From the Maine Department of Education
We know many readers look forward to our weekly Commissioner’s Update, specifically for the column from Commissioner Jim Rier, whose insight on education has come from nearly two decades in Augusta, first as a member of the State Board of Education and since 2003 here at the Department.
That’s why we wanted to let you know that Commissioner Rier is out indefinitely on leave, though he remains in close communication with us. The Commissioner is proud of the progress the Department has made to better support schools in preparing all Maine students for college and career success.
In his absence, Governor LePage has appointed Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome to serve as Acting Commissioner. Acting Commissioner Tome has been at Maine DOE for a decade, first as a School Improvement Specialist and most recently as Chief Academic Officer.
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Notices and Reporting
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News & Views
The Maine DOE is reminding districts of the importance of maintaining accurate student enrollment data in the new Direct Cert (DC) system due to its integration with State Infinite Campus. | More
Nominations are now open for the 2015 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award, which will honor an exemplary teacher engaging families in education. | More
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recently released a safety bulletin based on three recent serious incidents where children were burned while observing school laboratory demonstrations involving flammable liquid methanol. | More
The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory is now accepting applications for exceptional high school students interested in a laboratory research experience at MDI Biological Laboratory in the summer of 2015. | More
As a reminder, all food sales to students in schools must meet the Smart Snacks Guidelines as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). | More
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LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities
Nominations are now open for the 2015 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award, which will honor an exemplary teacher engaging families in education. Educators working with families through schools, libraries and many other community-based organizations will be considered and nominations are due Dec. 31.
The Maine DOE, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, is encouraging public schools to register for the 2015 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS).
The Maine Suicide Prevention Program, as part of the Building Caring Connections in Maine (BCCIM) youth suicide prevention grant, is offering a series of workshops for school personnel to create and strengthen protocols around suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.
Posted in Administrators, Dispatches, Educators, Elementary School, Facilities, Funding, Health and Safety, High School, Legislation, Middle School, News & Views, Operations, Professional Development, Students and Families
The Maine DOE has reissued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking bids to develop and implement programs providing educational and related services beyond those provided in the general education program to facilitate the enrollment, attendance and school success of homeless children and youth under the McKinney-Vento Act. The RFP was initially issued in July however the Department did not make an award based on the proposals that they received.
Maine students are invited to apply for the 2015 Horatio Alger Association Scholarship Program, one of the nation’s largest privately-funded college scholarship programs in the country specifically designed to assist high school students who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their young lives.
The following reminder was sent via Priority Notice to all Maine superintendents on Friday, Oct. 17.
I am writing to remind you to please complete two surveys that will greatly inform the work of the Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula, established by the Maine Legislature earlier this year.
In partnership with the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI), the Department is compiling information for the Commission about the current use of instructional coaches and the physical space, facility capacity and operations of districts as it relates to existing and expanding preschool programs. Because the Commission begins meeting this coming Monday, I encourage you to submit your responses today, though surveys completed after this deadline will be provided to the Commission for consideration at its future meetings. Continue reading
The United States Environmental Protection Agency will again make funds available for the School Bus Replacements Rebate Program beginning this fall. This is the second time the EPA will open the Diesel Emission Reduction Act School Bus Replacement Funding opportunity.
The Maine DOE is proposing changes this fall to the rules regarding the provision of child find, early intervention services, and special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities age birth to 20.
Posted in Administrators, Dispatches, Early Childhood, Educators, Elementary School, Facilities, Funding, Health and Safety, High School, Legislation, Middle School, News & Views, Operations, School Improvement, Special Populations, Students and Families
School administrative units (SAUs) and private schools approved for tuition purposes are expected to establish regional school calendars in coordination with their local secondary career and technical education school by April 14.