Newsletter ? Winter 2012

Best Practices in Supervision and Evaluation for Principals

Principals from eight WMEC districts have embarked on an exciting adventure.? The group originally came together to identify common areas of interest and to share and support each other through a Community of Practice approach.? It became clear very quickly that the area with most energy was supervision and evaluation.? Over the summer a planning committee, in partnership with SPOC/UMF identified resources, contracted with a facilitator and designed the focus for the school year.

At the first meeting participants agreed that what they wanted to take away from this 5 part series was:

  • A performance and research based tool/process for supervision and evaluation
  • A process that is workable, efficient, systematic, purposeful and actually impacts student performance.
  • A process for improvement of less effective teachers rather than one for disciplining
  • A process that has teacher input and provides effective feedback

At the second meeting, we partnered with the law firm Drummond Woodsum and invited Anne Chapman to speak about “Evaluation of Teachers, Use of Student Achievement Data and Performance-Based Pay:? Legal and Practical Issues”.? ?The session was videotaped and copies of the DVD and handouts were provided to all WMEC districts for use in their districts.?? The principals also began discussion of the assigned book read “Effective Supervision: Supporting the Art and Science of Teaching” by Marzano, Frontier and Livingston.

Members of the WMEC Board of Directors joined the third session on January 26th to delve deeper into the concepts, strategies and tools behind the work presented in the Marzano book.?? Participants listed to a presentation and participated in a discussion hosted by Wes Holsinger from Learning Sciences International on the Marzano Causal Teacher Evaluation Model and i Observation.

The focus of the last two sessions will be to continue researching other models and resources in order to develop a proposal to take to the WMEC Board of Directors to inform local and regional work in the future.

A Look to the Future

WMEC is currently working on many initiatives and projects.? Listed below are a few of these efforts.? If you have any questions about this work, or would like to provide input, please contact Mona Baker, the WMEC Executive Director.

K-5 Summer Math Academy

The WMEC Board of Directors approved a two part summer math academy at their January 25th meeting.? On August 6 ? 9 fifty educators from across the region will participate in Part I of the academy providing them with an extended opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills in what and how to teach elementary mathematics.? From August 13-15 fifty educators who attended last year’s academy will be provided with an opportunity to continue the work they started and delve deeper into the Common Core State Standards, examine student work and learn how to apply newly learned strategies to their classrooms

These Academies are being supported by a grant to the Western Maine Math and Science Consortium in partnership with WMEC.? Educators will attend at no cost and will be awarded a $250 voucher to purchase math materials for their classrooms.

The Academy brochures and registration materials will be disseminated to WMEC districts after February School Vacation.


Seven WMEC district are either working on, or will begin to work soon, with Dr. Heather Driscoll from Revolutionary Schools. Through is effort schools will utilize a detailed technology based system of aligning local curriculum with the Common Core State Standards as well as completing a Gap and Redundancy Analysis and mapping out the entire K-12 Scope and Sequence for Reading, Writing and Math.? This work will lead to the development of “I Can” statements that describe what each student knows and can do using student language.? This VERY exciting work can be accomplish in hours, as opposed to years, due to the foundational work and the technology developed by Revolutionary Schools.?

KUNO Tablet Research

Several WMEC districts are jointly researching an electronic tablet created by KUNO.? The system really consists of three parts:  1. The hardware is a KUNO android tablet with a clamshell (this gives the flexibility of a tablet with the option of full size keyboard, touchpad and USB interface for data uploads/transfers/storage and other USB compatible devices (external data monitoring sensors etc.). 2. Curriculum Loft (digital curriculum management tool) which would allow schools to move instructional units and lessons designed with eCurriculum into a shareable digital resource of not only the lesson design but also all of the supporting digital resources and tools. 3.  Curriculum Loft Explore (the resident app) allows the teacher to move the cloud curriculum resources directly to the student devices and to manage and control directly what apps and resources the student can access (no more off lesson internet browsing).

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.