Posts Tagged ‘statewide census’


Retired Arts Educators

November 5, 2018

Gone but not forgotten

Retired music educator Paul Greenstone assisting in a summer music program in Lake Region Summer Band Program for students entering Gr. 5 through high school. Shirts designed by Paul’s son, Andrew Greenstone. Photo by music educator Jenni Null who is recently retired and teaching one day a week.

As we know the field of education is changing right before our eyes – sometimes with us at the table and some days we wake up and wonder how we got where we are. Some of this has to do with a generation of educators retiring. The numbers are on the increase and the list of openings at this time of year is larger than normal, according to communications. The statewide census that the Maine Arts Commission conducted provided us with all kinds of information including the number of school districts who have non-certified educators. We also know that in some arts disciplines, the number of undergraduate students in our field is smaller this year. Both of these are concerns.

I keep thinking about the number of retired teachers who still have so much to offer. I’m hearing about several who are teaching one or two days a week in schools that have a need for a part-time arts educator. I’m also aware of educators who are volunteering in their communities and/or schools to help support the education of young people. If you’re one of these educators, THANK YOU you for stepping up and continuing to use your teaching skills!

Doesn’t matter what age you are or how long you’ve been teaching, I suggest that you consider who is available to assist you and consider the many retired arts educators when you hear of opportunities. Both the Maine Music Educators Association and the Maine Art Education Association knows who has retired in the past few years plus I have blogged about the retirees for the last five years. Don’t hesitate to reach out – these are ways to advocate and gain support for yourself and your program. We know that young people are the ones who will benefit!


Last Few Days

April 26, 2016

Statewide Arts ed census – time is running out!

imagesAfter four months the deadline for the arts education data collection is coming to a close this Saturday, April 30. The response from schools across the state has been phenomenal. THANK YOU to all those who have helped with the completion of the surveys. With 5 days to go we are closing in on 90%. We’re going to have a ton of data on Maine arts education. YAHOOOO!

In addition during the next month the census consultant will be collecting anecdotal information from educators across the state. The next step will be for the consultant to work with the data and provide information that will give us a clear picture of what is happening at this time. It will also help inform the future work of visual and performing arts education in Maine. We should have a draft of the report by mid-summer.


If you are not sure if your school has submitted a survey please go to and view the completed survey’s list.

If your school is not listed, please download the .pdf of the questions at Complete as many questions as you are able and provide the information to the school principal asking them to complete the survey online at

The following links are available to assist, if needed:

I hope that your school has contributed to this information so your community interests can be taken into account for the future of Arts Education!

The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) is conducting this statewide census in arts education in partnership with the Maine DOE, Maine Art Educators Association, Maine Music Education Association, Maine Principals’ Association, and The New England Institute for Teacher Education.


Statewide Arts Ed Census

February 23, 2016

WOW – closer to the goal

The Statewide Arts Education Census is moving along at a great pace! Yesterday more surveys were submitted in one day than since the collection started in December. As you may recall, the goal is 100% participation from every Maine school. Principals are asked to submit one survey from their school but they may need assistance from their visual and performing arts teachers to answer all of the questions.

As of yesterday, we are at 59% which represents 340 schools. Last week the Teacher Leader Ambassadors stepped in to assist with the collection. You may have heard from one of them who asked for your assistance. If you helped out, THANK YOU SO MUCH! We met with the Teacher Leader Ambassadors yesterday on a Zoom meeting. You can see them below. A great big THANKS to all of them!

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 4.30.52 PM

At this time, Washington county is in the lead with 69%, Aroostook is at 66% and Cumberland with 64%. Below shows you the chart with the breakdown by all of the superintendent regions.Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 11.18.38 PMIf you are wondering if your principal has submitted your school information please go to and you can see the lists by superintendent regions.



We ask that the school principal complete the survey so there is only one survey per school submitted. However, you can certainly help by taking a look at the .PDF and offer the principal your assistance to complete the survey.


The Maine Arts Commission is working on the census with the following organizations: Maine Department of Education, Maine Principals’ Association, Maine Alliance for Arts Education, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, and The New England Institute for Teacher Education.

