Newsletter ? Fall 2012

Customized/Personalized Learning Continues in WMEC Districts

The WMEC districts are deeply engaged in learning about the vision of Customized Learning and how curriculum, instruction, assessment and grading practices form the foundation to achieving the goal.? Building on the work started in June, 160 educators from 11 WMEC districts and the University of Maine at Farmington continued their journey in October by spending a day focusing on grading and assessment.? In December, the group will convene for the 4th day in a series of regional events to learn how to personalize instruction.?

While this very important work is being done regionally, additional work is happening to support individual districts.? WMEC districts are working with a Systems Change Partner who is providing support and guidance at the local level.? During the first three months of this work she has provided direct services to:

?? ?? 463 staff members on Student Centered/Standards-based professional development during two separate RSU in-service events
?? ?? 9 Superintendents/Assistant Superintendents in 7 separate meetings to plan for their systems’ work this year
?? ?? 3 Joint School Board-Administrative Teams in 3 separate workshop sessions
?? ?? 2 School Boards in 2 separate meetings
?? ?? 4 Administrative Teams in 4 separate workshop sessions
?? ?? 6 Leadership Teams (Administrators, Board Members, Community Members and Teacher Leaders jointly) in 8 separate workshop sessions
?? ?? 75 School/Community Members in a 1.5-day Education Visioning Conference in ??one system
?? ?? 20 Superintendents and Curricular Leaders in a one-hour workshop session

In order to provide ongoing support to educators across the region, the “WMCL Resource Storage Locker” has been created. It is a Google site devoted to storing our entire Western Maine Customized Learning related web and printed resource material.?A wealth of information is available including videos, articles, links, handouts, and standards-based curricular info. Check it out!

Please let us know if you have any resources you would like to add to this site.

NOTE:? WMEC and UMF are offering EDU 551:? Organizational Behavior and Change ? a three credit graduate course designed specifically for WMEC school and District Leaders engaged in Customized Learning Work.? ?The blended course will run from Jan. 22 ? May 16 with 3 on campus session and the rest of the course will be on line.? For course and registration information, contact Judy Enright at: or visit the WMCL Storage Locker.

WMEC Board of Directors Hard at Work

The WMEC Board of Directors held their annual meeting on October 10, 2012.? During the meeting the10 districts present spent time review the work of the past year, reflecting on the future of the work and the organization, and making recommendations for WMEC structures and practices.? The organization elected their new slate of officers. The WMEC Executive Committee members are:

President:? James Hodgkin ? RSU 4
Vice Pres:? Richard Green ? Lisbon
Secretary:? Brenda Stevens ? RSU 58
Treasurer:? Michael Cormier ? RSU 9

On the Horizon

Math in a Customized Learning World:? Work has started to plan and deliver a 2-3 day professional development opportunity in August of 2013. The goal of the event is to increase the knowledge and skills of K-16 educators in their delivery of math instruction within a system of customized learning for all students.?

WMEC Case Study:? The Maine Department of Education has been working for the past 2 months gathering data and interviewing 25+ people from WMEC member districts.?Later this fall, they will post their findings on the MDOE web site showcasing both then structure and practice of the organization.

World Caf?:? In an effort to enhance the ability of school systems to provide Math intervention, a World Caf? process is planned for April 25th.? The intent is to gather information about what is currently happening and what might be possible in WMEC schools.? Thirty participants, representing a large variety of school and community perspectives, will spend the day discussing essential questions and brainstorming options.? If you are interested in participating, please contact Mona Baker at:

Chapter 33:? School systems continue to work at implementing the new MDOE Rule (Chapter 33) regarding restraint and seclusion practices and procedures.? Training for administrators was held in August.? Additional training is being discussed; cross district needs are being identified and stories are being gathered to inform future work and advocacy.?

WMEC Principals Network: Principals from across the region continue to meet to research national and local models and make recommendations about the teacher supervision and evaluation process.? The group has met twice so far this year and will meet again on January 24th, March 28th and May 8th.?? The MDOE policy director will be meeting with the group to provide an update on the State level task force work and the recommendations set to the Legislature.?

This Center for Best Practice is a collaboration between the Maine Department of Education and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, made possible by the contributions of the Maine schools that share their stories.