Category Archives: Commissioner’s Updates

Commissioner’s Update – October 8, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

edlundWhen you ask Talya Edlund’s students what they think of their third grade teacher, you will hear words like, “stupendous, epic, amazing, and fantastic.” When you ask the principal of Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth of this 15 year veteran educator, you hear the term “top-tier educator.”

It is these qualities and more that earned Talya Edlund the title of 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year, an honor bestowed to her in a surprise assembly at Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth on Monday.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Education Rachelle Tome announced Edlund had been selected as the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year of three finalists saying, “Talya Edlund embodies those exemplary characteristics we have seen in all of the stellar educators identified as 2015 County Teachers of the Year.  With her ‘think out of the box” approach to problem solving, tenacious attitude for overcoming challenges, zest for staying at the cutting edge of her craft, and uncanny insight into the needs of her students and colleagues, she is the teacher we all want our children to have and the colleague we hope to work with. Talya is a true inspiration and role model.”

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Interpreting math & ELA/literacy (Smarter Balanced) reports

This week the math and ELA/literacy parent/guardian student reports are being shipped to schools from Measured Progress. | More

Addressing chronic absenteeism

Chronic absenteeism is a national problem that has prompted a joint letter from national leaders including the U.S. Department of Education. | More

PEPG development grants Available

In an effort to support school administrative units (SAUs) develop their PEPG systems, the Maine DOE is proud to offer grants of $4,600 for the purpose of PEPG professional development. | More

Regional Title I parent involvement sessions

Maine DOE will conduct regional roundtable meetings in November to support and assist districts in understanding Title I requirements of parent involvement. | More

Invitation to participate in NECAP science inquiry task field test

Maine DOE is recruiting schools again this year to serve as field testing sites to administer the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) Science Inquiry Tasks in grades 5, 8, and 11. | More

Reminder: Lunch served on early release days

Maine DOE is reminding districts the school lunch meal must be offered to students each school day, including planned half days and early release. | More

Input sought for teacher shortage areas

The Maine DOE has been notified of the requirement to submit Maine teacher shortage areas by Dec. 10 for designation by the U.S. DOE for 2016-17. | More

LEA indirect cost rate proposal webinar

Maine DOE’s contractor MAXIMUS will be providing a LEA ICRP training webinar on Oct. 20. | More

Call for student artwork

For over ten years, the Maine DOE and the Maine Arts Commission have been fortunate to celebrate excellence in Maine visual and performing arts education by hosting rotating student art exhibits. | More

Auburn hosts leveraging learning institute – iPads in primary grades

Educators are invited to attend Auburn School Department’s two-day Leveraging Learning institute on Oct. 28-30. | More

Fuel Up to Play wellness program

Maine schools are invited to participate in Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60), a wellness program with numerous benefits. | More

School bus replacement and retrofit rebate program

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) is now accepting applications for the 2015 School Bus Replacement and Retrofit Funding opportunity. | More

MAHPERD conference celebrating 70 years

Educators are encouraged to register now for the annual Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) conference on Nov. 1-3. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – October 1, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York and Minot Consolidated School in RSU 16 were among 335 public and private schools across the country named 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students demonstrate high achievement learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

Each year, the Maine Department of Education is invited to nominate schools for this recognition. Acting Commissioner of Education Tom Desjardin says, “These nominees need to meet specific national criteria, and the process is quite detailed, so congratulations to Coastal Ridge Elementary and Minot Consolidated in being recognized as exemplary high performing schools; this is a huge honor.”

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Maine DOE no longer provides support for College Board assessments

For the 2015-16 school year, Maine DOE is not providing support for assessments beyond what is state-required, which is still being determined through the RFP process. | More

Changes regarding the upcoming Special Education Child Count

School administrative units are advised to verify the “Special Education Students for Federal Count” report in Infinite Campus and ensure that all student records in ICSE are updated by Oct. 15. | More

Be safe in sharing the road with school buses

In Maine, about 80 percent of students ride the school bus, and this ridership is high compared to 50 percent national student ridership. | More

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certified Teacher Salary Supplement – due Oct. 15

Superintendents are being reminded that Maine educators, who attained National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (or its successor organization) certification prior to July 1, may be eligible for a salary supplement for the 2015-16 school year. | More

