New Online Certification System Training for Superintendents and Support Chairs

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will be offering training sessions for superintendents and support system chairs to learn the new online certification system this spring and summer (online training for educators will also be available later this summer).

At each training session participants can expect to learn how to log in, navigate the system, approve educator certifications, and manage their own certification. Participants will need to bring a lap top.

Training dates, times and locations are as follows:

June 19, 2017
8:30am – 12:00pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Jewett Hall, RM 190

June 20, 2017
1:00pm – 4:30pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Jewett Hall, RM 190

July 26, 2017
8:30am – 12:00pm
University of Maine at Orono, Donald P. Corbett Business Building, RM 100

July 27, 2017
1:00pm – 4:30pm
University of Maine at Orono, Donald P. Corbett Business Building, RM 100

Please RSVP to Brenda Vigue at or (207) 624-6852.

Maine DOE Summer Training Dates and Registration for NEO and Synergy

The Maine Department of Education is offering five half-day sessions for NEO updates and training and one half-day for Synergy Training. An additional full-day session will also be held for districts who manually enter information into the State level Student Information System.

During the NEO session, Maine DOE Helpdesk members will review changes to NEO, which include Maine State Reports previously located in Infinite Campus State Edition. Other changes to NEO include the new Data Collection and Reporting (DC&R) module, access to NEO, changes to NEO staff, and clarification of Staff and District Roles. There will also be a short session on Student Data Privacy. Attendees should include those who currently complete NEO Reports, those who previously worked with student reports in Infinite Campus State Edition, and those who will be doing these activities in the coming school year. Student data certifications will now be done in NEO, so Superintendents who certify reports may also want to attend.

A light lunch will be provided, and during this time, Maine DOE and Synergy staff will be available for questions.

For the Synergy session, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to upload student data required by the State of Maine. In addition, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to enter and validate student data that is not included in the upload process.

Upon completion of this session, participants will understand how to perform uploads and will be able to:

* Log in to Synergy and navigate the interface
* Use and understand Synergy concepts and terminology
* Change Focus to view other years/schools
* Create personal Navigation Menus
* View existing student information
* Find a single student or multiple students
* Enter and modify student data
* Truancy
* Discipline
* Use a Matrix to print student information or export student information to other desktop programs
* Create student filters
* Create Graph information
* Preview and Print common reports
* Save report settings

The August 1st, Manual Entry Session will be an all-day in-depth look at how to enter student information directly into the system. (NEO topics will not be covered at this session).

Dates and Registration

July 25
Houlton High School
7 Bird Street
Houlton, ME 04730

July 26
Ellsworth Elementary School/Middle School
20 Forest Avenue
Ellsworth, ME 04605

July 27
Orion Performing Arts Center
50 Republic Avenue
Topsham, ME 04086

July 31
Cony School
60 Pierce Drive
Augusta, ME 04330

August 1
MANUAL UPLOAD Schools only please. NEO not presented
Cony School
60 Pierce Drive
Augusta, ME 04330

August 2
Portland Arts & Technology High School
196 Allen Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

If you have any questions please contact Maine’s Data Systems Helpdesk Manager Shannon Bartash at (207) 624-6799.


Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Education Conference

Registration is now open for the Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Education Conference. The conference will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on August 14-16, 2017 and is intended for PreK and Kindergarten early childhood staff and administrators.

There are two training tracks to choose from and space is limited:

1. Building Blocks PreK Curriculum Training Track ($250.00) 3 days – this training session is appropriate for PreK teachers and Ed Techs and also for Kindergarten teachers that may be interested in understanding the PreK math curriculum for building alignment.
2. STEAM Training Track ($50.00) 2 days – This track is appropriate for any PreK or Kindergarten teacher.

Continental breakfast and lunch are provided each day as part of the conference registration.

Financial Aid is available.

Register for Early Childhood Conference

For more information contact Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Specialist Sue Reed at or 624-6632.

Webinar on ESEA equitable share participation of Maine’s SAUs and non-public schools

The Maine DOE will offer a WebEx session June 8, 2017 from 10 – 11 a.m. providing guidance to school administrative units (SAUs) and non-public schools in the delivery and agreement of equitable services under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The ESSA includes separate provisions governing equitable services for eligible private school students, teachers and other educational personnel, and families under Title I and programs covered under Title VIII, Part F, Subpart 1; as well as the Uniform Provisions Subpart 1—Private Schools: Equitable Services for Private School Students, Teachers, and Other Educational Personnel. Many of those requirements remain unchanged from requirements under the ESEA as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The ESSA, however, made a number of significant changes. Some of those changes are common to the equitable services requirements under both Title I and Title VIII; others are different.

