Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey Administration Postponed

Dear Superintendents and Principals,

The Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) has been conducted in the February of odd-numbered years since 2009, with the next administration due in February 2021. Given the extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIYHS will be postponed to Fall 2021. With a significant portion of students learning remotely in some capacity, high quality data collection is not feasible for the 2020-2021 academic year. Postponing the survey will reduce the burden on schools and increase the chances of securing high quality data on students’ mental, physical, social, and emotional health.

We ask for your help in making the fall 2021 MIYHS successful by registering to participate early. Our partner, Pan Atlantic Research, will send out Fall 2021 registration information this winter. We are also excited to announce that select schools will have the option to conduct their surveys online next fall! Please stay tuned for more information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jean Zimmerman at jean.zimmerman@maine.gov or Korey Pow at korey.pow@maine.gov.

Priority Notice: Maine DOE seeks public comment on waiving requirement that 21st CCLC programs operate only during non-school hours

In response to the unprecedented obstacles schools, teachers, students, and their families are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has offered an additional waiver to state education agencies, pursuant to section 4201(b)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).  Under Title IV, Part B of the ESEA, section 4201(b)(1)(A) requiring that 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs operate only during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session.  If granted, this waiver would allow 21st CCLC program providers in Maine to temporarily operate with greater flexibilities to better meet the needs to students and families during the 2020-2021 school year.

This waiver would grant the Maine Department of Education (DOE) temporary authority to permit its 21st CCLC programs to provide supplemental services when school is in session, but students are not receiving in-person instruction.  For example, it would be permitted that a teacher provides additional 21st CCLC-funded academic supports for a group of students during a remote learning day when those students are not otherwise engaged in facilitated instruction with their classroom teacher.

The Maine DOE continues to work diligently to support Maine’s schools and educational communities as the 2020-2021 school year begins.  Given the hybrid instructional approaches many schools have adopted this year, students may benefit from dedicated staff and enhanced resources to help with remote lessons, independent work, and other enrichment opportunities during the portion of the week when remote lessons learning is occurring.  It is for reasons such as these that the Maine DOE has chosen to pursue this waiver.

As part of the statutory requirements for seeking this waiver, the Maine DOE must solicit and respond to public comment on its waiver request as well as provide evidence of the available comment period.  This 15-day public comment period shall begin on September 29, 2020 and conclude on October 14, 2020.

Comments may be submitted to: travis.w.doughty@maine.gov

Calling all High School Senior STEM Students! Exciting FREE Opportunity!

Each year two seniors are selected from each state to attend the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). NYSC is a residential STEM program, designed to honor and challenge some of the nation’s rising STEM leaders. At the NYSCamp, STEM professionals present lectures and lead small-group directed studies on a broad array of STEM topics; some delegates are able to conduct research at the nearby Green Bank Observatory. The NYSCamp experience also features excursions into the Monongahela National Forest including backpacking, rock-climbing, caving, mountain biking, and kayaking.

Delegates are required to participate in the NYSCamp program for its entirety; the fast-paced activities and remote location simply make travel to and from the NYSCamp very difficult. The NYSCamp is offered to selected participants at NO COST, so that talented students may attend regardless of their financial ability – transportation included. This all-expense paid experience is open to students graduating between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Additionally, students must:

  • have documented superior academic proficiency, including recognition in mathematics or the sciences.
  • have documented leadership abilities and social maturity through involvement in school or community activities.
  • have documented skills and achievements outside the realm of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and outside the realm of academia.
  • demonstrate a curiosity and an eagerness to explore many and varied topics.
  • intend to pursue higher education and a career in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics-related field.
  • be willing and able to participate in the entire NYSCamp program.  The 2020 NYSCamp dates are June 22 – July 15, 2020.

Students will apply online by completing the application found at http://apply.nyscamp.org. The deadline to submit applications is 6:00 PM EST on February 28, 2020.

For more information visit http://www.nyscamp.org/ or contact Shari Templeton, Maine DOE Science and Technology Specialist, at shari.templeton@maine.gov

CTE Programs- Input Request!

In an effort to enhance Maine’s high quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, the Department of Education is seeking your input.

The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1984 was recently reauthorized as the Carl D. Perkins Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century (Perkins V) Act of 2018. Since the reauthorization, the CTE Team at the Department has met with stakeholders to develop the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) Maine State Plan.

Maine’s state plan is now available for public comment for the next thirty (30) days, with public comment closing on Monday January 20, 2020. The Maine Perkins V state plan is located on the Department’s CTE webpages. Feedback should be provided through the available survey.  Recommendations and comments will be reviewed and posted on the CTE webpage.  Input may also be provided, in person or in writing, during a public hearing for the Perkins V State Plan scheduled for January 9, 2020, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Burton M. Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street,  Augusta, Room 103 A and B. For additional information, please contact Dwight A. Littlefield at dwight.a.littlefield@maine.gov

Students Learn What it is Like to be an Educator at Thomas College Teacher Academy

With a steep teacher shortage facing many communities in Maine, Thomas College and the Maine Department of Education teamed up to offer a daylong experimental teaching environment to further engage Maine students who are interested in teaching as a profession.

Students from all over Maine spent the day at Thomas College to learn more about what it’s like to be a teacher. The aspiring educators were able to participate in college level education courses offered by Thomas College professors Richard Biffle, Katie Rybakova, and by Lawrence High School teacher, Eric Brown.

The courses covered lessons in social emotional learning, inclusion, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics education, and an overview of lesson planning and implementation – what to expect (or not expect), how to think on your feet, and how make the content relevant to students. The event aimed to give students a better understanding of education as a career path, by providing hands-on experiences that can help solidify their career aspirations, and at the same time give them a taste of post-secondary education.

The unique event drew coverage from WABI and Central Maine among others who were eager to report on a collaborative effort that aims to tackle the workforce shortage of teachers in the state of Maine.