We Are Hiring: School Nurse Regional Liaison (Multiple Positions)

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of School & Student Supports is hiring multiple positions to enhance the Coordinated School Health (CSH) team! We are looking for experienced school health professionals to work with us as we strive to ensure that Maine schools are inclusive, healthy, safe, and supportive communities where every student thrives.

As part of the Coordinated School Health team, these positions will assist in planning, developing, and implementing projects and programs that enhance school nursing and other school health services. These positions will provide direct consults with school staff on school health services matters in order to provide guidance and technical assistance within a specific region of the state.

Preference will be given to candidates licensed to practice professional nursing within the State of Maine (RN) and those with State Department of Education endorsement for School Nurse (524) or eligible to receive endorsement.

We are looking for people with knowledge of nursing specialty within education, issues, and problems of school nursing and school health services, and knowledge of laws, rules, and regulations applicable to and enforced by the Department of Education.

The full job posting and more information can be found here. The application closes on October 5, 2023.

Maine DOE Announces No Cost Program to Support Educator Wellbeing and Create Calm and Supporting Learning Environments

600 Educators Can Attend Train-the-Trainer Events Across Maine to Bring Tools and Strategies Back to Their School Communities

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has partnered with The Regulated Classroom on a program to support educator wellbeing and student engagement at no cost to Maine educators. Six hundred educators can sign up to be trained as trainers in the framework at events across the state and will be able to bring new tools and resources back to their schools.

The COVID-19 pandemic took a tremendous toll on educator and student wellbeing, with educators reporting increased numbers of dysregulated students, stress, and classroom disruptions. Many educators feel overwhelmed by these pandemic-induced behavioral issues. The Regulated Classroom utilizes a neuroscience-based approach to help educators create calm, engaged, and supportive learning environments by cultivating conditions for felt safety. Felt safety references a regulated state in the body’s stress response system.

The program helps educators recognize and manage their own stress levels. It also helps educators manage increased levels of stress in students, which can be displayed as aggression, poor impulse control, limited attention span, and lack of motivation. Educators will have access to a collection of practices and sensory tools to embed into daily routines and activities to promote a more regulated and stable environment for learning. This program supports student achievement and increased job satisfaction for educators.

“The Maine Department of Education is committed to supporting educator and student wellbeing and we’re thrilled to partner with The Regulated Classroom to offer this program at no cost to Maine educators. The Regulated Classroom provides tools and strategies based on brain science that any educator in Maine can infuse into their teaching and daily routines to support themselves and their students in creating calm, safe, joyful, and engaging learning environments,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin.

“When our nervous system is in a regulated state, the rational part of our brain is online, enabling us to teach and to learn. But when we are in a dysregulated state, the rational thinking part of our brain goes offline and we can’t gather our thoughts and act as we would choose. Environments that feel supportive and safe foster engagement and creative thinking,” said The Regulated Classroom founder Emily Read Daniels, M.Ed., MBA, NCC, SEP™.

Daniels, a New Hampshire school counselor, created The Regulated Classroom in 2020. Since then, it has been implemented in schools and organizations throughout New Hampshire, across the nation, and around the globe.

Ten in-person train-the-trainer certificate events will be held in various regions of the state.

Educators can register for an event at http://www.regulatedclassroom.com/Maine. Maine educators can complete their registration at no cost to them with the code MAINEFREE.

The Maine DOE utilized federal emergency relief funding to offer this program to Maine educators.

A Day with Maine Teacher of the Year Finalist Lacey Todd and Her Mountain Valley Middle School Community

Eat…or be eaten!

That was the activity listed on the whiteboard in Mrs. Lacey Todd’s fifth-grade science classroom at Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico. It was time to explore food chains, and the excitement among the students was electric.

The activity? Students were given packets of cards with different animals or edible items on them. Working in groups, they had to arrange the cards into mini food chains. What does an ant eat? Who would eat this log? What happens when the hawk and the eagle eat the same thing? Once their food chains were arranged, they were asked to explain their reasoning and the class got to go around and look at the other food chains. They were then asked to draw connections between their different food chains. What was similar about all the things at the top of their chains? What was similar about everything at the bottom of the food chain? What was different?

While the students energetically created their food chains, they were surrounded in their classroom by many animals appearing on the cards they were using. Mrs. Todd’s room is filled with tanks of fish, ocean creatures, lizards, and a bearded dragon named Pumpkin. At some point in the school year, there will be a chicken and they’ll all closely watch as chicks hatch out of eggs.

Last year, she brought her students on a trip to the ocean where they were able to explore the beauty and bounty of Maine’s coast. She came back from that trip with an idea to add a saltwater tank to her classroom so that she could bring the ocean to her students every day.

Mrs. Todd’s room is the perfect place to be a young scientist, and that’s exactly what she calls them. There’s even a bulletin board filled with diverse images of people exclaiming that they are scientists, underscoring that science is for everyone and Mrs. Todd’s class is a place where everyone belongs.

That sense of belonging comes up again and again during the visit to Mountain Valley. A parent said Mrs. Todd made school feel like home for her kids. A student said that once you are her student, you are family for life. A former student said that Mrs. Todd’s classroom felt like a second home. Another said that Mrs. Todd is the reason she feels proud of herself.

Lacey Todd is the 2023 Oxford County Teacher of the Year and a 2024 Maine Teacher of the Year finalist. Her colleagues, students, and community members make clear that she is the heart and soul of Mountain Valley Middle School.

Often the first to arrive and the last to leave, a colleague said that Mrs. Todd has an enthusiasm for every day of life, for the kids, and for the staff, that she makes connections with every student, and that students come to school because they know Mrs. Todd is there. She can be found greeting everyone as they arrive at school, and if you need it you can stop by “hug alley” for a loving embrace from Mrs. Todd to get you through the school day. She’ll even make sure you won’t miss your bus in the afternoon.

She also supports her colleagues and is a leader at the school. Staff come to her when they need help solving problems. One colleague said she changed them as an educator. Another said she teaches all of us. Someone else said that if you want to be an educator or stay in the profession, go see Lacey. Mrs. Todd has an incredible passion for teaching, for teaching science, and for always learning and growing.

That passion extends beyond the school walls, as Mrs. Todd strives to strengthen the connection between the school and community, engage parents, and champion Mountain Valley everywhere she goes.

When asked for a word to describe Mrs. Todd, some of the responses from her school community included inspiring, special, invested, nurturing, helpful, amazing, home, innovative, and dedicated.

All it takes is a day at Mountain Valley, and you too will feel like you are part Mrs. Todd’s family.

A Day with Maine Teacher of the Year Finalist Edith Berger and the Miller School Community

Miller School in Waldoboro greets people with joy from the instant you walk in. Colorful murals cover almost every hallway. Created by classes stretching back decades, these murals tell a story about generations of students and create a connection with students and educators walking the halls today on their way to lunch, recess, or the next class. Everyone greets you with a warm smile and there’s a feeling that this is a great place to learn.

If you arrive early enough, the sound of music may draw you into Mrs. Edith Berger’s classroom. She often plays music in the morning to set a good tone for the day and share the sounds with students and staff. Her classroom is just as colorful and joyful as the rest of the school, and it’s the room everyone goes to when they have a question, need help, want to bounce an idea off someone, want a snack, or just need someone to talk to. Students and other educators know Mrs. Berger’s class is a safe, supportive, and welcoming place for all. She makes every feel seen, heard, and appreciated.

Mrs. Berger is a sixth-grade writing and social studies teacher at Miller School, the 2023 Lincoln County Teacher of the Year, and a 2024 Maine Teacher of the Year Finalist. Her colleagues, students, and community members describe her as a role model, a quiet leader, inspiring, compassionate, dedicated, creative, and professional.

In today’s writing class, where everyone is referred to as a writer, students are given various mentor texts to examine what expression and reflection look like in essays, stories, and poems. The students analyze the texts and find the spots that show why the author wrote the piece. They share their thoughts in groups and then as a class, discussing what certain passages of the writing say about the author’s purpose and making connections to their own lives. Mrs. Berger engages with the different groups and poses questions to get them to engage more deeply with the texts and make connections.

If you close your eyes, you’d think you were in a high school class.

With the school year still so fresh, the students have just started to look at personal narratives from the perspective of purpose. They’ve examined why people write and explored ways that writers get in the zone to write. These writers are blossoming.

Later in the day comes social studies, and Mrs. Berger teaches a civics lesson connected to Constitution Day. Students are provided the preamble of the Constitution, which they read together last week and identified the portions that illustrate the functions of government as viewed by the framers of the Constitution. In this class, students are given examples of American civil life, such as a federal agency providing food for children or having marshals on planes, and are asked to connect those examples to the different functions of government. The students share their reasoning in groups and then as a class. Through this, Mrs. Berger gives the Constitution life and connects it to modern examples the students can identify with.

