Commissioner’s Update – Nov. 10, 2011

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Last week, I encouraged readers of this update to take a look at remarks I delivered recently at gatherings of Maine school curriculum leaders, superintendents and school board members that lay out the challenges we face in improving our schools and the core priorities we must have in mind when building a new and modern model of schooling.

This week, I was pleased to be reminded again that schools throughout our state are already putting such ideas into action.

Just two of multiple examples:

  • In this week’s update, we bring you a dispatch on the RSU 3 Virtual Learning Center serving young families in rural Waldo County. The Virtual Learning Center combines adult education, GED preparation and community college courses with job search assistance provided by the Maine Department of Labor — all accessible to students anytime, anywhere. It’s an impressive application of virtual learning theory that could very well grow to provide more options for students in kindergarten through high school.
  • Kittery residents made the news this week as they began discussing a bold vision for the future of Traip Academy that transforms the school into a learning hub that opens early, closes late and helps students make wise use of online and community resources to broaden their learning.

It’s just further proof that as more of our schools look to move to the next level, they’ll have a growing number of examples to learn from right here in Maine.

— Stephen Bowen


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Computer-generated avatars interact in the RSU 3 Virtual Learning Center.Video: RSU 3 uses virtual learning to boost family literacy

Regional School Unit 3 in rural Waldo County has constructed a virtual environment to offer GED preparation, community college courses and job search assistance to a high-needs, adult population served by the district’s family literacy program. | More

Oxford Hills culinary students prepare feast for annual dinner

When the boards of Maine Vocational Region 11, SAD 17 and RSU 10 had their annual joint board meeting and dinner in October, they turned to the culinary arts students at Oxford Hills Technical School to plan and prepare the multi-course meal. | More

Video: Banquet honors Teacher of the Year, finalists

The 2012 Maine Teacher of the Year, Alana Margeson from Caribou High School, and the five finalists for the honor were feted at a banquet and awards ceremony Friday evening in Bangor. Sen. Susan Collins offered a video message of congratulations. | More | Nominations open for 2013 Teacher of the Year


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