Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

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Message From the Commissioner of Education

March 24, 2020

Pender Makin

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This We Believe

March 23, 2020

Association for Middle Level Education

Call for Student Voice and Visuals

The Association for Middle Level Education is updating our foundational position paper (previously titled This We Believe), that identifies the characteristics of successful middle schools. This critical document serves as the centerpiece of exceptional middle schools around the world that are focused on shaping the best possible educational experiences for their students ages 10 to 15. We’re interested in bringing student voice and visuals to the new edition of the book, and we need your help. We’re seeking student submissions as follows:

  1. A testimonial Students can write a statement of 1000 characters or less in response to one or two prompts:
    • How has a teacher, principal, or other adult in your school had a positive influence on or encouraged you?
    • What’s your favorite thing about middle school?
  2. Two-dimensional art
    This can be any type of artwork including, but not limited to, watercolor, pencil, oil painting, photography, and digital images. The art should express the energy and culture of your middle school and should be submitted as a high-resolution photo or .jpg image. The art should be accompanied by a statement from the student about the inspiration for the art (1-4 sentences).
  3. A reflective poem.
    We’re seeking a poem either about the student, about an adult they appreciate at the school, or about their experiences in middle school.

Each student whose quote, art, and/or poetry is featured in the new book will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and their work will be displayed on AMLE.org and at the #AMLE20 Annual Conference, November 12-14, in National Harbor, MD.

Teachers need to be prepared to submit the art as a high resolution photo in .jpg or .eps format. Poems can be submitted as .doc or .pdf files.

Submissions are due by May 15, 2020. In August 2020, we’ll notify you if your students’ entries are selected for inclusion in the new book.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A STUDENT ENTRY

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MAC Arts Learning Grants

March 18, 2020

Put together an idea to apply for now 

You may know that the Maine Arts Commission provides a variety of grants for the arts. Among the funding is a grant specifically for arts education called Arts Learning. The deadline is March 26, 2020 and the maximum that you can apply for is $5,000. You are required to match the total requested by 50% which can be in cash or in kind. The cycle for this funding is July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

The Arts Learning Grant provides funding to support schools and organizations for PK-12 arts education programs. This can be done through school programs, community arts education programs, curriculum planning, professional learning for arts educators, teaching artists, and teachers of all content. Applicants are encouraged to use teaching artists from the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding.  A school district or nonprofit organization is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is an organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, is a public school district, or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government in the state of Maine.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

 NOTE: A school must apply through its school district. All paperwork must be conducted through the Superintendent’s offices. Communications and funds will go directly to the district to then be delivered to the applying school. The Maine Arts Commission will not contract directly with individual schools. 

Ineligible Expenses: Grant awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, permanent or capital equipment, operating support or fundraising.

Application Materials 

Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review. A completed application in the Grants Management System (GMS) must contain:

Online – Fields within the Grants Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts (Required)
  • Completed project budget (Required)

Uploads – Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Grants Portal

  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key personnel (Required): This should  include resumes for teaching artists as well
  • One to three letters of support (Required): Letters from individuals or representatives of organizations or schools who can speak to their anticipated benefit from the project 
  • Lesson plans (Required): Teaching plans or the units showing learning outcomes and assessment tools 
  • Most current completed Form 990 (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Artistic samples (Required): Images (up to five), audio or video materials (no more than 15 minutes in length), Prose samples (no more than 20 pages in length), poetry (no more than 5 poems), etc.
  • Collateral (Highly Recommended): Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows for payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page.

Application Questions

(To be completed in the GMS-grants management system) (All character counts include spaces)

  1. Describe your project idea in two to four sentences. (Max: 638 characters – about 100 words)
  2. How does your proposal align with the State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts or other relevant standards? (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  3. Describe any partnership(s) and/or collaborative planning (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  4. State the project objectives and plans for evaluating project success. If this is an ongoing program, share how you will demonstrate growth and expansion from previous iterations.  (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  5. List the professional teachers and teaching artists participating in the project. Please summarize their professional experience(s). If applicable, describe the any professional development opportunities these teachers will receive.  . (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)

Review Criteria

Arts Learning Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  1. Quality of Project. (25%) 
  2. Alignment of project with State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts. (10%)
  3. Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners. (25%) 
  4. Description  of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes.  (20%)
  5. Assurance that the project will include certified, trained teaching artists and will provide professional development opportunities where appropriate.  (10%) 

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. All grant recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making the grant official. The review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior to funds being disbursed.

Assistance

Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application.

For specific questions about the Arts Learning program:
Please contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education, at vog.eniam@saksucsiP.ahtraM or 207-287-2750.
For general questions about the application or review process:
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at kerstin.gilg@maine.gov or 207/ 287-6719 .
For questions about award payments:
Please contact Darren Henry, Director of Operations, at Darren.Henry@maine.gov or 207/ 287-2726.

APPLY NOW

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Theater Opportunity for Students

March 11, 2020

Offstage Portland Ovations

Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 10am & 12pm at Hannaford Hall, Portland

Tickets available for School-Time Performance of Living Voices: Hear My Voice.

Join the 72-year battle that won half of America’s citizens the right to vote 100 years ago. This dramatization of a young woman, Jessie’s, experience as a suffragette during the World War I era brings to life the rock stars who started the movement, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton; the generation who continued the fight, like Alice Paul and Lucy Burns; as well as those who opposed it–including her own parents. Jessie soon compares the women’s fight for democracy to the one her brother stands for as a soldier in World War I. As tragedy strikes both at home and abroad and the battle for the vote continues to escalate, everyone in Jessie’s family must face their own decisions about what they believe is right and the actions they are willing to take on this pivotal issue.

As a part of our Cultivating Curiosity series, all students that attend receive a free copy of Roses and Radicals: The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote to take home with them.

For tickets and information email offstage@portlandovations.org or call 207-773-3150.

 

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MALI Update

February 4, 2020

Good news from the Maine Arts Commission

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) members and Martha Piscuskas the new director of arts education at the Maine Arts Commission have been working since last summer on the valuable work of MALI.

For those veteran readers of this blog, you are probably well aware of MALI and its importance to the field of Maine Arts Education. For any newcomers, and those needing a refresher, MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. MALI is a network of Maine Arts Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders dedicated to supporting each others’ leadership, growth as educators, and promotion of authentic arts experiences in all genres for all Maine students. It grew out of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, a grassroots effort by some Maine Arts Teachers to educate themselves and create some guidelines and practices for arts assessment. Almost every year since 2011,  MALI has held a summer institute for visual and performing arts teachers to deepen their mastery of teaching the arts. A yearlong cohort continues to work together, working towards specific individual goals and culminating in public presentations.

TWO IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Winter Retreat – Saturday, Feb 29
  • Summer Institute NOTE NEW MONTH: — Thursday and Friday, June 25 & 26

With a leadership transition, MALI is taking this year to re-evaluate its purpose, clarify its structure and strengthen its role. Two leadership teams are tackling these tasks, and will be seeking feedback from all MALI members.

VISION TEAM

Vision Team members Dana Legawiec, Jen Driscoll, Lynda Leonas, Jake Sturtevant, and Sue Barre. Skyping in: Shawna Barnes, Jen Acosta

The Vision Team is a think-tank tasked with establishing a system and structure for MALI to grow and thrive into the future. It is comprised of 7 MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders, including Jake Sturtevant (Phase 1), Jen Acosta (Phase 1), Shawna Barnes (Phase 8), Sue Barre (Phase 3), Jennie Driscoll (Phase 1), Dana Legawiec (Phase 7), Lynda Leonas (Phase 5) and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team members have had a variety of powerful MALI experiences, and agree that the organization has had a lasting impact on Maine Arts Education.

The Vision Team has reviewed the MALI vision and mission statements, as well as the current structure of MALI. It is their goal to ensure that MALI will continue to foster a community of passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists. The community will allow for professional growth that will directly impact students. It is their intent to help maintain, and sustain, the positive aspects of MALI, while strengthening the organizational mission that MALI represents.

In order to focus discussion they have been investigating answers to these questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a MALI Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader?
  2. How can MALI gain fiscal stability?
  3. How can the MALI community bring in more passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists?
  4. How can MALI develop an institutional governance structure that allows for flexibility and growth, and maintains a grassroots approach for developing a community of Arts Educators?

They will continue discussions, and would welcome thoughts and ideas from anyone who has been touched by the MALI community. They will develop a future MALI Vision at the Winter Retreat on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

PROGRAM TEAM

Program Team members Kate Smith, Dorie Tripp, and Kaitlin Young deep in thought. Other side of table include Melanie Crowe, Bronwyn Sale, Iva Damon, and Brigid Rankowski

The Program Team was tasked with maintaining MALI’s current offerings such as the Winter Retreat, a call for new members, the Summer Institute and Critical Friends’ Day. The Program Team members are Kate Smith (phase 4), Bronwyn Sale (higher ed rep), Iva Damon (phase 5), Melanie Crowe (Phase 3), Kaitlin Young (phase 7), Dorie Tripp (Phase 7), Emma Campbell (phase 4), Brigid Rankowski (Phase 6)  and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team has met several times via zoom conference and in person on January 26th. They have chosen the themes “teacher leadership” and “self-care” for the MALI Winter Retreat on February 29th and look forward to seeing all MALI members past and present.

MALI Teams thank all Maine arts educators for all you do and continue to do, and look forward to hearing from you. To share feedback or for more information, or to MALI folks for sign-up information, please connect with a Team member, or Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission: martha.piscuskas@maine.gov 207-287-2750.

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Monhegan Artists’ and Educator Residency

February 3, 2020

Applications being accepted

The Monhegan Artist’s Residency is offering two residencies during the summer of 2020. One is a 2-week summer residency from June 27th through July 10th designated for Maine art teachers (K-12) and a 5-week fall residency from September 5th through October 10th.  The fall residency extends over Monhegan’s annual Trap Day event on the 1st of October that kicks off the lobstering season and provides an opportunity to experience this unique island-wide event.

The Monhegan Artists’ Residency provides comfortable living quarters, studio space, a stipend of $150 per week, and time for visual artists to reflect on, experiment, or develop their art and ideas while living in an artistically historic and beautiful location. Both residencies will be located at Elva’s Old PO, in the center of the village with a panoramic view of the meadow. The building offers both studio and living space. There is a stipend of $150 per week to support living expenses while you are on the island.

Deadline for applications is March 15. Applicants will be notified by April 13, 2020.

To learn more and to access the application go to the Monhegan Artists’ Residency website.

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Maine Teacher of the Year

January 18, 2020

Nominate someone

As a longtime supporter of the Maine Teacher of the Year program through our partnership with Educate Maine, Bangor Savings Bank is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 County Teachers of the Year, one of whom will be selected as the 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Do you know an exceptional teacher? A teacher who inspires students? A teacher who is a leader in the profession and deserves recognition for their great work with students? Here is your chance to nominate him/her for County Teacher of the Year!

Nominate a Teacher!

Teachers may be nominated by students, parents, teaching colleagues, principals, superintendents or anyone from the community who wants to honor an outstanding educator. 

Publicly recognizing outstanding teachers encourages students to think about teaching as a career, and provides the community a sense of pride and investment in their teachers who are making a positive impact on student’s lives every day

To nominate an outstanding teacher as a 2020 County Teacher of the Year click here. Thank you.

Deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 3, 2020.

About the Teacher of the Year Program

The Maine Teacher of the Year program starts with your nomination!
To be considered, the teacher must:

  • Hold the appropriate professional certification for their teaching position;
  • Be employed by a Maine public school, including a Career and Technical Education center, public charter school; or be employed by a publicly supported secondary school (a private school that enrolls 60 percent or more publicly funded students, sometimes referred to as “town academies” and
  • Have been teaching for a minimum of 5 years – 3 of which are in Maine.
  • Be actively teaching students at least fifty percent of full-time employment at the time of nomination and during the year of recognition.
  • Not have been a County Teacher of the Year within the past 5 years.  

From those nominees, one exemplary teacher from each of the 16 Maine counties will be selected as a 2020 Maine County Teacher of the Year. From the 16 County Teachers of the Year, 8 semi-finalists are selected. The field is narrowed to 3 state finalists, one of whom will be announced as the 2021 Maine State Teacher of the Year at a surprise school assembly in the fall of 2020.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine in partnership with the Maine Department of Education.

The Maine State Teacher of the Year represents Maine at the national level and becomes eligible for the National Teacher of the Year award.

Please contact Dolly Sullivan at Educate Maine if you have questions or want more information on the process.

NOMINATE

Please don’t miss this opportunity to honor and recognize a great Maine Teacher!

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