Welcome to the December issue of the Maine DOE Monthly, which provides a recap of some of the month’s most important updates from the Department.
December has been dominated with assessment news with a contract signing and subsequent support and guidance offered from the Maine Department of Education’s assessment and accountability team.
On Dec. 3, Commissioner Bill Beardsley and staff hosted Maine’s proven- testing partner, New Hampshire’s Measure Progress along with College Board representatives from Massachusetts.
Subsequently, the Department’s Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS) website pages are continually updated to include information on the spring 2016 English Language Arts/Literacy and mathematics assessment.
The Hall of Flags was filled with celebration of the arts as Maine’s First Lady, Ann LePage hosted a recognition for some 63 students for their creative accomplishments. Their artwork is on display through the end of February, much of which can be viewed throughout the Maine DOE.
Every Student Succeeds Act was signed this month replacing the more rigid top-down statutory and regulatory structure of the old “No Child Left Behind Act.” This now gives states more responsibility and should provide Maine with more flexibility and innovation. The challenge now for the states is to review the lengthy law and move slowly and effectively toward implementation for the 2017-18 school year.
An eighth-grade science teacher at Saco Middle School received a holiday gift early with a Milken Educator Award; a $25,000 check. Michaela Lamarre is the only teacher in Maine this season to win the prestigious honor from the Milken Family Foundation.
Superintendents, as you turn to the 2016 calendar, be sure to jump ahead to June and secure Sunday, June 26 through Tuesday, June 28 for the 105th Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents. More information will be coming in the months ahead.
Also this month, Maine DOE introduced the first of three collections of articles for the 2015-16 school year in the “Content Corner,” resources designed to support teaching and learning in Maine classrooms and make connections to classroom applications and research. In addition to these seven articles, more articles will be available in February and April.
Released this month was the PDF of the submittal form for all school administrative units (SAUs) required to submit a Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) plan as described in Rule Chapter 180. Stay tuned as Maine DOE activates the actual submittal form online by Feb. 1, 2016.
Other news this past month:
- Maine DOE offered School Administrative Units (SAUs) the opportunity to check, correct and verify the years of experience in the Staff Data in NEO. This is because of a critical staff data error that could impact the subsidy calculation for FY 17.
- News regarding state wards, and out of unit placement.
- Notice of a new rule.
- Professional development for math teachers.
- CTE schools have an opportunity to update and renew their safety checklists and policies.
- If you have questions about special education services, Maine DOE has provided answers to frequently asked questions.
More Maine DOE news can be found at http://mainedoenews.net/.