Category Archives: School Improvement

Maine receives $3 Million in school improvement grant funding

Augusta – Maine schools eligible to receive funding under the school improvement grant program (SIG) are invited to apply for funding from the $3 million in funding Maine has received from the U.S. Department of Education. In Maine, schools categorized as “priority” under the State’s Title I accountability system are eligible to apply.

“I encourage eligible schools to consider applying for this grant funding. This is an opportunity for schools to receive purposefully focused additional funds to improve their achievement and opportunity goals for students,” said Deputy Commissioner of Education Bill Beardsley.

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that Maine will receive a $1.5 million federal award in addition to the $1.5 million award the state received in July.  Funding through the SIG program will be distributed to schools through a competitive application process and will be based on the number of applications received and approved by the Maine Department of Education.

Last year, the Maine DOE issued a $1.6 million SIG award to Washburn Elementary School. These funds are currently supporting Washburn Elementary’s objectives to raise student proficiency in math by 30 percent and reading by 35 percent over the five-year grant award.

As part of the application process, eligible school districts who may be interested in the pursuit of a SIG are also asked to provide the Department with an Intent to Apply form by 4 p.m. on October 31, 2016. Applications from eligible school districts are due by 4 p.m. on December 14, 2016. School officials who have questions about the SIG program or who would like to obtain a copy of the Maine DOE LEA SIG application and the Intent to Apply form should contact Travis Doughty, Maine DOE’s Federal Grant Coordinator, at

More information about the SIG program is available at

Media inquiries should be directed to Jamie Logan, Maine DOE’s Director of Communications, at 624-6747 or

Maine DOE accepting School Improvement Grant applications through December 14

The Maine Department of Education will once again be accepting applications for School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding during the 2016-17 school year. Grant awards made under this program could yield up to $1.5 million each to help close achievement gaps.

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Public invited to submit comment to Blue Ribbon Commission online

Members of the public who wish to submit comments or ideas about public education issues for consideration by the Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine may do so here. Comments submitted through the website will be distributed to members of the Commission.

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Maine school districts begin school year with new teacher and principal evaluation systems

AUGUSTA – As the 2016-17 school year gets underway, Maine schools are undertaking newly revised teacher and principal evaluation systems. This year, for the first time, the majority of teachers and principals will be evaluated based on a professional practice model using a system that incorporates a student growth measure for educators.

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Maine DOE conducts professional development for teams of educators from Title I priority and focus schools

The Maine DOE in collaboration with Syntiro, conducted August professional development for teams of educators from Title I priority and focus schools across the state, focusing on “Organizing, Analyzing, and Responding to Student Data.”

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Annual notification of eligibility for schoolwide programs

Schools that receive federal Title I funds, have poverty rates of at least 40 percent and have approved Title IA Schoolwide Plans are eligible to use their Title I funds – and funds from other sources – to develop “schoolwide programs.”

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Governor LePage and Deputy Commissioner Beardsley tap Dr. Robert Hasson to join Blue Ribbon Commission as chair

AUGUSTA – Dr. William Beardsley, Deputy Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, announced today that he has accepted an invitation from Governor LePage to serve as the Governor’s designee on the Commission to Reform School Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine, creating a vacancy on the commission for a representative from the Department of Education, the seat previously held by Dr. Beardsley.

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Maine DOE seeks districts to apply for TIF grant to support teachers and leaders in high-need schools – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

The Maine Department of Education is in the process of applying for a third, five-year Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant. This latest round of federal grants, called TIF 5, will expand the number of Maine Schools for Excellence (MSFE) districts and offer the opportunity for 20-30 additional high-need schools to gain access to quality educator effectiveness programs, professional development and performance-based compensation.

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Positive school climate topic of upcoming conference

The Maine Event: National Conference on Positive School Climate at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland will be held on June 23-24. This locally-planned national conference provides training and information about key components to many successful school initiatives around building and sustaining a positive school climate, reducing bullying, and developing strategies to increase student engagement.

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Maine DOE prepares School Improvement Grant application, seeks public comment on waiver

The Maine Department of Education will again apply for federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding that the Department would distribute to help the state’s most struggling schools.

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