Posts Tagged ‘mega regional workshops’


Megas UMaine USM

April 6, 2015

MAAI Mega-regional workshops – last of the school year

Last Thursday and Friday the last two Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Mega-regional workshops were held at UMaine, Orono and USM, Portland campus. Both were a success and the 127 teachers who participated had positive feedback. It was an opportunity designed just for visual and performing arts educators including teaching artists.

I am so proud of the Teacher Leaders and the workshops they created. MAAI believes that “teachers teaching teachers” is very powerful!

Thank you to the following Teacher Leaders listed below who provided the following workshops:

UMaine, Orono – Thursday, April 2

  • Finding the Hidden Treasure in Art with Student Self Assessment, Jennie Driscoll Brunswick High School Visual Arts
  • Efficient and Effective Assessment in the Elementary Music Classroom, Frances Kellogg Ellsworth Elementary Middle School Music
  • Multiple Pathways: Helping Students Achieve Proficiency in ELA and Social Studies through Performing Arts Class!, Beth Lambert Carrabec High School Performing Arts
  • The Foolish Man Builds his House Upon the Sand: Laying a Firm Foundation for the Arts (and life) in Early Childhood, Judy Fricke Main Street Music Studios Music
  • My Choice-Based Art Class, Nurturing Proficiency through Voice, Choice and Reflective Teaching, Theresa Cerceo Dr. Levesque Elementary, Wisdom Middle/High School Visual Arts
  • Proficiency-Based Education in Visual Art, Gloria Hewett Mount View Middle School Visual Arts
  • Gold, Silver or Bronze? A Rubric fit for the Olympics!, Pam Kinsey Easton Schools Music
  • Rappin’ Differentiated Instruction and Implementing Standards Based Grading, Lisa Neal Nokomis Regional High School Performing Arts

Theresa         IMG_1273

IMG_1276USM, Portland – Friday, April 3

  • The Studio Habits of Mind: Using the “Hidden Curriculum” to Encourage Student Autonomy, Lisa Ingraham Madison Elementary School Visual Arts
  • The Recipe: Ingredients in a Proficiency-Based Curriculum, Michaela DiGianvittorio and Sarah Gould Gray-New Gloucester High School Visual Arts
  • Unpacking the Standards with your BFF (Best Foot Forward), Cynthia Keating, Village Elementary School Music and Kate Smith, Central Elementary School Music
  • The Foolish Man Builds his House Upon the Sand: Laying a Firm Foundation for the Arts (and life) in Early Childhood, Judy Fricke Main Street Music Studios Music
  • Writing What We Do: A Guide to Standards-Based Curriculum Mapping & Unit Design, Brian McPherson, Woodside Elementary School Visual Arts and Jake Sturtevant, Bonny Eagle High School Music
  • Using Digital Process Folios as a Journaling Approach to Self Assessment, Melanie Crowe Marshwood Middle School Visual Arts
  • Hatching A Songbird: Teaching and Assessing Singing Skills at the Primary Level, Patti Gordan Raymond Elementary School Music
  • Moving Towards Your Goals: Using Technology for Self-Assessment in a Performing Arts Classroom, Emma Campbell Thornton Academy Dance
  • Dancing With the Standards: How to Incorporate Standards-Based Dance and Movement Activities in Classroom Learning and Assessment, John Morris Dance
  • The How and Why of Digital Portfolios, Jeff Orth Richmond Middle/High School Visual Arts



IMG_2217Thanks also to MAAI Teacher Leaders Janie Snider, Jenni Null, and Shari Tarleton.

Artist showcases took place at each Mega with Teaching Artists John Morris and Stevie McGary provided information on their role and some movement as well.

In the afternoon sessions Proficiency-Based Education and Teacher Effectiveness were the discussion topics. Teachers shared what is happening in their schools, had a chance to ask each other questions and learn from what others are doing. Thanks to the following Teacher Leaders who facilitated the discussion:

UMO – Gloria Hewett and Jen Nash

USM – Jake Sturtevant and Amy Cousins (and several others assisted)

Both Megas were successful due to the work of Leadership Team members:

UMO – Catherine Ring

USM – Rob Westerberg and Jeff Beaudry

A special THANK YOU to Laura Artesani who arranged for the space on the UMaine Orono campus. And to Jeff Beaudry who arranged for the space on the USM, Portland campus!

At the end of the day at USM I said to all the participants how proud I was of the work all visual and performing arts teachers do. I know that the jobs you do can be challenging. At the end of the day at UMaine Orono Catherine asked folks how they were feeling and these are some of the words expressed by the group: inspiring – exhausted but happy – encouraged – enthusiastic – can’t wait to try things back in my classroom – my head is full – overwhelmed but supported – not alone anymore – great resources.  Catherine’s word: proud.

If you didn’t attend any of the four Mega-regional workshops provided this school year by MAAI and are looking for resources I suggest that you go to


MAAI Megas

March 30, 2015

April 2 and 3

At the end of this week over 100 visual and performing arts teachers will gather in two locations. UMaine, Orono on April 2 and USM, Portland on April 3. They will be attending the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s Mega-regional workshops.

Why would so many teachers choose to spend all day out of the classroom and not teaching you might ask?! The answer varies, but over and over I hear how isolating teaching can be and especially for a visual or performing art teacher who is the only one in their building and sometimes the only one providing arts education in a PK-12 school system. Not only will you have the chance to attend meaningful workshops in your discipline and discuss proficiency-based education and teacher effectiveness with your peers but you will have multiple networking opportunities. Everyone teachers, everyone learns!


Teacher Leaders Amy Cousins and Gloria Hewett will lead the afternoon session at the Megas on proficiency-based education and teacher effectiveness

If you missed the online registration you may still attend by arriving at 8:15 at the Collins Center for the Arts on the UMaine campus in Orono (Thursday) or at Talbot Hall on the USM, Portland campus (Friday). Please select the workshops you’d like to attend before you arrive at the Mega-regional by going to All the info, including the schedule is posted. These are the last two Megas scheduled for this school year.

To access the Maine Arts Assessment Resources please go to

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 8.24.57 AMIf you are considering becoming a Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leader during phase 5 you will have a chance to speak to one of the 61 teacher leaders to learn more about the role and responsibility. The application will be available in the next two weeks so please watch for it here in the Maine Arts Education blog.

MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MACs education programs please go to

Leading the Way

MAAI Teacher Leaders, Statewide Arts Ed conference, Leading the Way, Fall 2013



“Stuff” Happens

February 10, 2015

What’s happening

photoSometimes “stuff” happens that I didn’t see coming which cause me to pause. Yesterday that happened when I noticed a man standing on the roof outside of my office window. I wondered about the angle of the roof and his safety. I thought about how much snow had accumulated on the small angled roof as he shoveled while snow continued to land on his head and shoulders. As he went about his work, my work was stopped. I couldn’t help but smile at the snow and also think ahead to the next season(s).

Also, yesterday I was forced to pause and reflect on some of the highlights of the research that the Maine Arts Commission has underway. As many of you know during the last several months the Maine Arts Commission has been surveying Maine citizen groups to create a Maine Arts and Culture plan. One of our surveys was just for visual and performing arts teachers and 284, representing PreK-12 evenly, completed it – THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

This is one of those times that I am pausing to consider the feedback from arts educators who took the time to complete the survey to help determine the direction of Maine Arts Education. I thing the following pieces of information learning from the survey might be of interest.

  • The majority have taught for more than 10 years with 72 teaching 10 years or less
  • Almost everyone has heard of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and over 100 have utilized the resources that MAAI provides
  • Almost 150 have participated in professional development opportunities that MAAI has provided
  • On a scale of 1-7, 117 said that they are somewhat to highly prepared to teach in the proficiency-based education system

The following are quotes from two participant answering the question: How has what you’ve learned from MAAI affected their teaching and/or assessment practices?

