Category Archives: Dispatches

Maine schools encouraged to enter Verizon Innovative App Challenge

Maine schools are encouraged to enter the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a creative and collaborative competition that offers up to $20,000 in grants for winning middle schools and high schools. Designed to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the Challenge shows students exciting new possibilities for their futures, opening doors they may never have known were there.

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Final deadline for proficiency-based diploma extension applications Oct. 18

The final deadline for districts looking for an extension in implementing a proficiency-based diploma requirement is next week.

Earlier this year, the Department released six extension request options to provide the time and support districts say they need to undertake the thoughtful, systemic change needed to ensure quality implementation of systems that support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018.

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Schools recognize National School Bus Safety Week, Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Schools in Maine and across the nation are recognizing National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 20 through 24. During the same week, schools will acknowledge the importance of bus drivers to a student’s education with Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

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Federal School Bus Replacement Rebate Program announced

The United States Environmental Protection Agency will again make funds available for the School Bus Replacements Rebate Program beginning this fall. This is the second time the EPA will open the Diesel Emission Reduction Act School Bus Replacement Funding opportunity.

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Notice of proposed rule changes: Chapter 101, Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty

The Maine DOE is proposing changes this fall to the rules regarding the provision of child find, early intervention services, and special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities age birth to 20.

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Update on new school staff evaluation survey

As originally noted in a dispatch dated June 4, changes to the MEDMS Educator Quality and Effectiveness (EQE) Survey are still in progress. The changes discussed in June have since evolved.

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Regional school calendars due April 14

School administrative units (SAUs) and private schools approved for tuition purposes are expected to establish regional school calendars in coordination with their local secondary career and technical education school by April 14.

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MPBN seeks students for Junior Broadcaster Board

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network recently announced the formation of the MPBN Junior Broadcaster Board to be made up of Maine high school sophomore and junior students. Slated to launch in February, MPBN is accepting applications to join the board through Nov. 15.

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Guidance to Maine schools on EV-D68

The following guidance on Enterovirus D68 from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention was distributed by the Maine DOE to all Maine school nurses on Friday, Oct. 3.

Each year, millions of people become ill due to respiratory illnesses. Some of the more common respiratory illnesses in schools may include influenza, pertussis and the common cold. The common cold can be caused by many viruses including enteroviruses, one strain of which (EV-D68) is responsible for several outbreaks in the United States in 2014, including one recent case here in Maine. Schools should be aware of these illnesses, how to prevent them and what is reportable. Continue reading

Maine DOE welcomes new federal programs staff

Janette Kirk, David Fisk and Chelsey Fortin have joined Maine DOE as members of the No Child Left Behind Federal Programs Team.

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