Posts Tagged ‘Southern Maine Partnership’


Storytelling and Innovation

May 19, 2019

Southern Maine Partnership

The annual conference sponsored by USM and the the Southern Maine Partnership, Assessment for Learning & Leading was outstanding. These year’s theme was Brain-Based Strategies to Cultivate Positive Learning Environments. Conference planners Jeff Beaudry and Anita Stewart  McCafferty did an amazing job planning two days of

Jen Etter

keynotes and sessions that left participants excited and filled with information to use in their classrooms and school districts.  The featured keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Tate whose work parallels much of the teaching and learning that takes place every day in visual and performing arts education.

Arts education played an important part of the conference as it has each of the past three years. Presenting at the conference were Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI)

Shawna Barnes

Teacher Leader York Middle School Music Educator Jen Etter and MALI Teaching Artist Leader Shawna Barnes. Their session was titled Brain-Based Strategies – Gateways to Creativity, Growth and Recovery. Jen provided information on strategies used in the music classroom that align with the brain research. Shawna offered information the role of the arts has in responding to disabilities and injuries. Each of them used examples from their work as teachers in the different settings.

I had a chance to with Lindsay Pinchbeck and offer a workshop called Storytelling and Innovation – an exploration in arts integration. If you click on the image on the right it will be larger and you can read our agenda. 

The participants were thoughtful and willing to share – opening their thinking and ideas. During part of the session participants had a chance to try Express-a-Book which is an idea created by Falmouth High School music educator Jake Sturtevant, Lindsay Pinchbeck and myself. It’s our answer to traditional book clubs. An opportunity to dive into a resource like a book, TED Talk or a pod cast and instead of only ‘talking’ about it, participants create a response using an art form and share the art with the group. We created it as part of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and have tried it with people around the world through our work with HundrEDExpress-a-Book is part of Jeff and Anita’s recently published book Teaching Strategies That Create Assessment-Literate Learners.

Participants used the Hundred site or a segment of The Innovators Mindset by George Couros, Mindset by Carol Dweck or If I Understood You Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda. Afterwards they shared their take-aways from these resources so they could help build on everyone’s knowledge. I highly recommend all four resources for independent or collaborative reading with colleagues.

The most fun part of the session was at the beginning when participants used “story starters” and created a dragon together – a technique that we learned from MALI Teaching Artist Leader Nicole Cardano who is the founder of Theater Today.

We provided numerous research reports, articles and links to a variety of resources that participants could follow up with if they wish to learn more on arts integration, innovation, mindset, storytelling and many more topics that are centered on good teaching and learning.

We completed the session by participants providing a “one word poem” – growth, environment, open-minded, transformative, opportunities, engaged, non-linear, and global.

Lindsay and Argy

For those of you who don’t know Lindsay, her bio is below. If you’re interested in purchasing Jeff and Anita’s book please contact them at and

Lindsay’s Bio – Originally from Scotland Lindsay Pinchbeck came to Maine for her undergraduate degree. Lindsay has been teaching with and through the arts in a variety of settings for the past 20 years. Lindsay is the director and founder of Sweet Tree Arts and Sweetland School, a community organization in Hope, ME offering a K-6 arts Integrated, Reggio Emilia inspired school. Pinchbeck received her Masters in Education through Lesley University’s Creative Arts and Learning program. Lindsay believes the creative arts should be accessible to all. She encourages everyone to be active participants and keen observers with the hope of enriching communities through the arts. Learn more at



Assessment for Learning & Leading

April 16, 2019

Brain-Based Strategies to Cultivate Positive Learning Environments

USM and Southern Maine Partnership present their annual Assessment for Learning & Leading Conference, May 6-7, Portland campus in Abromson Hall. This year’s theme is Brain-Based Strategies to Cultivate Positive Learning Environments.  Featured keynoter and presenter is the brilliant and exuberant Dr. Marcia Tate


In addition to daily keynotes and breakout sessions by best-selling author Dr. Tate,  dozens of Maine educators will be presenting!

Dr. Marcia Tate

These educators come from a variety of schools, districts,  higher ed institutions,  and  statewide educational  organizations and represent a host of roles (e.g., k-12 teachers, instructional coaches, school administrators, central office administrators, higher ed faculty from undergraduate and graduate programs, professional development specialists, content specialists from the DOE, researchers, etc.) from a variety of content areas (e.g., social studies, literacy, math, visual and performing arts, science, leadership, teacher education, etc.). 

