Category Archives: News & Views

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 pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

For policy questions related to the EF-M-43, contact School Finance Coordinator Paula Gravelle at paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov.

For assistance with access to the NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE MEDMS Helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

Thank you for your attention to these dates.

Sincerely,

Pat Hinckley, Transportation and Facilities Administrator
Maine Department of Education

Additional State subsidy

The following Priority Notice was sent to superintendents and business managers on Thursday, July 30.

Dear Superintendents and Business Managers,

With the recent passage of the biennial budget, many school districts in Maine saw an increase in the amount of subsidy that they will receive from the State. We thought this would be a good time to explain some of the laws regarding how these additional funds can be used.

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Maine DOE Monthly – July 28, 2015

Welcome to the July issue of the Maine DOE Monthly, which provides a recap of some of the month’s news from the Department.

What’s next?

While we await the final results from this past spring’s statewide assessment for math and English language arts/literacy, all eyes are on what’s next. As you may recall, the legislature passed LD1276 terminating Maine’s membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. In response, a Standardized Assessment Task Force was created of Maine educators which first met in June to discuss the successes and needed areas of improvement of the last assessment. The group has since been engaged in a question and answer exchange that will act as a guide to help the Department draft a Request for Proposals (RFP). These proposals will be scored according to the RFP to determine which vendor will administer next year’s assessment. Your comments are welcome by visiting the Department’s Standardized Assessment Task Force page. | More

Verifying results

Everyone is waiting for the 2015 assessments results. Some states have already released results, but Maine school districts just received preliminary data mid-July and at this time, all information is being verified. The goal is to release the final data by the end of next month. While we want to showcase student growth in proficiency, we need to keep in mind this past year’s testing was the first, more rigorous testing of the past few years of implementing Maine’s Learning Standards, preparing for college and career readiness. | More

Collecting district progress data

A survey for SAUs on proficiency-based implementation progress is currently underway. High schools have until August 27 to complete the survey. The information collected will help the Maine DOE chart progress toward the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas. This information will be shared with the public and with lawmakers and will inform the development of additional resources and supports for districts. The progress report will also create a moment-in-time snapshot of district progress. The Department expresses its gratitude to the Maine school districts that piloted this survey. Click here to complete the survey. | More

NEO workshops & account management

NEO may sound like a new summer flick, but it’s actually Maine DOE’s new data collection system. The New Educational Ontology (NEO) has the Department hosting 13 training sessions this summer across the state which began July 21 and wraps up August 26. The feedback from these sessions so far has been healthy as the agenda includes: changes in how student enrollment is uploaded, truancy, student security, and more. Two items of particular interest are the new procedure for graduation and drop out verification allowing districts to enter their data instead of the Department, and the new staff system. With the 2015-16 school year upon us, SAUs with new staff requiring access to NEO must contact the MEDMS Helpdesk.| More

Budget numbers

Early this month, Maine DOE posted updated FY 2016 (2015-16 school year) State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, here on our website. This was a quick turnaround by The Department once the biennial budget (PL 2015 Ch. 267) was approved by the legislature. Maine DOE continues to provide districts guidance in how school finance statues impact their budgetary process. The Department also assists with clarifying timelines for districts to pass their budgets and keeps districts appraised of legislative action that may affect the budget process at the local level. | More

A struggling school gets a financial boost

The Washburn Elementary School in Auburn has been awarded just over $1.63 million in a federal School Improvement Grant (SIG). The Maine DOE will monitor the school’s success in raising student proficiency in math and reading over the next five years. This grant will allow the struggling PreK-6 school to enhance educator effectiveness and instruction under the leadership of a new principal. The school will also hire two Instructional Coaches, three Ed Techs, a Pre-K Instructor, a Parent Liaison and a part-time Grant Coordinator. In addition, Washburn plans to provide upward of two additional days of structured staff time to review student data to inform interventions and instruction. | More

Deadlines ahead:

Just a few days remain for these reporting items:

And more housekeeping items, listed in the last Commissioner’s Update, are:

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Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner

Maine DOE provides survey for SAUs to report proficiency-based implementation progress

The following Priority Notice was sent to Maine school administrative units (SAUs) on Monday, July 27.

