Get to know the DOE Team: Meet Paula Gravelle

Maine DOE Team member Paula Gravelle is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Paula in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the School Finance Manager on the School Finance and Operations Team.  My role is primarily to facilitate the calculation of the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) School Funding model, which determines how much State funding each of the 266 School Administrative Units (SAUs) in Maine will receive each year.  I am also tasked with processing the monthly payments for subsidy and construction aid for SAUs and Centers for Technology Education (CTEs), managing the DOE Vendor Codes for SAUs, assisting SAUs with school closures, withdrawals, school board apportionment, and assisting with the Education Service Centers and other efficiency initiatives.

What do you like best about your job?

I may be biased, but I believe I work on the best team at the DOE.  School finance may seem boring to some, and we do take our jobs very seriously; after all, we are calculating over 2 billion dollars of State and local resources; but we also have fun and support each other every day.  The best part of my job is being part of a dedicated, caring and supportive team within the DOE.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I believe God was grooming me for this career before I even knew it existed.  I began working at the University of Southern Maine shortly after graduating from there with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Minor in Business Administration.  I worked for USM for 15 years, the last 8 of those years was with Dr. David Silvernail at the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation (CEPARE), during the research and creation phase of the EPS funding formula.  During this time, I was living in West Gardiner and traveling to Gorham every day; which got to be too much of a commute for me, so I started looking for something closer to home.  After a brief time as the human resource manager for a small company in Augusta, I applied for the job here at the department.  I was already familiar with the EPS funding formula from the work I had done at CEPARE, and I had worked with some of the people at the department during that time as well; so it seemed like a perfect fit.  I have been in this position for over 9 years now, and I joke that it took me 6 years to finally understand the EPS formula; but honestly, I love my job, even if it can drive me crazy at times.  And, I want to do it to the best of my ability, because I know it directly impacts tax payers, which includes me.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

I care for my disabled mom, and share a home with her, two of my nephews, and my brother; which makes for a very busy home life.  I am very involved with my church where I have been a member for over 16 years.  I teach Sunday school to an amazing group of young ladies, I assist in the nursery, and they allow me to sing in the choir and ladies ensemble, although sometimes my alto voice sounds more like a bass.  I am a big Patriots football fan, and enjoy watching games with friends when time allows.

 

Seeking Public Comment on Career and Technical Education Performance Indicators

In an effort to increase high quality CTE programs, Maine needs your input. The Maine Department of Education-Career and Technical Education Team has posted the proposed performance indicators for public comment as part of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act(Perkins V). The performance indicators,  referenced as Perkins V Accountability Measures, can be found on the DOE-CTE web site as well as a survey to allow for feedback.  These will be posted for 60 days to allow for public comment, after which recommendations will be reviewed by the CTE Team. For more information, contact Dwight Littlefield at dwight.littlefield@maine.gov.  

Opportunities to Lead and Participate In the 17th Annual MLTI Student Conference

Each year, the Department of Education’s Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) hosts the MLTI Student Conference. Over 1000 students and their teachers gather to engage in a day of learning and creating with technology. This year the event will be held at the University of Maine in Orono on Thursday, May 21st, 2020 from 8:30am – 3pm. Details about opportunities to lead and participate in the day are below.

Registration

Last year, the Department received a significant amount of positive feedback regarding the new registration process. Educators said that knowing which sessions their students were going to ahead of time reduced uncertainty related to whether sessions would fill, the shuffling of chaperones, and how to prepare student devices for full participation in the session. They also really appreciated having name tags printed with all the session choices for each student. However, there was some feedback that the pressure to sort out student choices before registration filled created some frustration. We have worked to space out the registration process a bit more this year and hope you will mark the following dates on your calendar!

  • January 27th, 2020: Session descriptions posted
  • (Time to check in with students)
  • March 2nd, 2020: Registration open (up to 40 students per school)
  • March 30th, 2020: Registration open for schools that want to add additional students (beyond the 40).
    • Larger schools typically have developed a process to select the 40 students who are able to be registered in the first round (student leadership, fundraising, etc.). We encourage you to think about this now!
  • April 10th, 2020: Last day to register
  • April 14th, 2020: Final lists sent to schools for review
  • April 17th, 2020: Last day to make changes to registration
  • April 20th, 2020: File with T-shirt order and nametags sent to UMaine.
    • While you can substitute students after this date, we will ask that they take the nametag and t-shirt of the student they are replacing. Late registration may be possible if there is space, though we can’t guarantee a personalized name tag and t-shirt.