It’s made me narrow better what I’m teaching and want my students to learn. I’ve been more collaborative with other teaching professionals. It has also reminded me what my personal professional beliefs are valid in holding students to higher standards and working them towards that common goal.

These experiences have made my teaching even more student -centered, which is a direction all Maine schools should be headed.

As you consider participating in the MAAI please know that we have Mega-regional workshops being offered throughout the state during the next three months. Details, descriptions, and registration can be found by clicking here

tableAt the end of the day, as the light was dimming and I was leaving the office, I pulled out my ipad and took photos of the picnic table near the back door of the Maine Arts Commission. As my colleague said earlier in the day, it looks like a dessert. The State House loomed up in the background and I was reminded of the importance of stopping to reflect about how fortunate I am, even on challenging days!




MAAI Megas!

January 13, 2015

MAAI Mega-regional workshop opportunities

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is providing four more Mega-Regional workshops throughout the state in March and April. At each event there are several sessions to choose from, all facilitated by MAAI Teacher Leaders. Each site has different offerings and YES, you are welcome to attend more than one. The cost is $25 and 5.5 contact hours are offered. To read about the workshops and reserve your space by registering please click on

Participants have the opportunity of attending two workshops in the morning and a whole group session in the afternoon on Proficiency-Based Education in the Arts classroom.

Leading the Way

Dates and Locations

  • Friday, March 6, 2015 Aroostook county (Registration available in the near future.)
  • Friday, March 13, 2015 Oxford Hills Middle School, South Campus
  • Thursday, April 2, 2015 UMaine, Orono
  • Friday, April 3, 2015 University of Southern Maine, Portland

If you have any questions please contact me at

MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission with several partners.


MAAI Proficiency Q’s and A’s

December 9, 2014

You’re not alone

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr

This Fall has been one of the busiest in recent memory for me and for many reading this post. As Maine moves to implement its proficiency-based education requirement, virtually every arts program in Maine has been scrambling to define “proficiency” and what it looks like in their own classrooms. Invariably this has also led to the development of standards and indicators for each grade level. Our task is daunting, but the difficulty level is compounded by ours being a “local control” state; one in which the state sets policy, but local school districts have some degree of autonomy over curriculum and implementation.

Consequently, many of us in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative leadership have been approached by arts educators all over the state and asked very leading questions. One of the quotes we received in feedback from our first state Mega-Regional Workshop on November 25th at MDI High School ( is typical: “(I need), more information about upcoming changes in policies, standards, teacher assessments, etc. My school does not keep me informed of any upcoming changes, i.e. proficiency based education…”

We have been working individually and collectively with so many districts and so many arts educators that I believe we’ve finally lost count. As school districts and arts educators continue their work through the Winter months ahead, here are some of the common questions we have received and our recommendations and suggestions moving forward.

Which standards should I be using?

MAAI has always taken the position that the only valid work is meaningful work, and that backwards design – identifying what knowledge or applied skills you believe is essential for every one of your students first – will lead you where you want to go. The North Carolina “I Can” statements by subject area located at!projects/c21kz provide a rich selection of these by standard and by grade level. Best of all they identify these by what a student knows, not what a teacher teaches.

There are many other helpful documents on the Maine Arts Assessment at!cross-curricular-documents/c2gj for you to look at and utilize as you make these determinations by grade span. The letter of the state law articulates that student proficiency is to be aligned with the Maine Learning Results. However, the work that we do in the arts can be connected to many exceptional standards documents, including those from other states, the national revised standards and even those of other countries. MAAI has found that if you connect to the indicators that resonate best with what you and your school values for proficiency in the arts, you will come up with a more meaningful, relevant and usable set of standards and indicators. These in turn will authentically move your work forward. If a crosswalk is required by your school district after the fact that ties your work directly to one specific set of standards, that will likely be a very manageable endeavor. Bottom line: make it meaningful and relevant by tying your work to essential student expectations first and then connecting to a specific standards document or set of standards later. This may all be done concurrently, but does not need to be, at least initially.

