Seeking Districts to Participate in Free Pilot of NBC Learn K-12 Product

NBC Learn is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education to offer all districts in Maine the opportunity to participate in a free pilot of their K-12 product.

The pilot will include access to thousands of videos curated for educational purposes, as well as technical and professional learning support. NBC Learn will promote district integration of the tool into a variety of different Learning Management Systems and will offer school leaders support as they align the resources to their local curriculum.

Districts who choose to participate will be asked to name one point of contact. This point of contact should be in a leadership role (curriculum coordinator, library media specialist, technology integrator, principal, teacher leader, etc.) and able to commit to helping other educators in the district or school to purposefully integrate the resources into their teaching and learning practice. That point of contact will also be asked to participate in an introductory webinar and a pilot evaluation facilitated by NBC Learn and the Department, which will include two surveys.

Additional information about NBC Learn and the pilot opportunity can be accessed through the:

Pilot Brochure (PDF)

Pilot Overview (PDF)

In order to ready to fully participate in the pilot from December 2018 through June 2019, districts can sign up for the pilot now. To join the pilot, please sign up here.

For additional information or answers to questions, please contact: Grace Kane, Manager, Partnerships and Sales, NBC Learn at grace.kane@nbcuni.com or Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist, Maine Department of Education at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

Maine DOE Update – October 11, 2018

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |


News & Updates

Maine DOE Awarded $5.5M Grant to Support Student Mental Health Initiative

The Maine Department of Education has been awarded a 5-year grant (1.1 million per year) from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will go towards an initiative called Maine-AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) aimed at helping Maine develop a comprehensive framework and infrastructure to support student mental health through effective state and local collaboration between education and health providers. | More

School Safety and Security Bulletin: Transportation Safety

Throughout the 2018- 2019 school year, the Maine Department of Education, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Maine State Police, Maine Sheriffs Association, Maine Chiefs of Police Association, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency will provide tips and resource information to Maine schools to help provide some guidance for identifying signs and preventing school violence. | More

National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

The Maine Department of Education in collaboration with the Maine State Police are helping to promote the 2019 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, a nationwide contest administered by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as part of the U.S. Department of Justice. | More

Maine Kids Rock Program Expands to 22 Additional Schools

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce that 22 school districts have been awarded $5,000 worth of modern band instruments, per school, as part of an expansion of the Maine Kids Rock Initiative.| More

Follow Up Regarding Private School Approval

This communication provides detailed guidance regarding timelines and tuition considerations for Private Schools seeking approval for the receipt of public funds for 2018-19.| More

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Maine Department of Education and RSU 5 have begun a teacher-training project for the 2018-2019 school year. Twelve teachers including reading interventionists, special educators, and district special education director, Bonnie Violette will receive extensive Structured Literacy training provided by dyslexia specialists from the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Portland. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | Priority Notices


Professional Development & Training Opportunities

Balanced Assessment System Webinar Recording Now Available

The first session of an assessment literacy series was conducted via webinar on September 26, 2018 and focused on a Balanced Assessment System. The session included an overview of the planned professional learning opportunities and implementation timeline in addition to reviewing the key components of a Balanced Assessment System. | More

Training Opportunity: TransACT Parent Notifications – Part of Your Parent and Family Engagement Planning

The Maine Department of Education will be hosting three trainings across the state to assist districts in using TransACT, a resource that supports parent and family engagement. Use of TransACT is provided to Maine districts at no cost, sponsored by the Department’s Office of ESEA Federal Programs. | More

NASDTEC Professional Practices Institute

National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Professional Practices Institute (PPI) is being held in Portland, Maine this year October 17 – 19, 2018. | More

Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Maine Department of Education and RSU 5 have begun a teacher-training project for the 2018-2019 school year. Twelve teachers including reading interventionists, special educators, and district special education director, Bonnie Violette will receive extensive Structured Literacy training provided by dyslexia specialists from the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Portland.

Structured literacy is a teacher-led approach characterized by the provision of systematic, explicit instruction of language and reading.  The skills taught are helpful for all students; but they are especially critical for students with language-learning weaknesses, including dyslexia.

The teachers began their training in June with a fifteen-hour seminar and have recently completed an additional fifteen hours of seminar training.  They have just begun to apply new skills and knowledge with their students.  The teachers will receive extensive practicum supervision throughout the year.

Pownal Elementary Teacher
Hillary Massicotte delivers her first Structured Literacy lesson to a fourth-grade student at Pownal Elementary School.

Lisa Whitis, Dyslexia Coordinator for the Maine DOE, recently visited Pownal Elementary School to observe the teachers in action. “The students are loving it, especially the kinesthetic piece, I’ve already begun to see improvement,” shared Hillary Massicotte.

Special Education Director, Bonnie Violette, noted that she has a talented group of dedicated teachers and they are excited to be part of this project.

For further information contact Lisa Whitis,  Dyslexia Coordinator for the Maine DOE at Lisa.Whitis@maine.gov or (207) 624-6643

Balanced Assessment System Webinar Recording Now Available

The first session of an assessment literacy series was conducted via webinar on September 26, 2018 and focused on a Balanced Assessment System. The session included an overview of the planned professional learning opportunities and implementation timeline in addition to reviewing the key components of a Balanced Assessment System. The webinar can now be accessed here:

Balanced Assessment System Webinar (YouTube)

Further professional development opportunities can be found on the Department’s Professional Development & Training Calendar.

PRESS RELEASE: Maine DOE Awarded $5.5M Grant to Support Student Mental Health Initiative

The Maine Department of Education has been awarded a 5-year grant (1.1 million per year) from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will go towards an initiative called Maine-AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) aimed at helping Maine develop a comprehensive framework and infrastructure to support student mental health through effective state and local collaboration between education and health providers.

The project is grounded in a belief that strong implementation of evidence based universal positive behavior and social emotional learning supports coupled with universal behavioral health screening can help schools and communities focus intensive resources on students and families with the greatest need. The project also aims at developing coordinated support services at the school level so that school clinical capacity is maximized and well-articulated with the community’s therapeutic resources.

The framework for building a statewide comprehensive approach to student mental health will be gained through the experiences of an initial implementation with three school administrative units (SAU) which will serve as pilot sites for the initiative: Calais School Department, RSU 10, and RSU 40. They were selected prior to the application submission and are representative of the challenges faced by Maine’s school districts. Factors considered in the selection were geographic location, rate of uninsured children, data from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (mental health and substance use), local employment of a licensed clinical social worker, and existing relationships with community mental health agencies.

The primary goals of Maine-AWARE are to:

1. Tier I: Ensure that all students have access to evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) strategies, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and screening for behavioral health needs.

2. Tier II: Provide students and families identified as at increased risk of negative academic and behavioral outcomes with team-based school and community supports, targeted interventions, and indicated mental health screening.

3. Tier III: Provide targeted, evidence-based clinical interventions to youth and families experiencing serious mental or behavioral health disorders.

4. Systems Building: Implement a comprehensive workforce and infrastructure development plan to provide technical assistance on evidence-based behavioral and mental health interventions and an effective statewide implementation strategy.

The Maine Department of Education will be working in collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services on the Maine-AWARE Initiative.