Seeking Schools to Participate in “Youth Mindfulness” Opportunity

The Maine DOE has teamed up with OmKids and Radiant Beginnings to offer a 2-hour, in-person training on a video-based mindfulness and stress relief curriculum to support students’ and teachers’ emotional health.  This opportunity is available to a small number of Maine schools that include PreK through grade 5 and are available to implement youth mindfulness during the spring of 2018-19 school year.  Youth mindfulness has been shown to improve attention stability, compassion, and emotional balance when practiced regularly.

In a southern Maine pilot, OmKids and Radiant Beginnings found that implementing program activities for as little as 5 minutes a day for 8 weeks led to:

  • Overall stress reduction (decreased for 94% of students)
  • Emotional distress reduction (decreased for 44% of students)
  • Fewer behavioral difficulties (decreased for 31% of students)
  • Fewer hyperactivity and concentration difficulties (decreased for 63% of students)
  • Fewer difficulties getting along with other children (decreased for 63% of students)

If your school is interested in an opportunity to bring youth mindfulness to your teachers and students, please complete this interest survey for the Maine DOE to review.  The survey will close on March 1.  You will be notified if your school has been chosen to implement youth mindfulness by March 8.

For more information, please contact Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator, at sarah.adkins@maine.gov or 624-6685.

 

Professional Development Opportunity: Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms

The Maine Department of Education invites educators to be part of its upcoming professional development opportunity, Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms.

Early Childhood Specialist, Sue Reed, and Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield, are looking for teachers who want to energize their teaching and learning through focusing on music in the public preschool classroom.

Applicants must apply in teams of two: one public preschool teacher and one music teacher from the same district. The music teacher must currently teach at the elementary level.

Under the guidance of early childhood music experts, Catherine Newell and Danielle Collins, teams will work to build a collaborative partnership to ensure that preschool students receive a musical learning experience. Public preschool teachers will become familiar with research regarding why music is important in the preschool classroom; understand how it encompasses multiple early learning standards; and learn how to include music into their daily routines. Music teachers will learn developmentally appropriate pedagogical approaches to teaching music to our youngest learners. Teams will be expected to practice new pedagogy in between sessions and document their experiences. As a culmination of their work, participants will deliver a brief presentation to an audience of their choice.

Participating Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Attend three day-long, face-to-face professional development trainings. All trainings will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville, ME 04901. Dates for trainings are: March 15th, May 23rd, and May 24th.
  • Attend one online check-in support meeting between face-to-face meetings. These meetings will occur between individual teams and the trainers at a mutually convenient time.
  • Develop individual goals for music implementation in your classroom and collaboration with a music teacher.
  • Commit to incorporating music into the preschool schedule on a regular basis.
  • Develop a plan for communicating the importance of music to preschool families.
  • Present a brief presentation on the work to an audience of each team’s choice, and submit a copy of the presentation to the Department of Education.

Compensation:

Each team will receive up to $300 in music supplies (determined by individual need).

To Apply:

Interested parties should fill out and submit an application here by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 28th (only one application is required per team). Applications will be reviewed immediately, and those accepted for participation will be notified by the afternoon of Monday, March 4th.

Please forward all questions to Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield, at nathaniel.j.menifield@maine.gov.

Bullying Prevention: Online Professional Development

Through a collaborative effort with Safe Schools, an industry leader in K-12 school safety, the Maine DOE is providing all schools free, equitable access to professional development that addresses Maine’s anti-bullying law.  The professional development course, Bullying: Recognition & Response, specifically highlights An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools and addresses the proper use of Maine DOE’s model bullying policy and procedures, which can be found here.

Bullying: Recognition & Response is an online video that is 67 minutes in length and is divided into 7 sections, with a quiz at the end.  The video can be shown to a large group, small groups, or viewed individually.  Delivery of the video should be done in a way that best meets the staff’s professional development needs and is responsive to the school district’s efforts to address bullying.

To access this professional development, district or school leadership should contact Justin Moore, justin.moore@vectorsolutions.com, or Allison Byndas, allison.byndas@vectorsolutions.com at Safe Schools.

For more information related to bullying prevention efforts in Maine schools, please contact Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator, at sarah.adkins@maine.gov or 624-6685.

Professional Learning Opportunity: Learning Design Lab at East Grand School

Maine Educators are invited to visit East Grand School in Danforth, Maine on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, to join a Learning Design Lab lead by Kim Gray, a Kindergarten teacher, Jill Plummer, a Middle School teacher, and Jennifer Gilman, a 6-12 Mathematics teacher. This is an opportunity for educators to visit classrooms and talk with students and teachers about ways technology is successfully integrated into elementary, middle, and high school grades.

Elementary grades use digital learning portfolios to capture evidence of student learning over time and to engage families in their students’ learning journey. Middle grades have a new cohort that has embarked on project-based and place-based learning. Visiting educators can also engage with high school students who will demonstrate some of their work with 3D printing and the school’s Virtual Reality Lab. After visiting classrooms, educators will have time to debrief the experience with lead teachers and to be supported as they plan ways to bring what they’ve learned back to their schools.

  • Date: Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 (Snow date: Wednesday, March 13th)
  • Time: 9am – 2pm (arrival begins at 8:30am with light refreshments)
  • Location: East Grand School, 31 Houlton Road, Danforth, ME
  • Open to all Maine educators who have completed the fingerprinting and background check process through the Maine DOE as part of your employment in your local district.
  • Free to attend
  • Contact Hours: Educators can earn 5 contact hours
  • Registration (please complete by Wednesday, February 27th at 5pm): http://bit.ly/EastGrandLearningLabRegistration

Agenda

8:30am – 9:00am: Arrival (light refreshments will be provided)
9:00am – 9:30am:  Welcome and Introductions
9:30am – 11:00am: Classroom Visits
11:00 -11:45am: Lunch (will be provided)
11:45am – 12:45pm – Conversations with lead educators
12:45pm – 1:45pm: Supported planning time
1:45pm – 2pm: Closing and Reflections

For answers to questions or more information, please contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656.

School Safety and Security Bulletin: Planning for those with Access and Functional Needs

Throughout the 2018- 2019 school year, the Maine Department of Education, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Maine State Police, Maine Sheriffs Association, Maine Chiefs of Police Association, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency will provide tips and resource information to Maine schools to help provide some guidance for identifying signs and preventing school violence.

School Safety and Security Bulletin  – February 2019

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