Trauma Informed Readiness and Response Planning Workshop

As the most requested support topic from the field,  we at the Department of Education hear of the extensive impact that trauma, mental health and the opioid crisis are having on our schools. We are taking action to support educators in addressing the increased needs of our students through the use of trauma informed practices. To begin this partnership and support, we will be hosting an interactive conference on Trauma Informed Readiness and Response Planning.

When: Friday, January 24th, 2020

Time: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Lunch is provided)

Location: University of Maine, Wells Conference Center, Orono.

This is a grant funded opportunity for schools to receive guided support in the development of their individualized emergency plans for a trauma free and trauma responsive environment. Funding for this opportunity is available for up to 65 teams, and can include covering the costs of travel and substitutes for the day. An application and commitment to attend are required; these will be accepted until December 20th, 2019.

Application for Individual School Participation 

A preview of questions in the application is below:
Name of School:
School District:
Primary Contact (person with whom all communication and arrangements go through):
Contact Phone/Email/Address:
3 Team Members and their roles at the school (3 people are required for the activities planned):
Describe the top three areas of need for your school around this topic, and why work on a responsive plan will help you overcome these. 

A final agenda and confirmation for teams will be forthcoming after the closing of the application window. For questions, contact Jessica Nixon at Jessica.Nixon@maine.gov.

 

Mid-winter Boost:  2020 Maine School Winter Wellness Summit, Life is Good, Wellness Makes It Better!

Taking care of the health and well-being of staff and students has become more and more critical given the many stresses of the world in which we all live. Register today for the Maine School Winter Wellness Summit, Life is Good, Wellness Makes It Better! being held January 30 & 31, 2020 at The Samoset Resort, Rockport, to bolster your school wellness program. Attendees will learn strategies and be exposed to tools and resources available from state and national sources that address the six dimensions of wellness: mental, emotional, physical, social, spiritual and​ occupational health. However, this year there will be a special emphasis on Mental Wellness for all! The Summit will include inspiring, interactive keynote presentations each day, engaging workshops on personal wellness practices, creating positive school environments, healthy school culture and climate for staff and students, leadership skills, emerging health issues and action planning for wellness!

January 30th OPENING KEYNOTE:

grey haired man, laughingMurray Banks is a motivational speaker and world champion athlete with roots in teaching school. He lives life with a passion for health and well-being every day. This year he will focus his message on the importance of positivity on one’s overall health using hilarious images, imaginative videos, and poignant classroom and personal stories that will inspire all of us.

 

Salt and pepper haired man with moustache and glasses, smilingJanuary 31st OPENING KEYNOTE:  George Manning returns to the Wellness Summit with more tools, resources and insights focused on life, work and the pursuit of balance. He will engage the audience with his enchanting personality and stories that come from more than 40 years of experience teaching psychology at the collegiate level and traveling the country helping organizations and businesses develop healthy and productive work environments.

The goal of the Summit is to prepare and empower participants to create healthy, positive and safe schools for all school personnel and students by promoting policies and environmental practices that support healthier schools, improve personal health and well-being, and enhance academic achievement.  Click here for up-to-date details, draft agenda and session information on the 2020 Maine School Winter Wellness Summit and follow The Samoset Resort link to reserve rooms at the special group rate.

Individuals and teams interested in Schoolsite Health Promotion and wellness are encourage to attend. One low cost for two-days, meals included. Early registration is open through December 27 for $125/person and regular registration after December 28 is $145/person.

Join us for the first fully engaging and educational Winter Wellness Summit, a component of the Maine Department of Education’s Schoolsite Health Promotion Program.

Maine Educators Celebrated at Annual Teacher of the Year Gala

The Teacher of the Year Program hosted its annual Gala this past weekend on Saturday, November 16th at Portland Sheraton at Sable Oaks. The event honors Maine educators that have been named County Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year with a banquet, reception, and awards ceremony.

