Bureau of Justice Assistance Announces Two Grant Opportunities Under the STOP School Violence Act

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), alongside the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is inviting state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to apply for grant funding under the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) Violence Act Program. This act seeks to support and assist those jurisdictions in increasing the safety of their school personnel and students. To these ends, the BJA has announced two competitive grants: The Prevention and Mental Health Training Program and the Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program. Applications for both grants are due July 23, 2018.

The Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program would support and assist state, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions as they work to improve efforts to reduce violent crime, focusing on the creation of threat assessment teams for schools and the use of technology to create anonymous reporting systems for suspicious activity related to violence in schools.  More information on the Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program grant competition can be found at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/SSVthreat18.pdf

The Prevention and Mental Health Training Program would support and assist state, local, and tribal jurisdictions as they work to improve efforts to reduce violent crime, focusing on the creation of school safety training and mental health programs related to violence in schools for school personnel and students. More information on the Prevention and Mental Health Training Program grant competition can be found at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/SSVtraining18.pdf

For more information, contact Pat.Hinckley@maine.gov or support@grants.gov.

Civil Rights Training: Addressing Bullying Behavior, School Culture & Bias

This training is provided through the US DOE, Office for Civil Rights.

Those who should attend: principals, assistant principals, Title IX coordinators, school counselors, and other school staff who are invested in fostering safe and welcoming schools in Maine. 5.5 contact hours given.

Date: June 26, 2018
Time: 8:00am – 2:30pm
Location: Bangor High School, Peakes Auditorium
Cost: FREE

The training will include 3 sessions:

  • Beyond Bullying
    As schools work to successfully prevent and intervene in acts of bullying, they are often challenged by bullying behaviors that cross the line into civil, civil rights, or criminal law violations.  Guidance from the US DOE and US DOJ will be viewed and discussed. Participants will examine federal statutes that prohibit bullying and harassment based on protected classes, and receive information relative to possible criminal law implications when bullying behaviors cause mental or physical injury to targeted students. This session will examine the legal ramifications of “deliberate indifference” with regard to failure to address bullying in their schools. 
  •  Advancing as Culturally Responsive Educators
    Culture plays a role in everything we do – it is an essential part of how we learn. It plays a role not only in communicating and receiving information but also in shaping the thinking process of groups and individuals. Culturally responsive teaching acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates fundamental cultures and offers full, equitable access to education for students from all cultures. As culturally responsive educators, we recognize the importance of including students’ cultural identities in all aspects of learning, thereby enriching classroom experiences and keeping students engaged.  Participants will be provided with opportunities to examine culture – their own culture and the cultures of the students they serve. 
  •  How to Speak Up at School
    Have you ever found yourself in the uncomfortable circumstance where someone, such as a student, parent or colleague, uses biased language or stereotypes in school? Based on Teaching Tolerance’s publication, How to Speak Up at School, this session is designed for educators who want to develop the skills to speak up themselves and who want to help their students find the courage to speak up, too. When someone makes a biased statement, we must act quickly! Using video scenarios, participants will learn to use four techniques (interrupt, question, educate, and echo) to respond to biased language in the moment, from any source, in any situation.


8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Beyond Bullying
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Advancing as Culturally Responsive Educators
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch – on your own
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Advancing as Culturally Responsive Educators (continued from morning session)
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  How to Speak Up at School

Register here.

If you have questions, please contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs at april.perkins@maine.gov or (207)624-6627.

IBPA Bullying Prevention Through SEL and Kindness Summit – August 17 in Augusta

The International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA) is partnering with the Maine Department of Education to provide a one-day summit to address bullying prevention through social and emotional learning and kindness.

Location: Cony High School
Date:  August 17, 2018
Time:  8:00am – 3:45pm.

Cost: $50 (includes breakfast, lunch, a signed certificate of attendance for contact hours)

The summit will have 5 keynote presentations and participants from Maine, and potentially across the U.S., will hear national presenters and be able to network with local professionals.

Topics of the day will cover bullying prevention best practices, including building healthy and positive relationships amongst school staff, talking with youth to address specific bullying behavior, and addressing bias-based interactions. Participants will walk away with tools and strategies that will be useful and meaningful when implementing bullying prevention efforts for the new school year.

Get more information and register for the Summit.

During the Summit, Maine middle and high schools are invited to participate in the inspirED Youth Leadership Conference facilitated by Facebook and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, beginning at 10:00am and ending at 2:30pm with a presentation to the Summit attendees.  This opportunity is being offered at no cost to schools and is for a team of 4 students along with 1 or 2 adult allies.  Transportation would need to be provided by the district.  The inspirED program provides social and emotional (SEL) resources, tools, inspiration and support to empower students and educators to work together to create positive change in their schools and communities.

Please click here for more information and to register for the Youth Leadership Conference.  Based on capacity, only 15 schools will be able to participate in the Youth Leadership Conference.  Register soon!

In addition to the Summit, there will also be showing of The Fat Boy Chronicles with the author Michael Buchanan on Thursday night, August 16 at 7:00pm in the Viles Auditorium at Cony High School.  This event is free and open to the public.

For additional information and questions on the IBPA Summit, the inspirED Youth Leadership Conference or the showing of The Fat Boy Chronicles, contact Sarah Ricker, Maine DOE Student Assistance Coordinator at sarah.ricker@maine.gov

Resources to Support Student Attendance

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of School and Student Supports has compiled a resource guide to assist schools in their efforts to improve student attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism.

Using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ASCD, the guide provides a comprehensive set of evidence-supported health, school climate, and community/family engagement strategies that address the most common causes of chronic absenteeism.  It also includes resources for the development of whole school monitoring and information gathering practices to help schools better understand their attendance challenges.

Download the Comprehensive Attendance Plan Report

The guide will be updated with additional  resources as they become available.  For further information about  attendance and truancy resources, contact Gayle Erdheim at gayle.erdheim@maine.gov or (207) 624-6637.


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 »