Mitchell Scholarship Application Open Until April 1

Mitchell Scholarships are awarded to students planning to attend two- or four-year degree programs at colleges either in- or out-of-state. The strongest applicants demonstrate financial need, academic promise, and community impact. Please encourage any graduating college-bound students from Maine’s public high schools to apply before the April 1 deadline.

Find the application link, requirements, and a few additional college and scholarship resources on the Mitchell Institute web site: http://mitchellinstitute.org/scholarship/

In addition to the $10,000 scholarship awarded to a graduating senior from every public high school in the state, Mitchell Institute also provides numerous resources and programs for Mitchell Scholars:

  • Leadership and career development events
  • Access to a wide array of professional networks
  • Customized career advising and personal support through individual meetings with Mitchell Institute staff and community members
  • Fellowship Awards of up to $1,500 to support internships and personal/professional growth opportunities
  • Emergency financial assistance for unexpected financial challenges

Please forward this information to students, colleagues, and friends in your networks! For more information, reach out to http://mitchellinstitute.org/ 

Joint Statement of Commitment and Support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Maine Schools

The Maine Department of Education, Maine School Boards Association, Maine School Superintendents Association, Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities, Maine Education Association, Maine Principals Association, and Maine Curriculum Leaders Association enthusiastically affirm the right of every student to an equitable education.  We proudly and steadfastly support the educators and districts in Maine who are taking on the work of understanding and dismantling racism and inequity in our schools and communities. We urge all Maine schools and educators to accept their role and responsibilities in examining and addressing the inequities that have long existed in our society and institutions.

We define educational equity as providing each student a legitimate opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive in school and beyond.

Equity depends on a deliberate and systematic abolition of the inequities that have been sewn into the fabric of American society. These persistent inequities have long disadvantaged students on the basis of race, sex, gender, gender expression, language, physical and intellectual ability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, indigenous origin, religion, and all aspects of human identity that have been subjugated within our society. We recognize that education is one of many systems that have had a role in perpetuating racial inequities, and that through close examination of our system, we can and must strive to attain diversity, equity, and inclusion of all voices and experiences. We believe this work is central to living up to our promises of providing an outstanding education for every Maine learner and continuing to be a public education system of excellence.

We recognize and commit to our role and duty as Maine public education leaders to actively partner with all schools in constructing a new educational paradigm, founded on the certainty that every student can and will be successful when:

  • School is a welcoming, safe place for all school community members to bring their whole identities with them
  •  Social emotional and behavioral supports are understood as critical prerequisites to academic learning
  • Students’ primary and home languages are recognized as assets, cultivated, and leveraged
  • Every educator in every role shares the responsibility for ensuring equity for every student and participates in equity education, both in teacher and administrator preparation programs and ongoing throughout their careers
  •  Families are meaningfully engaged as partners in their children’s education and welcomed into our schools
  • All academic and non-academic programming is culturally responsive and co-constructed with community members

Examining racism and inequity is difficult work. As each student of Maine is a future citizen of our global society, we believe this is work that needs to be engaged in respectfully and civilly by all the schools and communities in our state.  Understanding and addressing racism and inequity will take many different forms, all of which are valid and needed. Already many educators, school districts, and organizations are exploring this work in some of the following ways:

  • Defining with school and community members what makes a safe and welcoming place for all and committing to the vision
  • Reviewing your SAU’s Controversial Issues policy and best practices for engaging in discussions responsively and responsibly.
  • Engaging community members in discussions and actions to ensure that schools are a safe and welcoming place for all students
  • Engaging in equity audits to examine a variety of practices and programs
  • Expecting all school personnel to engage in professional learning about anti-racism and culturally responsive practices
  • Reviewing and revising curricula and materials to ensure they are well-rounded, decolonized, and representing all experiences
  • Adopting anti-racism instructional practices, programs, and policies
  • Establishing Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committees of stakeholders
  • Establishing expectations that every student will achieve and is challenged with rigorous curricula
  • Creating, supporting or amplifying student Civil Rights Teams within each school

We believe in the power and responsibilities that are bestowed on our educational institutions to provide a safe and equitable place in which all students can thrive, and where students are encouraged to examine their world, their beliefs and their role in society through multiple perspectives. We believe all students, all families, and all human beings deserve to be celebrated, included, and heard, and we are committed to supporting our schools and educators in taking on the challenge of examining and changing our practices.

We stand united in our commitment to this work and our support of the educators who are courageously stepping up and stepping into the learning, growing and changing that is needed. Our organizations will continue to provide resources, support and technical assistance as we all expand our own knowledge and capacity to engage in this critically important work on behalf of our students and our collective future.

Dec. 10 Webinar: Maine Ethnic Community Based Organizations Share Connection & Social Support Services Available During COVID-19

A coalition of Maine’s Ethnic Community Based Organizations (ECBO) will share the structure, content, and scope of the work they are doing to support their communities, particularly during the pandemic.

