Maine DOE Seeks Applicants for Paid Professional Learning Opportunity

The Maine Department of Education is seeking applications from qualified individuals interested in learning more about the competitive grant process.  Selected applicants will be trained to serve as peer reviewers who assist the Department in to reviewing, assessing, and scoring competitive grant proposals for the 21st Century Community Leaning Centers (21st CCLC) Program.  The 21st CCLC program is a federally-funded education program that provides competitive funding for schools and communities to develop before-school, after-school, and summer educational programs that support students and their families.

This year’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 21st CCLC program was released to the public on January 2 and is available online at: https://www.4pcamaine.org/century21/FY2020/. The Department anticipates receiving proposals from local education agencies, community-based organizations, and other eligible entities seeking awards under this RFP.

Qualifications:

Applicants will be selected based on their experience in providing effective academic support, enrichment, youth development, and related support services for children and youth.  The most qualified candidates will be individuals who have experience in the administration of high-quality youth development programs within schools and communities.  Examples of the experienced individuals sought include, but are not limited to:

  • 21st CCLC program directors and site coordinators
  • Teachers and principals
  • College and university staff
  • Youth development workers
  • Community resource providers

Please note that an applicant or member of an applicant’s organization will not be selected to serve as a member of the Department’s peer review team.

Required Tasks:

Selected applicants will work individually to read each assigned application and create detailed, objective, constructive, and well-written comments on approximately 10-12 applications based on the criteria established in the RFP. These comments will be turned in to the Department prior to participating in on-site consensus scoring sessions.  Applicants must be able to participate in an online training webinar and review grant applications through a web-based system.  It is anticipated that selected candidates will have a three (3) week window in which to complete the individual review of assigned proposals.  Following the individual review of proposals, each successful applicant will be required to travel to the Maine Department of Education for two scheduled scoring days.  It is during these consensus scoring sessions that the peer review team to score each application.

Selected candidates must complete the following tasks during the following date(s):

Task Date(s) Time(s)
Participate in an online training webinar April 3, 2020 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Review grant applications through a web-based system and provide individual, written comments on each application (which MUST be turned in to the Department) April 6, 2020 –
April 28, 2020
Any Time
Participate in on-site consensus scoring sessions which will be located at the Maine Department of Education in Augusta, ME April 30, 2020;
May 1, 2020
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM;
9:00 AM – Finished

Compensation for Services:

Selected reviewers who complete the required tasks will be reimbursed for travel costs to and from the consensus scoring sessions as well as provided a $85 honorarium per assigned application.

Previous participants have also found that serving as a member of the peer review team is an excellent opportunity for professional development and growth. It is likely that, if selected, applicants will be exposed to new program models, strategies, and practices.  These new concepts may provide ideas and support for ongoing work as well as future grant writing efforts.  Most importantly, the time given to this effort will help ensure the funding of quality education programs for the children and families of Maine.

How to Apply:

Interested parties must contact Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov to obtain a copy of the 2020 peer reviewer application and then return the completed application along with a current resume or CV.

Pursuant to Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, peer reviewers may not include any applicant, or representative of an applicant, that has or will submit a proposal in response to the current competition.

Deadline:

The Maine Department of Education will continue accepting peer reviewer applications through March 12, 2020 or until the needed positions are filled.  Interested parties are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Contact:

For more information, contact State Coordinator, Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov or 624-6709.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Launches #LoveTeaching Campaign on Valentine’s Day

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today kicked off the national #LoveTeaching campaign in Maine. Running February 14th through February 21st, the #LoveTeaching Campaign is observed by educators around the country as an opportunity to celebrate teaching, leading, and learning in a way that unites and invigorates educators and those they inspire all around the world.

Every year, Valentine’s Day marks the beginning of a week-long conversation that aims to illuminate why teachers enter and remain in the field of education, offering a mindset shift from the seemingly singular focus on the challenges of the profession.

Starting today, we encourage educators across Maine to participate by using the #LoveTeaching hashtag on social media to share why they love teaching, either through a story, a moment, a memory, a picture, a quote, a phrase, or a simple explanation. Tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and at @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook so that we can share your teaching inspiration around our state!

To help get the conversation going, we are releasing this two and a half minute video, developed by the Maine Department of Education, starring 20 educators from across the State of Maine who explain why they teach:

In collaboration with the Maine Education Association, the Department is looking forward to hosting educators in Augusta next week to celebrate their profession and engage in meaningful conversations about teaching in Maine.

For further information about the #LoveTeaching campaign, please visit weloveteaching.org. Follow the conversation on Maine DOE’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Maine to Join National #LoveTeaching Campaign February 14 – 21

The Maine Department of Education (DOE), along with the Maine Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program, and Maine State Teacher of the Year Association (MSTOYA), are joining the national #LoveTeaching campaign, a grassroots effort started by teachers in 2015 as an opportunity to celebrate teaching, leading, and learning in a way that unites and invigorates educators and those they inspire all around the world.

Every year, Valentine’s Day marks the beginning of a week-long conversation that aims to illuminate why teachers enter and remain in the field of education, offering a mindset shift from the seemingly singular focus on the challenges of the profession.

Starting on Friday, February 14 and continuing through February 21, 2020 educators across Maine are encouraged to participate by using the #LoveTeaching hashtag on social media to share why they love teaching, either through a story, a moment, a memory, a picture, a quote, or simply explaining why they love teaching in a sentence or phrase. Tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and at @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook so that we can share your teaching inspiration around our state!

As we transition from January into February, we would also like to support MSTOYA in their efforts to keep the momentum of January’s “Invite your Legislator to School” month going, by encouraging teachers who have not done so already, to invite their local legislator to their school.

The goal of “Invite Your Legislator to School Month” is to engage, enlighten, and inform policy makers from our local or state government by providing them with a better understanding of how their decisions affect learners and educators across the state of Maine. It is also a great opportunity to invigorate and inspire them by showing them the wonderful things that are happening in classrooms in Maine.

We know that everyone’s schedules are busy, so please consider scheduling a visit sometime in the near future, or anytime throughout the year that works best for your school and your guest(s). In the words of MSTOYA, “It’s more than a month; it’s a movement.”

Please visit the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association Website to get further guidance and resources that can support you in inviting and scheduling a visit with your local and state legislators.

For further information about the #LoveTeaching campaign, please visit weloveteaching.org and be on the lookout for another announcement from the Maine DOE to kick off the week.

 

Aquaculture me! Hosts Conference to Connect Research, Education, and Industry

Aquaculture me!, an initiative created by Yarmouth educator, 2016 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, and Miliken recipient Morgan Cuthbert, to get classroom teachers connected to the science and industry of aquaculture, held a professional development conference at the University of Maine’s Darling Center near Damariscotta last week.

Maine Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Dan Chuhta attended the event on behalf of the Department to give brief remarks and to extend a heartfelt appreciation to Aquaculture me! and educators throughout Maine who work hard to provide Maine students with meaningful educational lessons that incorporate scientific practice about the complex systems that affect our communities and environment through aquaculture education.

The workshop gave participants the opportunity to hear from Maine aquaculture researchers, learn about connecting with the community and the industry, in addition to hearing from Maine educators from Cape Elizabeth, Brunswick, and Yarmouth Schools about successful ways to connect Aquaculture to the classroom.

The conference also gave participants the chance to network with one another and have a round-table discussion about Aquaculture education in Maine.

For more information about Aquaculture me! visit their website.

The conference also gave participants the chance to network with one another and have a round-table discussion about Aquaculture education in Maine.

For more information about Aquaculture me! visit their website.

Maine Researchers, Teacher Begin Scientific Cruise

Submitted by Barbara Powers, Superintendent of Long Island School.

A unique educational opportunity launches on January 24, when a Maine teacher sets sail for the Southern Ocean as part of a Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences team. This partnership with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s “WeatherBlur” education project will bring the experience of an ocean research cruise to students in Maine and beyond.

“Research cruises are tremendously exciting, and sharing that excitement is a great way to interest students in science,” said Senior Research Scientist Barney Balch. “The ocean is endlessly fascinating, and learning about its vital role is essential to understanding life on Earth.”

Marci Train, a teacher at the two-room Long Island School in Casco Bay, will join Balch and several other Bigelow Laboratory scientists in order to engage students throughout the National Science Foundation-funded cruise. The research team aims to investigate how algae in the Southern Ocean may be affecting the future of sea life as far away as the Northern Hemisphere.

Marci Train with students

Throughout the cruise, Train will connect frequently with students in Maine and beyond. She will conduct video tours of the ship to show what a day at sea looks like, post learning materials on the WeatherBlur website, and share photos on social media. She will also assist with scientific operations and help conduct experiments.

“I can’t wait to have a first-hand experience with a scientific research project, and I think it is important for teachers to show their students that you are never too old to learn new information,” Train said. “It is important to get out of your comfort zone and share your own learning experiences with your students.”

Coccolithophores are a common type of algae that help form the base of ocean food webs, and they play a significant role in global chemical and carbon cycles. Balch recently found that they are remarkably scarce in the fertile waters near the equator, and his team aims to learn why during this cruise.

The Southern Ocean and equator are connected by an important ocean layer called “Sub-Antarctic mode water,” which forms at the surface of the Southern Ocean, sinks, and flows to the equator over a 40-year journey. Balch suspects that booming coccolithophore populations in the Southern Ocean are depleting its supply of essential nutrients before Sub-Antarctic mode water flows north, making the water layer sub-optimal for coccolithophore growth by the time it reaches the equator.

While at sea, the team will use satellite imagery to locate eddies rich in coccolithophores, whose chalk shells are so reflective that they can be seen from space. By measuring water properties in these eddies and collecting water to conduct onboard experiments, the researchers hope to uncover how coccolithophores in the Southern Ocean are altering this important source of nutrients before its long journey towards the equator.

“Sub-Antarctic mode water travels far north from where it forms, and it exerts a staggering level of control on much of the global ocean,” Balch said. “If coccolithophores are changing its essential properties, then they could be influencing which species grow in food webs as far away as the equator or even in the Northern Hemisphere.”

The team will use a creative approach to calculate how fast this water layer changes. The ship will follow Sub-Antarctic mode water for more than 1,000 miles on its journey to the Indian Ocean. As they measure the water’s basic properties, they will also collect samples at depth to measure freons, manufactured refrigerants that can be found throughout the environment.

Freons have constantly changed since their invention in the 1950s – a fact that today allows scientists to detect when water was last at the surface and exposed to freons in the atmosphere. Back on shore, a team from the University of Miami will determine which types of freons are present in different parcels of Sub-Antarctic mode water along the ship’s transect.

“Freons are a great timekeeper for the age of water,” Balch said. “We’ll use their time signatures to figure out how long it took a sample of Sub-Antarctic mode water to arrive where we found it, and to understand how quickly the water is changing as it’s moving north.”

The researchers will investigate these questions over 38 days aboard the RV Thomas Thompson. The team will depart from South Africa and return to the island of Mauritius in early March. The Bigelow Laboratory InstagramFacebook, and Twitter accounts will post updates during the cruise, as will the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

This cruise is the latest research topic to be explored by WeatherBlur, an online citizen science community funded by National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The project brings together students, teachers, community members, and scientists, who collaborate to ask questions, design scientific investigations, and bring back data and findings to discuss with each other.

Currently, WeatherBlur engages six Maine schools, as well as two schools from Mississippi and one school from Alabama. Train’s outreach from the cruise will be followed by more than 1,300 students and 26 teachers.

“I think this will be a wonderful opportunity for students to see all the different career options onboard a research vessel, including positions in research and on the crew,” Train said. “It’s important that students are exposed to STEM in action, and I can’t wait for them to be immersed in this experience and see how big scientific questions get answered.”