Seeking special education mentors for MACM Program

Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring (MACM) Program is seeking up to 50 practicing or recently retired special educators interested in mentoring conditionally certified first-year teachers for 2018-2019. Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring program is a collaboration between Maine DOE and the UMaine System.

The mentorship position requires the following:

Current or recently expired certification and endorsements in 282, 286, 290, or 291 and at least 5 years of experience supporting students with disabilities. Special education directors and recently retired educators are also encouraged to apply. Must be available to attend training in late June 2018.

For more information and to apply – view the online application.

About Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program

For conditionally certified special educators, Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program offers intensive, ongoing support and mentoring for up to three years from an experienced special educator in the same area of practice. Find out more information about the MACM Program.

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE seeks public comment for science standards

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current science standards.

The science standards are based on the National Research Council’s 1996 National Science Education Standards and include both processes (ways scientists investigate and communicate about the natural world) and bodies of knowledge (concepts, principles, facts, theories). Technology includes the design process and the study of technological tools and their effects on society. The standards are broken into grade spans (pK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-Diploma) and the five MLR standards for Science and Technology are organized as follows:

  • A – major themes that unify science and technology ideas, e.g. systems, models, constancy and change, scale
  • B – skills and traits of scientific inquiry and technological design
  • C – history and nature of science and the impacts on society
  • D – earth, space and physical science
  • E – life science

The standards review process opens with public comments and public hearings prior to the convening of writing teams that will review and revise the science standards.  Public hearings will occur on the dates and locations listed below and are intended to give anyone the opportunity to weigh-in on the direction of future science standards in Maine. Anyone may speak at the public hearings which will be live-streamed.  People wishing to speak will be asked to sign in and it will be helpful, but not mandatory, to provide a written copy of their comments.

  • February 27, 2018 – Cross Office Building, room 103, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, 4:00 – 6:00pm
  • February 28, 2018 – Houlton High School Library, 7 Bird Street, Houlton, 4:00 – 6:00pm
  • March 1, 2018 – Westbrook Middle School Cafeteria, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, 4:00 – 6:00pm

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on March 16th, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to sis.doe@maine.gov with the subject “Science Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Paul Hambleton, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Please note that the Department will also be conducting a review of the social studies standards. Public hearing dates will coincide with the dates announced in his notice (with different times so that attendees can plan accordingly).

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov.

Upcoming Summit focused on local foods for schools, hospitals, colleges and more

Maine Farm to Institution and the Maine Farm to School Network will be hosting the 2018 Maine Farm to Institution Summit in Belfast’s UMaine Hutchinson Center on February 9, from 7:30 am to 5 pm. This all-day event for those interested in cultivating an equitable and resilient Maine food system is open to everyone.

MEFTI Steering Committee member and Summit lead organizer Riley Neugebauer said, “We’re excited about the range of presenters and the variety of topics that will be covered. Since there will be over 60 presenters at the event, we think that there will be something for everyone, from those who consider themselves beginners in the field, to those who understand or have participated in farm to institution efforts at an advanced level.”

Renee Page, involved in the leadership of both MEFTI and the Maine Farm to School Network (MFSN), and Assistant Director of Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, said that this is a new initiative for the organization; in previous years, the Maine Farm to School Network took the lead on facilitating similar conferences that focused solely on farm to school. In order to reflect a broader vision of farm to institution efforts across the state and to ease the financial/organizational burden on the volunteer-led farm to school network, MEFTI joined with MFSN to organize the upcoming Summit, and to expand the program and outreach into additional sectors such as healthcare, colleges & universities, and prisons.

At the Summit, the planning committee members will gather institutional food service staff, farmers, fishermen, distributors, government agency staff, nonprofits and others to inspire and energize the network through sharing best practices and innovative strategies; and to strengthen collective impact by engaging food producers, educators, decision makers, leaders, and policymakers in shared problem solving.

Page said, “We see the Summit as an opportunity to expand the ongoing conversation around the farm to institution vision and hope that it will forge stronger and more comprehensive relationships among stakeholders, as well as lead to statewide business partnerships and strategic policy change.”

Organizers anticipate that attendees will leave with new skills, new perspectives, new partnerships, the inspiration to set and achieve bolder goals for Maine’s food system, and a clear understanding of the need for and relevancy of farm to institution efforts in Maine.

The welcome and opening remarks for the event begin at 8:45 am, with the event closing at 5 pm. Registration is $40; to register, or for more information about the event, please visit www.mainefarmtoinstitution.org/registration. Organizers encourage attendees to register online before the event at this link, but will accept walk-in registrations as well. The UMaine Hutchinson Center is located at 80 Belmont Avenue (Route 3) in Belfast.

In case of inclement weather, a snow date is set for Monday, February 12th at the UMaine Hutchinson Center. To find out if the event has been postponed, information will be posted on the website www.mainefarmtoinstitution.org and on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/534118093604257/.

Planning committee members would like to thank the following major sponsors of the event: Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Sodexo, Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, MaineHealth, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Farm to Institution New England, and UMaine Cooperative Extension. Additional sponsors include: Maine Farmland Trust, Let’s Go!, HealthCare Without Harm, USM Food Studies Program, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, MOFGA, Lakeside Farms, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Fedco, Farm Fresh Connection, Heiwa Tofu, PFG Northcenter, Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative, Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine, Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods, Healthy Acadia, Maine General Medical Center, Oakhurst Dairy, PJ Merrill Seafood, Crave Food Services, Maine Grains, Grandy Oats, Bates College Dining, VitaminSea, and The Maine Meal. Event partners include FoodCorps Maine, Maine School Garden Network, Maine Department of Education, and the Maine Network of Community Food Councils.

For further information contact Renee Page, Maine Farm to Institution/Maine Farm to School Network/Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, r.page@hccame.org (207-588-5347)

Maine Farm to Institution is a multi-sector network of people from across the state interested in increasing institutional purchasing of local foods.

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE seeks public comment for social studies standards

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current social studies standards.

The social studies standards include four content areas (Civics and Government, Economics, Geography, History) and a strand about the application of social studies processes, knowledge, and skills. Each strand breaks down the standard into performance indicators and descriptors by grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-Diploma). The standards also include an introduction and a section of key ideas in the social studies standards.

The standards review process opens with public comments and public hearings prior to the convening of writing teams that will review and revise the social studies standards.  Public hearings will occur on the dates and locations listed below and are intended to give anyone the opportunity to weigh-in on the direction of future social studies standards in Maine. Anyone may speak at the public hearings which will be live-streamed.  People wishing to speak will be asked to sign in and it will be helpful, but not mandatory, to provide a written copy of their comments.

  • February 27, 2018 – Cross Office Building, room 103, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, 6:00 – 8:00pm
  • February 28, 2018 – Houlton High School Library, 7 bird Street, Houlton, 6:00 – 8:00pm
  • March 1, 2018 – Westbrook Middle School Cafeteria, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on March 16th, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to sis.doe@maine.gov with the subject “Social Studies Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Paul Hambleton, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Please note that the Department will soon be making a similar announcement for the science standards review. Public hearing dates will coincide with the dates announced in his notice (with different times so that attendees can plan accordingly). Further details will be forthcoming. This notice has been edited to include Science standards review notice.

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov.

FEMA opens nominations to recognize youth for their work in Emergency Preparedness

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be opening up nominations nationwide for youth from grades 8 to 11 to join the National Youth Preparedness Council. Nominations will be opened for six week starting in late January, early February. If you know of youth involved in emergency preparedness work, who are part of Teen CERT, Medical Response Corps, or volunteer locally to help people with local emergencies, please let them know about this upcoming opportunity.

New England’s current youth council representative is from Connecticut and currently is serving her second term on this national council.

