Maine DOE Monthly – December 30, 2014

Welcome to the December issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

With the administration window for the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced just a few months away, the Department has been busy releasing resources to ensure students and schools are prepared for success. In December we announced that we’d hired one of Maine’s foremost learning technology leaders to provide assessment implementation technical support; launched a website and portal with administration calendars, tools, and practice and training tests; and scheduled regional workshops for district and school test administrators.

This month we also shared the good news that the Maine DOE had received $14.8 million to support the expansion of locally driven preschool programs and provided clarification on what the expectations are of local districts following the passage of preschool legislation earlier this year. And, in light of several high profile security threats, we reminded districts of the Department’s existing resources to keep schools safe.

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

Please note: The Department will not be distributing our weekly Commissioner’s Update this Thursday, Jan. 1 as our offices will be closed for the New Year’s holiday. Expect to receive the next Commissioner’s Update on Thursday, Jan. 8 and the next Maine DOE Monthly on Tuesday, Jan. 27.


Dispatches & Press Releases

Maine DOE awarded $14.8 million to help expand public preschool access

In total, 33 new classrooms will be created with the funding and most will open next September, adding to Maine’s existing 205 classrooms serving 4-year-old students. Another 23 classrooms already in operation will be expanded so students can attend five days a week for the full day. | More

Department offers clarification of public preschool program requirements

The Maine DOE has received many inquiries from school district personnel seeking clarification on the public preschool legislation passed last spring. | More

Maine DOE provides resources to help schools keep students safe

In light of several high profile incidents in Maine involving threats to schools, the Department is reminding districts of the many resources it has already available to support schools in their ongoing efforts to keep students safe. | More

Maine DOE hires learning technology leader to assist with online assessment implementation

Andy Wallace will work with the Department to develop technology related resources and provide support to schools to ensure they are ready to successfully administer the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). | More

Maine DOE launches web resources for assessment

The Maine DOE has launched a new section on its website with resources related to the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy as well as a portal developed by its vendor for assessment administration. | More

Maine DOE offers regional assessment administration workshops in January

The Maine DOE is offering four regional workshops in January to support school districts as they prepare for the spring administration of the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. | More

Interim assessments available next month

The new Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is part of a comprehensive assessment system with multiple components, including  two types of interim assessments for optional classroom use that will be available on Jan. 27. | More

Maine DOE releases scheduling guidance for new State assessment

To support district and school testing coordinators in their planning for the spring 2015 administration of the Maine Educational Assessment in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy, the Maine DOE has posted scheduling guidelines on the assessment section of its website. | More

Consortium sets new assessment achievement levels

These initial achievement levels establish a new baseline for measuring college and career readiness and were developed with input from thousands of educators and members of the public including many from Maine. | More

Maine DOE releases resources to support new educator evaluation system development

The Maine DOE has released new online resources to support school administrative units (SAUs) in designing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems. | More

Department provides resources from principals as instructional leaders workshops

The resources provided by the Maine DOE during its November regional workshops focused on principals as instructional leaders are now available on the Department’s website. | More

Collaboration continues to develop policies to support implementation of proficiency-based diplomas

Collaborations begun last year to develop sample policies that can be used by districts to support their local implementation of systems that support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas are continuing across Maine. | More

Maine joins New England states to create common system for reporting on educational performance

A consortium of states including Maine has released two years of reports created under a first of its kind regional common data project. | More

Student art submissions sought for MLTI screensaver contest

The Maine DOE is seeking artwork created by students to feature next year on the screensavers of the thousands of devices it provides to Maine schools through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). | More

More

Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner