Reminder: Register now for 2018 Commissioner’s Conference – session highlights available

The 2018 Commissioner’s Conference will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, June 27th and Thursday, June 28, 2018. The Maine DOE has been working closely with Maine School Management Association (MSMA) to ensure that this year’s sessions meet the needs of attendees – see conference highlights below.

Find additional resources and information including pricing, a draft agenda, lodging options, further details about registration, including guest registration, and more on the Maine DOE Commissioner’s Conference webpage.

Register now »

Conference Highlights

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine
Duke Albanese, Commissioner’s Conference Keynote

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine: Getting There Requires a Focus on Education and Effective Leadership for Learning, Citizenship, and Opportunities for All Maine Students”

Finding widespread prosperity has been difficult for our state. Although Maine presents abundant opportunities to thrive and prosper as individuals and communities, pockets of vibrancy have often been limited even during the best of times. To turn the tide and make our state a great place to live and prosper, high quality education is the key. We have the scale and wherewithal to build a world-class early childhood through higher education system focused on equity and enriching learning opportunities for all students. What we need to achieve this is strong, effective, creative, and resourceful leadership. Can Maine do it? Yes. Who will lead?

Duke Albanese will serve as Commissioner Keynote, in addition to conducting a break-out session.

Cracker-Barrel Session
Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff

Come to this informal session and get a chance to talk one-on-one with Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff, including Department leadership. The Department will also have available some insider updates for superintendents.

Certification: What You Need to Know
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide participants with a review of important changes resulting from recent revisions to certification laws; clarification on common misconceptions about certification requirements and processes; an opportunity to discuss communication strategies for certification; and a question and answer segment on the new online system.

Legislative Update
Maine DOE Staff

The Maine Legislature adjourned its Second Regular Session sine die on May 2, 2018. While education bills remain, including LD 1869 –”An Act To Establish the Total Cost of Education and the State and Local Contributions to Education for Fiscal Year 2018-19 and To Provide That Employees of School Management and Leadership Centers Are Eligible To Participate in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System”—which are preserved to be carried over to any special session of the 128th Legislature, others were passed and became law are either in effect now as emergency legislation, or will become law on Wednesday, August 1. This session will include a summary of enacted educated-related legislation, the status of bills preserved by the joint order, and a progress report on the status of rulemaking.

Open Forum: Addressing the Teacher Shortage
Open Forum lead by DOE staff

What can Maine do to address the teacher shortage while strengthening our educator workforce? In this open forum session, we will discuss barriers to teacher retention and recruitment and what is being done across the state to overcome these obstacles. Together we will collaborate on ways that all stakeholders can work together to build our educator workforce and promote the teaching profession.

Put your Collaborative Project on the Regionalization Map
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will learn about the EMBRACE II initiatives, including lessons learned; be introduced to the process of forming a regional service center; learn about the upcoming grant opportunity offered by the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES); brainstorm possible regionalized services and programs; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

We Have Formed a Regional Service Center: Now What?
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will provide input for the Department as to what regional service centers and executive directors need for support; gain an understanding of the monitoring and reporting requirements for a regional service center; receive legislative updates that directly impact regional service centers and their funding; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

Panel: Preparing Kids for Maine’s Workforce
Maine DOE staff and panel of industry representatives

What are employers looking for? What are students prepared to offer? What can Career and Technical Education (CTE) provide for industry and students? In this session, a panel of industry representatives will share what they look for in an employee. We will discuss and seek ideas for how Maine’s CTE programs can help create more opportunities for students and meet workforce needs.

PreK with Staying Power!
Maine DOE staff

High quality prek has great potential; but research shows that to truly lessen the achievement gap, certain program elements must be present before kindergarten or the gains will “fade out” in the early elementary grades. What are the goals for a prek program in your district? Are you seeing these goals realized in child outcomes over time? Come hear about the prek programs that include the research-based elements and the end-of-prek outcome data that predicts 5th grade reading, writing, and math scores.

Improving K-3 Literacy Achievement by Building Teacher Knowledge
Maine DOE MoMEntum staff and educators from pilot schools

The Department is implementing an early literacy/technology learning pilot project, MoMEntum K-3 Literacy, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning. This session will provide an overview of the initiative; details about the professional learning, including intentional instruction, opportunities for student practice, technology integration, and assessment that informs ongoing instruction; preliminary findings related to student achievement; and lessons learned so far. During this panel discussion, participants will have the chance to hear from and ask questions of those leading the program as well as participating educators and school leaders.

