative of their regular face-time with the new leader and the opportunity to engage in conversations that help shape the evolution of education in the district and the community.

This article was written by Maine DOE Staff Rachel Paling in collaboration with school leaders from Lewiston Public Schools as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. For more information or to submit an idea or a write-up, email Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Maranacook Educator’s Research Published for Teachers

ShaneGowerMaranacook Community High School teacher Shane Gower researched the life and service of Corporal Millard W. Corson as part of Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. In honor of Veterans Day, Mr. Gower’s eulogy and profile of Corporal Millard W. Corson will be published at NHDSilentHeroes.org. In addition, a lesson plan inspired by the Silent Hero, The Ethics of Shell Shock Treatment: A Socratic Seminar in History and Psychology, is on the World War I page of National History Day’s website and will be featured in the upcoming publication, Great War, Flawed Peace, and the Lasting Legacy of World War I.

Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the Memorializing the Fallen program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms. By researching the story of a Silent Hero®, an American service member who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I, program participants can be the voice of these Americans who died a century ago.

In July 2018, Gower joined nine other extraordinary educators as they traveled through Europe, walking in the footsteps of history. Using their research, teachers created lesson plans, Silent Hero profiles, and eulogies now published on NHDSilentHeroes.org.

Designed to reinvigorate the study of World War I in American classrooms, the lesson plans are multi-disciplinary. Using primary and secondary sources, videos, and hands-on activities, students are transported into the past to examine the war and its legacies, which transformed the history of twentieth century.

“This partnership with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library has allowed us to take extraordinary educators to battlefields and memorials of Europe,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Their unique experiences will now help teachers bring history to life with the materials they produced for use in classrooms around the world.”

Each lesson plan is based on solid scholarship, integrated with Common Core Standards, and makes use of interpretive materials. They are accompanied by research about Silent Heroes of World War I who are honored at cemeteries in Europe.

About National History Day®:

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit nhd.org.

About National History Day in Maine:

NHD in ME is based in Skowhegan and affiliated with the University of Maine and the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation. This year’s regional contests will be in Lewiston (March 6) and Bangor (March 28). The state contest will be at the University of Maine on (May 2). For more information visit www.mcslibrary.org/national-history-day-in-maine/ or contact State Coordinator John Taylor at john.m.taylor@maine.edu or 207-474-7133.

This story was provided by National History Day® and submitted by Shane Gower, Maranacook Community High School Teacher.

Maine Students Join Nearly 70,000 FFA Members in Indianapolis

Maine school representatives and student State Officers participated in the 92nd National FFA (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) Convention on October 30-November 2, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Twelve FFA students from Ashland High School, Easton High School, and Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center competed in events including Dairy Cattle Evaluation, Employment Skills, Environment & Natural Resources, and Horse Evaluation. 

State FFA Officers Graham Berry (President), Camryn Curtis (Vice President) and Ava Cameron (Secretary-Treasurer) participated alongside their fellow Maine competitors, teachers and chaperones, with Graham and Camryn serving as delegates to committees on Competitions and Member Experiences.  State FFA Advisor Doug Robertson from the Maine Department of Education oversaw student State FFA Officers and participated in educational sessions with fellow staff from other states.

Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.
Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.

FFA is the largest student leadership organization in the United States, with over 700,000 members grades 7-12 enrolled in courses related to agriculture and natural resources.  Of these members, nearly 70,000 attended the National Convention.  Maine’s delegates helped develop recommendations for changes to the National FFA to benefit members.

The National FFA Convention provided competitions, motivational sessions, leadership workshops, awards and scholarships for student members, as well as the chance to meet peers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In addition to competitions and motivational sessions, Maine participants had the opportunity to discover Indianapolis and many local attractions including the Indiana State Museum, the rodeo and the zoo, as well as enjoying a concert featuring Brett Young.

Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.
Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.

In Maine, secondary schools with technical programs in agriculture and natural resources as well as all schools for students grades 7-12 with relevant agriculture/natural resources courses, including science curriculum infused with agriculture and natural resource topics are eligible to charter FFA chapters.

For more information, please contact:  Doug Robertson, State Advisor, Maine Department of Education, (207) 624-6744, doug.robertson@maine.gov