Posts Tagged ‘MDOE’


MDOE VPA Position

October 15, 2013

Visual and Performing Arts Specialist position, Maine Department of Education

The information below is the posting for the job at the Department that was mine until I left in September to go to the Maine Arts Commission. Since below is small, here is the information if you are interested in applying:

Submit a cover letter, resume and Direct Hire Application. This job posting and a Direct Hire application can be found at PLEASE NOTE: The DEADLINE is OCTOBER 25, 2013.


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Calling All Arts Teachers

September 4, 2013

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Visual Art and Music Teachers!

Visual Art Assessment Photo

Elizabeth Arno, Catherine Ring , Liz Bouchard and Angelika Blanchard

How do we “do” assessment in the Art or Music room?  How can quality assessment practices vastly improve our students proficiency in our disciplines, help kids gain the skills and creativity they need, and be our biggest ally in advocating for our arts programs?  If you would like to earn three credits in a graduate course with a cohort of your peers, led by instructors who have been closely involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, here is your chance!

Join us this Fall in one of two graduate courses offered by the New England Institute for Teacher Education.  Click on the links below for more information or to Register!

EDPO 540-Refining Assessment Practices in the Music Classroom (K-12)
Sept. 20, 21 & Dec. 13, 14 (Just two weekends: Fri. 4-8pm, Sat. 8-4pm)
Location:  BANGOR
Instructor:  Jake Sturtevant


EDPO 536-Refining Assessment Practices in the Visual Art Classroom (K-12)
October 4, 5 & Dec. 6, 7  (Just two weekends: Fri.4-8pm, Sat. 8-4pm)
Location:  AUGUSTA
Instructor:  Catherine Ring

Courses are granted three graduate credits from Endicott College upon successful completion and have been approved by the Maine Department of Education for recertification.

TO REGISTER or for more information, Click on the links above.


MAAI Regional Workshops

October 30, 2012

Underway throughout Maine

We are fortunate to have nineteen phase 2 arts education teacher leaders from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) who have created workshops and started delivering them throughout Maine. The topics vary greatly and I am sure there is something for everyone!

You can find the schedule posted on the arts assessment page at the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) and below. You will notice that some of the details are missing below but as they become determined will be added to the MDOE page. The locations are spread out through the state to make it possible for you to attend a session in your region.

Along with the regional workshop, Mega-regional workshops are being planned as well. They will be posted in the near future. These workshops will be all day opportunities and we have teamed up with MLTI for Mega-regional workshops. If you have questions please be sure and email me at

MAAI: Impossible – What exactly is the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and what direction are we headed in Maine Arts Education? November 2, 2012, 11:00am, Dexter Ridgeview School, District V Middle School Honors Festival Andria Chase, Instrumental, general music, grades 4,5, Corinth, RSU #64 and Sarah Williams, band/chorus grade, general music, grades 2-4, Glenburn Elementary School, RSU 26
Unpack it! Unwrap it! – Breaking down the Standards to Inform Instruction and Learning Information and techniques in breaking down the standards with students to provide a successful learning experience. November 2, 2012, 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Hancock Grammar Schoo Janie Snider, visual arts, grades K-8, Hancock Grammar & Laomoine Consolidated Schools
Getting Started: Incorporating Meaningful Assessment Within the Large Ensemble – A look at incorporating standards based learning and assessment within the large ensemble without the use of technology. District III High School Honors Festival & District III Junior High Honors Festival Drew Albert, Music director, Maranacook Community High School, RSU 38 and Ashley Smith, Choral Director, Brunswick High School, Brunswick School Department
There is no I in ART; Working Together to Promote Quality Art Education for all Learners – Presentation addressed to parents. The Maine Learning Results and assessment terminology will be explained in user-friendly terms. A hands-on component is also included, as the parents create a piece of art. The presentation can be tailored to suit the needs of arts educators, classroom teachers, and/or administrators. November 5, 2012, MSAD#32 Superintendent and Board of Directors
meeting, November 6, 2012 Ashland PTO meeting
Susan Beaulier, Visual Art, K-12 MSAD #32, Ashland
Assessment: This is NOT a Drive By (Assessment is MEANT for ME-student perspective) - Take a close look at a student performance in terms of formative and summative assessment. Through a hands-on exercise participants will determine what needs to be assessed and generate a rubric with the groups’ ideas. Information about the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and resources will be shared. January 19, 2013, All Aroostook Fesitval Mari-Jo Hedman, Director of Music K-12, Fort Fairfield, MSAD #20
A Skeptic’s Exploration of Rubrics - The presentation follows my research into rubrics in order to improve both the clarity of the assessment instrument for myself and my students and to find ways to genuinely involve my students in the process. January 16, 2013, Messalonskee High School, RSU 18, 4:00 to 6:15 Leone Donovan, Visual Arts, Messalonskee High School, RSU 18
Formative and Summative Assessment Two Big  Words with Practical Applications in an Art Class - Participants will create a clay sculpture and get a hands-on understanding of both formative and summative assessment as part of the creative problem-solving process January 16, 2013, Messalonskee High School, RSU 18, 4:00 to 6:15 Gloria Hewett, visual arts, grades 6-8, Mount View Middle School, RSU 3
Literacy – A Gateway to Creativity - This workshop shows how literacy strategies can be utilized to improve students’ ability to analyze artwork. Stronger art analysis abilities can change and improve students’ understanding of their own creative problem-solving process.  Assessments are discussed as a vital part of this process. January 16, 2013, Messalonskee High School, RSU 18, 4:00 to 6:15 Pamela Ouellette, visual arts, Lisbon High School
Theatre Games: Learning By Doing - Using a Theatre-based rubric allows any teacher to assess students using the MLRs, thus “hitting” standards that may not have been accessible before.  Theatre techniques will be taught to show how to enhance curriculum/learning in any subject area. January 25, 26, 2013, Mt. Ararat High School Susan Jones, chorus, theatre, social studies, Medomak Valley High School, RSU 40
A journey into the 21st Century – Changing the Way I Teach!  – Come along on my journey as I talk about the changes I am making in my Keyboarding Class to fit the learning styles of all my students! January 26, 2013, District I Music Festival, Noble High School, North Berwick Jane Kirton, chorus, keyboarding, music for the soul, Sanford High School
Assessment, A Self Help Program for the Art Teacher – My journey to understanding the power of authentic assessment and using technology to manage student product and track student growth. TBA Danette Kerrigan, Visual Art, Sacopee Valley Middle School, MSAD 55
Sighting in Rubrics: How to Hit Educational Targets – This workshop revolves around the concept of General Rubrics and how they can be used to assess a variety of different products and processes. A good portion of the workshop involves assessment of student examples and discussion of how to interpret criteria using the rubric currently used in my classes. TBA Samantha Orchard, visual arts, Woodland Jr/Sr High School, Baileyville
Conditions for a Creative Classroom Using formative assessments to promote creative thinking and student voice in the classroom. TBA Suzanne Southworth, visual arts, Camden Hills Regional High School
The Sweet Spot: Where Learning Meets Engagement              This presentation discusses the importance of engaging students in their learning and tools that can support them. TBA Barbie Weed, visual art, grades 5-8, Gray-New Gloucester Middle School, MSAD 15
How can we meaningfully assess a large and diverse student population in music classrooms?      A brief overview of: why to assess, formative verses summative, when to use which type, examples of different assessments, and Q & A TBA Andrea Wollstadt, music, grades k-5, Biddleford Intermediate School, John F. Kennedy Memorial School, Biddeford
Assessment: To Educate and Advocate!There are many benefits to bringing authentic assessment into the music classroom. This workshop will discuss fundamental core benefits by identifying connections to the student, the community at large and the classroom teacher. In doing so, the case is made for utilizing assessment as a core component of the educational landscape for all Arts educators. TBA Jarika Olberg, choral/general music, grades 2-12, Waynflete School, Portland

Literacy for ME

May 18, 2012

Maine’s Comprehensive State Literacy Plan

Lisa Gilman teaches visual arts at the Winthrop Middle School. During the last year she has served as a content specialist on the State Literacy Committee. Recently she wrote this post for the meartsed blog to provide information to arts educators of the work the committee has done.

