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TO:                  All Superintendents of Schools, Middle School Principals, and Technology Coordinators


FROM:            J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner


DATE:              August 9, 2001


RE:                   URGENT Critical Survey for the Maine Learning Technology Endowment


            We need your immediate help to begin planning for the implementation of this new program that will benefit Maine middle school students and teachers. Please return the following survey immediately, no later than August 20, 2001.




As you may know, this past spring the Legislature approved and gave us the go forward to launch Maines Learning Technology Endowment, beginning in the 2002-03 school year with all 7th grade teachers and students in the State. The Legislature has appropriated a $30 million fund for learning technology, enough to fund the program in all Maine middle schools for at least 5 years.


If private support equaling at least $15 million is raised by January 2003, the fund becomes a permanent endowment that will support contemporary technology for Maine middle and high schools, forever. The Governor and I, joined by leading Maine citizens, are already developing a strategy for this national fundraising campaign.


    This innovative program, the first of its kind in the nation to deploy personal technology to all students and teachers at targeted grade levels statewide, will provide technology and technical support to Maine middle schools and, even more importantly, substantial support to teachers to integrate technology to create truly engaging, hands-on, project-oriented learning in their classrooms. The following summarizes some of the details of this program.


    PHASE 1 Begins 2002


       Every middle school in the state equipped with wireless infrastructure through the Maine Schools and Libraries Network (MSLN).


       Every middle school in the state provided with broad bandwidth access to the Internet and to network server capacity through the MSLN.


       Statewide network provides technical support and server capacity to carry data, applications, and Internet connections.


       Every middle school student supplied with home Internet access.


       Every middle school teacher provided with intensive professional development and ongoing curriculum integration support.


       Every school library provided with access to primary electronic research databases.


       August 2002 personal portable computer device provided to all 7th grade students and all 7th grade teachers in all schools in the entire State of Maine.


       August 2003 personal portable computer device provided to all 8th grade students and all 8th grade teachers in all schools in the entire State of Maine.


We are now working swiftly to put together a top-notch project team to work with you and your schools, and to gather information necessary to engage in a complex training and procurement process to make the program a reality for teachers and students in the summer and fall of 2002.


The following survey asks for some crucial demographic and technical information needed for us to move forward with elements of the bid process. We also ask you to consider whether your district will participate in the program next year. (The survey is not binding, but is for planning purposes; you will be given an opportunity later in the school year to formally state your intent to participate.) Your prompt reply will help us meet your needs in the deployment process. Thank you for returning the attached survey by August 20, 2001.


Please note that the State Office of the Chief Information Officer, Harry Lanphear, is assisting us with this survey. Please e-mail the survey to or fax it to 287-8489 on or before August 20, 2001. Should you have questions or difficulty completing this information, please contact Judy Beloff at 624-7568. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.


I know this will not be the last time we will seek your help over the next few months in gauging the readiness and needs around the State for this important initiative. I appreciate your collaboration to help us put contemporary learning tools in the hands of our students and teachers.