School Safety and Security Bulletin: Fire Alarm Changes and Codes

Throughout the 2018- 2019 school year, the Maine Department of Education, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Maine State Police, Maine Sheriffs Association, Maine Chiefs of Police Association, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency will provide tips and resource information to Maine schools to help provide some guidance for identifying signs and preventing school violence.

School Safety and Security Bulletin  – March 2019

Further questions and inquiries can be send to Pat Hinckley, Maine DOE Transportation and Facilities Administrator at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

Seeking Additional Maine Schools for Social Emotional Learning Pilot Program

The Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program with the Maine Centers 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 grades PreK through 8th grade. 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 toward later 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 and have not already been contacted by the Maine CDC from your application from the last round, please complete this brief 5 minute application survey.

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 Cheryl.Cichowski@maine.gov at Maine CDC or Emily.Poland@maine.gov at the Department of Education.

The Maine Association of School Nurses (MASN) is Seeking Nominations for School Nurse of the Year 2019

The purpose of this award is to recognize the contributions of Maine School Nurses by honoring one school nurse who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in the practice of school nursing. This title recognizes a nurse who has demonstrated excellence and leadership in the following: care provision, program management, health education, professional development, community involvement, and research.

Please consider honoring the excellence of your school nurse. Nomination packets are due April 1. Instructions for nominations and more information can be found on the MASN website, or you may contact Deb Braxton, the coordinator for School Nurse of the Year for MASN: dbraxton@capeelizabethschools.org

Resources to Help Schools Eliminate Browntail Moth Nests

The Maine Department of of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry has put together the resources and information below to help Maine schools eliminate Browntail Moth nests

Browntail caterpillars cause a severe poison ivy-like rash and can cause breathing problems in some people. If this insect is present on your school properties you should take action to destroy it now to protect the health of students, staff and visitors in the future. Unmanaged infestations can cause health risks for years because the caterpillars’ barbed and toxic hairs can remain in the environment for up to three years.

Browntail moth caterpillars overwinter in fist-sized silken nests on branch TIPS in oaks, birch, apples, cherries, crabapples and other hardwoods. Now is the time to remove these nests from trees on school grounds.

  • Clip webs BEFORE the caterpillars emerge in mid April
  • Burn them or soak them in a bucket of soapy water to kill the caterpillars inside
  • Don’t leave webs on the ground, the caterpillars will still emerge
  • Each web can have between 25-400 caterpillars inside so each web counts
  • If time or funding is an issue focus on trees with webs in high traffic areas

Browntail caterpillar webs can be found from the New Hampshire border to Deer Isle, and inland to Raymond, Turner, Rome, Smithfield, Burnham and Eddington. They are worst along the coast from Falmouth to Bristol and up the Kennebec River to Richmond. It has also been found in Belgrade, Burnham, Eddington, Liberty, Lincolnville, Turner and Whitefield. More information, a video showing how to clip the webs, a list of arborists willing to do prune webs and a list of licensed pesticide applicators can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/invasive_threats/browntail_moth_info.htm

If you think you’ve found webs but aren’t sure, contact the Maine Forest Service at (207) 827-1813.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine Department of Education’s Position on School Mascots and Logos

Because our schools must provide safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environments, and because schools teach many lessons by example, DOE urges schools to refrain from using mascots and logos that depict Native American tribes, individuals, customs, or traditions. For information about the negative impact of using such mascots/logos:

https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/indian-mascots

http://www.changethemascot.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DrFriedmanReport.pdf

While we recognize that DOE does not have jurisdiction over local decisions like these, we encourage schools and communities to consider the impact of promoting symbols and stereotypes that marginalize individuals or groups of people.

The DOE is working to enhance our office of Student Supports with additional staff and resources to assist Maine schools and districts in the development and strengthening of practices that promote cultural competence and reduce bias and inequity.