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.

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Media Release: National 2017 “State of Preschool Report” shows progress in Maine

A new national state-by-state report shows more young children enrolled in public Pre-K programs nationwide, with Maine investing more in Pre-K, serving nearly 40 percent of 4 year olds in high-quality pre-K.

The State of Preschool 2017 annual report reflects that Maine pre-K served 39 percent of the state’s 4-year-old population, above the nationwide average. Maine boosted pre-K funding by more than $1.1 million and continued to implement policies supporting both high-quality pre-K and young Dual Language Learners.

“This is the first-time Maine has met 9 out of 10 benchmarks for public preschool,” said Maine Education Commissioner, Robert G. Hasson, Jr. “The Department has dedicated the extra time and resources needed to support Maine Pre-K programs in their work toward meeting these high-quality national standards. We are committed to continuing the work so that students can benefit from access to quality Pre-K programing state-wide.”

This year’s report includes a special section on policies affecting Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and highlights changes since 2002, when National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) began tracking state pre-K. Read more about Maine’s report below.

Maine 2016–2017 fast facts:

  • Maine met 9 of 10 new quality standards benchmarks
  • Enrolled 5,440 children, a decrease of two from 2015–16
  • Total state funding = $18,775,709, an increase of $1,181,702 from 2015–16
  • State spending-per-child = $3,451, compared to $3,233 in 2015–16
  • Maine collects data on preschoolers’ home language; several policies to support preschool DLLs

Enrollment in state-funded preschool programs has more than doubled since 2002, according to the report. Nationally, 43 states, D.C. and Guam now provide publicly funded preschool to more than 1.5 million children.

For more information about the State of Preschool report and detailed state-by-state profiles on quality access, and funding, please visit www.nieer.org.

Maine DOE Update – April 19, 2018

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |


News & Updates

Administrative Letter: Important changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

The Maine Department of Education has instituted new requirements for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) beginning May 1, 2018.  | More

Changes in Rule Chapter 45: Vision and Hearing Screening in Maine Schools

This notice is to inform you of the recent changes to Chapter 45: Rule for Vision and Hearing Screening in Maine Schools. This rule outlines the standards and processes for periodic vision and hearing screenings. | More

Changes in Joint Rule Chapters 126/261: Immunization Requirements for School Children

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education have revised the Maine School Immunization Requirements rule to now include meningococcal meningitis disease. | More

PRIORITY NOTICE: EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment Report will not be collected for 2017/18 school year

The Maine Department of Education (Department) will not be collecting the EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment report for non-publicly funded students for the 2017-2018 school year. | More

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Professional Development & Training Opportunities

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Administrative Letter: Important changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

Administrative Letter: 13
Policy Code: BGB
To: Public School Administrators and Special Education Directors
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
Date: April 14, 2018
Subject: Important changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

The Maine Department of Education has instituted new requirements for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) beginning May 1, 2018. This guidance is offered in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of this change is to clarify the documentation of educationally and medically necessary services on the IEP aligning to Section 65 and Section 28 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.  These changes will ensure compliance with documentation required for access to MaineCare benefits.

When an IEP Team determines that the nature and severity of a child’s educational needs are significant enough that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily (MUSER X.2.B. page 120), the least restrictive environment (LRE) statement must reflect the fact that certain services will be necessary in order for the child to access the curriculum.

Beginning May 1, 2018, the Department requires that newly developed or amended IEPs contain justification for medically and educationally necessary services such as day treatment services, rehabilitation services, nursing services, or other medical services that a child needs in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Other educationally and medically necessary services such as speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work services, and transportation are already listed in the service grid. The justification will be stated in the least restrictive environment section (LRE) of the IEP (Section 9).

The LRE statement must include information that would justify MaineCare paid educationally necessary medical services. An example of such a statement is the following: “Due to the child’s complex medical needs, the child requires a highly-structured setting with a predictable routine, clear and consistent consequences and integrated therapy for social and emotional needs in a significantly more restrictive day treatment setting”.  Please note that an LRE statement might include additional explanation and that the above example is not intended to necessarily model a complete LRE statement.

Beginning May 1, 2018, schools are requested to write an LRE statement similar to the above example depending on the specific needs of the child.  When the revised IEP form goes into effect on August 1, 2018, it will still be important to develop an appropriate LRE statement but the documentation for MaineCare purposes will be in section 8, “Additional Medical Services for FAPE”.

A draft copy of the revised IEP form can be accessed at the following site:  http://maine.gov/doe/specialed/forms/index.htmlPlease note: this form is only a draft and the revised IEP form will change before implementation on August 1, 2018. 

Further guidance will be included in a revision of the procedural manual available on the Special Services webpage sometime before the August 1 date.  For more information, contact the Department of Education – Office of Special Services at (207) 624 -6713.

Changes in Joint Rule Chapters 126/261: Immunization Requirements for School Children

This notice is to inform you of the recent changes to the joint rule (Chapter 126/261), Immunization Requirements for School Children, (statutory authority, Title 20-A §6352). The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education have revised the Maine School Immunization Requirements rule to now include meningococcal meningitis disease. These changes further align Maine’s immunization rules with current national recommendations to better protect the health of all Maine people. Meningococcal disease is a rare, but dangerous disease that strikes healthy young people without warning. It can affect all ages, but teens and young adults are at highest risk of getting the disease.

The following changes are effective for the 2018-2019 school year for all students attending a public or private school in the State of Maine:

  • One dose of meningococcal vaccine MCV4 (serogroups A, C, W, and Y) is required for all students entering 7th grade.
  • Two doses of meningococcal vaccine MCV4 are required for students entering 12th grade, with a minimum interval of 8 weeks between dose one and dose two. If the first dose of meningococcal vaccine was administered on or after the 16th birthday, a second dose is not required.

For your convenience, the Department has prepared a sample notification letter that your school may use to inform parents/guardians of the above changes to the immunization rule.

Additionally, the DHHS  has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions attached with more information. As a reminder, no student is permitted to be enrolled in or attend a public or private school in Maine without providing either a certificate of immunization or a written medical, religious or philosophical exemption for each required school entry vaccine.

Please ensure all 7th and 12th grade student records are updated by the first day of the 2018-2019 school year for this new meningococcal meningitis requirement. If you have questions regarding this new meningococcal meningitis vaccine requirement, record keeping or immunization history reviews please contact Emily Poland, School Nurse Consultant at (207) 624-6688 or by email at Emily.Poland@maine.gov.

If you have immunization specific questions regarding vaccine schedules or validity of any doses given to a student, please contact the Maine Immunization Program at (207) 287-3746 or (800) 867-4775 or by email at ImmunizeME.DHHS@maine.gov.

Changes in Rule Chapter 45: Vision and Hearing Screening in Maine Schools

This notice is to inform you of the recent changes to Chapter 45: Rule for Vision and Hearing Screening in Maine Schools. This rule outlines the standards and processes for periodic vision and hearing screenings. The purpose of a screening is to identify potential hearing or vision deficits among school age children and refer for further care. Updates to this rule reflect current national recommendations for hearing and vision screenings. The rule also clarifies techniques and acceptable research-based tools for schools to use.

This new requirement is in effect for the start of the school year 2018-19. Chapter 45 includes definitions, school nurse responsibility, general guidelines, vision screening schedule including distance and near acuity, alternative screening methods, and referral guidelines, hearing screening schedule and referral guidelines.  The complete rule can be reviewed at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/05/chaps05.htm.

In brief, vision screening is required for preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9; hearing screening is required for preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5. The rule acknowledges that some children, because of their medical histories, have a higher rate of vision problems and may bypass routine screening at school to be directly referred to an eye specialist. The school nurse may determine which children should be referred directly.

The rule also clarifies which research-based tools are acceptable for screening. Particularly, using evidence-based instruments to screen for amblyopia risk factors and reduced vision risk factors may be used for certain school children in place of tests of visual acuity.

If you have questions about hearing and vision screening, please contact the Maine Department of Education School Nurse Consultant, Emily Poland at 624-6688 or emily.poland@maine.gov .