“What is the difference between a ‘standard’ and an ‘indicator’?”

There has been a lot of confusion even at the administrative level as to what each of these terms refer to. In essence, standards are the overarching, very broad umbrella statements. The Maine Learning Results have 5 of them, the first two (sections A and B) specific to each arts subject area. Indicators are the measurable statements or learning targets within each. Assessment of multiple indicators/learning targets will allow for an accurate measurement of proficiency within a specific standard. For instance, “Disciplinary Literacy” is a standard, underneath which would be measurable indicators, such as “Displays proper posture”, “Identifies correct key signatures” and so on. It is these indicators which will inform student proficiency for each standard.

“What’s the difference between ‘formative’ assessment and ‘summative’ assessment?”

In simple terms, formative assessment is the gut check. Formative assessments give you and your students the opportunity to take stock in progress made. These are utilized best when they also inform curriculum and instruction based on the results. These do not usually apply to a student’s “grade” per se, but inform everyone where students individually and/or collectively stand in the learning process. Summative assessment however is the running of the race; this is closer to what many would identify as ‘the test”. In proficiency based education models however, the difference between an assessment and a traditional test is that summative assessments may be given multiple times. The reason is because knowledge/application is measured for the purpose of demonstrating proficiency, and students are offered multiple opportunities to demonstrate.

“How can I possibly assess every student AND do all I need to do with such limited student face-time?”

Attend MAAI Regional and Mega-Regional Workshops ( which are offered throughout the entire school year. Attend an MAAI state event during the Summer or Fall. Reach out to an MAAI Teacher Leader  (!who/cqmo) who can assist you with some spot on ideas. Check out one of the MAAI videos on what standards based learning looks like in practical application (!arts-assessment-in-the-classroom/c1vvi). In the mean time, as you develop your proficiency work, keep it manageable. Not every indicator of every standard is required to be hit. But at the same time, use this authentic need for more student face time to drive conversations in your school about course scheduling and class frequency for the arts.

“How do I get started?” (alternate heading: “I’ve already had three false starts and am getting nowhere fast!”)

The Arts Assessment Resources site has a link called “Proficiency Toolbox” (!proficiency-toolbox/covj). This toolbox provides step-by-step suggestions for getting started and how to proceed once you’ve done so. Take a look at this site and see if it lends some clarity for you.

We’re in the thick of this proficiency work. But we’re in it together. Even as each individual school district goes about this journey in its own unique way, please make sure that YOU are connecting with other arts teachers as you develop your work. A collaborative process is one which will yield real, meaningful results, positive reinforcement in the process of getting there, and shared conversations which can only lead to deeper understanding for teachers and students alike. Remember: None of us is as smart as all of us! Please continue to share your work.


Registration Open: MAAI Mega USM, Portland

October 30, 2014

University of Southern Maine, Portland, Mega-regional workshop, Friday, April 3, 2015 

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is once again offering Mega-regional workshops in five locations across the state of Maine during the 2014-15 school year. The workshops are being facilitated by the MAAI Teacher Leaders, different workshops scheduled for each location. Yes, you can register for more than one! 5.5 contact hours are being provided for all-day participation.

The five Mega dates and locations for the 2014-15 school year

  • Friday, March 6, 2015 Aroostook county

Registration is also open for Mega Mount Desert Island High School, Mega Oxford Hills, South Campus, and Mega UMaine, Orono.  It will be available for Aroostook county in the very near future.  MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission.

