Maine DOE Thanks Maine Educators Serving on Multi-State Alternate Assessment Item Review Committee

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) wishes to thank the ten Maine educators who recently participated in the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) Item Review Committee in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

MSAA is Maine’s alternate assessment is based on alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAAS) in ELA/literacy and mathematics, for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who have been found eligible by the IEP Team.  As a partner in the MSAA Consortium, Maine engages actively in the ongoing development cycle of this assessment throughout the year. As a result of this collaboration, Maine’s students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in state assessment that has been designed with input from the same dedicated and expert Maine educators who serve this population every day.

During the Item Review Committee, Maine educators served on panels to review proposed items for the Spring 2023 MSAA.  Items were reviewed for both alignment to content and potential bias and sensitivity issues. Panelists also provided critical feedback on the accessibility of items across diverse student populations.  During this experience, Maine participants collaborated with educators from across the MSAA Partner Entities: TN, AZ, MT, DC, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department of Defense Schools, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The expertise of Maine educators is critical to the development of the state’s alternate assessments. Their engagement ensures that Maine continues to strive towards high standards and achievement for all Maine students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Many thanks to the following panelists for sharing their time and expertise during this review!

 

School Renovation Funding Available

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is accepting applications to receive funding for school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The application deadline is October 31, 2022.

The Maine DOE will be able to approve approximately $10 million in SRRF loans. A portion of each loan will be considered a grant and will be forgiven. The remaining portion will be paid back over either five or ten years with no interest. The maximum loan amount is limited to $1 million per school building per priority in any five-year period.

Applications for Priority One projects will be accepted.  Priority One projects include indoor air quality improvement, structural roof repair, hazardous material abatement or removal, ADA compliance upgrades, and other health, safety and compliance renovations.

The SRRF application and additional information are available on the Maine DOE’s SRRF website. For more information or technical assistance, contact Ann Pinnette at 207-215-3809 or email ann.pinnette@maine.gov.

 

U.S. Department of Education Special Event: Reimagining Our Investments for Strengthening Educator Effectiveness

Many teachers in the U.S. are feeling stretched beyond their limits. In fact, one in four American teachers reported considering leaving their jobs by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Overall staffing levels in schools are down across the nation, often forcing remaining teachers to “do double duty” to address student well-being and overcome the impact of lost instructional time. School systems are finding new and innovative ways to encourage, invest in, and lift up teachers across America by pursuing strategies to increase teacher collaboration, reduce teacher workload, attend to dimensions of teacher wellness, and enact inclusive practices to attract and retain high-quality teachers.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Effective Educator Development (EED) Division is hosting a special Powered by Teach to Lead event. This event will convene P-12 school districts focused on strengthening educator effectiveness through projects aligned with

  • increasing teacher collaboration through innovative scheduling,
  • supporting educator wellness using targeted practices, and
  • investing in a talented and diverse teacher pipeline.

What is Powered by Teach to Lead?

Powered by Teach to Lead events provide teams with collaboration time, skills development, and professional consultation to develop and refine innovative projects that can make a positive impact for educators and students in their schools, communities, districts, and states.

What are the benefits for teams attending this event?

  • Collaboration time to develop and refine a theory of action that addresses a challenge within a district, region, or state
  • Obtain the support of a dedicated “critical friend” to facilitate thinking and advance the project work
  • Build relationships with the U.S. Department of Education, other education partners, and innovative peers in the field
  • Participate in learning experiences related to implementation planning
  • Register at no cost and receive free on-site lodging

Who should apply?

  • Any team that has been engaged in innovative work for at least one school year is encouraged to apply HERE by 11:59 pm ET on July 15, 2022. Accepted teams will be notified by the end of July.
  • Teams must have 4-6 members, consisting of at least one teacher, and should represent the expertise, authority, and perspective required to do the work effectively (e.g., superintendent, principal, collective bargaining representative, curriculum specialist, teacher, board of education member, and other individuals with diverse perspectives).
  • The focus of the work may be at the school, district, or regional level, and must focus on one of these key areas:
    • increasing teacher collaboration time using innovative scheduling practices – for example, four-day school week, extended school day, professional learning communities, embedded professional learning, common planning time, and alternative approaches to the traditional teacher workload
    • supporting educator (teacher and principal) well-being using innovative approaches – for example, targeted efforts focused on dimensions of educator wellness (e.g., emotional, environmental, or social wellness) or inclusive practices
    • investing in a talented and diverse teacher pipeline – for example, diversifying the educator workforce, implementing grow-your-own programs and teacher residency programs, supporting teachers in earning additional certification in high-demand areas, and creating opportunities for teacher advancement and leadership

Event Logistics

  • Accepted teams will convene virtually in advance of the event for approximately 60 minutes.
  • The event begins at 1:00PM ET on Friday, September 16, and ends at 5:00PM ET on Saturday, September 17.
  • There is no registration cost for this event, and participants will receive free on-site lodging.

For more information, visit https://eed.communities.ed.gov/#program/2022-powered-by-ttl-special-event and please contact the EED Technical Assistance Center EED-TA@aemcorp.com. Submissions can be submitted HERE.

Job Openings for First4 AmeriCorps Program – Info Session 7/8

Child Development Services (CDS) in collaboration with Kennebec Valley Community Action (KVCAP)/Educare Central Maine are recruiting for the First4 AmeriCorps program.  If you know someone interested in working with young children please share the AmeriCorps information found at https://www.flipsnack.com/…/americorps…/full-view.html.

An information session will be held on July 8th at 8:30am – Interested people may register here. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please plan to attend the information session to learn more, meet current members, hear what they do in classrooms, and ask questions.

For further information please reach out to agiallombardo@kvcap.org.

Maine Students’ Software Design and Development Skills Showcased in Maine App Challenge

In a ceremony on June 18th, Tyler Technologies, Inc. announced the three winners of their 2022 Tyler Technologies Maine App Challenge. The contest provides students the opportunity to explore software design and development by using their creativity to design a mobile app. This year’s winners are Yuliya Buturlia of Scarborough High School, Frazier Dougherty of Yarmouth High School, and Ian Lajoie of Biddeford Regional Center for Technology. 

Buturlia’s first place app, ScheduleStorm, allows students to schedule meetings with their teachers, anytime and from anywhere. 

Dougherty’s second place app, Train ME 2, allows users to create customizable workouts or choose from a database of premade workouts. This inclusive workout app is for all activity levels and allows users to track progress and set individual goals. 

Lajoie’s third place app, Quick Work, helps users easily find videos and information from experts on how to troubleshoot problems with their vehicle.  

The winners received scholarships totaling $10,000, and the top 10 submissions receiving a guaranteed internship interview after their sophomore year of college. The first 50 submissions each year also receive a tablet, and the high school with the highest participation receives $500. 

More information about the Tyler Technologies Maine App Challenge and next years application can be found on the Tyler Technologies website.