The committee was formed during the Fall of 2010. The MDOE applied for a Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) formula grant to be used to establish a Statewide Literacy Team charged with assisting the MDOE to develop a Statewide Literacy Plan. The Maine Department of Education was awarded the SRCL grant in November 2010. 

Along with many state literacy specialists and classroom specialists we began this journey by looking at other states that had completed their literacy plans. At the helm is Leeann Larsen, Literacy Specialist, MDOE, who has been a great leader for this daunting task of creating a plan for the state.   

“Literacy for ME outlines steps and identifies resources to help educators and others provide children with a strong early childhood foundation in literacy, provide students with effective literacy training throughout their years in school, and provide adults with low levels of literacy with the adult-level training they need.”

The literacy plan is organized around the following 6 components:

  • Strong leadership
  • System-wide commitment and partnerships
  • Standards and curriculum
  • Instruction and intervention
  • Assessment
  • Professional learning

These same components are familiar to Maine educators because they have the same components as other initiatives such as RTI and standards based education. This plan is not in addition to literacy efforts but a guide for ongoing work at the State and local level. Literacy for ME hopes to develop a cultural shift in how we think of literacy. Literacy for ME intends to broaden literacy for all residents of Maine. The plan is designed to initiate partnerships beyond the classroom walls.

The state of Maine defines literacy as: The ability to construct and convey meaning for a variety of purposes through an array of contextual forms and symbols, including reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing.  As an art educator who has taught reading along with my regular visual arts curriculum, literacy must not be designated to just Language Arts classes. Literacy is continually defined and expanded in our contemporary world.

Be looking for the formal plan to be launched in August 2012. 

Thank you Lisa for providing this information!


Commissioner Looking for Input from YOU

December 7, 2011

News Release

Maine Department of Education:

Contact: David Connerty-Marin, Director of Communications, 207-624-6880/831-3313

Ed Commissioner asks public for ideas on school accountability and recognition
Public forums, online feedback will be used in request for federal flexibility

AUGUSTA — The federal government is offering Maine, like all other states, a chance to develop its own system of accountability and recognition of schools — allowing the state to jettison what many now consider unrealistic and unfair requirements and negative labels in the current No Child Left Behind Act.

The Maine Department of Education will submit a formal request for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to the U.S. Department of Education. Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen is asking educators, parents, students and anyone who has a stake in the education of Maine’s students to weigh in at a series of forums and meetings and online. Forums are scheduled Dec. 8 in Bangor; online on Dec. 13; and Dec. 14 in Portland. The Department is also seeking feedback through an online survey and in an ongoing online discussion in which the Commissioner and other staff will participate.

In the absence of Congressional action to rewrite the federal government’s landmark education law, about 40 states are taking advantage of the U.S. Department of Education’s offer of flexibility in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In exchange, the Department is requiring that states:
Devise new systems for holding schools accountable and recognizing their success in a fair, accurate and constructive way; and
Develop and pilot systems for evaluating the performance of teachers and school administrators in a way that’s fair and promotes continued professional growth among educators.

“We need to hear from teachers, administrators, school board members, students, parents and others – the people who are working directly and indirectly with students every day,” Bowen said. “For years we’ve heard what’s wrong with NCLB, now we can all work together to build a better system of accountability and recognition.”

At the forums and in the online survey, the Department will seek ideas on measuring school and teacher effectiveness and crafting a system that holds systems accountable and rewards success.

Details for the participation opportunities are as follows:
Bangor forum, Thursday, Dec. 8
Public forum, Bangor High School cafeteria
885 Broadway, Bangor
6 to 7:30 p.m.

Online forum, Tuesday, Dec. 13
Participate online
Visit for instructions on participating
6 to 7:30 p.m.

Portland forum, Wednesday, Dec. 14
Public forum, Portland Arts and Technology High School, Room 250
196 Allen Ave., Portland
6 to 7:30 p.m.

More online opportunities
Take the Maine DOE’s 10-question survey:
Join a discussion on Maine’s ESEA Flexibility request in the Maine DOE Newsroom:
All Maine Department of Education news releases can be found online at:


Imagination Intensive Community 2011

May 24, 2011

The Telling Room is a marvelous example of providing imaginative opps for students

Last Thursday I had the chance to visit The Telling Room in Portland. I joined a team that observed and documented the outstanding components of the program. The Telling Room has been named the Imagination Intensive Community for 2011. Below is the news release and pictures from our visit. CONGRATULATIONS to The Telling Room and the staff and the hundreds of volunteers who are so passionate about the important work they do providing imaginative opportunities for students.

The Telling Room staff

NEWS RELEASE – The Maine Alliance for Arts Education, the Maine Department of Education, and the Maine Arts Commission are pleased to announce that the Telling Room in Portland has been named Maine’s 2011 Imagination Intensive Community.

With funding this year from the Kennedy Center, the Maine Arts Commission, the Maine Department of Education, and Bangor Savings Bank, the Imagination Intensive Communities program is in its second year of identifying and celebrating, through an open application process, those Maine communities where schools and partnering organizations of all kinds invest in the imaginative development of children and youth.

The Telling Room exhibit at the Portland Public Library

Located in downtown Portland, the Telling Room is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Recognized for its many programs and community partnerships, the Telling Room focuses on young writers ages 6 to 18 and seeks to build confidence, provide real audiences for students’ stories, and strengthen literacy skills through literature, writing, music, drama, and visual arts.

Director Gibson Fay-LeBlanc accepts IIC banner

The Telling Room has evolved into a community that reaches beyond its own doors to collaborate with a wide variety of local and regional partners, including schools, Portland Public Library, Portland Ovations, and others. As the selection panel noted, “The Telling Room should be recognized and celebrated for participating in community building in a most meaningful way through their work.”

Engaged in learning

When notified of the award, Telling Room Executive Director, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc commented, “The Telling Room is honored to be selected as an Imagination Intensive Community. We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success and are pleased to join the other model communities, schools, and organizations that are teaching students in and through the arts around the state. We value this award both for recognizing our past work with young writers and artists and for the way it will push us to continue to innovate and better serve students in Greater Portland and beyond.”

Comfy corner at The Telling Room

Past Imaginative Intensive Communities include Arundel, Blue Hill, Camden-Rockport, Deer Isle/Stonington, North Haven, and York (2010). Five communities have received honorable mention as “emerging communities:” Dover-Foxcroft and Kittery (2011) and Brunswick, Denmark, and Portland’s Reiche School (2010).

Visiting team member Bette Manchester speaks to Teen Librarian, Justin Hoenke, Portland Public Library

The search for these communities grew out of a statewide census of arts learning that documented that children’s access to education in dance, music, theater, and visual art is not equal throughout the state. The census raised the question, “Where are the communities that even in hard times use their available resources to support the development of young people’s creativity and innovation?” The Imagination Intensive Communities project was developed to answer that question.

An award celebration, at which the Telling Room will be recognized as the 2011 Imagination Intensive Community, is scheduled for May 19 and will include presentation of check for $1200, a banner, and award certificates for the Telling Room and its collaborating community partners.

The Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) is a statewide nonprofit that works to strengthen education in all of the arts for all Maine students. For more information on this project, the results of the arts education census, and other activities of MAAE, visit or email .

Telling Room photo:

All photographs taken by Gail Scott.


Commissioner of Ed visiting Kennebec Valley

May 9, 2011

Listening tour continues

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will visit schools in the Kennebec Valley on Tuesday, May 10 as part of his statewide listening tour.

He’ll start with a morning meeting with superintendents in Oakland before he visits Oakland’s Williams Elementary School. At Williams, he’ll spend time in the classroom of Shelly Moody, Maine’s 2011 Teacher of the Year.

Bowen will then visit Readfield Elementary School, where he’ll learn about the school’s Response to Intervention program.

Bowen will end the day with an evening forum at Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland to hear from parents, teachers and others interested in sharing ideas about improving education and the work of the Department of Education.

The following events will be open to media coverage:
10:15 a.m.
Williams Elementary School, 55 Pleasant St., Oakland
School visit
Principal: Kathy Harris-Smedberg
Superintendent: Gary Smith
12:30 p.m.
Readfield Elementary School, 84 South Rd.
School Visit
Principal: Cheryl Hasenfus
Superintendent: Rich Abramson
6-8 p.m.
Messalonskee Middle School cafeteria
Public forum

For more information and updates on the Listening Tour, go to:


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