Category Archives: Dispatches

Maine schools invited to study and track weather

Are you a WeatherBug? Maine Schools can now connect more closely with the communities they serve through studying and tracking weather.

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Standardized Assessment Task Force update

Work continues as the Standardized Assessment Task Force participates in an email exchange of questions and answers, a system which was designed to be less invasive on members’ summer vacation and repeated travel to Augusta (even from as far away as St Agatha) for structured meetings.

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A first of its kind in the nation in mathematics coaching

A collaborative effort of Maine DOE, MSAD 17, and the University of Maine at Farmington came to life in June at the first of its kind in the nation — math coaching project. UMF’s graduate program, the Maine Mathematics Coaching Project, brought together 15 teacher coaching candidates and their administrators to participate in the summer institute.

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Maine DOE clarifies calculation of Maintenance of Effort for IDEA funds

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is clarifying the calculation of local entitlement funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The federal requirement, maintenance of effort, may be calculated in four different ways:

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Deeper Learning manuscripts sought

Journal of Maine Education seeks manuscripts that discuss specific ways in which deeper learning is provided for students. Deeper learning is interacting with real world or simulated real world situations, often to solve relevant challenges. Students develop questions, connect with resources, research, challenge-solve, and communicate to an audience their findings and process.

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Office of Special Services announces new learning disability evaluation form

Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services has revised Maine’s Learning Disability Evaluation Report form to adhere to the requirement in IDEA that no single measure or assessment is to be used as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability. With a previous version of the form, it was possible for the IEP team to look only at the data for the first question and make a determination of eligibility, whereas the new form will require that the team review data for all questions in the form before making that determination.

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Consultation as a special education service

When the revisions to the Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty (MUSER) were approved during the legislative session just ended, they contained an error that was not caught before their enactment. Section X.2.A(1) states that consultation may be provided by special education teachers or speech/language clinicians or pathologists “as a related service.” That section should have read consultation may be provided by those individuals “as a special education service.” Consultation is a related service only when provided by other providers, such as occupational therapists or physical therapists, or by a speech/language clinician or pathologist to a child whose disability category is not speech or language impairment. The Maine DOE will seek to correct the language in this section of MUSER during the next legislative session.

For more information or if you have questions about consultation services, please contact the Maine DOE’s Roberta Lucas at or 624-6676; or Jonathan Braff at or 624-6671.

Indirect cost rate application process announced

In response to new federal grant guidance issued by the Federal Office of Management and Budget, the Maine DOE is now required to offer the ability to recover indirect costs associated with management of federal grants to recipients of federal money passed through the Department. Indirect costs are system-wide, general management functions which support all sub-recipient initiatives.

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New application and deadline for gifted and talented program approval

The Maine DOE has unveiled a new application with a Sept. 30 deadline for annual gifted and talented program and budget approval. All school administrative units (SAU) are required to complete the condensed 2015-16 Initial Application this fall regardless of prior program approval.

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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 or 624-6654.