The information for Mega USM, Portland is located at

Once you read through the details, you can determine which workshop you’d like to attend for Session I and Session II. To complete your registration please click on this link

You can pay the $25 registration fee using PayPal or you can pay by sending a check made out to Maine Art Education Association and mail it to Maine Arts Commission, c/o Argy Nestor, 193 State Street, 25SHS, Augusta, 04333. You will find all of the information and details that you need when you register at the link above. Please contact me if you have any questions at

Overall Workshop Schedule

  • 8:15 a.m. Registration begins
  • 8:45 a.m. Opening Session and Morning Workshops
  • 9:10 – 10:20 a.m. Breakout Workshop Session I
  • 10:20 – 10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:30 – 11:40 a.m. Breakout Workshop Session II
  • 11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch, participants on their own
  • 12:30 – 12:45 p.m. Artist Showcase
  • 12:45 – 2:45 p.m. Session III Large group by Arts Discipline
  • 2:45 – 3:00 p.m. Closing Session

The workshop titles and descriptions for the Mega UMaine, Orono are included below.

Session I

The Studio Habits of Mind: Using the “Hidden Curriculum” to Encourage Student Autonomy

Join us in our exploration of assessment and proficiency using the Studio Habits of Mind. This workshop will present a practical look at how we came to understand and use the constructs of Studio Thinking in our K-4 and K-8 classrooms to promote independent, self-directed learning. You will gain hands-on knowledge of these habits and leave with strategies you can use in your own classroom. Grades K-8 (Easily adapted for grades 9-12.)


Jane Snider Hancock Grammar School Visual Arts
Lisa Ingraham Madison Elementary School Visual Arts

The Recipe: Ingredients in a Proficiency-Based Curriculum

The thought of creating a proficiency-based curriculum from scratch can be daunting. When we try cooking something new for the first time, we seek a recipe to follow, and over time we adjust, improvise, substitute, and personalize the ingredients to make the recipe our own. We would like to share our recipe with you, it may not be exactly your taste, but we have ingredients and tools to share to help you get started. Grades 9-12 (Easily adapted for all grades.)


Michaela DiGianvittorio and Sarah Gould Gray-New Gloucester High School Visual Arts


Unpacking the Standards with your BFF (Best Foot Forward)

Looking for meaningful conversations around assessment in the elementary music classroom? So often music teachers feel as if they are working in isolation. Come see how Teacher Leaders Cynthia Keating and Kate Smith worked together to unpack the standards to identify their essential learnings. Tips for how to report essential learnings to parents will be shared. Grades PK-5


Cynthia Keating Village Elementary School Music

Kate Smith Central Elementary School Music


The Foolish Man Builds his House Upon the Sand: Laying a Firm Foundation for the Arts (and life) in Early Childhood


A workshop for Early Childhood Educators, Elementary Arts Specialists, and Elementary Administrators. Come join the fun as we explore how and why arts play is essential to every young child’s ability to learn how to learn! Grades PK-2 (all Arts disciplines)


Judy Fricke Main Street Music Studios Music


Writing What We Do: A Guide to Standards-Based Curriculum Mapping & Unit Design

Essential what? Enduring Understandings? Why is it important to write down what I do in my classroom? Many districts across the state are focused on Curriculum Mapping and Unit Design using a variety of systems for tracking and organizing curriculum, units, and assessments.  This session will focus on developing skills in navigating the Understanding by Design model of unit and curriculum design. Participants will learn how to organize their curriculum, develop essential questions and enduring understandings, and determine assessment types based on what they are already teaching in their arts classrooms.  Examples and resources will be provided. Grades PK-12 (all Arts disciplines)

Brian McPherson Woodside Elementary School Vistual Arts

Jake Sturtevant Bonny Eagle High School Music


Session II

Using Digital Process Folios as a Journaling Approach to Self Assessment

Have you ever wondered how to digitally document students growth and understanding? Using technology, students document their learning experiences in the art room through a process-folio. For many of us, learning is about the process not the end result – learn how reflective writing and self assessments can guide students through a greater understanding of their work. Grades 6-8 (Easily adaptable for grades 9-12.)


