Maine Forum on Outdoor Learning

December 2nd, 2020, 3:00 – 4:15pm: Join the Nature Based Education Consortium and other Maine co-hosts to hear from Maine schools about their experience of Outdoor Learning this fall and beyond, and share about your own challenges and solutions. Learn from the Maine Department of Education about the new $17 million ‘Rethinking Remote Education Ventures’ (RREV) grant program. Connect with other schools and organizations who are building support for life-changing outdoor learning opportunities in Maine. Build your network, gain new resources, and be inspired!

Participation is free and registration required.

Co-hosted by Maine Science Teachers Association, Maine Environmental Education Association, University of Maine at Farmington, Maine Department of Education, Inside/Outside Network – Antioch University, Cathance River Education Alliance, Center for an Ecology Based Economy, Chewonki, Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students, Juniper Hill School, Kennebunkport Climate Initiative, Maine Audubon, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, Maine Outdoor Coalition, Maine Outdoor School, Teens to Trails, The Ecology School, The Nature Conservancy, White Pine Programs, WinterKids

 

Social Studies Standards Revision- LD 283

On April 19, 2019  Governor Mills signed LD 283, which contained the revised Maine Learning Results for Social Studies. While personal finance has always been included in the standards, this bill and the subsequent revision of the standards were designed to make explicit the importance of this content area.

The signed bill is currently going through the Maine Administrative Procedure Act to officially become law through the Secretary of State’s office. It is anticipated that the law will go into effect near the end of this school year. This timeline allows schools to begin planning for implementation during the summer of 2019. Planning is underway for a series of professional development opportunities around the state in 2019 and 2020, as well as online resources, to help support schools as they transition to use of the revised standards.

In the meantime, a new Social Studies: Standards & Instruction website has been created, along with links to related pages and resources, to help educators and districts begin planning for any curricular changes that are deemed necessary in light of the revised standards.

New Webinar Recording Available for Administrators on the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Model Policy

The Children’s Safety Partnership is pleased to announce that the Maine’s Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education Model Policy Overview Webinar is now available online.

You can click here to access the webinar or find the link on  www.childrenssafetypartnership.org website under the Trainings button.

This webinar focuses on how to implement the new child sexual abuse prevention law, including the policy, personnel trainings and curriculum lessons.  The intended audience includes school administrators and other school personnel overseeing the implementation of the policy. Please feel free to share widely!

If you have any questions, contact Susan Berry at susan.berry@maine.gov or Katie MacDonald at  kathryn@mecasa.org.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Guidance on New High School Diploma Law

Governor LePage signed into law PL 2017, Chapter 466 on July 10, 2018, allowing SAUs to award either proficiency-based or credit-based diplomas. This change will take effect on December 13, 2018. The new diploma law, enacted by the 128th Legislature, removes the mandate that a high school diploma be based on a student’s demonstration of proficiency in Maine’s Learning Results and instead makes a proficiency-based diploma one of two options.

To help inform school districts and the public about the new law, the Department is providing a side-by-side comparison of the two diploma options. While the new law provides opportunities for flexibility and innovation in awarding a high school diploma, it also presents challenges. The Maine DOE believes the comparison chart will help districts navigate their different options to ensure that, whatever the local decision is, students are provided a high quality education.

Side-by-side comparison of the two diploma options (PDF) »

The chart demonstrates that many details must be worked out both at the state and local level. As school leaders consider the uncertainties presented by the new law, the Commissioner wants districts to know that Maine DOE has an unwavering commitment to the quality of education for all Maine students. In this vein, districts should move forward with diploma requirements that serve students with an understanding that further legislation is likely necessary to reduce the inconsistencies between the two options.

The Commissioner is working collaboratively with stakeholders to establish common goals and seek solutions that ensure Maine’s high school diploma requirements provide a challenging, high quality education for every student in Maine. The Maine DOE looks forward to working with districts in this endeavor to prepare our graduates for a bright future.

Resources

Laws Quick Look Up:

Maine Learning Results

Guiding Principles of The Maine Learning Results

Understanding the Guiding Principlesa Resource developed by the Maine DOE and epic, Educational Policy Improvement Center.

For further questions, contact Mary Paine, Maine DOE Chief of Planning and Implementation at Mary.paine@maine.gov or (207) 624-6672.

Special Statement about Proficiency Based Diplomas (L.D. 1666)

Following the passage of L.D. 1666: An Act To Ensure the Successful Implementation of Proficiency-based Diplomas, the Department is in the process of conducting a legal review to understand the changes that come with the passage of L.D. 1666, and will be working to determine how best to support schools going forward.

Further guidance will be available to schools and districts as soon as possible.

To help better understand the Department’s sentiments about the new diploma law, please view this statement that Governor Paul R. LePage provided to the Legislature when he signed L.D. 1666. The Department shares the Governor’s concerns and hopes on the passage of L.D. 1666, as expressed in this statement.

The Department thanks the field for their patience as we work through these changes. It is our sincere hope that the way forward will be collaborative and toward a shared vision of excellence and opportunity for all Maine students.