NEW Outdoor Learning Accelerator Program Includes Funding & Resources

The Maine Department of Education’s Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) initiative is offering a new Outdoor Learning Accelerator award program in an effort to mobilize funding and resources to create more opportunities for schools in Maine to innovate around outdoor and environmental learning in the 2022-23 school year. This will also create opportunities to share ideas and learning with other schools through RREV’s online learning platform, EnGiNE.

Who can apply?

  • The goal of this project is to fund innovative pilot projects across the state of Maine. This effort emphasizes iteration on an existing model rather than creating something from scratch.
  • Preference will be given to projects from different Superintendent Regions.  Awards will be determined by the Maine Department of Education and priority will go to highest need schools and districts who apply.
  • Preference will be given to projects that incorporate collaboration with a partner organization.
  • Schools that have already received funding through the RREV Grant for an outdoor learning project are not eligible for the outdoor learning accelerator program.
  • At least one classroom educator and an administrator must both take part in the four-week Outdoor Learning Accelerator Workshop that will support participants in developing an innovative outdoor or environmental learning project for their school or district. A community partner is also welcomed to join the school team in the workshop to support project development. Participants will be provided a template application with resources to support project design.
  • This opportunity is open to educators in public and private schools.

How much funding is available?
Each school or district can request up to $100,000.00 to support implementation of your innovative outdoor and environmental learning project in the 2022-23 school year. We hope to fund at least 10 projects.

We are excited to connect with you about your innovative outdoor and environmental learning projects in your schools or districts in this innovation accelerator program!

To learn more including how funds can be spent, an FAQ, and timeline, download the Outdoor Learning Accelerator Program Flyer (PDF).

For further information and questions, reach out to Martin Mackey, Maine DOE RREV Director, at martin.mackey@maine.gov.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Department of Education Announces $1.2 Million in Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) Funding to Support Education Innovation

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today awarded $1.2 million in Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) funding to support education innovation in six School Administrative Units across Maine. These funds will be used to support projects focused on workforce development, environmental stewardship, outdoor education, a marine institute, and internship opportunities as well as supporting unique approaches to remote learning.

Awardees for this second round of RREV funding include East Grand School in Danforth, Belfast Area High School, Portland School Department, Telstar High School in Bethel, RSU 22 in Hampden, and RSU 25 in Bucksport.

“Education is changing in so many new and exciting ways, and we should be at the forefront, introducing our children to the great outdoors and offering them hands-on experiences outside the classroom that will spark new perspectives, engender new friendships, and deliver new skills,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Using these federal enrichment funds, creative Maine educators can get children outdoors this summer, exposing them to lived experiences that will get them ready for life and new careers.”

“Educators in Maine are constantly paving the way with their innovation and creativity, and RREV offers a way to supercharge these efforts,” said Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “We’re excited to invest in these educator-led projects to rethink teaching and learning in ways that deepen student engagement, expand beyond the traditional classroom, connect students with Maine’s bounty of natural resources, and allow them to explore career paths that fuel their passions.”

The Maine DOE was awarded $16.9 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rethink K-12 Education Models Funding. As one of 11 States to receive funding, Maine created RREV to support the work of visionary educators to develop innovative pilot programs around remote and outside of the classroom learning. RREV is flooding Maine with innovative practices, professional development, and pilot design classes. Courses in innovative design process are available through several of Maine’s public and private universities at no cost to Maine educators who wish to participate. In addition to the innovative pilot development classes, the Department is also offering asynchronous, innovative principles webinars which are available to all educators in self-paced, independent modules.

The first round of nine RREV pilots were announced last fall with an initial investment of more than $2 million to support projects including expanded outdoor learning, a makerspace, hiring an Outdoor Learning Coordinator, expanded internships, service learning, and work/study opportunities, and engaging remote learning pathways. MSAD 17, Brewer School Department, MSAD #28, RSU 89 Katahdin Schools, Mt Blue HS/ Foster Technology School, Harpswell Coastal Academy, Noble High School, MSAD 60, St. George Municipal School Unit, and School Union #76 were all part of the first round of pilots.

“At St. George School, we dare to dream big. For over 5 years, our school community has been working to bring the trades, technology, and innovation back to the heart of public education and allow all students, grades K-8, to engage in hands-on/minds-on projects,” said St. George MSU Superintendent Mike Felton, part of the first round of RREV pilots. “The RREV Program believes in the power of local schools and communities to shape their future and isn’t afraid when a small school dreams big. RREV’s support, assistance, and encouragement will help make our dream of a St. George K-8 Career Technical Education/Makerspace Building a reality and, in the process, stretch people’s imaginations as to what’s possible in rural education and economic development.”

For more information on how to get involved in RREV and to learn more about the pilots, visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/rrev. 

New Pilots:

 

All RREV Pilots:

Partner with Other Schools to Create a Remote Plan as Part of RREV Responsive Pilot Accelerator

In an ongoing effort to meet the clear and present needs of the educators across our state, Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) in partnership with several School Administrative Units (SAUs) across Maine have created the “Responsive Pilot Accelerator.”

The Responsive Pilot Accelerator is a hyper focused pilot design class that will enable participants to develop a pilot based on a prototype designed by RREV educators. The prototype serves the needs of remote students while maintaining a personal connection with in-school opportunities to participate in extra curriculars or unified arts courses. Its unique online-hybrid features support the individualized needs of students while increasing capacity by using a shared approach to staffing and resources.

Participant who successfully complete the eligibility requirements of the Responsive Pilot Accelerator will leave with:

  • A remote pilot blueprint and;
  • $100K in seed money for staffing, supplies, and administrative expenses.

Awards are available as earlier as January of 2022 for eligible teams.  Please contact Martin Mackey, RREV Director to begin your team’s course as early as Mid-October or Click here to book an appointment directly with the RREV team today.

For additional information, check out our Responsive Pilot Fact Sheet (here) or contact Martin Mackey, RREV Director.

Apply for Federal Funds to Support Remote Learning – Application Window 9/28-10/13

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a $7.17 billion program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help schools and libraries support remote learning. The Program provides funding to schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and services that can be provided to students, teachers, and library patrons who lack connected devices, such as laptop or tablet computers, and/or lack broadband access during the pandemic.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Funds Through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program?

  • Schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the FCC’s E-Rate program, are eligible to request and receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
  • In addition, the Order clarifies that Tribal libraries, which are eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act, are also eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund.
  • Schools and libraries eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program do not need to be current E-Rate participants. Eligible entities that have not applied for E-Rate support should be prepared to demonstrate eligibility as a school or library under the Program rules during USAC’s application review.

What Equipment and Services Are Covered by the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program?

  • The following types of equipment purchased for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack sufficient connectivity to engage in remote learning are eligible for support:
    • Laptop and tablet computers
    • Wi-Fi hotspots
    • Modems (including air cards)
    • Routers
    • Devices that combine a modem and router.
  • Schools and libraries can also receive funding for commercially available broadband internet service that provides a fixed or mobile broadband connection for off-campus use by students, school staff, or library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connectivity sufficient to engage in remote learning.
  • In limited circumstances where a school or library can demonstrate that there are no available service options sufficient to support remote learning for its students, school staff, or library patrons, the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program may support the construction of new networks and the equipment needed for datacasting services.
  • Review the Eligible Services List for additional guidance on the equipment and services eligible for funding under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

How Can Schools or Libraries Apply?

  • second ECF application filing window will open on September 28, 2021 and close on October 13, 2021. During this second filing window, eligible schools, libraries, and consortia of eligible schools and libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
  • The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the administrator of the ECF Program and will review applications.
  • Interested schools and libraries can find more information and apply at emergencyconnectivityfund.org
  • The initial ECF Program application filing window opened on June 29 and closed on August 13.

Apply Now

 

Seeking Maine Educators to Create Content for MOOSE

After a successful first year, MOOSE, Maine’s Online Opportunities for Sustained Education, platform continues to grow as the Maine Department of Education (DOE) looks to hire educators to create new content during the upcoming school year. Nearly 300 teacher-created, student-driven modules were created showcasing an interdisciplinary, project-based model of education. MOOSE provides students, families, and educators with learning experiences that are accessible, inclusive, and available free online.    

While maintaining an interdisciplinary and project-based approach, this year the content created on MOOSE will focus on creating PreK-12 learning progressions of specific topics. The year will be broken into two, six-month creation sessions. The learning progression topics for the first six-month session will be STEAM, Career Development, Climate Education, History of Genocide and the Holocaust, and Computer Science.  

We are looking for Maine educators, including but not limited to teachers, curriculum leaders and representatives from Maine educational community organizations such as museums, libraries, and educational centers, interested in creating content for one of the topic areas mentioned above. The module creation work begins September 20th and concludes on March 18th. Each topic will have a full-time team leader who will support participants in the creation of these learning progressions. Topic are content specialists will work with content creators to curate and create resources for the learning progressions. FinallyMaine DOE digital learning specialists will support content creators in developing their skills in digital lesson design and tools. Content creators will earn a stipend of $3000 for successful completion of the work. 

You can access the application here. 

If you are interested in applying but still have questions, the MOOSE team will be holding Q&A sessions via zoom on Wednesday, 9/1 and 9/9, from 3-4pmPlease select the date you are interested in attending to register. 

To learn about the work completed in MOOSE’s first year, view our video here. 

For more information about MOOSE please contact Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov or Page Nichols, page.nichols@maine.gov.