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to email me at


Welcome Back!

August 25, 2015

2015-16 School year

Summer 2015 2nd group

MALI Summer Institute, August 3-5, 2015, USM, Portland

It’s back to school time and the air is changing. Whether you are in full swing with teaching or in your classroom preparing for students or perhaps waiting at home for the first day with “kids”, I know that the school year is upon you in some form.

I can sense that it is going to be a great year for visual and performing arts education in Maine! The Maine Arts Commission has been busy all summer supporting the work of Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education. Read below just a few of the ways in which MAC is doing just that:

  • It’s official, on August 3, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative became the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative during the opening at the summer institute. Read about the shift at
  • In addition to the name change MALI sent a representative team to the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C., July 22-24 sponsored by the US DOE and the National Board. The experience launched us into phase 5 in an amazing way. We found ourselves at the same table with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Read about it at
  • On August 3-5 the MALI summer institute took place at USM, Portland campus. It was a fabulous learning opportunity where 12 new Teacher Leaders created an action plan that is turning into a workshop to be presented during the 2015-16 school year across Maine. This brings the total of Teacher Leaders to 73! You can read about the Teacher Leader work at
  • The veteran Teacher Leaders used a Logic Model to guide their work. Starting with a “problem” they created a plan that they will take action on during the next several months. Pretty amazing work!
  • The biennial fall arts ed conference is happening on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center, Arts Education: The Measure of Success. Early bird registration and detailed information is at
  • Fourteen Teaching Artists participated in one day of the MALI summer institute – what a treat to have so many in one location. Read about their participation at
  • The Teaching Artist roster expanded this summer to a total of 40. You can read about the program and check out the roster at Please consider contracting with one (or more) of these artists for your students during this school year. Another call for the roster will go out in the near future. Watch this blog and arts ed list-serv for the invitation.
  • The statewide visual and performing arts education census will be launched this fall and plans are underway to collect data from all 100% of Maine schools. Watch for more information because we will need everyone’s help to make this happen!
  • MALI had an incredible Critical Friend day with 45 educators attending including PK-higher ed teachers and administrators. Read about it at

As you begin a new school year know that the MAC and MALI are here to assist you on your educational journey. More information on all of the MAC education programs can be found at


Advancing Arts Ed Report

August 27, 2013

June 5, 2013 release

In this day and age when we have the use of technology that provides learning opportunities almost all the time and from almost anywhere I am exploring ways to capitalize on that for the arts. A recently released report called Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day: Lessons from Five Schools, caught my attention. The authors are David Farbman, Dennie Palmer Wolf and Diane Sherlock. You might remember Dennie’s name from Maine’s statewide arts census that Maine Arts Alliance for Arts Education and the Maine Department of Education published in 2008. Dennie was the lead consultant for the work.

I know what many of you might be thinking – “The arts after school?, How fair is that?” Before you go down that rabbit hole please check out the report. Read about the five schools who are utilizing the time to “improve the overall academic instruction”. I am certain that you are aware of the work that the Maine DOE has undertaken by identifying schools with a letter grade. This is not an easy topic or conversation for anyone. However, I don’t think that anyone would disagree that we all want students and our schools to be successful.

The report includes “Americans for the Arts believes that an expanded school day is one successful model for providing a high-quality education in the arts,” said Narric Rome, Senior Director of Federal Affairs & Arts Education at Americans for the Arts. “Through this report, education leaders can clearly see how five different schools have maintained high values for arts education, such as offering the arts to all students, offering core arts classes taught by certified teachers, and enriching the arts curriculum through partnerships in the community.” When you read about the five schools you will see that they are in urban areas of our country. What I suggest you ask yourself while reading the report is what you can learn from the work that they have undertaken?

One of the things that I miss from teaching art in the middle school is trying new ideas and discussing them with my colleagues. As you start off the school year why not consider a new approach, be pro-active around collaborative ideas so you can lead the change rather than being told what to do.

This report and others contain research that we can learn from and apply in multiple ways to our classrooms.

%d bloggers like this: