Category Archives: Transportation

School bus replacement and retrofit rebate program

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) is now accepting applications for the 2015 School Bus Replacement and Retrofit Funding opportunity. This is a rebate program to replace and retrofit older school buses in both the public and private fleets. The total funding for this opportunity is approximately $7 million which is up from the $3 million in awards last year, the second year of the campaign. Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 30.

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Be safe in sharing the road with school buses

In Maine, about 80 percent of students ride the school bus, and this ridership is high compared to 50 percent national student ridership. During the school year in Maine, about 140,000 children are transported on 3,000 school buses by 2,200 school bus drivers over 30 million miles of urban and rural roads. To add to this, Maine traditionally has one of the best safety records in the nation.

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Transportation conference focuses on transporting Maine’s most precious cargo and more

Over 400 school transportation staff throughout Maine attended the 44th Annual School Transportation Safety Conference at Sugarloaf this summer. Each year school transportation teams come together to learn from national experts, State agencies and each other. Throughout the conference transportation directors, bus drivers, bus mechanics, transportation software specialist, and business managers echoed “this was the best conference ever.”

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Data reports deadline extensions and reminders

The following Priority Notice was sent to transportation directors on Thursday, July 30.

Dear Transportation Directors and Business Managers,

The following data reports have upcoming deadlines and/or extensions.

For policy questions regarding EF-T-21 and EF-T-24, contact Transportation and Facilities Administrator Pat Hinckley at

For policy questions related to the EF-M-43, contact School Finance Coordinator Paula Gravelle at

For assistance with access to the NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE MEDMS Helpdesk at

Thank you for your attention to these dates.


Pat Hinckley, Transportation and Facilities Administrator
Maine Department of Education

Safety top focus at school transportation conference

School transportation directors, supervisors, mechanics, bus drivers, and computer technicians from all over Maine will be traveling to Sugarloaf Mountain for the annual intensive training on school transportation.

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Commissioner’s Conference

In case you missed the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference, here is a recap with valuable links.

Acting Commissioner of Education, Thomas Desjardin opened and closed the conference at Sunday River with timely updates on the ongoing FY16 budget discussions and voting at the State House at the time. He also acknowledged the ever changing educational climate and the hard work and successes of school leaders and Maine DOE’s support through its multi-faceted services.

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Maine DOE announces school transportation software that’s going places

A new and important release of Transfinder school transportation software is scheduled for June 20, 2015. Transfinder Routefinder Pro Version 12.0 is the largest release in the 27-year history of Transfinder, including nearly 40 new features and over 100 enhancements.  For example, simultaneous school routing allowing multiple users to route for the same school at the same time, every grid includes a map allowing users to see the grid and the map at the same time, and much more that is user friendly and requires less clicks. The update is free to Maine public school districts. School districts that now use Transfinder are expected to see the change occur by late June.

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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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Notices and Reporting

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar

News & Views

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 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, held at the Frisco Independent School District just outside of Dallas, TX. Eighteen teams consisting of a driver and monitor from 11 states competed in the 2015 roadeo, which is co-sponsored by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and STN Media, publishers of School Transportation News magazine.

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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.

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