RSU 57 Prek Teachers Train Fellow Educators on Research-based Prek Practice

Prek teachers Melissa Brown, Jessie Carlson, Morgan Gallagher and Sarah Smith from RSU 57 provided training recently for new teachers ready to implement the PreK for ME program in the coming school year.

Prek for ME is a curriculum program based on the Boston Public School’s open source curriculum. Last year, 14 prek classroom teachers, including the 4 from RSU 57, were part of the pilot program that was successfully conducted last year assisting participants in improving their prek classroom instruction. RSU 57 saw great results in this research-based, whole child/multi-domain program.

Excited and eager to help bring their experience and expertise to others, the four RSU 57 teachers co-trained with some assistance from Sue Reed, Early Childhood Specialist from Maine DOE who is leading the efforts to adapt the Prek for ME curriculum for Maine.

The evaluations from the program help to illustrate its success:

“This was a super training!  I appreciated the balance between presentation and hands on with the teachers.” 

“Teachers who have used the program are very helpful!” 

The prek teachers from RSU 57 invited participants to visit their classrooms and to contact them with any questions.  The Prek for ME program will be available on the Maine DOE website by the end of August.

Reduced Rate Access and Training for Pk-3rd Grade Teachers Using Teaching Strategies Gold®

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has finalized a contract with Teaching Strategies to support the use of their Gold® assessment tool in elementary grade (Pk-3) classrooms.

Teaching Strategies Gold® is an authentic formative assessment tool that aligns to Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards for PreK and Maine’s College and Career Ready Standards for kindergarten through 3rd grade. Teachers observe and document evidence of student skills as part of authentic instruction.  Data collected through this assessment is captured in an online platform.

Public schools will be able to access a reduced per student rate of $15.95 for the 2019-20 school year. Schools may apply for this reduced rate here. Use of Teaching Strategies Gold® is an option for use as part of a school or district’s local assessment system.  It is not a state required assessment.

In addition to the reduced rate, the Maine DOE is hosting a two-day training on August 19th and 20th for teachers and administrators who are new to using this assessment.  The training will be held at the Maine State Library located at 230 State St. Augusta, Maine. Training will cover the research behind Gold® and how to access the online platform. Educators will also have time to navigate the tool and practice observation skills of individual student development. Administrators new to the tool are encouraged to attend day one (8/19/2019). Training is limited to 30 participants and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Registration will automatically close once it has reached 30 participants.

Registration for all participants is now open through August 16, 2019.

Click here for more information about Teaching Strategies Gold®,

For questions, contact Nicole Madore at 624-6677 or  Nicole.madore@maine.gov

 

 

 

Lincoln Elementary School Goes Above and Beyond to Keep Students Engaged in Reading During the Summer

This spring, Augusta School Department’s Lincoln Elementary School recorded videos of each of their teachers and staff members reading a book out loud and then posted it to their school Facebook page for students, parents, and families to enjoy. This effort was part of a read-a-thon initiative to keep kids engaged with reading and literacy activities over their week-long vacation in April.

With 25 videos posted over April break and hundreds of views by students and their families, they decided to expand the effort into the summer months and include community members as guest readers. “We have made an effort to post at least one video every day this summer,” said Lincoln Elementary School Principal Heather Gauthier. “Between June 14th and August 28th when school is back in session, we will have done over 75 videos, many of them with 200+ views on Facebook and YouTube, and positive engagement from parents and community members.”

Their guest readers include everyone from teachers, school administrators, staff, and education technicians to police officers, school board members, local authors, former students, local government officials, and even Maine DOE’s very own Lee Anne Larson, Early Learning Team Coordinator.

“We have received a lot of great feedback from community members who have been engaged and parents who have benefited from the videos,” said Heather. “One parent told us that she puts the videos on while she cooks dinner so that the kids can watch and listen to books while she is busy cooking.”

What started as an effort to keep students reading over the summer months has turned into a summer reading activity that has been successful in engaging students, parents, and community members alike.

Heather says that they plan to keep the guest reading videos going for as long as they can and hopes that people keep enjoying and watching them. Check out the Lincoln Elementary School Department’s videos on YouTube. Find Lincoln Elementary School Department on Facebook.

This article was written by Rachel Paling, Maine DOE Communications and Outreach Manager in collaboration with Lincoln Elementary School Principal, Heather Gauthier. If you have story ideas for the Maine DOE’s Maine Schools Sharing Success campaign, contact Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Public Preschool Annual Report due July 31, 2019

In the event that you missed the announcement of the Public Preschool Annual Report, this is a friendly reminder that the report is now available  and due to the Department of Education no later than close of business on July 31, 2019.  All public preschool programs are required to complete the Public Preschool Annual Report.

If you accidentally submit the report before finalizing, please email Nicole Madore for a link to access and continue your work.

A preview of the report can be found here.

Before you start the survey, the following information will be useful to have available:

  • Information related to staff turnover
  • Program operation:
    • Hours/day
    • Days/week
    • Any major changes to the program including but not limited to:
      • partners
      • curriculum
      • location
  • Successes/challenges experienced over the course of the year
  • Student attendance-
    • percentages for Free & Reduced Lunch
    • chronic absenteeism
    • transient students
  • Student’s identified for additional support:
    • English Learners- screening process
    • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) information including but not limited to:
      • referrals
      • active identifications
      • no longer qualify
  • Student growth in all learning domains

Any questions should be directed to Nicole Madore at Nicole.madore@maine.gov  or 624-6677.

 

Public Preschool Annual Report Due July 31, 2019

We are grateful to our school districts who are addressing the need for public preschool programming in their communities, and we are committed to fostering partnerships and increasing early intervention and educational opportunities for our youngest learners. As you are likely aware, all public preschool programs are required to complete the Public Preschool Annual Report. We have shortened the report for ease of use, and the Department of Education will refer to the data collected throughout the year to help inform policy, determine professional development needs, and provide follow up information or support.

The Public Preschool Annual report is now available  and is due to the Department no later than close of business on July 31, 2019.

Before you start the survey, it will be useful to have the following information readily available:

  • Information related to staff turnover
  • Program operation:
    • Number of hours per day
    • Number of days per week
    • Any major changes to the program, including, but not limited to:
      • partners
      • curriculum
      • location
    • Successes/challenges experienced over the course of the year
    • Student attendance-
      • number economically disadvantaged
      • number chronic absenteeism
      • transient students
    • Students identified for additional support:
      • English Learners- screening process
      • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) information including but not limited to:
        • referrals
        • IDEA eligibility identification
        • no longer qualify
      • Student growth in all learning domains

For further information or questions, please contact Nicole Madore at Nicole.madore@maine.gov  or 624-6677.