Free Webinar: Addressing Challenges and Safety Concerns for Non-attending or Truant Students

The Maine Department of Education’s(DOE) Maine School Safety Center (MSSC) is pleased to offer a webinar concerning Maine schools’ current challenges and concerns for students that are non-attending or truant. The webinar will offer an opportunity for school and district staff to talk about their current concerns and issues in a forum style webinar, where stakeholder experts will be available to inform and answer questions.  Present at the webinar will be representatives from the legal field, school administration, law enforcement, and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to walk through the legal and practical process of connecting with and re-engaging students and their families.

The two hour presentation will be hosted on December 15 from 3:00-5:00 PM.  The target audience includes school administrators, school staff, law enforcement, and DHHS staff, and other interested stakeholders.  Each presenter will explain their agency’s role, authority and assistance, and they will collaboratively address comprehensive solutions to obtain the best results for students. This will be an excellent opportunity for learning and discussion.

Please see the following registration and participation instructions:

When: Dec 15, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: DOE/MSSC Attendance Forum

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For further questions contact the Maine School Safety Center.

Student Learning Opportunity: Thomas Cup Competition for High School Students

This free online learning opportunity is being hosted by Thomas College for high school students statewide.

It has been a tough year for many students and Thomas College (and partnering sponsors) want to help by providing a fun and engaging opportunity for students that can be done from the safety of their own homes. The 6th Annual Thomas Cup will include several chances to participate from December 7th, 2020 through January 30th, 2021. It will feature five (5) FREE virtual competitions where students will engage in coding, innovation, esports, robotics, crime scene investigation, and cyber defense. Additionally, each member of the winning team from the Thomas Cup in a Box event can take home up to $10,000 in scholarships to Thomas College.

We hope that you will help us get the word out to students!

Poster with information about each event

Website (includes registration links)

One important note: We recognize the extraordinary load educators have this year, and will do everything we can to reduce the ask of educators in order for students to participate. At minimum, we do require that students have some connection to a school/chaperone — this is for safety purposes. We want to be sure all the students who are involved are truly high school students and that we have a trusted-adult we can reach out to in case something comes up beyond our reach.

Technology Requirements: Students will need access to a laptop/tablet with internet access, a Gmail account that can access our Google Classroom, and the Chrome browser. For some of the challenges, Thomas College also will provide access to Hopin, Minecraft Education Edition, and CoderZ Robotics. Students should review the device requirements for these on the registration page.

For answers to questions or more information, please reach out to Jim Delorie ( or Amanda Nguyen (

Sponsors: Central Maine Power, Educate Maine, UNUM, Project Login, At&T, Thomas College Sports, Microsoft, WEX, Thomas College. These organizations have made it possible for your students to participate in this year’s Thomas Cup at no cost and have shared their time and talent to help make the competitions a success. 

Educator Learning Opportunity: Creating Circles of Wellness for Ourselves and Our Communities

Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and the organizations of the STEM Collaborative are partnering with Partnerships in Education and Resilience (PEAR) to facilitate an event focused on celebrating wellness for educators in Maine.

About this Event

Date and Time: Sat, December 12, 2020, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST

Location: Online Event

We know that wellness is paramount, especially in this moment.

Join us for a collaborative endeavor where PEAR (Partnerships in Education and Resilience), out of Harvard University, will facilitate an online event focused on celebrating individual and community wellness — and it’s 100% free and open to all educators across Maine.

Our program will feature Exploration Stations — moments filled with choices of activities that bring balance, fun, distraction, and decadence. For example, some of our organizing team offered things like walking in nature, showing off our four-legged friends, sharing what’s going well in your classroom, and a hot cup of tea. To help us create stations, tell us what brings YOU balance in these times.

We hope you’ll join GMRI, the organizations of the STEM Collaborative, and educators from across Maine as we build community, gain strategies to support wellness, and practice these strategies together now and into the future.

Are you attending with others from your organization/school? (For some small group work it makes sense for colleagues to be together.) Are you willing to lead an Exploration Station around that thing that brings you balance?