For more information about the National Youth Preparedness Council visit this website: https://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness-council

For additional information please contact Sara Varela, Regional Preparedness Liaison, FEMA Region 1 (703) 713-8819 sara.varela@icf.com

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE and First Lady, Ann LePage kick off February ‘Read to ME Challenge’

Augusta – Maine’s First Lady, Ann LePage launched the Read to ME Challenge today at the Sylvio Gilbert Elementary School in Augusta. Reading to second grade students at the Gilbert School, the First Lady shared two books, Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs and Baxter in the Blaine House, with her captive audience.

“When children are read to on a regular basis it not only helps learn to read on their own, but it also stimulates their imaginations, and helps them discover how to use words when they communicate,” said First Lady, Ann LePage.

Each year the Maine Department of Education (DOE) in collaboration with First Lady Anne LePage launches the challenge as an opportunity to help communities throughout Maine contribute to children’s literacy growth by reading aloud to one or more children for at least 15 minutes. Part of the challenge is capturing the moment via a photo or video and then posting it on social media (with the hashags #ReadtoME or #ReadaloudME) with a challenge to others to do the same.

ReadToMEChallange_GilbertSchool
First Lady, Ann LePage reads to second graders at the Gilbert Elementary School in Augusta.

“Reading aloud to children is one of the most effective and highly beneficial methods of building a child’s literacy, said Suzan Beaudoin, Deputy Commissioner for the Maine DOE. “The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day, every day adds up to hundreds of hours of language exposure that can set a child up for high literacy achievement in their educational experiences and throughout life,” she added.

Schools and organizations throughout the state have joined the challenge so that they too can encourage their community members to read to children and to be part of the collective voice expressing the vital importance that reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine.

See a full list of community partners for the 2018 Read to ME Challenge.

A Facebook Live recording of the event can be found on the Maine DOE’s official Facebook page.

The Read to ME Challenge runs through the month of February leading up Read Across America Day which takes place on March 2.

For further information about the challenge contact Lee Anne Larsen, Early Learning Team Coordinator for the Maine Department of Education at leeann.larsen@maine.gov

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Widespread Influenza in Maine

The following message has been provided by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza activity in Maine is widespread with laboratory confirmed influenza reported in all counties. Influenza A/H3, and influenza B have been confirmed in Maine indicating both strains are circulating.  Maine CDC has followed up on 52 outbreaks of influenza as of Thursday January 25, 2018. Influenza vaccination is still strongly encouraged and is widely available, especially to protect those persons at risk of severe disease.  The vaccine appears to be a good match to three strains (A/H1, B/Yamagata, B/Victoria) this year, and it is not too late to get vaccinated.  Nationally, the majority of the circulating A/H3 strains are not a good match to the vaccine.  Maine specific data is not available at this time, but it is assumed to be similar to the national picture.  Vaccination is still recommended as it will protect against the other three strains, and it may offer cross protection and decrease the severity of illness.

What can Maine schools do to prevent and control influenza?

  • Report outbreaks: Report outbreaks of any illness, defined as student absenteeism rates >15%, immediately to Maine CDC.  Submit > 15% absenteeism reports through the Department of Education NEO Dashboard Absenteeism Reporting application (for more information, see http://maine.gov/education/sh/contents/AbsenteeReportingNEOSHM.3.2017.pdf).  Field epidemiologists are available to provide consultation on infection control.  Reports may also be called to 1-800-821-5821.
  • Promote health among students and staff: Encourage students, parents, teachers and staff to be aware of their health and to identify early if they have influenza-like illness (defined as fever of 100 degrees or greater, plus sore throat and/or cough).  Promote four steps to prevent flu: wash hands, cover cough, stay home if sick, and get vaccinated.   Individuals should stay home until 24 hours after fever resolves without the use of fever reducing medications.
  • Increase environmental cleaning: Frequently clean high touch surfaces, like door knobs, desks, and light switches – this helps break down the presence of the virus in the environment.
  • Review school policy on sickness and health: Review with staff your school policy on illness among students and staff.  Invite the school nurse or physician to speak at a staff meeting or school board meeting to promote prevention of influenza.  Consider steps the school will take in the event of continued elevated absenteeism.

Where can I find more information?