Maine DOE implements fiscal risk assessment for SAUs receiving IDEA funds

Beginning with the FY 16 grant year, and due to the recent adoption of Uniform Guidance for federal grants (UG), Maine DOE Special Services has implemented a fiscal risk assessment tool. | More

Department releases 2016 leased space approvals

The Department has completed its review of FY 2016 leased space applications and posted the results online here. | More

Maine DOE seeks social studies teachers to become regional leaders

Maine DOE is inviting current social studies teachers of all grades and geographic regions of the state to be part of the inaugural Social Studies Community Teacher-Leader Group. | More

Educators invited to attend Social Studies DBQ Workshop series

Maine DOE is inviting teachers of grades 6-12 to participate in a two-part social studies workshop series scheduled for Nov. 5 and March 15 in Waterville. | More

Registration open for ATMNE regional math conference

Maine DOE and the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine will welcome math educators from across New England this month for the regional Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England conference. | More

Spirit of Community Awards open for grades 5-12

Maine students in grades 5-12 who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service in the past year are invited to apply for a Prudential Spirit of Community Award. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – September 24, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Gov. LePage hosts Maine DOE and UMFK in the Cabinet Room

Gov. LePage hosts Maine DOE and UMFK in the Cabinet Room

The Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine at Fort Kent have announced a first-of-a-kind partnership to expand the number of options Maine students have to earn college credit while still in high school. This partnership was celebrated Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the State House where Governor LePage hosted Acting Deputy Commissioner Rachelle Tome, Program Specialist Abby Manahan, Retired UMFK President Wilson Hess, and UMFK’s Scott Voisine, Dean of Community Education. Maine DOE’s Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin was also able to join for the event.

“We need to start looking ahead; I don’t want to lose the kids,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This partnership goes up and beyond the normal status of education in Maine.”

Starting this fall, high school students enrolled in 17 advanced placement (AP) courses throughout the state via the Maine DOE’s online AP4ALL program will have the option to be dually enrolled in those courses via UMFK’s Rural U program.

Dual enrollment is defined as the opportunity to earn college credit for a high school course with an approved course syllabus meeting college course standards and a teacher approved as a college adjunct instructor. By adding the dual enrollment option to eligible AP4ALL courses, high school juniors and seniors can choose to earn credit by passing the final AP exam and receiving a grade for the course from UMFK, becoming part of an official college transcript.

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Numbers of CTE students earning postsecondary credit increases

Approximately 250 high school students enrolled in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program will earn nearly 3,000 postsecondary credits during the 2015-16 school year. | More

New resources for professional learning

The Cross Discipline Literacy Network (CDLN) has archived 63 webinars searchable by specific topic or content. | More

Inclusion support for preschool children with disabilities

Children with disabilities and their families continue to face significant barriers to accessing inclusive high-quality early childhood programs. | More

Educator training on teaching suicide awareness and prevention

NAMI Maine, the Maine Suicide Prevention Program’s training contractor, is offering a Combination Lifelines and Middle School Lessons training session on Wednesday, Sept. 30. | More

Registration open for ACTEM conference

The Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine (ACTEM) will be holding its annual statewide conference Oct. 15-16 at the Cross Center in Bangor. | More

High schools invited to register for Poetry Out Loud

Maine high schools are invited to register for Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide program that encourages youth to learn about poetry. | More

Healthy, active conference coming up

The Maine Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) annual conference will be held Nov. 1-3 at the Samoset Resort. | More

It’s not rocket science, a conference focusing on engineering education

The Maine Science Teachers Association annual conference will be held Oct. 9 in Gardiner. | More

Upcoming arts education conference

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative is hosting the Biennial Statewide Arts Education Conference on Oct. 9. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – September 17, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

During the month of August, over 400 PK-12 educators from across Maine attended two-day professional development institutes offered in Presque Isle, Brewer, Lewiston and Saco. The Pathways to Proficiency institute was designed to help teams of educators strengthen their understanding of Maine’s English language arts standards while also bolstering their knowledge of highly effective instructional strategies that support students in achieving proficiency.

Educators expanded their understanding of learning transfer, cognitive rigor and text complexity as they learned instructional strategies for close reading, writing from sources and vocabulary development. Participants also learned how to construct integrated units of study with text sets that focused on ELA and content-area standards.

