Department of Education Update Meeting

Commissioner of Education Pender Makin will be hosting a Zoom update on education in Maine during the current pandemic on Tuesday, June 2, from 4:00-5:00.

Please register in advance for this meeting, as there is a 500-person maximum. You can register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Questions or topics of interest may be submitted in advance by emailing Chief-of -Staff Jessica Nixon at Jessica.nixon@maine.gov by Tuesday at 8:00 am.

The meeting will be recorded and posted on our website.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Launches #LoveTeaching Campaign on Valentine’s Day

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today kicked off the national #LoveTeaching campaign in Maine. Running February 14th through February 21st, the #LoveTeaching Campaign is observed by educators around the country as an opportunity to celebrate teaching, leading, and learning in a way that unites and invigorates educators and those they inspire all around the world.

Every year, Valentine’s Day marks the beginning of a week-long conversation that aims to illuminate why teachers enter and remain in the field of education, offering a mindset shift from the seemingly singular focus on the challenges of the profession.

Starting today, we encourage educators across Maine to participate by using the #LoveTeaching hashtag on social media to share why they love teaching, either through a story, a moment, a memory, a picture, a quote, a phrase, or a simple explanation. Tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and at @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook so that we can share your teaching inspiration around our state!

To help get the conversation going, we are releasing this two and a half minute video, developed by the Maine Department of Education, starring 20 educators from across the State of Maine who explain why they teach:

In collaboration with the Maine Education Association, the Department is looking forward to hosting educators in Augusta next week to celebrate their profession and engage in meaningful conversations about teaching in Maine.

For further information about the #LoveTeaching campaign, please visit weloveteaching.org. Follow the conversation on Maine DOE’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Wells Junior High School Actors Take Action Against Hunger

Submitted by Josie Perkins, Director of Theatre Arts Education at Wells Junior High School.

Students from Wells Junior High School were highlighted recently for their efforts to take action against hunger in their community.

“We give back through our arts. We affect people’s lives by doing arts and entertainment and taking them out of their daily lives. But what else can we do as global citizens to give back to our community?” says play Director Josie Perkins.

See the full news story here.

College of the Atlantic Visits Pembroke Elementary School

From Left to Right: D.Jamieson (Principal), H. Westall and L. Fuller (students), R. Griffith (ELA 7/8), B. Renaud (ELA 5/6), and Linda Fuller (Associate Director of Curriculum, College of the Atlantic).

Submitted by Debbie Jamieson, Principal of Pembroke Elementary and Darlene Bassett, Literacy Coach and Maine DOE, School Turnaround.

On February 6, 2019, Linda Fuller, Ed.D., Associate Director of Educational Studies at the College of the Atlantic, made a long awaited visit to Pembroke Elementary School in Pembroke, Maine.  Linda had contacted the school last year in response to a post on the Commissioner’s blog highlighting the student success with Richardson’s Guided Reading Model. She coordinated the visit with Chelsey Fortin-Tremble, Maine DOE Director of the ESEA Federal Programs and the School Turnaround Team, and Deborah Jamieson, Principal of the Pembroke Elementary School. Plans were made for her students – teachers in training – to visit two teachers, Rosie Griffith – Grades 7/8 ELA Teacher and Beckery Renaud – Grades 5/6 ELA Teacher and Lead Teacher for Pembroke. Both teachers have combined grade levels in their classrooms.

The visit began with a debriefing between the teachers and their visitors.  Beckery and Rosie shared the profiles of their groups (anonymously) based on assessments and teacher observations.  Then they provided a framework for the instruction the guests were about to observe.  This session was interactive, allowing the visitors to pose questions and share opinions.

Visitors then observed Beckery Renaud in the 5/6 ELA Lesson teaching using Reading Street’s readers.  As always, Beckery’s focus was comprehension.

She prompted students to make connections between themselves and the texts, reviewed the nonfiction format, and supported them while they learned strategies on how to access information using this text structure. Meanwhile, the rest of the class worked independently on their own learning for the day.

Next, the guests observed in Rosie Griffith’s room.  Rosie’s classroom was organized in the same manner.  Students were focused and engaged at their desks, working on individual learning, while Rosie introduced a new book, A Day No Pigs Would Die. Rosie scaffolded students as they made predictions after previewing the book.  She put a heavy emphasis on each student’s metacognitive process and we observed as students made links and explained their thinking.

After the observations were completed, we re-grouped for the final debriefing.

Deb Jamieson was able to join us.  We discussed many issues drawing on the insights of both teachers and administrators alike.  The student visitors were well informed and eager to learn and teach!  Everyone had a delightful day and learned a great deal from one another.

We would like to thank Linda Fuller and her team for taking the time to visit Pembroke.  Great things are happening in Maine Schools.  Many, like this implementation, require a huge commitment of time and energy to the students we serve.  Young educators need to know they have the opportunity to join a dedicated cadre of teachers and administrators in the field who are looking forward to growing with you and making Maine kids’ lives as good as they can be.  We welcome you on board.

Here are some pictures from the day:

PRIORITY NOTICE: Data Submission Correction Process Now Available; February 8 Deadline

Recognizing the collection of attendance data remains relatively new to Maine schools and districts and in response to school and district feedback, the Maine Department of Education is pleased to provide an opportunity for schools to correct errors related to data in the following three (3) areas:

  • Chronic Absenteeism
  • Student Group Indicators (misidentification, students not identified, etc.)
  • Full Academic Year Status

Revised data sets will update elements related to federal reporting for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) including schools’ eligibility to receive support under ESSA and the ESSA Data Dashboards (formerly called Report Cards).

For data related to the 2018 school year, requests to correct data from Superintendents must be submitted to MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov by Friday, February 8, 2019 at 4 p.m. The following information must be included with the correction request:

  • A description of why the data is thought to be in error and why the correction is warranted
  • Contact name and email of the person responsible for resubmitting the data (if applicable)

Below is the proposed timeline for review and amendment of data:

February 11 -22, 2019:
Maine DOE will send a survey to the identified contact to solicit questions to help with the review of the request and validate data to be corrected.

March 1, 2019:
Survey and revised data set is due back to Maine DOE by 4 pm.
Please note: If the data is incorrect due to district error, the request should include if the district requires additional support from the Maine DOE and district next steps to correct the error for 2018-2019 data. A Data Correction Template is available here.

March 4-15, 2019:
Maine DOE will retrieve data sets and recalculate appropriate data sets.

The Department is working on to refine this process for each school year going forward, and will provide further information on the DOE website.

Also, as a reminder, upon completion of data revisions, districts and schools will be provided the opportunity to review the ESSA Data Dashboards prior their public release.

Further questions should be directed to Charlotte Ellis, Education Data Manager at Charlotte.Ellis@maine.gov.