It’s National Adoption Month in November – Here are Resources for Educators

November is National Adoption Month! We invite you to recognize and celebrate families that grew by adoption while raising awareness about the urgent need for permanent homes for children and young people in out-of-home (foster) care.

National Adoption Month, initiated in 1976 by Governor Dukakis and formalized by President Clinton in 1995, is an annual campaign sponsored by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids.

This year, the campaign theme is Every Conversation Matters. Sharing the message about the need for families is critical, yet how information about the adoption experience is shared can have a significant impact on children and young people. This theme is particularly important for adolescents and young people in need of a forever family and a permanent home.

Every child with adoption experience has a story. Helping youth find their voice and the words to tell their story may be hard, but it also unlocks the potential to learn who their important mentors and supports are and may potentially uncover adoption resources.

With approximately 970 Maine children currently entering a relative’s home for placement from out-of-home care and 300 adoption legalizations annually, there are likely children in your school and classroom who are personally affected by adoption. There are great opportunities to provide parents and children with foundational language and resources that can barrier-bust long standing assumptions about adoption.

How you can help:

  • If you are an educator and are looking for support in navigating the complex social narratives, beliefs and questions the adoption experience often elicits (think family tree assignments), visit looking for tips and starting points to address those issues with your students, visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-parenting/school/ or https://www.americanadoptions.com/blog/
  • If you are an educator working with young children visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ for helpful tools and resources. Or consider teaching a lesson about famous adoptees who have made a difference in the world. Even a small lesson can be incredibly useful in changing people’s opinions about how adoption really works — and promote tolerance among your students for those who may be affected by this process.
  • If your goal is to get actively involved in this important need, you may remain connected and informed throughout the month by following #AFamilyForMeMaine and #NationalAdoptionMonth on Facebook and raise awareness by asking friends, family and colleagues to join you.
  • Join the Poster Campaign: What Adoption Means to ME – Download this poster to find out more.

If you want to explore becoming an adoptive parent in Maine, please call A Family for ME at 1-844-893-6311 or visit https://afamilyformemaine.org/ to get started today.

RSU 54 Administrative Assistant Appointed Board Chair of National Association of Educational Office Professionals 

Vivian Champagne has been an Administrative Assistant in Skowhegan’s RSU #54/MSAD #54 School District. She has been working there since 2005, where she has been part of both high school athletics and adult education.

Vivian is a member of the National Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP), a national association which aims to provide professional growth through leadership, education, achievement, recognition, and networking opportunities for educational office professionals.

As a dedicated member of NAEOP since 2012, and a past president of Maine’s state association, Maine Educational Office Professionals (MAEOP), Vivian recently completed NAEOP’s Professional Standards Program certification program and earned her Certified Educational Office Employee (CEOE) distinction.

“Professional Development is an important piece of my career,” said Vivian. “Searching for new things to learn took me from the state association to the national association which offered the CEOE distinction, which is the only nationally recognized certification program, credentialed for educational office professionals.”

Shortly after obtaining her CEOE, Vivian was appointed by the national president of the NAEOP to serve as Chairman of the 2021-2022 Administrative Council., an honor in which she was installed during this year’s NAEOP Annual Conference in July 2021.

The Administrative Council is comprised of education office professionals who work at the district or central office level, State Department of Education, School Boards Association, or any service unit that serves a number of school districts in a specified area in the state.

“I now represent any NAEOP member who is an administrative assistant that works in the office of education from K-12, college, and state level across the nation,” Vivian explained excitedly.

The one-year appointment will allow Vivian to be the connection between the administrative NAEOP members and the NAEOP board of directors, which she is energized to do through regular communication and workshops.  She is looking forward to elaborating and sharing more details during her term.

When not juggling her professional demands, Vivian is dedicated to her family. Happily married for 37 years, she has two adult children and two wonderful twin granddaughters.

To learn more about the NAEOP visit: https://www.naeop.org/

To learn more about the MAEOP visit: https://www.maine-association-educational-office-professional.com/

This article is part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or a story idea, email Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Calling all Maine School Principals: Join Maine’s Transformational Leaders’ Network 

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) invites school principals to apply for an inspiring professional learning opportunity. The Transformational Leaders’ Network (TLN) offers Maine principals an opportunity to deepen their leadership skills while they are leading transformational efforts in their schools. This “learner-centered” program has a ten-year history of success and is open to ALL Maine principals at no cost. The primary requirement for joining the TLN is the ambition to improve your leadership and your school! 

Who can apply? 

  • Maine School Principals (PreK-12)

What is the commitment? 

  • The program consists of three types of sessions throughout the year:  in-person full days, two-hour Network sessions, and 1.5-hour Learning Leader Team sessions.  The three full-day in-person sessions (aligned to CDC safety guidelines) will be in October, February, and mid-May at a site(s) to be determined based on participation.  The majority of your time will be in Zoom-based Learning Leader Teams(LLTs) of 5-8 principals, facilitated by experienced educators. Alternating with LLT sessions will be larger group Zoom-based Network sessions designed to assist your understanding of leadership and your own strengths and challenges. 

