Commissioner’s Update – April 3, 2014

From the Maine DOE

In last week’s Commissioner’s Update, I shared with you an analysis of the statewide math and reading results for the 2013-14 New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), administered this past October.

With the exception of Grade 5 math and writing, we saw flat or declining scores in all other grades and content areas. Digging into the data shows us where strengths and struggles are, and focuses improvement initiatives.

One area of continued concern is the huge gaps in proficiency when comparing males and females, and economically disadvantaged students with their peers who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch.

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Maine DOE prepares to release school report cards, outlines changes

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education has begun creating the 2014 school report cards that will be published in May. In an effort to expand the snapshot of a school the report card provides, the Department will add information about student poverty, teacher tenure and education levels, and funding. | More

Notice to superintendents on 2014 Commissioner’s Conference

Department Commissioner Jim Rier has asked superintendents to save the date for the 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, scheduled to run from noon on Monday, June 23 through noon on Wednesday, June 25 at Point Lookout in Northport. | More

Maine schools participating in field test for next generation of assessments

Schools across Maine voluntarily began participating in the field test of the Smarter Balanced assessments in grades 3-8 and 11 this week. Smarter Balanced assessments are a key part of implementing Maine’s college and career readiness standards and preparing all students for success beyond high school. | More

Educators invited to emergency preparedness conference

The 6th Annual Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference will be held April 22-23 at the Augusta Civic Center, and include a strong focus on school security. More than 40 workshops and demonstrations are scheduled during the free two-day event with statewide, national and international preparedness partners. | More

Providing physical education for children with disabilities

Under Maine’s system of learning results, each student is required to study and achieve proficiency in the eight content areas, including health, physical education and wellness.  In addition to State requirements, federal regulation implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that states  follow 34 CFR 300.108 Physical Education. | More

Guidance on emailing IEPs, related documents to parents

The Maine DOE has received informal guidance from the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) regarding whether a school administrative unit (SAU) may use electronic mail to provide parents with their child’s individualized education programs (IEPs) and related documentation, such as progress reports.  | More

Arts educators recognized at State House celebration

AUGUSTA – Arts educators were recognized at the Maine State House Wednesday as part of Maine’s annual celebration of Arts Education Day. | More

RFP issued for 21st Century Community Learning Centers

The Maine DOE has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bids to establish or extend 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) in 2014-15. | More

Maine students participate in Technology and Engineering Literacy Assessment

A sample of Maine schools with eighth-grade students recently participated in the Technology and Engineering Literacy Assessment (TEL), as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). | More

Maine’s 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool programs support tobacco prevention

March 19 marked the 19th annual Kick Butts Day, a nation-wide celebration of youth leadership and activism combating tobacco use. | More

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