Commissioner’s Update – December 19, 2013

From the Maine DOE

On Saturday, many of us paused to remember the courage of so many in the face of the evil of one on the anniversary of the senseless school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.  Just one day before, a  17-year-old senior was critically injured by a classmate, who later shot himself, in a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, just 10 miles away from Columbine, another tragic reminder of our need to always be prepared even for the most unthinkable.

Here in Maine, schools have always taken the safety and security of their students and staff seriously, but even more so since Newtown.

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Literacy for ME releases community literacy resources

The Maine DOE has developed new informational brochures and videos designed to help community literacy teams across the state educate parents and the public about literacy development and empower them with simple ways in which they can support literacy education. | More

Maine Youth Health Survey data now available

The results of the 2013 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) are now available. | More

Certification of superintendent election or reelection due to Maine DOE

The Maine DOE is reminding administrators and school board members of the approaching deadline for annual certification of employment of Superintendent of Schools and related forms to be completed and submitted to the Department. | More

Dine and Discuss workshops to focus on fractions

The Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine (ATOMIM) is offering Dine & Discuss: Fractions Edition sessions focused on building developmental understanding of fractions from kindergarten through high school. Sessions, which run from 4 to 6:30 p.m., are planned for Portland (Jan. 16), Waterville (Jan. 16), Pittsfield (Jan. 22), Kennebunk (Jan. 23), Limestone (Jan. 24) and Rockland (Feb. 11).  | More

Districts reminded of IDEA’s excess costs and MOE requirements

All school administrative units (SAUs) that receive funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are reminded to review two important requirements governing those funds to ensure compliance with them. | More

FIRST LEGO League crowns state champions

AUGUSTA- Sixty two teams descended on the Augusta Civic Center to finish up their FIRST LEGO League Season on Saturday.  Teams from all over the state competed with their LEGO robots on this year’s “Nature’s Fury” playing field. | More

Collaborative conversations vehicle for building knowledge

Imagine yourself observing a rich dialogue between students about an article they have been reading.  The students, seated in small groupings, are actively asking questions, expressing opinions, posing hypotheses and returning to the text for evidence to support their ideas.| More

Responsibilities for special education students placed in out-of-state residential programs

School administrative units (SAUs) sometimes become aware that a student in their district identified as needing special education services is being considered, with involvement by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, for residential placement out of Maine as a result of problems being experienced in the student’s home (i.e., for non-educational reasons).| More

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