MEDIA RELEASE: College Board Releases Free Parent Resources for Upcoming AP Exams

The College Board has released the new AP® Exam (Advanced Placement) schedule, which includes optional free, online AP classes and take-at-home AP Exams to support the challenges that students and families are facing because of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the Collage Board is also offering the opportunity for families to apply for help securing an internet connection and a device in order to take the exams.

Advanced Placement (AP), a program implemented by the College Board, allows high schoolers to take high school courses that can earn them college credit and/or qualify them for more advanced classes when they begin college. Many of Maine’s high schoolers were amid AP classes when they transitioned to remote learning. In a response to this drastic change in learning, the College Board has released additional resources for families and educators.

It is recommended by the College Board that parents and teachers whose students are planning on taking any of the AP exams take the weeks of April 13 and April 20th to help students work through the remaining course content and/or encourage them to participate in the live online classes and review sessions. Find them here: FREE AP Online Classes and Review Sessions

In addition, the College Board has also asked parents to let students know about the technology they’ll need to take the AP tests and to contact the College Board by April 24 if they need devices or connectivity. Here is where you can find information about getting internet connection and devices for AP exams: Information about getting Internet or a Device for AP Classes and Exams

You can find more information about the AP exams and the College Board’s response to the coronavirus on their website. In addition to the parent resources, College Board is also offering a listing of webinars among other resources for AP educators to help answer questions about the upcoming tests.

Keep Kids Moving, Keep Kids Learning!

During these cold winter days of cabin fever in the classroom, we want to support educators with resources to keep kids moving and engaged.  Evidence suggests a positive impact of physical activity on academic achievement and in reducing behavioral challenges. Active recess time, physical education classes, and utilizing action-based learning strategies in the classroom can all be part of the regular school day.

We share the following as a resource.

Programs to explore

Healthy Kids Healthy Futures:  Staff can learn about the benefits and best practices of physical activity in child care and early education (including pre-school) settings. Physical activity habits learned in early childhood can last a lifetime.

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program:  This guide is for schools and school districts to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive physical activity programs. School-age youth should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and schools have a significant role to play in helping students achieve this recommendation. This guide will help schools identify how to establish more active school environments.

Let’s Go: Let’s Go! is a childhood obesity prevention program found across Maine and in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire. These programs use evidence-based strategies to increase healthy eating and physical activity among children from birth to 18. The foundation for change is the 5-2-1-0 healthy habits message, developed in Maine and recognized nationally.

Explore Physical Activity:  School staff can learn about the five components of a comprehensive school physical activity program and how this new national model can support a culture of physical activity at your school.

I Can Do It (ICDI):  The “I Can Do It” program is a strategic physical activity program for students with disabilities in the K-12 school setting designed to provide access, equity, and facilitate and encourage opportunities for students with disabilities to be physically active for 60 minutes a day.

Specific Class Motor Break Ideas

Classroom Exercise Breaks for Elementary Students:  Classroom exercise break suggestions for elementary school classrooms.

Reading:  Literacy and movement suggestions to engage middle school students in acquiring knowledge. The suggestions require minimal materials and teacher preparation.

Scholastic Teachers:  Suggestions for combining both exercise and movement in early childhood classrooms across the content areas.

Math: quick physical activity games:  Movement suggestions to engage students while improving number sense.

Physical Activity Math Games:  A list of possibilities for supporting kinesthetic learners during mathematics instruction.

Classrooms in Motion :  A review resource hub for teachers committed to infusing movement into their instructional plans.

For more information or to share ideas, contact Jean Zimmerman, Health and Physical Ed. Consultant, at  Jean.zimmerman@maine.gov or 207-624-6687.

Maine Forest Collaborative Brings Together Rural Students for Resource-Based Educational Opportunity

Maine students from rural communities came to the Maine State Capitol last week as part of a unique learning opportunity offered by The Maine Forest Collaborative. The collaborative, created and administered by the Rural Aspirations Project, is a cooperative of rural schools embedded in forest industry communities in rural Maine, which aims to give students in rural communities the opportunity to develop deeper connections to their community through participating and contributing in ways that make it stronger.

In its first cohort, with around 30 students participating last week, there were students from Buckfield, Forest Hills, Jackman, and Greenville, and more on deck to start in the next semester. The learning opportunity provides students with a three-unit curriculum: Identifying Challenges, Rapid Prototyping Solutions, and Investigating Solutions. Grounded on the question, “How can we use natural resources to positively impact local communities,” the lesson invites students to work together to identify challenges that their community is facing, and then find solutions to those challenges by using resources available within the community.

The second unit, Rapid Prototyping Solutions, is what students were working on last week at the Maine State Capitol’s Fall of Flags. The location was chosen as a way to raise awareness about the project, but also to show participating students the impact they have on decision making at the State level, as they work among lawmakers and politicians who grapple with many of the same challenges and problem solving, whether they are rural and community-based or State level.

Students started the day by presenting the story of their community, with posters they made ahead of time. Their presentations included information about the geography of their community, the natural resources present, who they are, what is amazing about their community, their hopes and dreams, and questions they still have. After the presentations, they began working in groups to identify challenges, pick a challenge to work on, and brainstorm a solution to that challenge. Maine forest industry professionals were also present to help facilitate the group work and lend a helping-hand.  lending their years of work experience in Maine’s forest industry with Maine’s many natural resources.

Students left the State House last week with a deep appreciation for not only their own community, but for their rural neighbors was well. They also got to participate in an interdisciplinary, project-based learning experience that strengthens their connection to their own community and the State as a whole, and aims to tackle a community challenge that they care deeply about.

Following last week’s lesson, students will embark on unit three, which will identify the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the solution they came up with, and they will also make a plan to communicate the solution to the public.

For more information about the Maine Forest Collaborative, the curriculum, or how to participate in this unique learning opportunity, please contact the Rural Aspirations Project.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment on Health Education and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages 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 health education and physical education, visual and performing arts, and world languages standards. Find links to each of the current standards below along with details for submitting comments.

Current Standards:

The standards review process opens with a public comment period and a public hearing, prior to the convening of steering committees who are charged with reviewing all submitted comments and with developing blueprints for the revision of the state standards in their assigned content area. Once the blueprints are created, writing teams, consisting of pk-12 teachers who represent Maine’s cultural and geographical diversity, will assemble to draft the standards revisions.

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 comments.

Public hearings will occur on October 23rd in room 103 at the Cross Building, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, from 1-4pm. A link to the live-streamed hearings will be available prior to the public hearing.

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on November 8th, 2019. Written comments may be sent to Standards Review at sis.doe@maine.gov, or mailed to Beth Lambert, 23 SHS Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Seeking Public Comment on Career and Technical Education Performance Indicators

In an effort to increase high quality CTE programs, Maine needs your input. The Maine Department of Education-Career and Technical Education Team has posted the proposed performance indicators for public comment as part of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act(Perkins V). The performance indicators,  referenced as Perkins V Accountability Measures, can be found on the DOE-CTE web site as well as a survey to allow for feedback.  These will be posted for 60 days to allow for public comment, after which recommendations will be reviewed by the CTE Team. For more information, contact Dwight Littlefield at dwight.littlefield@maine.gov.