The webinar will be conducted by Maine DOE’s Title I Consultant and Title II Coordinator, Jackie Godbout and Charles Lomonte, respectively. If you have questions prior to the event, please contact Charles Lomonte at 624-6723 or or Jackie Godbout at 624-6712 or

Topics covered during the webinar include:

  • Consultation requirements between SAU and non-public schools
  • Deriving the proportionate share calculation
  • Allocation of funds
  • Eligibility
  • Types of equitable services
  • Evaluation of assessments

To participate in the webinar, please click here.  The conference phone number is 1-877-455-0244, followed by conference code: 8223978943.

The Maine DOE offers ESEA equitable services training for those Maine SAUs and non-public school leaders who must consult about participating in non-public school equitable share resources.

Virtual Reality Immersive Expo

Reality Immersive Expo
6/19/17 from 10:00am – 4:00pm
Maine State Library

Register for the Expo (free) »

There have been many advances in technology that can provide educators with the tools to facilitate deeper learning of complex concepts, and provide students with a more immersive learning experience.

To help facilitate a better understanding of these tools and to bring Maine educators to the forefront of innovative education delivery, the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Sate Library have invited organizations that are using virtual reality in education to come and demonstrate their education tools on June 19th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Maine State Library.

There will be booths located in the atrium of the Maine State Library, and 30 minute presentations throughout the day by organizations, higher education partners, and local schools that have already begun to integrate virtual reality into their classrooms.

The intent of the day is to provide Maine educators with an awareness of these tools and to start encouraging innovative ideas about how virtual reality can be integrated into more Maine classrooms.

Presenter Presentation Time Location
York School Department 10:00am archives
Bates College 10:00am museum
UNE – The Alfred Lab 10:45am archives
History View 10:45am museum
Nearpod 11:30am archives
HP Inc. 11:30am museum
zSpace 12:15pm archives
USM – CI2LAB 12:15pm museum
Mount Desert Island High School* 1:00pm archives
UMaine – IMRE Lab 1:00pm museum
Maine Math and Science Alliance 1:45pm archives
ThingLink 1:45pm museum
Thomas College* 2:30pm archives
Apple, Inc 2:30pm museum

*Participant will only be presenting during the 30 slot – they will not be present in a booth throughout the day.

Download a PDF of the schedule »


List of Participants: 


  • Presenting: zSpace Learning Lab – zSpace combines AR and VR to create the ultimate learning experience. The zSpace Learning Lab includes a suite of educational software, hundreds of learning activities ready for integration into your curriculum, and zSpace all-in-one PCs.
  • Enhanced learning: Students racing to get to class? That was the scenario when Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District in New York introduced zSpace, a virtual reality technology that allows students to create, test and experiment in an interactive, 3D world. For the 2014-15 school year, students learned science concepts using the zSpace STEM Lab, which consists of a set of virtual reality stations, each outfitted with an interactive stylus as well as a wide variety of educational software ranging from life science to physics and engineering. Now, at the tail end of their first year using the technology, teachers and administrators recognize that the excitement has led to more in-depth and engaged learning in STEM subjects than they have seen in the past.
  • Website:

York School Department

  • Presenting: Google Expeditions – Bring Your Lessons To Life. Imagine exploring coral reefs or the surface of Mars in an afternoon. With Expeditions, teachers can take students on immersive, virtual journeys. From Machu Picchu to Antarctica to the International Space Station – where will you take your class?
  • Enhanced learning: York School Department has run over 50 Expeditions through the 16-17 school year. Every time one is run, students rave about how they gain a new perspective of what is being displayed. Expeditions not only engage students to learn more thoroughly, but is also teacher led to ensure they stay on task.
  • Website:

Bates College

  • Presenting: Oculus Rift setup and their current easy workflow for creating VR tours of historically reconstructed buildings designed by students in SketchUp.
  • Enhanced learning: In the last year several faculty in the humanities have become interested in having students work with the 3D modeling tool SketchUp Pro to create digital reconstructions of ancient cities and buildings. These projects require students to explore ancient structures through primary and secondary sources, and to use that knowledge to bring them to life in 3D with modern software tools, like SketchUp. Virtual reality improves upon this by allowing students to tour their 3D reconstructions in a much more immersive way, experiencing them as though they were really there.
  • Website:

