Commissioner’s Update – July 11, 2013

From the Commissioner

Last week I had the privilege of attending the 21st Annual Model Schools Conference down in Washington, D.C. Put on by the International Center for Leadership in Education, this year’s conference provided teachers and educational leaders, including many from Maine, with practical ideas for increasing student achievement and ensuring college and career readiness in an age of declining resources and higher standards.

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Teachers Kathy Dixon-Wallace and Katie Danielson are looking at a diabase dike on rocks at Schoodic PointTeachers Kathy Dixon-Wallace and Katie Danielson are looking at a diabase dike at Schoodic Point during the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership conference. | More

News & Views

Law provides educator evaluation and support system development guidance in absence of rule

As many of you know, since LD 1858, “An Act To Ensure Effective Teaching and School Leadership,” was enacted in April 2012, the Department has been working to establish rules to guide you in your local development of the now required teacher and principal evaluation and support systems. By Stephen Bowen | More

State awards Lewiston’s Montello Elementary $1.8 million for school improvement

LEWISTON – Montello Elementary School will use $1.8 million in new State support to improve student proficiency by double-digit percentages, enhance teacher effectiveness and better engage the community. | More

Education Commissioner affirms State commitment to school improvement as alternate grading bill fails

AUGUSTA – Maine’s Education Commissioner says the demise of Democrat-led legislation that would have derailed the new State school report card system allows his Department to keep its focus fully on school improvement. | More

Common Core – ELA: Mind the shifts

By this fall, schools are expected to have fully implemented the new Common Core English language arts and math standards that are now part of the Maine Learning Results standards. Of course, there’s still much for teachers and all of us to learn about how to adjust our teaching to the new standards, but we know that new standards require teachers to think differently about what they do in the classroom. | More

Maine math teachers prepare for coming assessments

The Maine DOE collaborated with the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine (ATOMIM) in organizing a series of two-session “Dine and Discuss” events this spring to share information about the Smarter Balanced assessments and Maine’s role as a governing state in the consortium. | More

Fort Kent’s CHIPPY Family Literacy program surpasses 200 families served

MSAD 27’s Center and Home-based Instructional Program for Parents and Youth (CHIPPY) Family Literacy project has hit a significant service milestone. | More

Maine educators form partnership for rural science education

Many of Maine’s most distinguished sixth- through ninth-grade science teachers in rural areas recently united with the University of Maine science and science education faculty for professional development on the shores of the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park. | More

Free webinar series supports healthy school environments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering a free webinar series to help school communities take sensible, low- or no-cost steps to create healthier environments in their buildings. Each webinar will feature school district personnel from across the country presenting their real-life examples and solutions. | More

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