Category Archives: Legislation

Reclassification using Alternate ACCESS for ELLs composite score

Recent federal guidance allows Maine to define English language proficiency for an English learner with a disability who participates in Maine’s alternate English language proficiency (ELP) assessment, the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.

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Community school pilots for the 2016-17 school year

The Maine DOE has been authorized per Public Law 2015, Chapter 267 to designate three community schools established in accordance with 20-A MRSA Chapter 333 as part of a five-year pilot project beginning in the 2016-17 school year.

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Maine DOE clarifies Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under ESEA waiver

The Maine DOE is clarifying Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under the three-year waiver from the federal government allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

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Consultation as a special education service

When the revisions to the Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty (MUSER) were approved during the legislative session just ended, they contained an error that was not caught before their enactment. Section X.2.A(1) states that consultation may be provided by special education teachers or speech/language clinicians or pathologists “as a related service.” That section should have read consultation may be provided by those individuals “as a special education service.” Consultation is a related service only when provided by other providers, such as occupational therapists or physical therapists, or by a speech/language clinician or pathologist to a child whose disability category is not speech or language impairment. The Maine DOE will seek to correct the language in this section of MUSER during the next legislative session.

For more information or if you have questions about consultation services, please contact the Maine DOE’s Roberta Lucas at roberta.lucas@maine.gov or 624-6676; or Jonathan Braff at jonathan.braff@maine.gov or 624-6671.

Reminder to districts: Suicide awareness and prevention training

The following priority notice was sent today to superintendents as a reminder all school personnel must complete suicide awareness and prevention training by the start of the 2015-16 school year.

Dear Superintendents,

Ensuring the safety of our students is a priority and a shared responsibility. Suicide awareness and prevention efforts are a part of safeguarding schools. To increase the potential of recognizing a student (or colleague) is in need of assistance, Maine passed the school-based suicide awareness and prevention law (LD 609, PL 53, DOE Rule Chapter 38) in April 2013.

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Additional State subsidy

The following Priority Notice was sent to superintendents and business managers on Thursday, July 30.

Dear Superintendents and Business Managers,

With the recent passage of the biennial budget, many school districts in Maine saw an increase in the amount of subsidy that they will receive from the State. We thought this would be a good time to explain some of the laws regarding how these additional funds can be used.

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Standardized Assessment Task Force created to inform RFP process

The Standardized Assessment Task Force of 21 Maine educators are busy at work this summer as the state seeks a vendor/partner to carry out the Maine Educational Assessment for public school students in grades 3-8 and 11. In June, the task force met to discuss the successes and needed areas of improvement of the last assessment. Now the role of this group is to engage in a question and answer exchange that will act as a guide to help the Department draft a Request for Proposals (RFP). These proposals will be scored according to the RFP to determine which organization will serve as Maine’s next vendor.

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Maine DOE adopts rules to establish new test requirements for qualifying examinations of Teachers, Educational Specialists and Administrators

Rule Chapter 13: Qualifying Examinations of Teachers, Educational Specialists and Administrators has been formally adopted by the Department and took effect June 23.

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New rule adoption

The Office of Special Services is responsible for the state’s oversight and support for the delivery of all special education services provided in Maine under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A new rule adoption, Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age 20, goes into effect on July 19. Continue reading

Updates on Smarter Balanced and results

With the legislative enactment of LD 1276 An Act to Improve Educational Assessments of Maine Students, approved by the governor on June 16, now Private and Special Law 2015, Chapter 10, “Directs the Department of Education to terminate the State’s membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.” The discontinuation of membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium means that we will not be able to use the Smarter Balanced Assessment in future years. It also terminates Maine’s access to the Smarter Balanced Digital Library.

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