Registration can be found here:


Email Jamaal Williams from PEAR at

Gulf of Maine Research Institute education programs provide thousands of Maine students with free, world-class learning opportunities — at our lab, in the field, and online.

Developing Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) preK-12 101 Train-the-Trainer (TtT)

An overview of recommended planning processes and key considerations for creating, revising, or enhancing school emergency operations plans (school EOPs)

The REMS TA Center is excited to offer the NEW Developing Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) preK-12 101 Train-the-Trainer (TtT) Training, Virtual Training by Request (VTBR) created in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS). This 2.5-hour training presents important Federal guidance on school emergency management


Each school day, our nation’s schools are entrusted to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for approximately 55 million elementary and secondary school students in public and nonpublic schools. In June 2013, the Obama Administration released the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (School Guide) which provides an overview of Federal guidance on school emergency management planning.

The School Guide, produced by the U.S. Departments of Education; Justice, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and Health and Human Services, incorporates lessons learned from events, like the school shooting in Newtown and the tornadoes in Oklahoma, as well as years of emergency planning work by the Federal government, to present a recommended process, important content elements, and key considerations for school emergency operations plan (EOP) development.

In collaboration with their local government and community partners, schools can take steps to plan for these potential emergencies through the creation of a high-quality school EOP. With this preK-12 101 TtT VTBR, an expert team will train potential master trainers on the recommended six-step planning process to create a high quality school EOP, which includes the following:

Step 1: Forming a Collaborative Planning Team
Step 2: Understanding the Situation
Step 3: Determining Goals and Objectives
Step 4: Plan Development
Step 5: Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval
Step 6: Plan Implementation and Maintenance

Pre- and -post training activities will provide guidance on how this training is relevant to emergency operations planning and assist with the implementation of what is learned.


Potential master trainers from participating schools and districts responsible for training site-based planning teams interested in creating, revising, or enhancing school EOPs; school staff who serve, or will serve, on their school or school district’s EOP planning team; and other interested community stakeholders, including first responders, emergency medical services personnel, law
enforcement, and others.


When: Monday, November 30, 2020
Time: 9:30 a.m. ET to 12:00 p.m. ET
Training Link:
Register for this virtual training session online at:
Registration for this event closes on Friday, November 27, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (ET).

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact REMS TA Center at (855) 781-REMS (7367) or

Learning Facilitator Program- Great Resource for Schools, Free for Trainees!

In order to be responsive to critical staff shortages in Maine schools as a result of the pandemic, Governor Mills created additional flexibilities and opportunities for educators in Executive Order #7. Based on the Executive Order, the Maine Department of Education, in collaboration with Maine Community College System and Eastern Maine Community College, has developed the Learning Facilitator Program, a fast-track training program for paraprofessional level educators to expand, strengthen and support a high quality educator workforce.

The program, which is offered at no cost to the participants, is completed in two phases in one academic year with the ongoing support of Eastern Maine Community College faculty.

  • A week-long 3-credit course “boot camp” with foundational elements of classroom management and school culture. Additionally, the core boot camp curriculum includes training in COVID readiness, bloodborne pathogens, suicide awareness and prevention, mandated reporter training, and fingerprint clearance in order to address both substitute teacher and long-term support staff preparedness.
  • The second phase of the program consists of a combination of online work, professional learning community meetings, and a structured teaching apprenticeship (315 hours).

Upon completion of the 3-credit course “boot camp,” participants will have the foundational skills necessary to fill short- and long-term substitute educator roles, as well as all paraprofessional positions. They can support instruction and provide guidance to learners in the classroom under the supervision of a mentor teacher or teaching team. Mentor teachers or teaching teams may be working remotely or in-person. Special coding for Learning Facilitators has been created within NEO for schools, so that subsidy will not be impacted.

Educators who complete all elements of the Learning Facilitator Program, as outlined above, will qualify for an Educational Technician III certification.

For more information related to the program, please visit the EMMC website, here.