Pre-K Expansion Grant Funding Informational Session

Interested in starting or expanding public pre-k in your school administrative unit during the 2023-24 school year?  If so, the Maine DOE’s Early Learning Team invites you to attend an informational session regarding a Pre-K Expansion Grant opportunity that will be available later this year.

Pre-K Expansion Grant Funding Informational Session
Date: June 23, 2022
Time:
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Description: To review the grant opportunity and anticipated requirements.
Register here

Twelve Maine School Administrative Units (SAUs) were awarded Pre-K Expansion grants totaling $2.2 million for start-up or expansion of pre-k programming during the 2022-23 school year. The Pre-K Expansion grants, authorized through Maine’s Jobs and Recovery Plan (American Rescue Plan Act allocation), provide funds to the Department of Education to support SAUs with start-up activities necessary to establish new or expanded public prekindergarten programs to address the inequities in availability of early education opportunities resulting from the COVID pandemic.  Households with young children have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.  This project directly addresses this harm by supporting schools to overcome barriers that are preventing them from starting and expanding public pre-k and to transition from part-time to full-time programming, thus increasing the number of young children in high-quality prekindergarten.  A greater availability of full-time prekindergarten slots will support parents with young children to work and prepare young children for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Round two of pre-K expansion grant funding will be released to applicants in the late summer/early fall of 2022. Funding for this round will amount to approximately seven million dollars for Pre-K expansion in school year 2023-2024. Interested SAUs should monitor the DOE Newsroom as well as the Division of Procurement Services site for release of the next RFA.

Questions may be directed to the Director of Early Learning, leeann.larsen@maine.gov, or the Early Childhood Specialist, nicole.madore@maine.gov.

 

 

MTSS Summer Opportunities – Office Hours, Book Club and More!

The Maine Department of Education’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) summer office hours are shifting slightly for July and August. There will be two different office hour offerings, one specifically for questions and guidance around Gifted and Talented (GT) renewal, and one for general MTSS.

What’s Happening with GT? – On Friday, July 1st, a brief renewal application for gifted and talented programs will become available on the MTSS-GT website. All schools, whether they previously had a funded program or a waiver, must submit a renewal application for the next school year. Renewal applications will close on September 30th.

General office hour will be Tuesdays 11AM-12PM. GT renewal office hour on select Tuesdays from 12PM-1PM: July 5, August 16, September 13, July 19, August 30, September 27

Click here to register for all MTSS Office Hour sessions.

MTSS Monday Minute

Beginning June 6th, check the MTSS YouTube playlist for the MTSS M&M topic for the week. What’s an MTSS M&M? An MTSS M&M topic is a 3-4 minute video that will explain one tiny MTSS concept in a bite-sized clip. But wait, there’s more! The district with the most watched M&M’s will get a shoutout on the MTSS website, so be sure to leave a comment responding to the call to action embedded in each video with the name of your district to get your minutes counted! How many M&M’s will you watch?!?

Click here to go to the playlist

Summer Book Club

Join us for the first ever MTSS book club experience! Rather than a traditional text study, this reading experience will function much more like your typical book club. Participants will have about 4-weeks to complete the text at their own pace, then join the virtual discussion via zoom to discuss the book with colleagues. It’s that easy! Already read the text? Great! Feel free to join the conversation! Books will be provided to the first 25 educators who sign up. If you do sign up, and receive the book, please commit to
attending the virtual meeting via Zoom. Bring your innovative mindset, and enjoy some summer learning with your peers!

  • JUNE –  Effective Universal Instruction: An Action Oriented Approach to Improving Tier 1 by Kimberly Gibbons, Sarah Brown, and Bradley Niebling, Thursday, July 14, from 10:00-11:30 AM. Register by June 10th – Click here to Register for June Book Club!
  • JULY – The Knowledge Gap by Natalie Wexler, Thursday, August 11th, from 10:00-11:30 AM. Register by July 8th – Click here to Register for July Book Club.

Download the MTSS-GT Flyer to post at your school

For further information about any of the MTSS or GT summer opportunities, please reach out to Andrea L. Logan, Maine DOE Multi-tiered Systems of Support Specialist at andrea.logan@maine.gov.

