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Main DOE awarded over $16 million for innovation project

Jul 30, 2020

The Maine Department of Education has been awarded $16.9 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rethink K-12 Education Models Funding.

Maine is one of 11 States to receive funding. Maine’s project, Rethinking Remote Education Ventures, has a primary goal of generating innovative remote learning models to provide equitable access to high quality remote learning opportunities for all students.

The RREV project design centers around the belief that by both building capacity for innovative mindsets in education and supporting the design and implementation of the innovative ideas that are generated, Maine can develop and support agile, effective, and resilient learning experiences that are responsive to local priorities and improve learning outcomes for all students.

“This has been a team effort on the part of our staff and our partners throughout the state,” said Maine DOE Commissioner Pender Makin. “I believe this project will place Maine at the forefront of innovation nationwide.”

In partnership with the University of Maine and other Maine higher education organizations, courses in research and development, innovation engineering and design and others will be made widely available to educators and school leaders.

The project involves statewide professional development in innovation and innovative project design, financial support for school units to pilot and collect data on innovative projects designed, coaching and technical support for pilot districts, and an online hub that unites educators statewide as a community of practice.

“We think this project will further empower our educators to become designers, researchers and entrepreneurs,” said Page Nichols, DOE chief innovation officer.

In the coming weeks, the DOE will be offering opportunities to enroll in coursework or trainings to build the participant’s capacity in innovative project design. There will be the chance for districts to receive funding to pilot one of the new models that are developed.  Educators who have taken courses or workshops in innovative project design can apply to become coaches, and all participants can join in the online community of practice.

For more information, contact Page Nichols at page.nichols@maine.gov.

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