University of New England (UNE) -The Alfred Lab

  • Presenting: NN/LM Technology Grant for Embodied Labs Virtual Reality Experience: “Empathy Learned Through an Extended Medical Education Virtual Reality Project”
  • Enhanced learning: Descriptive data from the post-assessments showed:
    92% agreed or strongly agreed that this experience helped them learn about empathy, 88% agreed or strongly agreed that the experience helped them learn about macular degeneration from the patient’s perspective, 89% agreed or strongly agreed that the experience helped them learn about hearing loss from the patient’s perspective, 93% agreed or strongly agreed that curriculum that includes empathy training is important for their future career.
  • Website:
    Embodied Labs:
  • NN/LM NER Funding:


  • Presenting: Imagine taking your students to the Taj Majal, The Pyramids of Giza, the Washington Monument or the Great Wall of China. All from the comfort of your classroom.  Whether you have iPads, Chromebooks, Macs or PCs in your classroom – Nearpod VR works on any device. And by using our VR headsets, you can make the experience more immersive.
  • Website:

HP Inc.

  • Presenting: Regardless of whether it’s in a classroom, lab or library, Sprout Pro prepares students for next-gen careers and elevates instructional techniques by engaging with immersive blended reality and STEAM experiences. With its dual touch interfaces, 2D and 3D scanning and digital inking, Sprout Pro enhances and improves the way educators and students interact with technology.
  • Enhanced learning: Sprout is not a VR solution, but it incorporates 3D imaging and there are many apps that work on the Windows 10 operating system, which Sprout runs on, that incorporate VR.  The following video showcases a school using Sprout, talking about how it has enhanced their learning experience:
  • Website:

UMaine IMRE Lab

  • Presenting: HandWaver is a gesture-based virtual mathematical making environment where learners at all levels can use their hands to act on mathematical structures directly, without mediating their intuitions through equations, keyboards, or mouse movements. HandWaver allows learners to make, modify, measure, and explore mathematical objects in a virtual three dimensional space.  We developed HandWaver to increase access to meaningful mathematical experiences for all learners.
  • Enhanced Learning: HandWaver was developed by the Immersive Mathematics in Rendered Environments (IMRE) Research Lab at the University of Maine. HandWaver combines aspects of dynamic geometry in virtual reality with new modes of building mathematical objects, such as the ability to use one’s hands to stretch objects between dimensions or revolve objects to create surfaces and solids. Our mission is to explore how new modes of interacting with virtual objects can transform mathematics education.
  • Website:
  • Youtube:

Thomas College

  • Presenting: The Center for Innovation in Education at Thomas College is working to design AR/VR learning experiences that involve the vibrant immersion and engagement factor found in educational game design. Two educational game design courses teaching these ideas and skills to future teachers have been added to the education major curriculum in the new School of Education at Thomas College.
  • Enhanced learning: How do great scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians often see the world? Through metaphor. One of the pieces that Ted Prawat, Assistant Professor of Education and Design Center Director at the CIE, has been experimenting with in this direction is using metaphor to look at the big ideas found in science and art by creating an idea card library for classroom teachers that utilizes AR.
  • Website:

Maine Math and Science Alliance

  • Presenting: MMSA will be showcasing a variety of augmented reality tools including ARIS and EcoMobile examples and discussing how these innovative tools are a magnificent fit for Maine’s rural schools, specifically pairing place-based pedagogy with student-led and designed AR and VR.
  • Enhanced Learning: When one thinks about rural schools, they may not necessarily think about innovative technology use in the classroom.  But throughout Maine, some of the most remote classrooms are forced to take a risk and build on the technology available to them to create fun, interactive, and meaningful learning experiences.   AR and VR are still finding their way into Maine’s classrooms, but in some classes and afterschool learning environments students are on the cutting edge of science communication as they use and design AR environments to share place-based knowledge about their community.

Mount Desert Island High School

  • Presenting: HTC Vive – Integrating the use of VR in high school. See how Mount Desert Island High School has been aligning and exploring the use of the Vive to enhance learning opportunities. We will cover existing applications in science, math, language arts, social studies, visual arts, and how coding and 3D design intersect with VR to inspire student design. We will also cover the costs and set up considerations for room-scale VR in the school setting.
  • Enhanced learning: MDI High School’s primary use of the Vive system has been to serve as a prototyping medium for their Intro. to Design Thinking course. Students in Computer Science courses are learning to use Unity to design custom VR environments which will provide a means for adapting the use of VR to align with specific learning objectives.
  • Website


  • Presenting: Thinglink is a cross-platform tool that allows teachers and students to create interactive virtual reality lessons, field trips and student projects for teaching and learning. Users easily add tags with text, images, audio, video and Google Docs on top of any 360 image to add an interactive layer of learning that engages students like never before. ThingLink is a game-changer in education because it moves students from passive consumption to active engagement, allowing them to achieve the highest levels of deep learning.

