MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Awards Third Round of EMBRACE Grants for Regional Efforts

Augusta – The Maine Department of Education today announced that four new EMBRACE grants have been conditionally awarded to school districts and other education agencies. Made available as part of the statewide regionalization initiative, the round-three EMBRACE grants prioritize Enabling Maine students to Benefit from Regional and Coordinated approaches to Education. The awardees are partnering on a regional level to improve educational opportunities for students.

A total of 17 applications were received by the Department for the second competitive grant opportunity funded through the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES), which was made available to districts last summer. Of those 17 applications, four have been conditionally awarded. Based on the funding requests, totaling $4.2 million, the four awardees have projected savings of over $7 million in a 5-year period.

The first two rounds of EMBRACE grant funding in 2017 and the spring of 2018, had 19 grantees being awarded over $7.5 million in funds for regionalization efforts.

Round three EMBRACE (FEDES) grant project descriptions:

Down East Maine Career and Technical Education (CTE) Collaborative

This project will support the expansion of career and technical education programming opportunities to western Washington County. The project aims to increase student enrollment in CTE programs at the high school level and provide introductory and exploratory sessions for middle school students.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 37/MSAD 37 (Addison, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, Milbridge)
  • Cherryfield Public Schools
  • Machias Public Schools
  • Moosabec CSD #17/School Union 103 (Beals Public Schools, Jonesport Public Schools)
  • Washington Academy

Kennebec Valley Multiple Pathways Academy II

This project will support a high school alternative education program that aims to reduce dropout and truancy rates by providing new and improved opportunities for at-risk students with multiple pathways for achievement.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 83/MSAD 13 (Bingham, Moscow)
  • RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)
  • RSU 74/MSAD 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)

Maine Center for Leadership and Innovation (MCLI)

This project will support the creation of a Leadership Academy that aims to provide a high-quality, research-based system of professional learning experiences and support for school- and district-level leaders.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 6/MSAD 6 (Buxton, Frye Island, Hollis, Limington, Standish)
  • Brunswick Public Schools
  • Cape Elizabeth Public Schools
  • Gorham Public Schools
  • Portland Public Schools
  • RSU 14 (Raymond, Windham)
  • RSU 15/MSAD 15 (Gray, New Gloucester)
  • Scarborough Public Schools
  • South Portland Public Schools
  • Westbrook Public Schools

Valley Unified Learning Transformed

This project will support three components for the Valley Unified Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Educational Facility: the merger of software systems that feed into the common student information and payroll/accounting systems; a comprehensive enrollment study, educational visioning, concept approval, and site approval; and develop programming options that link regional workforce needs to the regional education goals.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Madawaska Public Schools
  • MSAD 27 (Ft. Kent, New Canada, Saint Francis, Saint John Plantation, Wallagrass)
  • RSU 33/MSAD 33 (Frenchville, Saint Agatha)

Media Release: Nominations Sought for 2020 Teacher of the Year

AUGUSTA – As part of the Maine Department of Education’s ongoing efforts to highlight Maine’s outstanding teachers, nominations are now open for the 2019 County Teachers of the Year and 2020 Teacher of the Year. Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students.

Nominations can be made through the Maine Teacher of the Year Website starting today, January 4, 2019 and will be open through Feb. 4, 2019.

To be considered, a teacher must:

  • hold the appropriate professional certification for the position,
  • be employed by a Maine public school – including a public charter school or publicly-supported secondary school,
  • be actively teaching students at least 50% of full-time at the time of nomination and during the year of recognition, and
  • have a minimum of five years teaching, three of which are in Maine.

The eventual winner serves as an advocate for teachers, students, and the efforts underway in Maine’s public schools to prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.

Maine’s recently named 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey, an English teacher at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford, was selected from over 300 entries and included recognition as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. In addition to Hennessey, the other 2019 state finalists include Connie Russell, a teacher at Mabel I. Wilson School and 2018 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, and Shana Goodall, a teacher at Orono High School and the 2018 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.

