Thoughts and updates from our staff and community.

December 5, 2017

(Part I in a multipart series)

Last spring and summer I read a handful of local and national newspaper articles illuminating the friction caused by the shift to a proficiency-based model in education. What I read reminded me that there are strong opinions on all sides of this issue. It’s not those strong opinions that interest me, but, like other polarizing i...

November 6, 2017

Editor's note: This is part one in a multi-part series.

This past summer, I took a course that challenged me to examine my personal teaching philosophies and how they fit into the proficiency based practices proposed by the Maine Department of Education’s Strategic Plan and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). With respect to state and federal expectations,...

Editor's Note: This is part 4 in a series of 4 introducing JumpRope's new partnerships.  Find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here.

Settling into the school year, we have one more exciting new partnership to announce. JumpRope clients who currently use our attendance feature might be interested to hear about our collaboration with Kinvolved and their...

October 3, 2017

Editor's Note: This is part 3 in a series of 4 introducing some of JumpRope's new partnerships.  Find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 4 here.

Bill Gates once said, “If I'd had some set idea of a finish line, don't you think I would have crossed it years ago?” Maybe you’re a fan of Mr. Gates, and maybe not, but I’d like to think that his statement...

September 18, 2017

Editor Note: This post is part 2 in a series of 4 introducing some of JumpRope's new partnerships.  Read part 1 here, part 3 here and part 4 here.

Curiosity, leads to action, leads to learning. My daughter took her curiosity to action in the form of robotics, coding, engineering and writing. At the age of 12, she was a member of the Lego Robotics team, w...

September 12, 2017

As we step into the 2017-2018 school year, we’d like to announce two very exciting partnerships we’re involved with. Our hope is that the work JumpRope does with Protean and Education Modified will be as interesting to you as it is to us. I will devote each of our next two blog posts to detailed descriptions of each of these electronic platforms and their in...

June 12, 2017

Summer reading. For some of us, that phrase invokes an image of sitting on the beach with the novels we don’t have time to read during the school year (or the novels we classify with terms like  “vacation” or “summer” books. I’ll let you define those terms as your imagination chooses.) Others think of the lists of titles we create for our incoming students...

May 3, 2017

School used to be a place where, among other things, teachers taught lessons, administered assessments and entered grades into the gradebook. That system was linear, straight-forward, clean. Now we live in a culture of students re-doing assignments, revisiting assessments and generally trying again (and even again and again) in order to learn and to demonstr...

April 4, 2017

Proficiency Based Learning or Proficiency Based Education (PBE) are new-ish names for what teachers in Special Education have been doing for a long time.  After going through a process to qualify them for special education services, we develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for students who are not making progress at the same rate as their general educati...

March 20, 2017

Collaborative planning has been key to improving teaching and learning in our school buildings.  My position has me split between two schools and in order to make the biggest impact on student learning, I have chosen to spend my time ONLY doing things that make a difference for teachers and students. One of the things I choose to spend my time doing, is coll...

March 3, 2017

I’ve recently thought a lot about Ron Berger’s assertions in Leaders of Their Own Learning. As suggested by the title, we should strive to give our students agency. The greatest success I’ve had with this practice comes as my USM students and I step from semester I to semester II in our two-part course on Proficiency-Based Planning and Assessment. I ask them...

February 2, 2017

My own memories of kindergarten primarily consist of playing with blocks, putting on costumes in the dramatic play area, being home in time for lunch. Back in my hometown in 1997, kindergarten was only offered as a half-day program, and mostly entailed structured, carefully planned centers that felt simply like playtime, but that actually involved countless...

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