FREE TRAINING for Comprehensive Emergency Operations Planning: A Framework for Fall 2020

Maine Department of Education is proud to announce that our Maine School Safety Center Team will be hosting a series for all School Administrative Units (SAUs) and their Collaborative Planning Team members to create or review their Emergency Operations Plans.  These plans should serve as the framework for any emergency planning and response effort, and requires a whole community approach. While it is still too early to finalize guidance for schools in Fall of 2020, by participating in this training, SAUs will be optimally positioned to apply forthcoming guidance to their existing frameworks.

This eight week series, beginning June 9 and occurring every Tuesday at 10:00 am, will walk participants through the comprehensive framework, from which all emergency response plans are built, and will include expert presenters for the individual topics and training that was developed by Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS).

Week 1: Overview of the Six Step Planning Process (1 hour)
Week 2: Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) (1 hour)
Week 3: Continuity of Operations Annex (1.5 hours)
Week 4: Recovery Annex (1.5 hours)
Week 5: Infectious Diseases Annex – broad coverage (1 hour)
Week 6: Integrating Disabilities (1.5 hours)
Week 7: Bereavement and Loss Annex (1.5 hours)
Week 8: Understanding Resilience and Developing a Self-Care Plan (1 hour)

Your Collaborative Planning Team should include your school nurse, administrators, educators, and representatives from transportation, food service, local emergency responders, and your local or regional community health experts, and we encourage you to share the registration with them.

When timely guidance for Fall 2020 is provided, additional training that builds upon this framework will be provided by Maine School Safety Center, and will ensure all SAUs have the necessary tools to make sound decisions for the safety and well-being of your school communities.

Please register in advance of the meeting, here.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Contact hours will be available at the conclusion of the series.

Nominations Open For 2020 Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence    

Educational Plant Maintenance Association of Maine (EPMA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the best practices of educational plant maintenance and custodial workmanship through education and training for school custodians, maintenance teams, and facilities directors, is currently accepting nominations for Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence.

The A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence recipient will receive a personalized plaque and a $300.00 college scholarship that will be awarded in their name to a deserving student who is a graduate in their district.

Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleign Oxton Award for Excellence Selection Criteria:

  • Serves as a role model for students through actions of a dedicated employee who is known for going the extra mile to help students, staff, and visitors to the facility
  • Demonstrates passion about maintaining and operating the local school building to ensure clean, safe, and healthy learning and working environment, and
  • Demonstrates exemplary job performance,

Nominations are accepted from school administration, school staff, parents, students, and/or school groups.

Nominations Due Date June 5, 2020

Please send a nomination letter that:

  • Describes why the nominee was chosen
  • Explains outstanding performance that led to the nomination
  • Tells a written or visual story about the nominee’s community contribution or activities
  • Includes the name, address, and phone number of three references

The nomination must include: name, address, phone, and title of the nominee; name and address of the nominee’s supervisor; name and address of the School Administrative Unit; and name, address, telephone, and email of the person submitting the nomination.  Send your nomination by email to Andrew Madura, President of EPMA, at andy.madura@lakeregionschools.org and please attach your nomination letter as a pdf.

The EPMA Selection Process

  • June 5, 2020, nominations close at end of day
  • June 6-11, EPMA Selection Committee reviews nominations and invites nominee to provide additional information
  • June 12, Nominees will be notified about the status of their nomination
  • June 14-July 17, the top 4 finalists will be contacted to schedule a conference call or virtual interview with the EPMA A. Burleigh Oxton Award Committee

During the fall of 2020, the recipient of Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence will be recognized at an award ceremony that will be coordinated by the recipient’s school and the EPMA A. Burleigh Oxton Award Committee.

Please contact Andrew Madura, President of EPMA, by telephone at 207-693-6467 if you have questions.

Extended Deadline: Funding Opportunity Notice for School Lighting Projects

To date, Efficiency Maine has received more than fifty applications for school lighting projects as part of this Funding Opportunity Notice. In fact, one project has already been completed.

Because of the level of interest, we have extended the deadline for a second time to allow more schools to apply — Efficiency Maine has extended the deadline for the School Lighting Funding Opportunity Notice to June 1, 2020. This decision has been made so that all parties involved will have more time to work through logistics and take part in these elevated incentives. Efficiency Maine does not oversee interactions between school personnel and the Qualified Partner; the program trusts that you will work with your contractor to determine how to handle site assessments and projects.

Efficiency Maine has extended the deadline for schools to apply through CIP FON-001-2020 for enhanced financial incentives to convert old, inefficient school lighting to LEDs.  Funding will be provided as an incentive of $0.30/kWh saved (first-year savings) capped at $100,000 per school district. Applications may be submitted through June 1, 2020.

To learn more about the Funding Opportunity Notice, please click here.

MEDIA RELEASE: In Celebration of School Lunch Heroes Day, Maine’s Governor and Department of Education Release Special Thank You Video

(Photo: Nutrition staff from Connor EUT School)

In recognition of May 1, 2020 being designated National School Lunch Heroes Day, Governor Janet Mills and the Department of Education have created a special thank you video for school nutrition teams, volunteers and all school staff across Maine, who have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure Maine kids have nutritious and healthy meals while learning remotely at home.

Your efforts during this unprecedented time of need are truly appreciated! THANK YOU!

MEDIA RELEASE: NAMI Maine Launches Teen Peer Support Text Line 

Text Line Aims to Provide Mental Health Support During COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond

Maine’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Maine) has announce the launch of the Teen Text Support Line, a new mental health program for youth 14 – 20 years of age living in Maine.

The Text Line can be reached at (207) 515 – 8398 (TEXT). The Teen Text Support Line operates from 12pm – 10pm each day and provides adolescents who may need additional mental health support with a safe space to talk with another young person. Staff providing support via the Teen Text Line are between 19 – 23 years of age.

“NAMI Maine is focused on providing mental health support to all Mainers,” says NAMI Maine CEO Jenna Mehnert. “We saw the need to create a mental health peer support teen text line and were able to launch this new resource.”

“In this time when routines are changing more than ever, it is important for youths to have some connection to others who can understand some of the struggles and disappointments that we are experiencing,” says one Maine 8th grader. According to the 2019 Maine KIDS COUNT Data Book, Maine’s youth have the highest rate of diagnosed anxiety in the nation, and the country’s third highest rate of diagnosed depression among children aged 3 – 17.

The Teen Text Line is not a crisis line. If you believe that you or someone you know could be in crisis, please do not hesitate to connect with the Maine Crisis Line via phone or text at (888) 568-1112.

Through support, education, and advocacy NAMI Maine is dedicated to building better lives for the one in four Mainers who are affected by mental illness.

For more information, visit www.namimaine.org/page/teentextline, or contact NAMI Maine’s CEO Jenna Mehnert at (207) 907-0303 or jenna@namimaine.org.