Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category


Art and Music Courses

August 24, 2014

Course Opportunities for Art and Music Educators

As arts educators, we know how important a quality arts education is for every student. That is why we are constantly seeking to improve teaching and learning  in our classrooms. And the arts have never been more relevant and essential than they are right now – in the 21st century.  But where do we find quality, professional development in arts education?

The New England Institute for Teacher Education is proud to announce that it will be offering three courses in Visual Art and Music Assessment practices this fall to any Art or Music educators, K-12.  The courses are all taught by leaders in art and music education who have played an integral role in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative in the past three years.

Don’t miss this special opportunity to work with Rob Westerberg, who will be bringing the Music course to Hanover, New Hampshire (Vermont and New Hampshire music educators, take note!), Jake Sturtevant who is teaching Music Assessment in Standish, Maine, or Catherine Ring who is teaching Visual Art Assessment in Bangor, Maine.  All of these courses meet on teacher-friendly schedules (two weekend sessions with 10-12 weeks in between) and are tailored to meet each individual’s needs.

If you want to be in on the most current thinking, research and best practices used in arts classrooms, this is a great way to get started and connect to a network of other professionals and a wealth of shared resources. Over 85 arts educators have taken advantage of arts assessment courses through the New England Institute and many have taken on leadership roles in their schools and districts as a result of their work. Three graduate credits will be awarded upon successful completion through the New England Institute’s academic partnership with Endicott College.

So please join us. We’re excited to share what we have with you and to learn from you!

Questions?  Call the New England Institute at 207-367-5807 or email

Catherine, Rob and Jake



The Arts as Inspiration

August 21, 2014

Barbara Harris Conference Center, Greenfield, NH

October 31 -November 2

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 10.10.11 PM


Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 10.10.24 PM


In Today’s News

August 14, 2014

Just out from the Maine Department of Education, Commissioner’s Update

August 14, 2014


Maine Arts Assessment Initiative hosts New England Summit on Arts Education

The Maine DOE joined over 90 educators, teaching artists, and interdisciplinary teams at the New England Summit on Arts Education, July 29-August 1, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. This three day professional training opportunity was coordinated by the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and provided participants with a collaborative approach to explore methods of teaching, learning, and assessment in arts education.

Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Coordinator for Americans for the Arts, delivered an important message about the critical role of arts education in developing essential knowledge, skills and creative abilities needed for success in school, work and life. During the Summit, educators developed individual action plans focused on essential components of student learning and proficiency including arts integration, studio habits, technology and assessment.

Veteran teacher-leaders and educators new to MAAI joined together to learn from each other through numerous presentations, workshops and lectures. Over the past year, the MAAI teacher-leaders have developed standards-based units, including assessments, lesson plans and resources, and have provided guidance on how to select appropriate tools for classroom assessment. These materials are now available for review and use on the MAAI Resource Bank.

Representatives from the Department and arts organizations and institutions from across New England were in attendance at the Summit, including Lesley University, Lincoln Street Center and Northland Village Foundation, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, Maine College of Art, New England Institute for Teacher Education, Portland Ovations, Portland Museum of Art, Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Art Education and Music Education Departments of the University of Maine.

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was an initiative established in 2011 to create an environment in Maine where quality assessment is an integral part of the work of all integral part of the work of all arts educators in order to improve student achievement through teaching and learning. The initiative builds capacity through collaboration and the development of professional practices designed by teachers, for teachers.

For more information about MAAI, contact the Maine Arts Commission’s Director of Arts Education, Argy Nestor at or 207-287-2713.

For more information about arts integration, contact the DOE’s Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Kevin Facer, at or 207-624-6826.

To read the above article on the Department’s website please click here.


Phase IV Teacher Leaders: MAAI

August 13, 2014

Teacher Leaders announced

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtrThe Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is proud to announce the new Teacher Leaders who have stepped up to take on a leadership role during phase IV and the 2014-15 school year. The Summit on Arts Education officially launched Phase IV of the MAAI with the Summit on Arts Education held at USM, Portland, July 29-August 1.

The following are the new Teacher Leaders and below them you will find the Teacher Leaders returning for another year from a previous phase. To date, MAAI has provided professional development for 61 Teacher Leaders representing all regions of Maine. These teachers have created and presented workshops to over 1000 Maine educators during the first three phases of MAAI. Please join me in thanking them for taking on the leadership and providing learning opportunities for Maine teachers! MMAAI has 38 active teacher leaders participating during Phase IV! YAHOOOOO!

During the 2014-15 school year you will be able to read their Another Arts Teacher’s Story which is a series of blog post containing the Teacher Leaders stories. You can read the teacher stories from the last three years by searching for them on the blog using the search words “Another Arts Teacher’s Story”.

For a complete listing of the MAAI Teacher Leaders from all four phases please go to the new website and check out the Who We Are page under MAAI, specifically at!teacher-leaders/ceac.

New Teacher Leaders


  • Cynthia Keating, grades K-2, Village Elementary School, York
  • Frances Kellogg, grades K-4, Ellsworth Elementary Middle School
  • Pamela Kinsey, grades K-12, Easton Schools
  • Kate Smith, grades PK-3, Central Elementary School, South Berwick


  • Theresa Cerceo, grades K-12, Dr. Levesque Elementary School, Wisdom Middle/High School
  • Samantha Davis, grades 6-8, Molly Ockett Middle School
  • Michaela DiGianvittorio, grades 9-12, Gray-New Gloucester High School
  • Sarah Gould, grades 9-12, Gray-New Gloucester High School


  • Emma A. Campbell, grades 9-12, Thornton Academy

Returning Teacher Leaders from Phase I, II, and/or III


  • Drew Albert, grades 9-12, Maranacook Community High School
  • Sue Barre, grades 5-12, Waterville Senior High School
  • Jennifer Etter, grades 5-8, York Middle School
  • Judy Fricke, early childhood, Maine Street Music Studios
  • Patricia Gordan, grades K-4, Raymond Elementary School
  • Jane Kirton, grades 9-12, Sanford High School
  • Linda McVety, grades K-5, Songo Locks Elementary School
  • Jen Nash, grades 5-8, Sebasticook Valley Middle School
  • Jenni Null, grades K-6, Songo Locks Elementary School
  • Ashley Smith, grades 9-12, Brunswick High School
  • Jake Sturtevant, grades 9-12, Bonny Eagle High School
  • Shari Tarleton, grades 6-8, Brunswick Junior High School


  • Amy Cousins, grades 6-8, Gorham Middle School
  • Melanie Crowe, grades 6-8, Marshwood Middle School
  • Jennie Driscoll, grades 9-12, Brunswick High School
  • Suzanne Goulet, grades 9-12, Waterville Senior High School
  • Gloria Hewett, grades 6-8, Mount View Middle School
  • Lisa Ingraham, grades K-4, Madison Elementary School
  • Danette Kerrigan, grades 6-8, Sacopee Valley Middle School
  • Charlie Johnson, grades 9-12, Mount Desert Island High School
  • Lisa Marin, grades K-12, Jonesport-Beals High School and Union #103
  • Brian McPherson, grades K-5, Woodside Elementary School
  • Jeff Orth, grades 6-12 Richmond Middle/High Schools
  • Pam Ouellette, grades 9-12, Lisbon High School
  • Janie Snider, grades K-8, Hancock Grammar School


  • MaryEllen Schaper, grades 6-8, Bonny Eagle Middle School


  • Beth Lambert, grades 9-12, Carrabec High School
  • Lisa Neal, grades 9-12, Nokomis Regional High School

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative – NEW Website!

August 12, 2014

Created for you!

The crazy adventure/uncharted territory known as the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is now 4 years old. During that time, over 1,000 Arts educators have participated in MAAI activities, including workshops, state Conferences, Webinars, courses, and on and on. One of the unforeseen benefits of all this professional development has been the excavation of vast amounts of materials and documents to further our understanding and our work. From rubric construction and advice on implementing standards, to blogs, publications, and web resources, it seems that there’s little out there that hasn’t been unearthed in the process of working as colleagues in this state. Along those lines, it has been a bit of a pipe dream to create a web site that actually stores all of these resources in a user friendly format; “one stop shopping” for all things Arts Assessment. Being unveiled here is the manifestation of that goal,


The website is split into easily searchable topics: Assessment Documents, Helpful Videos, “tons” of Web Links and Advocacy. We also decided to make this site the home page for MAAI, so there is a link there giving the mission, history and present day activities for educators to plug themselves into. Also featured is a “Proficiency Toolkit”, providing a step-by-step process by which Arts educators can move forward in their work to meet local and state requirements, adopting standards work in their own programs/schools/classrooms in ways that make sense to them.

All of us in MAAI are extraordinarily proud of the work that’s going on across the state. But it’s all for naught unless the work continues. Here is a way to access all the amazing resources out there in the world that will help us do so. Take a peek at the website when you get a few minutes, and hop onto the areas that resonate the most with your own professional needs. We welcome feedback and suggestions as this site continues to spring to life, and hope you will utilize it as a favorite “go to” site in the months and years to come.

A GREAT big thank you to Rob Westerberg for his numerous hours of work bringing together all of the information and creating the new website!


What are the Summit Participants Saying?

August 9, 2014

Summit on Arts Education, July 29-August 1, 2014

If you follow the Maine Arts Ed blog you are aware of all the posts during the last several days that have to do with a component of the Summit. You might be wondering: What are the participants saying about the Summit?”


Summit on Arts Education participants

Soooooo…. here is some of the feedback that was collected electronically from teachers at the conclusion of each day:

Overall comments:

  • I have not had a professional development in assessment before and it was great!
  • Plenty of opportunities to meet people and collaborate
  • There was an incredible diversity of knowledge, and information that was shared continuously
  • Everyone was full of energy and ideas. It made me really excited to start integrating what I’ve learned!
  • This week, I was able to take all the various pieces I’ve worked with (from over the past couple years) and consolidate them into a plan that fits my teaching style and my curriculum!
  • Every conversation I had was meaningful

What did I learn (on specific topics) on the first day:

  • Student-centered classroom, assessment and classroom strategies
    • I learned about backward design
    • Student-centered learning is the foundation of a standards-based classroom.
    • “I Can” statements for standards, how others are assessing successfully
  • How do I organize information
    • I learned that I can only absorb so much. There is a lot to absorb here!
    • That my brain is still very much in summer mode.
    • Self and educational discovery takes time and is hard work
  • Advocacy
    • Arts assessment is in part, advocation for our art programs.
    • The webinar with Washington was very interesting and enlightening, I had no idea about what happens at that end of the spectrum. Wonderful to see how people are advocates.
  • MAAI and teacher leaders
    • That Maine has a dedicated group of professionals united in working on assessment to improve teaching and learning.
    • I learned about the responsibilities of a teacher leader.
    • How a visual arts teacher went through the process of becoming a teacher leader
    • MAAI is there to support my art ed learning that meets my needs. I felt like I should have been involved in MAAI sooner!
  • Collaboration
    • Everyone can be a resource in areas they are passionately curious about
    • The need to collaborate is essential!
  • Standards and proficiency
    • The idea of “Power Standards” seems like a good place to start
    • Using Standards-based assessments involves working towards clear goals or ‘big ideas’& communicating those goals to students, empowering students to take ownership of their progress towards these goals, and giving feedback along the way.
  • Technology
    • New resources are available in a variety of media, which will help inform my teaching and assessment practices
    • I learn that digital portfolios are something several of us are working on.
  • Teaching Artists
    • I learned what a teaching artist is.
    • Good inquiry about the role of the teaching artist

Sarah Gould and Michaela Digianvittorio, Gray-New Gloucester High School visual art teachers

I will share more participant feedback in the future. Thanks to Jeff Beaudry for collecting the information and sharing it with participants each morning during the Summit!


Day 4: Summit on Arts Ed

August 6, 2014

Teacher Leaders plus!

On Friday, August 1 we met for a fourth day of the Summit with veteran teacher leaders and those newly selected and those applying to be teacher leaders for the 2014-15 school year! It was a very exciting day; teachers presented their ideas from their Individual Action Plans and we discussed the plans for Phase 4. As I looked around the room I couldn’t help but marvel at the articulate group!  I couldn’t be more proud of the commitment Maine arts educators have to providing high quality arts education to all students. It is amazing to think that the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is starting Phase 4. YAHOOOO!

MAAI has accomplished a great deal in three short years and the plans continue to unroll as teachers step up to take on a leadership role in using our mission:

“Creating an environment in Maine where quality assessment in arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to deepen student learning in the Arts

To date we have 52 teacher leaders and a handful of leadership team members who are committed to carrying out the MAAI mission. In the near future I will announce the next set of teacher leaders who will join the 52 plus five Teaching Artists that have stepped up this year for professional development in arts education.

What is a Teaching Artist? session facilitated by Nancy Salmon

What is a Teaching Artist session facilitated by Nancy Salmon

Veteran Teacher Leader and music teacher Jen Nash from Sebasticook Valley Middle School and new teacher leader Samantha Davis and art teacher at  Molly Ockett Middle School, Fryeburg

Veteran Teacher Leader and music teacher Jen Nash from Sebasticook Valley Middle School and new teacher leader Samantha Davis and art teacher at Molly Ockett Middle School, Fryeburg


Gorham High School Matt Murray and Middle School Tracy Williamson music educators work together on their team plan to implement back at their schools

Gorham High School Matt Murray and Middle School Tracy Williamson music educators work together on their team plan to implement back at their schools

Team Bonny Eagle (MSAD #6) working on their district arts ed plan

Team Bonny Eagle (MSAD #6) working on their district arts ed plan

Photos taken by Kevin Facer, Roger Fuller, and Argy Nestor


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 971 other followers

%d bloggers like this: