Category Archives: Special Populations

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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Scholarships available for educators of English learners

The University of Maine Project Reach program is inviting K-12 teachers across subject areas to apply to its scholarship program, which aims to improve classroom instruction for English learners (ELs) in Maine. The project focuses efforts on current teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and provides a variety of professional and financial assistance to help teachers complete the English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement coursework.
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Providing physical education for children with disabilities

Under Maine’s system of learning results, each student is required to study and achieve proficiency in the eight content areas, including health, physical education and wellness.  In addition to State requirements, federal regulation implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that states  follow 34 CFR 300.108 Physical Education.

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Guidance on emailing IEPs, related documents to parents

The Maine DOE has received informal guidance from the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) regarding whether a school administrative unit (SAU) may use electronic mail to provide parents with their child’s individualized education programs (IEPs) and related documentation, such as progress reports. If the parent and the SAU agree to the use of email for this purpose and the SAU takes the steps necessary to protect the integrity of the process, emailing IEPs and related documents to parents is allowed.

The attached letter provides the complete text of OSEP’s guidance on this matter.

If you have any questions, please contact Maine DOE Office of Special Services Director Jan Breton at janice.breton@maine.gov.

New federal provisions on maintenance of effort requirement under IDEA

A provision included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. 2014 (signed by the President in January) sets forth the level of effort a local educational agency (LEA) must meet under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Part B in the year after it fails to maintain the level of local, or State and local, expenditures for the education of children with disabilities (known as LEA MOE). The provision is effective for the federal fiscal year 2014 Part B grants, which are awarded on July 1, 2014.

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General and special educators working together to improve students outcomes

High expectations, inclusion/collaborative teaching practices and frequent assessment of progress are known to improve student outcomes.  Continue reading

Additional guidance on transportation inclusion in IEP

The Maine DOE recently issued guidance regarding the provision of transportation to special education students.  In response to questions we’ve received as a result of that dispatch, the Department wishes to provide additional clarity. Continue reading

Section 504 training scheduled for March 28

The Maine DOE will host Section 504 training on March 28 in Augusta.

Region I Office for Civil Rights staff will discuss the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and explain the responsibilities of public schools in the education of students with disabilities. Additionally, a Maine panel of Section 504 experts will discuss individual school administrative unit’s approaches to the implementation of Section 504.  There will be time in each presentation for questions and answers. Continue reading