Apple Inc.

  • Presenting: AR/VR sandbox environment that is already present in the hands of tens of thousands of K12 students and teachers across Maine today, Apple’s core technologies, both macOS and iOS, uniquely support engaging areas of interest.During their 30 minute presentation they will present, Apple’s ARKit -Possibilities for Learning. Recently announced at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, ARKit opens up a virtual world of possibilities. They will take a quick look at what is possible, and then engage with participants around the possibilities for education.
  • Enhanced learning: On May 25, 2017 Apple’s Maine and national teams supported the Maine DOE’s 14th Annual MLTI Student Conference where students had the opportunity to attend Apple workshops like “Your World in VR” and “Aerial Videography with Drones”. Students reported that the workshops were “though provoking” and “fascinating”.


  • Presenting: HistoryView VR is the educational platform for teachers & students to access 3D Virtual Reality Field Trips powered by Matterport.
  • Enhanced Learning: Working with museums and historical sites, HistoryView is able to share local historical experiences and bring history to life for classrooms worldwide. In connection with Matterport’s state of the art technology, HistoryView is able to create virtual reality field trips for education and digitally preserve anthropology. HistoryView VR is currently working on multiple virtual reality and augmented reality projects with Merge VR, VIAR360, Edorble, and Gener8.
  • Website:


  • Presenting: The CI2 Lab develops individual and group creativity in an open concept, experiential learning environment. They will be sharing two student projects, a VR Art Gallery and a Game and AR project.
  • Enhanced Learning: Participants develop creative problem solving, critical thinking and marketable skills that foster innovation and community engagement.
  • Website:


Applications now being accepted for Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre

The Maine DOE Health Education (HE) and Physical Education (PE) programs are seeking quality, motivated applicants to join the Maine Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre (HEPEC). Participants of this initiative are charged with leading the way in ensuring high quality proficiency-based HE & PE in all Maine schools. Cadre participants will work together to provide Maine HE & PE professionals with curriculum, instruction and assessment resources and tools; professional development that supports effective proficiency-based education teaching strategies; and skills and resources to educate about and advocate for quality HE & PE. Successful applicants will:

  • receive training in facilitation and leadership skills and formative assessment;
  • develop and deliver professional development at local, regional and statewide events; and
  • develop a website for the field, as well as, establish other effective modes of communication to share resources and materials.

Administrators are asked to identify potential teachers (pre-K through high school) and encourage them to join the HEPEC for teacher leaders. Enthusiasm and a desire to learn and to lead are more important than the current years of experience. Interested individuals need to complete an online application and submit at least one letter of support from a colleague. Successful applicants will need written approval from administration to participate in the project including permission to attend all the trainings. Maine DOE has grant funding to reimburse substitute pay, mileage and lodging for training days as well as to pay stipends for the Summer Institute. To apply, click here.

For more in-depth information contact Maine DOE’s Health Education & Health Promotion Coordinator Susan Berry at or Maine DOE’s Health Education & Physical Education Consultant Jean Zimmerman at

Registration open for Maine School Wellness Summit

The goal of the 2017 Wellness Summit, Awaken Your Inner Superhero, is to prepare and empower participants to create and sustain healthy, positive and safe school environments for all school personnel and students. Participants will gain knowledge and skills related to establishing a school culture and climate that is committed to wellness. They will gather tools, tips and resources for implementing programs and strategies that can improve personal health and well-being; assist in establishing and promoting policies and environmental practices to build a culture of wellness; and enhance academic achievement. This summit is a component of the Maine Schoolsite Health Promotion Program (MSHPP) and is hosted by the Maine Department of Education.

This year’s summit will feature two keynote speakers from Maine. Opening the summit is Barbara Anne Cookson, a certified holistic health coach, fitness instructor, licensed massage therapist, author, and speaker. She will offer an interactive and fun presentation which will teach participants principles and practices for being better leaders, to be happier and healthier, and to reach their full potential. Her passion is motivating others to be the superheroes they were born to be.

Wrapping up the summit will be Retired United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. Travis lives an inspiring life as a quadruple amputee following his motto, “Never give up. Never quit.”  A genuine American hero, Travis with his larger-than-life personality, sense of humor and incredible spirit for life will teach and inspire participants to overcome obstacles or circumstances.