Reminder: 2022 Pre-K for ME and K for ME Program Summer Training Opportunities

Since 2018, the Maine Department of Education has adapted and piloted open-source Pre-k and Kindergarten programs based on the Boston Public School’s evidence-based Focus on K1 and Focus on K2 curriculaPre-K for ME was launched in 2019.  K for ME was launched in 2021.  These programs focus on the whole child and are interdisciplinary and developmentally appropriate.  They are also aligned to Maine’s learning standards.  While Maine schools are responsible for the purchase of the materials that support the programs, the programs can be accessed at no cost via the Maine DOE’s website.  Informational overviews for each of the programs available through the following links:

Pre-K for ME Informational Overview

K for ME Informational Overview

Educators/schools/programs interested in utilizing Pre-K for ME and/or K for ME in the coming year may want to take advantage of 2-day initial trainings scheduled for August 1 and 2, 2022.  These trainings are provided to promote understanding of program design and to support successful program implementation.  School administrators are strongly encouraged to attend the trainings with their Pre-K and/or Kindergarten teachers.  This year’s training opportunities will be held in-person in the Augusta area.  Registration for these trainings should be completed at the school/program level.  Principals and educators should complete one registration on behalf of their school/program.  Details about location of and how to prepare for the trainings and the materials needed to support the programs will be provided via email after registrations are received. Registrations for the 2-day training should be received by June 30, 2022.

Registration Links:

Pre-K for ME 2-day Training Registration

K for ME 2-day Training Registration

For additional information about Pre-K for ME, contact Nicole.Madore@maine.gov, and for K for ME, contact Leeann.Larsen@maine.gov.

Resources for Educators, Students, Parents, and Schools Following the Uvalde Texas School Shooting

Once again, our school leaders and teachers are tasked with helping our students and their families grapple with the senseless murder of young children and their educators inside a school, this time at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our school staff are dealing with their own emotions, all while trying to assure themselves, their students, and parents that our schools are safe.  

We stand alongside the Uvalde community in their grief and our hearts go out to the entire Robb Elementary School community dealing with the trauma inflicted by this shooter. 

Supporting one another and responding to the needs of students becomes the primary focus during a time of tragedy such as this. The entire Maine Department of Education (DOE) stands ready to assist our Maine educators, students, and families as we focus on keeping our schools, students, and staff safe and supported. 

  • For questions or concerns, please reach out to your school-based mental health professionals such as the school counselor or social worker. Parents and students can also call 211 for additional community resources.  If you are a parent and believe your or your child’s mental well-being is in jeopardy, call or text 1-888-568-1112 or emergency responders.  
  • If you are an educator in need of additional support, The FrontLine WarmLine is also available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week by calling 207-221-8196 or texting 898-211. 
  • For resources on how best to talk with and support children as they process the latest school shooting, please see the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Association of School Psychologists resource pages:  
  • The Maine DOE’s Office of School and Student Supports (OSSS) continues to provide additional resources and technical assistance to school personnel and school-based mental health specialists, and can be reached at DOEschoolandstudentsupports@maine.gov.
  • As schools are once again considering their own safety plans and protocols, please know that the Department of Education’s Maine School Safety Center (MSSC) is available to provide resources, technical assistance, and support to schools. For more information or to contact the MSSC, please see the MSSC webpage 

Free Virtual Summer Workshop on Navigating Historical Themes

The Maine Department of Education’s partnership with Network Maine is excited to share a free virtual summer professional development workshop for teachers, offered by the Presidential Libraries and the Presidential Primary Sources Project (PPSP).   Presidential Character and Decision Making is a three-day online workshop from July 12-14, 2022, focused on presenting teachers with tools and primary sources to help them navigate historical themes in their curriculum.

This workshop is hosted by the Internet2 Community Anchor Program and is available to Maine’s K-12 teachers thanks to the University of Maine’s membership in Internet2. (Internet2 is the United States’ Research and Education Network much like Network Maine is Maine’s.)

Details:

Workshop: Presidential Character and Decision Making
Location: Online via Zoom, hosted by the Internet2 Community Anchor Program
Schedule: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT, July 12-14, 2022
Registration: https://forms.gle/DKqA3hGSh8z845jA8
Cost: FREE as a thank you to teachers for getting through this school year!

The 2022 workshop offers teachers the opportunity to learn and interact with presenters from the Hoover Library, FDR Library, Truman Library, Johnson Library, Nixon Library, Carter Library, Reagan Library, George W. Bush Library, George H.W. Bush Library, and Clinton Library. Numerous teaching activities, lesson plans, and interactive resources will be shared throughout the week by each presenting institution.

For more information, read Internet2 CAP’s latest blog post or visit the workshop homepage. For any questions regarding the workshop, please contact Therese Perlowski, tperlowski@internet2.edu, CAP’s Program Manager.