The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce a professional development opportunity designed specifically for Public Preschool Programs. This initiative will support a third cohort of public preschool educators and administrators in providing inclusive practices within high quality preschool environments for 4-year-olds.
This offering is available to any district in Maine with a Public Preschool Program. The 2020-21 cohort will consist of 3 classrooms of 6 participants each. Teams must include the preschool teacher, ed tech, principal, special ed director, elementary special ed teacher and a regional CDS consultant or teacher. 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.
The DOE Inclusive Initiative is a collaboration with Child Development Services (CDS) and 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). The partnership includes the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) which has expertise in providing training and technical assistance around inclusion, equity and access.
The project faculty will deliver a continuum of learning and support activities through a blended learning model that equips teams to learn about, reflect on, practice and apply the information and strategies to build and strengthen instructional practices that promote high quality preschool environments. Each team will participate in and have access to:
- Online training covering a range of topics with the objective of helping early educators develop a deeper understanding of how to promote inclusion in the classroom.
- Consultation to expand on the training content and use the materials to personalize learning within your own setting.
- A facilitated professional learning community (PLC) with other peers as “thinking partners” to share and explore topics and application strategies.
- A suite of resources and tools to support this work.
Benefits of Participation for Maine Schools
Opportunities for administrators, teachers, educational technicians and CDS staff to:
- Devote dedicated time as a team to focus on preschool pedagogy.
- Develop a shared understanding of the components of high quality inclusive preschool classrooms.
- Identify, plan and work toward a common goal to continue to support equity and excellence.
- Receive certificates of contact hours which support certification renewal and/or local professional development requirements.
- Gain access to other early care and education professional development opportunities.
- Enhance teacher recruitment, retention and quality.
Please visit here to hear from past participants about their experiences in this initiative.
Districts are asked to apply by November 30, 2020 to take advantage of this exciting professional development opportunity. The tentative timeline is outlined in the table below.
|The project requirements include:||Projected timeline:|
|Completing the On-demand training: Inclusive Environments in Public Pre-K.||By December 11, 2020.|
|Participating in a half-day virtual orientation session.||Mid December 2020|
|Completing an 18 hour online training: Creating Inclusive Preschool Settings Classrooms.||January – March 2021|
|Participating in 2 PLC’s scheduled as follow-up support during the online training (is there a better way to say this?)||January – March 2021|
|Participating in consultation
||February – April 2021|
|Participating in wrap up meeting hosted by the DOE to evaluate the project and short district team presentations to showcase their learning.||May 2021|