Sarah Allen
Affiliation: Morrison Center
Title: Kindergarten Transitions: Family Perceptions of a Kindergarten Transition Program
Abstract: While there is increasing research surrounding kindergarten transitions there is still a need to explore kindergarten transition guides and families perceptions of these particular experiences.  This study explores family perceptions of a kindergarten transition program guide. Furthermore,  the study examines families’ prior experiences with kindergarten transitions as they relate to being a part of a new specific kindergarten transition program.  The researcher implements pre and post meetings with families surrounding an “All About Kindergarten” parent night.  Additionally, surveys are distributed to those who participated in aspects of the transition process. An interview takes place to gain further insight. The conclusions comprise of: 1) Transitions are important to consider not only for the child but for the families as well. 2) It is beneficial to speak in person with a preschool and kindergarten teacher during the transition process. 3) Preschool programs should consider a transition guide that links with public schools.
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Lindsey Bickford
Affiliation: RSU 3
Title: Instructional Coaches in Maine
Abstract:This research explored several types of instructional coaches currently used in school districts throughout Maine.  More specifically, this research examined how those positions are funded and whether those positions can be maintained as an embedded form of professional development for all teachers.  Findings indicated that there are multiple avenues that can be used to fund instructional coaches for school districts, however, whether all of these forms of funding can be sustained for districts to cover the operating costs in future years remained unclear.
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Heidi Brennick
Affiliation: Rumford Elementary School, RSU 10
Title: Reading in the 21st Century for Students with Individual Education Programs
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of Raz-Kids and MobyMax on the reading comprehension of 4 th and 5 th grade students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP). With an increasing emphasis placed on using technology inside today’s classroom to both motivate and engage students, this study explored whether either program adequately supported students previously identified with reading comprehension issues. Finally, this research examined the effectiveness of the MobyMax or Raz-Kids programs on improving reading comprehension skills for students with IEPs receiving supplemental reading instruction in a resource setting.

Kelley Cloutier
Affiliation: Clinton Elementary, RSU 49
Title: Using Technology to Build Math Fact Fluency for Learning Disabled Students and Their Non-Disabled Peers.
Abstract: Significant numbers of students enter sixth grade without basic math fact fluency.  Using quantitative methods, this research examined the math fact fluency of learning disabled students and their non-disabled peers using a program known as Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology (FASTT Math).  Participants in this research were sixth grade students.  This classroom community consisted of 40 students and 8 of those students had an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for math.  Data was collected and analyzed on weekly basis with students who used the FASTT Math program 3 times per week.

Nicole Gagnon – Arsenault
Affiliation: The Opportunity Alliance
Title: Head Start Preschool Parent-Teacher Engagement and the Parent’s Transition to Kindergarten
Abstract: This mixed-method study seeks to better understand the relationships that Head Start preschool teachers have with parents and how those relationships impact a parent’s transition to a public school when their child enters kindergarten.  Findings revealed that parents have a deep connection to their child’s Head Start teacher, feel informed and empowered to advocate for their child’s needs.  Interviews revealed that parents do not feel as connected to their child’s education in the public school.  Recommendations for educators include creating more opportunities for parents to connect to the public school during the supportive Head Start school year.
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Dewey Hernandez
Affiliation: RSU 2
Title: Barriers to Student Achievement
Abstract: This mixed-methods study examined the impact of barriers on student achievement and how promising practices can overcome barriers and increase success. Results found that barriers impact success greatly, however, promising practices can help to overcome them. Significant findings included insights into the proficiency-based educational model, uncontrollable circumstances, and opportunities for students to provide evidence of learning in nontraditional ways. Recommendations consist of increasing paraprofessional training, bringing a bigger system of LCSW support, showing how to co-teach, and finding ways for inclusion to be solidly effective.
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April King
Affiliation: RSU 3
Title: Using Project Based Learning to Increase Motivation in a Seventh Grade Mathematics Proficiency Based Classroom
Abstract: Students learn in a variety of ways. When it comes to showing their knowledge, a paper and pencil assessment is not the only option. Students are not always motivated to try their best assessment after assessment. Project Based learning is an alternative that may motivate more students to succeed. This research study explored student motivation and what effect, if any, Project Based learning had on student motivation while engaged with the project.  This mixed-methods research project further examined students’ beliefs and attitudes while engaged with Project Based learning.
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Melissa McCrillis
Affiliation: Riverton Elementary School
Title: Supporting Language and Literacy Development for All Students
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to gain information pertaining to language and literacy skills for pre-kindergarten students and how educators support the acquisition of such skills.  Educators shared their strategies and perceptions in regards to teaching these skills to all students.  The students, ages four and five, participated in task completion activities that showcased the language and literacy skills each possessed.  The data revealed that effective teaching strategies assist in yielding high success rates for students at school.  For students who demonstrated below proficient abilities, educators determined next steps to best support them individually.
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Maria Newcomb
Affiliation: Bath Middle School
Title: School Health Education Advocacy and Support: Determining Strategies to Sustain a Comprehensive School Health Education Program
Abstract: Advocating for school health education is essential for sustaining programs and addressing current challenges. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of program advocacy as practiced by health teachers in their school and/or district. Using mixed methods, collected data included interviews with health teachers throughout Maine as well as survey data collected from site administrators of those teachers. Health teachers generally felt supported by administration. A recommendation for the future includes providing regional opportunities for teachers to network and share resources.

Rachel Toner
Affiliation: RSU 73
Title: The Relationship between Digital Portfolio Use, Parent-Teacher Communication, and its Effect on Home-Based Parental Involvement in Middle School
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to implement digital portfolios using Seesaw (Student Driven Digital Portfolios) to explore its possible effect(s) on home-to-school communication and facilitate the use of technology in a classroom setting. Previous educational research had clearly established that parent-teacher communication can be beneficial and technology’s continuous evolution can spur change to more traditional practices of home-to-school communication. Multiple interventions to the digital portfolio were conducted during this action research project and pre/post questionnaires were used to gather participant perceptions of school-to-home communication in a rural Maine middle school.
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Cheryl Walker
Affiliation: Mt. Blue Regional School District/ RSD 9
Title: Understanding the Social and Emotional Student Needs at the Middle School Level: Perspectives of Middle School Classroom Teachers
Abstract: This research explores the social-emotional needs of students at the middle school level. Furthermore, this paper explores what supports are available to address students’ needs at the middle school level. Literature reviews showed the effects of social and emotional competencies on academics, and suggested further research as to what the competency deficits are in any specific location. This research study explores the social-emotional needs and supports at the middle school level in RSU 9, with a focus on classroom teacher perspectives. This study aims to understand the needs, and determine the necessary supports to address these deficits.

Larissa Wing
Affiliation: Dirigo Elementary School, RSU #10
Title: Incorporating Brief Functional Behavior Assessments in a Tier Two Behavior Intervention
Abstract: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to better understand how FBA information could support students who were currently unsuccessful with their existing check in/check out intervention.  Teachers were interviewed to both better understand their perceptions of the existing check in/check out system and query their thoughts on the altered intervention.  This study further explored the effect(s) that information, obtained from a brief functional behavioral assessment had when incorporated into an existing tier two behavior intervention system. Students’ standardized test scores and frequency of office discipline referrals were also evaluated.
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