Acting Education Commissioner Rier to visit Lewiston schools Thursday

LEWISTON – Maine Department of Education Acting Commissioner Jim Rier will tour two Lewiston schools this Thursday that are undertaking significant initiatives to improve student outcomes.

Acting Commissioner Rier, who will be joined by the Department’s Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome, will visit Longley and Montello, two elementary schools that have received a combined $3.8 million in State support through the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program.  That program targets intensive support to the nation’s most underperforming schools if they are willing to commit to the hard work of transformation.

Longley is in its final year of the multi-year SIG process while Montello is just beginning with hopes of increasing reading and math proficiency by 8 percent annually over the next three years through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development for school staff, extended learning time and other locally-set strategies.

The Maine DOE contingent will be joined by Lewiston Public Schools’ Chief Academic Officer Sue Martin during Thursday’s morning visits, as well as Longley Principal Linda St. Andre and Montello Principal James Cliffe. In addition to touring the two schools, Governor Paul R. LePage’s Acting Commissioner will also visit a math classroom, attend a meeting of teachers to see how they coach and collaborate with one another and have roundtable conversations with administrators and staff.

Chief Academic Officer Tome will remain in the district for the day to provide technical assistance as part of the Maine DOE’s commitment to providing improvement support to schools most in need.