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.

We discuss how to handle the inevitable challenges that students and families will have to deal with as they return to school—whether it’s online or in-person. We’ll address the range of issues, from mental health and anxiety to the effects of mask-wearing and distancing—especially on younger kids and those with special needs.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Governor Janet Mills addresses the pressing issues facing the state during the pandemic. We'll discuss the controversies over how to continue to reopen the economy, how to start the school year, and how to enforce Covid-19 safety guidelines statewide. We will also find out what financial support the state is offering those suffering from the pandemic, and how Maine is paying for these funds.

Maine CDC director Nirav Shah also join us for a few minutes for an update on the ongoing work to stem the spread of Covid-19.

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.

Andreas Fuhrmann / AP

As part of the response to nationwide calls for police reform and racial justice, communities across Maine are reevaluating the use of school resources officers. Portland Schools have made the move to remove SROs, in line with those who say that other social service professionals would be more relevant and that police officers put students of color more at risk. Others in Maine support the use of SROs, especially after frequent school shooting prompted a call for greater security in schools.

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.

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.

Through many federal mandates, our country has long relied on test scores to objectively define school success. But what does “success” mean for students, teachers and families? Maine schools are working to shift away from emphasizing assessments and standardized tests as isolated measures of success, instead making way for a more holistic approach to learning and gauging students’ readiness as global citizens of the future.

What is the role of school counselors in Maine? With societal pressure on children growing, is there a growing demand for counselors at all grade levels?


Oct 24, 2013

  What can, and should, be done to address bullying in our schools?

Host Keith Shortall was joined by 

Katherine Mayfield, author and former actress, she has just written a book called Bullied – a recovery guide for kids who are bullied 

Chuck Saufler, trainer, former counselor and co-coordinator of the Maine Project Against Bullying 

Safe Schools for All

  Maine Education Secretary Stephen Bowen discussed the safety of Maine's schools in the wake of the fatal shooting of 20 school children and six educators in Newtown, CT.

Host Keith Shortall spoke with:

Maine Education Secretary Stephen Bowen

Bruce St Thomas, therapist based in Portland, ME and  

Susan Giambalvo, LCSW, Program Director for the Center for Grieving Children.

School Lunches

Oct 2, 2012

  School lunch choices are changing. Healthy food choices are appearing in school cafeterias. What are the new school nutrition guidelines and standards, and what do they mean for our children?

Host Keith Shortall was joined by:

Tyler Goodwin, Nutrition Services Director, Wells Ogunquit CSD

Heidi Kessler, School nutrition manager for statewide Let’s Go! Nutrition program at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center

and Adam Williams, founder of FoodCycle