Maine DOE to visit schools to support proficiency-based efforts, provides webinar

The Maine DOE will begin visits next month to provide targeted technical assistance to schools preparing to award proficiency-based diplomas.

Last May, the Department released six options by which districts could apply for extensions to fully implementing systems that support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018 as a 2012 Maine law requires. Extension options five and six were designed for districts early in their transition and thus in need of the most structured support from the Maine DOE. It is the 50 or so districts who applied under one of those options, which extend full implementation to 2021, that will be visited by teams of up to four Department staff.

The half-day visits are intended to positively support schools in progress toward their benchmarks; identify and validate progress since the application; inform the Maine DOE of district needs; and as needed, to clarify Maine DOE understanding of district work and benchmarks.

During the visit, the Maine DOE team will have conversations with the district proficiency-based leadership team (including the superintendent), high school leaders (including the principal) and high school teachers from all content areas. Each session will have a different focus. The meeting with high school teachers will focus on the relationship of curriculum, instruction, assessment and systems of support in a proficiency-based system. The meeting with high school leaders will focus on school-based structures and culture that support teaching and learning. The meeting with the proficiency-based leadership team will focus on district-based structures, policies and culture that support proficiency-based education and community engagement.

Maine DOE staff will visit all schools who have requested an extension under option six during February and early March. Meanwhile, site visits to schools that have requested an extension using option five will be scheduled for March and April.

In advance of the visits, Maine DOE Standards-Based Education Specialist Diana Doiron will lead a webinar to provide information about the upcoming visits. The webinar is scheduled at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4 and can be accessed by clicking here. Interested participants can also connect by calling 877-455-0244 and entering conference code 8332185782. Pre-registration is not required.

For more information or technical assistance, please contact the Department’s Standards-Based Education Specialist Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@maine.gov or 624-6823.