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Standardized Assessment Scores for 2014-15

The 2014-15 Smarter Balanced Assessment scores in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3 through 8 and the third year of high school are available. | More

Maine is one of 16 states to gain federal approval on Educator Equity Plan

The U. S. Department of Education has approved Maine’s Educator Equity Plan aimed at increasing access to excellent educators. | More

Maine DOE issues RFP for math & ELA/literacy assessment

The Maine DOE has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bids to provide statewide assessments online for mathematics & English language arts/literacy. | More

Annual notification of schoolwide program options

Schools that receive federal Title I funds, have poverty rates of at least 40 percent and have approved Title IA Schoolwide Plans are eligible to use their Title I funds – and funds from other sources – to develop “schoolwide programs.” | More

Harvest Lunch Week contest and local food on school menus

Maine Harvest Lunch Week will be celebrated by school districts across the state this year from Sept. 21-25, with the Maine School Garden Open House taking place on Sept. 26. | More

Maine DOE provides $1M in grant funds to CTE schools

Maine DOE is pleased to announce 27 Career and Technical Education schools will receive their share of $1 million in grant funds in FY 2016. | More

Academic eligibility policy

The Maine DOE has posted an example policy on academic eligibility for athletic and co-curricular participation. | More

Maine DOE to host schoolwide training

All Title I schools interested in developing a schoolwide plan are invited to attend two training sessions hosted by the Department this fall. | More

Maine DOE seeks social studies information

The Maine DOE is conducting a survey for social studies educators in prekindergarten through grade 12 to provide a snapshot of programming across the state and inform the Department’s work. | More

Reminder: Certification on Constitutionally Protected Prayer

Maine DOE is reminding school administrative units to complete and submit the Certification on Constitutionally Protected Prayer statement to the Department by Oct. 1. | More

Promoting school attendance

September is Attendance Awareness Month, a national event designed to bring attention to the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. | More

Maine DOE legislative summary available

Maine DOE has prepared a summary of major laws related to education enacted by the First Regular Session of the 127th Maine Legislature. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – September 10, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bids to provide statewide assessments online for mathematics & English language arts/literacy in grades 3-8 and the third year of high school beginning in the spring of 2016.

The public notice can be viewed in the Kennebec Journal beginning Sept. 9. A copy of the RFP can be obtained by contacting the Department’s RFP Coordinator, Acting Assessment Coordinator, Nancy Godfrey who can be reached at or 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

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Providing parents with procedural safeguards electronically

A new section of the MUSER permits school administrative units to send certain documents, including the procedural safeguards, to parents electronically with their written consent. | More

Math and ELA/literacy results reminder – ORS versus iServices

There are two locations where the results from the spring 2015 MEA for mathematics and English language arts (ELA)/literacy. | More

Contractual service providers’ information needed

Maine DOE is requiring staff that require certification, authorization or approval (criminal history background checks) and are paid by schools under contractual agreements to be reported to the State staff information system, NEO Staff. | More

Office of Special Services offers professional development opportunity

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is offering a training opportunity for high school special education teachers. | More

Intent to pilot survey results indicate SAUs are moving forward with PEPG systems

Initial results provide promising indications that districts are moving forward in implementing a comprehensive PEPG system. | More

Maine DOE partners with the UMF for mathematics coaching

Title I schools identified as Priority who demonstrate challenges with mathematics performance have the opportunity to utilize program improvement funds to support participation in the Maine Mathematics Coaching Project (MMCP). | More

Cross Disciplinary Literacy Network registration now open

Maine educators are invited to register for the Cross Discipline Literacy Network (CDLN), a professional learning network for 2015-16 school year. | More

Principals encouraged to nominate one student for U.S. Senate Youth Program

The Maine DOE encourages all high school principals to nominate one candidate for consideration to represent Maine in Washington, D.C. during the 54th Annual United States Senate Youth Program. | More

Deadline ahead for indirect cost rate application

The Maine DOE is reminding districts of the deadline for filing a letter of interest to submit indirect costs plans is next Friday, Sept. 18. | More

Upcoming workshops focus on connecting math instruction to support student engagement

The Maine DOE is inviting math educators across the state to a series of three workshops to support instruction and make connections to student engagement and understanding. | More

Maine DOE continues efforts with Guiding Principles

In August, the Maine DOE convened 33 educators to collect input on draft progressions for each of the five Guiding Principles. | More

Summer interns at Maine DOE

The Department hosted four interns this summer. MLTI and the Migrant Education Program benefited from the talent, energy and time of these college students. | More

Attendance matters

September is attendance awareness month; a nationwide event recognizing the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. | More

From ACEs to resilience

The first annual Thriving Maine Communities Conference, focused on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and resilience is being held for K-12 and post-secondary educators. | More

Osher New Beginnings scholarship now open

The Osher Scholarship, offered through the University of Maine System, has a new name and is available now. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – September 3, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine Department of Education, in partnership with Educate Maine, recently named three teachers as state finalists for Maine’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. They were chosen from this year’s 16 County Teachers of the Year who were named in May at a celebration at the State House Hall of Flags.

The state finalists are:

  • Cumberland: Talya Edlund, Pond Cove Elementary School, Cape Elizabeth
  • Franklin: Brenda LaVerdiere, Academy Hill School, Wilton
  • Piscataquis: Mia Morrison, Foxcroft Academy, Dover-Foxcroft

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September observances in Maine schools

Four observances and recognition days occur in September that provide important civic learning opportunities, one of them is required by federal law. | More

Reminder of new certification hours for in-person visits

The Maine DOE is reminding individuals seeking to renew or apply for initial certification of new hours and a policy for in-person visits. | More

Districts must submit waiver affidavits for non-certified staff

Superintendents must now submit a Waiver Affidavit form for staff hired who do not hold the proper certification or endorsement required for the position. | More

Maine DOE clarifies Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under ESEA waiver

The Maine DOE is clarifying Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) status under the three-year waiver from the federal government allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the ESEA. | More

Community school pilots for the 2016-17 school year

The Maine DOE has been authorized per Public Law 2015, Chapter 267 to designate three community schools established in accordance with 20-A MRSA Chapter 333 as part of a five-year pilot project beginning in the 2016-17 school year. | More

Mentoring workshops offered for educators of gifted and talented

New and experienced gifted and talented educators will have an opportunity to learn new skills and practices at upcoming mentoring workshops. | More

Blended learning experience for educators of English learners

Maine DOE in collaboration with the University of Maine Project Reach is offering blended learning experience for educators of English learners. | More

Department provides support for computer-based administration of ACCESS 2.0

The Maine DOE continues to support schools as they prepare for a successful administration of the computer-based ACCESS FOR ELLs 2.0, Maine’s English language proficiency assessment for English learners. | More

Reclassification using Alternate ACCESS for ELLs composite score

Recent federal guidance allows Maine to define English language proficiency for an English learner with a disability who participates in Maine’s alternate English language proficiency (ELP) assessment, the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. | More

NEO Maine Schools Update form

The NEO Maine Schools Update form is required by school units to inform the Maine DOE of school and district contact information, changes in grade spans, and other district- and school-related information. | More

Suicide prevention trainings for school staff and administrators offered this fall

As the implementation of the Maine suicide prevention law requiring suicide awareness and prevention education for all school personnel moves forward, many schools are also considering what is being taught to students. | More

Transportation conference focuses on Maine’s most precious cargo and more

Over 400 school transportation staff throughout Maine attended the 44th Annual School Transportation Safety Conference at Sugarloaf this summer. | More

MLTI Summer Institute promotes PBE through technology

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) held its 2015 Summer Institute in July at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. | More

Educators from Maine Art Assessment Initiative participate in summit in nation’s capital

A team from the Maine Art Assessment Initiative (MAAI) was selected to participate in the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C. recently. | More

Department fills key positions to support schools

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce the addition of two veteran educators to the Standards and Instructional Support Team. Charles Lomonte and Beth Lambertwill step into the key roles of Educator Effectiveness Coordinator and Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, respectively. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – August 20, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Results from the spring 2015 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for mathematics and English language arts/literacy are being carefully rolled out. The steps in that process include:

