Category Archives: Legislation

Commissioner’s Update – January 29, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE will begin visits next month to provide targeted technical assistance to schools preparing to award proficiency-based diplomas.

Last May, the Department released six options by which districts could apply for extensions to fully implementing systems that support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018 as a 2012 Maine law requires. Extension options five and six were designed for districts early in their transition and thus in need of the most structured support from the Maine DOE. It is the 50 or so districts who applied under one of those options, which extend full implementation to 2021, that will be visited by teams of up to four Department staff.

The half-day visits are intended to positively support schools in progress toward their benchmarks; identify and validate progress since the application; inform the Maine DOE of district needs; and as needed, to clarify Maine DOE understanding of district work and benchmarks.

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Feb. 4 deadline for picking paper-pencil assessment administration

Maine schools wanting to give the upcoming Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced as a paper-pencil test rather than online must let the Department know by Wednesday, Feb. 4. So far, only one school has indicated they will do so. | More

Department seeks feedback on ESEA waiver in advance of renewal

In preparation for Maine’s application for a renewal of its existing ESEA waiver, the Department is seeking feedback on how the State’s current accountability and improvement system is serving Maine’s students and schools. | More

Maine DOE posts video of assessment administration training

Maine educators who will be helping to administer the upcoming online State assessment but couldn’t attend one of the Department’s recent regional workshops can now see the entire training online. The Maine DOE has posted a four-hour video on its YouTube channel filmed at the southern Maine workshop session on Friday, Jan. 16. | More

iOS 8 compatible secure browser available for assessment administration

An iOS 8 compatible secure browser application that will be used for the upcoming administration of the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy is now available. | More

Outstanding educators sought for Maine talent pool

The Maine DOE is seeking recommendations through May 1 for the 2015 Maine Educator Talent Pool. | More

Transition Career Exploration Workshop available

The Maine DOE’s State Personnel Development Grant and the Maine Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) have partnered to offer schools a free e-workshop that helps students discover employment possibilities. | More

ACCESS for ELLs® testing window closes, materials due to MetriTech

The ACCESS for ELLs® testing window is set to close Friday, Jan. 30 and districts are required to pack and return all testing material to MetriTech by Feb. 6. | More

Department, State Board reopens rules related to exams for educator credentialing

The Maine DOE and the State Board of Education have reopened for further public comments the rules regarding the qualifying examinations for credentialing purposes for teachers, educational specialists and administrators. | More

Department reschedules NEO facilities training sessions

A NEO facilities training has been rescheduled to Feb. 12 due a snowstorm this week. | More

Requirements change for bus driver physicals

The Maine DOE has updated its physical form for bus drivers, which can be found here on the Department’s website along with instructions. | More

Maine students invited to share vision in digital storytelling challenge

Maine schools are invited to enter a free digital storytelling competition that asks students to share their visions for the future. | More

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Maine DOE to visit schools to support proficiency-based efforts, provides webinar

The Maine DOE will begin visits next month to provide targeted technical assistance to schools preparing to award proficiency-based diplomas.

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Department seeks feedback on ESEA waiver in advance of renewal

In preparation for Maine’s application for a renewal of its existing ESEA waiver, the Department is seeking feedback on how the State’s current accountability and improvement system is serving Maine’s students and schools.

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Commissioner’s Update – January 22, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE has selected one of the state’s leading learning technology integrators and a 30-year veteran educator to head its Learning Through Technology Team, which administers the groundbreaking 1:1 Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI).

Dr. Mike Muir, who now serves as the Multiple Pathways Director for the Auburn School Department, will join the Maine DOE starting Jan. 26. In his current role in Auburn, Muir supported the district’s large scale school change initiatives, including customized, performance-based learning; shared leadership teams; proficiency-based professional development; and one of the first 1:1 primary grades iPad initiatives.

Prior to his tenure in Auburn, he worked as a mathematics teacher in Winslow and Skowhegan, and later as a practicum supervisor and professor of middle grades education and educational technology at the University of Maine at Farmington.

While this is the first time Muir has worked for the Maine DOE, he has long been an advocate of MLTI and a leader in integrating technology provided by the State into the classroom to improving teaching and learning.

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Nominations sought for 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year

Members of the public can enter educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students at www.mainetoy.org through Feb. 20. | More

LePage Administration proposes public charter school funding fix

The LePage Administration is proposing legislation that would have the Maine DOE make monthly payments directly to approved public charter schools starting in FY16, the same way the Department has long distributed funds to traditional public school districts. | More

Schoolwide Plan due, Department schedules guidance webinar

The Maine DOE is hosting a webinar next month to provide guidance to Title I schools as they complete their Schoolwide Plan, which now must be submitted to the Department. | More

Maine FFA students discover Agricultural Trades Show

Student leaders from the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) traveled to the 74th annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center last week. | More

Maine teachers invited to apply for STEM scholarship

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Alumni Club of Maine is inviting Maine middle school and high school science and engineering teachers to apply for Club scholarships to the MIT Science and Engineering Program for Teachers (SEPT). | More

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LePage Administration proposes public charter school funding fix

The LePage Administration is proposing legislation that would have the Maine DOE make monthly payments directly to approved public charter schools starting in FY16, the same way the Department has long distributed funds to traditional public school districts. Currently, districts that lose students to public charter schools are billed directly by the receiving charter school.

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Commissioner’s Update – January 15, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE is releasing additional new resources to support the development and implementation of Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems. The new resources build upon those released last month and include Leader Evaluation and Professional Growth (LEPG) modules and a presentation specifically for special educators.

Among the previously released resources were educator training modules produced in collaboration with American Institutes of Research and the Department has now additionally added the last three modules in the State LEPG module series. Though each of the modules is aligned with the details of the State PEPG model for teachers or the State PEPG model for principals, they can be adapted by local districts as needed. The modules are located on the State Teacher PEPG and State Principal PEPG pages of the Educator Effectiveness website.

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Maine DOE publishes applied learning lesson plans

The Department has published 30 lesson plans that support hands-on, applied learning for Maine’s middle school students. | More

Connecting classroom to math assessment focus of February Department workshops

The Maine DOE is inviting math educators to one of the six workshops the Department will host across the state next month focused on connecting the classroom to the new online Maine Education Assessment developed by Smarter Balanced. | More

EPS Commission releases final report

The Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula has released its final report. | More

Educators invited to Maine DOE winter wellness workshop

The Maine DOE is hosting a one-day workshop next month focused on supporting the development and implementation of successful school-based health promotion programs. | More

Department webinar to overview new assessment accommodations

The Maine DOE will host a webinar on Jan. 23 to overview the features and accommodations that will be available with the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. | More

U.S. Office of Civil Rights releases guidance on the obligations to EL students

The Maine DOE is encouraging review of new guidance released by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights on the obligations to English learner students. | More

Department reminds schools of pest control reporting, upcoming training

The Maine DOE is reminding all schools serving K-12 students that they are required to appoint a staff member to be the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator. | More

Department reminds district leaders EDFacts Staff Survey past due

The Department is asking districts that have not yet completed their 2013-14 EDFacts Annual Academic Staff Survey to do so before the statewide data is uploaded to the U.S. Department of Education. | More

iOS 8 compatible secure browser for assessment available soon

The Maine DOE is aware that the secure browser application that will be used for the administration of the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced is currently not compatible with iOS 8. | More

January is Invite Your Maine Legislator to School Month

Schools are encouraged to invite legislators to visit classrooms and meet with teachers, administrators and students this month. | More

Maine students selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Two Maine students will travel to Washington, D.C. for a week in March to serve as delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). | More

Bucksport High School recognized for academic excellence

Bucksport High School has been honored as a National BARR School of Academic Excellence. | More

Nominations due Feb. 1 for Maine’s History Teacher of the Year

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Preserve America and the History Channel annually recognize outstanding American history teachers at the state and national levels. | More

College For Every Student awards to help underserved students become college, career ready

College For Every Student (CFES) has received funding to provide five low-income middle or high schools with Closing the Gap awards. | More

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EPS Commission releases final report

The Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula, often referred to as the EPS Commission, has released its final report.

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January is Invite Your Maine Legislator to School Month

Schools are encouraged to invite legislators to visit classrooms and meet with teachers, administrators and students this month, which is designated “Invite Your Maine Legislator to School Month” per Title 1 § 150-J.

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U.S. Office of Civil Rights releases guidance on the obligations to EL students

The Maine DOE is encouraging review of new guidance released by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights and developed by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice on the obligations to English learner students.

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Commissioner’s Update – January 8, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE is continuing its work to ensure an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school.

In the coming months, the Department will engage stakeholders in conversations to inform the development of a four to seven year state plan to provide all students with effective educators. The State will examine data and work with stakeholders to understand any identified differences in access to effective educators across high/low poverty and high/low minority schools and must submit its plan to the U.S. Department of Education by June 1.

Access to great teachers and leaders is a core priority of the Department’s Education Evolving strategic plan to put learners first, released in 2012.

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Department releases new online resources to support spring MEA administration

The Maine DOE continues to support schools as they prepare for a successful spring administration of the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy and has recently added new resources to its website. | More

Maine DOE adopts rules to strengthen public preschool programs

Rule Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards: Public Preschool Programs has been formally adopted by the Department of Education and took effect Dec. 28. | More

Alternate assessment for mathematics and ELA dates set, resources released

User and student registration will open next month for the National Center and State Collaborative Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Standards (NCSC AA-AAS). | More

Smarter Balanced practice, training tests now available

Smarter Balanced practice and training tests are now available to help schools better prepare students for the statewide spring assessment. | More

PAAP test bank live

The Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) task bank is up and running with 206 students registered so far. | More

Department seeks public preschool classrooms for observation pilot

The Maine DOE is seeking public preschool classrooms to pilot a research-based classroom observation tool called CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System). | More

Maine DOE announces social studies DBQ workshops

The Maine DOE is inviting teachers of grades 6-12 to participate in its 2015 Social Studies Document-Based Question (DBQ) Workshop series. | More

Department reminds district leaders EDFacts Staff Survey past due

The Dec. 19 deadline for completion of the 2013-14 EDFacts Annual Academic Staff Survey has passed. | More

School, technology leaders reminded to complete assessment readiness survey

The Department is reminding school and district leaders to complete the short technology readiness survey in advance of the spring administration of the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy. | More

Maine students invited to participate in 2015 Law Day Art Contest

The American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division is inviting Maine students to submit work to its 2015 Law Day Art Contest. | More

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