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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Informational Letters > Letter 53

 

INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.:  53
POLICY CODE:  IK

 

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             December 8, 2006

RE:                 ROUND II Community Partnerships – Maine Readiness Campaign      

I’m pleased to announce that the Maine Readiness Campaign is seeking more high schools as community partners.

You may remember that the Readiness Campaign is sponsored by the Department of Education and funded through the National Governors Association.  The Campaign, which is transitioning into its second year, embraces the goal of creating a shared commitment among school, business, municipal and civic leaders to all Maine students graduating ready for college, career and citizenship.  The Campaign has three components:

  • A statewide “Kick Start” media campaign targeted toward 8th graders that will be launched in January, 2007 and is aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of the high school experience in determining readiness for college, career and citizenship;
  • Partnerships with high schools and the communities they serve to implement a “practice” to redesign its high school that will address a particular challenge that the school/community faces in the achievement of the State’s readiness goal; and
  • Partnerships with statewide organizations and national efforts that share our goal, to harness resources instead of duplicating them.

Last summer, 23 high schools joined the campaign in Round I as community partners.  Our goal during the complete term of the campaign is to engage with 50 partners, so we’re seeking 27 more high schools to join us.  I hope that you’ll consider becoming a partner.

The “Kick Start” media campaign that will launch in January will feature a website designed specifically for students in grades 7-9, as well as a media component.  The messages of the campaign will support and bring attention to the important work that each community partnership will be undertaking.

Each community partnership will receive $2000.  In turn, each partnership must agree to the following:

  • Its School Board must adopt a resolution authorizing the high school's participation in the project;
  • The high school principal must serve as co-chair of the community planning team;
  • A community leader must be solicited to serve as the other co-chair of the community planning team;
  • The superintendent, high school principal and the chair of the Local Education Association must be signatories to the resolution adopted by the School Board;
  • A community planning team must be assembled and should include equal numbers of educators and community members;
  • Each team is expected to be represented at campaign-sponsored workshops;
  • Each team must analyze the profile of their students' "readiness";
  • Each team must solicit broad community input into the development of a readiness action or “practice” to address a challenge in their students' readiness for college, career and citizenship; and
  • Each team must finalize and develop an implementation strategy for the adopted readiness action by a set date.

In addition to the $2000 grant, the partnerships will also receive a profile of their high school’s student readiness, a directory of promising practices being used in other high schools, and support though State and regional workshops.  The first workshop is scheduled for January 25, 2007 at the Augusta Civic Center where Round II partners will be able to learn the about “actions” being implemented by our Round I partners.  An interactive website to support community partnerships was launched in mid-November at http://www.GetMaineReady.com.  The website is rich with content materials and will be used to keep partnerships updated about each others’ activities. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Readiness Campaign, or in an application to become a community partner, email Juanita Deschambault juanita.deschambault@maine.gov by mid-December and she will contact the appropriate campaign staff to get the answers to you or will forward you an application package.