Category Archives: Health & Physical Ed

Schools to offer CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction

Schools to offer CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction

The 127th Maine Legislature passed LD 556, “An Act to Require Public Schools to Offer Instruction Related to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the Use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).” Consequently, Maine Department of Education rule Chapter 41 has been adopted.

All students must now be offered training in how to perform CPR and understand how to use an AED prior to graduation.  This includes the current senior class.  Details of Chapter Rule 41 are available on the state website, but a few key points to note are:

  • This rule requires school districts to offer all students training in CPR and the use of AEDs some time prior to graduation. The instruction can happen for students at any time in middle or high school.
  • The requirement is NOT for certification in CPR or AED use; however a certification course would meet the requirement.
  • Hands only CPR with a psychomotor skills component will meet the CPR requirement and does not require a certified instructor. The American Heart Association (AHA), the American Red Cross or other nationally-recognized programs offer the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular guidelines. They also incorporate psychomotor skills development into the instruction.  There are several online resources available for teachers or other instructors to utilize.
  • The standards for instruction in AED use may not require the use of an AED but must include an explanation of AED use.
  • All public schools, including charter schools, are required to comply with this rule.

To support implementation of this new law, the AHA Maine Founders Affiliate and the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance have secured a number of CPR in Schools Training Kits.  If you are interested in borrowing a kit, you can click here to download the form or contact

For more information on the new requirement contact Susan Berry, Maine DOE’s Health Education & Health Promotion Coordinator, at

Resources to support Alcohol Awareness Day in December

On Monday, December 5, schools across Maine will raise awareness about alcohol use and abuse for Alcohol Awareness Day.

Maine statute recognizes the need for schools to address alcohol issues. The statute reads, in part, “Alcohol Awareness Day shall be observed by studying for at least 45 minutes, the use of alcohol and the problems and dangers of alcohol abuse upon the individual, the family, and society.”

This Alcohol Awareness Day, consider using one or more of the following resources to prepare a message or activity to enhance your health education curriculum. Click on the titles to learn more.
When You Say No To Alcohol, What Are You Saying Yes To? (Maine Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) This video profiles five Maine students who discuss their interests and reasons for choosing not to drink.  The message is that despite assumptions, not all students drink. The video discussion guide can be found by clicking here.

Too Smart to Start (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Too Smart to Start helps prevent underage alcohol use by offering strategies & materials for youth, teens, families, educators, community leaders, professionals and volunteers.

Brain Power (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Brain Power takes students on an age-appropriate exploration of the science behind drug abuse, explaining the effects of drugs on the brain and body.  This curriculum program has modules spanning grades K-9.

Heads Up: Real News about Drugs and Your Body (Scholastic)

A collection of articles and teacher lesson plans designed to teach students the facts about timely and practical topics in drug education, including alcohol.

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices Learning Center

Beyond observing Alcohol Awareness Day, it is important that Maine students be provided with education and awareness about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. This should be part of an SAU’s pre-K through high school health education curriculum and aligned to the Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction, Health Education Standards.  Ongoing curriculum programs are a vital piece of alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention education.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program also offers an online guide to assist Maine schools in creating, updating, and enforcing a substance use policy.  The 2014 revised guide, Substance Use Policy: A Comprehensive Guide for School Policy Development, is available on the Maine CDC website.  It provides recommendations and practical suggestions for a complete policy, based on the latest available research and best practices.

Schools seeking assistance or ideas for planning an Alcohol Awareness Day activity can contact the Maine CDC Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program at (207) 287-8901 or

Health education and physical education teacher leaders invited to apply for Maine 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;
  • participate in a cross curriculum lesson design initiative; and
  • provide input into the development of a website for the field to share resources and materials, as well as establish other modes of communication.

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.  Please note the orientation training is Dec. 1, 2016 in Augusta and the full fall training is Dec. 7, 2016, also in Augusta.  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

Summer Institute educates over half of state’s school nurses

The Maine Department of Education hosted the 2016 School Nurse Summer Institute, Kaleidoscope of School Nursing Practice last week at Bates College in Lewiston. Major focuses this year included the federal and state laws and rules related to school nurse practice in Maine, increased knowledge and assessment skills, and more.

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Making a Difference through Schoolsite Health Promotion and Wellness Programs

The Maine Department of Education hosted the 2016 Maine School Wellness Summit, Inspiring the Future!, at Bates College on June 22 and 23. Just over 100 participants representing 43 school administrative units and seven school-supporting organizations joined the conference.

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First Annual Maine School Wellness Summit is open to individuals or teams

On June 22 and 23 at Bates College, summit participants will be empowered to envision and create plans for a positive, healthy, and safe learning environment in their schools. The goals will be to improve personal health and well-being as well as define a culture of wellness that improves academic achievement. This summit is a component of the Maine Schoolsite Health Promotion Program (MSHPP) and is hosted by the Maine Department of Education.

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Maine elementary physical education teacher recognized

Liz Giles-Brown, a physical education teacher at South Bristol Elementary School and Southport Central School, was honored during the Professional Excellence Awards Ceremony recently for her work with Jump Rope For Heart program (JRFH).

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Maine DOE health education spring conference

The Maine Department of Education hosted the 18th annual Comprehensive School Health Education Spring Conference: Health Education Curriculum Training Options on March 31 at The Green Ladle.

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Feedback: A Valuable Teaching Strategy for Health Education and Physical Education, Part 2

The health education and physical education article focused last month’s Content Corner instructional improvement article on student feedback. This month’s article examines student feedback to the teacher. There are many sources for feedback about a teacher’s instructional practices. Administrators, peers and students can all provide valuable feedback to teachers that benefits all by responding to specific prompts for actionable feedback. Honest feedback from students can help improve teaching effectiveness. Teaching students the principles of constructive feedback is a beneficial lifetime skill and necessary to providing teachers will helpful feedback. Feedback needs to focus on teaching strategies such as class structure, usefulness of activities/assignments/homework and not personal characteristics or qualities. There are a number of online tools available such as the Great Schools Partnership resources found at and “Ten Tools to Try”  available at Teachers may also choose to develop their own Google forms for student feedback.

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Maine School Wellness Summit registration opens

The first annual Maine School Wellness Summit will be held on June 22 and 23 at Bates College in Lewiston, and the Maine Department of Education has now opened registration.

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