PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE Sponsored Social Emotional Learning Curriculum Resource Coming Soon for Maine Schools

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is committed to providing cutting edge resources so that the many benefits of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), for both students and adults, can be accessed by all Maine schools. SEL speaks to our Maine values, where schools and communities support all children in the development of a healthy sense of self, in learning lifelong skills to regulate and manage emotions, and the development of empathy while building healthy and positive relationships. On behalf of Commissioner Makin, we are proud to announce our very own Social Emotional Learning curriculum and resource, SEL4ME.

It is our hope that by offering this statewide, free, and readily available comprehensive SEL PreK-12th grade curriculum, that we will eliminate the financial burden for any Maine school district who wishes to embed SEL into their everyday instruction and school culture. The curriculum accommodates both in person and remote learning. Additionally, our DOE team will continue to develop this curriculum to include free training and professional learning for staff, as well as new modules that will support the use of SEL as a Trauma Informed, Primary Prevention within our schools. Through our statewide instruction, this curriculum can be a significant resource for all Maine students, regardless of age, race, gender, socio-economic status or religion, to recognize self-worth and feel connected and safe within a responsive and caring school community.

The Maine DOE has created a unique opportunity in partnering with Evolution Labs who, with input from Maine experts, has developed our best practice-aligned SEL library of more than 450 modules. These modules are not subject to ongoing license fees but are owned by the State, in perpetuity, ensuring this resource as a reliable foundation for SEL development for generations to come. While this scaffolded curriculum can enable a consistent content approach, within each lesson are built-in supports that include read aloud capabilities and translation into nearly 100 different languages- as well as educator guides and instructions.

We know that research into the use of SEL has long shown that schools who embed SEL into everyday instruction and school culture have a positive impact in the following areas:

  • Increased school safety
  • Reduction in bullying and violent behavior
  • Reduction in negative coping and disruptive classroom behavior
  • Increase in academic achievement
  • Student appreciation of self-worth
  • Healthy connections to others
  • Development of confidence, optimism
  • Development of self-compassion in the face of doubt and social challenges
  • Self-advocacy
  • Persistence and resiliency in the face of adversity
  • Responsivity to challenges and change
  • Embracing all cultures and the individuality of all humans
  • Solving conflicts and problem solving in a cooperative manner
  • Demonstrating genuine concern about the welfare of others

Maine has a proud history of promoting Social Emotional Learning in our schools. With some of our educators having used practices in classrooms for decades and districts investing in SEL trainings and programming, many Maine schools have experienced the benefits of providing SEL supports to students. In 2015, the Maine DOE adopted SEL for PreK education, and aligned Health and PE standards with a Social Emotional Learning framework. Now, In 2020, when the need for Social Emotional Supports are more significant than ever, the Maine DOE is excited to offer the SEL4ME curriculum as a way to share the benefits of SEL to all our students, and strengthen its impact as part of our academic success. This curriculum is not a requirement of Maine schools, but a means to supplement and support existing programs, as well as provide new programs with the resources to flourish.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to every educator and school support staff who dedicate their lives to the betterment of all Maine students. Thank you for always teaching from the heart and supporting our students.

Virtual Brain Based Support Sessions for Maine School Staff Available Tues/Thurs

When COVID 19 swept across our state, abruptly closing our schools, You DID NOT Blink. Instead, you rolled up your sleeves, dug deep and got the job done. Collectively, districts across our great state made sure our children were fed, had access to online learning and knew that they were missed and loved by everyone in their school buildings. To say Thank You to the thousands of teachers, office staff, ed techs, bus drivers, kitchen and custodial crews can never be enough.

For the first time in the history of Maine DOE, we were able to offer the field, daily brain-based emotional supports with Mindfulness practices. We wanted you to know that we cared and that you were not alone.

Hundreds of you participated and the feedback we received was overwhelming. We’d like to continue to offer this support as you march forward, teaching courageously amidst the most unprecedented school re-opening Maine has ever seen.

Please consider re-Joining Maine DOE specialist Kellie D. Bailey each Tuesday and Thursday from 4-4:30 PM for guided mindful, grounding and brain regulating practices.

Register here »

For more information, contact Kellie D. Bailey, Maine DOE Social Emotional Behavioral Learning Specialist at Kellie.Bailey@maine.gov.

Message from Kellie D. Bailey SEL Specialist Maine DOE

Rock with a leaf on it
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-ND

Dear Maine Educators-

It has been such a pleasure to collaborate with you over the past few months. You are Educational Warriors. Your passion, strength, ingenuity and resilience overwhelms me. I’m beyond grateful to work for Commissioner Makin who clearly supports and honors the emotional wellbeing of our Maine educators and support staffs. When I accepted this position as the first SEL specialist for the Maine DOE in January 2020, I could never have foreseen that in just 10 short weeks, Maine educators would be faced with such sadness, grief and concern for their students and the world.

Our morning mindful practices and the work that hundreds of you have put in over the past three months to learn and grow in all things social/emotional is greatly appreciated. For many of you the school year is over, but the work has not stopped. Preparations for school re-entry and how this will look is on everyone’s mind. Please remember to take small moments to be present in your life. Listen to the birds, feel the sun warm your face, smell the freshly cut grass and BREATHE ON PURPOSE.

Breathing is our first life gift and our birthright. Breathe for yourselves and for one another. Give yourself permission to step outside of the automaticity of an unaware existence and spend a few moments in gratitude and hope. We will get through this together and we will begin the important work of building a new reality in education with a solid foundation of love, compassion, equity and understanding.  Our children deserve for us to be at our emotional and physical best so we can continue the work of teaching courageously and compassionately and growing good humans.

Be Well, Safe, Healthy and Happy-

With Love- Kellie

March 27th is International SEL Day

Urban Assembly and SEL4US encourage educators around the World to recognize the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) on this International SEL Day.

Kellie D. Bailey MA CCC-SLP, MMT/SELI began her work here at the Maine DOE on Feburary 6, 2020 to support Commissioner Makin’s educational platform for putting the social emotional learning needs first for all Maine students. Commissioner Makin knows first hand that when we teach from the heart we are truly seeing each child and paying attention on purpose to the unique being that he or she is.

SEL is the most effective way of building strong and meaningful connections which ultimately leads to optimal learning.  Until the outbreak of COVID 19, Kellie worked in the field providing SEL supports across the State of Maine. Today she continues to do so remotely providing Brain Based SEL supports with her colleague Bear Shea first thing in the morning and the last thing in the afternoon. “SEL is for all human beings.  Our educators and school support staff are facing unprecedented times and they are feeling the effects of not being able to connect with their students and colleagues. There is an overwhelming sense of urgency for the well being of our students, staff and community. Now more than ever it is critically important to check in with ourselves and ask the question, How Am I Doing Right This Minute? Staying tuned into our own anxiety and taking the important steps to center and ground ourselves is the most effective way to stay resilient for our students who are counting on us to send the message that they are safe.

Kellie reminds everyone involved with education to take moments to self reflect and check in with the self. Recognition of how one feels and where that feeling lives in the body, heart and mind is the first step in development of our own social intelligence. Kellie adds that “Moving away from the automaticity of our lives and becoming present for small moments will make a tremendous difference in how we cope with the stressors related to COVID 19 and life in general. Practicing being present and noticing basic needs and taking care to provide ourselves with those needs allows us to continue to be present for others with a deeper connection. On this first International SEL Day, may we each feel safe, connected, safe and loved and take a few small moments to Breathe on Purpose.”