Commissioner’s Update – May 15, 2014

From the Maine DOE

Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier presents Rose M. Gaffney School Principal Mitchell Look with a certificate of achievement for earning an A on their 2014 school report card. The school received a C last year.
Commissioner Jim Rier presents Rose M. Gaffney School Principal Mitchell Look with a certificate of achievement for earning an A on their 2014 school report card. The Machias school, which the Commissioner and his three sons attended, received a C last year.

In a few hours, the 2014 school report cards will be made available to the public via the Department’s Education Data Warehouse.

Meanwhile, I am spending the day visiting elementary schools in South Hiram and Gorham that have each seen a two-letter grade gain since last year’s report card was released. The grading system certainly can’t be credited for those increases, but it has helped to surface success stories that can inform the improvement work happening at so many of our schools.

That’s why I’ve spent the week traveling from Washington County to western Maine to visit schools with 2014 report cards that show a letter grade or more of growth. It’s been exciting to celebrate these schools and see their pride upon being presented with their improved report card. But more so, it’s been an incredible learning experience for me

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Commissioner celebrates Washington County school improvements on first day of report card rollout tour

MACHIAS – Maine’s Commissioner of Education spent Monday in Washington County, recognizing two schools there for raising their grades on the 2014 school report cards that will be released to the public on Thursday. | More

In conjunction with the release of this year’s school grades, the Maine DOE is pleased to make available a school improvement webinar series recorded this spring based on the needs surfaced by the latest grades and our improvement-related discussions with schools. | More

The Maine DOE is accepting registrations for the 4th Annual ESL Summer Academy to be held June 24-26 at the University of Maine in Orono. Administrators and school teams are encouraged to attend the academy, which will feature interactive sessions on working with the academic language demands in content standards. | More

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded 170 Maine schools $2,022,150 for distribution during the 2014-15 school year to provide fresh fruits and vegetables at no cost to students. A list of the Maine schools who received the award is available on the Department’s School Nutrition website. | More

K-12 educators, teaching artists and interdisciplinary teams are invited to the New England Summit on Arts Education hosted by the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). The summit will be held July 29-August 1 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. | More

The passage of LD 1850 (PL 2013, Resolve Ch. 114) charged the Maine DOE with conducting an analysis of the Title I component in the Essential Programs & Services (EPS) school funding formula. To ensure the accuracy of that review, the Department is asking that districts review the staff they reported in the Maine Education Data Management System who are paid with federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title I Disadvantage funds. | More

As the end of the school year approaches, the Maine DOE is reminding school administrative unit (SAU) staff that discipline reporting is due on June 30. The Department’s focus on bullying prevention has enabled us to expand the reporting capabilities available to SAUs and a detailed explanation of these improvements can be seen here. | More

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