Melanie Crowe Marshwood Middle School Visual Arts


Hatching A Songbird: Teaching and Assessing Singing Skills at the Primary Level

Focusing on the Kindergarten year, this workshop will offer methodical strategies for teaching young children to sing.  Included will be ideas for formative assessment, including student self assessment. Grades K-2 


Patti Gordan Raymond Elementary School Music


Moving Towards Your Goals: Using Technology for Self-Assessment in a Performing Arts Classroom

This workshop will demonstrate how to have students successfully self-assess their work in your performing arts classroom using their own devices.  Using an existing high school dance lesson, participants will learn how to have their own students measure and analyze their work using applications such as Twitter, Nearpod, eBackpack, and Youtube. Grades 9-12 (all Arts disciplines)


Emma Campbell Thornton Academy Dance


Dancing With the Standards: How to Incorporate Standards-Based Dance and Movement Activities in Classroom Learning and Assessment

Are you an arts teacher who would like to incorporate more movement in your classroom, but may feel that you lack confidence or familiarity with dance movement? This experiential workshop will walk you through a powerful yet simple creative movement exploration and dance making process that are standards-based and well suited to integrate with any content area. You will learn simple movement tools and a dance making activity that you can implement – no dance background needed – to help your students explore lesson content and engage in creative problem solving together. Grades PK-12 (all Arts disciplines)


John Morris Dance

The How and Why of Digital Portfolios

This workshop is focused on using Google Drive to create a digital portfolio as a means to show evidence of proficiency, allow for a method of feedback on student work and as a way to organize and maintain student work. This workshop can be used by all VPA teachers. Grades 6-12 (all Arts disciplines)



Jeff Orth Richmond Middle/High School Visual Arts


Announcing Mega-Regional Workshops

November 12, 2013

Ellsworth High School, UMF, USM, and UMaine

Feedback on the biennial statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way that was held at UMaine on October 24th continues to come in. But that is not all that the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is providing for professional development this school year.

I am soooooooo excited to announce the professional development opportunities that continue to take place by the MAAI teacher leaders. There are 35 sessions scheduled at the 4 locations listed below that the MAAI calls Mega-Regional workshops.

You can click on each site above to get to the details or go to In the AM at each Mega-Regional session teachers will select 2 workshops from a variety (each site offering different workshops). There are two PM sessions that teachers will have a chance to drill down on important arts education topics that are impacting all of us in today’s education environment:

  • The Arts and Proficiency
  • Think Tanks on Technology

The cost to attend a Mega-Regional workshop is $20.00 with 5.5 contact hours provided. Registration is required to attend the all day, 8:15 – 3:15, Mega-Regional workshops.

Please note: Each mega-regional workshop has a different link for registering! The MAAI teacher leaders are anxious to share their workshops with you and look forward to what you bring to the workshops. These are multiple opportunities for the Maine Arts education community to come together to deepen our knowledge!

If you have any questions please email me at I look forward to seeing you at a Mega-Regional workshop.


Phase 3 MAAI summer institute, MECA, June 2013

Also scheduled are 34 Regional workshops taking place in various locations all over the state. You can find the information on these workshops by clicking here.


Prof Dev Opportunities!

January 7, 2013

Register today for the Mega-regionals


First and second phase MAAI teacher leaders and leadership team members

Professional development opportunities are taking place in numerous locations in Maine during the next few months. Workshops are part of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and being offered by teacher leaders from the first and second phase of the MAAI. You can read about the regional workshops and the Mega-regional workshops at There are a variety of workshops being offered including sessions being co-facilitated by MLTI technology integrators and MAAI teacher leaders. These teachers have made a huge commitment to the MAAI and are looking forward to sharing their ideas and expertise with you!

You do not need to register for the Regional workshops however, you will need to register for the Mega-regional workshops. All workshops are FREE and contact hours are being provided by the Department. After you read the sessions descriptions you may decide to attend more than one workshop. (Are you allowed to do that? Of course you may!)

