Commissioner’s Update – February 13, 2014

From the Maine DOE

All of us share a commitment to ensuring our schools are physically and emotionally safe and supportive places for students to learn and thrive.

That’s why I was so troubled to read in the findings of the latest Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey that 16.8 percent of our middle school students and 14.6 percent of high school students have seriously considered attempting suicide.

As a parent and grandparent, the reality that youth with such incredible potential feel so overwhelmed and helpless deeply saddens me. And as your Commissioner of Education, I want you to know our Department is collaborating with others to take serious steps to help students before they harm themselves.

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Nominations sought for 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year

AUGUSTA – Nominations are now open for the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year. For the first time since the Maine DOE recognition program launched in 1954, the public is being invited to join school and district leaders in going online to directly nominate educators for the prestigious statewide distinction, the winner of which serves as an advocate for Maine’s teachers, students and education system. | More

Recommendations sought for Educator Talent Pool

The Maine DOE is seeking recommendations for the 2014 Maine Educator Talent Pool. The Talent Pool is made up of teachers and principals who may be considered for membership on local and state advisory boards and task forces, as well as candidates for special recognition through the Department. | More

Charter Commission to vote on applications March 3

The Maine Charter School Commission will vote at its March 3 meeting on whether to move forward the applications of three public charter schools proposed to open in Maine this fall. | More

Policies support proficiency-based education implementation

District policies are critical supports for proficiency-based education and successful locally-led implementation may require the revision of existing district policies. Many school districts around the state are currently engaged in discussions to revise policies to reflect their proficiency-based systems. | More

Guidance on merging certification support and performance evaluation systems

In preparation for supporting provisionally certified teacher-candidates as they work toward State professional certification, local Professional Learning Community Support Systems (PLCSS) teams across Maine are gearing up to review their programs and deliver mentor training. | More

Governor LePage proclaims February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has proclaimed the month of February to be Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. He recently joined domestic violence awareness advocates in his office to sign the proclamation and praised them for their work. | More

Rolling admissions for School Lunch Program

Households can apply anytime throughout the school year for meal benefits provided through their district’s School Lunch Program. A family may apply for any reason at any time, including a change in employment or household size, gaining guardianship of a child, or simply if they have never applied before. | More

Maine Council for the Social Studies to host regional sessions in March

The Maine Council for the Social Studies (MCSS) is sponsoring two professional development sessions on the topic “Food for Thought: Regional Professional Development Gatherings for Teachers.” | More

Maine Poetry Out Loud finals Feb. 26

The 2014 Maine State Finals for the national Poetry Out Loud program will take place on Feb. 26 at the Waterville Opera House. | More

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