Please see the Conference Draft Program for specific session information. 
Session Topics include:
  • Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain
  • Formative Assessment in the Brain-Compatible Classroom: How Do We Really Know They’re Learning
  • Leading the Change Process
  • Characteristics of a Brain-Compatible Classroom
  • Brain-based Strategies – Gateways to Creativity, Growth and Recovery
  • Pulling Tricks from Your Hattie
  • Making Meaning in History Using Primary Sources
  • Sit & Get Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies that Engage the Adult Brain
  • Storytelling and Innovation – An Exploration in Arts Integration
  • All Aboard!! Experience The Power of Field Trips at the Osher Map Library
  • Student Involvement & Student Voice
  • Authentic Assessment:  Products and Performances for Student Success
  • Assessment Literacy Leadership & Processes for Successful Implementation
  • Sketchnoting & Visual Learning Strategies
  • Develop Surveys To Get The Data You Want
  • Escape This! Breakout Challenges in the STEM Classroom
  • Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites: 5 Ways to Detour Around the Danger Zones
  • What Questions Do You Have? Inquiry in the Social Studies Classroom
  • Using Visualization and Infographics to Tell Your Story
  • Balancing Formative and Summative Assessment in High School Math Classroom – The Synergy of Feedback, Self-assessment and Goal Setting
This is going to be an incredible two days of learning! You and your team do not want to miss this unique learning opportunity in beautiful Portland, ME! 
Register at:

Jeff Beaudry & Anita Stewart McCafferty

Cost: $225 for full conference, including materials, lunches, and snacks; $125 for 1 day; $200/person for full conference for teams of 5+

Co-directors of the Southern Maine Partnership and responsible for the conference are Drs. Anita Stewart McCafferty, Assistant Professor, Department Chair and Jeff Beaudry, Associate Professor, both in the School of Education and Human Development, Educational Leadership Program.


Learning and Leading Conference

April 1, 2019

Southern Maine Partnership

4th annual Assessment for Learning & Leading Conference 2019: Brain-Based Strategies to Cultivate Positive Learning Environments. May 6-7, 2019, Abromson Hall, USM, Portland. REGISTRATION!


Assessment for Learning and Leading

March 16, 2017

Southern Maine Partnership/USM

The 2nd Assessment for Learning & Leading two-day conference on May 3rd-4th in beautiful Portland, ME on the USM campus. This conference is provided by the Southern Maine Partnership and USMs Educational Leadership Program.

This conference will provide opportunities to engage with internationally acclaimed classroom assessment experts, Jan Chappuis and Rick Stiggins (in person), USM faculty, and a host of educational practitioners on high-impact strategies of assessment for learning.

Guest presenters/administrators from Ashland Middle School (Oregon) Katherine Holden and Steve Retzlaff will join us and focus on proficiency-based assessment rubrics and systems thinking.

Dr. Holly Couturier, Assistant Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association, will share her leadership and assessment expertise.

Another area of focus will be data literacy with interim benchmark assessments like the MAP assessment from the NWEA and the Lucy Calkins assessment program. Tim Neville will represent the NWEA and Kellie Smith will present on the reading and writing literacy connections to assessment/data.

Teacher leaders and staff from the Maine Research in STEM Education Center will join us to present their assessment literacy leadership/study group model as well as sound assessments and scoring guides created around NGSS practices.

Leaders from schools and districts will discuss strategies for successful teacher and administrator leadership in professional development. Another feature will be the implementation of assessment for learning strategies with regional partnerships like Southern Maine Partnership, Penobscot River Educational Partnership, Washington County Leaders Consortium, Midcoast Regional Professional Development Center, and Northwoods Partnership.

Who Should Attend: The primary audience will be preK-12 educators and leaders;  however, we encourage higher education faculty, legislators, educational researchers, school board members, and other policy makers to also attend.

Cost: $225 fee for full access to 2-day conference, including all keynotes, sessions, materials, lunch, and refreshments ($125 for one-day only)

Register Now:


Data Symposium

June 26, 2016

Summer opportunity


School of Education and Human Development

School of Education and and Development

Data Symposium
Southern Maine Partnership in collaboration with Northwest Evaluation Association

Dates: August 4th and 5th, 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: University Events Room – Glickman Library 314 Forest Avenue
Portland, Maine 04104

Goals and Objectives

Goal of the data symposium to improve curriculum and instruction decisions through the use of data.

Know your data, understand the value of multiple data sources:

  • Identify the connections of multiple data sources to goal setting and growth measures
  • Know thy measures – evaluate the measures used (examples below, we will pre-survey participants to understand what you use)
    •  SAT, PSAT, AP
    • Teacher’s College
    • STAR
    • AimsWeb
    • Fountas and Pinnell
    • Classroom-based
    • Curriculum-embedded
  • Develop systems thinking for multiple data sources and decisions
    • Understand the uses of universal screeners and progress monitors (SMART goals)
    • Dine to Discuss: Managing data resources for school district leaders – a critical evaluation of the purpose, application, and added value of our instruments
  • Represent data interpretation and displays of data
    • Identify and practice protocols and processes for data interpretation
  • Plan next steps
    • Plot your path for performance checking and summative performance reports
    • Leave with a plan for the next year or two of data monitoring


Thursday, August 4th, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Coffee and light breakfast snacks

Opening Plenary/Introductions

  • Establishing a common language, understanding, & purpose
  • Engaging our collective capacity
  • Understanding expectations in RTI/Understanding the role of State Assessment – Maine DOETeam (or job alike) Goal SettingBreakout Session I
    Breakout Session I (continued)

    Team (or job alike) Reflection

    Data Protocols

    Team (or job alike) Self Assess & Revisit Goals
    Evening: Dine 2 Discuss: Managing data sources/resources for school district leaders – Understanding the critical

    conversations for evaluation of the purpose, application, and added value of our instruments

    Friday, August 5th, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Coffee and light breakfast snacks

    Opening Plenary
    Breakout 1
    Breakout 2
    Team (or job alike) huddles

    Processing, designing, action planning LUNCH

    GIFTS – Data Gallery/High Impact Strategies
    Plan for remote check progress checks, next steps, establish networks


Jeffrey S. Beaudry, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, Co-director, Southern Maine Partnership

Dr. Beaudry proudly serves the Southern Maine Partnership is a regional collaborative as co- director. With over twenty publications many on visual literacy, concept mapping, technology, and science and mathematics achievement in professional journals and program evaluation publications, Dr. Beaudry aims to explore issues relating to the visual learning, assessment literacy, formative assessment, arts and assessment, STEM, and action research. In March, 2016, Jeff’s book, Research Literacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynne Miller, was published, and will be a textbook for research methods and data analysis in education. He co-edited a book with Lenny Shedletsky, Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking with Visual Representations.

Tim Neville, Senior Consultant, Professional Development, Northwest Evaluation Association

Since joining NWEA in 2013, Tim has served partner districts as a Professional Development Consultant on NWEA’s Professional Development Team. In this role, Tim works directly with district and school administrators, teachers, and parents to deliver coaching services and job-embedded professional learning. He draws on almost thirty years in the educational world to connect the dots between assessment and instruction, and to bring assessment literacy to NWEA partner districts. Tim takes great pride in collaborating with districts to develop custom Professional Development that will meet a school or district’s specific needs. Prior to joining NWEA, Mr. Neville worked as a principal, assistant principal, educational consultant, coach, and teacher. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Elementary Education from Keene State College and a master’s of arts degree in K-12 Education Administration and Supervision from the University of New Hampshire. In addition, Tim received a certificate from Harvard University’s Change Leadership Group, a research initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for meeting the changing needs of public education.
Tim Neville M.Ed.

Sr. Consultant Professional Development Cell Phone: 603-496-7091

Kellie Smith, Founder of Logos LLC, Literacy Consulting Group

Ms. Smith’s more than 10 years as a classroom teacher led to a 10 year position as a K-8 literacy coach within MSAD #51. In 2011, in response to statewide inquiry, she founded the consulting group Logos Literacy and began offering literacy coaching services specializing in reading and writing workshops to districts across the state. Logos offers one-day workshops, multiple day institutes, lab-site demonstration, and literacy coaching. Ms. Smith and her team support teachers in instructional methodology, content and the strategies requisite to ensure success for all learners. In addition to her work in Maine, Kellie was also fortunate enough to have been chosen to support the implementation of writing workshops at the Kaohsiung American School in Taiwan. Kellie has also presented at multiple conferences including NERA, ILA, and The East Asia Regional Council of Schools (“EARCOS”).
Education from the University of Southern Maine. Ms. Smith is also a former National Board Certified Teacher. Logos LLC, Literacy Consulting Group. Kellie earned her B.S. in Child Development Family Relations from the University of Maine and a M.S. in Literacy.

Registration information

Cost: $300 per participant – this includes materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the two days. * We encourage school teams to attend. The fourth person is free.

Registration link

For more information, please contact Susan Inman, Program Manager for the Professional Development Center (PDC) at USM,, phone: 207-780-5055.


Southern Maine Partnership

April 29, 2016

Learning opportunity at USM – two day conference

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Finding a Place at the Assessment Table

November 3, 2014

One-day conference, December 3, 2014

Southern Maine Partnership Presents



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Keynote by Rick Stiggins

Rick Stiggins, author of recent books Defensible Teacher Evaluation: Student Growth Through Classroom Assessment and Revolutionize Assessment: Empower Students, Inspire Learning will keynote the event. Rick founded Assessment Training Institute to provide professional development in assessment literacy for school leaders and teachers. He has authored several books and a host of papers on the subject.

Who Should Attend?

The one-day conference is designed for: School and District leaders, teachers, Effective Educator Steering Committee members, School Board members, and all interested in the implementation of Education Policy.

Price: $75 registration fee includes coffee, snacks, and lunch, USM, Portland campus

Registration Process: Complete the online registration at this link:  Limited space available.

3 Concurrent Sessions

  • Various districts will present their Educator Effectiveness Plans, including the student growth component
  • DOE Effective Educator Coordinator, Mary Paine
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) examples and processes
  • Assessment Literacy for Leaders and Practitioners
  • Teacher leaders from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative will taker their place at the table and share teacher evaluation work.
  • The Center for Research on STEM Education (RISE) from UMaine Orono will share their work with pre-post tests.
  • USM graduate students and professors pilot student growth models

For more information please contact Anita Stewart at

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