All participants need a laptop with the 2012-13 MLTI image. If you do not have one there is a place to designate that when you register. We will lend you one for the workshop. PLEASE register at least one week before the event in order for us to insure that we have a laptop for you to use that day!

Details are posted and access to the registration page can be found at The first Mega-regional workshop is taking place next Monday, January 14 at University of Maine, Farmington. I hope to see you at one of these professional development opportunities designed especially for Maine Arts educators!

More information on the MAAI can be found at


Happy New Year!

January 1, 2013


I have taken some time today to reflect on 2012 and realize how fortunate I am to work with incredible arts educators in Maine and throughout the United States. Educators who are dedicated, passionate, and fully committed to providing an outstanding arts education for every student!

The year has been filled with many successes, some challenges, and sad losses! I wish I had time to go back through all the blog posts that I wrote in 2012 to help me remember all of the successes, challenges, and losses but instead I will provide the highlights.


The biggest success is the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). The second phase of MAAI officially kicked off in the spring with the identification of 20 teacher leaders. These arts educators joined the 18 teacher leaders from phase one. They participated in a 4-day institute in August at the Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland where they expanded their knowledge in the areas of assessment, leadership, technology, and creativity. They have created workshops that are being delivered throughout this school year at the regional and mega-regional level. (Registration for the mega-regional workshops is now open – FREE and contact hours are available.) The topics of the sessions are as varied as the individual teacher leaders. I am so grateful for their commitment to the work that is making a difference for arts teachers and in arts classrooms across Maine each day. The impact on students learning is amazing!

And, uniquely the Mega-regional workshops are being co-sponsored with the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). At these workshops their will be at least one session that is integrated with an MLTI integrator to provide a first time opportunity for educators!

The MAAI would not be possible without the commitment of the leadership team who have consistently shepherded the work. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Catherine Ring, Rob Westerberg, Jeff Beaudry, Bronwyn Sale, Pam Kinsey, and Matt Doiron. Their willingness to lead has made a difference! Close to 1000 arts educators have taken advantage of the professional development opportunities during the last year and a half.

The MAAI is aligned with the Maine Department of Education’s Strategic Plan: Education Evolving: Maine’s Plan for Putting Learners First.

In July Catherine and I flew to Denver for a national conference on arts assessment held at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. I was proud to let others know of the grassroots efforts that Maine arts educators are involved with.

Art educator Chris Milliken, on sabbatical from Wells schools, has been following and doing research on the MAAI during this past year. He will join art teacher Lisa Marin and present a session on their findings at the Mega-regional workshop at Ellsworth High School on March 29, 2013.

Literacy is a statewide focus with the Literacy for ME being launched this fall and arts education has stepped up to become an integral part of the cross content literacy connections. Arts educators Jen Nash, Suzanne Goulet, and Lisa Gilman have been facilitating literacy webinars. Suzanne is also co-facilitating face to face sessions.

We have had 4 wonderful art exhibits at the Maine Department of Education during this past year from Maranacook Community Schools, Bangor Elementary and Middle Schools, Lake Region High School, and Messalonskee High School. Along with the exhibits we had receptions at the Blaine House with music and dance performances from each school/district. Participating and collaborating are First Lady Ann LePage, the Maine State Board of Education, and the Commissioner of Education, Steve Bowen.

First Lady Ann LePage partnered with the Barbara Bush Foundation to create a new baby journal to present to parents at hospitals across Maine when their babies are born. We did a call for K-8 artwork and 867 young artists submitted work. Thirty two pieces were selected to be published in the book which will be completed in June 2014.

The Maine arts education list-serv has grown to 1200 and the meartsed blog is growing as a source of information, not only for arts educators but for all educators. If you are not on the list-serv but would like to be, please email me at On December 5, 2013 the blog set a record high day of 976 visitors. And a record high week happened during that same time of 2508 visitors. Thank you for taking the time to visit and informing others about what is available on the Maine arts education blog.


