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.

Seeking Public Comment to waive requirements related to assessment, chronic absenteeism, accountability identifications and accountability components within Maine’s Model of School Support

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking a one-year waiver pursuant to §8401(b) from requirements within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015) from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The U.S. Department of Education requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, solicit and respond to public comment on the request and provide evidence of the available comment period. This 15-day public comment period from August 11, 2020 until August 26, 2020 waives requirements related to chronic absenteeism, accountability identifications and accountability components within Maine’s Model of School Support.

Maine’s Model of School Support contained within Maine’s ESSA state plan, focuses on supporting and assisting schools and educators experiencing challenges. The Maine DOE is working diligently to continue supporting Maine’s schools during this pandemic of COVID-19. Maine’s Model of School Support is immediately impacted by the Department’s waiver request.

Requirements from which Maine is seeking a waiver include:

  • Assessment requirements in section 1111(b)(2): the requirements to administer all required assessments in school year 2020-2021.
  • Accountability and school identification requirements in sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D): the requirements that a State annually meaningfully differentiate all public schools and the requirements to identify schools for comprehensive and targeted support and improvement and additional targeted support and improvement based on data from the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Report card provisions (ESSA Dashboard) related to certain assessments and accountability in section 1111(h) based on data from the 2020-2021 school year, namely:
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(i) (accountability system description).
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(ii) (assessment results).
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iii)(I) (other academic indicator results).
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iv) (English language proficiency assessment results).
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(v) (school quality or student success indicator results).
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vi) (progress toward meeting long-terms goals and measurements of interim progress).
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vii) (percentage of students assessed and not assessed).
    • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(xi) (number and percentage of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities taking an alternate assessment).
    • Section 1111(h)(2)(C) with respect to all waived requirements in section 1111(h)(1)(C) as well as 1111(h)(2)(C)(i)-(ii)(information showing how students in a local educational agency (LEA) and each school, respectively, achieved on the academic assessments compared to students in the State and LEA).

Federal program affected by the requested waiver

Maine’s Model of School Supports identifications will be impacted due to the following reasons:

  • Exclusion of the chronic absenteeism indicator

Governor Janet Mills declared a state of Civil Emergency on Sunday March 15, 2020. As a result, schools were recommended to cease traditional classroom-based instruction as soon as practical and for the duration of our state of Civil Emergency. Since that time, the state of Civil Emergency has been extended a further four (4) times with the current state of Civil Emergency due to expire on September 5, 2020.  Maine schools are accessing necessary health indicators, consulting federal and state CDC guidance to determine an appropriate and safe approach to starting the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Excluding the 95% participation rate within the academic achievement indicator

Given the varying modalities of instruction to be implemented within the state of Maine, the challenges posed related to equity for students, and the unavailability of in-person assessment at this time, the assessment platforms cannot be proctored to ensure the validity of assessment implementation.

  • Exclusion of additional school identifications and subsequent supports to schools

As a result of excluding the chronic absenteeism indicator and not utilizing the 95% participation rate for academic achievement, Maine’s Model of School Support will not have a complete data set and will be unable to identify additional schools eligible to receive supports.

Comments may be submitted to:

Impacts of COVID-19 on Education Leaders- a Resource

School and district leaders are facing untenable and unprecedented scrutiny and stress as this pandemic draws on. As you prepare to launch plans, reinvent education, and lead the effort to ensure the safety of your staff and students, all while providing for the education of all students, it is critically important that you also take time to provide care for yourself.

Maine Department of Education’s Mental Health Specialist, Bear Shea, has created a VERY helpful 30-minute video, designed for those who are leading in education, and filled with information and useable actions steps for ensuring that you are able to do your best.  Please consider giving yourself 30 minutes to watch, and then to give yourself the time and space for self-care going forward; your leadership is being counted on now more than ever. The video can be accessed on YouTube, A Conversation About the Impact of COVID-19 on School Leadership; please share with all for whom this may be helpful, and please reach out to health care providers if you or someone you know needs support.

triangle with phone numbers for help. Call 211, or 911 for an emergency

School Librarians: Emergency Remote Learning Response

What were school librarians doing during the emergency remote learning last spring? Throughout remote learning, Maine Association of School Libraries (MASL) held eight pop-up webinars for school library staff and conducted a survey in June to gather information and share support throughout the school library community.
It was abundantly clear that school librarians kicked into high gear, supporting students, staff, and families with everything from tech support to research help, to what to read next. School librarians are key to reducing the digital divide and making education accessible to all students whether in a brick and mortar school or at home in a virtual classroom.
Check out this infographic summarizing the work of your Maine school librarians!

