Category Archives: Special Populations

Commissioner’s Update – February 26, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Earlier this week, the Department reached out to Maine educators to detail our efforts to better support the continued quality and manageable implementation of key initiatives that will improve teaching and learning in Maine, including the administration of new assessments, educator evaluation and the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas.

To reiterate, as part of our ongoing efforts to support meaningful implementation of new systems that improve the college and career readiness of Maine students, the Department is committed to:

  • Providing $4 million to support districts with proficiency-based diploma transition costs
  • Increasing training and assistance to ensure success of new online assessment
  • Not issuing A-F school report cards in 2015 but resuming doing so in 2016
  • Keeping the field apprised of legislation that could extend PEPG system pilots another year
  • Providing $5 million for professional development to support local evaluation system development

The Department hopes this increased funding and flexibility helps to alleviate anxiety in the field so educators can focus on what is most important: helping all Maine students reach their full potential.

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News & Views

Acting Education Commissioner to visit Baxter Academy Friday

Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin will visit the Baxter Academy for Technology & Science on Friday to see how the innovative new public school is engaging its students through hands-on group learning. The visit marks the first time a sitting education commissioner has toured a Maine public charter school. | More

Maine DOE reminds schools of roof snow load hazard

The Maine DOE is reminding districts that the heavy snowfall this winter may be straining school roofs. | More

MEA Science Alternate (PAAP) registration ends March 1

Registration for this year’s Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) closes this Sunday, March 1 at 5 p.m.  | More

Registration underway for alternate assessment for math, ELA

Registrations are currently being collected from special educations directors by the Maine DOE for the National Center and State Collaborative Alternate Assessment (NCSC) that will be used to assess mathematics and English language arts. | More

Maine DOE seeks Visual and Performing Arts Specialist

The Maine DOE is seeking applicants to fill the position of Visual and Performing Arts Specialist. | More

Department offers special services related guidance

The Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services is reminding all contracted service providers who provide services to children that they must undergo a Criminal History Record Check. This includes transportation providers such as cab drivers. | More

Maine DOE shares guidance related to NCAA student eligibility

The Maine DOE is offering guidance to Maine schools related to the expectations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for courses. | More

Comments sought on Maine’s IDEA Part B application

The Maine DOE is seeking comments from the public on its annual application for federal funds under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers services for preschool- and school-age children with disabilities. | More

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Acting Education Commissioner to visit Baxter Academy Friday

The visit marks the first by a Maine Education Commissioner to one of the state’s six new public charter schools

PORTLAND – Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin will visit the Baxter Academy for Technology & Science on Friday to see how the innovative new public school is engaging its students through hands-on group learning.

The visit marks the first time a sitting education commissioner has toured a Maine public charter school since Governor Paul R. LePage signed legislation making Maine the 41st state to allow public charters and expanded the opportunity Maine students have to attend the school that is in their best interest. Continue reading

MEA Science Alternate (PAAP) registration ends March 1

Registration for this year’s Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) closes this Sunday, March 1 at 5 p.m.

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Comments sought on Maine’s IDEA Part B application

The Maine DOE is seeking comments from the public on its annual application for federal funds under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers services for preschool- and school-age children with disabilities.

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Department offers special services related guidance

The Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services is reminding all contracted service providers who provide services to children that they must undergo a Criminal History Record Check. This includes transportation providers such as cab drivers.

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Maine DOE shares assessment EL support information

The Maine DOE has released new resources relating to supports available for English learners taking the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced.

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Maine seeks feedback on IDEA Part C application

Maine is seeking input on its application for the Part C (birth through two) program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA. The Part C budget is for State Fiscal Year 2016.

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Feb. 11 deadline to sign up students for paper-pencil assessment

The following Priority Notice was sent on Feb. 4 to District/System Administrators and School Coordinators for the Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced, alerting them of the Feb. 11 deadline by which to request individual students be provided paper-pencil tests.

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Department webinar to overview new assessment accommodations

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services will host a webinar on Jan. 23 from 9 to 10 a.m. to overview the features and accommodations that will be available with the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy  developed by Smarter Balanced.

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MEA Alternate Science (PAAP) training webinar announced

The Maine DOE and Measured Progress will conduct a training webinar on Dec. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. for those involved with administration of this year’s Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP). Continue reading