Upcoming Maine Assessment Literacy Professional Development Opportunities

As part of the Maine DOE Assessment Literacy Professional Development series, a MAARS webinar and three in-person sessions focused on the eMPowerME assessment (grades 3-8) and science assessment (K-12) have been scheduled.

MAARS Webinar

October 31, 2018
10:00 – 11:00 am

The audience for this session is returning and new District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Directors. The content of the webinar will include:

  • Role of DACs
  • MAARS Public Reports Overview
  • MAARS Confidential Reports Overview
  • How to add/delete/change MAARS roles and permissions (‘districtadmin’, ‘districtuser’ ‘schooluser’ ‘rosteruser’)

The updated above listed roles within MAARS will be a critical element to prepare for the upcoming November MAARS Workshops.

To access the October 31, webinar please use this link.

State Assessment & Released Items Professional Development

As part of the Maine DOE Assessment Literacy Professional Development series the Maine DOE will be hosting three regional sessions in Presque Isle, Bangor and Portland on November 13, 14 and 15, 2018 respectively. Where applicable, the DOE encourages that a team representative across grade spans be in attendance at the session. An opportunity for team time will be incorporated into the days agenda.

Each of the three (3) sessions will focus on the eMPowerME assessment (grades 3-8) and science assessment (K-12) and will include:

  • AM session will primarily focus on Confidential Reports in MAARS
    • Navigation within MAARS* to access data
    • Overview of the state assessment data
  • PM session will primarily focus on the utilization of released items
    • Review of released item data
    • An advanced session for data analysis
      • How this analysis can impact curriculum development and instructional practices

* DACs should ensure that staff attending have necessary permissions and log-in information to access MAARS.

The audience for this session is District Assessment Coordinators (DACs), teachers, principals, and central office staff. Registration begins at 8:30 am with the session beginning promptly at 9 am (until 3:30pm). Lunch will be provided.

Presque Isle – November 13, 2018

University of Maine at Presque Isle
Campus Center – Multipurpose Room
Parking map

Bangor – Orono – November 14, 2018

University of Maine
Wells Conference Center, Orono

Portland – November 15, 2018

Keeley’s Banquet Center
178 Warren Ave
Portland, ME 04103

To register for any of the regional MAARS Review and Released Item sessions please click here.

For questions contact Maine DOE’s Assessment Team at (207) 624-6770 or eric.buckhalter@maine.gov

Seeking Districts to Participate in Free Pilot of NBC Learn K-12 Product

NBC Learn is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education to offer all districts in Maine the opportunity to participate in a free pilot of their K-12 product.

The pilot will include access to thousands of videos curated for educational purposes, as well as technical and professional learning support. NBC Learn will promote district integration of the tool into a variety of different Learning Management Systems and will offer school leaders support as they align the resources to their local curriculum.

Districts who choose to participate will be asked to name one point of contact. This point of contact should be in a leadership role (curriculum coordinator, library media specialist, technology integrator, principal, teacher leader, etc.) and able to commit to helping other educators in the district or school to purposefully integrate the resources into their teaching and learning practice. That point of contact will also be asked to participate in an introductory webinar and a pilot evaluation facilitated by NBC Learn and the Department, which will include two surveys.

Additional information about NBC Learn and the pilot opportunity can be accessed through the:

Pilot Brochure (PDF)

Pilot Overview (PDF)

In order to ready to fully participate in the pilot from December 2018 through June 2019, districts can sign up for the pilot now. To join the pilot, please sign up here.

For additional information or answers to questions, please contact: Grace Kane, Manager, Partnerships and Sales, NBC Learn at grace.kane@nbcuni.com or Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist, Maine Department of Education at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Maine Department of Education and RSU 5 have begun a teacher-training project for the 2018-2019 school year. Twelve teachers including reading interventionists, special educators, and district special education director, Bonnie Violette will receive extensive Structured Literacy training provided by dyslexia specialists from the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Portland.

Structured literacy is a teacher-led approach characterized by the provision of systematic, explicit instruction of language and reading.  The skills taught are helpful for all students; but they are especially critical for students with language-learning weaknesses, including dyslexia.

The teachers began their training in June with a fifteen-hour seminar and have recently completed an additional fifteen hours of seminar training.  They have just begun to apply new skills and knowledge with their students.  The teachers will receive extensive practicum supervision throughout the year.

Pownal Elementary Teacher
Hillary Massicotte delivers her first Structured Literacy lesson to a fourth-grade student at Pownal Elementary School.

Lisa Whitis, Dyslexia Coordinator for the Maine DOE, recently visited Pownal Elementary School to observe the teachers in action. “The students are loving it, especially the kinesthetic piece, I’ve already begun to see improvement,” shared Hillary Massicotte.

Special Education Director, Bonnie Violette, noted that she has a talented group of dedicated teachers and they are excited to be part of this project.

For further information contact Lisa Whitis,  Dyslexia Coordinator for the Maine DOE at Lisa.Whitis@maine.gov or (207) 624-6643

Balanced Assessment System Webinar Recording Now Available

The first session of an assessment literacy series was conducted via webinar on September 26, 2018 and focused on a Balanced Assessment System. The session included an overview of the planned professional learning opportunities and implementation timeline in addition to reviewing the key components of a Balanced Assessment System. The webinar can now be accessed here:

Balanced Assessment System Webinar (YouTube)

Further professional development opportunities can be found on the Department’s Professional Development & Training Calendar.

NASDTEC Professional Practices Institute

National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Professional Practices Institute (PPI) is being held in Portland, Maine this year October 17 – 19, 2018.

This year’s PPI features both general and concurrent sessions with interactive sessions examining developing best practices in dealing with educators, witnesses, emerging technology, and the media while working within ethical and regulatory boundaries.

The PPI promises to be an outstanding gathering for those working in jurisdiction agencies, district leaders, and educator preparation professionals. The PPI is a unique meeting which unites those who work with the prevention and resolution of teacher misconduct and ethical dilemmas every day.

More information including registration information can be found on the PPI Website.