Maine Department of Education

The Maine Department of Education provides leadership and support to educators and families in preparing all Maine students for success in college, careers and civic life.

The Maine DOE Newsroom highlights the work of Maine schools and the Department of Education.

Maine DOE Update – October 18, 2018

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

PRIORITY NOTICE: 2017-18 MEA Confidential Assessment Results Now Available to Districts

The 2017-18 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) Confidential Results are now available in the Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS). The confidential portal is now open to district personnel with “DRAFT” district/school/student reports containing 2017-18 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) data. Updated content: Three quick reminders that will assist you when logging into MAARS to review confidential data.  | More

October EPS Data Team Open Question and Answer Webinar

If you have questions about October EPS processing and how to finish up (or start…), please join the data team for a webinar on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | More

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |


News & Updates

Piscataquis Community High School Teacher Named Maine 2019 Teacher of the Year

Guilford, Maine – In an all-school assembly today at Piscataquis Community High School, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. named English teacher Joseph Hennessey Maine’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. | More

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment for English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Career and Education Development Education Standards

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current English language arts, mathematics, and career and education development standards. | More

What is Chronic Absenteeism? #success4ME

Maine’s student success indicator, chronic absenteeism is one of four (4) indicators utilized in Maine’s Model of School Supports and is used for all grades, K-12. Chronic absenteeism in Maine is defined as missing ten percent (10%) of enrolled school days where the student has been enrolled in the school for at least ten (10) days. | More

Seeking Districts to Participate in Free Pilot of NBC Learn K-12 Product

NBC Learn is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education to offer all districts in Maine the opportunity to participate in a free pilot of their K-12 product. | More

October is National Farm to School Month

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) join thousands of schools, farms, communities, and organizations across the country in celebrating National Farm to School Month. Maine is home to more than 8000 farmers and 185,000 students, making the partnership between schools and farmers an important part of the state’s agricultural landscape.| More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | Priority Notices


Professional Development & Training Opportunities

Upcoming Maine Assessment Literacy Professional Development Opportunities

As part of the Maine DOE Assessment Literacy Professional Development series, a MAARS webinar and three in-person sessions focused on the eMPowerME assessment (grades 3-8) and science assessment (K-12) have been scheduled.| More

Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

October EPS Data Team Open Question and Answer Webinar

If you have questions about October EPS processing and how to finish up (or start…), please join the data team for a webinar on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Data Team – October EPS Open Question and Answer Session

Wed, Oct 24, 2018 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

For additional information or questions contact Maine DOE Education Data Manager, Charlotte M. Ellis at 207-624-6696–desk or Charlotte.Ellis@maine.gov.

 

What is Chronic Absenteeism? #success4ME

Maine’s student success indicator, chronic absenteeism is one of four (4) indicators utilized in Maine’s Model of School Supports and is used for all grades, K-12. Chronic absenteeism in Maine is defined as missing ten percent (10%) of enrolled school days where the student has been enrolled in the school for at least ten (10) days.

Is chronic absenteeism new?

At the state, district, school, and classroom levels Maine educators are committed to creating a culture of support and encouragement for families with children experiencing challenges with consistently attending school. In the past, Maine has focused on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). Average daily attendance records the number of students on average, who are in attendance at school on a daily basis. Although ADA data is beneficial to track, when conducting a more detailed analysis of data, ADA often masks students who are regularly or chronically absent from school. Maine has therefore determined that chronic absenteeism would be a data point collected beginning in the  2016/17 school year.

What does this look like in Maine?

Schools in Maine are examining their attendance data. On a daily basis, students are marked present or absent from school. In order to be present, the student must have attended 50% of their scheduled school day. One important item to note: excused absences (absences where a parent/guardian sends a note into school explaining the absence) and unexcused absences (absences where a parent/guardian provides no communication regarding the absence) both count as an absence.

Why is Maine using chronic absenteeism?

Research indicates a high correlation between chronic absenteeism and academic achievement however, the negative impact of being chronically absent isn’t only felt by the student who is absent, it can also impact the student who is present. Absent students lose valuable instruction time during the school day however, when students are chronically absent, teachers must reteach the same material during the school day, to students who missed out. This takes away from key instructional time and may impact overall student engagement and student achievement. In short, all learners in a school or classroom environment are impacted by chronic absenteeism.

How does this impact parents, students and schools and what can they do?

Parents

As schools examine chronic absenteeism data in more detail:

  • If your child is frequently absent from school, you may receive increased communication regarding your child’s attendance behavior and increased availability for support.
  • You may see increased district communication regarding attendance; every day counts.
  • You may see an increased focus and emphasis on family engagement and relationship building between the school and the family .

What can you do?

Ensure your child is in school every day. Obviously there are days when your child is sick and should remain home; however, scheduling personal appointments outside of the school day and taking vacations during school vacation breaks are two strategies that parents can immediately address to promote and encourage daily attendance. Communicate with the school should your child or the family experience issues that may impact their attendance or where you may require support.

Students

  • Individual students will not be identified publicly as being chronically absent.
  • There may be an Increased emphasis on relationship building between students and school staff.

What can students do?

Be engaged – develop relationships/friendships with peers and school staff. Share with parents and school staff when you are experiencing challenges or issues at school. Communicate.

