New ESEA Report Cards & STEM Technology Showcase to be Featured at 2018 Commissioner’s Conference; Register Now

As a reminder, registration for the 2018 Commissioner’s Conference is now open. The conference features an array of sessions catered toward superintendents. This year’s sessions include opportunities to:

  • Get a sneak peak at the new ESEA Report Card dashboard
  • Ask questions and talk about ESSA, and School Improvement
  • Learn more about the budgeting process for Title I/ESEA funds
  • Learn more about supports and resources available on topics like Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), trauma, attendance, concussion management, and substance abuse
  • Learn more about Certification, including updates about the new online system
  • Learn more about Department initiatives and goals including: pilot programs for early math and literacy, CTE programing and funding, and regionalization opportunities
  • Participate in open forums on the teacher shortage, and on educator effectiveness
  • Listen to panels about workforce development, and about workforce needs and CTE
  • Get hands on experience with current STEM technology at a showcase brought to you by the Maine State Library

See a draft agenda, including session descriptions.

In addition to this year’s breakout sessions, Commissioner’s Conference participants also have the opportunity to enjoy the following celebrations:

  • The Annual Reception Hosted by Apple, Inc
  • An Evening Banquet Dinner
  • Maine School Management Association’s Annual Awards Ceremony

The conference takes place at the Augusta Civic Center on June 27th and 28th.

Find additional resources and information including pricing, the draft agenda, lodging options, further details about registration including guest registration, and more on the Maine DOE Commissioner’s Conference webpage.

Register now »

Washington County Title I: School Improvement Initiative

On May 8 and 14, a total of 41 classroom, Title 1, and special education educators completed a 3 -part literacy professional development series on Guided Reading with a focus on differentiation, acceleration, and classroom focus. The two cohorts, are the result of a year-long pilot sponsored by the Maine Department of Education’s ESEA Title I: School Improvement Team.

The professional development was provided by Darlene Bassett, Literacy Coach for the Maine DOE, and was based on Jan Richardson’s nationally recognized book, The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading. Al Pfeiffer, Leadership Coach for the Maine DOE, facilitated the pilot with local schools.

Due to the geographical and economic challenges in Washington County, the Department provided these high-quality professional development sessions right in Machias.

Washington County Title I School Improvement Initiative cohort 1
Cohort 1

As part of this work, the Department’s literacy consultant collaborated with Pembroke Elementary School Principal Deb Jameson and three Pembroke Elementary Teachers, Karin Lingley (grades 3 & 4); Beckery Renaud (grades 5 & 6); and Rosie Griffith (7 & 8) to implement guided reading in their classrooms, and also create a “hub school” at Pembroke that has served as a site for other teachers and administrators in the area to visit and reflect as they implement guided reading.

Due to the interest in the area, and accompanying student assessment data, the Department’s Title I School Improvement Team offered a series of professional development sessions to provide teachers with an understanding of present day research and the classroom practices that are linked to the basis of Richardson’s new Guided Reading Model. This collaboration and involvement has lead to staff development for 14 schools in the area.

The Department’s Title I: School Improvement Team plans to continue this meaningful and targeted work with Washington County educators in the fall. One of the schools in the cohort will be identified as the hub school and will receive on-going services and become a resource for all teachers in the region to observe instruction.

Washington County Title I School Improvement Initiative cohort 2
Cohort 2

If you have any questions, please contact ESEA Federal Programs and Title I Director, Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at chelsey.a.fortin@maine.gov.

Reminder: Register now for 2018 Commissioner’s Conference – session highlights available

The 2018 Commissioner’s Conference will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, June 27th and Thursday, June 28, 2018. The Maine DOE has been working closely with Maine School Management Association (MSMA) to ensure that this year’s sessions meet the needs of attendees – see conference highlights below.

Find additional resources and information including pricing, a draft agenda, lodging options, further details about registration, including guest registration, and more on the Maine DOE Commissioner’s Conference webpage.

Register now »

Conference Highlights

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine
Duke Albanese, Commissioner’s Conference Keynote

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine: Getting There Requires a Focus on Education and Effective Leadership for Learning, Citizenship, and Opportunities for All Maine Students”

Finding widespread prosperity has been difficult for our state. Although Maine presents abundant opportunities to thrive and prosper as individuals and communities, pockets of vibrancy have often been limited even during the best of times. To turn the tide and make our state a great place to live and prosper, high quality education is the key. We have the scale and wherewithal to build a world-class early childhood through higher education system focused on equity and enriching learning opportunities for all students. What we need to achieve this is strong, effective, creative, and resourceful leadership. Can Maine do it? Yes. Who will lead?

