Category Archives: Early Childhood

Maine DOE shares expertise at community meeting

Recently, three members of Maine DOE’s Standards and Instructional Support Team presented information to a local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (an organization that promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education). The presentations were well received and have led to much discussion within that organization in the days following the meeting.

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Notice of proposed rule and rule changes: Chapters 176 and 23

The Maine DOE is proposing a repeal and replace of Chapter 23, a regulation related to the collection of staff information and Chapter 176, a new rule related to Child Development Services (CDS).

Chapter 23: The Department is repealing the original regulation of 1979. This proposal replaces the original regulation and reflects that the collection of staff information is to be done within the data collection systems rather than via forms, and will include authorized and approved personnel (in addition to certified) paid by local school systems and private schools.

Chapter 176: This rule sets forth the process whereby the Child Development Services (CDS) State Intermediate Educational Unit (SIEU) establishes a roster of independent contractors for the provision of evaluations for children with disabilities from birth to age five, early intervention services for children with disabilities from birth to age two, and special education and related services for children with disabilities age three to five; and ensures the provision of services in accordance with the contracts developed with independent contractors selected from the roster. A public hearing for this proposed rule is scheduled for Nov. 9 at 1 – 2:30 p.m. in room 600 of the Cross State Office Building in Augusta.

Proposed rules and rule changes can be found here on the Department’s website. Any questions about these rulemakings can be addressed by the Department’s Jaci Holmes at 624-6669.

Continued federal funding for preschool expansion grant

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce 12 school districts have joined the Department to open or expand high-quality public preschool programs in their communities. Over $4.2 million will be distributed to the districts during the 2016-17 school year as part of the continued funding of the U.S. Department of Education’s Preschool Expansion Grant. The funds are in addition to $6.5 million that are being distributed during 2015-16 to Preschool Expansion Grant subgrantees.

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Inclusion support for preschool children with disabilities

Children with disabilities and their families continue to face significant barriers to accessing inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, and too many preschool children with disabilities are only offered the option of receiving special education services in settings separate from their peers without disabilities.

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Pilot training of a kindergarten entry assessment

Fifteen Maine kindergarten teachers spent three days last week learning how to pilot a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) with support from a grant to the Maine DOE. The KEA has been created with input from kindergarten teachers from the start and Maine teachers’ feedback on the benefits of KEA will guide its development.

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Public preschool applications for 2015-16 school year due June 30

Public preschool applications for the 2015-16 school year are due to the Department’s Early Childhood Consultant Sue Reed no later than June 30.

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May 20 workshop to focus on supporting young children with autism

The Maine DOE is encouraging educators to attend a May 20 workshop entitled Language and Communication for Young Children with Autism.

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Commissioner’s Update – April 9, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

AUGUSTA – Maine’s high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high, as has the percentage of students who are either economically disadvantaged or have a disability and are earning their diploma in four years.

According to newly released data from the Maine Department of Education, 86.48 percent of the students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2010 graduated on time in 2014. That’s up just slightly from 86.36 percent in 2013 and well above the 80.3 percent graduation rate reached in 2009-2010 when the current calculation method was introduced.

In announcing the rising rate, Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin said he is especially encouraged to see the state make such progress in narrowing achievement gaps though he urged more work must be done.

“All children can learn and deserve equal opportunity to do so in our schools,” Desjardin said. “I want to thank Maine’s educators for their hard work in supporting an increasing number of historically academically disadvantaged students find success. Moving forward, we must continue to improve both our graduation rate and the value of the diplomas awarded by our schools so that every student leaves with the foundation they need to achieve their full potential.”

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Maine student artwork selected for MLTI screensavers

Twenty-one student artists will have an audience of more than 70,000 students and educators for their artwork starting this fall. | More

Maine DOE releases online public preschool application

The Maine DOE has created a new online application form that will make it easier for districts to apply for State approval of new or expanding public preschool programs. | More

Maine DOE seeks surrogate parents to support students with disabilities

The Maine DOE is seeking volunteers to serve as surrogate parents for children with disabilities in educational matters. | More

Maine DOE helps expand internet access in rural Washington County

Maine DOE’s Learning Through Technology Team was in Washington County last week to lend its support for the “Check-out the Internet” event at Cherryfield Free Public Library. | More

Department offers webinars in advance of ELL assessment

The Maine DOE is providing two webinars this spring to assist schools as they prepare for the 2015-16 administration of the computer-based English language proficiency assessment, ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. | More

Migrant Education Program’s Blueberry Harvest School wins state environmental award

The Blueberry Harvest School has been named the winner of the Maine Environmental Education Association Excellence in Environmental Education Program Award. | More

Maine team drives away champions of national bus roadeo

Lisa Gadway and Gregg McGoff from the Fairfield-based MSAD 49 recently earned first place for their performance in the 18th Annual National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo. | More

April 13 webinar overviews federal student privacy laws

The Maine DOE is encouraging district staff to review the Privacy Technical Assistance Center’s latest guidance document: Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Model Terms of Service during a webinar on Monday, April 13. | More

Maine DOE provides nutrition equipment assistance

The Department is encouraging schools to apply for their share of the $75,542 that Maine has been awarded in food service equipment assistance. | More

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Maine DOE releases online public preschool application

The Maine DOE has created a new online application form that will make it easier for districts to apply for State approval of new or expanding public preschool programs.

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Commissioner’s Update – April 2, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Governor Paul R. LePage and Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy President and CEO Liza McFadden honored 14 teen mentors with Excellence Awards in leadership and service during a recognition ceremony at the Blaine House this week. Students mentoring in the Foundation’s Teen Trendsetters™ program assist first through third graders with reading during weekly tutoring sessions.

“I am proud of these students who serve as positive role models and leaders for their mentees,” said Governor LePage. “Mentoring at any age during a student’s career can lead to a lifelong commitment to helping others and their community.”

The Teen Trendsetters Excellence Award is given to mentors who provide outstanding leadership and service, particularly with helping their mentees read on grade level. After successfully piloting Teen Trendsetters in Windham, Maine, during 2012 and 2013, the Barbara Bush Foundation this past year expanded the program to 20 schools throughout Maine.

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Notices and Reporting

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New early childhood learning and development standards released by Maine DOE, DHHS

The Maine Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have released Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards (MELDS), which outline what children should know and be able to do by the end of preschool. | More

Maine DOE opens registration for 30th annual school wellness conference

Maine schools are invited to attend the 30th Annual Maine DOE Schoolsite Health Promotion & Wellness Conference from Wednesday, June 24 through Friday, June 26 at Sugarloaf. | More

Suicide prevention conference scheduled for May 7

The Maine DOE is encouraging those working to prevent suicide in the state’s schools to consider attending the one-day Maine Suicide Prevention Program’s Annual Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention conference on May 7 in Portland. | More

MPA names top assistant principals

The Maine Principals’ Association has announced its 2015 Maine Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year at both the elementary and secondary school levels. | More

Maine DOE regional workshops support math educators

The Maine DOE recently concluded a series of eight regional, full-day workshop sessions across the state intended to support instruction in mathematics and make connections to the State assessment. | More

Students prepare for business careers at state DECA conference

More than 100 students gathered last month for the Maine DECA 47th State Career Development Conference. | More

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