Online Reporting System: Since mid-July, preliminary results have been available to schools/SAUs in the Online Reporting System (ORS) of the assessment portal at These reports have students placed as they were in the Test Information Distribution System (TIDE), and not necessarily aggregated according to Maine’s decision rules (e.g., exclusion of home-schooled students, outplaced students included with sending district, exclusion of students with special considerations). Access to these results is controlled by the permissions structure in TIDE, which allows for different levels of access. Permissions begin with the superintendent’s designation of a District/System Administrator (DSA). If administration changes have taken place which necessitate the assignment of a new DSA, the current superintendent needs to send an email identifying the designated DSA to the Department’s Bethany Dodge at

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NCLB Report Cards now available

The 2014-15 NCLB Report Cards, showing levels of performance at Maine schools for the 2013-14 school year, are now available through the Maine DOE Data Warehouse. | More

Maine DOE awarded flexibility from Feds

The Maine Department of Education received a three-year waiver allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  | More

Funds to support proficiency-based diploma transition

Maine school administrative units (SAUs), that operate public schools, will receive targeted funds to support the transition to a proficiency-based diploma again this year. | More

Maine DOE accomplishments for the first half of the year

The first six months of 2015 saw great success for the Maine DOE including these highlights. | More

Reminder to districts: protocol for reviewing invoices for special education services

As of July 1 all of Maine DOE’s contracts with agencies and persons providing special education services to state agency clients stipulate that invoices for those services be sent to the school administrative unit. | More

Professional standards for food service

Starting July 1, local food service directors or the individual completing director’s duties must now meet the minimum hiring requirements. | More

Salary supplement available to eligible educators and school staff

Maine educators and school staff may be eligible for a salary supplement for the 2015-16 school year. | More

Educators encouraged to apply for certification scholarship program

Maine educators are encouraged to apply to and enroll in the certification program offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. | More

Maine Teacher of the Year candidates nearing end of reviews

Eight teachers in the running for the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year title presented to and answered questions from members of the State review panel last week. | More

Conference focuses on effective teaching with an emphasis on tech and social media

On August 6 and 7, a conference entitled “ECET2 Maine Teacher Leadership Summit” (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers) was held at Colby College in Waterville. | More

Pilot training of a kindergarten entry assessment

Fifteen Maine kindergarten teachers spent three days last week learning how to pilot a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA). | More

Blue Hill teacher receives week-long learning in nation’s capital

A local teacher’s passion for the Civil War and his collaboration with his school librarian and local historical society, led to a week of learning this summer. | More

Horatio Alger Scholarship now open

Maine students are invited to apply for the 2016 Horatio Alger Association Scholarship Program. | More

Maine DOE staff changes and additions

While many take time to relax over the summer, some folks at Maine DOE have done little of that while embracing their new positions with the Department. | More

Schools invited to host dangers of texting while driving program

Maine schools are invited to host the AT&T “It Can Wait” program, a national initiative designed to educate youth about the dangers of texting while driving. | More

Third annual National Anthem sing-a-long

In Maine, and across the nation, students are invited to sing in unity our National Anthem on September 11. | More

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. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – August 6, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

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.

Let’s review the first meeting of the selected members of educators (including Maine Education Association members), principals, superintendents, including some members of the Maine DOE staff. At the June gathering, each member of the task force offered their likes and dislikes with explanations in regard to last year’s assessment. Those comments included an appreciation for the past year’s testing as: shorter, more rigorous, flexible, connected to curriculum, web based, a wider window of testing, a secured platform, having a structured writing component, and statewide there were few issues.

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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. | More

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. | More

Suicide awareness and prevention training

A reminder this month that Maine’s school-based suicide awareness and prevention law calls for a one- to two-hour in-service training module which conforms to national guidelines. | More

Indirect cost rate application process announced

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. | More

Consultation as a special education service

When the revisions to MUSER were approved during the legislative session just ended, they contained an error that was not caught before their enactment. | More

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. | More

Clarifying calculation of Local Entitlement 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). | More

Deeper Learning manuscripts sought

Journal of Maine Education seeks manuscripts that discuss specific ways in which deeper learning is provided for students. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – July 23, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

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.

In an effort to ensure that all of Maine’s K-12 public school students have “an equal opportunity to a quality education,” Maine DOE conducts an assessment each year of all public school students in certain grades. This assessment must be standardized so that each student is measured by the same instrument. By having every public school student in Maine take the same (or standardized) test, it is possible to measure the educational opportunity that a child in Kittery, for example, has in relation to a child in Fort Kent.

