Maine Nurses Attend New England School Nurse Conference

Over 25 Maine nurses (not all are pictured here) joined school nurses from across New England for their first in-person professional development event in two years.

The New England School Nurse Conference is an annual event, hosted by one of six New England School Nurse Associations (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont).

Hosted by New Hampshire School Nurse Association, the conference was held in Portsmouth, NH with a theme of, “Schools Nurses: The Link to Student Success.”

For more information about the New England School Nurses Association visit: https://nesnconference.nursingnetwork.com/

Health and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Language Standards Updated

The revised Chapter 132: Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction was signed into law March 31, 2022. This revision cycle updated the Health and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Language standards.

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will be providing guidance and resources to School Administrative Units (SAUs) in making the transition to the revised standards throughout the 2022-2023 school year. There is no pre-determined date when SAUs must make the transition to the revised standards. It is the Maine DOE’s belief that SAUs will use their own professional judgment and phase in the revised standards at a pace that makes sense for their students and for their educational practice.

The proposed health and physical education standards have been revised to identify health education as a strand and physical education as a strand to better delineate the unique standards and performance expectations in each. For the health education strand, the proposed draft is closely aligned to the National Health Education Standards and includes minor adjustments to wording for clarification and the combining or elimination of some language in order to be more clear, concise, and appropriate (for the age level or age span). In addition, content topics and examples were removed from the performance expectations as the committee felt they were limiting the content by implying those were the only topics to be addressed. For the physical education strand, several standards were renamed and/or restructured and the performance expectations reworded to better meet the needs of Maine educators.

The proposed visual and performing arts standards have been adapted from the National Core Arts Standards while still including those items that Maine arts educators felt are specific to their work with Maine students.

The two biggest changes to the document include the addition of media arts standards, a rapidly developing field of the creative economy that includes audio, video, digital design, and mixed media creations, and the realignment of strands that separate each arts discipline into its own collection of unique standards and performance expectations (previously, three of the five arts standards were universal across all arts disciplines; now, they are individualized for each discipline.)  Although some disciplines share the same standards, their performance expectations are unique.

The proposed world languages standards are in alignment to national standards (ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages), which were published in 2012, and are designed to meet the needs of Maine educators. Whereas the current standards include four strands, in the proposed draft, they have been reorganized into five strands, consistent with the five goal areas represented in the national standards. To make this shift, concepts included in the four original strands were retained but categorized differently in order to align with the five goal areas. For example, language comparisons appears in the communication strand in the current standards, while in the proposed draft it appears in the comparisons strand.

Another substantial shift is the inclusion of proficiency levels in addition to grade spans. The current standards represent a full pre-K to grade 12 progression of language learning. The proposed draft also offers this full progression, while at the same time providing multiple entry points by directing educators to begin at the current level of proficiency of their students. For example, if a program begins in kindergarten, the educator will start by addressing the kindergarten/novice low performance expectations. If the program begins in 7th grade, the educator will start with the performance expectations in the same kindergarten/novice low level, in order to appropriately target instruction to students’ current proficiency level.

Finally, a third shift is within the performance expectations themselves. In the current standards, performance expectations direct educators to focus on specific topics and skills within the standard. However, the proposed draft mirrors the national standards in its intention to provide general, universally applicable performance expectations that can be tailored to all languages, whether modern, classical, or signed. Supplemental resources will provide greater guidance on how to tailor them to specific languages, particularly classical and signed languages, which differ from modern languages in terms of uses, communities of speakers/users, and cultures.

It is also important to note that the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, which include general communication and intercultural communication, provided the basis for the performance expectations in the proposed standards. The performance expectations in the communication strand are based on the can-do statements for interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication. For the four remaining strands, performance expectations were established based primarily on the intercultural communication can-co statements.

This revised document is the result of a thorough review process that began in the fall 2019 with multiple opportunities for stakeholder voice, and is the result of expertise from Department staff, representatives from higher education, district and building administration, as well as dozens of Maine educators.

For more information, please visit our standards review process website, or contact Beth Lambert, Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning, at beth.lambert@maine.gov.

