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.

Administrative Letter: 2018-2019 Maine Schools/Public School Approval Now Open

Administrative Letter: 16
Policy Code: KLL
TO: Public School Administrators
FROM: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
DATE: July 12, 2018
SUBJECT: 2018-2019 Maine Schools/Public School Approval Now Open

In accordance with 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 206 and Maine Department of Education (DOE) Rule Chapter 125, to maintain continued approval status for the school administrative unit and all schools within it, the superintendent shall submit timely completed annual school reports to the Commissioner, including the annual approval report for the unit and for each school in the unit certifying progress on the Comprehensive Education Plan.
Public schools complete the annual school approval process in the NEO information system, verifying required organization and school administrative unit and school approval information in the NEO Maine Schools module.

This year the two separate processes – Maine Schools Update, and School Approval – were integrated into a one-step process, thereby allowing submission of both organizational information and school approval checklist items in one sitting. In addition, the information may be saved when partially finished to complete at a later time. While completing the approval process, the page should be saved often, as there is a time-out period.

Public School and NEO

Maine Schools/School Approval NEO Module
The Maine Schools module in the Maine DOE’s NEO information system is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. The NEO Maine Schools form is required by all public schools to inform the Maine Department of Education of school and district contact information, changes in grade spans, and other school-related information. This module new includes the school approval component for public schools. As a preliminary step, in order for an organization to be updated in Maine Schools, the superintendent or chief administrator of the school must first be entered into the NEO Staff Module. Access to NEO staff can be obtained by submitting a NEO Access Request Form (Excel) form to the MDOE Data Helpdesk.

Filling out the Maine Schools/School Approval Module: All fields with the exception of Administrative Office Fax are required. PO Boxes will not be accepted in the “Physical Address” box. Mailing address is needed only if different from Physical address. The Cost Center information references the three-digit code that the business office uses in the public financial system to assign building level costs (may require two codes).
At the bottom, check the box to confirm that all information has been reviewed before signing and submitting the form.

Log in to the NEO information system. Click on Maine Schools. If you do not see this option on your menu, and are a superintendent, technical coordinator, or administrative assistant, please contact the MEDMS Helpdesk at MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

Please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, Maine DOE School Enrollment Specialist at 207-624-6617 or Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov with questions or comments about the school approval.

Administrative Letter: 2018-2019 Private School Approval, NEO Maine Schools, and Staff Now Open

Administrative Letter: 15
Policy Code: KLL
TO: Private School Administrators
FROM: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
DATE: July 12, 2018
SUBJECT: 2018-2019 Private School Approval, NEO Maine Schools, and Staff Now Open

In accordance with 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 117, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) requires private schools seeking approval status to be approved annually.

Private schools seeking approval status must enter required organization and staff information into the NEO information system and submit their annual school approval report. Related documentation should be submitted to Maine DOE’s School Enrollment/Approval Specialist, either electronically or by mail. The NEO requirements need not be completed prior to the submission of the annual report; however, school approval will not be issued until the NEO information is complete and verified.

Private School and NEO

Maine Schools NEO Module
The Maine Schools module in the Maine DOE’s NEO information system is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. The NEO Maine Schools form is required by all public and private schools to inform the Maine Department of Education of school and district contact information, changes in grade spans, and other school-related information. As a preliminary step, in order for an organization to be updated in Maine Schools, the superintendent or chief administrator of the school must first be entered into the NEO Staff Module. Access to NEO staff can be obtained by submitting a NEO Access Request Form (Excel) form to the MDOE Data Helpdesk.

Filling out the Maine Schools Module: All fields with the exception of Administrative Office Fax are required. PO Boxes will not be accepted in the “Physical Address” box. Mailing address is needed only if different from Physical address. The Cost Center information references the three-digit code that the business office uses in the public financial system to assign building level costs (may require two codes). Since this is a required field but currently not used for private schools, a value of “001,” “002,” etc. should be entered there to indicate this is an excluded field.

At the bottom, check the box to confirm that all information has been reviewed before signing and submitting the form.

Log in to the NEO information system. Click on Maine Schools. If you do not see this option on your menu, and are a superintendent (for private schools, this is the head of school), technical coordinator, or administrative assistant, please contact the MEDMS Helpdesk at MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

Staff NEO Module
For security and privacy purposes, all staff information must be entered in the NEO Staff module. The Maine DOE school approval process will include a clearance check for every school employee, as well as appropriate certification checks where applicable.

Guidance for Completing the Annual School Approval Report and Documentation

2018-2019 Approval Reports and requirement checklists are linked below, and also available from the updated Private School Approval  web page. If unsure of which form is appropriate for your needs, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, School Enrollment/Approval Specialist.

Changes/Additions/Clarifications:

  • Organization of annual report rearranged to make it clearer for schools meeting differing requirements according to accreditation and funding status.
  • Non-profit status.
  • Grade span may not include Pre-K. The Department does not “approve” private Pre-K schools. These schools are licensed by Maine DHHS.
  • Records maintenance and release policy
  • Schools receiving public funds must report the data that the Department requests, including attendance data for private schools enrolling 60% or greater publicly-funded students, per M.R.S. 20-A Section 2952.
  • Out of state private schools were “grandfathered” on previous approvals through 2017-18. For 2018-2019 these schools are no longer eligible to accept public funds unless they undergo the private school basic school approval process, including Maine fingerprint/background check, curriculum alignment with the Maine Learning Results, and movement toward proficiency-based diplomas.
  • Approval year will mirror the public school approval year – July 1 through June 30.

