PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment on Health Education and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages Standards

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current health education and physical education, visual and performing arts, and world languages standards. Find links to each of the current standards below along with details for submitting comments.

Current Standards:

The standards review process opens with a public comment period and a public hearing, prior to the convening of steering committees who are charged with reviewing all submitted comments and with developing blueprints for the revision of the state standards in their assigned content area. Once the blueprints are created, writing teams, consisting of pk-12 teachers who represent Maine’s cultural and geographical diversity, will assemble to draft the standards revisions.

Anyone may speak at the public hearings, which will be live-streamed. People wishing to speak will be asked to sign in, and it will be helpful, but not mandatory, to provide a written copy of comments.

Public hearings will occur on October 23rd in room 103 at the Cross Building, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, from 1-4pm. A link to the live-streamed hearings will be available prior to the public hearing.

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on November 8th, 2019. Written comments may be sent to Standards Review at sis.doe@maine.gov, or mailed to Beth Lambert, 23 SHS Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Dedham School Receives Riding for Focus Mountain Biking Grant

Submitted by Tim Pearson, Physical Education/Health Teacher at Dedham School, part of AOS #47.

Dedham School is excited to announce it is a grant recipient for the 2019-2020 Specialized Foundation Riding for Focus school program.

Riding for Focus is a school-based program designed to provide schools with everything they need to get middle school students riding bikes, including a turnkey physical education curriculum, comprehensive teacher training, and a fleet of bike and safety equipment.

Bikes lined up on rack

Riding for Focus provides a combination of cycling, fitness, and academic performance, all while instilling a lifelong passion for cycling for students who participate in the program.

Additionally, the program explores and tracks how cycling can positively affect student learning, health, and wellbeing with a focus for those with learning differences such as ADHD.  Starting this fall, mountain biking will be a regular part of all middle school students curriculum.

For more information contact Tim Pearson at tpearson@dedhamschool.net or 207-843-6498 or check out this YouTube Video about Riding for Focus School Cycling Program.

Seeking Additional Maine Schools for Social Emotional Learning Pilot Program

The Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MECDC), in partnership with the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE), is seeking additional schools that would like to implement the social emotional learning (SEL) program, Second Step, funded by a grant through MECDC.

The MECDC received a portion of the State Opioid Response grant to provide community-based substance use prevention as part of the grant’s larger goal to reduce the prevalence of non-medical use of opioids. The Second Step Curriculum is research-based and available for PreK through 8th grades. Many of the skills within the Maine Learning Results for health education in elementary school align with goals of Second Step, such as nurturing skill building and preventing problematic developmental behaviors that are part of the trajectory towards substance use.

If you are interested in adding Second Step to your school’s curriculum and you are not already part of the MECDC pilot or have not already been contacted by the Maine CDC regarding your application from the last round, please complete this brief 5 minute application survey which will be open for submissions until Friday, October 11, 2019.

Please note: If you applied in the last round and have not heard from the Maine DOE or CDC, please feel free to apply again. We may not have had enough information from you in the last application to proceed.

For more information, contact Megan.Scott@maine.gov at Maine CDC or Emily.Poland@maine.gov at the Department of Education.

CDC Releases New Resources: Talking to Youth About the Risks of E-Cigarettes

The Office on Smoking and Health, CDC released a new feature for a new school year, aimed at helping people who work with youth to open a discussion about the risks of e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are now the most common type of tobacco product used by youth in the United States. More and more youth report trying and regularly using e-cigarettes. The rising numbers threaten decades of progress in controlling youth tobacco product use.

Nicotine in e-cigarettes can harm developing brains, and may make it more likely that young people will start using regular cigarettes. This feature gives important facts about the risks of e-cigarettes, plus tips for talking to young people and resources for both adults and youth.

Everyone—teachers, coaches, health care providers, and parents—has a part to play in educating youth about the risks of e-cigarettes.

Be sure to follow CDC Tobacco Free on Facebook and Twitter for social media posts to share with partners, friends, and family.

For more information and resources in Maine go to Prevention for ME.

Conference: Collaborating to Address the Complex Mental and Behavioral Health Needs of Maine Youth

The Maine American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Maine Association of School Nurses (MASN) are collaborating to bring you best practices and current research on a variety of critical mental and physical health related topics facing adolescents. Recognizing that we are all supporting the needs of Maine children in different locations and ways we are bringing experts together to receive collaborative professional learning.

Hosted by: The Maine AAP, Department of Education and Maine Association of School Nurses

Intended audience: Those interested in the mental health of students (school nurses, medical providers, school counselors, social workers, and administrators)

Some topics covered: 

  • Identification and treatment of anxiety and depression in children and adults: How can we do better?
  • Addressing the Complex Mental and Behavioral Health Needs of Maine Youth: The Key Role of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma Informed Care
  • Creating an Inclusive Environment for LGBTQ Youth
  • Tools for Screening and Safety for Youth at Risk of Suicide
  • Substance Use Disorder:  Impact on Youth and Families

Date: August 16, 2019

Time: 8:00 AM – 3:15 PM

Location: The program is being held in the Talbot Hall/Bonney Auditorium at the University of Southern Maine, located at 92 Bedford Street in Portland.

Cost: $50.00

Register here.

For questions or additional information, please contact Emily Poland at emily.poland@maine.gov.