2017 ECET2 Maine Grant Recipient – Sylvio J. Gilbert School in Augusta (Update)

Our goal was to share our new learning of childhood trauma and how the toxic stress damages children’s brains. Through various conversations with colleagues it became obvious that it was quickly becoming a focus in our school district. During the March 16, 2018 Augusta School Department In-Service Day one of the sessions was called “Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Toxic Stress. The presentation was developed by the Maine Resilience building Network and presented by Sue Mackey Andrews. The majority of the teachers at Gilbert School attended this session and instantly saw the connection between childhood trauma and education. This was the perfect kickoff for our afterschool book study – Fostering Resilient Learners. We used the $500.00 grant money to purchase the books.

When planning our book study we divided it up according to the five key parts of the book. We are in the middle of our book study which is leading to the staff deepening their knowledge on childhood trauma and coming up with effective interventions to support our students. Staff members that complete the book study will receive contact hours. We have framed the book study so that if someone can’t attend due to a conflict in their schedule there is an option to do it as an independent book study with assignments and reflections. It should be noted that other educators in the district have heard that we are doing this book study at Gilbert School and want to do it in their building next school year.  The $100.00 Staples gift card was a nice bonus. We having been using the gift card to buy additional supplies for the book study. Thank you for making this book study a reality through this generous grant.

2017 ECET2 Maine Grant Recipient – Academy Hill School in Wilton (Update)

The five teachers who teach fourth and fifth grade who attended the ECET 2 conference are involved with teaching PBE in the Math Classroom along with the 93 students at Academy Hill School. We meet weekly in an hour long PLC to discuss PBE in Math and informally most days. We work as a team to problem solve, place students, discuss strategies as well as activities to use with our students. Our principal and the District Coordinator have also been involved in our meetings.

We have had one parent meeting before we started PBE in Math to inform the parents of what math would like. We are having another parent meeting on Feb. 28 to see how PBE in Math is going for their child. We are trying to build a culture with the PLC community, our student community, and our parents that PBE is the way to go.

We have taken baby steps through December by mixing the fourth and fifth graders together through teaching Growth Mindset and Habits of Mind. We are also mixing our students in Math Club in preparation for the PBE in the Math Classroom which was started on January 3. Some benefits that we are seeing are that students are more engaged in their learning and are motivated to reach their Learning Target. Our hope is for students to be more invested in their learning.

We presented at the District Workshop on March 23. Our presentation was about our road map for implementing PBE in Math. We have also been making school visits to see about implementing PBE in other subject areas.

As a Title 1 school and tough economical budgets we decided to contribute the $500 towards Apple TV in each of our classrooms and our principal put and additional $250 towards Apple TV. This has allowed our students the ability to share their work through Apple TV which has increased student engagement and participation. By having a wireless connection teachers are allowed to work in small groups, but still display something. It has allowed the teachers and students to have multiple teaching methods in the Math PBE Classroom as we do math rotations.

2017 ECET2 Maine Grant Recipient – Peninsula School (Update)

2017 ECET2 Maine Grant
Peninsula School
Focus: Becoming a Trauma Sensitive School

The 2017 ECET2 grant opportunity allowed our school to invest in books and supplies to support our focus of becoming a trauma sensitive school. The two books we have purchased for our staff reading groups are Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress and Hanging In: Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us Most.

We were able to purchase 10 copies of each book. We are currently involved in book studies and sharing our learning through PLCs and staff meetings. Our principal, Sally Leighton, purchased 6 books from the recommended list she received at ECET2 during the workshop with Brittany Ray. She read and discussed them with ECET2 attendees and ultimate was able to choose two books to purchase for the staff.

We have also focused several staff meetings to develop a common understanding of what it means to be trauma sensitive. We are in the process of setting goals for our school that include understanding



our students needs and learning ways to promote a resilience-focused support system. We had the pleasure of working with Brittany Ray, Director of TREE (Transforming Rural Experience in Education), who met with our staff early in February during a special staff meeting that included refreshments and a packed house that included Michael Eastman, RSU 24 Superintendent of Schools. We hope to be able to bring Ms. Ray back at least once to help us deepen our understanding and continue to move our school forward with this critical work.


Our district is currently writing the “ed specs” document for our new high school building proposal. We were able to impact the final version of the document with our better understanding of the kinds of spaces and programming that might better support students who have experienced trauma. Our new building could be the first in the state that is trauma sensitive in structure and design.

We believed as a staff that we were very sensitive to our students’ needs. We are finding that there is, in fact, a lot more that we can do to support our students. Understanding what is actually in their control and what is not is our first step. Knowing how to respond and support them is ongoing work that we are committed to as a team.

School Team Updates – Spreading the Good Work!

During the planning stages for ECET2 Maine 2017, the planning committee asked four Title I school sites in Maine if they would like to come with a team (an administrator and 4 – 5 teachers) to ECET2. If they committed to coming as a team, they would receive a $500 grant to bring a slice of the conference back to their school or district.

We are pleased to say that the following sites are using a mini-grant of $500 from ECET2 Maine to bring the work back to the school/district level. Here are October updates from the four schools.

ACADEMY HILL SCHOOL: The fourth and fifth grade team from Academy Hill School would like to thank you for the inspiration for our plan! We have decided that we want to focus on PBE starting with math. We will be collaborating as a team to incorporate PBE using a math workshop model. We would like to use the $500 grant to purchase materials such as professional development books and supplemental materials to use in our classrooms. Before we begin using this model we plan to participate in a book talk using a book that supports our PBE math journey. Some of the other things that we will be doing is presenting to our staff what we learned at the ECET2 Conference, presenting our project idea, and we have scheduled a meeting for next Thursday with our new Curriculum Person/PBE consultant. We will keep you posted.

AUGUSTA: Our goal is to share our new learning of childhood trauma and how toxic stress damages children’s brains. We are going to network with educators we met at ECET2 who have done work in this area and ask if they may be available to come and speak to our teachers. This will be followed by an after-school book study – Fostering Resilient Learners. The school will also allocate money to buy additional books for staff to help deepen their knowledge on childhood trauma in our schools and effective interventions. In March they will develop a session on childhood trauma to be offered for the district’s workshop day. This will be a great way to spread a piece of our learning from ECET2 throughout the school district.

RSU 24 – The Peninsula School: The Peninsula School would like to learn more about ACES and how to better meet the needs of our students. We need to learn more about identifying traumatized students. We also need to learn strategies that support students who have experienced trauma. We would like to purchase resources for the staff including: Fostering Resilient Learner: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom, Trauma- Sensitive School: learning Communities Transforming Children’s Lives, and The Trauma- Informed School. We would also like to invite Brittany Ray to join us for a staff meeting on the topic of ACES. Our overall goal is to be better informed, more responsive to students who are at-risk and to move forward as a community to create a Trauma-Sensitive School.

RSU 29: The RSU 29 team of teachers and administrators who were in attendance at the ECET2 Maine 2017 Waterville conference are interested in forming an in-house, teacher-led professional development committee. This committee would work to bring teacher inspired and led professional development mini sessions to our district. These sessions would follow the ECET2 model, with mini sessions to provide contact hours in topics identified as desirable. These sessions would be held after school, light refreshments would be provided and collegiality would be encouraged. Topics to be examined could include effective instruction, performance based education, how to’s (tech especially), and other current trends in education. Contact hours would be offered and the sessions would be open to educational technicians as well.