Also coming to engage the audience in how to activate a wellness program is plenary speaker, Stacey Vannah, a certified health and wellness coach who works with adults to support their wellness visions. Before becoming a full-time coach, Stacey spent over 20 years in the classroom, advocating for change and participating on school site wellness teams here in Maine. Stacey will take summit attendees on a journey of visualizing, planning and delivering wellness ideas. Required for her session are minds open to possibility, a willingness to think a bit differently, and the courage to unleash one’s inner super wellness power.

In additional to these fabulous presentations participants will engage in multiple workshops, an idea galleria, leadership skills development, networking, and planning that supports health promotion and wellness for one’s school, district employees and students. The agenda is designed to serve new participants to the summit and returning participants. All school districts will want to have representatives attend this event, Tuesday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 28 at Bates College in Lewiston, to bring back resources and tools for developing and sustaining a successful worksite wellness program.

The Wellness Summit is open to individuals or teams; anyone interested in learning about and supporting school site wellness. It is $125/person for both days or $75/person for one day. For more information or to register, please click the following links:  Maine School Wellness Summit highlights, the agenda and registration. Up to 13 contact hours can be earned.


Maine DOE seeking presentation proposals for Early Childhood Education Conference

The Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) conference team is seeking presentation proposals from PreK and Kindergarten teachers for the 2nd annual ECE Conference scheduled for August 14 at the Augusta Civic Center.

This year’s conference focus is “STEAM Starts Early”. The morning keynote address will be given by national speaker Doug Clements and the teacher presentations will run concurrently during the afternoon session.

Presentations will be 90-120 minutes and will present a unit or lesson plan created by the teacher team and grounded in core STEAM concepts. The audience for the sessions will be PreK, K teachers and instructional staff and administrators. Proposals are due by May 30 and should be inquiry, experiential and exploration based. The request for presentations is for a team of teachers consisting of:

  • PreK or K teacher and;
  • Art teacher and/or technology integrationist.

The ECE conference team will select three proposals, each of which will receive an XYZ da Vinci Mini 3D Printer with filament as an appreciation for their time.

For more information and to obtain a copy of the detail requirements for the presentation proposal, please contact one of the Maine DOE’s ECE conference team members listed below:

Deb Lajoie, or 624-6613 or;

Shari Templeton, or 624-6880 or;

Beth Lambert, or 624-6642

PYDI Conference – Creating Positive Climates for Youth scheduled for June 29-30

The Maine Event: Creating Positive Climates for Youth conference will be held June 29-30 at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. This year’s event combines the annual conferences of the Positive Youth Development Institute and the Collaboration for Perpetual Innovation into a single gathering of youth serving professionals and volunteers. With a long history of support and involvement from the Maine Department of Education, the event draws a strong following with presenters and participants from as many as seventeen states, Canada, and Scotland by providing training and information about key components to positive climate in all settings in which children and youth gather.

For educators, the conference supports many initiatives within the Maine Department of Education related to positive school culture/climate, brain-based practices for student engagement, and encouraging school-wide practices of inclusion for all students.

 For more information including a list of this year’s topics and registration information, visit the Maine Event: Creating Positive Climates for Youth conference website.

 For questions related to the conference, contact Donna Duffey, Conference Manager at 800-294-4322 or or Maine Department of Education specialist Sarah Ricker at 624-6685, or


2017 ESL Summer Retreat

The 2017 ESL Summer Retreat is open for registration. The retreat is scheduled for June 26th, 27th and 28th at the University of Maine in Orono. Superintendents, principals, district level administrators and ESL coordinators and teachers are encouraged to register for the retreat. Developed in collaboration with the University of Maine Project Reach, this year’s retreat’s agenda is linked below, highlights include:

  • Presenter Dr. Jessica Costa, nationally recognized professional development senior outreach specialist for WIDA.
  • Panel of Expert consisting of Superintendent(s), Assistant Superintendent(s), ELL Coordinator(s), Principal(s) and more to hold open discussion on best practices for enhancing collaborative structures and relationships to build quality language programs.

Retreat Information:

  • ESL Summer 2017 Registration » $125 – Full 3-day conference fee (includes on-campus housing). $100 – Full 3-day conference fee (does not include housing). Registration includes meals and materials.
  • ESL Summer Retreat webpage – additional updated information including retreat materials will be posted as they become available.

For more information about the conference, please contact Nancy Mullins at 624-6788 or