Nominations are Being Accepted for the 2022 MAHPERD Teacher of the Year Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the 2022 Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD) Teacher of the Year awards.

MAHPERD Teacher of the Year Awards are presented to health education, physical education, and adapted physical education teachers who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to their students and profession. Eligibility requirements include prior and current membership in MAHPERD.

Maine educators in the following categories are eligible for consideration:

  • Elementary Physical Education Teacher
  • Middle Level Physical Education Teacher
  • Secondary Physical Education Teacher
  • Adapted Physical Education Teacher
  • Health Education Teacher (All levels)
  • Recreation Professional
  • Dance Professional

There are many deserving teachers throughout the State of Maine and MAHPERD would like to be able to recognize more of those individuals. Click here for more information regarding eligibility, nomination criteria and to access the nomination form. Nominations are due by April 15th.

For more information, contact MAHPERD Awards Chairperson Kayla McGee at mahperdawards@gmail.com before April 15th.

Carrabec Community School P.E. Class Individualizes Learning Through New Heart Rate Monitors

Physical Education at Carrabec Community School looks more colorful as students’ wrists glow with a mix of blue, yellow, and red. The glow comes from the new heart rate monitors that students are using as part of Heidi Day’s Physical Education class. The monitors use colors to indicate students’ heart rates as they play and learn through Physical Education. 

“The goal in this process is to make the learning personal and relevant to each individual. This system should help the students make the connection between the perceived rate of exertion and their heart’s ability to adjust to the intensity they are putting forth,” said Heidi.  

Students have learned the drill. They come to class, get their assigned heart rate monitors, log them in by holding them on a scanner attached to Heidi’s computer, and keep an eye on the color. As students exercise, their heart rate data is saved on the monitor. Once the class is over, students put their monitors back on the scanner to upload their heart rate data. An e-mail is sent to them and their parent/guardian with the amount of time they spend in blue, resting heart rate, yellow, target heart rate, and red, max heart rate. Students then use a spreadsheet on their laptops to record the number of minutes in each category.

“Students will set appropriate personal goals and work weekly to achieve those standards. The spreadsheet allows tracking that averages the time the student has spent in the resting, target, and max heart rate zones. This process becomes a means of self-assessment for my students, making their experience in physical education personal and success achievable,” Heidi explained.  

The heart rate monitors are working well, and students are excited by what color their monitor is, but Heidi has worked hard for that excitement. Last year Heidi attempted to integrate the monitors, but found the process overwhelming. 

Heidi explained, “I love technology. However, I am limited in my skill set as well as my patience when trying to implement something new. I feel like it takes me three times longer than it should, and I get so frustrated I tend to avoid the trouble altogether.”  But through perseverance and help from the MLTI 2.0 ambassador program, Heidi has found success. 

“Honestly, without [the Ambassador’s] help, I don’t believe I would have been able to implement this addition to my class. He has been there to troubleshoot through the challenges, making changes and adjustments as necessary, allowing me to still focus on my students. Ask for help!  I’m so glad I did!  I am excited to have this new process in place, but I know with all the daily tasks I have to complete, there would be little chance of me learning it all on my own and implementing it without support!” 

This story was written and coordinated by MLTI Ambassador Erik Wade as part of the Maine Schools Sharing the Success Campaign. To learn more, or to submit a story or an idea for a story, email rachel.paling@maine.gov. 

Physical Educators Asked to Complete Interest Form for ‘Assessment in Adapted Physical Education’ Course Through UMaine

The University of Maine has given tentative approval to offer a graduate-level course, Assessment in Adapted Physical Education. The course would train physical educators within the context of adapted physical education. It would focus on assessment tools and be offered via a distance learning modality.

This is an exciting opportunity, but responses to the interest survey are needed ASAP! The survey will be used to determine if there is sufficient interest to offer the course and when it should be offered (online). Those interested in the course can fill it out here: APE Interest Survey.

For more information contact: Shannan Fotter, shannan.fotter@maine.edu  (University of Maine School of Kinesiology, Physical Education & Athletic Training) or Jean Zimmerman, jean.zimmerman@maine.gov (Maine Department of Education Physical Education Specialist).