The 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected from the 16 county honorees. The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists and then three state finalists before the ultimate winner is announced by Maine’s Education Commissioner at a surprise school assembly in the fall.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization whose mission is to champion college, career readiness, and increased education attainment. Funding is provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River Co., Geiger, Hannaford, the Maine Lottery, and Pratt & Whitney with support from the State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association.

The Teacher of the Year program is no cost to taxpayers. Bangor Savings Bank reimburses the winning educator’s school district for the cost of substitutes while the Teacher of the Year is out of the classroom on their official duties, which includes travel throughout the state, a week at NASA Space Camp and a visit to the White House.

For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit the Maine Department of Education website.

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Media Contact: Rachel Paling, Maine DOE Director of Communications, rachel.paling@maine.gov

MEDIA ADVISORY: Maine DOE to Host Presentation About ESSA & School Report Cards

The School Report Cards are scheduled to be released to the public at the end of December.

WHAT:
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) would like to invite the media to attend a presentation about the details of Maine’s Model of School Support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which includes the release of the new, user-friendly, public Report Cards later this month.

WHEN:
Monday, December 10, 2018 from 9:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE:
Cross Office Building, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, Maine, Room 500
Live Stream Link: https://zoom.us/j/867836618 (this will be recorded)

AGENDA:

  • Opening comments from Commissioner Robert G. Hasson Jr.
  • Overview of Maine’s Model of School Support (1 hour)
    • Overview of Indicators
    • Overview of School Support
    • Questions & Answer session
  • Overview of Maine’s Report Cards*  (1 hour)
    • New format for report card
    • Walk through of the Report Cards
    • Questions & Answer session

*For the 12/10/18 presentations, the Report Cards will be displayed with sample data. The public Report Cards, with school data for each public school in Maine, will not be released until the end of December.

For further information please contact Maine DOE Director of Communications, Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

PRESS RELEASE: Maine DOE Awarded $2.88M Grant to Support School Emergency Operations Plan Initiative

Update: Schools will receive an invitation from the Department to participate in grant activities this spring. 

The Maine Department of Education has been awarded a 5-year grant from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. The funding will go towards an initiative called Maine Grant for School Emergency Management aimed at helping Maine schools by providing training and technical assistance in the development and implementation of high-quality school emergency operations plans (EOPS).

This project is grounded in the belief that multihazard emergency planning for schools helps schools and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from critical incidents. The Maine Grant for School Emergency Management project is the next step of work that began with a Maine School Security Report that was initiated by the Maine Legislature.

The primary goals of the Maine Grant for School Emergency Management project are to:

  1. Provide schools, especially those identified as high need in rural areas, with high-quality EOP training at no cost.
  2. Ensure that local educational agencies have access at no cost to a new customizable EOP template that can be easily updated and includes technical guidance.
  3. Provide high-quality EOP technical assistance clinics at no cost that will be delivered to develop a team of education sector professionals who are committed to work with schools.

The grant allocation is over five years:

Year 1: $614,773
Year 2: $567,920
Year 3: $567,920
Year 4: $567,920
Year 5: $567,920
Grant Total:  $2,886,453

The grant activities, as awarded, are one hundred percent federally funded. No project costs will be financed by non-governmental sources.

The Department of Education takes school safety, security, emergency management, and preparedness seriously and is continually taking steps to improve it.

Further questions and inquiries can be send to Pat Hinckley, Maine DOE Transportation and Facilities Administrator at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Celebrates Educational Support Professionals Day

In celebration of Educational Support Professionals Day, the Maine Department of Education would like to thank and congratulate the tens of thousands of educational support professionals working in Maine’s public schools.

Educational Support Professionals Day is held the Wednesday during American Education Week each year in November. The day celebrates and honors the significant contributions that school support staff make in public schools every day.

Education support professionals include education technicians, bus drivers, security guards, school nurses, facilities staff, office assistants and more. They drive students to school, clean classrooms and hallways, bandage scraped knees, and prepare and cook meals, among many other things. They are often the first to arrive at school and the last to leave.

We hope that schools state-wide will share in thanking and congratulating education support professionals for everything that they do to support students, schools, and communities throughout Maine.