Estimated Pre-K Enrollment Counts for New or Expanding Programs in 2022-2023

If your School Administrative Unit (SAU) is opening or expanding a Pre-K program in the 2022-2023 school year, you are eligible to receive funding on your FY23 ED279 for children you enroll in these new or expanded Pre-K programs in 2022. This means you will receive the funding for enrollment in the same year that you enroll the Pre-K children, without a year delay.

If your SAU is applying for one-year grant funding through the recently released Request for Applications (RFA) #202107114 then you DO NOT need to complete this form because you will include the estimate in your application. More information regarding the RFA can be found here. These applications are due no later than November 4, 2021.

If you are planning to start and/or expand public Pre-K in the 2022-23 school year and do not plan to apply to take advantage of the one-year grant funding but would like to receive an FY23 estimate Pre-K allocation, please notify the Maine DOE by completing the FY23 Estimate Pre-K Count Data Form before November 5, 2021. There are 3 questions to be answered on the funding survey:

  1. Choose your SAU from a list
  2. Do you have an existing Pre-K program (FY22)? – Yes/No
  3. Provide your SAU’s Pre-K Estimated Increase Count (new slots available in new or expanding program)

SAUs completing the form must also complete the Pre-K Program Application with DOE’s Early Childhood Team by April 30, 2022 and obtain program approval.

The FY23 Estimate Pre-K Count Data Collection form is meant to capture the FY23 estimate for new and expanding Pre-K program enrollment. The estimate student count data, in addition to the current (FY22) enrollment in an existing Pre-K program, will be used to provide funding on the FY23 ED279. An SAU’s Pre-K total enrollment number, as reported and verified October 1, 2022, should match the combined existing and estimated increase total that was used to calculate funds in the ED279. After October 1, 2022, an audit adjustment, based on actual enrollment reported in NEO on October 1, 2022, will be made to the Pre-K allocation assigned on the FY23 ED279. Please note that this may increase or decrease funding.

For more information about establishing or expanding a Pre-K program, please check out our webpage on the topic, or contact Nicole Madore at nicole.madore@maine.gov.  For questions specific FY23 ED279 estimates, please contact Paula Gravelle at 624-6792 or Paula.B.Gravelle@maine.gov.

Maine Schools Join Others Around the Nation to Recognize 2021 National School Bus Safety Week October 18-22

3 color drawings of school buses showing safety measures for drivers2021 National School Bus Safety Week Theme Be Safe – Know The Danger Zone is derived from the Poster Contest the year before. The 2020 winning poster artwork, depicted above, was drawn by Huyen Pham, a Northbrook Middle School student from Atlanta, Georgia.

Nationally, each year from September to November, public service announcements are aired to help protect 26 million students that ride on nearly 500,000 school buses over 4 billion miles in an average year.  Broadcast and digital media and social networking industries disseminate public service announcements that are produced to safeguard children, encourage the driving public to engage in safer driving behavior near school buses where students board and disembark from school buses, and recognize school bus operators and professionals.

Statewide, nearly 130 thousand students ride on about 3,000 school buses over 30 million miles of rural and urban roads in an average year. School Bus Safety Week offers the people of Maine an opportunity to recognize and thank transportation and public safety professionals, who have the invaluable task of keeping their precious cargo, our students, safe.

School buses are protected by law. Laws protect students who are getting off and on a school bus by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus while dropping off or picking up passengers, regardless of the direction of approach. Maine school bus safety laws support good driving behavior. These laws include:

  • Passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing is a criminal violation punishable by a $250 minimum fine for the first offense and a mandatory 30-day license suspension for the second offense occurring within three years of the first offense.
  • A vehicle may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the bus operator that it is okay to proceed.
  • 2021 model year and newer school buses are required to have a crossing arm on the front bumper.
  • A school bus operator who observes someone illegally passing a stopped school bus can report violations to a law enforcement officer.
  • School buses are required to stop at railroad crossings.
  • Unless otherwise posted, the school zone speed limit is 15 miles per hour during school opening or closing hours, as well as recess.