Closing the Achievement Gap with Early Math Education
Maine DOE staff

Two years of assessing current state data shows an increasing gap in the percent of grade 3-5 students statewide who meet or achieve state expectations in mathematics as compared to ELA/literacy. The Maine Department of Education is embarking on a new initiative called the Numeracy4ME K-4 Mathematics Pilot program, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning of mathematics. This session will provide an overview of the initiative, including details about structure of the professional learning, the focus on numeracy concepts, and implications for PK-4 learning and assessment applicable to all schools.

Work Session: 2018/19 School Approval Requirements & Process
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide guidance on the 2018-19 school/district approval requirements and the new more streamlined process in the Department’s NEO system. Superintendents will have the opportunity to begin completing the approval process at this session – bring your laptops.

Open Forum: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide district leaders an opportunity to share their PEPG triumphs and tribulations. Do you have a strategy that is working well in your district that you would like to share with others? Do you have a need for greater support in certain areas such as observations and feedback? Is your school or district interested in improving the quality of the Student Learning Objectives? Participation, creative strategies, and a willingness to share is encouraged in this session!

Raising the Bar for Technology in Maine Schools
Jim Moulton, Apple Inc.

How do we help our students learn today and prepare them for a rapidly changing world? A driving force behind this change is technology. It affects the way we communicate, the way we work, the way we live day-to-day. It also empowers every individual—and every learner—to create amazing things and make a difference in the world. But first, we need to raise the bar for what’s expected, and what’s possible, for learning with technology.

Substance Abuse Resources
Maine Center for Disease Control

The presentation will provide an overview of Maine Prevention services, specifically substance and tobacco use prevention including electronic nicotine delivery systems/vaping to school leaders. The information provided will be useful for school administrators as they consider policies, practices and education necessary to protect and optimize the health and safety of students. Materials, resources and a list of community prevention providers who can support school prevention efforts will be available at this presentation.

Elevating Concussion Education: How to Address Everyone
Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI), Colby College

As schools prepare for the start of each year, it’s the perfect time to update concussion education. To ensure that head injury is addressed with each population in the district, MCMI has tailored plans to educate all stakeholders. Everyone in your district will benefit from tailored and current concussion information. Attend this session to learn more about how to get involved.

Other possible sessions:

  • Steve Levesque, and Glenn Cummings – Educating the Workforce Panel
  • Adult Education
  • Budget Methodology of State/Local Funds for ESEA
  • ESSA: School Improvement for All
  • Early Math Education
  • Post-secondary enrollment and credentialing options
  • Truancy
  • Trauma

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE approves formation of 12 regional service centers

Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr has approved the formation of 12 Regional Service Centers as part of the Department’s EMBRACE Regionalization initiative. Collectively, the 12 centers represent 84 discrete School Administrative Units (SAU) and 56 percent of Maine’s students.

“We recognize the hard work of the visionaries who have realized the positive impact that regional service centers can have on the future of Maine’s educational landscape,” said Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. “These partnerships will allow participating districts to provide much-needed programs and services for the students of the region.”

Maine DOE Regional Service Centers (RSC) are non-profit multi-service agencies formed in 2018 under 20-A M.R.S Chapter 123. The centers are established and operated for the purpose of serving its member school units’ needs and to:

  • Increase access to high-quality engaging student programming.
  • Increase SAU efficiency and effectiveness through technical assistance.
  • Provide direct, regionally shared services.
  • Implement grants received for state initiatives.

The Regional Service Center model is built to ensure maximum flexibility and creativity. The types of services reflected in the partnership agreements of the 12 RSCs address the needs of the local school communities that will be served by the regional service centers.

To see a summary of the Regional Service Center Part I and Part II applications and their approval status, view the Status of Regional Service Centers webpage. To view regionalization initiatives by location, including RSCs, and both rounds of EMBRACE grants, click on the EMBRACE Regionalization Google Interactive Map.

Over the next few months, the newly formed RSCs will work to obtain each member school unit’s school board and local approval. The RSCs that receive final approval from the Commissioner will begin serving their membership in the 2018–19 school year. The Regional Service Center application processes is ongoing. The Department anticipates an opportunity for a second round of applications in the next fiscal year.

Each SAU that is a member of a Regional Service Center will receive a Regionalization and Efficiency Assistance Allocation as part of their General Purpose Aid (GPA) from the State of Maine, and the Regional Service Center will receive direct State funding for operational costs.

