Commissioner’s Update – February 20, 2014

From the Maine DOE

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s (UMPI) exciting announcement they would be moving to a proficiency-based system beginning next fall.

Perhaps nothing puts students first more than proficiency-based education. As many of you know, this model is built around the reality that while students learn in different ways and speeds, proficiency is ultimately the most critical outcome of their schooling.

I believe UMPI’s voluntary adoption of this model sends a strong message to the K-12 system that proficiency-based is the new normal in Maine education – not just because it is required by State statute, but because it is the right thing to do for kids.

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UMPI launches proficiency-based education initiative

BANGOR—The University of Maine at Presque Isle was joined by several top Maine education officials during a Feb. 13 press conference in Bangor to announce its transition to proficiency-based education, a move that makes UMPI the first university in Maine and one of the first in the nation to deliver this type of interactive learning. | More

Maine DOE provides guidance on educator evaluation steering committees

The next generation Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PE/PG) systems under development in Maine entail major shifts in how we approach the evaluation and professional development of educators. In making these shifts, schools in Maine and other states where educator effectiveness systems have been implemented report that stakeholder involvement, constituency buy-in and collaboration are essential to a successful outcome. | More

Guiding Principles performance assessment tasks to support proficiency-based diplomas

The Maine DOE is currently collaborating with the Maine Curriculum Leaders Association and the Cohort for Customized Learning to develop performance assessment tasks aligned to the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results. | More

State Board of Education seeks student representatives

The Maine State Board of Education is accepting applications for potential student members from schools in the Second Congressional District. | More

Comments sought on Maine’s IDEA Part B Application

The Maine DOE is seeking comments from the public on its annual application for federal funds under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers services for preschool- and school-age children with disabilities. | More

Comments sought on Maine’s IDEA Part C Application

Maine is required to complete an application annually for the Part C (birth through two) program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). | More

Maine DOE offers Section 504 training March 28

The Maine DOE will host Section 504 training on March 28 in Augusta. Region I Office for Civil Rights staff will discuss the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and explain the responsibilities of public schools in the education of students with disabilities. Additionally, a Maine panel of Section 504 experts will discuss individual school administrative unit’s approaches to the implementation of Section 504. | More

Guidance from Maine DOE Nutrition Team on unpaid school lunches

There has been increased discussion recently about how schools should appropriately handle parents owing money for their children’s school meals. | More

Nominations sought for 2014 National Memorial Day Parade marching bands

The Office of Governor Paul R. LePage is seeking nominations from Maine high school marching bands to participate in the 2014 National Memorial Day Parade. | More

Foreign languages teaching conference comes to Boston

K-12 World Languages teachers and administrators are encouraged to mark their calendars for the upcoming Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. | More

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