Calling all Maine School Principals: Join Maine’s Transformational Leaders’ Network 

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) invites school principals to apply for an inspiring professional learning opportunity. The Transformational Leaders’ Network (TLN) offers Maine principals an opportunity to deepen their leadership skills while they are leading transformational efforts in their schools. This “learner-centered” program has a ten-year history of success and is open to ALL Maine principals at no cost. The primary requirement for joining the TLN is the ambition to improve your leadership and your school! 

Who can apply? 

  • Maine School Principals (PreK-12)

What is the commitment? 

  • The program consists of three types of sessions throughout the year:  in-person full days, two-hour Network sessions, and 1.5-hour Learning Leader Team sessions.  The three full-day in-person sessions (aligned to CDC safety guidelines) will be in October, February, and mid-May at a site(s) to be determined based on participation.  The majority of your time will be in Zoom-based Learning Leader Teams(LLTs) of 5-8 principals, facilitated by experienced educators. Alternating with LLT sessions will be larger group Zoom-based Network sessions designed to assist your understanding of leadership and your own strengths and challenges. 

How is the program designed? 

  • The TLN experience revolves around each principal’s efforts to improve their school’s success with students. In Network sessions, principals examine the leadership challenges inherent in making progress on improvement goals.  In a small group led by a facilitator, each principal will design an action plan and an accompanying “learning plan.” 
  •  Colleagues and resources from facilitators provide on-going consultation and advice focused on the principal’s, “continuous improvement” as a leader for the, “continuous improvement” of the school.  In this fashion, each principal’s learning goal(s) drives the curriculum of the Network. 
  • Successful completion of the TLN will result in contact hours for re-certification purposes. 

I’m interested… what next? 

  • Applying now for this exciting opportunity is encouraged by the Maine DOE. 
  • An online application can be found here. 
  • Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis until the cohort is full or August 24,2021, whichever comes first. Please note, applications require the approval of the superintendent before submittal. 

Where can I find more information? 

  • For answers to questions or more details about TLN, please contact Fran Farr, TLN Facilitator, at franfarr522@gmail.com or (207) 439-9659 or (207) 752-2439. 
  • A June webinar featuring the TLN and Maine’s Leadership Development Program can be viewed here 
  • To access more information, hear from past participants, and download application materials please visit:  https://www.maine.gov/doe/educators/leader/tln 

What other opportunities are available to current or aspiring leaders? 

 

EMCC, MCCS, and Maine DOE Celebrate 88 “Badguates” in Inaugural Cohort of Learning Facilitator Program

Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC), in partnership with the Maine Community College System (MCCS) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE), held a “Badguation” ceremony on June 23rd for the first class of Learning Facilitator Program completers, or “Badguates.”

In a response to critical staff shortages in Maine schools as a result of the pandemic, Governor Mills created additional flexibilities and opportunities for educators in Executive Order #7, which enabled the Maine DOE, MCCS, and EMCC to collaborate on a high quality, fast-track training program for paraprofessional level educators to expand, strengthen, and support our excellent educator workforce.

“This is emergency response at its finest, but this is also innovation at its finest where a real problem, a critical issue was presented, and everybody came to the fore to make it happen,” said Commissioner Makin during her remarks at the ceremony.

The Badguation ceremony honored the Learning Facilitators, many of whom were present during the virtual event, and featured a video message from Governor Janet Mills and remarks from EMCC faculty, EMCC President Dr. Lisa Larson, MCCS President David Daigler, Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin, and DOE Representatives.

“You participated in a new model, a new way of thinking, and learning, and leading together,” said EMCC President Lisa Larson during her opening remarks. “You’ve earned credits and credentials, and along the way you also gained some new friends and colleagues.”

“You’re not only the first, you’re also a part of building the future of our economy and you’re core to families being able to find new successes as opportunities unveil themselves through this new, ever-changing economy,” MCCS President David Daigler said to the graduates in his remarks.

“While many people were reeling and pulling inward and saying, ‘I’m just going to try to stay safe and ride this out,’ you ran into the fire like first responders. You said, ‘yep, sign me up! I’m going to go take those courses, I am going to get into this credentialing program, and I’m going to help our schools,’” added Commissioner Makin in her remarks.

The event also featured a short video showcasing written messages from program participants who shared sentiments on how they changed in positive ways throughout the program. Here are a few:

“I am happy to say I learned that if I put my mind to it then I will do it. I really wanted to learn how to write a lesson plan for my students and I did. It took a few tries before I got there, but I did.”

“I am excited to take what I have learned and apply it to the areas of my teaching. I can observe a student and know what I am looking for, I can be a better co-teacher.”

“I don’t think you will ever be able to measure the success of this program as it will continue to have a positive impact for many, many years to come.”

