Trauma Informed Readiness and Response Planning Workshop

As the most requested support topic from the field,  we at the Department of Education hear of the extensive impact that trauma, mental health and the opioid crisis are having on our schools. We are taking action to support educators in addressing the increased needs of our students through the use of trauma informed practices. To begin this partnership and support, we will be hosting an interactive conference on Trauma Informed Readiness and Response Planning.

When: Friday, January 24th, 2020

Time: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Lunch is provided)

Location: University of Maine, Wells Conference Center, Orono.

This is a grant funded opportunity for schools to receive guided support in the development of their individualized emergency plans for a trauma free and trauma responsive environment. Funding for this opportunity is available for up to 65 teams, and can include covering the costs of travel and substitutes for the day. An application and commitment to attend are required; these will be accepted until December 20th, 2019.

Application for Individual School Participation 

A preview of questions in the application is below:
Name of School:
School District:
Primary Contact (person with whom all communication and arrangements go through):
Contact Phone/Email/Address:
3 Team Members and their roles at the school (3 people are required for the activities planned):
Describe the top three areas of need for your school around this topic, and why work on a responsive plan will help you overcome these. 

A final agenda and confirmation for teams will be forthcoming after the closing of the application window. For questions, contact Jessica Nixon at Jessica.Nixon@maine.gov.

 

Mid-winter Boost:  2020 Maine School Winter Wellness Summit, Life is Good, Wellness Makes It Better!

Taking care of the health and well-being of staff and students has become more and more critical given the many stresses of the world in which we all live. Register today for the Maine School Winter Wellness Summit, Life is Good, Wellness Makes It Better! being held January 30 & 31, 2020 at The Samoset Resort, Rockport, to bolster your school wellness program. Attendees will learn strategies and be exposed to tools and resources available from state and national sources that address the six dimensions of wellness: mental, emotional, physical, social, spiritual and​ occupational health. However, this year there will be a special emphasis on Mental Wellness for all! The Summit will include inspiring, interactive keynote presentations each day, engaging workshops on personal wellness practices, creating positive school environments, healthy school culture and climate for staff and students, leadership skills, emerging health issues and action planning for wellness!

January 30th OPENING KEYNOTE:

grey haired man, laughingMurray Banks is a motivational speaker and world champion athlete with roots in teaching school. He lives life with a passion for health and well-being every day. This year he will focus his message on the importance of positivity on one’s overall health using hilarious images, imaginative videos, and poignant classroom and personal stories that will inspire all of us.

 

Salt and pepper haired man with moustache and glasses, smilingJanuary 31st OPENING KEYNOTE:  George Manning returns to the Wellness Summit with more tools, resources and insights focused on life, work and the pursuit of balance. He will engage the audience with his enchanting personality and stories that come from more than 40 years of experience teaching psychology at the collegiate level and traveling the country helping organizations and businesses develop healthy and productive work environments.

The goal of the Summit is to prepare and empower participants to create healthy, positive and safe schools for all school personnel and students by promoting policies and environmental practices that support healthier schools, improve personal health and well-being, and enhance academic achievement.  Click here for up-to-date details, draft agenda and session information on the 2020 Maine School Winter Wellness Summit and follow The Samoset Resort link to reserve rooms at the special group rate.

Individuals and teams interested in Schoolsite Health Promotion and wellness are encourage to attend. One low cost for two-days, meals included. Early registration is open through December 27 for $125/person and regular registration after December 28 is $145/person.

Join us for the first fully engaging and educational Winter Wellness Summit, a component of the Maine Department of Education’s Schoolsite Health Promotion Program.

Educator Forum: Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 4:30-6:00 pm
301 Bailey Hall, University of Southern Maine
16 University Way, Gorham, ME

Explore the impact of trauma on the social, emotional, and academic growth of students in this interactive workshop. Topics to be covered include Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma-sensitive schools, restorative practices, and the importance of establishing a culture of self-care. Attendees will be grouped by grade level and engage in dialogue geared towards making their own classrooms and schools more trauma sensitive. The intended audience for this Forum is all school employees who work with students in grades pre-K through 8.

Registration: Register here (https://forms.gle/UkE2Ft1f3qPzpjdW9) OR Download a PDF registration form (PDF)

Cost for attendance is $15 per person, and includes certificate for 1.5 contact hours. Light refreshments will be provided.

