Commissioner’s Update – September 17, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

During the month of August, over 400 PK-12 educators from across Maine attended two-day professional development institutes offered in Presque Isle, Brewer, Lewiston and Saco. The Pathways to Proficiency institute was designed to help teams of educators strengthen their understanding of Maine’s English language arts standards while also bolstering their knowledge of highly effective instructional strategies that support students in achieving proficiency.

Educators expanded their understanding of learning transfer, cognitive rigor and text complexity as they learned instructional strategies for close reading, writing from sources and vocabulary development. Participants also learned how to construct integrated units of study with text sets that focused on ELA and content-area standards.

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Standardized Assessment Scores for 2014-15

The 2014-15 Smarter Balanced Assessment scores in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3 through 8 and the third year of high school are available. | More

Maine is one of 16 states to gain federal approval on Educator Equity Plan

The U. S. Department of Education has approved Maine’s Educator Equity Plan aimed at increasing access to excellent educators. | More

Maine DOE issues RFP for math & ELA/literacy assessment

The Maine DOE has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bids to provide statewide assessments online for mathematics & English language arts/literacy. | More

Annual notification of schoolwide program options

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

Harvest Lunch Week contest and local food on school menus

Maine Harvest Lunch Week will be celebrated by school districts across the state this year from Sept. 21-25, with the Maine School Garden Open House taking place on Sept. 26. | More

Maine DOE provides $1M in grant funds to CTE schools

Maine DOE is pleased to announce 27 Career and Technical Education schools will receive their share of $1 million in grant funds in FY 2016. | More

Academic eligibility policy

The Maine DOE has posted an example policy on academic eligibility for athletic and co-curricular participation. | More

Maine DOE to host schoolwide training

All Title I schools interested in developing a schoolwide plan are invited to attend two training sessions hosted by the Department this fall. | More

Maine DOE seeks social studies information

The Maine DOE is conducting a survey for social studies educators in prekindergarten through grade 12 to provide a snapshot of programming across the state and inform the Department’s work. | More

Reminder: Certification on Constitutionally Protected Prayer

Maine DOE is reminding school administrative units to complete and submit the Certification on Constitutionally Protected Prayer statement to the Department by Oct. 1. | More

Promoting school attendance

September is Attendance Awareness Month, a national event designed to bring attention to the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. | More

Maine DOE legislative summary available

Maine DOE has prepared a summary of major laws related to education enacted by the First Regular Session of the 127th Maine Legislature. | More

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