Warming Center Locations and Resources Available in Response to Extreme Temperatures

Given the frigid and dangerous temperatures expected in the coming days, the Maine Department of Education is sharing information from the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on Warming Centers and other resources for families and communities.

Warming and Charging Centers operated by local municipalities could open in communities across Maine. Visit MEMA’s website to find a location in or near your community. You may also dial 2-1-1 or visit their website for a list of locations.

Click here for additional resources and information from MEMA on how to prepare for the extreme temperatures and safety tips, including information on preventing and dealing with frozen water pipes.

Families are encouraged to stay tuned to alerts and warnings through media or by downloading the free FEMA app on their smart phone, which provides targeted preparedness information, alerts, and warnings for specific areas. For more information on preparedness, visit and follow MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

MaineHealth Virtual Workshop: MindUP – A School and Community-Based Mental Health Resource

The following virtual workshop is being hosted by MaineHealth to Maine schools.

We are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis across the country, especially in the wake of the acute pandemic. The literature indicates it will take many strategies across community and clinical settings to address this.

MindUP is one school and community-based strategy that is based firmly in neuroscience and has proven to be effective to improve stress regulation, to enhance tools for self-regulation, and has demonstrated positive effects on reducing aggression and managing stress, including through four randomized control trials. Although its use and research has been focused in K-12 schools, MindUP can easily be taught in other settings and with adults.

We are fortunate to have implemented MindUP in several schools in Maine, including with the leadership of the Spruce Mountain public schools (RSU 73) in Jay, Livermore Falls, and Livermore and the Healthy Community Coalition at Franklin Community Health Network. David Evans Shaw, a Maine-based philanthropist, has generously funded the efforts to bring MindUP to Maine.

If you or others are interested in learning more and how you can bring MindUP to your school or community setting, please join leaders from RSU 73, Franklin Community Health Network, and MindUP for a one-hour informational zoom on Thursday February 16th, 11:00 am ET – 12:00 pm ET.

We ask that you register here in advance for this meeting.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The meeting will be recorded, and registrants will receive a link to the recording afterward.

Learn more about about MindUP here (PDF).

Monthly Sessions: Mental Health Promotion in the School Setting

Project ECHO© presents Mental Health Promotion in the School Setting ECHO Monthly Sessions begin on January 23, 2023, the 4th Monday of the month from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm on ZOOM.  Bring your most challenging cases to colleagues and a panel of subject matter experts for review and recommendations. Access tools to foster positive social, emotional, and behavioral skills, and well-being for all. Join as your schedule allows. CEUs available upon survey completion.

Audience: Anyone working in the School Setting
Cost: Free

SESSION TOPICS:

  • Supporting Students with Anxiety
  • Building Emotional Resilience
  • Solutions for Challenging Behaviors
  • Trauma Sensitive De-Escalation
  • Promoting Rational Thinking
  • Connecting: Family-School-Community

Register here. (Once you register, you’ll receive convenient, day-of Zoom access direct to your inbox.)
Download a PDF flyer.

For further questions contact sbillings@mcd.org.

30 Maine School Nurses Complete National Certification in School Nursing 

As part of the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) efforts to provide opportunities to the current workforce of school nurses to build upon their expertise and to promote evidence-based practice in all Maine schools, the Maine DOE hosted a National Certification in School Nursing (NCSN) Review Course created by Nurse Builders this past fall.

Fifty Maine school nurses participated in the course that was delivered online synchronously by Dr. Janice Selekman, DNSc, RN, NCSN, FNASN. As of January 1, 2023, 33 individuals have taken the certification exam with 30 passing. Those 30 are now able to use the NCSN credentials, which is a nationally accredited credential that validates specialized knowledge and expertise as a school nurse. We now have 30 more school nurses within the State of Maine who have met nationally recognized standards for providing excellence in school nursing care.

The National Association of School Nurses endorses national certification of school nurses through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN). School nursing is a subspecialty of public health nursing, incorporated into the baccalaureate nursing programs’ curriculum. Baccalaureate nursing education develops leadership, critical thinking, quality improvement, and systems thinking competencies attained through a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing and validated by specialized certification in school nursing (IOM, 2011).

Congratulations to the following Maine School Nurses who completed the NCSN certification!

Jean Barbour, Falmouth Schools
Melissa Bishop, Mount Desert Island Regional School System
Brenda Bladen, Kittery School Department
Jennifer Bowdish, Brunswick School Department
Nell Bridger, Portland Public Schools
Angie Buker, MSAD 46
April Chapman, Blue Hill Consolidated School
Michele Cooney, RSU 40
Jean Cote, Waterville Public Schools
Candace Crocker, AOS 98
Sarah DeWitt, Winslow Public Schools
Heather Emerson, RSU 40
Jody Gray, RSU 4
Crystal Greaves, MSAD 46
Emily Guyer, RSU 5
Lori Huot, Maine DOE
Brittany Layman, RSU 22
Melanie Lord, Yamouth Schools
Monique Michaud, MSAD 27
Shirah O’Connell, Portland Public Schools
Tara Oxley, Erskine Academy
Alyssa Rainey, Waterville Public Schools
Cathryn Sherman, Brewer School Department
Elizabeth Spaulding, Portland Public Schools
Janneke Strickland, RSU 9
Melissa Tringali, Gorham Schools
Sherri Vail, RSU 40
Rosemary Wiser, MSAD 44
Jessi Woodman, MSAD 6

Resources to Prevent Opioid Overdose in Maine Schools

As directed by the 130th Maine legislature the Department of Education created and collected guidelines and resources for schools who choose to stock emergency medication for a suspected opioid overdose on school grounds.  Naloxone is used in opioid overdoses to counteract life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally. Naloxone is a nonscheduled (i.e., non-addictive), prescription medication. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system; the medication has no effect if opioids are absent. It can be administered by trained persons, which makes it ideal for treating a person experiencing an apparent opioid overdose during school or a school-sponsored activity or otherwise on school grounds. The Rule for Medication Administration in Schools [05-071, Ch. 40, Section 6 (last revised 5/11/2022)], outlines the requirements if a school administrative unit plans to stock naloxone. However, schools must consider including naloxone as only one strategy in combatting substance use disorder.

The Substance Use Among Young Adults Summary in Maine was recently released by Maine CDC and reported that in 2020, nearly one in three young adult Mainers qualified as having a substance use disorder: ranking Maine 3rd in the nation. Research suggests that the area of the brain responsible for decision-making does not fully mature until 25 years of age, making this population more vulnerable to risky and harmful behaviors. Now more than ever we must focus on upstream primary prevention efforts before negative health outcomes occur. Prevention programs within schools can be part of comprehensive health education and social-emotional learning.

Health education can assist students to be better consumers of information, manage the complex world around them and be more inclusive of others. Through an effective skills-based health education curriculum, students will practice skills that protect, promote, and enhance lifelong health. Similarly improving foundational social emotional skills such as self-awareness, self- regulation, social awareness (empathy, compassion & respect for self and others), relationships and critical thinking skill development can be applied to address risk factors for substance abuse. These educational programs can complement a Substance Use Policy within a school administrative unit along with distributing naloxone and educating people about how to prevent, recognize and intervene in overdoses to prevent deaths.

Procurement:

Other Resources:

Contact the Office of School and Student Supports at DOESchoolandStudentSupports@Maine.gov with questions.