Governor LePage Recognizes School District Collaboration To Benefit Students

Released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has issued the following statement recognizing today’s State Board of Education vote to accept the scoring for the finalists for the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project.

“Communities across Maine are demonstrating that when the state provides them with support and incentives, they will work together to create more opportunities for students in an efficient and effective way,” said Governor LePage. “I commend the local superintendents and school boards for putting the needs of their students first.”

The Governor added, “Enabling Maine students to benefit from regional and collaborative approaches to education is the right thing to do. When these projects are up and running, they will serve as a shining example of what is possible when our communities work together to benefit students.”

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has implemented the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project as part of the EMBRACE initiative, providing support and incentives to communities that work together to increase opportunities for students through regional partnerships that enable efficiency and take advantage of scale that the communities could not achieve on their own.

Most recently, Maine DOE announced grant awards of $4.6 million to school districts to pursue more than $10 million in savings through regional projects.

 

 

 

 

 

Mainers take on the Read to ME Challenge

After First Lady Ann LePage launched the Read to ME Challenge with second graders at Gilbert Elementary School in Augusta on February 1, it didn’t take long for others across the state to join in the campaign to promote awareness of the importance of reading regularly to and with children.  The Saco School Department hosted Maine children’s author, Chris Van Dusen, who accepted the challenge and read to students at Fairfield Elementary School that same day.  Van Dusen quickly challenged the Saco School Department’s superintendent and Fairfield Elementary School’s principal and their efforts have even reached Maine State Senator Chenette.

A bit further north, Lewiston Public Schools’ superintendent, Bill Webster, posted the challenge encouraging educators, parents, and community members read to children throughout the month. Very quickly, students at Lewiston’s McMahon School stepped up to get busy reading followed by students at Montello Elementary.

Each year the Maine Department of Education (DOE) promotes 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.  Since the kick-off, parents, educators and community members have been stepping up to accept the challenge and issue challenges of their own.  With more than 60 partner organizations helping to support the effort, many minutes of reading have been logged across the state.

Some of the partners in the campaign have included institutions of higher education and community literacy teams.  In northern Maine, a number of staff and administration from the University of Maine at Fort Kent have read to students in three St. John Valley elementary schools – Fort Kent Elementary, Madawaska Elementary, and Dr. Levesque Elementary in Frenchville.  They targeted 1st and 2nd grade classrooms and read Mahalia Mouse Goes to College by John Lithgow to emphasize the importance of literary with the dual purpose of promoting college and post-secondary aspirations.

At the University of Maine at Farmington, Beaver Pride is strong for the challenge.  UMF has partnered with Mallett Elementary School.  UMF students have signed up to read to kindergarten and first grade students.  UMF students can also be Super Beaver Readers by signing up to read to second graders every week for 4 weeks.

Southern Maine Community College President Cantor read to 4th and 5th grade students at Skillin Elementary School in South Portland.

In Houlton, the Rotary Club’s community literacy team has plans to sponsor Read to ME Challenge events every Saturday in February.  They have combined reading with other fun activities at a variety of locations around Houlton.  Additionally, they invited First Lady LePage to read to students at Houlton Elementary School and to speak with their Rotary Club about the importance of reading to children.

Maine Department of Education employees are also taking on the challenge by visiting schools and day care centers to read to children.  During the February vacation week, the Maine DOE will be hosting a “read-in” during which employees can bring their children in listen to stories throughout the day.

For more information about the Read to ME Challenge, contact leeann.larsen@maine.gov.

Title I schoolwide program eligibility waiver request now available

Section 1114(a)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires a Title I school to have at least 40% poverty to be eligible to operate a schoolwide program. Schoolwide flexibility allows a school to upgrade the entire educational program of a school. ESEA section 1114 (a)(1)(B) permits a State Education Agency (SEA) to waive the 40% poverty threshold requirement, after taking into account how a schoolwide program will best serve the needs of the students in the school while improving academic achievement and other factors.

If a Title I participating school does not meet the 40% poverty threshold and wishes to obtain a waiver to operate a schoolwide program, the School Administrative Unit (SAU) must complete the attached waiver request form on the school’s behalf. If multiple Title I schools wish to receive a waiver, the SAU must complete a waiver request form for each individual school.

The SAU and school remain responsible for meeting all other ESEA section 1114 requirements for operating a Title I schoolwide program. This includes the development of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan that addresses the needs of all students, but particularly the needs of students experiencing challenges to meet State academic standards.

Waiver request forms must be signed by the Superintendent to be accepted by the Maine Department of Education. To ensure timely waiver approval, it is recommended that waiver requests are submitted prior to the submission of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan for the school.

Download Waiver

Please submit completed waiver requests to:

Chelsey Fortin-Trimble
ESEA Federal Programs & Title I Director
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04330
Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov

Opportunity to develop, pilot and implement an evidence-based preschool curriculum for Maine

The Maine Department of Education has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to adapt and develop an evidence-based preschool curriculum in collaboration with Boston Public Schools (BPS).  Participating districts will work with the Maine DOE and a curriculum consultant from BPS to make this highly successful curriculum relevant to Maine’s students.

Selecting and purchasing a curriculum, as well as providing the training and coaching needed for implementation fidelity, has been a challenge for many school districts with prek programs.  This funding will allow 10 districts (or fewer depending on the number of prek classrooms/district) to participate in adapting a highly successful, evidence-based curriculum that aligns with Maine’s Early Learning & Development Standards and is designed for Maine’s prek programs.

In addition to participating in writing, the curriculum teachers and coaches, and/or curriculum coordinators will receive materials, supplies, training and coaching to pilot and implement the curriculum during the 18-19 school year.

For further information and to apply, download the Q&A and Application or contact Sue Reed at Susan.D.Reed@maine.gov.

 

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.

Maine’s School Counselors being recognized during National School Counseling Week in the Hall of Flags

National School Counseling Week is February 5-9, 2018 and Maine’s School Counselors are invited to attend a recognition on February 8th in the Hall of Flags from 1:00-4:00pm.  At 1:30, words of recognition will be shared by Sarah Ricker, Maine DOE’s Student Assistance Coordinator, and Cameron Reny, President of the Maine School Counseling Association.  Then, Maine’s 2018 School Counselor of Year, Angela Avery from Biddeford Middle School, will speak to the gathering of school counselors and those who support the work of school counselors.  Preceding these presentations, school counselors and guests are welcome to enjoy refreshments and to visit with organizations who work closely with school counselors to bring comprehensive school counseling programming to their schools.

To learn about National School Counseling Week and find ways to celebrate your school counselor, visit the American School Counselor Association website.

For further information about this recognition, please contact Sarah Ricker at sarah.ricker@maine.gov or 624-6685

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE awards second round of EMBRACE grants for regional efforts

Augusta – The Maine Department of Education today announced that 11 new EMBRACE grants have been awarded to school districts and other education agencies. Made available as part of the statewide regionalization initiative, the round-two EMBRACE grants prioritize Enabling Maine students to Benefit from Regional and Coordinated approaches to Education. The awardees are partnering on a regional level to improve educational opportunities for students.

A total of 19 applications were received by the Department for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES) grant, which was made available to districts last fall. Of those 19 applications, 11 have been conditionally awarded funding. Based on the funding requests, totaling $4.6 million, the 11 awardees are projected to save over $10 million in a 5-year period.

In the first round of EMBRACE grants in 2017, 10 grantees were awarded a total of $4.5 million in funds for regionalization efforts, and in 2019 an additional $5 million in competitive grant opportunities will be available as part of the EMBRACE initiative.

Round two EMBRACE (FEDES) grant project descriptions:

Creating a Strong and Sustainable Regional Collaborative for Professional Development in Washington County

This project will re-establish the Washington County Consortium by creating a sustainable infrastructure for offering professional development in Washington county. This regional effort is intended to provide students with excellent school leaders and teachers.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Calais Public Schools
  • Cherryfield Public Schools
  • Maine Indian Education
  • RSU 37/MSAD 37 (Addison, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, Milbridge)
  • AOS 77 (Alexander, Baring Plantation, Charlotte, Crawford, Dennysville, Eastport, Pembroke, Perry, Robbinston, RSU 85/MSAD 19 (Lubec))
  • AOS 90 (Baileyville, Carroll Plantation, Cooper, Drew Plantation, East Range CSD (Codyville Plantation, Topsfield), Grand Lake Stream Plantation, Lakeville, Lee, Macwahoc Plantation, Meddybemps, Princeton, Reed Plantation, RSU 30/MSAD 30 (Lee, Springfield, Webster Plantation, Winn)
  • AOS 96 (Cutler, East Machias, Jonesboro, Machias, Machiasport, Marshfield, Northfield, Roque Bluffs, Wesley, Whiting, Whitneyville)
  • Washington Academy
  • UM Machias
  • Washington County Consortium
  • Washington County Leadership Team

 Great Falls Regional Support for Preschoolers with Disabilities 

This project will support the transition of special education services for 3- to 5-year olds into the Lewiston School Department with full implementation by August 2020 to ensure a successful early integration of students into district schools.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Lewiston Public Schools
  • Auburn Public Schools
  • RSU 16 (Mechanic Falls, Minot, Poland)
  • RSU 52/MSAD 52 (Green, Leeds, Turner)

Greater Biddeford CDS Regionalization Project 

This project will support the transition of special education services for 3- to 5-year olds into the Biddeford School Department with full implementation by school-year 2021 to ensure a successful early integration of students into district schools.

 Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Biddeford Public Schools
  • Dayton Public Schools

Kennebec Valley Expanded STEAM Outreach Project

This project will build on clear evidence of improved student outcomes to support the expansion of the current STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program, which was funded through the round-one EBRACE grant. STEM-related arts will be added to the curriculum and student access will be increased. The STEAM program will introduce middle school students to STEAM educational experiences and career pathways.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • RSU 83/MSAD 13 (Bingham, Moscow)
  • RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)

Kennebec Valley Whatever It Takes School

This project will support a middle school alternative education program that aims to reduce dropout and truancy rates by providing new and improved opportunities for at- risk students with multiple pathways for achievement.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)
  • RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • RSU 83/MSAD 13 (Bingham, Moscow)

 Northern Penobscot Regional Partnership

This project will support the development of a flexible regional service center that initially focuses on increasing program opportunities for students by creating an alternative education program, a shared world language program, and providing access to regional student support services.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 67 (Chester, Lincoln, Mattawamkeag)
  • East Millinocket Public Schools
  • Medway Public Schools
  • Millinocket Public Schools
  • RSU 30/MSAD 30 (Lee, Springfield, Webster Plantation, Winn)

PBIS Regional Professional Development Cohort

This project will create a sustainable, regional professional development program with a multi-tiered Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework using evidence-based behavioral practices shown to improve academic achievement and social-emotional growth among students as well as improving overall school climate.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 3/MSAD 3 (Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity, Waldo)
  • Brewer Community School
  • Indian Island School
  • RSU 20 (Searsport, Stockton Springs)
  • Wiscasset Elementary School
  • University of Maine

Southern Aroostook Area Regional Alternative Center

This project will create a high school alternative education program that will provide students with learning opportunities in career and technical education with the aim of increasing individual achievement levels and graduation rates in a personalized learning environment.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 29/MSAD 29 (Hammond, Houlton, Littleton, Monticello)
  • RSU 50 (Crystal, Dyer Brook, Hersey, Island Falls, Merrill, Moro Plantation, Mount Chase, Oakfield, Patten, Sherman, Smyrna, Staceyville)
  • RSU 70/MSAD 70 (Amity, Haynesville, Hodgdon, Linneus, Ludlow, New Limerick)
  • RSU 84/MSAD 14 (Danforth, Weston)

Unified Valley Cooperative Project

This project will support the development of a regional service center that will share central administration services and resources. This increased efficiency will allow resources to be reallocated to student programming including career education, world language classes, skill certification, and an innovation lab.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – MSAD 27 (Fort Kent, New Canada, St. Francis, St. John Plantation, Wallagrass)
  • Madawaska Public Schools
  • RSU 33/MSAD 33 (Frenchville, St. Agatha)

 Westbrook-Gorham Adult CTE Program

This project will support the creation of a regional adult education program that will provide adult learners access to career and technical education that will prepare them for high-skill, high-demand occupations that have defined pathways for advancement.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Westbrook Public Schools
  • Gorham Public Schools

Western Maine Standard Analysis

This project will support an audit of the programming and graduation standards across the regional members. The analysis will lead to greater uniformity of standards across districts to support seamless transfer of student achievement from school to school and collaborative staff development.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 73 (Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls)
  • RSU 9 (Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld, Wilton)
  • RSU 10 (Buckfield, Hanover, Hartford, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford, Sumner)
  • RSU 44/MSAD 44 (Bethel, Greenwood, Newry, Woodstock)
  • RSU 56 (Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru)
  • RSU 58 (Avon, Kingfield, Phillips, Strong)
  • RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)
  • RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • Western Maine Education Collaborative

 

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