  • Common Core standards for ELA and Math were released this year and teachers are being asked to incorporate them into their curricula.
  • We are waiting patiently for the next iteration of the national arts standards to be released in March March 2013.
  • Arts education in Maine is underserved. As the economy continues to be a challenge so is providing adequate arts education programs and teachers.
  • Determining how to provide quality arts education to be ready for the “proficiency based graduation requirement” slated for the graduating class of 2018.
  • What will determine “teacher effectiveness” for arts educators (the non-tested content)?


In March music teacher Beth Polletto died in a car accident driving to school. Beth taught at Gray New Gloucester and Georgetown Central School. In May art teacher Jackie McTigue died in a car accident on her way to school. Jackie taught at Glenburn Elementary School. Both teachers were amazing arts educators and have left a huge hole. My friend and colleague 2nd grade teacher and Maine’s 2010 Teacher of the Year Kevin Grover died on Thanksgiving day after returning from a run. He is greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues.

Looking forward

photoBeing forever optimistic, I know that 2013 will be filled with many more successes and that the challenges will be small mountains for us to climb. I invite you to collaborate with your colleagues to face the challenges and enjoy the successes. I hope you will continue to use the meartsed blog for resources and to access information. Many of you have heard me say “none of us is as smart as all of us”. Please continue to share information that I can pass on to others through the blog. I appreciate it!

I am confident that 2013 will be filled with opportunities for arts education to move forward. For example part of phase 2 of the MAAI is videotaping arts classrooms to respond to your request “what does a standards based arts education classroom look like?” So, Debi Lynne Baker (newly retired art teacher) will be visiting arts classrooms in the next few months and creating 4 short videos with examples. This is just one example of resources being developed for arts teachers.

I enjoy the challenges that my work at the Maine Department of Education provides for me. I especially love the opportunity to interact with you, the readers of the meartsed blog. So please take a moment when possible and drop me an email at or make a comment at the bottom of a blog post. You can subscribe to the blog by clicking on “Sign me up!” located on the right side of the front page of the blog.

I hope your year is filled with love and laughter and that you continue to provide outstanding opportunities for your students in arts education! Best Wishes for a wonderful 2013 and THANKS so much for all the good that you do in education!

Only one photo and one quote included in today’s post. Hopefully the photo will put a smile on your face and the quote will provide you with some “food for thought” as we dive into 2013!

The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society. – Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts


MAAI and MLTI Partner

December 25, 2012

Mega-regional workshops offered

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is partnering with the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) to offer all-day Mega-Regional workshops. Over 36 sessions will be offered at the four locations; Farmington, Portland, Ellsworth, and Presque Isle. These are FREE all day arts education workshops for elementary, middle, high school, and higher ed educators.

The workshops are provided FREE and contact hours are available. Workshop facilitators are the MAAI teacher leaders (phase 1 and 2) and MLTI technology integrators. At least one workshop included at each location will have an integrated co-facilitated session that connects at least one arts discipline and technology. In addition MLTI staff will be offering sessions. All participants must pre-register. Join us for this unique opportunity! Each participant can select two 1-hour morning workshops and one 2-hour afternoon MLTI session. You will need to bring a computer that has the MLTI image.

These workshops are in response to the feedback from arts educators requesting more professional development opportunities. Also happening all over the state are Regional workshops being presented by the arts education teacher leaders from the second phase of MAAI.

The Mega-Regional Workshops

  • Monday, January 14, 8:00 to 3:30, University of Maine at Farmington
  • Friday, March 1, 8:00 to 3:30, University of Southern Maine, Portland
  • Friday, March 22, 8:00 to 3:30, Presque Isle High School, Presque Isle
  • Friday, March 29, 8:00 to 3:30, Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth

Workshop descriptions are located here. Please click here to learn more and to REGISTER for one or more of the workshop sessions.

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