Pender Makin

We check in on how the start of school has been for districts across the state, whether students are attending in-person, remotely, or in some hybrid of the two. We’ll talk to educators, parents, students—and Maine’s DOE Commissioner about the challenges and successes of the first weeks of school, and we’ll hear about some schools that have had to alter their game plans.

Whether or not to re-open K-12 schools for in-person instruction in the fall has become a heated national debate. We’ll examine what factors are being considered in Maine, from public health concerns to the role schools play in providing instruction and support to families. We will hear from state leadership, educators, a health professional, students and parents to explore the complex dilemma of how to keep kids learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tom Porter / Maine Public File

State Education Commissioner Pender Makin told legislators Tuesday it could cost the state $328 million more to reopen public schools this fall.

Patty Wight / Maine Public File

Maine Lawmakers Thursday questioned staff from the Department of Education about their initial framework for reopening schools in the fall — including how districts should plan for increased costs while potentially facing budget cuts.

Now that Maine’s K-12 schools will continue with remote learning through the end of the school year, we talk with Maine’s Commissioner of Education, teachers, students and parents about how they have adapted to at-home learning so far.

This program has been edited for content accuracy.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public/file

The Maine Department of Education is recommending that schools prepare to cancel in-person classes for the rest of the academic year, and continue online learning.

Among the many drastic measures Maine has taken in the last week in the effort to contain the spread of coronavirus is the closing of K-12 schools. Top Maine educators discuss the challenges ahead with adjusting to online learning and addressing the needs of Maine children — including providing school meals.

Maine’s new education commissioner steps into a position that has been in flux for 8 years. The former teacher, principal and superintendent joins us to talk about her priorities, including restoring faith in Maine’s public schools, addressing the teacher shortage, and determining the role of charter schools.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Gov.-Elect Janet Mills will nominate a veteran teacher and administrator to serve as the state's next Commissioner of Education. Mills Wednesday announced that she has selected Brunswick Assistant Superintendent Pender Makin.