Category Archives: Special Populations

Commissioner’s Update – March 26, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE is partnering with Common Sense Media to provide free workshops throughout the state this spring to help educators harness the positive power of technology.

Learning how to use media and technology wisely and safely is an essential skill for life and learning in the 21st century. The two workshops offered through the Department’s Maine Learning Technology Initiative will help educators guide students to think critically, act responsibly and interact positively in the digital world and to discover high quality resources. The hands-on sessions will be led by Common Sense Media experts and contact hours will be issued.

Skills To Help You Discover, Use, and Share Great Digital Tools for Learning Through Graphite will help educators use Graphite, a free service by Common Sense Media, to discover high quality apps, websites and games for students; evaluate the learning potential of these tools; curate tools into useful collections; innovate by reimagining lessons to seamlessly weave in technology using a framework called App Flows; and collaborate with other teachers by sharing best practices for using digital tools in the classroom.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine DOE reminds schools of SAT registration deadline

The Maine DOE is reminding schools of the April 1 deadline for registering students for the upcoming school day administration of the SAT. | More

Department provides guidance on use of IEPs in educator effectiveness benchmarks

The Maine DOE is offering guidance about the use of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in establishing educator effectiveness benchmarks as a result of recent rule changes. | More

Maine DOE developing preschool health screening resources

Maine DOE is planning to provide guidance and support by late spring to assist school nurses in conducting health, hearing and vision screening of four-year-olds entering public preschool programs in the 2015-16 school year. | More

Maine DOE invites educators to Summer Literacy Institute

The Maine DOE is encouraging teams of educators to attend its 2015 Summer Literacy Institute. | More

Maine FFA students participate in State House ag day

Maine FFA (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) student State Officers participated in Maine Agriculture Day at the State House earlier this month. | More

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Department provides guidance on use of IEPs in educator effectiveness benchmarks

The Maine DOE is offering guidance about the use of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in establishing educator effectiveness benchmarks as a result of recent rule changes initiated to ensure the state maintained flexibility from burdensome federal requirements.

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Commissioner’s Update – March 12, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Registration is now open for online Advanced Placement courses provided at no cost to the state’s public school students by the Maine Department of Education.

As part of its commitment to providing digital learning opportunities to all Maine students, the Department’s AP4ALL program allows all publicly funded high school students access to the year-long online Advanced Placement courses and covers the cost of associated books and materials.

The courses can help prepare students to take AP exams, which many post-secondary institutions including those in the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System typically offer college credit for.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Preliminary FY 2016 State subsidy printouts updated for Adult Ed actual counts

The Department has updated FY16 (2015-16 school year) preliminary State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, to reflect newly reported Adult Education actual counts. | More

Maine DOE posts test security materials

The Maine DOE is reminding administrators of the new online Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced that any unusual events that occur during the March 16-May 29 testing window must be documented. | More

Maine DOE provides proficiency-based IEP goals writing workshop

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is offering free trainings throughout the state in April to support school districts in writing proficiency-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. | More

Maine DOE to apply for School Improvement Grant funding, seeks public comment on related waiver

The Maine DOE will again apply for federal School Improvement Grant funding that the Department would distribute to help the state’s most struggling schools close achievement gaps. | More

Maine DOE invites schools to Maine Emergency Preparedness Conference

The Department is encouraging Maine schools to attend the free 2015 Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference next month in Augusta. The conference will include an all-day track on Tuesday, April 21 focusing on school security and safety. | More

Maine DOE shares federal guidance on effectively communicating with students with disabilities

The Maine DOE is encouraging districts to review new guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services regarding how to more effectively communicate with public schools students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities. | More

Bonny Eagle, Baxter Academy robotics team win big at out-of-state contests

Robotics teams from Bonny Eagle High School and Baxter Academy for Technology and Science have brought big awards back to Maine. The two teams will join dozens of other top robotics teams from across the Northeast to complete in the Pine Tree District competition that opens today in Lewiston. | More

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Maine DOE provides proficiency-based IEP goal writing workshop

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is offering free trainings throughout the state in April to support school districts in writing proficiency-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. Continue reading

Maine DOE shares federal guidance on effectively communicating with students with disabilities

The Maine DOE is encouraging districts to review new guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services regarding how to more effectively communicate with public schools students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities.

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Commissioner’s Update – March 5, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

With the window for giving the new online Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced opening in less than two weeks, we want to make sure you have the resources you need to feel prepared for a successful test administration.

On our assessment website, you can find an extensive library of administration materials. With so many supports available, we wanted to draw your attention to a few including:

  • The Online Test Administration Manual, which includes information on the rules of online testing and ensuring security, testing time and recommended order of administration, establishing appropriate testing conditions, tasks to complete prior to testing, details of the actual testing administration, scripts for Test Administrators, and how to respond to any testing improprieties, irregularities and/or breaches.
  • Our Frequently Asked Questions, which provide answers to common queries on topics like roles for testing, participation requirements, paper-pencil vs. computer-adaptive testing, accessibility and much more.
  • A guide specifically outlining supports for English learners as well as the test directions translated into 17 different languages.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

UMPI and MSSM partner to help high school students earn associate degrees

PRESQUE ISLE — Beginning this fall, students attending the Maine School of Science and Mathematics will be able to take advantage of the most comprehensive early-college pathway in Maine. | More

Department releases updated IEP Procedural Manual

The Maine DOE has released an updated Maine State Individualized Education Program (IEP) Procedural Manual which can be found here on its website. | More

Save the date for Maine DOE special services webinar

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is encouraging special education administrators to save the date for the Department’s upcoming annual training on the Local Entitlement Application.  | More

Department continues to seek feedback on ESEA waiver in advance of renewal

In preparation for Maine’s application for a renewal of its existing ESEA waiver, the Department continues to seek feedback on how the State’s current accountability and improvement system is serving Maine’s students and schools. | More

Alternate assessment registration continues

Registration remains underway for the National Center and State Collaborative Alternate Assessment (NCSC) that will be used to assess students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in mathematics and English language arts. | More

Applications open for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Applications are now being accepted to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) in the 2015-16 school year. | More

Professional standards released for food service staff

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a final rule establishing national professional standards for all school nutrition employees. | More

Maine students to compete in state poetry finals next Wednesday

The 10 Maine students who will compete next week in the 2015 Maine State Finals for Poetry Out Loud – a National Poetry Recitation Contest – have been named. | More

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Department releases updated IEP Procedural Manual

The Maine DOE has released an updated Maine State Individualized Education Program (IEP) Procedural Manual which can be found here on its website.

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Save the date for Maine DOE special services webinar

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is encouraging special education administrators to save the date for the Department’s upcoming annual training on the Local Entitlement Application for FY16 and the Year End Report for FY15.

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Alternate assessment registration continues

Registration remains underway for the National Center and State Collaborative Alternate Assessment (NCSC) that will be used to assess students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in mathematics and English language arts.

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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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Notices and Reporting

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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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