Maine DOE to Launch Maine Harvest of the Month Program in Schools

The Maine Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Program is excited to announce the launch of Maine’s Harvest of the Month Program. Currently in planning phases, the program is slated to launch in schools in the Spring of 2019. Jenn So has been hired by the Maine DOE as the Harvest of the Month Program Manager and will be leading the development, implementation, and trainings for the program statewide. This program is a collaboration between the Maine DOE Child Nutrition Program and the Maine Farm to School Network.

Program Background

Harvest of the Month (HOM) is a nationwide marketing campaign promoting the use of seasonally available, local products in schools, institutions, and communities. Each month, a different local product is highlighted and participating entities pledge to serve the product and promote it through educational materials and activities. The program launched in California and has been replicated by dozens of other states across the country. With Maine’s participation, all of New England will now have Harvest of the Month programs.

Maine Harvest of the Month Background 

In its pilot year, Maine’s HOM program will develop a unique Maine HOM crop calendar and create corresponding marketing materials and recipes for food service directors and schools to display and utilize. Regional trainings will be delivered to train food service staff and other interested stakeholders on how to best implement the program; support will be provided to schools as needed. The program’s goal is to increase the procurement and consumption of local Maine products in schools (K-12), and thus the total number of meals provided. To participate in the program, schools will sign a  pledge committing to: serve the local HOM product at least twice per month (local being defined as grown or caught in Maine); display HOM materials provided by the Child Nutrition office; and participate in pre-and post-evaluations. Schools are also encouraged to integrate the HOM into educational activities.

If your school or district is interested in participating, please contact Jenn So at jenn.so@maine.gov or 207-664-6639 for more information.

Join Maine DOE for the 2019 Read to ME Campaign

For the past 3 years, Mainers have strongly engaged in the Maine Department of Education’s Read to ME Challenge.  We are pleased to announce that Read to ME will launch for its 4th year.  This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same.  Hundreds of Maine schools, community literacy teams and other literacy related organizations have partnered in the annual campaigns and the Maine DOE is hoping that even more organizations will partner in the 2019 campaign scheduled to kick off the first week of February.

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.

We invite your school or organization 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 Partner 2019. Read to ME Challenge resources, including a guidance document, public service announcements, fliers and a list of engaging ways to incorporate the challenge are available on the Read to ME webpage.

Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity, and don’t hesitate to contact danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov  (624-6702) with any questions.

New District Human Resource Role Available in Online Certification System

The Maine Department of Education is excited to announce the availability of a new district human resource role in the state’s online educator certification system. The new role in MEIS (Maine Educator Information System) can be requested for district human resource staff by the superintendent.

This new role will provide the user the ability to view the districts certification (violations) report as well as any district employees up for a credential. Prior to granting this role, the staff member will need to create an account for themselves (if they do not already have one) in MEIS.

Once a staff member has created an account and has been granted the district human resource role, instructions on navigating to the certification report will be sent to the user via email.

Contact the Maine DOE Helpdesk for additional help.

 

Recording & Materials from Presentation About ESSA & Report Cards

The Maine Department of Education held a presentation on Monday, December 10 about the details of Maine’s Model of School Support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which includes the release of the new, user-friendly, public Report Cards in early January. Below is a link to a recording of the session and links to the PowerPoint Presentation, in addition to all of the handouts from the presentation.

Further questions about Maine’s ESSA Plan, Maine’s Model of School Support, and the Report Cards should be directed to Acting Director of Learning Systems, Janette Kirk Janette.Kirk@maine.gov or ESEA Federal Programs & School Turnaround Director Chelsey Fortin-Trimble Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov.

Maine Education Assessments Released Items Now Available

The Maine Department of Education is excited to announce the availability of released items from Maine’s 2017/18 state assessment. As educators begin to explore the released items for MEA spring 2018, we want to clarify a few inconsistencies within English Language Arts(ELA)/Literacy and Mathematics and provide some information about released items moving forward.

ELA/Literacy:

In grade 3 eMPowerME reading, the passage students read while completing the assessment is not available for reference. Unfortunately, the assessment vendor, Measured Progress, was unable to obtain the necessary permissions to release the passage for public use. Fortunately, the passage used is a commonly known text, Corduroy, (Freeman, D. (1987). Corduroy. Harmondsworth: Puffin Books.). Educators should pay close attention to the information contained within the released item to guide use of the materials. Moving forward, the Maine DOE has taken steps to ensure that all passages utilized in any future released items will have the necessary permissions obtained for both confidential and public release.

Additionally, when the released items first became available on 11/12/18, there was a misalignment in the numbering of the ELA/Literacy released items in the Confidential MAARS portal versus the Released Item Documents found in the Measured Progress’ WordPress site. In the MAARS released item chart, the Essay item, indicated by “Item Type” WP (writing prompt), was originally reported as Released Item #01 in all grades, followed by Reading, then Writing & Language released items.

This is an example of the way ELA/Literacy Grade 3 released items chart first appeared in the confidential MAARS portal:

releasedItems1

In the Educator Support Materials for the eMPowerME Released Item Documents (pdf), the last 2 pages are Math and ELA/Literacy released item information charts. In the ELA/Literacy chart (Grade 3 example below), the Essay is presented last, and the numbers for Reading and Writing & Language correspond to the item numbers in the released item booklets, but not to the released item numbering in the MAARS chart above.releaseditems2

The placement of the Essay score (Writing Prompt/WP) has been corrected in MAARS Confidential to appear as the last item in ELA, as shown below in the sample snapshot for Grade 3:

releaseditems3

The new, correct placement of the WP/Essay score for each grade is as follows: Grade 3=#14, Grade 4=#17, Grade 5=#14, Grades 6, 7, and 8=#16.

Mathematics:

When the released items became available on 11/12/18, there was a constructed response (CR) item in math omitted from the MAARS confidential reports in every grade 3-8. eMPowerME math released items include multiple choice items (MC), multi-select items (MS), and one (1) constructed response item (CR) per grade level. The math CR items have now been added to MAARS Confidential and are slotted in the tables according to the placement of the CR in the released items. The Math CRs are scored in 2 parts: Concepts & Procedures Standard (CPS) and Mathematical Process Standard (MPS) as shown below in the sample snapshot for Grade 3:

releaseditems4

NOTE: ELA/Literacy & Mathematics – The best way to align the released item numbering from the charts in MAARS to the released item PDFs is to follow the Tables on the last 2 pages of each grade level’s pdf titled “2018 Mathematics Released Item Information” and “2018 English Language Arts Released Item Information”.

Future eMPowerME Released Items:

The Maine DOE is committed to providing as many resources as possible to support instructional practice. One such support is the availability of released items. Unfortunately, the frequency in which the Maine DOE is able to release items is currently limited to 2017/2018 and 2019/2020. We will be unable to release items from the 2018/2019 test administration. There are many factors that have impacted this decision and the Maine DOE is exploring how to increase the frequency of releasing items while not increasing the amount of testing time for students. It should be noted that although released items will not be provided from the 2018/19 test administration, educators will still have access to the released items from the 2017/18 test administration in addition to the already available sample items.

Further questions can be directed to Lee Anne Larsen, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at 624-6628 or Leeann.Larsen@maine.gov