Commissioner’s Update – September 4, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

Congratulations on the start of the 2014-15 school year!

This week, Maine students are fortunate to be heading back to schools where they will be welcomed by educators who encourage their love of learning and are deeply dedicated to ensuring every one of them is successful.

On behalf of Governor LePage and all of us at the Department, I want to thank those teachers, administrators and other school staff for their care for and commitment to our students. Maine kids are increasingly being inspired in their classrooms and achievement in their studies is rising as a result, putting them on a path for future college and career success.

While young people may not always be quick to express their gratitude, educators deserve to know how much they are valued and appreciated, not just by their students and their families, but our state as a whole. Thank you!

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SAUs invited to apply for coaching and evidence-based practice PD

Creating standards-based Individualized Education Programs (IEP) was the first step; implementing those plans is next. | More

Maine DOE offers institute on early childhood learning standards

Thanks to a generous grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Maine DOE is holding a one-day institute, “From Preschool to Kindergarten-Connecting the Language & Literacy Standards” at Thomas College on Friday, Oct. 3. | More

Cross Disciplinary Literacy Network registration now open

The Department is encouraging Maine educators to register for the Cross Discipline Literacy Network (CDLN) for the 2014-15 school year. | More

Pilot participation, training offered on alternate assessment

The Maine DOE is encouraging schools to participate in an upcoming pilot of the State’s alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. | More

Maine DOE provides resources to support English Learners

Maine’s population of English Learners (ELs) continues to increase. The Maine DOE offers the following EL guidance and resources to support districts in effectively serving these students. | More

Maine DOE publishes guidance for districts processing charter school invoices

The Department has posted documents clarifying the process for preparing or disputing charter school invoices to resident school administrative units (SAUs). | More

Maine Harvest Lunch Week celebrated Sept. 22-26

The Maine DOE School Nutrition Program is inviting Maine schools to celebrate Maine Harvest Lunch Week Sept. 22-26. | More

Annual notification of eligibility for schoolwide programs

Schools that receive federal Title I funds, have poverty rates of at least 40 percent and have approved Title IA Schoolwide Plans are eligible to use their Title I funds – and funds from other sources – to develop “schoolwide programs.” | More

Maine educators convene to learn effective writing practices

Effective writing requires not only knowledge of writing modes and mechanics, but also strong understanding of content. Last month, 175 educators assembled at Thomas College to learn about the Vermont Writing Collaborative’s method. | More

Maine picked for fresh fruit and veggie program pilot

Maine has been selected as one of four states in the country for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Pilot Project. | More

Civic observances for Maine schools in September

Four observances and recognition days that provide important civic learning opportunities occur in September, one of them required by federal law. | More

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