Additional school bus safety resources are available online:

For information about school transportation programs and policy contact Transportation and Facilities Administrator Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

If you have an interest in joining this critically important profession, please reach out to your area schools to learn more, and please thank and support these heroes on the road!

The National School Bus Safety Week public education program is hosted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), and National School Transportation Association (NSTA).

Maine Middle and High Schools Eligible to Win $1,000 in the Life Happens Outside® Challenge

 

Teens to Trails, with the support of the Maine Department of Education’s WAVES Program, partners with Arcadia to encourage students to spend more time outdoors

Teens to Trails is introducing the Life Happens Outside® Challenge for Maine middle and high schools to foster an appreciation for the outdoors and its many wellness benefits. The weeklong challenge takes place Saturday, October 23 through Friday, October 29.

Over 70 Maine Middle and High Schools are operating Outdoor Clubs as a co-curricular experience for students to build meaningful relationships while sharing outdoor experiences. Most of these clubs have started, increased capacity, or been revitalized through support from the Maine Department of Education’s WAVES program, which works to connect teens and adolescents with each other and the great outdoors.

Arcadia, a green energy tech company, is providing a $1,000 reward to the three Maine middle and high schools with the highest amount of outdoor time proportional to their school size.

To participate in the Challenge week, students will track and submit their activity online. All outdoor activities — at home or at school — count towards earning points, from exploring a local trail with friends to biking to doing homework outside. Winners are selected by total hours divided by school population, so large and small schools have equal chances to win. The three schools with the most hours — one from northern Maine, one from central Maine, and one from southern Maine — will be awarded $1,000 to further outdoor access for their students.

To participate in the Life Happens Outside® Challenge, visit https://teenstotrails.org/events/life-happens-outside-challenge to register and receive promotional materials. Each student must track and submit their hours via a provided Google form by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 29. Winners will be announced on Thursday, November 4.

Teens To Trails is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit dedicated to connecting teenage students to life-changing outdoor experiences with a vision that all teens have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors together.

Arcadia gives customers a simple and affordable way to choose renewable energy, connecting their homes and communities to the highest standards of clean energy through its platform technology. Founded in 2014, Arcadia connects with utilities in every state, manages 4.5 terawatt-hours of residential energy demand, and is the largest manager of residential community solar subscribers in the US. Join us in achieving our vision of a 100% renewable energy future at www.arcadia.com.

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Hazard, Communications Manager at Teens to Trails. Phone: 207-749-0249 or email: jen@teenstotrails.org

 

BEHAVIORAL THREAT ASSESSMENT FREE TRAINING OPPORTUNITY

Maine School Safety Center

WHAT IS SCHOOL-BASED BEHAVIORAL THREAT ASSESSMENT?

  • Violence prevention strategy recommended by the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Secret Service, and FBI.
  • Multidisciplinary team approach to identify behaviors of concern, assess the level of risk, and provide appropriate interventions.

COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL THREAT ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES (CSTAG TRAINING)

  • Consists of 2 levels of training.
  • Level 1: 8 eLearning modules, taking approximately 6 hours, to be completed at your convenience asynchronously online. Training window opens on November 1st, 2021.
  • Level 2: 4-hour Synchronous training to work through practice cases applying the methodology learned in the Level 1 training. November 17th via Zoom from 9:00-1:00.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

  • School Administrators
  • School Safety Teams
  • Law Enforcement Responding to Schools
  • School Mental Health Providers/Social Workers/Psychologists/School Counselors
  • School Resource Officers
  • Juvenile Community Corrections Officers

HOW TO REGISTER?

  • Contact Karen Barnes, Threat Assessment/Mental Health Officer at the Maine School Safety Center karen.a.barnes@maine.gov for more information or to be added to the training roster.
  • Additional training dates TBA.

MEDIA RELEASE: Hampden Eighth Grade Teacher Named 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year

Kelsey Stoyanova, an 8th grade teacher at Reeds Brook Middle School has been named the 2022 Teacher of the Year by the Maine Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Program.

In a unique event held at the Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden, the Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine named eighth grade teacher Kelsey Stoyanova Maine’s 2022 Teacher of the Year as surprised students and colleagues at the school congratulated and honored her dedication to teaching.

Kelsey’s journey began in May, when she was named the 2021 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year. Stoyanova, along with 15 other County Teachers of the Year, was selected from a pool of hundreds teachers who were nominated earlier this year. In August, Kelsey was named one of three state finalists before being selected as the 2022 Teacher of the Year.

Kelsey Stoyanova is an 8th grade language arts teacher at Reeds Brook Middle School, part of Regional School Unit (RSU) 22 in Hampden, Maine. Stoyanova has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an English concentration, a master’s degree in Education with a literacy focus, and is working toward her Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership — all as a University of Maine Black Bear.

Stoyanova is passionate about reading and helping students find an authentic love of reading through integrating a strong foundation of independent reading in her classroom. That passion really shined when she was selected as a grant recipient by the Book Love Foundation in 2020.

As an advocate for student involvement in curriculum creation, Stoyanova became the RSU22 Middle Level Language Arts Curriculum Leader, working to audit, align, and enhance the curriculum. She serves on the Equity in Education Committee where she designed and implemented the RSU22 Reads Three Reading Challenge for students and community members to participate in, thus far making a point to highlight BIPOC authors and characters, women in literature, AAPI voices, and LGBTQIA+ authors and characters.

In addition to these roles, Stoyanova is sought out as a technology enthusiast, mentor, and loves to share and design creative projects and assessments with her colleagues in all content areas. After school, you can find her going on outdoor Maine adventures with her family, or with her nose in a book which she will undoubtedly talk about in class tomorrow.

Kelsey was nominated by students, Tessa Castrucci and Stella Fox. Here are their nominations:

Ms. Castrucci “She is a really understanding teacher who plans lessons with her students in mind, making the lessons suited to fit the class and environment. If we are interested in a certain event that happened in our country, we might have a class discussion or assignment about it to encourage our interest while learning the facts. She forms meaningful relationships with her students and creates an environment that is welcoming. Along with that, I feel like I can be challenged in her class to do my best while also developing and working on skills that might be harder for me. We do this by having class discussions, creative projects, and interesting assignments. Overall, Mrs. Stoyanova is a teacher that listens to and understands her students while trying to create a space to encourage our interests and push us to be our very best.”

Ms. Fox“Mrs. Stoyanova is an amazing teacher. She makes learning fun, and she makes sure her classroom is a safe and fun learning environment for everyone to share their thoughts and interact with others. She makes sure everyone gets their work done, and she makes sure everyone understands how the work will get done. Not only is she a teacher, but she is an incredible mom, friend to her students, a person to talk to, and overall, someone you can trust. I think it goes for all of her students that Mrs. Stoyanova has had when I say that Mrs. Stoyanova is the right teacher for this award.”

The Teacher of the Year Program is a year-long process that involves educator portfolio and resume submissions, interviews, oral presentations, and classroom visits made by a selection panel comprised of State Board of Education members, school administrators, Maine Department of Education staff, former Teachers of the Year, and other Maine business partners.

As the 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year, Kelsey will spend her year of service advocating for students and teachers and speaking to the importance of education in preparing Maine students for the future.  She will also represent Maine in the National Teacher of the Year program.

Said Cindy Soule, Maine’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, “Kelsey Stoyonova is a powerful example of the myriad ways educators across the state of Maine impact their communities as agents of change.  As 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year Kelsey Stoyanova will shine a light on the myriad ways Maine educators impact their students and communities as agents of change. Kelsey’s unwavering belief in her students, strong collaboration with colleagues, leadership within her school and district, passion for literature and justice, and commitment to her own learning will serve her well as she advocates for and celebrates education, students, teachers, families and schools at both the state and national level. I am thrilled to learn alongside her as she embarks on this incredible journey!”

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led advocacy organization, in partnership with the Maine Department of Education, the Maine State Board of Education, and the Maine County and State Teachers and County of the Year Association (MCSTOYA). Funding for the program is generously provided by Maine businesses.  The program’s lead sponsor is Bangor Savings Bank.  Other program sponsors include Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, the Maine State Lottery, Unum and the Silvernail Family.

For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit www.mainetoy.org.