Posts Tagged ‘strategic plan’


“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!




We’re Listening

October 15, 2014

Let your voice be heard!

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 9.39.51 PMThe Maine Arts Commission (MAC) invites you to contribute your best thinking, creative ideas, and your deep thoughts. We want to hear from all of Maine’s Visual and Performing Arts educators. The short online survey is located at The information collected will help create the future of Maine arts education as part of the MACs Strategic Plan for arts and culture.  Thank you for taking the time.

In addition we want to hear from THE future of Maine and that is your students. Please provide them with the link and ask them to complete the survey at


Share Your Ideas

September 23, 2014

Maine Arts Commission cultural and strategic planning underway

The Maine Arts Commission wants your big ideas, your deep thoughts and your feedback. We want you to think imagesabout the possibilities, think outside the box and to provide information on what is needed to support visual and performing arts education in Maine. The Commission has  cultural and strategic planning underway and you’re invited to contribute by completing the teachers survey. Since what educators have to say is so important to the Commission, we’ve created a survey JUST FOR YOU! The information that you provide is going to help us plan our future work.

Please go to the following link and provide your feedback

In addition, the Maine Arts Commission is interested in hearing from the future of Maine as well. So, we’ve created a survey that we’d like students to complete. Please provide the opportunity for them to do so. The online student survey is located at





Maine Alliance for Arts Education Update

June 6, 2012

Strategic plan and executive director search

Augusta, ME, June 2012 –The Maine Alliance for Arts Education announces a new strategic focus for the organization.

Now in its 34th year of serving the arts education community in Maine, the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) has just completed an organizational assessment to determine how to best meet its mission to encourage and strengthen educational excellence in visual art, music, theater, and dance in all Maine schools and communities.

With the retirement of long-time Executive Director, Carol Trimble last December, the MAAE Board of Directors has used the transition time before hiring a replacement as an opportunity to assess the needs of the arts education community in Maine and MAAE’s core strengths as an organization. Going forward, MAAE will focus its strategic efforts in two key areas: Advocacy and Professional Development. MAAE acknowledges its many partners throughout Maine for providing invaluable assistance and support during this planning process.

Going forward, MAAE will work in collaboration with established and new partners and networks of educators, parents, arts organizations, communities, and supporters to advance arts education in Maine guided by these two priorities:

1.     Advocacy

Proactively influence arts education policy at the state and national level through monitoring and lobbying legislation that affects arts education, and, over time, developing and supporting advocacy strategies at the local level among schools, parents, community partners, arts organizations, and cultural institutions to sustain and improve arts education.

2.     Professional Development

Support arts educators, classroom teachers, school administrators, and parents to improve and promote arts education in all Maine schools by planning and implementing professional development activities through workshops, conferences, training, distribution of resource information, and other innovative programming.

In order to strengthen its statewide mission, the Board has also decided to phase out, over the next few months, two regional programs: Building Community Through the Arts in the greater Bangor and Penquis areas, under the leadership of Susan Potters, Education Director, and Learning (Arts) in Community (LINC) in Hancock County—as well as the Imagination Intensive Communities (IIC) program.

To meet its new goals MAAE is seeking a new Executive Director to lead the organization into the future. For more information about Maine Alliance for Arts Education or the search for a new Executive Director please visit our website

Executive Director Job Description


The Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) is a statewide organization affiliated nationally with Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network. Its mission is to encourage and strengthen educational excellence in visual art, music, theater, and dance in all Maine schools and communities.  In May 2012, the MAAE Board decided that the future work of the organization will focus on a statewide level through Advocacy and Professional Development.

Executive Director Position Description

MAAE is seeking an Executive Director to work with the Board of Directors to carry out its new strategic plan. Initially (the first three months at two days a week) the ED will focus primarily on fundraising for financial sustainability and basic organizational management. With the expectation of an expanded work schedule, the ED will then lead the organization in implementation of its two new priorities: Advocacy and Professional Development.

Job Responsibilities

Initial three-month period:

  • Work with the Board to secure funding for MAAE, including but not limited to writing grants and pursuing public and private sector funding
  • Manage the organization, including
    • Communicate with Board of Directors, Alliance members, staff, and the public
    • MAAE’s database, finances, and website


Position requires:

  • Experience and demonstrated success in fundraising and grant writing
  • Ability to work collaboratively with such partners as the Maine Department of Education, Maine Arts Commission, schools, parents, and community and professional arts organizations

Computer skills, including word-processing, database management, and

  • spreadsheets for fiscal reporting
  • Experience in using social media, electronic newsletters, etc. in innovative ways to connect with the public and arts education constituencies
  • Understanding and ability to oversee fiscal responsibilities (monthly balance sheet reports, preparing annual budgets, and budget forecasting)
  • Ability to work independently (office-in-home) on a regular schedule, with Executive Committee

The initial three month contract will be a two-day per week position, at the completion of which the Board expects to expand the ED position to a permanent, long term contract at three to four days per week. The position reports directly to the MAAE Board of Directors.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, résumé, and two letters of recommendation to the following email address by June 30, 2012. The position will remain open until filled.


Competency Based, Student Centered, Standards Based Education

April 29, 2012


Standards have been around for a long time but during the last (about a) year the conversation has become more serious about what that means. As I’ve said before, the ground is shifting beneath us, and the transition of education to meeting the needs of all students is more focused.

The term standards-based, competency based, and student centered are terms that we are hearing more and more. The terms are not just for high school students but include elementary, middle, AND high schools. So, what is the different now from 1997 when the state originally adopted the standards document, Maine Learning Results? I see three differences:

  1. The Maine legislature has put in place LD 1422 which states that the graduating class will leave high school having successfully shown that they have achieved the standards. It will no longer be determined by completing each year, K-12, of schooling. Not based on seat time, but showing proficiency of meeting the standards.
  2. The Maine Department of Education recently released the strategic plan called Education Evolving: Maine’s Plan for Putting Learners First which “sets out objectives and action steps for building an education system in Maine that meets the needs of all learners, from early childhood into adulthood, and prepares them for college, careers, and civic life.”
  3. Educators who have been around a long time participating in many conversations are more than ready to take action. The Maine Coalition for Customized Learning which started as a handful of school districts working with the Reinventing Schools Coalition work is now up to 20 Maine school districts. They are working collaboratively to share and create resources to continue to move in the standards based direction. The first cohort started in July 2009.

Not to long ago I read in the news two articles that provide information on what is happening across the country with education in this standards based/proficiency based/ competency based environment. I hope you will have the time to read about our neighboring state, New Hampshire, to learn about their work in an article called N.H. Schools Embrace Competency-Based Learning written by Catherine Gewertz and published online February 7, 2012 (Education Week). And, the second article called ‘Competency’ Approach Challenges Colo. District written by Christine A. Samuels and published online March 26, 2012 (Education Week) provides a look at Adams 50 who has been working on a standards based system for several years.

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