U.S. DOE Names Two Maine Students as 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars

The United States Department of Education (DOE) has announced that 161 high school seniors, including two from Maine, have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars. The recognition honors the students’ accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

2020 Maine U.S. Presidential Scholars

  • Neily Kate Raymond, Hermon – Hermon High School
  • John Bishop Wahlig III, Falmouth – Falmouth High School

Six Maine High School Seniors were announced U.S. Presidential Scholar semifinalists earlier this spring. A complete list of 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available at http://www.ed.gov/psp.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

As directed by executive order of the President, the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer as public health circumstances permit.

Data Review for Graduation Reporting Phase One Now Available

Graduation Reporting Phase 1 provides schools the opportunity to review and make any necessary changes to student data. This phase focuses on ensuring accuracy of start and exit statuses for students who are part of the 2020 cohort. The cohort is comprised of any student who entered grade 9 for the first time in the 2016-2017 school year.  The emphasis of this phase is on examining the accuracy of the enrollment data, including transfer-in and transfer-out statuses. Validation of these codes assists us in ensuring accurate calculations of four-year graduation rates. Graduation Phase 1 review is requested to be completed by June 15th.

Graduation Reporting Phase One Instructions:

https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/collection/helpdesk/resources/data-reporting-instructions

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Data Helpdesk at 207-624-6896 or MEDMS.Helpdesk@Maine.gov

Nominations Open For 2020 Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence    

Educational Plant Maintenance Association of Maine (EPMA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the best practices of educational plant maintenance and custodial workmanship through education and training for school custodians, maintenance teams, and facilities directors, is currently accepting nominations for Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence.

The A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence recipient will receive a personalized plaque and a $300.00 college scholarship that will be awarded in their name to a deserving student who is a graduate in their district.

Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleign Oxton Award for Excellence Selection Criteria:

  • Serves as a role model for students through actions of a dedicated employee who is known for going the extra mile to help students, staff, and visitors to the facility
  • Demonstrates passion about maintaining and operating the local school building to ensure clean, safe, and healthy learning and working environment, and
  • Demonstrates exemplary job performance,

Nominations are accepted from school administration, school staff, parents, students, and/or school groups.

Nominations Due Date June 5, 2020

Please send a nomination letter that:

  • Describes why the nominee was chosen
  • Explains outstanding performance that led to the nomination
  • Tells a written or visual story about the nominee’s community contribution or activities
  • Includes the name, address, and phone number of three references

The nomination must include: name, address, phone, and title of the nominee; name and address of the nominee’s supervisor; name and address of the School Administrative Unit; and name, address, telephone, and email of the person submitting the nomination.  Send your nomination by email to Andrew Madura, President of EPMA, at andy.madura@lakeregionschools.org and please attach your nomination letter as a pdf.

The EPMA Selection Process

  • June 5, 2020, nominations close at end of day
  • June 6-11, EPMA Selection Committee reviews nominations and invites nominee to provide additional information
  • June 12, Nominees will be notified about the status of their nomination
  • June 14-July 17, the top 4 finalists will be contacted to schedule a conference call or virtual interview with the EPMA A. Burleigh Oxton Award Committee

During the fall of 2020, the recipient of Maine School Maintenance Custodian of the Year A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence will be recognized at an award ceremony that will be coordinated by the recipient’s school and the EPMA A. Burleigh Oxton Award Committee.

Please contact Andrew Madura, President of EPMA, by telephone at 207-693-6467 if you have questions.

PRIORITY NOTICE:  2019-2020 Public Pre-K Annual Report

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) recognizes school administrative units (SAUs) across Maine are navigating new territory and have their days filled, meeting the needs of students, staff, families, and communities. To reduce workload, this year’s annual Pre-K report has been shortened significantly.

With that said, there is still critical information the Maine DOE must gather in order to meet its own reporting requirements. After reviewing other strategies for data collection, this year’s report will contain only a few essential questions.  Maine DOE will forgo collecting information about many other aspects of public Pre-K implementation during the 2019-20 school year.

The 2019-2020 Public Pre-K Annual Report is available here and will be accessible between June 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020. Thank you for providing this information which informs policy decisions that support our youngest learners.  Questions should be directed to Nicole Madore, Early Childhood Specialist, nicole.madore@maine.gov

Governor Mills Radio Address: Rising to meet an even greater challenge – distance learning amid COVID-19

May 15, 2020

Listen to an audio clip of the address here »

I am the daughter of a Maine public school teacher, so I know firsthand how important the work of Maine teachers is and the many challenges they have to overcome every day. Right now, our teachers and students are rising to meet an even greater challenge – adapting to distance learning amid this dangerous COVID-19 pandemic.

Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.

I want to thank all Maine teachers for their continued devotion to our students even as, in many cases, you care for your own children at home. We will get through this. In the meantime, you continue to guide your students through a very uncertain time, and inspire them and set them on the path to a bright future.

While you do that important work, it is our responsibility to ensure that you, and all of our students, have what you need to stay connected during these difficult times.
Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury now and yet too many families lack access to high-speed internet, especially in some rural areas of our state.

Universal connectivity is more important than ever before during this pandemic as teachers try to stay connected to their students across Maine.

So, I am proud to announce that we have used federal funding and donations to secure internet access and provide internet devices to facilitate at home learning for 100 percent of the Maine children who said that they needed it.

The Department of Education conducted surveys of all public schools and private schools who serve public school students to understand the connectivity needs of students statewide — 21,845 students said they lacked connectivity. That’s a lot of kids. Based on data from the 75 percent of schools that responded, about 2/3 of them said they needed a wireless service contract and about a third said they just needed a device, you know a hotspot or something.

So, to meet that need, our Administration has acquired service contracts for all those students through three different service providers, nearly all of which are for WiFi-enabled Galaxy Tablets that can be used as learning tools and hotspots or hotspots only.

Through one service provider, the Department of Education was also able to order MiFi, a wireless router that acts as a mobile WiFi hotspot. And, to fulfill the device only needs, the Maine Department of Education ordered (more than) 7,400 laptops.

The Department of Education is continuing to survey schools to determine further connectivity needs and they are reaching out to both higher education institutions and adult education programs to determine their students’ connectivity needs.

As we work on returning to in-classroom instruction when it is safe to do so, these new devices will allow Maine students to stay engaged remotely with their school no matter where they live, regardless of their zip code or their family circumstances.

I want to thank the many generous donors and Maine’s Congressional Delegation for their advocacy and support which made this possible.

To all Maine students, I know this school year has been very difficult, but I am proud of the way you have pushed through to continue your education. We will need your skills to create a brighter future for everyone in our state.

And to Maine’s teachers, please know that we deeply appreciate all you do for our children and for the State of Maine. I hope that these devices and these service contracts provide some measure of relief amid a challenging situation to you and your students.

I am Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening.