Initiative Summary (Developed 2007-08)

Proposed Initiatives for 2008-09

Library Automation Software

Librarians and Technology Leaders from nine districts have come together to find common ground, assess their needs, research products and services and make recommendations to their respective School Boards.? The group met twice during the spring and a sub group finalized the RFP criteria and contacted vendors during the summer.? The timeline sets up return and review of the RFPs in the fall along with presentations from vendors in October.? Recommendations will be made to Boards in early winter.? In addition to meeting the needs of school libraries, it is anticipated that partnering with public libraries will also meet many of the needs of libraries in the communities.? The group is eagerly awaiting the results of a small United Way grant application to help support this year long effort.

Academy of Powerful Literacy Learning (APPL)

Two high schools in the WMEC region have been able to take advantage of Continuous Improvement Priority Schools funds and resources available at the State level.? These school systems, along with MDOE staff and outside consultants, met for two days on August 19 and 20 at The Granary in Farmington.? Leadership Teams from the two districts l came together to work on literacy and technology strategies; examine local data for trends and patterns; enhance their leadership skills and design their year long action plan to include in-depth follow-up in the fall.

Western Maine Mathematics and Science Collaboration Grant

MSAD #43 submitting a very strong grant application that was recently awarded.? This three year grant will focus on professional development for math and science teachers at the Region Nine CTE.? These districts represent three (MSAD43; MSAD 21 and MSAD 44) of the WMEC districts and will provide the foundation for future training throughout the region.? The WMEC Executive Director will be part of the advisory panel and help with regional dissemination.

Literacy/Technology Grant

The WMEC has been awarded a $5000 grant from the Maine Department of Education to design and pilot detailed work in the area of Units of Inquiry and true Integration of Technology in the Content Areas.? The grant allows for hiring a literacy consultant to work with an Enhancing Education through Technology regional mentor.? Their summer work led to the development of tools and strategies that will then be used by teachers to develop new curriculum.? All of this will then be piloted during the 2008-2009 school year.

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)

On November 5th a cluster of six WMEC districts will spend a day engaged in a Step 2- Stepping Stones to Using Data training.? The event is being co-hosted with the University of Maine at Farmington and will provide an in-depth look at school specific data.? By joining together, the six districts are able to bring in the NWEA trainers from Oregon for a fraction of the cost.

Other Efforts that are in the Works:?

  • A Pre-K through 5 November 19th training session offered in conjunction with the MDOE and UMF (contingent on MDOE funding)
  • A 3 credit college course in “Differentiation: Meeting the Needs of Every Student” strategies for K-12 teachers.? The instructor, Darcy Pray, has offered this highly successful course in the past.
  • In the VERY early stages of exploration is a new computer based tool that offers a curriculum mapping process for schools to use to align their curriculum and assessments to the revised Maine Learning Results.
  • Literacy in the Content Area initiative will continue with five districts engaging in this work next year in grades 3-10.? There are four cohorts ? one in year two for 3rd -8th? grade; one in year one for 3rd -8th ?grade; one in year two for 9th grade and one in year one for 9th grade.
  • Graduate level courses offered in partnership between WMEC and UMF will be made available to member districts in the areas of Literacy; Differentiated Instruction and Effective use of Technology.? This partnership will take advantage of the Shared Course Expense agreement between the two organizations and allow for sharing of tuition expenses at a rate of 60%/40%.

This Center for Best Practice is a collaboration between the Maine Department of Education and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, made possible by the contributions of the Maine schools that share their stories.