Offered at no cost to the participants, the Learning Facilitator Program is completed in two phases in one academic year with the ongoing support of Eastern Maine Community College faculty. Upon completion of a 3-credit “boot camp” course in phase one of the program, participants have the foundational skills necessary to fill short-and long-term substitute educator roles, as well as all paraprofessional positions. In phase two, participants engage in a combination of online work and professional learning community meetings, as well as a 315-hour structured teaching apprenticeship. When they complete the program, participants are eligible for an emergency Education Technician authorization which allows them to be employed as an Education Technician III.

For more information related to the program, please visit the EMCC website, here.

Watch the 34 minute virtual ceremony on EMCC’s YouTube Channel:

Opportunity for Aspiring Mentors: Mentor Training Registration Opens Today

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is committed to supporting the growth and development of educators aspiring to be mentors.  Over the past three years, the Maine DOE has collaborated with teacher leaders, administrators, and higher education partners to customize Maine’s mentor resources. These resources are available to School Administrative Units (SAUs) who wish to provide local support and training to new mentors.  We extend our sincere thanks to educators who continue to offer this training throughout the state.    

Mentors serve a critical role within their schools, and we are appreciative of their ongoing dedication to supporting and growing the profession.  Current mentors have been crucial to the educational environment—each individual mentor has made an impact.  We are encouraged by and thankful for those educators who are enthusiastically stepping up to become mentors.   

This summer, the Maine DOE will be offering virtual mentor trainings. These interactive sessions will serve as a foundation for aspiring mentors and a refresher for current mentors.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the principles of mentoring, reflect deeply on the role of mentors, apply practices into real-world situations, and engage in lively discussion with peers from across the state.   

Details: Educators are welcome to select either session below that works best with their schedule. The sessions will take place via Zoom, a link will be sent to participants following registration. Sessions are offered at no cost, all materials will be available electronically.

Choose from two sessions:

July 22, 2021
8:30am – 3:30pm (with a built-in lunch break)
Registration Form

August 10, 2021
8:30am – 3:30pm (with a built-in lunch break)
Registration Form

Contact Hours: Educators will receive contact hours for participation 

Educators are welcome to discuss the opportunity, along with local training requirements, with their mentor chairperson prior to registering.    

Interested in learning about future offerings, discussing customizable resources, or sharing promising practices?  

Please reach out to Emily Doughty at Emily.doughty@maine.gov or at 207-592-0314.  

Maine DOE to Host Focus Groups for New Educators

Are you a first or second year educator (teacher, administrator, education technician)?  If so, thank you–AND we would love to hear from you!

Please join us at one of our virtual New Educator Focus Groups (June 17 6:00 – 7:00 pm or June 23, 9:00 – 10:00 am). Upon registration, participants will receive a Zoom link.

This will be an opportunity for you to connect with other new educators throughout Maine, to share challenges and successes, and for us to celebrate you! As a new educator during these unprecedent school years, your experiences are invaluable and will help inform our ongoing educator recruitment and retention efforts! If you plan to attend, please complete and submit the registration form for the date that works best for you.

June 17th Focus Group
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Register here
Upon registration, participants will receive a zoom link.
June 23rd Focus Group
9:00 – 10:00 am
Register here
Upon registration, participants will receive a zoom link.

Questions? Please contact Tamara Ranger: Tamara.Ranger@Maine.Gov or Emily Doughty at Emily.Doughty@Maine.Gov

Priority Notice: Seeking Public Comment to Waive Requirements Related to Accountability and Public Reporting.   

In a US Department of Education (USDOE)  Dear Colleague letter to state chiefs on February 22nd, 2021, USDOE provided guidance and invited states to apply for waivers granting significant flexibility in the areas of accountability and reporting for the 2020-2021 school yearFollowing this guidance and flexibility, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) is requesting accountability and reporting waivers pursuant to §8401(b) from requirements within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015)USDOE requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, to solicit and respond to public comment on the request and provide evidence of the available comment period. This 14-day public comment period will be available from April 27, 2021- May 10, 2021.  

A full copy of the waiver request can be located on the Maine DOE’s ESSA webpage.  In summary, the Maine Department of Education will be requesting waivers from the following requirements:  

  • Accountability and school identification requirements in ESEA sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D): the requirements that a State measure progress toward long-term goals and measurements of interim progress; meaningfully differentiate, on an annual basis, all public schools, including by adjusting the Academic Achievement indicator based on a participation rate below 95 percent; and identify schools for comprehensive, targeted, and additional targeted support and improvement based on data from the 2020- 2021 school year. 
  • Report card provisions related to accountability in ESEA section 1111(h) based on data from the 2020-2021 school year. These include: 
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(i)(I)-(IV) and (VI) (Accountability system description, other than the list of comprehensive, targeted, and additional targeted support and improvement schools).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iii)(I) (Other Academic indicator results for schools that are not high schools). 
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(v) (School Quality or Student Success indicator results). 
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vi) (Progress toward meeting long-terms goals and measurements of interim progress). 
  • Section 1111(h)(2)(C) with respect, at the local educational agency (LEA) anschool levels, to all waived requirements in section 1111(h)(1)(C). 

Public Comment may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov. Additional questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems.