Posts Tagged ‘Maine Department of Education’

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American Rescue Plan

April 14, 2021

Afterschool Arts Education can Benefit from American Rescue Plan

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Congress passed in March, a fantastic opportunity is available for cultural non-profits and teaching artists to partner with schools to provide after-school or summer camp enrichment programs for students.  This latest round of COVID relief for education, ESSER III (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) calls for 20% of funds to go towards learning.  This is new.  In ESSER I and II, funds mostly covered direct prevention measures such as sanitation, air quality upgrades, facility/ space restructuring, and technology.  Also, ESSER III offers at least twice as much funding as before.  For Maine, this means over $82 million, 20% of our State’s allocation, needs to address “learning-loss.”

Dance education program Central School, South Berwick

We know that students have suffered in many ways from the COVID disruption to their learning, and the loss of opportunities for creative self-expression may be amongst the hardest.   In-person singing or making music, collaborating on art pieces, performing dance, theater or spoken word — together – has been non-existent or greatly altered this year, despite teachers’ best efforts.

Studies show that the arts inherently provide social and emotional learning, so critical at this time.

Now is the time to reach out to your local schools.  They are crafting programs themselves, arranging to bring subcontractors in, or a combination and welcome partnering to address students’ learning needs. 

The Maine Department of Education is also providing a webinar on the subject on Tuesday, April 20th at 2 pm.  To learn more about this event and to register, click here.   More information can also be found here from EdNotes or here from the Afterschool Alliance.  Readers are also invited to contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission to discuss further: martha.piscuskas@maine.gov

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Arts Ed Advocacy Day

March 22, 2021

Documentation of the day – February 17

If you were able to attend the virtual plenary sessions on February 17 in recognition of Arts Education Advocacy Day you are aware of the outstanding opportunity the 2 hour session provided. If you were not there, you’re in luck. All of the sessions were recorded and embedded below. The day was organized by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) in collaboration with the leaders of the ABC – Arts Are Basic Coalition.

The first one below actually took place during the last part of Arts Education Advocacy Day, the ABC Student Advocacy Initiatives. We know at the heart of providing quality arts education programs and access to it are students! I salute all the Maine students who care deeply for the arts and are afforded an excellent curriculum. And, to all the arts educators striving to provide access to these programs, thank you!

ABC Student Advocacy Initiative

Governor Janet T. Mills Arts Ed Advocacy Message

Remarks from Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Director Martha Piscuskas

Conversation with Maine Art Education Association President Lynda Leonas and Argy Nestor

Visual Art Advocacy Video Maine Minds

Conversation with Maine Educational Theatre Association leader Kailey Smith and Beth Lambert

Maine Department of Education – Kellie Bailey, Social/Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed Practices Specialist, Commissioner Pender Makin, and Jason Anderson, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist

Conversation with Maine Dance Educator representative Thornton Academy Dance Educator Emma Campbell and MaryEllen Schaper

Conversation with Maine Music Educators Association President Sandra Barry and Kaitlin Young

Music Advocacy Video

Thank you to Susan Potters, Executive Director of MAAE and Melissa Birkhold MAAE Advocacy Coordinator for the plenary session for Maine Arts Ed Advocacy Day and making these individual videos available. The videos are also available on the MAAE website at THIS LINK.

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Arts Education Advocacy Day

March 7, 2021

February 17 plenary session

If you missed the plenary session provided by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) for Arts Education Advocacy Day you are in luck! The session was recorded and available below. A HUGE THANK YOU to the MAAE partners in the ABC Arts are Basic Coalition MAEA – the Maine Art Education Association, MMEA – Maine Music Educators Association, MaineEdTA – Maine Educational Theatre Association, and the Maine dance educators. It is the first time they’ve presented together and they sent a collective message about the importance of quality arts education programming for every Maine student. Along with the leaders of the state professional organizations Governor Mills recorded message was included in the program. Others who spoke in addition to the professional organization leaders were: Commissioner of Education Pender Makin, Martha Piscuskas, Maine Arts Commission Education Director Martha Piscuskas, Maine Department of Education (MDOE) VPA Specialist Jason Anderson, and MDOE Social/Emotional Learning and Trauma Informed Practices Kellie Bailey.

Most importantly students voices were an integral part of the day. Be sure and catch them towards the end of the video. From the MAAE website:

What we may remember most vividly about Advocacy Day this year was the voices of the students – not only the individual students expressing their feelings about the arts in the videos accompanying the ABC reports, but also the live panel of arts students who are forming advocacy teams in their schools, part of a statewide new ABC initiative directed by MAAE. Coming at the end of the program, the students’ rich discussion about local advocacy and what their teams could mean for the arts in their schools not only brought together the separate themes of the four earlier reports, but made it very clear that Maine arts students can and should be a part of any future efforts to advance the cause of arts education in our state.

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School Emergency Relief Fund

February 6, 2021

Applications being accepted by schools

This blog post provides information on obtaining federal funding that has come Maine’s way. These funds are earmarked as “relief funds” to help support educational programs because of the pandemic. The Maine Arts Commission encourages you to make a list of materials, supplies, instruments, tools, software and whatever else you have needed or still need during the pandemic. We all know that your programs have been impacted greatly. Please make a list and an appointment to see your administrator so your needs can go into the school/district application.

From the Maine Department of Education

We are pleased to share an exciting update with our partners in education regarding the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funds. Maine has received $183,138,601 for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II) through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. The ESSER II application is now available in Maine’s Consolidated Federal Grant portal. Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning Tuesday, February 2, 2021.  

The current ESSER FAQs from the U.S. Department of Education are available here and here. As a reminder, CRRSA also provides support for non-public schools through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) funds.

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of released the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) webpage available here. Maine has been allocated $12,751,099 for eligible non-public schools based on the State’s relative number of children aged 5 through 17 at or below 185 percent of poverty who are enrolled in non-public schools. More information regarding the EANS application is forthcoming. 

Please contact Karen Kusiak at Karen.Kusiak@maine.gov with any questions.  

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MALI Becomes MAEPL

December 8, 2020

Teacher Network Rebrands its Commitment to Arts Education

The Teacher Leader network known as MALI, or Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, has taken on the new mantle of MAEPL, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership, with the revised mission to develop and promote high quality arts education for all.” Leaders of MAEPL say the new name and mission statement better encapsulates what this community of arts educators has been and will continue to be. The process evolved as a result of bringing in new staff and expanding the organization’s leadership structure. Jake Sturtevant, music educator at Falmouth High School, longtime MALI member and Chair of the MAEPL Vision Team, said, “We are still committed to partnering with each other to be resilient, compassionate, and curious Teacher Leaders for our students and in our communities.”

2014 Summer MALI Institute

MALI, now MAEPL, a program of the Maine Arts Commission, is a unique teacher leader development program specifically for preK-12 visual and performing arts (VPA) educators from across the state, one of the very few in the country.  Led by active educators, they focus on the emerging needs of the field.  Components of the year-long program for both classroom teachers and teaching artists in all arts disciplines include community-building, an annual Individualized Professional Development Plan, structured mutual accountability, and leadership development. Over 120 Maine VPA teachers, as well as teaching artists, have participated in the last ten years.  

Even before the pandemic, teachers of the arts often felt isolated.  School district-level trainings are often geared towards general or “core” subject teachers.  “I’m only one of two in my district teaching elementary music.  We are in our little islands, far from anyone else doing what we do,” said Kate Smith, 2014 York County Teacher of the Year and MAEPL Program Team Leader.  “MALI changed all that.” 

Pamela Kinsey, Lori Spruce, Kate Smith, Pam Chernesky, Julie Richard, Winter Retreat 2020

This past year the group took a deep dive into their own organizational structure, assessing and clarifying their policies and processes. Even through the pandemic, the Leadership Teams met and solicited input from the entire membership, and determined a new name, a refined mission, and a new logo. “We chose the whirling maple seed pod as our new symbol because we felt it reflected the best of what we do – taking new ideas, learning and sharing together, then planting them throughout our school communities,” said Jennie Driscoll, visual art educator at Brunswick High School and Vision Team member. “It’s got our energy.”  

In 2020 they also delivered a virtual Summer Institute to 50 VPA educators, addressing the social and emotional resiliency needed this year. In addition, many members led efforts to support and connect with other teachers quickly adjusting to online instruction, leading virtual seminars through the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission.

Group exercise at Winter Retreat, 2020

 “MALI grew a wealth of resources and committed members over the years,” said the current Director of Arts Education for the Maine Arts Commission, Martha Piscuskas, referring to the online Resource Bank and Arts Assessment Resources website, available free to all teachers. “We wanted to build on those strengths.” In addition to the professional development programs, next steps include creating an advisory council, streamlining their web presence, and continued advocacy for the sector. 

The group formed in 2010 to focus on student assessments, an emerging need for visual and performing arts teachers at that time. After learning from other states, a small group of educators led by Argy Nestor, the former Director of Arts Education at the Commission, Rob Westerberg, Choral Director at York High School, and Catherine Ring, former school administrator and art teacher, created the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. They established the multi-day Summer Institute, sharing a framework and best practices for successful arts assessment in the classroom. “We quickly became the assessment experts in our schools,” said Sturtevant. 

