Maine Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Dan Chuhta visited two schools last week to participate in the Read to ME Challenge. His first stop was at Sacopee Valley Middle School, where he visited Mrs. Bryant’s 4th grade class of young mathematicians and scientists who shared all they knew about geometry, astronomy, space travel, and even the seasons. Chuhta read A Computer Called Katherine written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison, that tells the remarkable and true story of Katherine Johnson and her pioneering work at NASA.
He next travelled to Bonny Eagle Middle School, where he met the talented writers and scholars in Mrs. Deering’s 6th grade classroom. While there, he read two student written stories found in the outstanding anthology Shadowboxing, published by the Portland-based nonprofit organization, The Telling Room.
The Read to ME Challenge is month-long public awareness campaign to promote the importance of literacy for all of Maine’s students, regardless of age. The challenge encourages adults to read to children for 15 minutes, capture that moment via a photo or a video, and then post it to social media and challenge others to do the same using the hashtag #ReadtoME.
Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin launched the Read to ME challenge earlier this month with second graders at Solon Elementary School, and educators, parents, and families across the state continue to post about their reading adventures. There’s still plenty of time this month to grab a favorite book to read aloud to a young person and share as part of the Read to ME challenge.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Korey Pow at email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle School Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides an opportunity for Maine middle school students to experience hands on learning, workplace skills, and career exploration. CTE empowers them to explore interests and discover activities that are inspiring. It allows students to experience potential career pathways, and gives them an awareness of the many options that are available.
In June of 2017, the legislature enacted law to expand CTE opportunities by requiring Maine schools to provide access to developmentally appropriate CTE for middle school students (grades 6-8). To assist with this new opportunity, there is currently a new grant application available for CTE centers and regions to implement pilot programs in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. To kick off this new initiative, the Maine State Board of Education provided federal and special revenue funding in school year 2018-2019 for pilot programs.
Through the current pilots, middle school students are discovering the many opportunities that are available to them in CTE! These pilots have included summer CTE camps, professional development opportunities, hands on CTE tours, as well as after school CTE programs.
The Middle School CTE programs rely on collaboration between the CTE centers, regions and the middle schools. CTE centers and regions have oversight of the CTE programming and can assist with resources. The middle schools and CTE centers/regions work together to design programs that meet the needs of the students, and provide an engaging learning experience. Alignment with the middle school CTE standards is required for all programs. These standards are in draft form, and are being reviewed and revised through the implementation of the current pilot programs. The current draft standards can be found here.
For additional information please visit our new web site at https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/cte/schools/middleschool or contact Margaret Harvey at email@example.com
Bucksport Middle School is proud to host a Maine Department of Education Learning Design Lab on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019. The Learning Design Lab will focus on technologies used for project-based learning. Participants will learn from students and teachers in four different classes, spanning grades 5-8.
- The school’s Digital Media Club will share how they have created a digital newspaper, video announcements, and event recordings;
- The Gifted and Talented Art program will model ways iPhoto can be used for photo manipulation;
- 7th grade social studies students will show how they are using several technologies for their Greek mythology project; and
- Several 5th & 6th graders will introduce participants to their TinkerCAD projects that were used to create bubble wands and boats with 3D printers.
After visiting classrooms, educators will have time to debrief the experience with lead teachers and to be supported as they plan ways to bring what they’ve learned back to their schools. Bucksport Middle School students and teachers are looking forward to leading a day of learning, as well as an afternoon work session where they and participants can develop new ideas together!
- Date: Wednesday, June 5th, 2019
- Time: 8:30am – 2pm (arrival begins at 8:00am with light refreshments)
- Location: 100 Miles Lane, Bucksport, ME 04416
- Open to all Maine educators who have completed the fingerprinting and background check process through the Maine DOE as part of your employment in your local district.
- Free to attend
- Contact Hours: Educators can earn 5.5 contact hours
- Registration (please complete by Thursday, May 30th at 5pm):
8:00am: Arrival (light refreshments will be provided)
8:30am: Welcome and Introductions
9:00am: Student-led presentations
–Digital Media Club (Grades 5-8)
–Digital Photo Manipulation (Grades 7-8)
10:15am: Student-led presentations
–Greek Mythology Project (Grade 7)
-3D Printing (Grades 5-6)
11:15am: Lunch (will be provided)
11:45am: Conversations with lead educators
12:45pm: Supported planning time
1:45pm: Closing and Reflections
For answers to questions or more information, please contact: Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov