Announcing our School Improvement Webinar Series

When we released the A-F report cards for the state’s schools as part of our new Maine School Performance Grading System, we wanted to engage educators and the public in a positive, productive conversation about how we can work together to improve our schools.

That conversation is well under way.

In the past month, Maine DOE regional representatives and Title I consultants have been reaching out to “D” and “F” schools to capture their challenges and a better sense of the support they seek from our Department and other resources.  We’re also learning about the strategies and interventions they’ve already put in place that are having success and could be replicated in other schools. In August, we plan to hold meetings in each of the nine regional superintendent districts to share our findings as well as the targeted improvement resources we’ll be providing or able to connect schools to.

In the meantime, as part of our commitment to being a resource to support all schools in their improvement efforts, Maine DOE is launching a school improvement webinar series, with four webinars already scheduled for this month. These free webinars (see below for a complete schedule) are on topics you’ve indicated interest in and will run through June 18, resuming again in August. With the school year coming to a busy end, we realize you may not be able to attend these when they are scheduled, so we will additionally be archiving them on our Educator Resources page. If you are unable to participate but have question(s) to pose to the presenter(s), please send them in advance to communications.doe@maine.gov and we will do our best to address them during the webinar.

We hope you will join us on these webinars and that you find them valuable, especially as you start your planning for the next school year. We at Maine DOE look forward to continuing to meaningfully support you in your work to help every Maine student reach their potential and leave school prepared for success in college, career and civic life.

Sincerely,
Stephen Bowen, Commissioner of Education

Putting The Data Warehouse To Work
Date: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6 (and available online following)
Detail: The Maine Department of Education’s new Data Warehouse is a powerful tool in the arsenal of educators working to improve student outcomes. It’s an equally powerful tool for parents and students who want to find out how their local schools are performing and how their performance compares to other Maine schools’, districts’ and the entire state’s. This session will introduce educators to the Data Warehouse and its many capabilities for initiating informed, data-driven decision-making about school improvement planning and action.
Presenters:  Bill Hurwich, Director of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System and Lance Gilman, Statewide Longitudinal Data System training team.
Log-in to join meeting:  http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/pk2016613b/

Measured Progress: Using Your Data To Inform Planning for the 2013-2014 School Year
Date: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 10 (and available online following)
Detail: This school year hasn’t even ended and we know you are already thinking about planning for the next one.  Building on the Data Warehouse training, this session will help you understand your Measured Progress assessment data from this year to inform your planning for next year this summer.
Presenters:  George Tucker and Linda Parkin, Maine DOE School Improvement Specialists
Log-in to join meeting: http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/pk20161013a/

The Characteristics of Effective Schools
Date: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13 (and available online following)
Detail: Every school has its own challenges and opportunities but despite their differences, high performing schools share similar characteristics. In this session, we’ll present key indicators of effective practices based on professional and research literature. And, we’ll share examples of them in action in Maine schools, from leadership team planning practices to how teachers are successfully interacting with students and parents.
Presenters:  Rachelle Tome, Chief Academic Officer and CIPS Consultants
Log-in to join meeting:  http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/pk20161313a/

Low Income and High Performing: What Is Working In Maine
Date: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18 (and available online following)
Detail:  Education is the great equalizer yet it’s no secret to educators that children from low-income communities struggle to achieve proficiency at the same rate as their peers in wealthier communities. Yet throughout Maine, there are stories of schools successfully overcoming socio-economics and other challenges to produce proficient, engaged students prepared and passionate for college, career and civic life. In this session, leaders of schools with high free/reduced lunch populations and high performance will share their proven strategies in ensuring demographics doesn’t determine destiny.
Presenters:  Rachelle Tome, Chief Academic Officer & Guests
Log-in to join meeting: http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/pk20161813a/

Late-June through July hiatus in respect for educators’ summer vacations, with sessions starting again in August to be announced by July 17. Please submit your suggestions for additional topics to communications.doe@maine.gov.

To join our School Improvement webinars:
1.    Go online to the web address provided above.
2.    Select the ‘Enter as a Guest’ option and type your name in the corresponding text field.
3.    No phone connection is necessary.  To listen, be sure your computer speakers are on and set at an appropriate level.