Professional Learning Opportunity: #DigCit4ME Challenge and Workshops

The Maine Department of Education will be facilitating a series of opportunities for educators to participate in professional learning related to digital citizenship, as well as interacting in the digital world in healthy and safe ways.

  • Part one of the series is an online game, which is called the #DigCit4ME Challenge. Participants who register for part two of the series (the in-person workshop) will obtain access to play the game. Playing the game is a prerequisite to attending the workshop.
  • Part two of the series is a regional in-person workshop, which is open to all educators to attend. Educators are encouraged to attend in school teams. There are a number of opportunities to attend a workshop in January. More information is below.
  • Part three of the series is an opportunity for health education and physical education educators to engage in this learning at the spring Health/Physical Education Conference.

In-person workshops

In January, there will be in-person regional #DigCit4ME Workshops. Participants will develop a better understanding of the Cross-Curricular Framework for Digital Citizenship from Common Sense Media and its connection to the Maine Learning Results Health Education and Physical Education standards and content areas. Educators will be able to create relevant learning experiences for students to help them incorporate this knowledge and these skills into their daily lives.

Cost: Free to attend
Contact Hours: Earn 6.5 contact hours
Target Audience: Educators who interact with students in grades 5-12
Draft Agenda
9:00am – 3:30pm

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Digital Citizenship Framework from Common Sense Media with Maine’s Health Education and Physical Education Standards
  • Resources to build educator knowledge, to share with families, and to use in classrooms
  • Lunch (provided)
  • Goals and expectations for afternoon
  • Planning time in small groups
  • Sharing time
  • Announcements and directions to continue with online game

Locations and Registration

Register Here

January 8th, South Portland High School
January 16th, Auburn Middle School
January 25th, University of Maine at Fort Kent
January 29th, Washington Academy (East Machias)
January 30th, Husson University (Bangor)

For more information or answers to questions, please contact: Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist, Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

Maine DOE to Launch Maine Harvest of the Month Program in Schools

The Maine Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Program is excited to announce the launch of Maine’s Harvest of the Month Program. Currently in planning phases, the program is slated to launch in schools in the Spring of 2019. Jenn So has been hired by the Maine DOE as the Harvest of the Month Program Manager and will be leading the development, implementation, and trainings for the program statewide. This program is a collaboration between the Maine DOE Child Nutrition Program and the Maine Farm to School Network.

Program Background

Harvest of the Month (HOM) is a nationwide marketing campaign promoting the use of seasonally available, local products in schools, institutions, and communities. Each month, a different local product is highlighted and participating entities pledge to serve the product and promote it through educational materials and activities. The program launched in California and has been replicated by dozens of other states across the country. With Maine’s participation, all of New England will now have Harvest of the Month programs.

Maine Harvest of the Month Background 

In its pilot year, Maine’s HOM program will develop a unique Maine HOM crop calendar and create corresponding marketing materials and recipes for food service directors and schools to display and utilize. Regional trainings will be delivered to train food service staff and other interested stakeholders on how to best implement the program; support will be provided to schools as needed. The program’s goal is to increase the procurement and consumption of local Maine products in schools (K-12), and thus the total number of meals provided. To participate in the program, schools will sign a  pledge committing to: serve the local HOM product at least twice per month (local being defined as grown or caught in Maine); display HOM materials provided by the Child Nutrition office; and participate in pre-and post-evaluations. Schools are also encouraged to integrate the HOM into educational activities.

If your school or district is interested in participating, please contact Jenn So at jenn.so@maine.gov or 207-624-6639 for more information.

Recording & Materials from Presentation About ESSA & Report Cards

The Maine Department of Education held a presentation on Monday, December 10 about the details of Maine’s Model of School Support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which includes the release of the new, user-friendly, public Report Cards in early January. Below is a link to a recording of the session and links to the PowerPoint Presentation, in addition to all of the handouts from the presentation.

Further questions about Maine’s ESSA Plan, Maine’s Model of School Support, and the Report Cards should be directed to Acting Director of Learning Systems, Janette Kirk Janette.Kirk@maine.gov or ESEA Federal Programs & School Turnaround Director Chelsey Fortin-Trimble Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov.

PRESS RELEASE: Maine DOE Awarded $2.88M Grant to Support School Emergency Operations Plan Initiative

Update: Schools will receive an invitation from the Department to participate in grant activities this spring. 

The Maine Department of Education has been awarded a 5-year grant from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. The funding will go towards an initiative called Maine Grant for School Emergency Management aimed at helping Maine schools by providing training and technical assistance in the development and implementation of high-quality school emergency operations plans (EOPS).

This project is grounded in the belief that multihazard emergency planning for schools helps schools and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from critical incidents. The Maine Grant for School Emergency Management project is the next step of work that began with a Maine School Security Report that was initiated by the Maine Legislature.

The primary goals of the Maine Grant for School Emergency Management project are to:

  1. Provide schools, especially those identified as high need in rural areas, with high-quality EOP training at no cost.
  2. Ensure that local educational agencies have access at no cost to a new customizable EOP template that can be easily updated and includes technical guidance.
  3. Provide high-quality EOP technical assistance clinics at no cost that will be delivered to develop a team of education sector professionals who are committed to work with schools.

The grant allocation is over five years:

Year 1: $614,773
Year 2: $567,920
Year 3: $567,920
Year 4: $567,920
Year 5: $567,920
Grant Total:  $2,886,453

The grant activities, as awarded, are one hundred percent federally funded. No project costs will be financed by non-governmental sources.

The Department of Education takes school safety, security, emergency management, and preparedness seriously and is continually taking steps to improve it.

Further questions and inquiries can be send to Pat Hinckley, Maine DOE Transportation and Facilities Administrator at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

Resources to Support the Observance of Alcohol Awareness Day

Alcohol is the most frequently used substance by adolescents in Maine. Almost one of every four Maine high school students used alcohol in the past 30 days, and more than one third of those students reported binge drinking (2017 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey). Alcohol consumption by students is impacted by factors such as low perception of harm, low perception of getting caught, and ease of access.

Schools and community organizations are encouraged to work together to address alcohol issues. In alignment with Maine statute, schools across Maine can raise awareness about alcohol use and abuse by observing Alcohol Awareness Day on Monday, December 3 (or another designated day in December). The statute indicates Alcohol Awareness Day shall be observed by studying for at least 45 minutes, a constructive approach toward the use of alcohol and the problems and dangers of alcohol abuse upon the individual, the family and society.

Consider using one or more of the following resources to prepare a message or lesson to enhance your existing health education curriculum:

It is important for Maine students to receive education and awareness about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use as part of comprehensive school health education, Pre-K through High School, and in alignment with the Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction, Health Education StandardsSelecting Evidence-Based Substance Use Prevention Programs: A Guide for Maine Schools Grades K-12 may help determine the most appropriate program for a school community.

There is also a guide to help schools create, update, and enforce a substance use policy. The guide, “Substance Use Policy: A Comprehensive Guide for School Policy Development provides practical suggestions for a complete policy, based on research and best practices.

For assistance or additional resources, contact the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program at 287-8901, TTY 711 or email: TSUP.DHHS@maine.gov.  You can order a limited quantity of free alcohol use prevention pamphlets through the Prevention Store http://www.mainepreventionstore.org./