IMG_3222The event featured remarks from 2019 Teacher of the Year Joseph Hennessey, an English Teacher at Piscataquis Community High School who is finishing his year-long designation as the 2019 Teacher of the Year. Commissioner Makin received a standing ovation as she urged all present to elevate the status of educators in Maine, as their work is the single most important assurance of a thriving democracy.  Incoming 2020 Teacher of the Year Heather Whitaker also addressed the audience, reminding the audience that the foundation of learning is built on relationships of trust and compassion. Ms. Whitaker was presented with a custom Maine licence plate from Maine’s Secretary of State, Mathew Dunlap, a tradition each year.

During the Awards ceremony, County Teachers of the Year were each provided with a crystal apple award, a County Teacher of the Year banner, totes filled with Maine products donated by Maine businesses (sponsored by Live and Work in Maine), in addition to free registration to the annual ACTEM Conference (provided by ACTEM). 

In addition to the above awards, Semi Finalists, State Finalists, and the Teacher of the Year each received a hand thrown pottery bowl with their names on it (sponsored by Maine TOY Association and Maine State Board of Education). The Teacher of the Year was also given an IPad (provided by ACTEM).

2019 County Teachers of the YearAndroscoggin County, Shawn Rice; Aroostook County, Kim Barnes; Cumberland County, Heather Whitaker; Franklin County, Robert Taylor; Hancock County, Nell Herrmann; Kennebec County: Emily Bowen; Knox County, Thomas Gray; Oxford County, Linda Andrews; Penobscot County, Tracy Deschaine; Piscataquis County, Bobbi Tardif; Sagadahoc County, Charles Bingham; Somerset County, Katherine Bertini; Waldo County, Ashley Reynolds; Washington County, Jeanna Carver; York County, Ethel Atkinson.

Semi Finalists: Jeanna Carver, Tracy Deschaine, Thomas Gray, Ashley Reynolds, Shawn Rice, Bobbi Tardif, Robert Taylor, Heather Whitaker

State finalists: Thomas GrayRobert Taylor, Heather Whitaker

2020 Teacher of the Year: Heather Whitaker

The event also includes keynote remarks and honors for many of the program’s partners and sponsors including Educate Maine, who administers the program, the Maine Department of Education, and the Maine State Board of Education. Funding for the program is generously provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, Maine Lottery, and Pratt and Whitney.

The Teacher of the Year Program is a year-long process that, each year, through a rigorous selection process, names an educator from each county as County Teacher of the Year, and names one educator as Maine Teacher of the Year. Any educator can be nominated by a member of their community for the Teacher of the Year Program. The nomination process begins in January each year.

Green Ribbon Schools

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce that Maine is joining the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools initiative to inspire and promote effective school sustainability and collaboration. The award highlights sustainability practices undertaken at the school, district, or post-secondary institution level that are cost-saving and health promoting.
The U.S. Department of Education developed three Pillars of a green school:

  1. Reducing environmental impacts, e.g. waste, energy, transportation, etc.
  2. Improving health and wellness of schools, students and staff through consideration of school food, air quality, physical activity, etc.
  3. Offering environmental and sustainability education that is authentic, civically engaging and green career preparing.

More information regarding Green Ribbon Schools can be found on the USDOE website, and Maine’s Green Ribbon Schools application should be submitted to shari.templeton@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Reinstatement of Rule Chapter 115 (The Credentialing of Education Personnel Rules) Part II Requirements for Specific Certificates and Endorsements

The State Board is proposing the reinstatement of Chapter 115 Part II: Requirements for Specific Certificates and Endorsements, which was in effect May 14, 2014. This rule, following the emergency adoption of the same version of Chapter 115, maintains the status quo for credentialing at this time, and will be in effect until such time as the State Board develops new Chapter 115 rules.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 115 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 115:

  • December 16, 2019 from 9:30am- 11:00am
  • Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
  • All are welcome to attend, and no RSVP is required.  Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments via email to jaci.holmes@maine.gov or by mailing comments to:

Maine Department of Education
attention: Jaci Holmes
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333-0023

Comment Period Deadline: December 27, 2019