Maine DOE Monthly – April 29, 2014

Welcome to the April issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

The two busiest months of the school year are ahead of us and Education Commissioner Jim Rier used his column in last week’s Commissioner Update to let all who work with and for districts know how much they are appreciated.

One of the best ways our Department can show our support for Maine’s hardworking educators is by being clear and consistent about where we stand, and where we are headed. That’s why this month, we affirmed our committed to rigorous standards and aligned assessments, which so many of you have been working to effectively implement over the past three years. We also show our thanks by providing resources to local districts that hopefully make their work easier. In April, we provided an analysis of the latest NECAP results and graduation rates, shared a new guide of simple strategies for safe schools, began a series of regional workshops for principals and reminded districts about a self-assessment tool to help them transition to a proficiency-based diploma.

As always, read on for a roundup of other recent updates from the Department and stay tuned to our Newsroom and weekly Commissioner’s Updates for the latest news you can use from the Maine DOE.


Dispatches & Press Releases

Education Commissioner Rier affirms Maine DOE’s commitment to rigorous standards, aligned assessments

The Department believes Maine should have rigorous standards that ensure students leave our schools prepared for college and career and that there needs to be a way of objectively assessing where our students are in meeting those standards. | More

Maine high school graduation rates continue to climb

AUGUSTA – Maine’s high school graduation rate continues to climb with 86.36 percent of all students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2009 earning their diplomas on time in 2013, but State education officials stress that proficiency must be the top priority. | More

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

Education Commissioner Rier announces new Department resources for safer schools

Thanks to two security reports, 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.| More

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 DOE provides analysis of Fall NECAP results

While 2013 marked the last NECAP administration as Maine moves to a next generation assessment system aligned with its recently updated academic standards, we hope schools are looking closely at their results. Ultimately, it is by doing this level of analysis locally that you can most meaningfully improve instruction and student learning. | More Part I | More Part II

Tripp Middle School wins top nutrition award

Tripp Middle School is the first middle school in Maine to earn a Gold Medal in the US Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS School Challenge. | 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

Online district self-assessment available through June 30

The Maine DOE is reminding district leaders that the comprehensive online self-assessment developed in collaboration with Great Schools Partnership is available in its electronic form through June 30. The online district self-assessment is designed to support districts with their action planning for proficiency-based education and the transition to a proficiency-based diploma. | More

Maine chosen for rural dropout prevention project

Maine has been selected as one of 15 states to work with the US Department of Education and the National Dropout Prevention Network/Center on the Rural Dropout Prevention Project. | More

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Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner