Archive for August 14th, 2014


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.


Literacy Can Enhance Learning and Assessment in All the Arts

August 14, 2014

A clear message


Pam presenting at USM

Literacy conversations are taking place across the state in all classrooms. This is nothing new, literacy has been the hot topic and essential at all grade levels for a few years. Arts educators utilize, present, and support literacy instruction at varying levels. Some of you embrace it and others wish it would just go away. After all, the Maine Learning Results Visual and Performing Arts Standard A is Disciplinary Literacy.

Lisbon High School art teacher and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leader, Pam Ouellette, has put literacy in its rightful place in her visual arts classroom. Just this Spring (of 2014) Pam provided the keynote for the Maine Art Education Association conference at Brunswick High School. Two weeks ago Pam provided the morning session presentation for all participants at the Summit on Arts Education, USM, Portland. She has shared her power point with the MAAI and we’ve made it available to you on the new website at!inter–cross-disciplinary/crz6. Checking out the power point will give you a sense of the amazing work that Pam is doing in her classroom. She speaks eloquently about how her students are articulating fully about their artwork while telling the stories and making deeper connections.

Pam’s presentation should be seen by every Curriculum Leader, Literacy Specialist, School leader across the state. It is spot on and there is valuable information for everyone who hears her. If we can obtain a video of Pam presenting we will be sure and post that as well and you’ll be the first (or second) to know.

If you have questions or would like Pam to come to your school and provide her presentation to your staff please contact her.



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