Free Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience Building Training for Childcare and PreK Teachers

The Preschool Development Grant (PDG), B-5, a collaboration between the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, will be providing free trainings on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and resilience building. The PDG is a one-year planning grant to study and improve the birth-5 early care, education and service system in our state, and has 5 goals:

  1. Conduct a statewide needs assessment plan
  2. Develop statewide Birth to 5 Strategic Plan
  3. Maximize parental knowledge and choice
  4. Share best practices
  5. Improve overall quality of programming for children birth-age five.

To address goal 4, the PDG is providing funds to team up with Maine Resilience Building Network (MRBN) and offer a free training around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and resilience building. Strong Kids, Strong Families, Strong Communities: The Impact of ACES and Resilience Building will cover Adverse Childhood Experiences research, early brain development science, and protective factors such as positive relationships. Strategies to promote resilience building in classrooms and to support families and their children, birth-5, will be offered.

This training is intended for child care and preschool/prek staff, and will be offered in 12 sites throughout the state from 6:00-8:30 PM on the following days:

Tuesday, 9/24/19, Brunswick

Tuesday, 10/1/19, Caribou

Wednesday, 10/2/19, Houlton

Tuesday, 10/8/19, Owls Head

Tuesday, 10/15/19, Mexico

Wednesday, 10/16/19, Westbrook

Thursday, 10/17/19, Belfast

Monday, 10/21/19, Bangor

Wednesday, 10/23/19, Auburn

Tuesday, 10/29/19, Calais

Monday, 11/4/19, Augusta

Tuesday, 11/5/19, York

To find out more and to register, visit the “Upcoming MRBN Events” at or contact



Funding Available for New or Expanding Pre-K Programs in 2020-2021!

Are you opening a new PreK program or expanding an existing program in FY21? – Maine Department of Education will provide funding for FY21 for new or expanded PreK programs!

If your SAU is opening or expanding a PreK program in the 2020-2021 school year, you are eligible to receive funding on your FY21 ED279 for children you enroll in these new or expanding PreK programs in 2020. This means you will receive the funding for enrollment in the same year that you enroll the PreK children, without a year delay.

Beginning in FY19, the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding formula added an allocation for PreK programs’ estimate student count. The PreK program estimate count allocation is intended to provide funding for PreK programming in advance of actual student enrollment, helping to offset the upfront costs associated with expanding or starting PreK programs. This PreK program allocation was first authorized into law on July 1, 2018 to begin in FY19 and continue indefinitely.

If you are expanding and would like to receive an FY21 estimate PreK allocation, please notify the Maine DOE by completing the FY21 Estimate PreK Count Data Form before October 15, 2019. There are 3 questions to be answered:

  1. Choose your SAU from a list
  2. Do you have an existing PreK program (FY20) – Yes/No
  3. Provide your SAU’s PreK Estimated Increase Count (new slots available in new or expanding program)

SAUs completing the form must also complete the PreK Program Application with DOE’s Early Childhood Team by April 30, 2020 and obtain program approval.

The FY21 Estimate PreK Count Data Collection form is meant to capture the FY21 estimate for new and expanding PreK program enrollment. The estimate student count data, in addition to the current (FY20) enrollment in an existing PreK program, will be used to provide funding on the FY21 ED279. SAUs’ PreK total enrollment number, as reported and verified October 1, 2020, should match the combined existing and estimated increase total that was used to calculate funds in the ED279. After October 1, 2020 an audit adjustment, based on actual enrollment reported in NEO on October 1, 2020, will be made to the PreK allocation assigned on the FY21 ED279. Please note that this may increase or decrease funding.

For more information about establishing or expanding a Pre-K program, please check out our webpage on the topic, or please contact Deb Lajoie at 624-6613 or




Pre-K for ME: Open-Source Curriculum

Maine DOE is proud to announce the release of Prek for ME, an open-source curriculum for preschoolers.  Developed in response to public prek teachers looking for an evidence-based, whole child, content integrated curriculum that is low cost, Prek for ME builds on the Boston Public Schools preschool curriculum and contains a comprehensive program, including outdoor learning and technology activities appropriate for young children.

This is only one of many curriculum options from which school districts can choose as Maine DOE does not dictate curriculum.

Prek for ME can be found at:  Educators should read the guidance documents included with the curriculum materials to support successful implementation of the curriculum.

For more information contact Nicole Madore at

Regional Conversations Regarding Serving Children with Disabilities from Birth to 5 Years of Age

As most of you are aware, L.D. 1715, “An Act to Reorganize the Provision of Services for Children with Disabilities from Birth to 5 Years of Age” has been carried over to the next Legislative session. This bill proposes the transition of responsibility for special education services for preschool-age children from Child Development Services to the public schools.

The Department recognizes that there are many questions and issues involved with the proposed transition, and that they may vary significantly by region. Because of this, and in preparation for the Committee for Education and Cultural Affairs’ continued consideration of L.D. 1715, the Department of Education feels that it is critical to receive input from regional stakeholders. We have established regional stakeholder meetings, based on the established Superintendent Regions.