Hope Lord and Adele Drake, MALI Summer Institute 2017

In 2015 the group added “teacher voice” and advocacy to their mission, becoming the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI), again addressing emerging needs of the sector. “I never would have thought to seek out leadership positions, continue my graduate studies, or have presented at conferences without the support and influence of MALI,” said Iva Damon, visual art teacher and Humanities Department Head at Leavitt Area High School.    

For more information about MAEPL, and to learn about how to get involved, contact Director of Arts Education for the Maine Arts Commission, Martha Piscuskas at martha.piscuskas@maine.gov. Arts education resources developed over the years are accessible through the Maine Arts Commission’s website, https://mainearts.maine.gov/pages/programs/maai.

The Maine Arts Commission is a state agency supporting artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers to advance the arts in Maine since 1966.  www.Mainearts.com


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Maine Teacher of the Year

September 4, 2020

Back to school message

We hope this summer has provided you with what you need for this upcoming fall. The Maine Teachers of the Year Association partnered with the Maine Department of Education to create a teacher to teacher back to school message. Watch for our music colleague Kaitlin Young!
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Maine DOE Opportunities

May 30, 2020

Provided for you

COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION

Commissioner of Education Pender Makin will be hosting a Zoom update on education in Maine during the current pandemic on Tuesday, June 2, from 4:00-5:00.

Please register in advance for this meeting, as there is a 500-person maximum. You can register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Questions or topics of interest may be submitted in advance by emailing Chief-of -Staff Jessica Nixon at Jessica.nixon@maine.gov by Tuesday at 8:00 am.

The meeting will be recorded and posted on our website.

INNOVATIVE EDUCATORS SOUGHT FOR MAINE LEARNING MODULES

The Maine Department of Education invites all interested educators, curriculum leaders, and Maine educational community organizations to join us in designing an a-synchronous library of learning modules in a Maine Learning Results-aligned scope and sequence. These project-based modules will be integrated to ensure that learning is synthesized across traditional subject areas and learning experiences are designed to be mutually reinforcing.

Work will take place beginning June 15th and run throughout the summer with a launch of the website on September 7th. Each participant will be trained in a-synchronous instructional design by Maine DOE digital learning specialists, as well as supported in their content by Maine DOE content specialists. Participants will be expected to produce at least one learning module, but more may be accepted. Stipends will be provided for modules used in the Maine DOE library.

Participants must be Maine educators, including curriculum leaders and Maine educational community organizations.

To register click here.
For more information please contact Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov or Page Nichols, page.nichols@maine.gov.

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Job Opening

June 27, 2019

Maine Department of Education

Regional Education Representative – Visual and Performing Arts Specialist

Office of Learning Systems

(Anticipated Vacancy)

Code: 3032                 Pay Grade: 28 – $48,547.20 – $72,737.60 annually

OPEN:  June 20, 2019

CLOSES:  July 5, 2019, 5:00 PM

PURPOSE OF ANNOUNCEMENT

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has one (1) full-time vacancy for a visual and performing arts specialist based in Augusta with a regional assignment.

JOB DESCRIPTION

This is professional services work involving regional and statewide implementation of Maine’s education standards for visual and performing arts education PreK-12, school improvement efforts and related education initiatives. The position provides PreK-12 visual and performing arts education leadership and expertise to organizations and educators statewide in curriculum, instruction and assessment through provision of professional development opportunities and technical assistance. The position may be assigned to lead other state and federal programs.  Work is performed in collaboration with other members of the Maine DOE and is executed under limited supervision.  Extensive use of technology, statewide/national travel and field assignments are required.

The position also serves schools and school districts within an assigned region through customer service, brokering technical assistance and providing a communications link for the Maine DOE’s continuous improvement process.  Primary responsibilities include developing ongoing interaction with school personnel and community representatives within an assigned superintendents’ region; serving as the Maine DOE representative and key contact for requests, information, and questions from within the region; providing or brokering professional development opportunities, technical assistance and other services to enhance teacher effectiveness and student and school performance; assisting districts with the implementation of the state education standards and associated assessments; promoting the Commissioner’s education initiatives within the region; and serving as the Commissioner’s representative and liaison in the region.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES REQUIRED to successfully perform the work assigned:

