Commissioner’s Update – August 30, 2012

Commissioner's Update - August 30, 2012
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It’s time for a new school year, and here at the Maine DOE we’re continuing the work of our strategic plan.In a few weeks, the Department will launch its birth-to-adult literacy initiative, Literacy for ME, and we’re hoping to get the whole state involved.

In late September, the Department will be offering six one-day regional meetings to explain how to implement and develop comprehensive literacy plans in local communities, and we hope that you will consider helping to create a local team to participate in one of these sessions and set your community on the road to a local plan for action. Well-represented planning teams made up of members that span the birth to adult continuum are encouraged to sign-up. To view the full meeting schedule and register your team by the September 17 deadline, please visit the project’s website.

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— Stephen Bowen



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NEWS & VIEWS

Finding my centerAlana Margeson, Maine’s 2012 Teacher of the Year, spent a week in July engaging in hands-on learning at International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

July was a thrilling month as Maine Teacher of the Year—it involved Bill Gates and Space Camp. My head was spinning…in part from the amount of information to be digested from a national conference on educational policy, and in part due to the multi-axis trainer at Space Camp. By Alana Margeson | More

Lewiston teacher hailed “Champion of Change” by White HouseHeadshot of Principal Linda St. Andre, of Governor James B. Longley Elementary School .

The White House honored Linda St. Andre, principal of Governor James B. Longley Elementary School in Lewiston, among 12 distinguished school turnaround leaders named “Champions of Change” last week. | More

Maine State Museum features bugs, earth science for kids

The Maine State Museum in Augusta is now accepting reservations for two upcoming educational events: Bug Maine-ia and Earth Science Day. | More

LearningWorks summer programs diminish learning loss

Over the course of four weeks this summer, third, fourth and fifth grade students at Reiche Community School and East End Community School in Portland  have had the opportunity to explore the world around them through hands-on activities combined with research and study. | More

Passing of Deb Hannigan and Buzz Kastuck

It is with great, great sadness that I report the passing this week of two long-time members of the Maine DOE family – Deb Hannigan, who served as the director of Child Development Services, and Buzz Kastuck, who managed the school approval process, superintendent agreements and home schooling. By Stephen Bowen | More

Arts teachers attend institute, focus on assessment, creativityMusic teachers Alice Sullivan and Andrea Wollstadt dance away the morning at a MAAI institute session that highlights the dance concepts of space, time and energy.

Forty arts educators met at Maine College of Art in Portland for a four-day summer institute in early August during phase two of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). | More

Students: take Stop Bullying Video Challenge

Youth are invited to submit original public service announcements—videos 30 to 60 seconds in length—that showcase ways they are taking action against bullying and promoting a culture of kindness and respect in their communities. | More

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