Read to ME Challenge to Kick-off February 3rd at Lincoln School in Augusta

Year five of the Read to ME Challenge is scheduled to begin on February 3, 2020.  Maine Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin will launch the campaign by reading to children at the Lincoln School in Augusta.  She will follow up her reading by issuing a challenge to participate in the 2020 campaign.  The Department will be live streaming this event, and will provide those details soon. This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo or short video and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same.  The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month leading up to Read Across America Day on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Schools and organizations are invited to join the challenge and to encourage community members to do the same. The collective voice of many key partners, leaders and those in respected positions will send a clear message about the vital importance reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine. Maine DOE also encourages partners to be creative and to use this opportunity to enhance ongoing literacy education outreach efforts.

If your organization is willing and able to promote the Read to ME Challenge, please follow this link to provide us with your contact information. Read to ME Challenge resources, including a guidance document, public service announcements in a variety of languages, fliers and a list of engaging ways to incorporate the challenge are available on the Read to ME webpage.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities. The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement.  Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity, and don’t hesitate to contact danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov (624-6734) with any questions.

Professional Learning Opportunity: Early Mathematics Diagnostic Interview (EMDI), A Diagnostic Interview Tool

Registration: 8:00 am, Session 8:30 am – 3:15 pm

Who is invited?

This professional learning opportunity is specifically designed for Pre-K-5 mathematics educators, including classroom teachers, special education teachers, Title 1 teachers, math or instructional coaches, and math support staff.

Why participate?

  • Learn about and practice using a diagnostic interview tool for mathematics and how to plan for instruction based on results
  • Recognize the developmental progression of and misconceptions in mathematics learning
  • Strengthen your own pedagogical and content knowledge in mathematics
  • Compare assessment practices and ways to use assessment to improve student learning
  • Take away the EMDI tool, ideas, resources, and materials to use in your school and classrooms

What are our key goals?

The key goals are to provide you with experiences, information, and resources to guide you in the areas of diagnostic assessment, identifying students’ mathematical needs, and developing knowledge of instructional strategies that have an impact on students’ mathematical learning.

What is our approach to professional development?

  • Do the math: Using video and hands-on explorations, delve into key elementary mathematics concepts using multiple approaches, including identifying types of questions and responses and varying types of mathematical
  • Connect to research: Discuss readings that connect each topic to research and take away powerful research-based approaches, tools, and resources to use in your school and
  • Collaborate: Work together and share ideas with other Pre-K-5
  • Leading change: Set goals and generate a plan for ongoing mathematics improvement for your school and

Cost: $90.00 per person for the 3-day series (includes continental breakfast, lunch, and materials)

Contact hours: 24 hours

 When?

Locations: Dates (Must attend all dates): Registration Links:
Big Cat’s Events Center, Ellsworth 2/4/20; 2/5/20; 4/9/20

Storm Date: 2/25/20

Register for Ellsworth Event
Northeastland Hotel, Presque Isle 2/6/20; 2/7/20; 4/10/20

Storm Date: 2/11/20

Register for Presque Isle Event
The Green Ladle, Lewiston 3/10/20; 3/11/20; 4/29/20

Storm Date: 3/19/20

Register for Lewiston Event
Hampton Inn, Saco 3/12/20; 3/13/20; 4/30/20

Storm Date: 3/25/20

Register for Saco Event

Space is Limited! Register by January 10, 2020

Questions?  Please contact: Jen Robitaille, Elementary Mathematics Specialist: 624-6673, jennifer.r.robitaille@maine.gov

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.

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  https://maineresilience.org/ or contact Karen.J.Bergeron@maine.gov

 

 

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 deborah.j.lajoie@maine.gov.