Madison Junior High School Teacher Recognized with 2019 NELMS Master in Middle Award

The New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) announced at its 38th Annual Conference (held March 21-22, 2019) that Kathy Bertini, a teacher at Madison Junior High School in Madison, Maine was awarded a NELMS 2019 Master in Middle Award. Jeff Rodman, Executive Director of NELMS, state “Paying attention to the learning needs of young adolescents and recognizing their unique developmental stage can make a significant difference in the lives of 10-14-year olds.” He added “recognizing those experienced in middle level educators is a major part of the work of the Recognition’s Committee who often have a very difficult task choosing winners.”

Kathy Bertini is the project director for the cooperative FEDES grant awarded by the Maine Department of Education in 2017, for a project called Kennebec Valley STEAM Outreach. Among the FEDES STEAM Outreach Project goals is the development of an upper elementary/middle level STEAM curriculum including a curriculum pilot in the three project partner districts, RSU 74, RSU 59, and RSU 83/MSAD 13. The STEAM curriculum is based on the engineering design process and incorporates trends in the work force and builds skills in areas of the State’s workforce where shortages are projected. The STEAM project also employs University of Maine engineering undergraduates to aid classroom teachers with curriculum implementation. The UMO undergrads also consult with the curriculum writer, Kathy Bertini, providing specific guidance on the engineering elements of each build, they act as mentors, and help with staff professional development. The KVSOP curriculum includes lessons/builds for grades 3-8 including a scope and sequence, alignment to NGSS content, Maine Learning Results and Engineering Design standards. Embedded in each build/lesson is a digital reference that reinforces the science content appropriate for the grade level.  Each build is connected to a real-life science career to support the connection with real world science application and a referenced to a habit of work element to encourage design change and performance expectations.

MaineCare Seed Adjustments to be Made, Review Q219 Reports by April 12, 2019

The recovery of Q219 MaineCare Seed will occur in the April 2019 subsidy payment and the Maine DOE is asking districts to please review their reports by April 12, 2019 to ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy. SAU staff must review student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q219 by April 12, 2019.

To access the MaineCare Seed reports, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into NEO using the link below
    https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Dashboard

    • Anyone who currently has Special Education Director permissions to the Special Education module will automatically have permissions to access MaineCare reports.
    • As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this module, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary. The helpdesk contact information is medms.helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.
  2. Click on the Student Data tab
  3. Click on the Student Report tab
  4. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  5. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  6. Click view report button
  7. Once the report appears on the screen, choose the export button. MaineCare File
    You may export the reports to Excel but, please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

You may export the reports to Excel, but please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with the following to Denise.towers@maine.gov.

  • Identify the type of report (public or private) and the quarter in which the claims are located.
  • State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (From and To)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: Students must be enrolled for the time period they are receiving educational services. This means that students that are receiving extended school year services in district or extended school year services in an out of district placement must have a primary enrollment for that time period in order for the MDOE to have the most accurate enrollment data to determine SAU responsibility for MaineCare Seed.

For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Maine DOE Data Team Announces Annual Data Entry Training

August 6th thru August 15th, the Maine Department of Education Data Team will be hosting regional data entry trainings. This annual training is geared toward district and school level staff who are tasked with reporting student/staff data to the Maine DOE. Administrators are also strongly encouraged to attend. Our session this year will be focused on sharing resources that will assist districts with their required state data reporting tasks. Please help us create content that will be most valuable to you, by providing us with your suggestions via the link below.

Please click here submit your suggestions

Training Dates & Locations

All sessions will begin will registration at 8:30, presentations beginning at 9. We will serve a light lunch and will finish no later than 4:00. Coffee and water will also be provided throughout the day.

  • August 6th – Caribou High School
  • August 7th – Brewer High School
  • August 8th – Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School
  • August 12th – Cony School (Augusta)
  • August 13th – Mt. Blue High School (Farmington)
  • August 14th – Mt. Ararat Middle School (Topsham)
  • August 15th – Buxton Community Elementary School

For further questions, please contact the Maine DOE Helpdesk at 207-624-6896 or MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov.

 

New Visual Tool Available to Help Communicate Purpose of the MEAs

With the upcoming MEA testing window opening soon, the Maine Department of Education has created a visual tool to help schools and districts when communicating with families and communities about the Maine Educational Assessments (MEAs). The tool outlines why Maine administers a state assessment to students, what scores are used for, and why participation in the MEAs is important.

The tool is available as a graphic visual and as a text-only accessible version:

Why Participation Matters (Graphic Visual – PDF)

Why Participation Matters (Text Version – PDF)

For further questions, please visit Maine DOE Maine Comprehensive Assessment System Website.

 

Employee of the Week: Nate Menifield

Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield is the Maine Department of Education’s Employee of the Week. Get to know a little more about Nate through this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

As the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, I primarily support teachers of music, visual art, theatre, and dance in Maine’s Pre-K-12 public schools in a variety of ways ranging from designing professional learning opportunities to managing arts-related initiatives. Additionally, I serve as the Regional Education Representative for Cumberland County; a valuable chance to meet with that region’s superintendents and curriculum coordinators once each month.

 What do you like best about your job?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I find the most joy  – at work and elsewhere – in my relationships with the people around me. Since joining the DOE last July, I’ve quickly grown to appreciate and admire the dedication and expertise of my incredible colleagues, each of whom contributes something uniquely valuable to the collective work that we do. Beyond the office, I’ve discovered that I feel most energized by my direct interactions with our state’s educators and young artists. There are amazing levels of support, creativity, and passion being fostered in arts classrooms all over Maine. If you want to be inspired, go observe a rehearsal or attend an art exhibit – you won’t regret it!

 How or Why did you decide on this career?

I’ve long maintained the belief that, for me, educating others is more a personality trait than a career choice. Throw in the fact that I’ve always been “artsy,” and my tenure in arts education only makes sense! From my days as a young musician in Aroostook County to the nine years I spent teaching music to high school students in Southern Maine, I’ve had a rare and extended opportunity to witness the unique joys and the challenges facing arts education throughout our state. Over the years, though, one thing that’s remained clearly evident and remarkably consistent is that Maine arts educators are among the most dedicated, talented individuals you could ever hope to meet. So, when the opportunity to support them from the state level presented itself, I was both honored and humbled by the chance to give something meaningful back to the many educators who have given so much to me and many other generations of students.

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

I’m a classically trained singer, so a lot of my time outside of cubicle #56 is spent rehearsing, performing, and occasionally guest conducting choirs. Other things to know? I also love traveling, am a big foodie, have enjoyed baking since I was a kid, and am dad to a rambunctious but adorable black lab mix named Toby. Stop by and share your interests any time!