Maine DOE Monthly – December 31, 2013

Welcome to the December issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

It’s been a busy end to our year here at the Department. Earlier this month, Acting Education Commissioner Jim Rier and Governor Paul R. LePage recognized Computer Science Education Week and the thousands of Maine students developing 21st century skills by participating in the Hour of Code and FIRST LEGO League Robotics Championship.

We also honored the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shootings by sharing the steps Maine schools have taken in the year since to strengthen school security and keep students safe.

Through the Maine DOE Newsroom, we’re always eager to pass along the positive stories of what Maine schools are doing to put students first in hopes that what’s supporting children in other schools will encourage your own efforts. This month, we brought you news of an exciting collaboration among students from seven coastal school students to engineer a new fishery, shared with you the three Maine schools recognized for their innovation by Education Week and told you about Portland Public Schools’ new Parent University to engage parents and the public in the important work happening in that city’s schools.

All of us at the Maine DOE look forward to serving you in 2014, and to keeping you posted about our work and that of Maine schools and students right here in the Maine DOE Newsroom.

Happy New Year!


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A series of new videos from Maine DOE’s Literacy for ME initiative show why investing in literacy is an investment in our state, and provide suggestions on ways to support literacy learning. | More

Dispatches & Press Releases

Governor LePage, Acting Commissioner Rier recognize Computer Science Education Week

AUGUSTA – Maine Governor Paul R. LePage and Acting Education Commissioner Jim Rier are recognizing the important role computer science has in the state’s classrooms and growing economy. | More

New public charter schools proposed to Commission for 2014

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission (MCSC) has received applications from four groups interested in opening public charter schools in the fall of 2014. Those submitting applications by the Dec. 2 deadline to join Maine’s five existing public charter schools included Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School, Lewiston; Maine Connections Academy; Maine Virtual Academy; and Many Hands Montessori School, Windham. | More

Acting Commissioner Rier says school security strengthened since Sandy Hook

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

Acting Commissioner Rier lauds Maine schools on EdWeek innovation list

Maine schools have long been looked to as national leaders in education innovation. That’s why I am not surprised that Education Week recently named three of our state’s schools to a list of those across the country worth visiting. | More

Maine DOE’s Literacy for ME releases new community 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

IDEA’s excess cost 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

Dine & 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

Coastal school students partner to engineer fishery

CASTINE – Students from seven coastal Maine high schools began designing an alternative fishery for Downeast Maine this week as part of the Eastern Maine Skippers Program (EMSP). | More

Portland Public Schools launches Parent University

PORTLAND – The Portland Public Schools is launching a new program, Parent University, to involve parents and guardians more fully in their children’s education.  | More

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Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner