Category Archives: From the Commissioner

U.S. Education Department announces new guidance to help students with disabilities as part of 40th anniversary of IDEA law

The following press release from United States Department of Education reflects Maine policy and continued mission in many aspects as the Department continues to review policy and guides school districts on the IDEA Law.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the U.S. Education Department is releasing guidance aimed at ensuring that America’s 6 million children and youth with disabilities have the same opportunity for a quality education as their nondisabled peers.

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Alcohol Awareness Day December 7

The following is a joint notice from Acting Commissioner of Education William H. Beardsley and Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in the Department of Health and Human Services Sheldon Wheeler. Please share this with school principals and classroom teachers.

Community groups and schools across the state will be conducting activities to raise awareness about alcohol use and abuse on Monday, Dec. 7, Alcohol Awareness Day and throughout Maine’s Alcohol Awareness Week.

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EPS funding calculation data needed now

The following Priority Notice was sent to district administrators on Monday, Oct. 26.

It is imperative that you ensure your staff data is complete and accurate prior to the Nov. 13, 2015 deadline for the superintendent to certify your staff data. Between Tuesday, Oct. 27 and Friday, Nov. 13, all school administrative units and required private schools must certify the staff data.

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Maine DOE announces conditional assessment awardee

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Tuesday, Oct. 20 to superintendents regarding the conditional vendor award to Measured Progress, Inc. for the 2015-16 administration of the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy.

Dear Educators,

As a result of action during this past Legislative session, Maine will no longer participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

We are pleased to announce that the Maine DOE has made a conditional decision, based on a competitive process outlined by the Maine State Division of Purchases, to award Measured Progress, Inc. the contract to develop and deliver our Mathematics and ELA/Literacy assessment in 2015-16. This proposal includes an assessment developed by Measured Progress, Inc. for students in grades 3-8 and the SAT for third year high school students.

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Governor LePage announces Dr. William Beardsley will lead Department

Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that Dr. William Beardsley will serve as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education. Dr. Beardsley is former president of Husson University and served as commissioner of the Department of Conservation.

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Maine DOE offering PEPG development grants to SAUs

The following priority notice was sent today to all Maine school districts.

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. To receive these targeted funds, SAUs must complete the PEPG Implementation Grant Application and respond to the Department’s Intent to Pilot survey (released in June) by Thursday, Oct. 15.

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Deadline is nearing to report proficiency-based implementation progress

The following priority notice was sent today to district administrators as a reminder to complete the 2014-15 proficiency-based learning implementation survey.

The month-long window for completing the 2014-2015 Progress Report: Implementing Proficiency-Based Learning and Proficiency-Based Diplomas is closing on August 27. This 38 question survey released on July 27 provides Maine districts a way to report vital data to the Maine DOE regarding the progress made from July 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015. Many districts say the survey has served as a reflective tool as they set goals and metrics to measure progress.

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Reminder to districts: Suicide awareness and prevention training

The following priority notice was sent today to superintendents as a reminder all school personnel must complete suicide awareness and prevention training by the start of the 2015-16 school year.

Dear Superintendents,

Ensuring the safety of our students is a priority and a shared responsibility. Suicide awareness and prevention efforts are a part of safeguarding schools. To increase the potential of recognizing a student (or colleague) is in need of assistance, Maine passed the school-based suicide awareness and prevention law (LD 609, PL 53, DOE Rule Chapter 38) in April 2013.

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Additional State subsidy

The following Priority Notice was sent to superintendents and business managers on Thursday, July 30.

Dear Superintendents and Business Managers,

With the recent passage of the biennial budget, many school districts in Maine saw an increase in the amount of subsidy that they will receive from the State. We thought this would be a good time to explain some of the laws regarding how these additional funds can be used.

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Message to districts: Updated ED 279s posted for FY 2016

The following Priority Notice was distributed to school superintendents and business managers today regarding updated FY 2016 ED 279s:

Dear Superintendents and Business Managers,

The Department is pleased to let you know that we have just posted updated FY 2016 (2015-16 school year) State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, here on our website.

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