  • Knowledge of current learning research, exemplary general educational practices and PreK-12 visual and performing arts content and instructional knowledge.
  • Knowledge of community involvement issues in education policy decisions and educational operations.
  • Knowledge of school improvement, Maine DOE strategic initiatives, systems-change concepts, student centered practices, and tools to support learning especially in the area of PreK-12 visual and performing arts education.
  • Knowledge of large scale and formative assessment development and administration in PreK-12 visual and performing arts education.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging state and federal legislation, rules and regulations impacting education.
  • Knowledge of and experience with Maine’s education standards (Learning Results), the process of implementing standards and current and emerging trends for PreK-12 visual and performing arts including national standards development initiatives.
  • Knowledge of performance-based and standards-based educational systems.
  • Knowledge of systemic change principles.
  • Knowledge of computer software and hardware systems, including networking.
  • Knowledge of Total Quality Management concepts, practices and tools and productivity measures.
  • Knowledge of documentation strategies.
  • Knowledge of alternative assessment, developmental education and experimental learning.
  • Ability to facilitate groups and use exemplary interpersonal skills; establish and maintain positive collaborative working relationships; effectively manage multiple projects and provide quality service.
  • Ability to integrate PreK-12 visual and performing arts with other Maine DOE teams such as Special Education, Assessment and Accountability, Certification and Learning Through Technology.
  • Ability to assist organizations with systemic change strategies/organizational development.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing and use technology for work and learning.
  • Ability to write clearly and effectively in a team environment to problem solve.
  • Ability to use computer technology for word processing, data applications, telecommunication (email, webinars, faxing) and internet searches.
  • Ability to design and implement innovative approaches to school improvement and to student and teacher learning.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret research and data and to integrate divergent ideas to solve problems and make decisions.
  • Ability to apply and facilitate group dynamics and to use exemplary interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to manage projects.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and customer service.
  • Ability to interact effectively with peers and customers. 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: 

Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in Education, Human Resource Development, Psychology or a related field and 5 years of experience as an education practitioner. A Master’s degree in an education related field may be substituted for 2 years of educational experience.

LICENSING/REGISTRATION/CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: (These must be met by all employees prior to attaining permanent status in this class).

Positions in this classification require a specific certification and/or ability to obtain a certification in an area specified by appropriate authorities.

BENEFITS

The value of State’s share of Employee’s Retirement:  15.37% of salary for BU positions.  The value of State-paid Dental Insurance:  $13.13 biweekly.  The value* of State-paid Health Insurance:

  • Level 1:  100% State Contribution (employee pays nothing):  $444.68biweekly
  • Level 2:    95% State Contribution (employee pays 5%):  $422.45 biweekly
  • Level 3:    90% State Contribution (employee pays 10%):  $400.21 biweekly
  • Level 4:      85% State Contribution (employee pays 15%):  $377.98 biweekly

*The level of the actual value of state paid Health Insurance will be based on the employee’s wage rate and status with regard to the health credit premium program.

APPLICATION AT THIS LINK!

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Maine DOE

April 5, 2018

Department’s proposed diploma bill (LD 1898) released for review

The Maine Department of Education’s proposal for the high school diploma, as referenced in this recent priority notice, was released from the Maine State Legislature Office of the Revisor of Statutes on Wednesday, April 4 as LD 1898, An Act To Amend Maine’s High School Diploma Standards and Ensure Maine Students Meet State Standards upon Graduation.

The Commissioner requested that the Department’s proposal be submitted as a “Governor’s” bill to allow for the greatest possible opportunity for discussion between the Department and the public. The Department considers this discussion to be an open dialog and we look forward to further conversations.

A public hearing is expected to be scheduled for early next week. Once it is scheduled, it will be posted on the Joint Standing Education and Cultural Affairs Committee calendar.

In anticipation of the public hearing, the Department is providing an updated summary of what the bill does and does not do.

LD 1898

  1. Removes the mandate that districts base a diploma on an undefined concept (“proficiency”) by repealing 4722-A and replacing it with 4722-B.
  2. Points to a reasonable and appropriate level of achievement in two foundational content areas (English and math) required for the diploma
  3. Bases achievement criteria on knowledge, skills, and progressions that are already present and defined in Maine’s Learning Results
  4. Provides students with disabilities equitable access to education and a diploma
  5. Requires that students have high quality instruction and learning in all content areas
  6. Makes room for students to access their education through both traditional, (classroom-based) avenues and non-traditional (experience-based) avenues in separate, integrated, and independent contexts
  7. Allows districts to implement diploma requirements beyond the minimum set by the state

LD 1898 does not

  1. Eliminate what has come to be called “proficiency-based education,” “proficiency-based teaching,” or “proficiency-based learning.” Instruction and learning based on learning outcomes, as described by some in recent articles, is standards-based education by a different name.  Maine schools have been striving for and succeeding in implementing teaching and learning based on standards since the state adopted the Maine Learning Results in 1997. Under the Department’s proposal, school districts may continue to teach, grade, and structure learning as they determine best meets the needs of students, parents, and the school community
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In Today’s News

March 4, 2018

Maine rethinks giving diplomas only to students who demonstrate proficiency in key subjects

Portland Press Herald written by Noel K. Gallagher, March 4, 2018.

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