Maine DOE Update – August 7, 2020


From the Maine Department of Education

Reporting Items

Data, It’s Important!

Accurate and updated data are critically important to helping Maine Department of Education provide the support and information Maine schools need. | More

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |

News & Updates

PRIORITY NOTICE: Update for Personal Protective Equipment Ordering

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other materials have been ordered by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) for the purpose of supplementing the supplies of Maine’s public schools and certain other educational organizations that serve publicly funded students. This supplemental supply of materials includes items for the use of both staff in public schools and publicly funded students. | More

Administrative Letter: Updated Remote Learning English Learner Identification Procedures

The Maine Department of Education has developed a revised process for the identification of students as English learners during the COVID-19 pandemic. This revised process will remain in effect during any period when there is an interruption in face-to-face school operations as a result of the pandemic. Federal law requires that all English learners be identified within thirty days of enrolling at the beginning of the school year, or within two weeks for students who enroll mid-year (Sections 1112[e][3] and 3113[b][2] of Elementary and Secondary Education Act). | More

Seeking Innovative Educational Leaders to join Maine’s Leadership Development Program 

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce the opportunity for Maine leaders to participate in the 2020-2021 Maine Leadership Development Program (LDP) cohort!  The Maine LDP is an initiative designed to build and strengthen instructional leadership skills among Maine’s educational leaders at the school, district, and state levels. In our ongoing efforts to support and foster the educational expertise in Maine, educators who aspire to do the same are invited to take advantage of this high impact opportunity!   | More

Sarah Bailey Named 2020 Maine History Teacher of the Year

Sarah Bailey, a teacher at South Portland High School, has been named the 2020 Maine State History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education. | More

Teach in Maine! Specially-designed Webinar for Out-of-State Educators #TeachMaine #LiveAndWorkInMaine  

Are you interested in teaching in one of the most healthy, healthful, beautiful, and interesting states in the nation? One that values autonomy, innovation, and creativity in teaching? One that values equity and diversity? Then this is the session for you! Our team is excited to share information with you regarding Maine’s certification process, tips for successful searches for current openings, avenues for completing coursework, supports in place for newly-hired educators, and the benefits of teaching in Maine! | More

Get to Know the Maine DOE Team: Meet Jaci Holmes

Maine DOE Team member Jaci Holmes is being highlighted this week as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Jaci | More

Maine Schools Sharing Success Stories

| Submit your Maine School Success Story |

Professional Development & Training Opportunities

Free US ED Webinar: Vetting Apps and Education Technology

The Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) through the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is planning an event that addresses Vetting Apps and Education Technology. | More

FREE Technical Support to Collaborative Planning Teams and Emergency Operations Planning

Beginning Monday, August 10 and Wednesday, August 12, Department of Education’s Maine School Safety Center will begin offering twice weekly office hours to answer any questions schools may have concerning their emergency operations plans (EOPs).  This is a general effort to offer support and guidance for schools and their collaborative planning teams(CPTs) for all issues regarding their EOPs. | More

| Visit the Professional Development Calendar |

Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

View current Maine Department of Education employment opportunities here


School Located Vaccine Clinic Toolkit Updated

Things have changed in the past several months. The return to school this fall is going to look very different. One thing has not changed; students need to be immunized. Immunizations remain the single most effective way to protect Mainers against many diseases and some cancers. August in National Immunization Awareness Month, and we need to work together to reinforce the importance with our staff, students, parents, and communities. The National Association of School Nurses has many resources on influenza vaccine that can be used by school nurses and other staff to promote immunization as a public health strategy for prevention.

One of the measures to assist us in getting children back to school right now is to prevent illness. With cold and flu season approaching, schools will find it even more difficult to differentiate symptoms of COVID-19 from other common illnesses. For this reason, it is even more important to encourage all our families and staff to be fully immunized against the diseases preventable by vaccine that are required for school entry, as well as seasonal influenza.

We are encouraging all Maine SAUs to host vaccine clinics to increase influenza vaccination rates for Maine. Schools can do this as a standalone entity or in partnership with local medical providers and the School Located Vaccine Clinic Toolkit can assist you in the process. The Maine Immunization Program in partnership with Public Health Nursing is hosting clinics right now to help kids get caught up on those routine vaccinations that might have been missed due to the pandemic. Information about these appointment-only clinics can be found here. Please feel free to share this with your families.

Maine Department of Education will be hosting a webinar that will thoroughly review each section of the School Located Vaccine Clinic Toolkit on August 18 from 11a-12p. Register Here.

For more information, contact the School Nurse Consultant at