MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE to Recognize Bilingual Students Upon Graduation

Maine Department of Education makes Seal of Biliteracy available to all qualifying students

During a special announcement at the Maine State House on October 29, 2018, Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr of the Maine Department of Education announced a new opportunity called the Seal of Biliteracy that will be available to qualifying students upon graduation, starting in June of 2019.

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given at graduation in recognition of students who have studied and attained a high degree of skill in English and at least one other language by high school graduation.  For the first time, Maine will be offering all students an opportunity to graduate with the Seal in June 2019. The Seal seeks to encourage students to pursue biliteracy, recognizes the positive cognitive and academic benefits of being bilingual, and can serve as evidence of academic and workplace readiness.

There are two pathways to earn the Seal of Biliteracy. To qualify, all students must maintain a high degree of skill in their first language.  Students, whose first language is English, can earn the Seal by attaining a high degree of skill in another language.  Students whose first language is not English, can earn the Seal by attaining a high degree of skill in English.

In previous years, the Seal of Biliteracy has been offered to students in Portland Public Schools thanks to the work of Carlos Gomez, Director of Language Development. This Department of Education initiative will provide the opportunity to every student in Maine.  The Seal of Biliteracy started in California in 2008 and is now offered by 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Earning the Seal of Biliteracy comes with tangible academic and workplace benefits for students. Those students who choose to pursue post-secondary education can show the Seal of Biliteracy designation to select universities to earn college credit.  For those students who choose to enter the workforce after graduation, the Seal brings potential employers attention to the additional work ready skills they possess.

For more information please visit the Maine Department of Education website.

 

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National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

The Maine Department of Education in collaboration with the Maine State Police are helping to promote the 2019 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, a nationwide contest administered by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as part of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The contest is designed to promote awareness among teachers, parents/guardians and children and engage them in discussions about safety.

Contest Rules

  1. Applicants must be in the fifth grade.
  2. Artwork should reflect the theme “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. This phrase must appear somewhere on the poster.
  3. The theme may be depicted in the student’s artwork through one or a combination of illustrations (e.g., signs and symbols, people, abstract, industry, wildlife) and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons, and pastels. Digitally produced images, collages, cutouts, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration.
  4. The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches.
  5. The poster must be submitted with a completed application, which includes a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist, either typed or written legibly.

Awards

  • State Level – Each state winner whose poster is selected to go to the national judging competition, will receive a national award certificate from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • National Level – The national winner, his/her teacher (or designee from selected school) and parents/guardians (typically two people), and the state manager will be invited to Washington, D.C., to participate in the U.S. DOJ’s National Missing Children’s Day ceremony on May 22, 2019. Transportation and lodging will be provided. The national winner will also receive a national award certificate and a professional print of their poster.

Further information can be found in the Poster Contest Packet.

For further information and to confirm your participation in the contest and to obtain the submission deadline for your state, contact Maine’s State Contest Manager Ms. Carol Tompkins, Maine State Police at 207-626-3805 or carol.tompkins@maine.gov

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Kids Rock Program Expands to 22 Additional Schools

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce that 22 school districts have been awarded $5,000 worth of modern band instruments, per school, as part of an expansion of the Maine Kids Rock Initiative.

“The Maine Kids Rock initiative has been a huge success so far,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Robert G. Hasson, Jr. “We are thrilled to be expanding it by an additional 22 schools in Maine that would not otherwise be able to afford the instruments and specialized training.”

Currently in its second year, the Maine Kids Rock initiative is a program developed between the Maine Department of Education and national nonprofit, Little Kids Rock. Selected schools receive all of the instruments and resources necessary to run modern band programs, and partner teachers will receive extensive, direct coaching through Little Kids Rock’s training course, Modern Band 102, this fall.

To be eligible for participation in this initiative, districts must agree to offer modern band – taught by a certified music teacher – during the 2018-2019 school year. Priority is given to schools who serve 50% or more free or reduced eligible students.

The 22 additional schools join the initiative’s 10 pilot schools, which will continue in the program and receive frequent, targeted professional development. Partner teachers in the second-year cohort will attend a series of virtual professional learning sessions – offered monthly and covering a range of topics from hip-hop to singing in modern band – taught by expert staff from the Little Kids Rock organization. Additionally, all teachers receive free, unlimited access to the newest resources in Little Kids Rock’s online hub, Jam Zone. Next spring, new partner schools will be featured in a public performance at the second annual “Concert at the Capitol.”

