Category Archives: School Improvement

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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Commissioner’s Update – May 14, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

LD 131 “An Act To Amend the Laws Related to Public Funding of Charter Schools” was signed May 8, 2015 by Governor LePage. Under the new law  Maine DOE will make monthly payments directly to approved public charter schools starting in FY16, the same way the Department has long distributed funds to traditional public school districts.

Currently, districts that lose students to public charter schools are billed directly by the receiving charter school. The Maine DOE will provide financial relief to traditional school units since they no longer must include these payments in their annual budgets.

The new funding method will relieve the unpredictable financial impact of charters to individual (sending) districts and was overwhelmingly supported by leaders of Maine’s school districts, including the 100 or so that now have at least one student enrolled in one of the state’s five bricks-and-mortar charter schools or the virtual Maine Connections Academy. The change also allows Maine to move beyond the divisive debate about charter school funding and refocus on how to create opportunities for students to be most successful at Maine public schools, whether they be charters or traditional.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

First Lady LePage, Acting Education Commissioner announce 2015 County Teachers of the Year

First Lady Ann LePage and Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin marked Teacher Appreciation Week by announcing the top teacher from each Maine county. | More

Maine Department of Education pledges additional funding to support autism resource, research institute

The Maine Department of Education is committing over $150,000 to continue the work of the state’s first autism institute. | More

Department seeks feedback on ESEA waiver renewal

The Maine DOE is seeking feedback on Maine’s proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Renewal application. | More

Alternate assessment for math, ELA closing May 15

The deadline to submit the National Center and State Collaborative Alternate Assessment (NCSC), used to assess students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in mathematics and English language arts is this Friday, May 15. | More

Maine DOE joins library advocates in Washington, D.C. for National Library Legislative Day

Last week the Maine DOE was represented along with hundreds of library supporters in Washington, D.C. to speak with their legislators about the importance of libraries. | More

Notice to 30th annual school wellness conference applicants; due date extended to May 29

If your school submitted an application for the 30th Annual Maine Schoolsite Health Promotion Program “Wellness” Conference to the Maine DOE but has not yet received a confirmation please contact the Department. | More

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LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Department seeks feedback on ESEA waiver renewal

The Maine DOE is seeking feedback on Maine’s proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Renewal application. The application, with documented changes to the original application, demonstrates how the State’s current accountability and improvement system is implemented to serve Maine’s students and schools while outlining future implementation of the ESEA Flexibility Waiver over the next three years.

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Commissioner’s Update – May 7, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE  will continue school site visits into June to provide targeted technical assistance for proficiency-based extension options five and six.

Visits to schools that were granted an extension five or six  are providing valuable information about the types of supports needed by districts to sustain the transition to proficiency-based education and reflects the deep commitment of districts to student-centered learning.

The Maine DOE will release information about the 2015 renewal process for extensions soon. Last year’s extension applications provided a clear picture of the status of districts implementation of proficiency-based education to date. District extension applications can be viewed on the Maine DOE website. The Maine DOE anticipates a dramatically streamlined renewal process for spring 2015.

The Maine DOE plans to convene extension option six schools as a group in June to provide targeted supports for the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas. This convening is in lieu of a second site visit. More information about this event will be sent to districts in the coming weeks.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Nominations open for MAHPERD Teachers of the Year

Nominations are open for the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD) Teachers of the Year awards. | More

New technology awards announced, nominations open through June 1

The Association for Computer Technology Educators of Maine (ACTEM) announced their REBOOTED and REIMAGINED awards, open to innovative educators at all grade levels that have a direct impact on student learning. | More

Schoolwide program funding involving local entitlement funds

Schools that have been granted schoolwide program status under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are required to submit a budget showing funding sources for their activities. | More

Special services invoicing procedure for state agency clients

Under MUSER §IV.4.E(3), the Maine DOE is responsible for the costs of special education services provided to state agency clients and pays those costs directly to the providing agency or person. | More

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Schoolwide program funding involving local entitlement funds

Schools that have been granted schoolwide program status under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are required to submit a budget showing funding sources for their activities. Sometimes schools choose to include IDEA Part B funds. If a school’s  NCLB application indicates IDEA Part B funding for a schoolwide program, the 2016  IDEA Part B application will need to include a project and budget.

For more information contact Maine DOE Director of Special Services Jan Breton at janice.breton@maine.gov or 624-6676.

Maine DOE continues site visits to support proficiency-based efforts

The Maine DOE  will continue school site visits into June to provide targeted technical assistance for proficiency-based extension options five and six.

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Commissioner’s Update – April 23, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine DOE is recognizing 21 schools across the state for their high performance or progress as measured by the State’s federally required accountability system.

As part of Maine’s approved application for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA or No Child Left Behind), the State received a waiver to implement its own plan to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps and increase the quality of instruction through the implementation of its own tiered statewide system of support. By reviewing annual progress and student proficiency, schools are placed into one of five categories: priority, focus, monitor, progressing and meeting, allowing the Department to most intensively target support to the schools that need it most.

Just as Maine’s system allows the Department to identify schools that most need improvement support, it also recognizes those showing the greatest levels of improvement and performance.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Maine DOE specialists support improvement initiatives at newly identified schools

The Department’s School Improvement Team is continuing to provide support and technical assistance to help raise student achievement at the state’s schools, including those recently identified as priority, focus and monitor under Maine’s federally required accountability system. | More

Maine DOE seeks readers for 21st CCLC grant competition

The Maine DOE is seeking qualified grant readers for its upcoming 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant application review process. | More

Maine Arts Commission seeks teacher leaders for assessment initiative

The Maine Arts Commission is inviting visual and performing arts teachers to consider being a teacher leader with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), phase 5. | More

Maine School Nutrition Association dishes out top director, manager awards

The Maine School Nutrition Association (MSNA) has honored RSU 13 Director of School Nutrition Charles Butler as Director of the Year and Portland Public Schools Nutrition Manager Nancy McAdam as Manager of the Year. | More

State releases school-based modules on tick and mosquito diseases and prevention

New modules on tick and mosquito diseases and prevention that were developed by the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease with input from the Maine DOE are now available to the state’s schools. | More

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Maine DOE recognizes reward schools

The Maine DOE is recognizing 21 schools across the state for their high performance or progress as measured by the State’s federally required accountability system. Continue reading

Maine DOE specialists support improvement initiatives at newly identified schools

The Department’s School Improvement Team is continuing to provide support and technical assistance to help raise student achievement at the state’s schools, including those recently identified as priority, focus and monitor under Maine’s federally required accountability system.

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Maine DOE seeks readers for 21st CCLC grant competition

The Maine DOE is seeking qualified grant readers for its upcoming 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant application review process.

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