Posts Tagged ‘Maine Department of Education’

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Statewide Arts Education Survey

December 15, 2015

Launching today Arts Education Census

Many of you remember that in 2008 a statewide arts education census was conducted. At that time the work was lead by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education. Out of that work the Opportunities to Learn in the Arts reported the findings. The full report and executive summary are located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census. At that time PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts Educators were asked to complete a lengthy survey.

It is time to update the information and get a clear picture in 2016 what is happening statewide in arts education. This time every Maine school Principal is being invited to complete the survey. Principals may be asking you (PreK-12 arts teachers) to help complete the survey. I urge you to participate in any way that you can so we can get a complete picture. Our goal is 100 per cent – without every school participating we will not have a complete picture of Arts education in Maine!

Below is today’s news release from the Maine Arts Commission. You can learn more about the census plan and the opportunity that you have to participate at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census. Please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov if you have any questions.

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The Maine Arts Commission is leading the effort to conduct a statewide inventory of all arts education resources in the state’s 751 PK-12 schools currently recognized by the Maine Department of Education. Data collection has just begun and will continue through May 2016, with the goal of collecting information from 100% of Maine schools.

The objectives and outcomes of the Statewide Arts Education Census include:

  • Identifying the changes in Maine’s visual and performing arts education programs and resources since the 2009 census.
  • Discovering where students have access to quality arts education and where it is unavailable.
  • Development of a comprehensive report to inform stakeholders and policy makers at both the local and state levels.
  • Broad sharing of the census findings so that it can be used to frame conversations, evaluate where programs or program enhancements are needed, and guide policy-making decisions.

This work is an important part of the education initiative of agency’s recently-completed, five-year cultural plan. The education component of the plan will guide and inform the agency’s work in educational collaborations, promoting arts learning and enhancing the quality of arts education throughout Maine.

For the Census, the agency is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education and a steering committee comprised of representatives from the Maine Principals’ Association, Maine Superintendents, Maine Alliance for Arts Education, New England Institute for Teacher Education, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, cultural and arts organizations, and PK-12 educators. More information about the census can be found at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.

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Great Day for Arts Education

December 8, 2015

Celebration at the State House

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.28.43 AMLast week 75 students in grades PK-12 were honored for their accomplishments in visual art and music education. We celebrated in the Hall of Flags in Maine’s State House. We are honored to have the First Lady Ann LePage as a partner in the Excellence in Visual and Performing Arts Education and to join us in recognizing the students in the ceremony.

Joining the First Lady in the Hall of Flags was Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard, State Board of Education Chair Martha Harris, Acting Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley, and Legislators, Mick Devin (Nobleboro) and Martin Grohman (Biddeford).

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.27.02 AMStudents from AOS 93, AOS 92, MSAD 41, and the Biddeford School districts were presented certificates and viewed their artwork on display throughout the State House complex, in the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Department of Education.

Additionally, students from the Waterville High School Jazz Band under the direction of Sue Barre and a select choir under the direction of Ciara Hargrove performed at the ceremony. I know that Sue, Ciara and visual art teachers Lisa Workman, Kate Grant, Suzanne Goulet, and Sasha Bladen are proud of their students’ accomplishments!

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.26.47 AMThis is a first for the State of Maine. The Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission are collaborating to bring together this exhibit and in celebrating the students and teachers in a ceremony. I am sooooo excited that this is happening for Maine’s students and teachers!

It is a pleasure to work with Maine’s DOE Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Beth Lambert on the Excellence in Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education exhibit and celebration ceremony.

If you have questions or are interested in participating, please contact Beth at beth.lambert@maine.gov or me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Photo credits to the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission.

 

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Integration Opportunity

November 10, 2015

Maine Department of Education – Call to participate!

arts integration picThe Maine Department of Education invites you to be part of a brand new professional development opportunity, The Maine Arts Education Resource Project – Integration (MAERP-I). MAERP-I is looking to bring together teams of teachers and artists to explore and create arts integration classroom units to be shared on the Maine Arts Education Resource Bank. Teams will consist of one arts teachers, one non-arts teachers, and one or two other content area teacher(s). One of the additional members could be a teaching artist from the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster or another type of specialist (librarian, technology, industrial arts) or someone from your regional CTE. If you have questions about the makeup of your team feel free to give me a call to discuss it.

