Resources for Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Schools

In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Maine Department of Education would like to share resources and information that educators and schools can use to teach about Native American history and culture, as part of their classroom and school activities that commemorate this important holiday.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October, this year the holiday will be celebrated on October 14th.

The Maine DOE has expanded its Maine Native American Resources webpage section to include robust historical and cultural information that honors Maine Native Americans, as well as resources that will help guide discussions about Indigenous Peoples’ Day, both in and outside of the classroom.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions for Rule Chapter 180 (Educator Effectiveness Rules); Hearing on October 28, 2019

The Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 180: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems to reflect recent statutory changes and feedback from conceptual conversations.

This proposed rulemaking provides a sunset for Section 7, Student Learning and Growth Measures, which are no longer a requirement. School administrative units will have flexibility in developing multiple measures on the local level. Section 13, subsection 3 has been revised to reflect, “A majority of the steering committee members must be teachers and must be chosen by the local representative of the applicable collective bargaining unit if the teachers in the school administrative unit are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.” Redundant and unnecessary language has been deleted.

The Department will be developing guidance to be available on the PEPG General Resources web page.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 180 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 180:
October 28, 2019 from 10:00am- 11:30am
Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
All are welcome to attend and no RSVP is required.  Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments.

Comment Period Deadline: November 22, 2019

Comments can be submitted to Jaci Holmes at jaci.holmes@maine.gov

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions for Rule Chapter 40; Hearing on October 28, 2019

The Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 40: Medication Administration in Schools to reflect recent statutory changes.

This rule provides directions to public and private schools approved pursuant to 20-A MRSA §2902 in the administration of medication within schools. It is to assist school administrative units in implementing the provision of the medication statute [20-MRSA §254(5)(A-D)] that provides direction for training of unlicensed school personnel in the administration of medication, requires that students be allowed to carry and self-administer prescribed emergency medications; specifically, asthma inhalers or epinephrine auto-injectors with health care provider approval and school nurse assessment demonstrating competency and authorizes any student who attends public school to possess and use topical sunscreen product while on school property or at a school-sponsored event without a note or prescription from a health care provider if the product is regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use for the purpose of limiting skin damage from ultraviolet radiation. In addition, refinements have been made to the proposed rule related to medications related to the care of students with insulin dependent diabetes.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 40 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 40:
October 28, 2019 from 1:00pm- 2:30pm
Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
All are welcome to attend and no RSVP is required.  Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments.

Comment Period Deadline: November 22, 2019

Comments can be submitted to Jaci Holmes at jaci.holmes@maine.gov

MLTI Bridge Year

The Maine Department of Education, through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), has been providing 7th and 8th grade students and teachers access to, and support for, educational technology since 2002. While the goal has remained constant – provide State support for access to technology-enhanced education experiences for all students – the program has changed in many ways and will continue to grow and evolve in the future. The Department remains committed to this goal.  

As many school administrative units (SAUs) are aware, the final contracts for the existing MLTI program are set to expire on June 30, 2020. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Department has designed a “bridge year,” to provide support for devices, infrastructure, and professional learning while we continue to work with stakeholders to design what is the next phase of the MLTI program. With the support of the 129th legislature, the Department has designed the bridge year to mitigate and minimize disruption to SAUs. The details of the bridge year are the following: 

  • The Department will purchase all of the MLTI devices at the end of the lease. 
  • The Department will transfer ownership to SAUs in cohort 4 (lease begun in 2016) for 7th & 8th grade and staff devices in July 2020. JAMF licenses on these devices will continue at no charge to SAUs through June 30, 2021. Systems Engineering will continue to support the WiFi infrastructure of 7th and 8th grade classrooms during the bridge year. 
  • SAUs who are currently leasing additional devices (elementary or high school student and staff devices) from the Department will have the option to buy out their devices from the Department at the 2015 rates, $28/ iPad and $48/ laptop in July 2020. JAMF licenses will be available on these devices for the cost of $6/ iOS device and $12/MacOS.
  • No new grants will be awarded during the 2020-2021 academic year. 
  • The Department will provide statewide and regional professional learning,  
  • The Department will host the MLTI student conference in May 2021.  

