Session One Descriptions

Session Two Descriptions

Session Three Descriptions

Session Four Descriptions

Session #1 9:55-10:45

The Future of K-12 Computer Science Education in Maine

Sean Wasson - Chapter President, CSTA Maine

A panel discussion with the Maine Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA Maine) about the current status of K-12 CS education and where it should go to meet the workforce needs of Maine. Topics covered include how to participate in a SCRIPT workshop, ways to bring CS into Maine schools, and how to build support for CS educators. This session is designed for all stakeholders in Maine's schools including teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, community members, and businesses.

Meeting Skilled Workforce Demands (2 mini-sessions)

Maine SOAR Shawn Moody - Moody's Co-Worker Owned / Founder

Learn about a pilot program in the trade occupations that builds resumes for New Mainers and others seeking to change occupations. This program includes a skills assessment rating to provide participating employers with validated work experience. While this program is being piloted in trade occupations there are plans to offer it across occupations will be discussed. What better way to assimilate than to keep individuals employed in their area of expertise.

Community College Response to Workforce Demand Dan Belyea - Chief Workforce Development Officer, Maine Community College System

Short-term workforce training is up 600%. Join us to learn how Maine’s community colleges are partnering with businesses and third-party trainers, including Career & Technical Education and Adult Education, to create high-quality professional development for high-demand positions that can be completed in a few short months. With $62 million in grant funding available, we will train 24,000 incumbent and unemployed, underemployed, and underserved Mainers. Learn how your organization can access funding for professional development through the Maine Workforce Development Compact.

Third Thought Initiatives for Civic Engagement

John Holdridge - Director, Third Thought Initiatives for Civic Engagement

Third Thought Initiatives for Civic Engagement was established at Waynflete in 2019 as a unique set of inward and outward facing school-based initiatives that invite high school youth from across Maine and New England to reflect on their own experiences, learn from the perspectives of others, and take action on issues that matter to them. This session will provide an introduction to our mission, initiatives, partners, and plans for expansion. The overview will be followed by a student led panel discussion with high school youth and teachers who lead and/or participate in our initiatives.

Belfast Area High School Marine Institute

Charles Lagerbom - Teacher Belfast Area H.S. & Marine Institute

The Marine Institute is an innovative school model of collaboration and innovation at Belfast Area High School. We are pairing curriculum in the areas of ELA/Science and Social Studies with meaningful hands on research and career exploration opportunities. Students are put in the center of their educational experience, providing meaningful connections to the community and the environment through collaborative projects and internships. Our session provides an overview of the Marine Institute with an opportunity for questions and for participants to walk away with some ideas for their programs.

Beyond Survival: Foundational Practices that support post-secondary success for Maine's LGBTQ+ students

Maura Derrivan - LCPC, Youth Engagement Coordinator, OUT Maine

LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to drop out, skip school, and focus on their survival and acceptance over their academic success and post-secondary dreams. This workshop will explore the reasons why, and provide strategies and tools to build support systems for LGBTQ+ youth to thrive after high school. OUT Maine Educators will provide case studies, scenarios, and resource packets that offer participants multiple ways to integrate the foundational practices into their professional role.

Session #2 10:55-11:45

Embedding Core Instruction in CTE Programs to Increase Student Success

Lori Napolitano - Assistant Superintendent, MSAD 6  

Bonny Eagle High School has adopted a model where core content teachers work collaboratively with Careet & Technical Education (CTE) instructors so that students can earn English and/or math credit within their CTE programs. This portfolio program goes beyond the traditional integrated credit model, using co-teaching and individualized instruction to ensure students meet graduation standards in a way that is relevant and connected to their career interests. It also removes barriers so that more students have access to CTE programming. Come learn how to build a similar program in your district.

Outward Bound and The Thriving Classroom: Techniques and activities for supporting the social/emotional needs of your students

Dave Menges - Associate Director of Custom Programs at Hurricane Island Outward Bound School

Research validates what Outward Bound has known since its founding in 1941: students learn best when they feel safe and connected to others. In this session, you will learn more about Outward Bound’s “Thriving Classroom” online professional development curricula for educators, which focuses on the cultivation of safe learning environments for all students via live, interactive, virtual sessions facilitated by experienced Outward Bound instructors. This session will prepare you to create these types of learning environments in your classrooms, whether they are virtual or in person. You will explore the science of belonging and structure and come away with a deeper understanding of how to support your students socially and emotionally, as well as tangible tools to apply in your own teaching practice.

Student Lead Civil Rights Learning Opportunities: Civil Rights Team for ME

Sara Pendleton - Civil Rights Team Co-Advisor @ Captain Albert Stevens School    

Civil Rights Team for ME is a learning opportunity for educators to understand the importance of equity, inclusion, and education of elementary level students using the Civil Rights team model. This is a chance to share stories, programming, and activities on how to incorporate a team in your school.

Little Rams Early Childhood Project

Heather Perry - Superintendent of Schools, Gorham School Department

Want to learn about practical ways to bring a community together around the critically important topic of early childhood education? Hear one community's story about how they brought schools, childcare providers, educators, parents, businesses, and local organizations and community leaders together to create "Bright Futures For Little Rams", Gorham's vision for early care ages birth to 8. This collaboration culminated in the development of our new early childhood partnership plan which outlines four key goals with associated long and short term objectives and specific action steps. Learn why this work matters to every community and what you can do to implement similar collaboration and programming.


Session #3 1:20-2:10

Registered Apprenticeships as a Strategy to Address the Childcare Workforce Crisis

Lori Moses - Coordinator of Apprenticeship and Credential Programs/Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network  

Childcare, like other industries, is experiencing a staffing crisis. In response, Maine has created a new Registered Apprenticeship program for the childcare workforce that will result in practitioners earning both a Maine or national credential and a living wage. Learn how this earn-while-you-learn experiential approach will support the sponsoring employers with wage supplements while benefitting the registered apprentices with trained on-site mentors, free quality instruction, and facilitated peer cohorts that all lead to earning a credential. This program will create an alternative career pathway that will help to recruit and retain a skilled workforce of those who care for infant through school age children. The next phase of this model is to partner with T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood(c) to expand this registered apprenticeship model to practitioners pursuing their Associate's Degree, as well as for a new pre-apprenticeship program for CTE high school students who are studying early care and education.

Outdoor Learning (2 mini sessions)

Northern Maine Outdoor Education Cohort

Lauren Jacobs - Lecturer in Outdoor Leadership, University of Maine

In this session, attendees will understand how a 'cohort' model was initially used at the beginning of the pandemic to connect rural educators to shared knowledge and professional development opportunities, and how that model was later expanded to include student opportunities and community connections. We will investigate the collaborative nature of this model, and how assistance and expertise from a variety of community assets provided new opportunities to the cohort members. Some time will be spent considering how such a model might be used in participant's school communities, and what external partnerships might be available to support such work, and explore how cross-district curriculum development supports rural educators and rural workforce initiatives.

Connecting Students, Schools, and Communities Through the Maine Forest Collaborative

Korah Soll - Founding Director, Rural Aspirations Project

There is a link between natural resource based educational opportunities within rural schools and communities and the success of a diverse forest economy. The Maine Forest Collaborative empowers students to actively contribute to the vitality of our forested communities today and into the future. In this session, participants will learn about the structures and supports provided by the Maine Forest Collaborative program. Session participants will have the opportunity to explore and experience the design thinking process MFC high school students and teachers work through during the program. Maine Forest Collaborative helps to create and maintain connections between students, schools and communities as collaboration is key to developing an engaged, informed, and innovative future workforce.

Using Social Emotional Learning as a Lever for Equity in the classroom and Beyond

Ayesha Hall - Social Emotional Learning and Equity Resource coordinator; Lewiston Public Schools

Are grade school educators creating the types of experiences that we know from the research help to build the social and emotional capacity that leads to success in school and in life? This presentation offers a review of current beliefs, and practices in the newest content area of education: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), which set students up to embark on the world having social, personal, and cultural competencies for future success in a diverse and ever-evolving workforce. Participants will leave the session with an awareness of 5 social-emotional learning competencies and Maine standards, an overview of Adult Social Emotional Learning, and its significant impact on improving and advancing the work of equity, diversity, and inclusion in and beyond the school building. Participants will also gain a deeper understanding of how Adult Social-Emotional intelligence has an impact on addressing systemic inequities, and examples of where to use specific Social-Emotional skills to enhance current DEI (Diversity Equity & Inclusion) efforts.

Retooling Traditional Field Placements: A Residency Model

Cindy Dean, Ed.D. - Associate Professor of Education, University of Maine at Augusta

In this presentation we will outline the history of the UMA residency model, research on residency models nationally, and how we support students through Field Experience and Student Teaching. In our discussion of each of these elements of the UMA residency model we will offer feedback from our experiences, featuring the perspectives of four UMA faculty members and two UMA teacher candidates. We will further outline the goals, benefits, and challenges presented by this model, focusing in particular on the importance of flexibility when designing residencies for nontraditional and working teacher candidates.


Session #4 2:20-3:10

MLTI and Caribou Community School: An Innovative Collaboration

Kim Barnes - 2019 Aroostook County Teacher of the Year/Grade 8 ELA Teacher, RSU39

Don’t know where or how to start integrating innovative technology into your classroom? Come be a student in our session to learn how to braid learning standards with technology tools like WeVideo, Co-spaces, Tinkercad, and Wick Animation to create podcasts, virtual reality, 3D printing, and stop animation projects. Led by MLTI Ambassadors Rob Dominick and Holly Graffam and 2019 and 2022 Aroostook County Teachers of the Year Kim Barnes and Heather Anderson, this engaging, hands-on session will show you how collaboration between Maine schools and the Maine Learning Technology Initiative is changing the way students can showcase their creativity and learning.

CTE Innovations (2 mini-sessions)

Promoting Congruence Between CTE Coursework & High School Graduation Requirements

Wilson Hess - State Board of Education CTE Chair

A State Board of Education-sponsored study investigating systemic barriers to CTE program access and student success reports that, “one of the systemic barriers for more students to thrive in career and technical education centers and regions is directly linked to high school graduation requirements.” The State Board has launched a $1M Perkins V initiative to support innovative solutions to promote congruence between CTE coursework and district-wide graduation requirements and standards. This session will explore innovative, best-practice solutions that better align CTE programs and district graduation requirements.


Strengthening Youth Connections (2 mini-sessions)

Civil-tea - a student led discussion that creates empathy and explores hard topics 

Ken Grady - SVP & CIO - IDEXX      

Students are navigating any number of hard topics these days, from bullying to social media, to a growing awareness of politics and racial justice. Some schools have created a student-led, facilitated 'safe space' for open discussion, in a way that empowers students to have a voice, to ask questions, and to further their exploration and understanding of challenging and relevant topics.

Youth Participatory Action Research using AI to Strengthen Youth - Administration Collaboration 

Jennifer Chace - Education Action Forum of Maine    

Do you wonder how youth can play a larger, authentic role in school and district policy making? We know that youth mental health is at a crisis point, and one way we can make a significant impact is to help students develop hope for the future by involving them in creating it. Freeport High School has been working to make this a reality through a collaboration with Ed Forum of Maine and MIT's Center for Construction Communication. In this session, we will share the process and outcomes of the work so far and give a peek into the innovative technology that's making it possible. There will be time for Q&A with student and adult presenters.

Community Schools in Maine - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Julie Smyth - Director, Office of School and Student Supports, Maine Department of Education

Did you know that California has invested 4 BILLION dollars in the community school model? Do you follow Linda Darling-Hammond's research and work? If we want to make the greatest impact on teaching and learning, the Community Schools model holds the key. Join us and learn more about why these questions are so important for Maine students; what supports the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) can provide; and what resources can start you on your way to a wraparound approach to education in your community. RSU 34 in Old Town received the first MDOE pilot grant in 2017 and has lessons learned and successes to share. Join MDOE's Community School lead Julie Smyth and Jennifer Goodwin, RSU 34's Community School Coordinator, as they share the trends across our country, what is currently being done in Maine schools, and what the future possibilities hold.

Free College: Expanding Opportunities

Janet Sortor - VP, CAO Maine Community College System

Free College isn’t just about signing up recent high school graduates. It’s about reaching people who may have previously considered an affordable college education beyond their reach: New Mainers who struggle with financial aid barriers; adults earning – or considering earning – a GED; and the 45% of high school grads who do not go on to college at all. Come hear how the offer of free college is changing the opportunities, options, and aspirations for members of these important communities.


Please Note: We are working to add two additional policy-focused sessions to the day's schedule. Please check back for updates.