Science Standards Revision-LD 283

On April 19, 2019  Governor Mills signed LD 283, which contained the revised Science and Engineering standards in the Maine Learning Results. The revised standards are an adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, which represent significant shifts from the previous version. The revised standards call for students to build core knowledge by making sense of observable events that use science to explain or predict. The three-dimensional nature of the standards promotes students “doing” science over passively listening to lectures. The standards also foster students’ ability to communicate scientific arguments and explanations. The revised standards replace breadth with depth of scientific ideas and practices.

The signed bill is currently going through the Maine Administrative Procedure Act to officially become law through the Secretary of State’s office. It is anticipated that the law will go into effect near the end of this school year. This timeline allows schools to begin planning for implementation during the summer of 2019. To help support schools as they transition to use of the revised standards., planning is underway here at the Department of Education to provide a series of professional development opportunities around the state in 2019 and 2020, as well as online resources.

For questions regarding the standards review process please contact Beth Lambert at beth.lambert@maine.gov.

For questions regarding science education please contact Shari Templeton at shari.templeton@maine.gov.

Classroom Highlight: Comprehensive Computer Science at Lyman Moore Middle School

Submitted by AJ Rog and Sean Wasson, Computer Science Educators at Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland, Maine.

Lyman Moore Middle School is in the Portland Public School District. It is home to 480 students in grades 6 through 8. Over the last 20+ years Portland has become a very diverse city with an influx of refugees and asylum seekers from around the world. Thanks to this welcome change to our city, our school is currently home to students from 28 different countries with at least 15 different home languages being spoken.

Sean Wasson and I (AJ Rog) feel privileged to be the two computer science teachers at Lyman Moore. We are able to reach approximately 85% of our students. Our classes run on an alternating day schedule, allowing their semester of content to stretch across the entire year. This schedule engages our students in two semesters of computer science content throughout their 6th and 7th grade experiences. During their time in the CS program they are given access to coding, problem solving skills and design thinking. Our students leave middle school with a high level of understanding of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and circuit boards.

When our students enter 8th grade they are given some choice in the elective classes  hey take. Sean and I offer multiple choices over the 3 trimesters ranging from movie making,  TEAM Windmill Challenge, Web Design, Puzzles and Cyber Security, Video Game Design,  nd Circuit Boards. These classes have allowed our students who want to go further in the STEAM fields an opportunity to do so.

Our ultimate goal is to have 100% of our middle school students take CS and to collaborate closely with the three city high schools in order to recommend high school CS placement and encourage students to continue their CS journey. We also see CS curriculum as a path toward equity and engagement. Because of the demographics of our school we are positioned to encourage those students who have historically been  underrepresented in Computer Science (e.g. girls and students of color) to focus on, build skills in and find inspiration in CS. In addition we provide opportunities for students to  engage in skills and knowledge that will serve them beyond the classroom. In our ever digitizing world, our students will leave middle school equipped to creatively tackle problems using the CS lens.

Washington County Educator Profile: Mathy Terril

Submitted by Sarah Woog from the The Washington County Consortium. 

Meet Mathy Terrill, Social Studies Teacher, A.P History Teacher, History Department Head, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teaching Fellow, National Honor Society Advisor, Gay Straight Transgendered Alliance Advisor, Student Assistant Team Co-Advisor, Homecoming Coordinator, Varsity Cross Country Coach, Varsity Track and Field Assistant Coach, and Overall Ridiculously Busy and Dedicated Educator at Washington Academy.

Mathy and I met at her home in Machias over the weekend so I could interview her for this profile. I usually come to such interviews with questions prepared, but this time I was stumped. Mathy does EVERYTHING. How could I structure the interview to highlight her deep commitment to education in Washington County without leaving anything out? Truth is, I couldn’t. So I asked her what she is most proud of. She told me two things: her work as a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teaching Fellow, and the Prom Dress Boutique she puts on as advisor for the National Honor Society at Washington Academy.

Mathy has been a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teaching Fellow for three years. She goes to Washington, D.C. every summer for a week to connect with other Fellows and gain resources and study practices for teaching the Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Washington Academy and to support other teachers in bringing Genocide Studies lessons to their classrooms. Mathy has shared her work at Harvest of Ideas for the past three years and continues to work with teachers throughout the school year to develop age-appropriate curriculum in an effort to bring these important lessons to students beyond Washington Academy.

The Prom Dress Boutique is an annual event held on a Saturday morning in April each year at Washington Academy and has been covered by many news outlets including the Bangor Daily News, Machias Valley News Observer, and WABI News Channel 5 (here is a story from this years event). Hundreds of dresses have been collected by donation throughout the years and are made available to students to pick from, as are shoes and accessories. Mathy and the National Honor Society set up the cafeteria at Washington Academy as a boutique, complete with dressing rooms, and organize the fantastic inventory on racks by size so area students may come and experience prom shopping without the prohibitive price tag typically associated with such fun.

One of the best things about Mathy is her eagerness to share. Part of her enthusiasm for her work comes from her belief that all our kids deserve the opportunities she brings to Washington Academy. you can reach out to Mathy (m.terrill@raider4life.org) if you’d like to incorporate Genocide Studies into your classroom. Somehow she’ll find the time to help you. She always does.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Reminder – Maine DOE to Announce Maine County Teachers of the Year May 9, 2019

What:
15 Maine teachers will be announced and honored as part of the Maine Department of Education’s annual Maine County Teachers of the Year awards. The teachers were nominated by a member of their community, underwent a rigorous application process, and were chosen by a panel of teachers, principals and business community members.

Maine county teachers of the year serve as ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education state-wide. The Maine County Teachers of the Year are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations. Through the summer, they will continue to participate in an intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process.

Who:
15 Maine teachers, representing 15 of 16 counties* Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Pender Makin; Executive Director of Educate Maine, Ed Cervone; State Board of Education, Wilson Hess; and 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey.
*Lincoln County did not have a nominee who both met the criteria and engaged in the application process.

Where:
Hall of Flags, Maine State Capitol

When:
Thursday, May 9, 2018 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm

For more information contact Maine DOE Director of Communications, Kelli Deveaux at (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov.

Employee of the Week: Stacey Bean

Stacey Bean, Maine DOE Contract/Grant Specialist for the Office of Special Services is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Stacey in this brief question and answer below:

What are your roles with DOE?

I manage various contracts within the special services department of DOE.

What are your roles with DOE?

I really love my team, I work with some great people, all working towards the same goal.

How or why did you decide on this career?

Special education is close to my heart my older sister has special needs and I like being able to help with that in any way. This is why I was interested in the Special Services team.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

Outside of work, I love being outdoors. Going for walks and camping with friends and family 😊