Over the past several months, the Department has hosted Think Tank conversations regionally around the state to reflect on the past 17 years of the MLTI program and envision innovative ideas about the possibilities for the next 20 years of the program. We will continue to use the additional time afforded by the “bridge year” to meet with stakeholders throughout the state. Discussions will include topics such as portable computer devices, device management and deployment, software, wireless networking, technical support, and professional development, as well as financial models to support these efforts. The Department will also convene a workgroup to synthesize this information and help to create a plan for the state. 

Below is the estimated timeline for MLTI through 2021. 

  • June 2019 – August 2020: The Department holds meetings with stakeholders regarding the future of MLTI (post SY 2020-2021) and convenes a workgroup to develop a State plan 
  • July 2020 – June 30, 2021: Bridge Year 
  • October 2020: The Department announces plan for MLTI post SY 2020-2021 (including the release of any necessary RFPs) 
  • July 2021: launch of MLTI 2.0 

For more information about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, contact Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov, 207-624-6642. 

WCC Educator Profile: Lewis Collins

Washington County Consortium (WCC): Washington County Educator Profile, submitted by Sarah Woog, Executive Director of the WCC.

Meet Lewis Collins, Superintendent of Moosabec CSD and Union 103

Moosabec CSD and Union 103 is a school district in Washington County nestled in the coastal communities of Jonesport and Beal Island. It includes Jonesport-Beals High School, Jonesport Elementary School, and Beals Elementary School. The district is a relatively small district, one familiar to many of us, with generations of pride in its schools, combined classrooms, contract disputes, packed gyms for basketball games, and a part time superintendent. These characteristics represent significant strengths and challenges, and Lewis (Lew) Collins is excited to leverage the strengths of the district to meet the challenges of a small rural district in Maine.

Lew started as Superintendent of Moosabec CSD and Union 103 in July of this year, and shortly began listening to the staff at the schools and community members he signed on to serve. He sees listening as one of the most important things he can do this year, and recognizes that the voice and values of the people in the district will help him determine how to best support them and increase student outcomes. Lew plans to spend much of his time this year “going into schools, getting diverse perspectives, listening to staff and teachers.” So far, he likes what he’s hearing and said the district’s greatest strengths are “first, its kids; and next, its staff, who are completely dedicated to student success.”

Complete dedication to student success has been a hallmark of Lew’s long career in education. He began his career in Camden, NJ, where he was a teacher at an alternative education school for adjudicated youth. He’s proud of the on-the-job training the school provided, and the work-study with pay opportunities the students were able to take advantage of. The school, and Lew’s work within it, supported students in discovering, defining, and pursuing their own paths to success, paths that took them off the troubled roads they had already traversed, and supported them on a journey toward meaningful and fulfilling lives. 

This theme of supporting students in finding fulfillment and success determined by their own passions and values is one with which many educators in Washington County can relate. This theme is evident in the current work being done to expand Career and Technical Education opportunities, and is pervasive in all of our schools. We all know the lobsterman’s daughter who takes a half day work-study her senior year to work on the boat, or the third-grader who designs a four-wheeler for his lego-engineering project. In fact, in Lew’s own district, students at Beals Elementary learn science by posing hypotheses and designing experiments in their own backyards, working with the Downeast Institute (DEI) to address the green crab problem, or to determine the best conditions under which mussels may thrive.

Lew is continuing his listening tour of his district. It’s important work. He is excited to see how his “understanding of the needs of his district translates into success for kids.” I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll find the needs and values that surface are already familiar to him, are harmonious with his own values and experiences, and provide a rich foundation for inspiring and supporting student success.  And Lew, as you listen to the folks in Washington County you are here to support and serve, I hope one message is loud and clear: Welcome. It’s good to have you.