How is the program designed? 

  • The TLN experience revolves around each principal’s efforts to improve their school’s success with students. In Network sessions, principals examine the leadership challenges inherent in making progress on improvement goals.  In a small group led by a facilitator, each principal will design an action plan and an accompanying “learning plan.” 
  •  Colleagues and resources from facilitators provide on-going consultation and advice focused on the principal’s, “continuous improvement” as a leader for the, “continuous improvement” of the school.  In this fashion, each principal’s learning goal(s) drives the curriculum of the Network. 
  • Successful completion of the TLN will result in contact hours for re-certification purposes. 

I’m interested… what next? 

  • Applying now for this exciting opportunity is encouraged by the Maine DOE. 
  • An online application can be found here. 
  • Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis until the cohort is full or August 24,2021, whichever comes first. Please note, applications require the approval of the superintendent before submittal. 

Where can I find more information? 

  • For answers to questions or more details about TLN, please contact Fran Farr, TLN Facilitator, at franfarr522@gmail.com or (207) 439-9659 or (207) 752-2439. 
  • A June webinar featuring the TLN and Maine’s Leadership Development Program can be viewed here 
  • To access more information, hear from past participants, and download application materials please visit:  https://www.maine.gov/doe/educators/leader/tln 

What other opportunities are available to current or aspiring leaders? 

 

Reminder: Application Window for Maine’s Leadership Development Program open now through August 24th  

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) invites educators to apply for a year-long professional learning opportunity. The Maine Leadership Development Program (LDP) is an initiative designed to build and strengthen leadership skills among Maine’s educational leaders. In our ongoing efforts to support and foster impactful leadership in Maine, educators who aspire to do the same are invited to take advantage of this high-impact opportunity!  

Who should apply?   

  • Current and aspiring leaders within schools, School Administrative Units (SAUs), or at the state level;   
  • Some examples of past and current participants are teachers, principals, assistant principals, department leaders, school board members, school counselors, assistant superintendents, instruction and curriculum directors, CTE directors, DOE staff, transition coordinators, school improvement coaches, and superintendents;  
  • Instructional coaches, K-12 deans of students, heads of schools, Title I directors, special education directors, English learner directors, CTE instructors and ESEA coordinators are encouraged to apply as well.  
  • If you are a leader in education in Maine, this program may be a great fit for you!  

What is the commitment? 

  • Participants will attend a fall orientation on September 30, 2021, followed by 12 two full day units (virtual and in-person). Pre-work is required for each unit;    
  • Each participant will design and develop a job-embedded action learning plan over the course of the year.  

How is the program designed?  

  • The LDP is a nationally researched (NISL), evidenced-based, locally delivered cohort model of learning that improves the practice of leadership, transforms instruction, and focuses on increasing equity and student achievement in schools;  
  • The program is a blended learning model that includes inquiry (using research-based texts and case studies), action learning, and engaging activities and simulations with practical applications that meet the needs of leaders. Cohort members experience deep learning not only through the materials and program design, but also through lively and fulfilling content and context-based conversations with fellow participants.  
  • Upon completion of the Maine LDP, participants will be nationally NISL certified and receive a certificate for corresponding contact hours.   

I’m interested… What next? 

  • The Maine DOE encourages educational leaders to apply today for this exciting opportunity! Prior to making the commitment, please be sure to review the schedule for the 2021-2022 Maine LDP cohort, found here;  
  • View a recording of the June information session featuring Maine’s LDP and The Transformational Leaders’ Network here 
  • To access more information, hear from past participants, and review application materials please visit: http://www.maine.gov/doe/educators/maineldp;   
  • Applications are due by August 24, 2021 and require the support of a supervisor;  
  • Half hour interviews will be scheduled after applications are reviewed;  
  • Selected participants are expected to attend a virtual half-day orientation on September 30, 2021;  
  • For more information please email emily.doughty@maine.gov.   

What other opportunities are available to current or aspiring leaders?   

Maine DOE Director of Special Education Honored by MADSEC

The Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities (MADSEC) awarded Erin Frazier, Maine Department of Education (DOE) Director of Special Education from birth to 22, with the MADSEC President’s Award this year.

Frazier was selected to receive the award by the past MADSEC president Cheryl Mercier and current MADSEC president Deb Murphy.

Through weekly informational meetings with MADSEC and state special education leaders that she has led since March 2020, her ongoing coordination of the necessary changes to special education throughout the pandemic, and her continuous words of encouragement, Frazier was more than a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.

“Erin’s leadership has truly served as our beacon of light during this time of great uncertainty,” Mercier and Murphy stated at the recent award ceremony.

The Maine DOE is proud of this recognition of Erin’s leadership efforts and her ongoing accomplishments as a education leader in Maine.

This article was written by Maine DOE Intern Clio Bersani in collaboration with Maine Administrators of Service for Children with Disabilities as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.