Duke Albanese will serve as Commissioner Keynote, in addition to conducting a break-out session.

Cracker-Barrel Session
Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff

Come to this informal session and get a chance to talk one-on-one with Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff, including Department leadership. The Department will also have available some insider updates for superintendents.

Certification: What You Need to Know
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide participants with a review of important changes resulting from recent revisions to certification laws; clarification on common misconceptions about certification requirements and processes; an opportunity to discuss communication strategies for certification; and a question and answer segment on the new online system.

Legislative Update
Maine DOE Staff

The Maine Legislature adjourned its Second Regular Session sine die on May 2, 2018. While education bills remain, including LD 1869 –”An Act To Establish the Total Cost of Education and the State and Local Contributions to Education for Fiscal Year 2018-19 and To Provide That Employees of School Management and Leadership Centers Are Eligible To Participate in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System”—which are preserved to be carried over to any special session of the 128th Legislature, others were passed and became law are either in effect now as emergency legislation, or will become law on Wednesday, August 1. This session will include a summary of enacted educated-related legislation, the status of bills preserved by the joint order, and a progress report on the status of rulemaking.

Open Forum: Addressing the Teacher Shortage
Open Forum lead by DOE staff

What can Maine do to address the teacher shortage while strengthening our educator workforce? In this open forum session, we will discuss barriers to teacher retention and recruitment and what is being done across the state to overcome these obstacles. Together we will collaborate on ways that all stakeholders can work together to build our educator workforce and promote the teaching profession.

Put your Collaborative Project on the Regionalization Map
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will learn about the EMBRACE II initiatives, including lessons learned; be introduced to the process of forming a regional service center; learn about the upcoming grant opportunity offered by the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES); brainstorm possible regionalized services and programs; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

We Have Formed a Regional Service Center: Now What?
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will provide input for the Department as to what regional service centers and executive directors need for support; gain an understanding of the monitoring and reporting requirements for a regional service center; receive legislative updates that directly impact regional service centers and their funding; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

Panel: Preparing Kids for Maine’s Workforce
Maine DOE staff and panel of industry representatives

What are employers looking for? What are students prepared to offer? What can Career and Technical Education (CTE) provide for industry and students? In this session, a panel of industry representatives will share what they look for in an employee. We will discuss and seek ideas for how Maine’s CTE programs can help create more opportunities for students and meet workforce needs.

PreK with Staying Power!
Maine DOE staff

High quality prek has great potential; but research shows that to truly lessen the achievement gap, certain program elements must be present before kindergarten or the gains will “fade out” in the early elementary grades. What are the goals for a prek program in your district? Are you seeing these goals realized in child outcomes over time? Come hear about the prek programs that include the research-based elements and the end-of-prek outcome data that predicts 5th grade reading, writing, and math scores.

Improving K-3 Literacy Achievement by Building Teacher Knowledge
Maine DOE MoMEntum staff and educators from pilot schools

The Department is implementing an early literacy/technology learning pilot project, MoMEntum K-3 Literacy, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning. This session will provide an overview of the initiative; details about the professional learning, including intentional instruction, opportunities for student practice, technology integration, and assessment that informs ongoing instruction; preliminary findings related to student achievement; and lessons learned so far. During this panel discussion, participants will have the chance to hear from and ask questions of those leading the program as well as participating educators and school leaders.

Closing the Achievement Gap with Early Math Education
Maine DOE staff

Two years of assessing current state data shows an increasing gap in the percent of grade 3-5 students statewide who meet or achieve state expectations in mathematics as compared to ELA/literacy. The Maine Department of Education is embarking on a new initiative called the Numeracy4ME K-4 Mathematics Pilot program, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning of mathematics. This session will provide an overview of the initiative, including details about structure of the professional learning, the focus on numeracy concepts, and implications for PK-4 learning and assessment applicable to all schools.

Work Session: 2018/19 School Approval Requirements & Process
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide guidance on the 2018-19 school/district approval requirements and the new more streamlined process in the Department’s NEO system. Superintendents will have the opportunity to begin completing the approval process at this session – bring your laptops.