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State awards $1.63 million through a grant to help a struggling school

Washburn Elementary School in Auburn will use just over $1.63 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding awarded by the Maine DOE.  | More

Maine educators expand learning technology skills this week

The Maine DOE’s MLTI 2015 Summer Institute kicks off at Bowdoin. | More

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. | More

Three Maine CTEs to offer plumbing programs

Career and Technical Education (CTE) centers in Farmington, Norway and Lewiston will begin offering new plumbing programs. | More

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. | More

Maine Warden Service and Maine DOE working to assess applicant’s skills

The Maine DOE and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are working cooperatively to assess an applicant’s readiness, according to State learning standards. | More

Notice of annual audit requirements

Maine DOE is providing notice of a change to requirements as well as reminders about the annual audit requirements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, and subsequent years. | More

Maine DOE revises policy on standards-based IEP goals

The Maine DOE has revised its policy on writing standards-based IEP goals, available here. | More

QZAB Tax Credit Bond applications due October 15

The Department currently has $1,435,000 of QZAB issuing authority to distribute to qualifying schools units. | More

Maine DOE adopts rules to establish new test requirements for qualifying examinations of Teachers, Educational Specialists and Administrators

Rule Chapter 13: Qualifying Examinations of Teachers, Educational Specialists and Administrators has been formally adopted by the Department and took effect June 23. | More

MaineCare Seed payment adjustments made, report review by August 21

The 2015-16 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments for MaineCare Seed payments. | More

Upcoming proficiency-based education conference in Dexter

Limited space is available for MooseCamp, a proficiency-themed conference in Dexter on Aug. 12. | More

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Commissioner’s Update – July 9, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

In case you missed the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference, here is a recap with valuable links.

Acting Commissioner of Education, Thomas Desjardin opened and closed the conference at Sunday River with timely updates on the ongoing FY16 budget discussions and voting at the State House at the time. He also acknowledged the ever changing educational climate and the hard work and successes of school leaders and Maine DOE’s support through its multi-faceted services.

The conference kicked off recognizing school leaders with 17 awards presented. Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin, along with representatives of the Maine School Superintendents Association, recognized school leaders for their service, outstanding leadership and longevity. The 2015 Distinguished Service Award recipient was former Commissioner James Rier.

Then two days of presentations offered hands on training as well as collaborative learning. The full conference agenda and materials can be found here.

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News & Views

Updates on Smarter Balanced and results

Legislative enactment of LD 1276 An Act to Improve Educational Assessments of Maine Students was approved by Governor LePage on June 16. | More

Rule adoption: Chapter 101 Birth to age 20

A new rule adoption, Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age 20, goes into effect on July 19. | More

Funding available for school renovations

The Maine DOE will accept applications for funding of school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund. | More

Summer health review needed

The Maine DOE reminds district administrators that health care plans developed for students who require services during the year must be reviewed. | More

Safety top focus at school transportation conference

School transportation directors, supervisors, mechanics, bus drivers, and computer technicians from all over Maine will be traveling to Sugarloaf Mountain. | More

At the intersection of CTE and academics

Strengthening the connection between Career and Technical Education (CTE) and secondary academics was on the agenda recently. | More

NEO account management

With the 2015-16 school year upon us, we realize that occasionally staff moves positions from one school administrative unit (SAU) to another. | More

Maine FFA student state officers attend national leadership conference

Student officers of the Maine FFA Association recently attended the National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO). | More

School Nurses aim to improve the health of our kids

Eight school nurses from Maine were among the more than 1,300 school nurses from around the country that met in Philadelphia last month. | More

Summer training available for teachers

The New England Institute for Teacher Education is offering a number of professional development opportunities for Maine educators this summer. | More

Presidential recognition

Two Maine teachers are recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. | More

Curriculum Leader of the Year

Assistant Superintendent of RSU 3, Deb McIntyre, has been named Maine’s 2015 Curriculum Leader of the Year. | More

High school students have a challenge-pass it along

Tyler Technologies, Inc. has launched a first application development challenge solely for high school students in the state. | More

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