Maine DOE Monthly – February 23, 2016

Welcome to the February issue of the Maine DOE Monthly, which provides a recap of some of the month’s most important updates from the Department.

Commissioner & Deputy Commissioner’s Comments

The Department is hard at work on several fronts.

We are getting up to speed on the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with a particular interest in making sure implementing of regulations and reporting are not prohibitively complex for small and rural school districts.

We are in the process of the review of special education and career and technical education components of the EPS formula.

Tasked with a rolling review of Maine Learning Results, we hope to address career education development, with the intent of mainstreaming more of CTE and technology learning with the standard.

In working with the Joint Legislative Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and the Proficiency Council, together we are making good progress toward realigning proficiency-based diplomas with Maine Learning Results.

Our standardized, statewide testing window, using Measured Progress’ assessment tools that reflect Maine Learning Results, is fast approaching. We have every expectation this testing will be far less time consuming, yet will be substantially valued, meet federal and State accountability requirements, and will become a process the State can stay with for years to come.

To enhance two-way, responsive communication with stakeholders in the field, we are working on an added email hotline rapid response capability. As always, we appreciate your inquires and input on how we may best serve you.

Finally, we are both personally committed to the Read to ME initiative, reading with our little ones and spreading the word. We thank you for all you do to support literacy already and encourage you to take the challenge by March 2.

Best wishes for the balance of the academic year.

Bill Beardsley, Acting Commissioner
Suzan Beaudoin,  Acting Deputy Commissioner

Paige reading to frankieFebruary has been a “challenging” month with the Read to ME Challenge that Maine’s First Lady helped launch. The number of hash tags, #ReadtoME is adding up to show Mainers have been taking the challenge in reading with children and promoting literacy across the state.  Read to ME Challenge gone viral shows how others have accepted the challenge. Children of all ages have been taking the challenge.

Also at the start of the month, the Department extended the holiday season of giving by presenting a volunteer-driven donation to the Family Violence Project.

Other news this past month

State agency clients returning to their parental home

Department releases Standards Review Panel Report

Maine’s academic achievement noted by Education Week

February is Career and Technical Education month and 27 high school career and technical education regions and centers across Maine and the entire field of secondary school applied technology and workforce educators have been recognized.

And the Legislature’s Joint Committee and Education and Cultural Affairs received the Proficiency Council’s Report this month.

Dates and events that were shared this month

Registration is open for postsecondary transition conference

Transitions suicide prevention training Feb. 25

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports webinar

2016-17 public preschool application is available

Nominations are due March 4 for the Young Maine Volunteer Roll of Honor

Some recognitions included

Maine School Food Service Directors recognized in the USDA’s first publication of The Cafeteria Chronicles.

Winter Wellness Workshop Day raises awareness while recognizing National Wear Red Day.

Maine Charter Schools Day and National School Choice Week were recognized last month in the State House Hall of Flags. Finally, Maine’s County and Teachers of the Year continue to share their views and experiences. A grateful teacher tells her story.

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.