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TO:††††† ††††††††††† Superintendents of Schools, Principals, and School Board Chairs


FROM:††††††††††† J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner


DATE: ††††††††††† March 1, 2001


RE:†††††††††††††††††† Taking Responsibility:Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior in Maine Schools and Communities


Within the next two weeks, each of you will be receiving a package with several copies of the newly-released report, Taking Responsibility:Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior in Maine Schools and Communities, as well as a shorter Executive Summary of the report.This report represents the important work of the Commission on Ethical and Responsible Student Behavior, charged by the Legislature to develop statewide standards for behavior in schools and communities for school districts to use as guidelines in developing their required local codes of conduct.


I strongly and enthusiastically endorse the Commissionís work and urge you to use this document, and the inclusive community process recommended here, to catalyze, energize, and guide your local efforts to address expectations for students and adults around ethics and behavior.This work is an integral part of addressing Maineís Learning Results aimed at the whole student, for every student.


In addition to the copies of the full report and the Executive Summary of the report, I have included copies of the January 2001 issue of the Departmentís tabloid Educating Me.This edition, inserted in mid-January in all Maine daily newspapers and selected weeklies, includes an article that describes the Commissionís work as well other features on current developments in education reform.One highlight is the centerfold describing our web-based School Profiles which are accessible to the public with basic, consistent, easy-to-use data about each school and school district.


Please note that the Department and Maine ASCD will be cosponsoring an event on April 23, 2001 at the Camden Opera House, featuring Rush Kidder of the Institute for Global Ethics and Commission Co-Chair.This event will serve as our kickoff to discuss implementation of the recommendations contained in Taking Responsibility, and we hope you will send a team of personnel from your school districts to participate.Please mark your calendars; more information about this conference will be sent to you shortly.


Finally, the Department will announce shortly the availability of additional state and federal grants to assist school units with the implementation of these recommendations.Watch your email and our website for details.