Maine DOE Monthly – January 28, 2014

Acting Commissioner Jim Rier looks on at a math lesson at Montello Elementary in Lewiston last week. The school is just beginning a three-year transformational improvement process, supported by the Department and a $1.8 million School Improvement Grant.

Welcome to the January issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

So much happens here in a month, and January was no exception. In recent weeks, Governor LePage nominated Jim Rier as Education Commissioner; we again did our part to advance educator effectiveness and provide new resources to schools to support their transition to a proficiency-based diploma by 2018; and our staff provided in-school support across the state, including via a visit by Acting Commissioner Rier and Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome’s to Lewiston schools to see how Department-supported improvement work there is transforming culture and student performance.

Read on for more information about those important initiatives and a roundup of other January updates from the Department. And as always, stay tuned to our Newsroom and weekly Commissioner’s Updates for the latest news you can use from the Maine DOE.

Dispatches & Press Releases

State Board of Education supports Governor LePage’s candidate for Education Commissioner

AUGUSTA –The State Board of Education says they support Governor Paul R. LePage’s proposed Education Commissioner, following an interview with the candidate. Earlier this month, Governor LePage said he hoped to nominate Acting Education Commissioner Jim Rier for the position permanently and asked the Board for their appraisal of the candidate. (Please note, since this release, Rier has been formally nominated by the Governor.) | More

Maine DOE provisionally-adopts educator effectiveness rule

Earlier this month, we advanced our commitment to supporting great teachers and leaders even further when we provisionally-adopted a new rule to help districts implement the landmark teacher and principal effectiveness law proposed and signed by Governor LePage in 2012. | More

Maine youth report healthier habits, struggles with depression

AUGUSTA – Maine youth are making healthier choices, including smoking and drinking less, but are increasingly struggling with their emotional wellbeing. Those findings and other insights directly from tens of thousands of Maine students about their health and habits are detailed in the newly released results of the 2013 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey | More

Acting Commissioner Rier says adult ed offers something for everyone

Adult education offers something for everyone. From the opportunity to earn a high school credential to support preparing for college to offering low-cost courses on everything from cooking to computer programming, the people of Maine are fortunate to have such a robust adult education system. | More

Acting Education Commissioner Rier, Chief Academic Officer Tome tour Lewiston schools

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. | More

Maine DOE publishes policy on standards-based IEP goals

Maine’s transition to a proficiency-based diploma by 2018 is underway. As part of those ongoing efforts, supported by the $2 million in transition funding our Department distributed this fall and the resources we’ve made available on our website, those who serve students with disabilities are beginning to bring Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals into alignment with the new graduation requirements. | More

Department supports, clarifies MPA principal evaluation model

A committee of the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) has developed a model for evaluating the professional practice of principals.  While the final rule has not yet been adopted, Department staff have reviewed the MPA model and determined that it meets the criteria currently proposed in the rule for the professional practice element of principal evaluation. | More

Two Maine schools nominated for National Blue Ribbon honor

The Maine DOE  has nominated Turner Elementary School and Winthrop Grade School to be 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools. | More

Maine students selected for Senate Youth Program

Two Maine students will travel to Washington, D.C. for a week in March to serve as delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Zachary Duperry of Portland and Carolyn Liziewski of Gray were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 52nd annual Washington Week. | More

Educator shares experience transitioning to proficiency-based system

As Maine schools move to graduating students with a proficiency-based diploma by 2018, the Maine DOE is offering extensive resources to support those locally-led transitions, including through its Center for Best Practice. New to the Center is an interview with Hall-Dale Middle School teacher-leader Dan Crocker. | More

New financial literacy resources available from Maine DOE

The Maine DOE annually provides information about financial literacy resources to superintendents and school board members. A list of suggested financial literacy resources that can help teachers integrate financial literacy instruction in the classroom is available here on the Maine DOE’s Social Studies web page. | More


Press Releases
From the Commissioner

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