As part of the implementation of Title 20-A Section 4722-A (proficiency-based diplomas) the Maine DOE is releasing a survey to collect data on implementation progress. High schools have until August 27 to complete the survey. The Department’s goal is 100 percent participation.

This survey, the 2014-2015 Progress Report: Implementing Proficiency-Based Learning and Proficiency-Based Diplomas, has 38 (mostly multiple choice) questions and is a way for Maine’s districts to report vital data to the Maine DOE regarding the progress made from July 1, 2014 – July 31, 2015. As such, this report generates a brief but important source of data for both districts and the State.

The information collected will help the Department chart progress toward the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas. This information will be shared with the public and with lawmakers and will inform the development of additional resources and supports for districts. The progress report will also create a moment-in-time snapshot of district progress toward proficiency-based diplomas.

The Maine DOE will request additional evidence from a district when a district indicates it has completed the following and is ready to award proficiency-based diplomas:

  • Reporting standards are established for all eight content areas.
  • Summative assessments are used to collect evidence for reporting standards for each content area.
  • Evidence of proficiency is collected determining for the five Guiding Principles.
  • Multi-tiered systems of supports are in place for students (for those who struggle and for those who wish to accelerate to reach proficiency).

Any SAU who did not have their confirmation of readiness or extension request granted, is offered an opportunity to request a meeting with the Department to discuss the district’s preparedness to award proficiency-based diplomas. The Department will assume that any district/high school that does not have an approved extension plan or confirmation of readiness is be prepared to award proficiency-based diplomas after January 1, 2018.

The Department expresses its gratitude to the Maine school districts that piloted this survey.

The online survey for SAUs is available here and linked from the Maine DOE’s Getting to Proficiency Support web page. To download a pdf version of the questions ahead of time please click here.

For more information please contact the Department’s Standards-Based Education Specialist Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@maine.gov or 624-6823.

State Board of Education elects new leadership

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Board of Education has new leadership, having elected Martha J. Harris as chair and Alan R. Burton as vice-chair. Come September, Ms. Harris will have served on the board for five years having been appointed by Governor Baldacci and one year for Mr. Burton, appointed by Governor Paul R. LePage.

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Maine DOE revises policy on standards-based IEP goals

The Maine DOE has revised its policy on writing standards-based IEP goals, available here. The revisions are intended to add clarity to the policy, as well as to make references to the IEP document in the policy consistent with the current IEP form.

If you have questions about the policy or about standards-based IEP goals generally, contact the Maine DOE’s Peg Armstrong at peg.armstrong@maine.gov or 624-6654.

Standardized Assessment Task Force created to inform RFP process

The Standardized Assessment Task Force of 21 Maine educators are busy at work this summer as the state seeks a vendor/partner to carry out the Maine Educational Assessment for public school students in grades 3-8 and 11. In June, the task force met to discuss the successes and needed areas of improvement of the last assessment. Now the role of this group is to engage in a question and answer exchange that will act as a guide to help the Department draft a Request for Proposals (RFP). These proposals will be scored according to the RFP to determine which organization will serve as Maine’s next vendor.

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Celebrating 30 years of wellness

Teams representing 22 Maine school districts benefited in June from their experiences at the 30th Annual Maine Schoolsite Health Promotion Program & Wellness Conference, Back to the Future – Celebrating 30 Years of Wellness.

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Three Maine CTEs to offer plumbing programs

Career and Technical Education (CTE) centers in Farmington, Norway and Lewiston will begin offering new plumbing programs to students as a result of restitution funds from a settlement reached with the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

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Free school-based emergency course for rural districts and law enforcement

A free course on school-based emergencies for rural Maine districts and law enforcement will be offered on Aug. 20 in Belfast at the Waldo County Public Safety Building (Emergency Operations Center).

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