Category Archives: Operations

As we enter the home stretch, a thank you

This week’s Commissioner’s Update is landing in inboxes as many of you are hopefully enjoying a well-deserved April vacation.

The days between now and when the school year ends in June will likely be your busiest, and include a flurry of budget preparations, the administration of the SAT and/or Smarter Balanced field tests, the release of the State school report cards, all of the preparations that go into graduation and so much more.

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Maine DOE offers webinar on maintenance of effort and excess cost

A webinar training provided by the Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services earlier this month is now available online as a tool for districts.

The training, led by the Department’s Director of Special Services Jan Breton and Fiscal Analyst Tyler Backus, focused on the Local Entitlement Application for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds for the 2014-15 school year.

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Maine DOE to host webinars on ESEA requirements in May

The Maine DOE is offering two webinars next month to provide guidance on current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements.

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Message to districts: Updated ED 279s posted

Dear Superintendents and Business Managers,

The Department is pleased to let you know that we have just posted updated FY 2015 (2014-15 school year) State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, here on our website.

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Simple strategies for safer, more effective schools

Next week, I have the honor of speaking about school security at the Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference. I am excited to share all the advancements we’ve made here in recent years to strengthen the safety and security of our schools, especially since the shootings at Sandy Hook.

Most notably, thanks to two security reports commissioned by the Legislature and our Department and produced by Safe Havens International and PDT Architects, Maine schools now better understand their vulnerabilities and opportunities to better ensure student and staff safety.

Knowing how important this work is can often make it daunting for districts and schools boards to figure out where to best begin. That’s why as a follow-up to those assessments and in partnership with Safe Havens International, we are pleased to provide a free school security guide entitled 20 Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Schools.

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School Facility Management System to go offline June 30

In an effort to reduce the burden of unfunded education mandates, the Legislature recently accepted the Department’s recommendation to repeal the requirement that the Maine DOE provide a facilities maintenance template and capital planning software to school units. Therefore, the School Facility Management System (SFMS) will no longer be available after June 30, the end date of the current contract with VFA, Inc., the software provider.
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Committed to rigorous standards, aligned assessments

Last week, the Maine Education Association (MEA) announced its reservations about the updated math and ELA standards that were incorporated into the Maine Learning Results back in 2011 and have been being implemented in Maine schools since. They also called for a moratorium on the next generation of assessments aligned to those standards, developed in collaboration with Maine teachers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Maine is currently a governing member.
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Schools invited to June wellness conference

Maine schools are invited to attend the 29th Annual Maine DOE Schoolsite Health Promotion & Wellness Conference, to be held Tuesday, June 24 through Thursday, June 26 at Sugarloaf.
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Safety top focus at school bus driver regional road-e-os

School bus drivers throughout Maine will participate in regional road-e-o competitions starting this month.

The competitions encourage driving excellence and are designed to test and increase operational and safety skills for participants. Top drivers at each regional road-e-o move on to compete at the state-level competition.
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Tripp Middle School wins top nutrition award

TURNER – Tripp Middle School is the first middle school in Maine to earn a Gold Medal in the US Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS School Challenge.

Students and staff at the RSU 52 school were presented the prestigious award last week by USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon at an assembly also attended by Maine DOE’s Gail Lombardi.
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