Please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, Maine DOE School Enrollment Specialist at 207-624-6617 or Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov with questions or comments about the school approval.

Maine DOE Update – July 12, 2018

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |


News & Updates

Updates and FAQs Regarding New Online Certification System

The Department’s certification team is fielding more than 500 calls a day and wait times can be significant. Many of the questions asked via phone have been addressed in the “Things to Know/Frequently Asked Questions” below in this notification.  In addition to the FAQ, please be sure to use the resources available on the Certification Webpage to help reduce the amount of calls for both wait time purposes and to enable the team to process additional applications. | More

PRIORITY NOTICE: Regionalization Grant Opportunity Now Available – Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES)

The State of Maine is seeking proposals for a grant opportunity through the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services to assist in financing the cost of local and regional initiatives to improve educational opportunity and student achievement through more efficient delivery of educational programs and services. | More

Updates on the RFP for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES)

Last week the State of Maine issued RFP#201806118, which offers a grant funding opportunity through the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES). An amendment to the RFP was posted on the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services website that includes additional requirements regarding applicant eligibility for subsequent grants under FEDES in accordance with Maine DOE Rule Chapter 122, Section 6, 2. | More

Important Work Permit Process Updates

In an effort to best protect data considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII), the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Standards is making slight adjustments to the work permit process effective immediately.| More

Maine DOE Helpdesk to Implement Ticketing System

In an effort to better serve Maine districts and schools, the Maine Department of Education’s Data Helpdesk is implementing a ticketing system. | More

Commissioner’s Conference Highlights and Feedback Survey

On June 27th and 28th the Maine Department of Education held the 107th Commissioners Conference at the Augusta Civic Center. District administrators and stakeholders state-wide attended to participate in and attend sessions on a range of topics including Career and Technical Education, Student Behavior and Student Health, Educator Workforce, Certification, Regionalization, ESSA and School Improvement, Priorities and Goals of the Department and more. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | Priority Notices


Professional Development & Training Opportunities

Maine DOE Data Management Systems Summer Training

Maine Department of Education is holding their annual summer training.  The training focus this year will be on tips and resources to assist districts with their data reporting and viewing/certifying their reports.  This has been a challenging year for those in the field as well as the Department with a new Student Information System, Synergy, and several new data reporting requirements.  Our session this year will be focused on sharing resources to assist districts with the data tasks required. | More

Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Updates and FAQs Regarding New Online Certification System

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to provide an update on the progress of the new online certification system.

  • 8,474 individual renewal applications have been received (many of those with multiple endorsement renewals)
  • 64% of teachers whose certificates expire have applied for renewal
  • 6,995 endorsements have been auto issued back to applicants within minutes of submission
  • An additional 2,205 applications have been processed by the certification team
  • There are currently 2,700 applications in queue to be worked on

The Department’s certification team is fielding more than 500 calls a day and wait times can be significant. Many of the questions asked via phone have been addressed in the “Things to Know/Frequently Asked Questions” list below in this notification.  In addition to the FAQ, please be sure to use the resources available on the Certification Webpage to help reduce the amount of calls for both wait time purposes and to enable the team to process additional applications.

Things to Know/Frequently Asked Questions:

  • One contact point is sufficient – your inquiry will be answered as soon as possible. The certification team has noticed there are multiple emails in addition to multiple calls from the same individual at the same time. When applicants are reaching out in multiple ways to multiple department staff it causes longer wait times and inefficacies in the ability to get to everyone.
  • Not all renewals will be auto issued. If yours is not auto issued, there is no need to call. The receipt you received during the renewal process shows that it was received and the website also indicates current processing times.
  • If you need to have your fingerprints done, please select “new hire” and not “renewal” on the IdentoGo website. If you select renewal, you will be instructed to call the certification department unnecessarily.
  • If you see that you are “missing” a transcript, please know that there are hundreds of thousands of files that all have historical scanned files in the new online system. Transcripts are in the historical file; therefore, educators will not be able to see them in the system but those transcripts are still utilized for any processing.
  • The Certification Department is no longer accepting walk-in appointments. With this policy change, certification staff can increase the number of educators assisted by 80%.
  • During the renewal process:
    • Please do not use Firefox Internet Browser.  Use Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer.
    • If you are prompted to upload documents and you have nothing to upload, please select “Next”.
    • If you are having trouble uploading documents, please ensure the file is in PDF format and that your computer can support Adobe.
    • If you are uploading contact hours, please upload those under the “Other Documentation” screen and not under the transcript screen.

Further communications and updates are available on the Maine Department of Education Certification Webpage, Maine DOE’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, and the DOE newsroom.

Important Work Permit Process Updates

Dear Superintendents and all designated minor work permit issuing officers:

In an effort to best protect data considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII), the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Standards is making slight adjustments to the work permit process effective immediately:

Do not include the following information sent to the Bureau of Labor Standards:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social security numbers
  • Date of birth or place of birth

Your review and validation of ‘proof of age’ documentation provided by the minor meets the statutory requirements of the work permit process and eliminates the potential exposure of sensitive information in unsecured environments, like email.

Additionally, Maine DOL has revised the work permit form to eliminate the birth date and place of birth.  In place of those fields, we have added an ‘age’ line for you or your designee to provide to us as part of the validation process.  Here is a link to the updated work permit form.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in ensuring a safe and efficient work permit process.

For more information and/or clarification of the role of the superintendents and/or designees in processing Maine minor work permits, it is clearly defined in Maine Revised Statue on work permits (paragraph three).