Schools

  • Student data will be collected and combined to determine the percentage of students who are absent for more than 10% of enrolled school days.
  • This data will be utilized as an indicator within Maine’s Model of School Supports and will assist the Maine DOE in providing supports to schools experiencing challenges in the area of chronic absenteeism.
  • Availability of professional development and learning opportunities to provide best practice strategies in assisting schools address challenges related to chronic absenteeism.

What can schools do?

Continue to build engagement and relationships with families and students with frequent, sustained two-way communication. The school leadership team should examine data on a regular basis at the school, classroom, and individual student level and make a determination on how the school will inform parents of current absence rates. Seek supports and professional learning from the Maine DOE and other agencies and organizations.

How will chronic absenteeism data be presented on the school report card?

The school as a whole will receive a performance measure related to the percentage of students who are missing more than 10% of their scheduled school days. Chronic absenteeism rates will never be reported at the student level. The Maine DOE or the school will never identify your child publicly as being chronically absent.

The school level descriptors for chronic absenteeism are as follows:

School Level Indicator Descriptors

Chronic Absenteeism

Emerging Developing Meeting Excelling
All eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of 10% or higher One or more eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of less than 10% All eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of less than 10% All eligible student group populations have a chronic absenteeism rate of 5% or less

Where eligible student groups include: Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Two or More Races, White, Students with Disabilities, Economically Disadvantaged, Migrant students, Homeless students, English Learners and Parent in Military on Active Duty.

Chronic absenteeism data will be presented on the initial page of the report card in the following way:

reportCard

To assist parents and community members in understanding chronic absenteeism, the report card provides “hover over” features that explain the definition of the performance level.

chronicabreportcard

Parents, educators and community members also have the opportunity to examine chronic absenteeism data by student group and to see the progress the school is making in reducing instances of chronic absenteeism school wide.

report card 2

Download the Maine DOE’s Chronic Absenteeism Info Graphic as an additional resource.

For further information or questions contact, Interim Director of Learning Systems Janette Kirk at (207) 624-6707 or Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

October is National Farm to School Month

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) join thousands of schools, farms, communities, and organizations across the country in celebrating National Farm to School Month. Maine is home to more than 8000 farmers and 185,000 students, making the partnership between schools and farmers an important part of the state’s agricultural landscape.

Over the last decade, more Maine schools have prioritized adding local foods to student menus. Many have developed school gardens and other education programs. In 2015, the USDA found that 79% of Maine school districts surveyed take part in farm to school activities. In that survey, school districts spent an average of 16% of their food budgets on local products, totaling $3.8 million statewide.

The Maine Department of Education supports Farm to School efforts by promoting local products during the annual Maine Harvest Lunch Week and Farm to School Cook-off, among other initiatives. According to Stephanie Stambach, the department’s Child Nutrition Consultant, “Students look forward to seeing local foods on the menu. When they know it is coming from a farm in their community they get excited, and it’s an educational opportunity. Students and parents seem increasingly aware of where their food comes from, and schools play an important role in supporting this awareness.”

Renee Page is the Maine Farm to School Network Coordinator. “Farm to School’s three-pronged approach includes agricultural-based education, experiential learning through gardens and greenhouses, and more Maine-grown food in school meals. These strategies help connect kids to their food and to farmers. They become savvier consumers and have better health and learning outcomes. These efforts also support the local food economy,” according to Page.

For farmers, schools can be important local customers. Martha Putnam, owner of Wealden Farm, is such a farmer. “Schools are a very good market. Working with them makes a difference and is a boost to farmers. It’s good for student awareness; they get to see the diversity of foods that Maine produces,” according to Putnam. Maine farmers and producers have provided local products to many schools across Maine, and have helped with annual programs such as Maine Harvest Lunch Week.

Schools across Maine provide local foods and nutrition education to their students, and many are eager to grow these efforts. In School Year 2019, students at more than 150 Maine schools will receive a variety of fruits and vegetables at no cost during the school day as part of the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). Food service directors at schools participating in the FFVP program can be excellent partners for farmers, especially those who are new to selling to schools.

For more information, contact Maine DOE Child Nutrition Consultant Stephanie Stambach at 207-624-6732 or stephanie.stambach@maine.gov, Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Marketing Director Leigh Hallett at 207-287-3494 or leigh.hallett@maine.gov, or Renee Page from Healthy Communities of the Capital Area at 207-588-5347 or r.page@hccame.org.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment for English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Career and Education Development Education Standards

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current English language arts, mathematics, and career and education development standards. Find links to each of the current standards below along with details for submitting comments.

Current Standards:

The standards review process opens with a public comment period and a public hearing prior to the convening of steering committees who are charged with reviewing all submitted comments and with developing blueprints for the revision of the state standards in their assigned content area. Once the blueprints are created, writing teams, consisting of pk-12 teachers who represent Maine’s cultural and geographical diversity, will assemble to draft the standards revisions.

Anyone may speak at the public hearings which will be live-streamed. People wishing to speak will be asked to sign in and it will be helpful, but not mandatory, to provide a written copy of comments.

Public hearings will occur on November 7th in room 103 at the Cross Building, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, at the following times:

  • 2-4pm: Career and Education Development
  • 4-6pm: Mathematics
  • 6-8pm: English Language Arts

A link to the live-streamed hearings will be available prior to the public hearings.

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on December 1st, 2018. Written comments may be sent to Standards Review at sis.doe@maine.gov, or mailed to Beth Lambert, 23 SHS Station, Augusta, ME 04333.