The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has received a grant from the US Education Department to support public preschool teachers, special educators, principals and special education directors on providing high quality classroom environments and inclusion practices for 4 year-olds.
Thr program is being offered through Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN) a University of Maine System partnership between University of Southern Maine (USM) and University of Maine (UMaine) that includes the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) which has expertise in providing training and technical assistance on inclusionary practices.
Maine Roads to Quality and Maine’s Early Childhood Professional Development Network will contract with Maine DOE to provide online training and technical assistance to 3 cohorts of 15 participants each, representing both rural and urban regions of the state.
This project will serve as a pilot to help Maine DOE gather information on what schools need to best support all preschool age children including those with special needs and disabilities.
Upon completion of training and technical assistance, each public preschool classroom teacher who has participated will receive $3000 in mini-grants for materials and supplies to support high quality preschool inclusionary environments.
Schools or districts must participate in teams that include a public preschool teacher(s) and administrators. The purpose of team participation is to ensure consistent understanding and application of the course content so that high quality inclusive practices will be supported and sustained. Both teachers and administrators will receive certificates of contact hours which support certification renewal and/or local professional development requirements.