Commissioner Bowen to visit Belfast school Thursday on Promising Practices Tour

BELFAST – Maine Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will visit Troy Howard Middle School in RSU 20 this Thursday to see student-centered education in action.

The Commissioner’s visit is part of his Promising Practices Tour, which will take him to each of the state’s nine superintendent regions to see innovative practices schools are implementing that show promise and move forward the Department’s vision of an evolving education system that meets the needs of all learners by putting them first.

During Thursday’s visit, the Commissioner – himself a former social studies teacher – will sit-in on social studies, science and performing arts classes at the middle school before participating in circle conversations first with teachers and then with eighth graders.

Throughout the day, a film crew will be following the Commissioner as it produces two videos  showcasing success stories from Maine schools working toward learner-centered, proficiency-based education for the Department’s Center for Best Practice.

The Center is a resource to schools as they work with Maine DOE to implement improvement initiatives, including as a result of the findings of the new Maine School Performance Grading System rolled-out by Governor Paul R. LePage and Commissioner Bowen earlier this month.

Troy Howard Middle School earned a “C” in those recently released report cards. The school’s shift to using data, strong leadership – most notably at the principal level – and customized learning to engage students is already improving proficiency and progress.

The report card revealed that reading skills are on the rise with 77 percent proficiency and the growth of the bottom 25 percent of students is increasing in both reading and mathematics, with a near-perfect 99.7 percent participation in State assessments.

WHERE: Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave., Belfast

WHEN: 8 to 11 a.m., Thursday, May 23

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