Open Forum: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide district leaders an opportunity to share their PEPG triumphs and tribulations. Do you have a strategy that is working well in your district that you would like to share with others? Do you have a need for greater support in certain areas such as observations and feedback? Is your school or district interested in improving the quality of the Student Learning Objectives? Participation, creative strategies, and a willingness to share is encouraged in this session!

Raising the Bar for Technology in Maine Schools
Jim Moulton, Apple Inc.

How do we help our students learn today and prepare them for a rapidly changing world? A driving force behind this change is technology. It affects the way we communicate, the way we work, the way we live day-to-day. It also empowers every individual—and every learner—to create amazing things and make a difference in the world. But first, we need to raise the bar for what’s expected, and what’s possible, for learning with technology.

Substance Abuse Resources
Maine Center for Disease Control

The presentation will provide an overview of Maine Prevention services, specifically substance and tobacco use prevention including electronic nicotine delivery systems/vaping to school leaders. The information provided will be useful for school administrators as they consider policies, practices and education necessary to protect and optimize the health and safety of students. Materials, resources and a list of community prevention providers who can support school prevention efforts will be available at this presentation.

Elevating Concussion Education: How to Address Everyone
Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI), Colby College

As schools prepare for the start of each year, it’s the perfect time to update concussion education. To ensure that head injury is addressed with each population in the district, MCMI has tailored plans to educate all stakeholders. Everyone in your district will benefit from tailored and current concussion information. Attend this session to learn more about how to get involved.

Other possible sessions:

  • Steve Levesque, and Glenn Cummings – Educating the Workforce Panel
  • Adult Education
  • Budget Methodology of State/Local Funds for ESEA
  • ESSA: School Improvement for All
  • Early Math Education
  • Post-secondary enrollment and credentialing options
  • Truancy
  • Trauma

2018 Summer Literacy Institute

The Maine Department of Education invites educators to register for the 2018 Summer Literacy Institute. Proven Practices: Accelerate Student Literacy with Visible Learning is a two-day event that builds from Dr. John Hattie’s ground-breaking research which identifies effectiveness of strategies and influences on education.  Drawing from materials developed by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey, certified consultants Marisol Thayre and Olivia Amador-Valerio will help participants better understand how to:

  • apply the most effective Visible Learning practices highlighted by John Hattie’s research;
  • enhance close reading and small group instructional practices to honor surface, deep, and transfer level learning; and
  • use resources effectively to support continuous learning progress.

Content will be drawn from Text Dependent Questions: Pathways to Close and Critical Reading (K-5 and 6-12), Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom, and Engagement by Design as well as other Fisher and Frey texts.

The Institute will be on August 7 & 8 at Jeff’s catering in Brewer.

Read more about this learning event. Register today as seats are limited. For more information, contact morgan.dunton@maine.gov.

Maine DOE announces 3rd Annual Read to Ride Summer Reading challenge

Summer vacation is a welcome break from the daily school routine for children and parents alike, but the summer months can be detrimental to students’ learning if young minds are not kept active. Summer learning loss is a well-documented phenomenon, particularly with respect to reading achievement.  Students can lose up to three months of reading progress during the summer if they don’t keep reading.  When combined across a child’s PK-8 school career, this can result in 1-2 years of lost reading progress.

Fortunately, the summer slide can be prevented or greatly reduced when students continue to read on a regular basis. By encouraging children to read from a variety of resources for fun and to explore topics of interest, they continue to practice applying the skills they have learned, build their vocabulary and widen their knowledge of the world.  For students who are not yet reading independently or just beginning to read, reading to and with parents is equally beneficial.

Again this year, the Maine Department of Education is collaborating with the Freemasons of Maine to sponsor the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge for students in grades PK-8.  The Maine Freemasons have generously donated 48 bikes with helmets as prizes for the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge.  During the first two years of this initiative, thousands of Maine children completed the challenge of reading 500 minutes during the summer vacation.  Maine DOE hopes to see this number grow even higher during the summer of 2018.

Any school with students in the PK-8 grade span may register to participate. Participating schools will collect documentation from students who have completed the challenge. They will hold school level drawings to select two students (one boy and one girl) whose names will be entered into the state level drawing to be held on September 21, 2018.   Schools are encouraged to participate in this challenge, to coordinate it with any other summer reading challenges/programs they offer, and to consider soliciting their own local level prizes for students who complete the challenge.  Details about the Read to Ride Challenge and information to register your school can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/summer-literacy.html.

Questions may be directed to Maine DOE’s Early Learning Coordinator, leeann.larsen@maine.gov.