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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools, Assistant Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Curriculum Coordinators, Teacher Instructional Leaders, and Staff Development Planners

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             January 3, 2006

RE:                   Introducing the Department of Education Professional Development Calendar

I am pleased to announce the formal initiation of the Department of Education’s new on-line professional development calendar.  Our goal in developing this web-based tool is to provide a common place for both providers and educators to post and find information about professional development events.  Several weeks ago, I notified professional development service providers across Maine of the availability of the calendar and encouraged them to post their professional development offerings as well as major conferences and meetings.  The response to date has been outstanding, as you will see when accessing the calendar.  With each passing day, the number of postings continues to grow.

I believe the calendar has the potential to add a necessary component to public education in Maine:  a statewide, searchable, convenient, and comprehensive listing of professional development offerings and statewide meetings.  In addition, a common, comprehensive listing of events and meetings will assist all of us in identifying potential dates for future events that will not conflict with other offerings. 

For the site to be effective, two things need to happen: professional development service providers need to maintain a comprehensive and current listing of their events, and educators across Maine need to become familiar with the site and use it as a “one-stop-shopping” planning tool.  I encourage you to forward this informational letter to all appropriate staff, bookmark the site for frequent use, and provide the Department with feedback on the calendar that would help us make it more effective in meeting your needs.

Please note that the calendar is searchable by date, event type, topic, grade levels, region, provider, and key word.  This type of functionality will be enhanced and improved over time as we receive your suggestions and feedback.  The professional development calendar can be accessed by clinking on the word “calendar” in the top left corner of the Maine Department of Education’s home page or directly at

For technical issues, please contact Wendy Lounsbury, Department of Education webmaster, at