Maine School of Science and Mathematics’ Student Appointed to State Board of Education as Student Member

Greyson Orne, a junior at Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM), the state’s first tuition-free, public, residential high school, has been selected as one of two student members on the Maine State Board of Education. The board advises the Commissioner of Education in Maine’s education laws and policies. Orne will also co-chair the Maine Department of Education’s Student Cabinet along with the other State Board Student Member Casey Maddock.

Orne, from Camden, said, “I’m honored to have been selected by Governor Mills for this position, and I’m excited to represent the students of Maine’s second district.”

The Maine Department of Education website explains the Maine State Board of Education has had two student members in non voting positions since 2008. The application process includes a short essay, letters of recommendation from teachers, and a balance of extracurricular activities. Apart from voting, student members have full privileges of the 9 other adult board members. Student members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Maine Senate. In February of 2021, Orne testified in front of the Joint Standing Committee on Education before his final confirmation.

Orne believes in student involvement in the education system of Maine and plans to advocate for “advanced education in public schools, especially rural areas with little access to other schooling options.” After high school, Orne plans to apply to the three major U.S. Service Academies to become a commissioned officer in the United States Military. Orne said, “This leadership on the board will allow me to better understand how to lead, work collaboratively with others, and use my presence and voice to advocate for others.”

Although this is the first student from MSSM to be appointed to the board, David Pearson, Executive Director of MSSM, noted “in Greyson’s appointment to the Maine State Board of Education, we see not only a successful individual accomplishment, but a reflection of our wider student population who universally are imbued with a driving desire to make a positive difference in the lives and experiences of those around them.”

MEDIA RELEASE: Application Process Open for Student Position on Maine State Board of Education

Student voice is critically important to the Maine State Board of Education, and they are seeking applications for the newest student member to join the Board. Applications are being accepted February 1, 2021 – March 1, 2021.

The Maine State Board of Education has two nonvoting student members who join the Board as high school juniors and serve for two years, one enrolled in a school in Maine’s First Congressional District; the other enrolled in a school in the Second Congressional District. At all times, the State Board has one high school junior and one senior as members, with staggered appointment.

Applications are currently being accepted from students who attend school in the First Congressional District (includes Cumberland, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and York counties, and part of Kennebec County) and are currently a high school sophomore.  Application materials are available on the State Board of Education web page. The Board has also emailed and mailed application materials to all first congressional district high school principals and school counselors. Completed applications should be mailed to:

Mary Becker, Maine State Board of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023

After applications close on March 1, 2021, they will be reviewed according to the process described in Maine Education and School Statutes, Title 20-A, Chapter 5, State Board of Education. Semifinalists will be interviewed in March 2021, after which three finalists will be chosen. The names and application materials of the finalists will be sent to the Governor’s office for final selection. The selected student will be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Maine State Senate.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for Maine students to practice civic engagement while serving as both a representative of Maine students and an active education leader in our state.

For further information please visit the Maine State Board of Education web page or contact Mary Becker, Board Assistant at 624-6616 or email at Mary.Becker@maine.gov.

Application Process Open for Student Position on Maine State Board of Education

Student voice is critically important to the Maine State Board of Education, and they are seeking applications for the newest student member to join the Board. Applications are being accepted February 3 – 24, 2020.

The Maine State Board of Education has two nonvoting student members who join the Board as high school juniors and serve for two years, one enrolled in a school in Maine’s First Congressional District; the other enrolled in a school in the Second Congressional District. At all times, the State Board has one high school junior and one senior as members, with staggered appointment.

Applications are currently being accepted from students who attend school in the Second Congressional District (including Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington counties, and part of Kennebec County) and are currently a high school sophomore.  Application materials are available on the State Board of Education web page. The Board has also mailed application materials to all second congressional district high school principals and guidance counselors. Completed applications should be mailed to:

Mary Becker, Maine State Board of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023

After applications close on February 24, 2020, they will be reviewed according to the process described in Maine Education and School Statutes, Title 20-A, Chapter 5, State Board of Education. Semifinalists will be interviewed in March 2020, after which three finalists will be chosen. The names and application materials of the finalists will be sent to the Governor’s office for final selection. The selected student will be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Maine State Senate.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for Maine students to practice civic engagement while serving as both a representative of Maine students and an active education leader in our state.

For further information please visit the Maine State Board of Education web page or contact Mary Becker, Board Assistant at 624-6616 or email at Mary.Becker@maine.gov.

Priority Notice: Proposed Revisions to Ch. 125, School Approval Standards

The State Board and the Department of Education are proposing the repeal and replacement of Chapter 125: Basic School Approval Standards: Public Schools and School Administrative Units.

The last repeal and replace of State Board of Education/Maine Department of Education Rule Chapter 125 was in 2002. The resulting language was highly duplicative of statute. The proposed replacement eliminates redundancy when possible, and minimizes to include only what is required in law.

To this end, the proposed Rule is written to address school approval standards and requirements in a linear fashion, reflecting requirements in the order they appear in statute when possible, and providing detail where necessary. For clarity, a chart referenced in Section 4 of the proposed Rule resides on the Department web page and contains a comprehensive list of requirements and citations.

Specific revisions to the Rule are as follows:

  • Based on a cross-walk conducted by the Department, language which is duplicative of statute or is outdated has been updated or eliminated;
  • The definition of school has been revised;
  • Unnecessary definitions have been eliminated;
  • Certain requirement exceptions for SAUs that tuition all or whole populations of students out of the resident unit have been added;
  • Certain requirement exceptions for Career and Technical Regions have been added;
  • The Comprehensive Education Plan format determination remains with the SAU, but must equally include and reflect all schools within the unit;
  • The minimum requirements as required by M.R.S. 20-A Section 4502(5) are listed in Section 5:
    • 5.01 – Grade K now has a minimum instructional day of 3 hours;
    • 5.03 – added “Areas used for the provision of student services and health services shall be adequate to provide for the privacy and confidentiality of such services;”
    • 5.08 – revised language regarding school counseling program;
    • 5.12 – revised language regarding time out areas to reference Restraint and Seclusion;
    • 5.15 – added family outreach requirement, per statute;
    • 5.16 – added language around Promotion, Retention, Acceleration and Graduation of Students;
    • 5.18 – added requirement for Multi-tiered System of Support, per LD 651; and
  • Section 7.01 outlining the initial approval process for SAUs was revised to reflect current practice.

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 125:

  • December 16, 2019 from 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
  • All are welcome to attend, and no RSVP is required.  Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments via email to jaci.holmes@maine.gov or by mailing comments to:

Maine Department of Education
attention: Jaci Holmes
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333-0023
Comment Period Deadline: December 27, 2019

School Construction List Receives Approval 

Three schools in critical need of renovation or replacement got the go-ahead to build new facilities or renovate existing ones last week from the State Board of Education, which approved a proposal from Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin.  The three projects were considered because their total estimated costs, when added to existing debt, will be within the current debt service limit of $126,000,000. 

The Board approved the Maine Department of Education’s “Approved Projects List,” a key step in a school construction process that includes: evaluating needs, determining solutions, designing, and building.  The schools were at the top of the Final Priority List of 74 schools that applied for renovation or replacement, which was approved by the State Board in August of 2018. 

The three schools on the approved list are:  Fairfield Primary School (RSU 49/MSAD 49);  Skowhegan’s North Elementary School (RSU 54/MSAD 54);  and Rumford Elementary School (RSU 10). 

The Department would like to stress that the decision to begin work on the first three projects does not preclude additional projects from being approved later.  As the nature and anticipated costs of the first three projects becomes clearer over the ensuing months, the Department intends to then assess when, and if, additional projects on the Final Priority List can be approved to move forward. 

Information about the Department’s school construction program can be found at: http//www.maine.gov/doe/schools/facilities/mcscp.