Teacher Leaders

Applications Due Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Link to Application: http://bit.ly/MLTI-sc-2020-teacher-app

Teacher Leaders will:

  • select the conference theme,
  • develop/lead UBER Session,
  • select session proposals, a -shirt winner, and student band(s)
  • setup before the conference, lead/facilitate during the day, and clean up after the event

Teacher Leaders will meet virtually ten (10) times and will need to have four (4) days outside of the classroom. Dates are below. Teacher leaders will receive travel reimbursement (mileage and hotel) and meals when they gather in person. They will also be eligible to earn up to 45 contact hours for their participation throughout the year.

  • Virtual Meetings on Wednesdays 3-4:30pm: 10/30, 12/18, 1/8, 1/22, 2/5, 2/26, 3/25, 4/8, 4/29, 5/13
  • All Day Meetings: Friday, December 6th, 2019 and Friday, March 13th, 2020 (location TBD)
  • Conference Setup: Wednesday, May 20th, 2019 (University of Maine in Orono)
  • Conference Leadership: Thursday, May 21st, 2020 (University of Maine in Orono)

Call for Proposals

Sessions will be one-hour long, must involve some form of creating, making, and doing, and should leave participants excited about what they learned and eager to share their experiences with others. Presentations that incorporate students as leaders or co-leaders with educators will be given priority!

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 4th, 2019 – Call for Proposals open and theme announced
  • Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 – Proposals due
  • Monday, January 13th, 2020 – Sessions selected
  • Friday, January 17th, 2020 – Sessions confirmed by presenters
  • Monday, January 27th, 2020 – Sessions posted

Spread the word – if you know of someone doing fantastic work involving technology with making, doing, or storytelling please encourage them to submit a proposal or send an email with suggestions to MLTI.Project@maine.gov!

MLTI T-Shirt Design Competition

We encourage all students to submit designs to the MLTI T-shirt Design Competition. A panel of teacher leaders will narrow the list to five possible options and then will encourage other students to vote to pick the winner. Up to twenty (20) student artists will also win free registration to the conference.

Eligibility requirements, submission guidelines, and judging criteria will be posted on the DOE website in November.

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 4th, 2019 – Competition begins
  • Monday, February 24th, 2020 – T-shirt designs due
  • Monday, March 2nd, 2020 – T-shirt voting begins (with registration)
  • Friday, April 10th, 2020 – T-shirt winner announced

Musical Performance Opportunities

We will be looking for students to perform the National Anthem as well as music during other parts of the day—such as the UBER Session. More information will be available in November!

Important Dates

  • Monday, November 4th, 2019 – Call open and theme announced.
  • Monday, February 24th, 2020 – Applications due
  • Friday, April 10th, 2020—Schools notified of application status.

Transportation

We encourage you to start planning for conference transportation soon and to consider sharing buses with other attending schools. If you need assistance with this, please contact MLTI.Project@maine.gov

For more information or answers to questions, please contact MLTI.Project@maine.gov or visit the MLTI Student Conference website.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions for Rule Chapter 180 (Educator Effectiveness Rules); Hearing on October 28, 2019

The Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 180: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems to reflect recent statutory changes and feedback from conceptual conversations.

This proposed rulemaking provides a sunset for Section 7, Student Learning and Growth Measures, which are no longer a requirement. School administrative units will have flexibility in developing multiple measures on the local level. Section 13, subsection 3 has been revised to reflect, “A majority of the steering committee members must be teachers and must be chosen by the local representative of the applicable collective bargaining unit if the teachers in the school administrative unit are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.” Redundant and unnecessary language has been deleted.

The Department will be developing guidance to be available on the PEPG General Resources web page.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 180 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 180:
October 28, 2019 from 10:00am- 11:30am
Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
All are welcome to attend and no RSVP is required.  Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments.

Comment Period Deadline: November 22, 2019

Comments can be submitted to Jaci Holmes at jaci.holmes@maine.gov

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions for Rule Chapter 40; Hearing on October 28, 2019

The Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 40: Medication Administration in Schools to reflect recent statutory changes.

This rule provides directions to public and private schools approved pursuant to 20-A MRSA §2902 in the administration of medication within schools. It is to assist school administrative units in implementing the provision of the medication statute [20-MRSA §254(5)(A-D)] that provides direction for training of unlicensed school personnel in the administration of medication, requires that students be allowed to carry and self-administer prescribed emergency medications; specifically, asthma inhalers or epinephrine auto-injectors with health care provider approval and school nurse assessment demonstrating competency and authorizes any student who attends public school to possess and use topical sunscreen product while on school property or at a school-sponsored event without a note or prescription from a health care provider if the product is regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use for the purpose of limiting skin damage from ultraviolet radiation. In addition, refinements have been made to the proposed rule related to medications related to the care of students with insulin dependent diabetes.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 40 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 40:
October 28, 2019 from 1:00pm- 2:30pm
Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
All are welcome to attend and no RSVP is required.  Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments.

Comment Period Deadline: November 22, 2019

Comments can be submitted to Jaci Holmes at jaci.holmes@maine.gov