NOTE: If you do not end up attending, payment is still due, as your registration holds a spot for you and is figured into the head count for refreshments. If you cancel your registration by November 27, your fee will be waived/refunded.

Facilitators:

  • Jeanna Carver, Pre-K Teacher, 2019 Washington County Teacher of the Year, Jonesport Elementary School
  • Heather Whitaker, Alternative Education Teacher, 2019 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, 2020 Maine State Teacher of the Year, Gorham Middle School
  • Jen Baker, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Village Elementary School, Gorham
  • Meghan O’Neil, Grade 4 Teacher, Village Elementary School, Gorham

Educator Forums are professional development events for educators of similar positions or responsibilities to explore new or best practices in their field. Forums provide an opportunity for educators to engage with peers, build new understandings from prior knowledge, and reflect on past practices.

Contact the PDC with any questions:

Julie Marsh, Program Coordinator
Professional Development Center
University of Southern Maine
pdc@maine.edu
207-780-5400

Hannaford Donates $1M to Support “Fuel Kids at School” Hunger Relief Efforts

Hannaford Supermarkets announced a $1 million donation as part of its new “Fuel Kids at School” initiative that is designed to directly address food insecurity and improve access to fresh and healthy food for children.

“Children can’t be at their best if they’re hungry—or thinking about where their next meal will come from. It is our hope that Fuel Kids at School will take us one step further in nourishing our communities, one child at a time,” said Mike Vail, President of Hannaford. “We want access to food to be easy for kids. Locating food pantries where they are—at their schools should make a lasting and deep impact on child nutrition across our five states.”

Hannaford, in partnership with area hunger relief organizations, will establish over two years, 90 school food pantries across Maine and other northeast states. In Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank received nearly $300,000 to establish school-based food pantries in 30 Head Start preschools throughout the state.

“The correlation between access to nutritious food and early childhood development and learning makes Head Start locations the ideal match for our next phase of school-based pantries,” said Kristen Maile, President of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “We know that expanding our pantry sites to serve pre-school-aged children and their families will play an important role in ensuring a bright future for Maine’s youngest citizens.”

Designed to serve as a vital and convenient resource to students and families in need while also increasing access to healthy and nutritious food, the in-school pantries are dedicated spaces where students can select food they enjoy according to preference and cooking abilities to provide nourishment both during the day and after the school day.

“The Fuel Kids at School funding, with its focus on Head Start programs, will enable us to make nutritious food readily available to more families at risk of hunger in the critical years before their children enter the public schools,” said Kathryn Sargent, Executive Director of the Locker Project.

The announcement took place in conjunction with a donation of $1,000 in school food pantry staples to the East End Children’s Workshop along with chef-prepared food for the parents and students at the local pre-school.

Hannaford Supermarkets has a longstanding commitment to supporting hunger relief in its communities. In 2018, Hannaford donated nearly 26 million pounds of food throughout the Northeast, including 5.3 million pounds in New York; and raised $1.1 million in partnership with its shoppers to feed individuals in need through the annual Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger program. Earlier this month, Hannaford announced that it has donated more than $1 million to non-profits throughout New York and New England as a result of its reusable bag program, a portion of which is dedicated to hunger relief organizations and has funded more than 1.8 million meals to date.

No Cost Mandated Reporter Training Available to School Personnel

In 2015, Maine revised its mandated reporting law, requiring state-approved training for certain professions every four years. Specifically, it includes school personnel described as the following: teachers, guidance counselors, school officials, school bus drivers and school bus attendants.

Maine’s Network of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Councils is working to ensure that local school districts are aware of the changes and have the necessary resources to maintain compliance with Maine Statute. The local councils are able to provide in-person training at no-cost to the school districts.

As schools know, child abuse and neglect are serious issues, and school personnel often witness the challenges faced by Maine’s children.  In fact, according to the Office of Child and Family Services’ recent child welfare data, school personnel were responsible for over 20% of the total reported cases of suspected child abuse and neglect.  This demonstrates the importance of providing school personnel the most current, state-approved information for recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.  It is important that school personnel feel comfortable, confident, and fully understand their role as a mandated reporter. For information on how to access this free training, contact your local Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council or visit the Maine Children’s Trust website. Click here to read the full law. If you have any additional questions please email Denise Trafton at the Maine Children’s Trust, deniset@mechildrenstrust.org.