November 29, 2012
Questions have been raised recently about the rules on the use of physical restraints by teachers and other school staff. The new rules, which went into effect this fall, were developed by a broad stakeholder group that met over 10 months in an effort to re-calibrate the balance between protecting children and others from the risks of restraint (there have been some tragic reports of injury and death across the country) and protecting teachers and other students, and avoiding disruption and property damage.
Please be sure to review the rules and provide training to your staff, as required in the adopted rule changes. Many of the concerns we’ve heard about specific incidents seem to reflect misperceptions about the rules. The rules do not prohibit the use of restraints entirely – when teachers or students are at risk of injury or harm, restraint is allowed. You can learn more about the rules, access the training, and read a Q&A on our Restraints and Seclusion web page.
— Stephen Bowen
NEWS & VIEWS
The Maine DOE is accepting nominations for the 2014 Maine Teacher of the Year through Feb. 1, 2013. Anyone — parents, students, fellow teachers, administrators — can nominate a teacher for this special recognition. | More
About 150 social studies educators heard an exclusive video address from Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor regarding the importance of civics education during the Maine Council for the Social Studies civics-themed conference, “Strengthening the Common Corps: Teaching for Citizenship in the 21st Century,” on Nov. 9. | More
In Alex Briasco-Brin’s math class at Freeport Middle School, students are engaged. They use laptops as the learning tools they were intended. By Stephen Bowen | More
The Portland Public School District and District 12 in Jackman both received U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grants to improve student nutrition programs. | More
The Children’s Safety Network Project Yellow Light
offers a student scholarship competition to encourage teens to develop and embrace safe driving habits. | More
From the Commissioner