Commissioner’s Update – January 30, 2014

From the Maine DOE

Maine DOE Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome talks to staff at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston about the impact of math coaches in the classroom. She and I visited Lewiston schools last week to see and support their school improvement efforts, and to provide technical assistance.
Maine DOE Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome talks to staff at Montello Elementary School about the impact of math coaches in the classroom. She and I visited Lewiston schools last week to see their improvement efforts and provide technical assistance.

Last week, Maine DOE Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome and I had the honor of visiting two Lewiston elementary schools undergoing transformation thanks to support from our Department and the federally-funded Title I School Improvement Grant program (SIG). To say I was impressed by what I saw at Longley and Montello would be an understatement.

But what struck me more than the challenges these two schools face – nearly 100 percent of the students at Longley and 84 percent of those at Montello qualify for free or reduced lunch and 65 percent of the students at Longley and 38 percent at Montello are English language learners – was their “accept no excuses” attitude to overcoming them.

That’s because staff within these two schools are taking a team approach to serving students, and not just the ones within their own classrooms. Through collaboration, not only is each student better supported, but so is each educator.

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Shari Templeton joins Maine DOE as Science Specialist

Shari Templeton has joined the Maine DOE as its Science and Technology Specialist. In her new role, Templeton will support districts in their implementation of best practices in science education, work on the development of the State science assessment and serve as the regional representative for York County. | More

Livermore educator named 2013 Maine History Teacher of the Year

Janet Ventrella, a teacher at Livermore Elementary School in Livermore, has been named the 2013 Maine History Teacher of the Year.  Ventrella is in her ninth year of teaching at Livermore Elementary School.  She is a graduate of the University of Maine Farmington and routinely designs lessons and projects which integrate social studies and language arts for her fifth grade students. | More

Governor LePage to deliver State of the State Tuesday

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage will deliver his State of the State Address in the House Chamber at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The much-anticipated speech will cover a variety of priorities that include growing Maine’s economy and encouraging families to stay in the state. | More

ACCESS for ELLs testing materials due to Metritech

The ACCESS for ELLs® testing window closes Jan. 31 and districts are required to pack and return all testing material to MetriTech by Feb. 7. | More

Gifted and talented program applications, budgets past due

In December, school administrative units (SAUs) should have completed applications for their gifted and talented programs and submitted them to the Maine DOE for annual program approval. The application represents the school unit’s status of implementation of the gifted and talented program. | More

School construction tax credit bond applications due

The Department will be accepting applications for the Federal Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) Program through March 14. QSCB funds can be used for construction, rehabilitation or repair of a public school facility, or the acquisition of land on which such a facility is to be constructed. | More

Free webinar on supporting students with ear infections

hear ME now, Maine’s leading auditory oral education enter, will host a free webinar entitled “Runny Noses in the Classroom” in February to help educators learn how to recognize children who may be struggling with middle ear fluid and what they can do to help them in the classroom. | More

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