For more information on regionalization opportunities, visit the Department’s EMBRACE Regionalization Information Center.

Updated guidance on local approval for regional service centers

The Department is issuing updated guidance on obtaining local approval for a regional service center (RSC).  Previous guidance stated that each school administrative unit (SAU) member of an RSC must hold a referendum on their interlocal agreement; however, a recent review of applicable statutes provides that local practices and each SAU’s structure will determine the approval process for an RSC interlocal agreement. Specifically:

Approval by town meeting

For a regional school unit (RSU), school administrative districts (SAD), community school district (CSD) or municipal school unit that has a town meeting to approve the annual school budget, a referendum is not required to approve an interlocal agreement establishing an RSC. These types of SAUs can obtain local approval of the interlocal agreement establishing an RSC at the annual school budget meeting.

Approval by referendum

There is no change to guidance for cities and charter municipalities that do not approve the annual school budget at an annual budget meeting. For SAUs in this category a referendum vote to approve an interlocal agreement establishing an RSC will be required on the June 12, 2018 statewide election day.

As stated in Regional Service Center Part I Letter and Guidance published in the Maine DOE Newsroom in December 2017, the Department remains committed to the goal that initial regional service centers will be operational by July 1, 2018, and encourages all applicants to pursue this timeframe.

In the event that there are applicants with member SAUs that are unable to ratify interlocal agreements in time for July 1, the Department will consider, on a case by case basis, whether it makes sense to hold the regional center subsidy for a reasonable amount of time to allow local school communities to reach agreement. In such an instance, the Department will proceed as follows:

  • The subsidy adjustment calculated for each participating SAU on the ED 279 will be held by the Department, pending the negotiation of an agreement between the Department and each SAU.
  • In the agreement, the member SAUs will outline the steps that will be taken during the 2018-2019 fiscal year to finalize the regional service center, and laying out milestones that the member SAUs commit to meeting by certain dates to keep the progress on track.

In the event that the milestones are met and ratification of the regional service center occurs by the deadline established in the agreement, the DOE shall make the entire subsidy adjustment available to each member SAU that joins the proposed regional service center and agrees to purchase at least two services from at least two distinct categories.

Governor LePage Recognizes School District Collaboration To Benefit Students

Released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has issued the following statement recognizing today’s State Board of Education vote to accept the scoring for the finalists for the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project.

“Communities across Maine are demonstrating that when the state provides them with support and incentives, they will work together to create more opportunities for students in an efficient and effective way,” said Governor LePage. “I commend the local superintendents and school boards for putting the needs of their students first.”

The Governor added, “Enabling Maine students to benefit from regional and collaborative approaches to education is the right thing to do. When these projects are up and running, they will serve as a shining example of what is possible when our communities work together to benefit students.”

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has implemented the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project as part of the EMBRACE initiative, providing support and incentives to communities that work together to increase opportunities for students through regional partnerships that enable efficiency and take advantage of scale that the communities could not achieve on their own.

Most recently, Maine DOE announced grant awards of $4.6 million to school districts to pursue more than $10 million in savings through regional projects.

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE awards second round of EMBRACE grants for regional efforts

Augusta – The Maine Department of Education today announced that 11 new EMBRACE grants have been awarded to school districts and other education agencies. Made available as part of the statewide regionalization initiative, the round-two 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 19 applications were received by the Department for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES) grant, which was made available to districts last fall. Of those 19 applications, 11 have been conditionally awarded funding. Based on the funding requests, totaling $4.6 million, the 11 awardees are projected to save over $10 million in a 5-year period.

In the first round of EMBRACE grants in 2017, 10 grantees were awarded a total of $4.5 million in funds for regionalization efforts, and in 2019 an additional $5 million in competitive grant opportunities will be available as part of the EMBRACE initiative.

Round two EMBRACE (FEDES) grant project descriptions:

Creating a Strong and Sustainable Regional Collaborative for Professional Development in Washington County