Under the expertise of Lisa Donovan, Ph.D, co-author of the series, Integrating the Arts Across the Content Areas, teacher teams will be guided through the process of working as a team and creating integrated lesson plans and performance task assessments that are rigorous in all content areas involved. Once units are created, they will be peer-reviewed and re-worked. Units will then be posted to the Maine Arts Education Resource Bank. As a culmination of their work, teacher teams will present their work to other teacher-leaders at the MALI (Maine Arts Leadership Initiative) summer institute.

If you are interested in participating fill out an application here. Only one application is necessary per team. If you have any questions contact Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Beth Lambert at beth.lambert@maine.gov or 207-624-6642.

Selected Teacher Responsibilities for 2015-2016:

  • Attend a day-long face-to-face meeting for professional development with Lisa Donovan, Ph.D, on the process of working as a team and creating integrated lesson plans and performance task assessments that are rigorous in all content areas involved. Jan. 15th, 2016, locations TBD.
  • Attend two online check-in meetings. Feb. 8 & May 12th.
  • Attend a day-long face-to-face critical friends meeting to give and receive feedback on units. April 8th, 2016, location TBD.
  • Submit draft lesson plans on March 4th and April 4th.
  • Submit final lesson plan on June 3rd.
  • Attend Maine Arts Leadership Initiative summer institute to present work, date TBD.

Compensation: $500 per member.

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Call for Student Artwork

October 5, 2015

EXCELLENCE IN MAINE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS EDUCATION

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For over ten years, the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission have been fortunate to celebrate arts education by hosting rotating student art exhibits. These exhibits celebrate the high quality of visual art education in Maine.

This year, the Department and Commission are combining their efforts to provide these exhibits. The rotating exhibits will be displayed throughout the State House complex and in the Department of Education. Each exhibit will feature two districts from two superintendent regions in Maine. Each district will display 24 pieces so please reach out to the other art teachers in your district. During the period your students’ artwork is displayed, the artists and their families will be invited to the Hall of Flags for a Celebration of Excellence in Visual and Performing Arts Education reception. The Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission will recognize each student for their accomplishments. The reception will feature performances from the districts represented in the art show.

Please consider submitting your students’ artwork. The exhibition guidelines are below. If you are interested in displaying your student artwork, please contact Beth Lambert at 624-6642 or beth.lambert@maine.gov.

Thank you for all you do!

~ Beth Lambert, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Maine Department of Education

~ Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission

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Welcome Beth Lambert!

September 3, 2015

News from the Maine Department of Education – VPA Specialist

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.58.42 PMI am absolutely giddy over the announcement of Beth Lambert as the new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at the Maine Department of Education. Beth has most recently taught performing arts education at Carrabec High School in North Anson. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts/English from Lawrence University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE)

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 9.34.34 AMBeth brings 10 years of education experience at the middle and high school levels in the Arts. In addition to her classroom experience, Ms. Lambert worked for Syntiro as an assistant director for the GEAR UP grant and served as a research assistant at HGSE. Through her involvement in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI, formerly Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, MAAI) and her local leadership in standards, curriculum and assessment, she has extensive experience with proficiency-based assessments, student-centered teaching and teacher leadership.

Beth was a member of the MALI Resource Bank team in 2013-14 and created resources that are available as part of the Maine Assessment Resources website http://www.maineartsassessment.com/. Theatre at http://maairesourcebank.pbworks.com/w/page/82916230/MAAI%20Resource%20Bank.

Beth is involved with state and national VPA professional organizations including the MALI, the Maine Drama Council and Maine Arts Commission with Poetry Out Loud.

I know that you will all join me in welcoming Beth to the Maine DOE, during her first week on the job. You can reach her at beth.lambert@maine.gov.  We are certain that her commitment and passion for arts education makes Beth a GREAT choice for the position and look forward to working with her through all of the work underway for Maine students and the ARTS! Yahoooooo!

In Beth’s own words: “I am pleased to be starting this position at the Maine Department of Education and look forward to working collaboratively with Argy Nestor, and everyone with MALI, to continue to support and foster great learning for arts teachers and students in Maine!”

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MLR Guiding Principles

August 27, 2015

Interesting day

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Kate, Beth, Amy, Argy

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders, Amy Cousins, Visual Art, Gorham Middle School, Kate Smith, Music, Central School, South Berwick and Beth Lambert, Performing Arts from Carrabec High School joined me today to do work on the Guiding Principles for the Maine Department of Education. It was a wonderful learning opportunity. We had a chance to contribute our ideas to the framework draft. MALI has done work on the topic and included it in the online resources located at http://maairesourcebank.pbworks.com/w/page/82916230/MAAI%20Resource%20Bank. I look forward to sharing the Developmental Frameworks document in the future.

sculpWe met at the beautiful Benjamin F Wentworth Intermediate School in Scarborough. The entrance has a beautiful dichroic glass hanging sculpture created by artist Michelle Gutlove. I hope that you will have a chance to visit the school in the future.

We all know how well the work we do in our visual and performing arts classrooms connects directly with all of the Guiding Principles. I am curious about how many of you are intentionally measuring them? Students will need to demonstrate their understanding of the GP as part of the proficiency-based high school diploma. Please let me know if you are doing this work and/or where your school district is in this process.

Imagine our surprise when driving home we spotted a large animal on a car in the distance. We were so excited to see the cat! And, when we got closer noticed that the car is from Acro-cats. Not sure where they were headed but they made my day! Check them out at http://circuscats.com/.

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Day 2: Summit on Arts Ed

August 4, 2014

Another worthwhile day at the Summit provided by the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative – a program of the Maine Arts Commission

LisaThe Day 2 schedule at the Summit on Arts Education at USM, Portland allowed participants the opportunity to attend sessions on technology, integration, advocacy, and sessions with like-grade level and discipline on Proficiency and the Student-centered classroom.

In addition, throughout the morning participants had the chance to learn more about teaching artists, arts organizations and higher education.

Representatives from the following arts organizations and institutions participated: From the Bow Seat, Lesley University, Lincoln Street Center and Northland Village Foundation, Maine Department of Education, 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, UMaine Music Ed Department, and UMaine Art Ed Department.

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Rose Kue, Director of Education & Community Engagement, Portland Symphony Orchestra

Teams and individuals started work on an Individual (or team) Action Plan so they could hit the ground running when returning to their schools/districts. The Phase 5 Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leader’s Individual Action Plans focus on the workshops they plan to provide during the 2014-15 school year.

Maine Art Education Association secretary and MAAI teacher leader, Lisa Ingraham, provided the “chair” template so teachers could use their creativity to contribute to the wall of chairs. Lisa and her colleague Jim Small from Madison School District are seen in this post in front of the growing wall of chairs.

It was the second day of the Summit on Arts Education filled with high quality professional development. The 90 participants went away having learned a great deal, and with new questions about their understanding of teaching, learning, and assessment in arts education.

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Participants “movin” with teaching artist, Stephanie McGary

 

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Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Coordinator from the Americans for the Arts located in Washington, D.C. provided information on Arts Advocacy

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

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Introducing Kevin

May 18, 2014

Kevin Facer, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Maine Department of Education

KFacerI am happy to introduce you to Kevin Facer who joined the Department recently. He’d love to hear from you so don’t hesitate to contact him at kevin.facer@maine.gov

  1. Tell us about your professional (and if you’d like to include personal) background. How did you get where you are?

Hi Argy, thanks for the opportunity to meet arts educators through the blog. I was an arts kid in high school. The arts were, and still are important to me and most likely helped me stay in school. After high school, I served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and then started a community college program in photography. I worked as a blue collar chef and then photographer in commercial and fashion sectors in Philadelphia. I went back to graduate school and did an MA in Humanities and M.Ed. in Arts Ed., and started teaching photography after having a show at college. Currently, I’m working on a dissertation about artists and creative problem solving toward an Ed.D.

  1. What did you think of this real Maine winter?

This one seemed harsh. I hope it gets better.

  1. Why did you become an art teacher?

I didn’t set out on a career to become a teacher. I suppose it found me by accident. Having experience as a working photographer and making my own photographs to show led me to start teaching after an exhibit I had at a college. After a few years adjunct teaching, I began teaching high school photo and art. Working in a studio environment with students is a rewarding experience and I believe all arts teachers share a similar perception about what they do.

  1. What are you most passionate about in arts education?

As a teacher, for me it is all about creating memorable learning experiences. The kind of experiences students will know and remember because they grew and gained from doing it. Arts teachers understand the uniqueness of the creative learning process that ultimately lead to both self and creative discovery. Curriculum standards and learning outcomes are part of the process of teaching that frame steps in learning, but as teachers we also want to do things that spark creative thinking as a lifelong habit.

  1. What are your most important goals as VPA specialist?

Right now all of the core functions of the job seem important, with emphasis on supporting Proficiency Based Education and Educator Effectiveness. But with arts education specifically my work with MAAI, promoting arts integration with other content specialists and teachers, STEAM education as an approach to teaching, gifted education opportunities in the arts and building partnerships with arts teachers across the state, and connecting to community, state and national arts organizations are my priorities.

  1. What is your advice for arts educators?

I may not be the best choice for advice. But, I believe arts teachers need to take ownership of the arts programs in their school. Network and gain support from parents and your community. Showcase your work and the work of your students; collaborate and acts upon discussions with teachers and administrators in your school and those connected to you as these discussions can create great things. Look for unusual and customary ways to advocate for the arts in your conversations as these connections help everyone involved to become stronger and more engaged. Years ago, I taught in a high school that didn’t have a gallery space to show student work. Sure the hallways are okay, but I really wanted to do more. So, during a week there were school board and community meetings I got a 16’ truck and turned it into a mobile gallery, parked it in front of the meeting places and in town on Friday evening. Many people walked up the ramp to see the student show, which turned into strong support for the school and our arts programs.

  1. What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

I spent some time thinking about how success can be defined in terms of stability of the arts program, status within the school and community, experience and notoriety of the teacher. These things can have influence on a program, but it’s all about student learning and their engagement with the arts. So, with this out front, my three keys are:

  • Challenging Instruction – Think “Habits of the Mind” for the arts area you teach.
  • Engagement – How active students are in their school and community about the arts.
  • Legacy – This is from my experience as a high school art teacher, but when students wrote to me ten years after graduation about how their art experiences are used in their jobs, that they have a job (that they like) directly related to the arts, or send an invitation to an exhibit or performance, makes you think that maybe you made a positive difference.­
  1. You’ve had a chance to check out the MAAI what benefits do you see in educators becoming involved?

Arts assessments are going to change the scope of arts instruction, not necessarily in the content of what is being taught, but definitely in how the arts will be taught and the nature of evaluation. Therefore, assessment is split into two major areas of Arts Knowledge (basic skills to include tests) and Art Ability (examples of production). This implies there is a shift in thinking from grading an assignment or project, to evaluating student learning. This is why being part of MAAI and learning new approaches to teaching and assessment will be valuable to teachers.

  1. If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

It’s been far too long since my wife and I had a real vacation, but after that I would like to put the funds into the development of a center/institute for arts, craft and science where the mission is to discover connections between disciplines. Light on curriculum, heavy on creating, that would be my ideal learning environment.

Contact Information: kevin.facer@maine.gov

 

207-624-6826

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LD 1422 Webinar

May 12, 2014

MAAI webinar, May 7

The third of a series of four webinars for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was held on Wednesday, May 7, entitled “LD 1422: digging deeper into the new Proficiency expectations for Maine’s schools and Arts classrooms”. In coming up with this particular webinar, facilitators Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg were reacting to what they both believed has been a lot of misunderstanding and a great lack of clarity around the new law which states that all High Schools will be issuing diplomas, “based on student demonstration of proficiency”. The hour with nearly 20 attendees, including the Maine Department of Education new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Mr. Kevin Facer, allowed the opportunity to de-mystify it, and to discuss its ramifications as it pertains to Visual and Performing Arts.

The first part gave an overview of LD 1422, with links to valuable resources at the Maine Department of Education. Catherine and Rob went through the important details pertaining to how it relates to VPA, the Maine Guiding Principles which all students will be required to meet, and a few thoughts around the concept of “multiple pathways” to demonstrate proficiency. An extended conversation was had around proficiency in the arts and what that actually can mean in practice. Information very specific about what that looks like in the classroom, and articulation of the next steps for everyone to get there, regardless of where you are presently.

Finally, there was a give and take conversation around relevant questions and observations from the MAAI Teacher leaders last Summer. Some of these included, “Once established, this will inform curricular and instructional decisions?”, “How do we establish proficiencies while leaving room for creativity?”, “You cannot define proficiency until the “vagueness” is taken out of the standards… is this a road we want to go down?” and “How do we find time to do everything and teach at the same time?” Along the way, webinar attendees asked some very pointed questions as well and shared some great insights.

In debunking myths or misinterpretations, and showing how the Arts can proactively move toward proficiency, the hope is that attendees and those utilizing the archive and meeting plans can get a leg up, perhaps even on the other content areas in our own buildings, and truly be leaders as we move toward this next chapter in Maine education. In this vein, it is strongly encouraged that arts teachers spend some time viewing the archive: the live links alone will make this worth your while, while the conversations will add clarity for what is expected of arts teachers in the months and years to come.

On Wednesday, June 4, we will be holding a related webinar, featuring the ongoing work MAAI has undertaken creating a rich Resource Bank for the Visual and Performing Arts. Please plan on joining Catherine and Rob from 3:30 to 4:30 on that first Wednesday of June. In the meantime, you can access the archive of the May 7 webinar at http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/maaimay2014/. You can access the professional development meeting plans that accompany the webinar at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars (available tomorrow). You may utilize with this with your building and district VPA colleagues.

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Developing a Proficiency-Based System

April 23, 2014

What’s it all about?

In February the Maine Department of Education posted the following in their news room. I know that this would be helpful to some arts educators as you move forward with your work getting ready for the Proficiency Based High School diploma starting with the graduating class of 2018 (that is next years 9th graders). Go directly to the post by clicking here.

Join arts educators on Wednesday, May 7 for a discussion on the Proficiency-Based High School diploma on the next Maine Arts Assessment webinar, 3:30-4:30. To join the webinar (at 3:20) please go to http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/maaimay2014. One contact hour is available.

The goal of proficiency-based education is to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers and the centerpiece of achieving proficiency is a clear focus on learning and instruction.

In proficiency-based education, students who have not met standards receive additional academic support to help them achieve proficiency. When a student demonstrates proficiency in the expected standards, they move on in their education. The standards include content area knowledge and skills as well as those of the Maine Learning Results Guiding Principles, which include critical thinking and problem-solving.

Implementing the requirement that high schools award proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018 places student demonstration of skills and knowledge at the center of instruction, assessments and reporting. School administrative units (SAUs) can work together or with other SAUs to develop their system for awarding of proficiency-based diplomas. Additionally, SAUs may add to the expectations for proficiency described in the content area standards and Guiding Principles

There is extensive guidance for developing educational systems that support student proficiency. The literature that describes proficiency-based education systems includes the work of Dr. John Hattie, professor and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia and Dr. Michael Fullan, Canadian educational researcher and former dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Hattie’s synthesis of over 800 meta-studies is the result of 15 years of research. His recent publication Visible Learning for Teachers points to the top 10 influences on student learning. Fullan reminds school leaders to build a system of support for all learners. Fullan asserts that raising the bar (for all students) and closing the gap (for lower performing groups) is dependent on choosing four drivers that have been demonstrated to be effective at achieving measurable improvements in results for students.

As educators build proficiency-based systems, they must continuously evaluate how well their educational programs and pathways provide each student with the opportunity to learn and make progress toward demonstrating proficiency of Maine’s learning standards. The guidance offered by Hattie and Fullan can provide educators and community members with criteria against which they can evaluate and enhance proficiency-based education.

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