Category Archives: School Improvement

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

Funding granted from the Maine Department of Education will help transform the Auburn school by increasing student achievement, teacher effectiveness and engaging parent and community support.

AUBURN – Washburn Elementary School in Auburn will use just over $1.63 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding awarded by the Maine Department of Education to focus on raising student proficiency in math by 30 percent and reading by 35 percent over the next five years.

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Commissioner’s Conference

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.

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Funding available for school renovations

The Maine DOE will accept applications for funding of school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund. The Department will be able to approve approximately $10 million in SRRF loans. A portion of each loan will be considered a grant and will be forgiven, and the remaining portion will be paid back over five or 10 years at zero percent interest.

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Maine DOE offers one-on-one support for new NCLB coordinators

The Maine DOE is offering face-to-face training in July to provide guidance to new coordinators for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Titles and use of federal grant funds.

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SAUs agree on pathways for students in special purpose private schools

Students who are placed by their school administrative unit in a special purpose private school must be assured of a pathway to graduation from that SAU. That assurance, and a description of the pathway, is documented in a written agreement signed by both the SAU and the SPPS for each student at the SPPS.

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Materials released in advance of Commissioner’s Conference

The following Priority Notice was distributed to school superintendents today in advance of the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents:

Dear Superintendents,

We look forward to working with you next week during the 104th Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 28 at Sunday River’s Jordan Hotel in Newry.

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Schoolwide Plan due July 1, Department continues to provide additional support

Following the success of the February webinar and regional schoolwide information sessions, the Maine DOE continues to provide guidance to Title I schools as they complete their Annual Schoolwide Plan Review, due July 1.

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Maine DOE supports SAUs in reporting PEPG pilot plan with brief survey

The following Priority Notice was sent on Monday, June 8.

As part of the implementation of Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems, Rule Chapter 180 and Maine Revised Statute Title 20-A, Chapter 508 require that School Administrative Units (SAUs) test-run or pilot their PEPG systems for principals and teachers during the 2015-16 school year. In order to ensure that districts are on track for a pilot next year, the law requires each SAU to submit a “plan describing the intentions of its pilot project” by July 15.

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Committee votes to increase subsidy; cuts elsewhere

The following Priority Notice from Maine DOE Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin was sent to schools on Tuesday, June 2.

Dear Educators,

In the midst of budget discussions in the legislature a lot of information and numbers are flying around and knowing you are in the midst of making your own local budgets, I wanted to give you this update which is current as of Tuesday, June 2 at noon.

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Hiring standards for school nutrition program directors take effect July 1

Beginning July 1 school nutrition program directors will be required to meet new hiring standards as a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent ruling establishing national professional standards for all school nutrition employees.

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