Mrs. Berger’s colleagues say that she honors everyone’s voice, and that practice becomes a model for students. They say that she meets kids where they are while having high expectations—and that those high expectations come with a high level of support. They say she doesn’t give up on any kid—she finds a way to reach them no matter what. That’s clear with any visit to her classroom.

Her colleagues also describe her as not just a teacher of children, but also of adults, saying “I would not be the principal I am without Edie, I became a better teacher by working with Edie, she’s the room I go to if I have questions or need help, and everyone is part of her classroom.”

There are stories of Mrs. Berger responding late at night to help another teacher struggling with a lesson plan, making handmade journals for students to use to help them cope with anxiety, coming back from a conference or event full of new ideas for her class and the school, always being on the cusp of what’s new, and always finding ways to grow.

What’s also evident is just how much Mrs. Berger is a fixture of the community. Whether it’s speaking at the library about civics, bringing in guest speakers for her class, going to community events, or promoting her school, she is constantly building bridges between Miller School and the rest of the community.

Edith Berger doesn’t just teach civics; she is a true citizen. She’s also Miller School’s guiding light and helps everyone in her school community shine.

Maine DOE Update – September 22, 2023

From the Maine Department of Education

Reporting Items

October Enrollment Reporting Resources

October 1 Enrollment reporting often brings up many questions about unique situations for student enrollments and how to record the data for state reporting purposes. We often hear questions about enrolling students experiencing homelessness, State Agency Clients, enrollments in special purpose private schools, Superintendent Agreements, and many other situations that students may be experiencing. |  More

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |

News & Updates

Maine DOE and Educate Maine Partner to Develop the Teach Maine Center to Support and Grow Maine’s Educator Workforce

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Educate Maine have partnered to develop the Teach Maine Center to support and advance a vibrant educator workforce in Maine that enables all students to thrive. |  More

Maine DOE Experiences a 40 Percent Increase in Educator Certification Applications

The Maine Department of Education experienced a 40 percent increase this summer in the number of initial and renewal educator certification applications processed compared to last year. The Maine DOE’s certification team processed more than 11,000 certification applications between June and August. |  More

A Day With Maine Teacher of the Year Finalist Colleen Maker’s Class

The word of the day posted at the front of the class reads “tedium-boredom,” which could not be any more opposite of the reality in Mrs. Maker’s high school science classroom on this blustery coastal day. Despite the weather, Colleen Maker’s classroom is alive with inquisitive minds ready to glean wisdom from their favorite teacher. This 2024 Maine Teacher of the Year finalist and 2023 Washington County Teacher of the Year has a large following of students, parents, colleagues, administration, and community members who are big fans. Whether it is harvesting carrots in a post-storm mist to send off to the local food pantry or identifying the species of invasive crab in class, Colleen Maker’s students are engaged, learning, and know they are cared for by their exemplary teacher. |  More

A Day With Maine Teacher of the Year Finalist Joshua Chard’s Class

The Chardlings, as they’re affectionately called, go to school at East End Community School in Portland. East End is a diverse and welcoming school that sits on a hill overlooking the city and the water. Beyond extraordinary teachers, the school has its own garden with an outdoor classroom, a closet where students can get free clothes and other supplies, and a deep connection to the neighborhood and families as a community school. |  More

Seeking Educators to Pilot MOOSE Modules; Info Session 9/21/23

Do you want to explore and implement innovative curriculum this fall? Are you interested in expanding your impact outside your classroom/school? The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is currently looking for educators to pilot MOOSE modules and would love to have your class participate!|  More

Join the Maine Association for Improving Literacy (MAIL)

The Cambridge Dictionary simply defines literacy as the ability to read and write. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) defines literacy as the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential. The International Literacy Association defines literacy as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, compute, and communicate using visual, audible, and digital materials across disciplines and in any context. |  More

Maine Schools Sharing Success Stories

Woodland ELO Program Gives Back to Community and Prepares Students for Future Careers

At Woodland Junior-Senior High School, Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Coordinator Heidi Hicks is helping students connect with their community and realize their full potential. Through job shadows, volunteer work, and mentorships, Hicks’ students are simultaneously exploring future career paths and giving back to their local communities. |  More |

Submit your Maine School Success Story |

Professional Development, Training, and Events

Maine DOE and Maine Association of School Psychologist to Host Presentation on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders on Oct 30

The Maine Department of Education and the Maine Association of School Psychologists (MASP) are co-hosting a presentation: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders with Christie L. M. Petrenko, Ph.D. on Monday, October 30, 2023, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Harraseeket Inn Freeport. |  More 

| Visit the Professional Development Calendar |

Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities:

View current Maine Department of Education employment opportunities here