Commissioner’s Update – April 17, 2014

From the Maine DOE

Next week, I have the honor of speaking about school security at the Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference. I am excited to share all the advancements we’ve made here in recent years to strengthen the safety and security of our schools, especially since the shootings at Sandy Hook.

Most notably, thanks to two security reports commissioned by the Legislature and our Department and produced by Safe Havens International and PDT Architects, Maine schools now better understand their vulnerabilities and opportunities to better ensure student and staff safety.

Knowing how important this work is can often make it daunting for districts and schools boards to figure out where to best begin. That’s why as a follow-up to those assessments and in partnership with Safe Havens International, we are pleased to provide a free school security guide entitled 20 Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Schools.

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Maine DOE to host regional workshops for principals as instructional leaders

The Maine DOE is offering a series of free regional workshops this month to support principals in mentoring and coaching teachers to implement instructional practices that allow all students to demonstrate growth and proficiency in State standards. | More

Maine ASCD hosts Pathways to Proficiency Spring Conference

Traveling from as far south as York and from as far north as Caribou, 135 educators attended the Maine Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Spring Conference in Brewer this week to network and learn from the efforts of their colleagues as they transition to proficiency-based education and proficiency-based diplomas. | More

School Facility Management System to go offline June 30

In an effort to reduce the burden of unfunded education mandates, the Legislature recently accepted the Department’s recommendation to repeal the requirement that the Maine DOE provide a facilities maintenance template and capital planning software to school units. | More

Schools sought to participate in paper-pencil research study

Approximately 150 schools from across the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium including Maine are being recruited to participate in the Paper-Pencil Research Study. Each participating school will be asked to administer one or two test forms to two classes in grades 3 and 6. | More

Educators invited to Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine’s Summer Seminar

K-12 educators and librarians are invited to attend the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine’s (HHRC) 24th annual Summer Seminar July 7-11. The seminar, Relevant Lessons of the Holocaust and Human Rights, will meet Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Michael Klahr Center in Augusta. | More

Statewide symposium to focus on Civil War legacies in Maine

As part of the major collaborative project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maine Historical Society and the Maine Humanities Council will host a Civil War Symposium focusing on Maine after the war. The half-day event will be held at the Morgan Hill Event Center in Hermon from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. | More

Longfellow teacher selected for National Geographic Teacher Fellowship

Kelley Holmes, a teacher at Longfellow Elementary School in Portland, has been selected as one of this year’s Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. | More

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