Each of these regional stakeholder meetings will include all Superintendents and Directors of Special Education who are available to attend, and the department will be inviting representatives who meet the following criteria:

  • A designee of the Commissioner of Education
  • A representative of a Special Purpose Preschool who is contracted with CDS to provide services
  • An individual who, as a sole proprietor, is contacted with CDS to provide services
  • A representative of a Head Start agency or program
  • An early childhood teacher from a public 4-year old program that includes eligible children
  • A principal of a public elementary school that includes eligible children in its public 4-year-old program
  • A representative of a statewide association of speech, language and hearing therapists
  • A representative of a statewide association of occupational therapists
  • A representative of a statewide association of physical therapists
  • A parent of a child with a disability between 3 and 5 years of age who is currently receiving services from CDS
  • A representative of a childcare program

Due to the limited space available, additional representatives from the above list may be accommodated depending on the response received from Superintendents and Directors of Special Education.

Regional Stakeholder meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations. All meetings will be from 10:00 to 3:00:

September 16th at the Senator Inn, Augusta

September 16th at the Senator Inn, Augusta

September 17th at the Senator Inn, Augusta

Washington and Hancock
September 17th at the Black Bear Lodge, Orono

September 18th at Jeff’s Catering, Brewer

September 18th at Caribou Inn and Convention Center, Caribou

Cumberland and York
September 19th at the Westbrook Armory, Westbrook

Please respond to with your availability to attend as soon as possible.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing your valuable input.

Growth Celebrated and Knowledge Shared as MoMEntum Literacy Pilot Wraps Up

Kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers from across the state gathered this month for a final event that served as the culmination of two and a half years of work by 1500 students, 100 teachers, 9 schools, and 6 literacy coaches. Momentum, a K-3 literacy pilot program designed to improve the literacy achievement of students, came to a close with a professional learning event and an opportunity to reflect on the knowledge and growth experienced by its participants.

Deployed in January 2018, the MoMEntum pilot program provided 9 schools with iPad devices from Apple, Inc. and research-based curriculum resources along with targeted professional learning and coaching to help them improve not only the reading levels of their young students, but also to engage them in a meaningful integration of literacy across other content areas using technology. Additionally, and somewhat uniquely, the pilot also provided schools with the tools to measure how well students were responding to the new learning style.

Teachers received intensive professional learning on specific software applications that individualized student learning, and provided a platform to share student progress with their parents or guardians. Trained literacy coaches worked within each school along with locally grown professional learning communities (PLC) that met monthly (or more) to share practices, evaluate their work and progress, and seek ways to improve.

room of educators sitting at tables listening to speakerAt the closing event were an array of teacher-lead professional learning sessions about classroom management and curriculum practice. For example, Lindsey Davis, a 1st Grade Teacher from Leroy H. Smith School in RSU 22, lead a session about how to engage students in Close Reading lessons that utilize integrated and relevant content. Heather Gray and Danielle Afari, teachers from Dirigo Elementary School in RSU 56, lead an informative and entertaining session about ways to glean student progress based on data and assessment in the classroom.

Teachers and administrators also had the opportunity to work on sustainability plans to keep their work from the MoMEntum pilot going in their schools by establishing school level and individual goals to help continue their integrated literacy work.

Kathy Jacobs, a 1st grade teacher who is moving into a special education role at China Primary School, a participating school from the pilot, said that she has definitely, “seen growth in the students” during the pilot program and that no matter what happens now that the program has come to a close, she will apply some of the things she has learned into her teaching practices going forward.

Wonders & wows posterThere was also an opportunity for teachers and administrators to share their “Wonders & Wows” as a way to evaluate the work and progress and highlight areas for future collaborative work.

“I learned as much from the teachers as I hope they learned from me,” said Literacy Coach Heidi Goodwin, a Distinguished Educator on loan from MSAD 54 who worked directly with the Maine DOE on the pilot program. “They [teachers] were great thinking partners,” she reflected. There were 6 educators total that served as coaches for the program. Along with Heidi were, Kayanne Nadeau, on loan from MSAD 27; Liz Wakem, on loan from RSU 71; Lisa Sleight, a retired Maine educator; Li Gowell, a retired Maine educator; and Dee Saucier, a Maine DOE staff member.

“This was not just a great learning opportunity for the schools involved but for the Department as well,” said Lee Anne Larsen, Maine DOE Early Learning Team Coordinator who has been involved in the administration of the MoMEntum pilot from its inception.  Reflecting on the valuable lessons learned during the pilot, Lee Anne remarked that the most notable were about ways to effectively use technology in the classroom, and methods of meaningfully integrating literacy into other content areas. “It will definitely inform our future work at the Department,” she added.

While the full pilot program and everything that came along with it was only deployed in 9 schools initially, the professional learning resources are available, completely free, to all schools on the Maine DOE Website, along with help and support from Maine DOE staff members Lee Anne Larson and Dee Saucier who both helped administer the pilot program. For further information please reach out to them at and/or