The 22 members of this year’s cohort are:

Andover Elementary School (Andover School Department), Dr. Levesque Elementary School (MSAD 33), Easton High School (Easton School District), Glenburn School, Greenville Consolidated School, Hall-Dale High School (RSU 2), Leavitt Area High School (MSAD 52), Lee Elementary School (MSAD 30), Monmouth Middle School, Mattanawcook Junior High School (RSU 67), Miles Lane Elementary School (RSU 25), Molly Ockett Middle School (MSAD 72), Searsport Middle/High School (RSU 20), Sebasticook Valley Middle School (RSU 19), Sherwood Heights (Auburn School Department), Spruce Mountain Middle School (RSU 73), Walker Elementary School (RSU 3), Walton Elementary School (Auburn School Department), Washington Academy, Winslow Elementary School (AOS 92), Winslow Junior High School (AOS 92), and Woodland Consolidated School.

The 10 returning schools are:

Central Community Elementary School (RSU 64), Crescent Park and Woodstock Elementary Schools (RSU 44), East End Community School (Portland Public Schools), Hitchborn Middle School and Penobscot Valley High School (RSU 31), Houlton Middle/High School (RSU 29), Katahdin Elementary, Middle, and High Schools (RSU 50), Medway Middle School (Medway School Department), Meroby and Rumford Elementary Schools (RSU 10), Troy Howard Middle School (RSU 71), and Waterville Senior High School (AOS 92).

Rachel Paling, Maine DOE Director of Communication at rachel.paling@maine.gov

MEDIA RELEASE: Students to perform at 5/8 launch of “Maine Kids Rock!” initiative to expand music education in Maine

Governor Paul R. LePage will join students from 10 Maine schools for a May 8th concert as they celebrate a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment in music education in Maine schools.

On May 8, 2018, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Governor Paul R. LePage are holding a kickoff concert to celebrate the official launch of, “Maine Kids Rock!”, a multi-year initiative supported by national nonprofit, Little Kids Rock. The partnership will help ensure that schools across Maine have access to high quality, culturally responsive music education as well as musical instruments and cutting edge curriculum.

The pilot phase of Maine Kids Rock started in August 2017 with support through free music instruments for 10 Maine public schools, and free professional development for over 30 Maine schools. The success of the pilot program has generated the interest of other schools, and prompted Maine DOE and Little Kids Rock to expand the program.

The concert will celebrate an initial investment of approximately $450,000 worth of instruments, training and curriculum which will expand music education in 30 Maine school districts. Funding for Maine Kids Rock is being provided by the Maine Department of Education and Little Kids Rock.

“The goals of Maine Kids Rock are quite ambitious,” says Dave Wish, CEO and Founder of Little Kids Rock. “ Our ultimate goal is to supply over $2,000,000 worth of support that will benefit up to four hundred Maine public schools. The Maine DOE and Little Kids Rock are working together to identify other partners to help us reach hundreds more schools across the state.”

WHAT: The Concert at the Capitol is a free concert that is open to the public and features student performances by Little Kids Rock bands from 10 the Maine Public Schools that have been participating in the Maine Kids Rock pilot program thus far. During the concert, Governor LePage will be presented with a student-signed guitar as a thank you for his commitment to music education.

WHO: Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine DOE staff, parents and supporters, in addition to students, teachers and administrators from the 10 Maine Kids Rock pilot schools:

  • Central Community Elementary School, RSU 64
  • Crescent Park and Woodstock Elementary Schools, RSU 44
  • East End Community School, Portland Public Schools
  • Hitchborn Middle School and Penobscot Valley High School, RSU31
  • Houlton Middle/High School, RSU 29
  • Katahdin Elementary, Middle and High Schools, RSU 50
  • Medway Middle School, Medway School Department
  • Meroby and Rumford Elementary Schools, RSU 10
  • Troy Howard Middle School, RSU 71
  • Waterville Senior High School, AOS 92

WHERE: Governor Hill Mansion, 136 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330

WHEN: Tuesday, May 8th from 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Media are encouraged to attend. Interview and photo opportunities will be available at the event. For further information, please contact Maine DOE Director of Communications, Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov or (207) 624-6747.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Arts education participation and access data needed

The Maine Department of Education is committed to supporting access to, and participation in the arts as part of Maine students’ well-rounded education. In order to provide a view of trends, challenges, and successes in PreK-12th grade arts education, the department is asking school districts to submit student participation and access data for the 2016-2017 school year. School level data that includes courses and enrollment numbers forms the basis of the data collection. Student names, personal information, and unique student identities are not included in this collection.

The Maine DOE will be reviewing and analyzing this arts education data, conduct in-depth analysis of the information, and align instructional practices and resources to support engaging arts experiences for learners. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, collecting this data will make Maine eligible to apply for arts education grants, resources, and additional supports.

Superintendents should submit their data via the following link: https://mainedoe.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7QyhoMK8B3GhKRf

Preview a sample of the questions in the survey (PDF) »

For further information contact Beth Lambert, Maine DOE Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at beth.lambert@maine.gov.