The presentation will provide an overview of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Social Services, including demonstrating how to make referrals for clients/students, what happens when there is an outbreak at school, and cultural brokering vs. Interpreter line.

The presentation will also cover the following topics:

  • Identifying communities to connect families with,
  • cultural differences to be mindful of,
  • describing support ECBOs can offer schools/ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teachers outside of COVID-19 work, and
  • provide an overview and the objectives of the NMEN (New Mainers Education Needs) Group and the Lewiston and Auburn taskforce.

The webinar will also provide time for questions and answers.

Details about how to participate in the webinar can be found below:

Date: Thursday, December 10th

Time: 3:00 PM

Register here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=q6g_QX0gYkubzeoajy-GTrgYxcYZ8OtAsEUkw8o3VCdUNjYxOFJOUkdWOFZLSDBXNTMyNzNDWERTVC4u

If you have any questions, contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs, at april.perkins@maine.gov.

 

Student Learning Opportunity: Thomas Cup Competition for High School Students

This free online learning opportunity is being hosted by Thomas College for high school students statewide.

It has been a tough year for many students and Thomas College (and partnering sponsors) want to help by providing a fun and engaging opportunity for students that can be done from the safety of their own homes. The 6th Annual Thomas Cup will include several chances to participate from December 7th, 2020 through January 30th, 2021. It will feature five (5) FREE virtual competitions where students will engage in coding, innovation, esports, robotics, crime scene investigation, and cyber defense. Additionally, each member of the winning team from the Thomas Cup in a Box event can take home up to $10,000 in scholarships to Thomas College.

We hope that you will help us get the word out to students!

Poster with information about each event

Website (includes registration links)

One important note: We recognize the extraordinary load educators have this year, and will do everything we can to reduce the ask of educators in order for students to participate. At minimum, we do require that students have some connection to a school/chaperone — this is for safety purposes. We want to be sure all the students who are involved are truly high school students and that we have a trusted-adult we can reach out to in case something comes up beyond our reach.

Technology Requirements: Students will need access to a laptop/tablet with internet access, a Gmail account that can access our Google Classroom, and the Chrome browser. For some of the challenges, Thomas College also will provide access to Hopin, Minecraft Education Edition, and CoderZ Robotics. Students should review the device requirements for these on the registration page.

For answers to questions or more information, please reach out to Jim Delorie (James.Delorie@thomas.edu) or Amanda Nguyen (Amanda.Nguyen@thomas.edu).

Sponsors: Central Maine Power, Educate Maine, UNUM, Project Login, At&T, Thomas College Sports, Microsoft, WEX, Thomas College. These organizations have made it possible for your students to participate in this year’s Thomas Cup at no cost and have shared their time and talent to help make the competitions a success. 

Virtual Construction Trades Career Fair – November 19

MaineSPARK, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education, invites students, educators, and caregivers for a morning with the Construction Trades!

Join us as we promote career opportunities in Maine! This is the first of our Trades Virtual Career Fair Series and it takes place on Thursday, November 19th, from 9am-11am via Zoom.

We ask teachers to challenge and encourage your students to participate. Use this event as an assignment, earning credit! Whether they are at home (remote learning) or in your classroom, this is an opportunity you don’t want your students to miss!

Through this very challenging time we must be innovative. This is a win-win for both students who are seeking careers in Maine and for our Maine businesses who are seeking a future workforce.

Maine construction companies will be presenting in their own breakout rooms, but only after participants hear from one of the most dynamic and inspiring guest speakers they will ever experience.

Hear from the following ABC Members:

  • CIANBRO
  • Connectivity Point Design Installation
  • DeBlois Electric Inc.
  • Eastern Fire
  • Hebert Construction
  • Johnson & Jordan, Inc
  • Landry & Sons Acoustics, Inc.
  • Langford & Low
  • N.S. Giles Foundation, Inc.
  • R.J. Grondin & Sons
  • Sargent Corporation

Students will have the opportunity to network with employers virtually. Instructors can host a socially distanced ‘watch party’ at your school – we can help provide the snacks! There is no cost to attend. We strongly encourage students to sign into Zoom individually so they may choose their own breakout rooms.

Please register at https://educatemaine.wufoo.com/forms/virtual-construction-trades-career-fair/.  Students, teachers and caregivers are encouraged to register.

Agenda

Welcome and Keynote 9:00am – 9:30 am

  •    Greg Sizemore, Vice President, HSE and Workforce Development, Associated Builders and Contractors

Breakout sessions from 9:35am – 11:00 am

  •    Students can self-select the industry representative/organization of their choice to hear more about that industry and job opportunities.

This is the first in a series of events for careers in the trades, and we will be announcing more in the future.

Questions can be sent to futuresuccess@mainespark.me.