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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  44

POLICY CODE:  GCI

TO:                  Superintendents, High School Principals and Career and Technical
                        Education Directors

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             October 6, 2005

SUBJECT:       Literacy Workshop

The Maine Department of Education and The Education Alliance/LAB at Brown University are sponsoring a workshop entitled “Working Together to Enhance Academic Success for All Students.” In an effort to facilitate full participation by high school principals, career and technical education (CTE) directors and curriculum coordinators, the workshop will be presented in two one-day sessions, one at UNUM in South Portland on November 1, 2005 and one at Spectacular Events in Bangor on November 2, 2005.

The goals of the workshop are:

Literacy is the cornerstone of Maine’s high school transformation efforts.  Despite the fact that 75-85% of our students graduate from high school, only 33% are college ready.  Many students who go into trade and technical careers do not read at the level needed for the technical material with which they are required to work.

The new technologies and ever-changing global economy have brought about unprecedented changes in the skills needed by current and future members of the Maine workforce.  It is clear that the education system at all levels must be prepared to respond creatively and thoughtfully to ensure Maine has a workforce that can succeed within the increasingly dynamic realities of the 21st century workplace.

Maine’s high school reform initiative promotes the redesign of all Maine secondary schools into equitable, rigorous, and personalized learning environments by adapting systems of teaching and learning that result in improved student performance, including the development of statewide literacy and Early College programs. Also included in the redesign is greater innovation and integration across CTE and high school academic programs, including literacy programs.  The literacy workshop will begin the dialogue toward collaboration and integration.

I encourage all high school principals, CTE directors and curriculum coordinators (or whoever is responsible for curriculum design and implementation in the district and/or those individuals who have been engaged in adolescent literacy work through the CSRD grants) to attend this conference as a team.  (All team members must attend at the same location.)

I am asking high school principals to contact their CTE director by October 21, 2005 with the names of those planning to attend.  I am asking the CTE directors to submit those lists to Angela Birmingham at the Maine Department of Education at angela.birmingham@maine.gov.

            This is important work and I hope that all of Maine’s high schools and CTE schools will be represented at one of the two sites. Please see the attached agenda for the workshop specifics.

Workshop Agenda