Commissioner’s Update – September 3, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine Department of Education, in partnership with Educate Maine, recently named three teachers as state finalists for Maine’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. They were chosen from this year’s 16 County Teachers of the Year who were named in May at a celebration at the State House Hall of Flags.

The state finalists are:

  • Cumberland: Talya Edlund, Pond Cove Elementary School, Cape Elizabeth
  • Franklin: Brenda LaVerdiere, Academy Hill School, Wilton
  • Piscataquis: Mia Morrison, Foxcroft Academy, Dover-Foxcroft

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September observances in Maine schools

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

Reminder of new certification hours for in-person visits

The Maine DOE is reminding individuals seeking to renew or apply for initial certification of new hours and a policy for in-person visits. | More

Districts must submit waiver affidavits for non-certified staff

Superintendents must now submit a Waiver Affidavit form for staff hired who do not hold the proper certification or endorsement required for the position. | More

Maine DOE clarifies Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under ESEA waiver

The Maine DOE is clarifying Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under the three-year waiver from the federal government allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the ESEA. | More

Community school pilots for the 2016-17 school year

The Maine DOE has been authorized per Public Law 2015, Chapter 267 to designate three community schools established in accordance with 20-A MRSA Chapter 333 as part of a five-year pilot project beginning in the 2016-17 school year. | More

Mentoring workshops offered for educators of gifted and talented

New and experienced gifted and talented educators will have an opportunity to learn new skills and practices at upcoming mentoring workshops. | More

Blended learning experience for educators of English learners

Maine DOE in collaboration with the University of Maine Project Reach is offering blended learning experience for educators of English learners. | More

Department provides support for computer-based administration of ACCESS 2.0

The Maine DOE continues to support schools as they prepare for a successful administration of the computer-based ACCESS FOR ELLs 2.0, Maine’s English language proficiency assessment for English learners. | More

Reclassification using Alternate ACCESS for ELLs composite score

Recent federal guidance allows Maine to define English language proficiency for an English learner with a disability who participates in Maine’s alternate English language proficiency (ELP) assessment, the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. | More

NEO Maine Schools Update form

The NEO Maine Schools Update form is required by school units to inform the Maine DOE of school and district contact information, changes in grade spans, and other district- and school-related information. | More

Suicide prevention trainings for school staff and administrators offered this fall

As the implementation of the Maine suicide prevention law requiring suicide awareness and prevention education for all school personnel moves forward, many schools are also considering what is being taught to students. | More

Transportation conference focuses on Maine’s most precious cargo and more

Over 400 school transportation staff throughout Maine attended the 44th Annual School Transportation Safety Conference at Sugarloaf this summer. | More

MLTI Summer Institute promotes PBE through technology

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) held its 2015 Summer Institute in July at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. | More

Educators from Maine Art Assessment Initiative participate in summit in nation’s capital

A team from the Maine Art Assessment Initiative (MAAI) was selected to participate in the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C. recently. | More

Department fills key positions to support schools

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce the addition of two veteran educators to the Standards and Instructional Support Team. Charles Lomonte and Beth Lambertwill step into the key roles of Educator Effectiveness Coordinator and Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, respectively. | More

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