This project will re-establish the Washington County Consortium by creating a sustainable infrastructure for offering professional development in Washington county. This regional effort is intended to provide students with excellent school leaders and teachers.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Calais Public Schools
  • Cherryfield Public Schools
  • Maine Indian Education
  • RSU 37/MSAD 37 (Addison, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, Milbridge)
  • AOS 77 (Alexander, Baring Plantation, Charlotte, Crawford, Dennysville, Eastport, Pembroke, Perry, Robbinston, RSU 85/MSAD 19 (Lubec))
  • AOS 90 (Baileyville, Carroll Plantation, Cooper, Drew Plantation, East Range CSD (Codyville Plantation, Topsfield), Grand Lake Stream Plantation, Lakeville, Lee, Macwahoc Plantation, Meddybemps, Princeton, Reed Plantation, RSU 30/MSAD 30 (Lee, Springfield, Webster Plantation, Winn)
  • AOS 96 (Cutler, East Machias, Jonesboro, Machias, Machiasport, Marshfield, Northfield, Roque Bluffs, Wesley, Whiting, Whitneyville)
  • Washington Academy
  • UM Machias
  • Washington County Consortium
  • Washington County Leadership Team

 Great Falls Regional Support for Preschoolers with Disabilities 

This project will support the transition of special education services for 3- to 5-year olds into the Lewiston School Department with full implementation by August 2020 to ensure a successful early integration of students into district schools.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Lewiston Public Schools
  • Auburn Public Schools
  • RSU 16 (Mechanic Falls, Minot, Poland)
  • RSU 52/MSAD 52 (Green, Leeds, Turner)

Greater Biddeford CDS Regionalization Project 

This project will support the transition of special education services for 3- to 5-year olds into the Biddeford School Department with full implementation by school-year 2021 to ensure a successful early integration of students into district schools.

 Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Biddeford Public Schools
  • Dayton Public Schools

Kennebec Valley Expanded STEAM Outreach Project

This project will build on clear evidence of improved student outcomes to support the expansion of the current STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program, which was funded through the round-one EBRACE grant. STEM-related arts will be added to the curriculum and student access will be increased. The STEAM program will introduce middle school students to STEAM educational experiences and career pathways.

Participants:

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

Kennebec Valley Whatever It Takes School

This project will support a middle 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 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)
  • RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • RSU 83/MSAD 13 (Bingham, Moscow)

 Northern Penobscot Regional Partnership

This project will support the development of a flexible regional service center that initially focuses on increasing program opportunities for students by creating an alternative education program, a shared world language program, and providing access to regional student support services.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 67 (Chester, Lincoln, Mattawamkeag)
  • East Millinocket Public Schools
  • Medway Public Schools
  • Millinocket Public Schools
  • RSU 30/MSAD 30 (Lee, Springfield, Webster Plantation, Winn)

PBIS Regional Professional Development Cohort

This project will create a sustainable, regional professional development program with a multi-tiered Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework using evidence-based behavioral practices shown to improve academic achievement and social-emotional growth among students as well as improving overall school climate.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 3/MSAD 3 (Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity, Waldo)
  • Brewer Community School
  • Indian Island School
  • RSU 20 (Searsport, Stockton Springs)
  • Wiscasset Elementary School
  • University of Maine

Southern Aroostook Area Regional Alternative Center

This project will create a high school alternative education program that will provide students with learning opportunities in career and technical education with the aim of increasing individual achievement levels and graduation rates in a personalized learning environment.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 29/MSAD 29 (Hammond, Houlton, Littleton, Monticello)
  • RSU 50 (Crystal, Dyer Brook, Hersey, Island Falls, Merrill, Moro Plantation, Mount Chase, Oakfield, Patten, Sherman, Smyrna, Staceyville)
  • RSU 70/MSAD 70 (Amity, Haynesville, Hodgdon, Linneus, Ludlow, New Limerick)
  • RSU 84/MSAD 14 (Danforth, Weston)

Unified Valley Cooperative Project

This project will support the development of a regional service center that will share central administration services and resources. This increased efficiency will allow resources to be reallocated to student programming including career education, world language classes, skill certification, and an innovation lab.

Participants:

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

 Westbrook-Gorham Adult CTE Program

This project will support the creation of a regional adult education program that will provide adult learners access to career and technical education that will prepare them for high-skill, high-demand occupations that have defined pathways for advancement.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Westbrook Public Schools
  • Gorham Public Schools

Western Maine Standard Analysis

This project will support an audit of the programming and graduation standards across the regional members. The analysis will lead to greater uniformity of standards across districts to support seamless transfer of student achievement from school to school and collaborative staff development.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 73 (Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls)
  • RSU 9 (Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld, Wilton)
  • RSU 10 (Buckfield, Hanover, Hartford, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford, Sumner)
  • RSU 44/MSAD 44 (Bethel, Greenwood, Newry, Woodstock)
  • RSU 56 (Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru)
  • RSU 58 (Avon, Kingfield, Phillips, Strong)
  • RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)
  • RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • Western Maine Education Collaborative

 

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