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.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Participates in National Cybersecurity Opportunity for Young Women in High School

To help educate more young women about the opportunities in the field of cybersecurity, Governor Janet Mills, the Maine Office of Information Technology, and the Maine Department of Education are promoting ‘GirlsGoCyberStart’, an exciting national program that uses online games of discovery to introduce high school girls to the field.

“Cybersecurity is a growing and critical field. It is more important than ever before to train skilled experts in Maine and across the nation to defend our national and financial security,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This program will help young women pursue the education and training they need for lifelong careers and leadership positions in cybersecurity.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Maine students to showcase the incredible skills and talent they have acquired from the many computer science initiatives, programs, and curricula happening in schools throughout Maine,” said Maine Education Commissioner A. Pender Makin.

CyberStart was created by the SANS Institute and was first piloted to youth in the summer of 2017. The program enabled 3,500 students nation-wide to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity, yet only five percent of the students who participated were young women.  The results of the pilot sparked the GirlsGoCyberStart program, specifically designed to interest young women in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12.

This will be Maine’s second year participating in the GirlsGoCyberStart.  Last year, nearly two hundred students from all over Maine participated in the event and placed in the top 100 of all participating state teams.

“We are excited to join this wonderful opportunity to expand our talent pipeline by engaging young people interested in learning more about cybersecurity and directing them to the appropriate training and career coaching,” said Ande Smith, acting Chief Information Officer for the Office of Information Technology.

Maine students who participate in GirlsGoCyberStart will be doing so alongside students from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience.  All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school who excel in the GirlsGoCyberStart game will have the opportunity to win scholarships and other prizes.  The website for registration opens on February 18, 2019. More information about the program and eligibility can be found at CyberStartUS.

For more information about Maine’s participation in the program, contact Dr. Kelly Samson-Rickert, Director of Workforce Innovations for the Maine Office of Information Technology at Kelly.Rickert@maine.gov or 207-624-9965.

PRIORITY NOTICE: 2019/20 Subsidy Printouts (ED279s) Now Available with Explanation of Funding Changes

The fiscal year 2019-2020 ED 279 subsidy printouts are now available at: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/eps/public/ed279.aspx

The subsidy printouts are provided based on the $1.1 Billion in General Purpose Aid funding recommended for FY 2019-2020 by Governor Janet Mills in her FY 2020-2021 biennial budget. This amount is an additional $41.3 million from last year, and reflects the Governor’s commitment to increase the state’s share of education funding.

Below is a list of changes to the funding formula, enacted during the second session of the 128th Legislature:

  • The Minimum Special Education Adjustment has increased from 40% to 45%.
  • Each town’s valuation is provided by the Maine Revenue Service annually and utilized as the calculation of fiscal capacity to determine the town’s ability to pay its required local share. Previously the amounts used were determined based on the average valuation of the 2 most recent years prior to the year of funding for each town. For FY 2019-2020, the calculation of fiscal capacity will be based on the average of the 3 most recent years, prior to the year of funding or, the most recent year, whichever is less.
  • The allocation for system administration is $47 per pupil.
  • The additional allocation for members of regional service centers, as formed under M.R.S. 20-A, Chapter 123, is $94 per pupil, indexed to the member unit’s state share percentage on the ED 279, with a member unit receiving no less than a 30% state share and no greater than a 70% state share.
  • We are pleased to announce that the increased state share in funding this year has resulted in a change to the mill expectation. The mill expectation determines a unit’s required local share when multiplied times its fiscal capacity. This year it is 8.28 mills, down from 8.48 in FY 2019.
  • Remember, an increase or decrease in student enrollment, disadvantaged student population, special education costs, and other key factors in the formula have a major impact on funding for each district as the EPS model is a student-centered funding model.
  • School units that have either paid off or have begun to pay principal or interest payments for State approved new school construction will realize changes in funding if either a payment no longer needs to be made or if a new payment has begun.

The ED 279 Subsidy Printouts are calculated using the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) Funding Formula. The Department is proud to be offering one of the most equitable school funding formulas in the nation. It is based on years of research and information, designed to respond to student needs, and to direct resources to the communities with the most need. That said, the Department understands that the formula is not responsive to every need a school administrative unit may have, especially given the different priorities in schools and communities throughout the state.

Should you have questions regarding subsidy printouts, please contact the School Finance Team: Tyler Backus at tyler.backus@maine.gov; Paula Gravelle at paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov; or Ida Batista at ida.batista@maine.gov.

Maine DOE Update – February 14, 2019

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

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News & Updates

School Safety and Security Bulletin: Planning for those with Access and Functional Needs

Throughout the 2018- 2019 school year, the Maine Department of Education, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Maine State Police, Maine Sheriffs Association, Maine Chiefs of Police Association, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency will provide tips and resource information to Maine schools to help provide some guidance for identifying signs and preventing school violence. | More

U.S. Department of Education Acts on School Safety Report Recommendation to Improve Understanding of Student Privacy Law

The U.S. Department of Education released a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on schools’ and districts’ responsibilities under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in the context of school safety. | More

Maine Seeks Qualified Peer Reviewers for 21st CCLC Grant Applications

The Maine Department of Education is seeking qualified peer reviewers to read, assess, and score competitive grant proposals for the 21st Century Community Leaning Centers (21st CCLC) Program.  This federally-funded grant program provides opportunities for schools and communities to develop “community learning centers” that serve children and youth during out-of-school time.  Maine currently has 32 grant-funded 21st CCLC programs operating 55 individual centers in communities across the state.  | More


Maine Schools Sharing Success Stories

Mountain Valley Middle School (RSU 10) – A Safe Place To Learn

Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, is part of Regional School Unit #10, in the picturesque foothills of western Maine. At Mountain Valley Middle School, we strive to provide all students with a safe place to learn where all staff and students follow a code to be respectful, act responsibly, and do what is right, even when no one is watching. We pride ourselves on knowing where we need to grow and we all work toward becoming better students, teachers and learners.  | More

From Early Reading Struggles to Bowdoin College: One Student’s Story in RSU#34

Reading Recovery is designed to help struggling first graders catch up to their peers in 12 to 20 weeks. Specially trained reading teachers work with students in a one on one setting to meet each child’s individual needs. In RSU #34, about three quarters of these students reach the average of the class by the end of first grade. But we often wonder what happens to these students as they move on. Here is one student’s story. | More

Thomaston Grammar School Shares their School and Community Success

Thomaston Grammar School, located in the Mid-Coast town of Thomaston, is a great place to be. Our K-5 school has approximately one hundred and eighty-five students, with two classes at each grade level.  In addition to having a daily focus on mathematics, literacy, science, social studies, and health instruction, students also have weekly art, music, technology, SEL (social emotion learning), and physical education classes.   | More

Happenings in Afterschool Programs for RSU#13

At Broadreach’s 21st Century Learning Center, providing afterschool programming for the towns of RSU#13, we are proud to announce that students from grades K-12 participated in their town’s local “Pies on Parade!” | More

| Submit your Maine School Success Story |


Professional Development & Training Opportunities

Professional Learning Opportunity: Learning Design Lab at East Grand School

Maine Educators are invited to visit East Grand School in Danforth, Maine on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, to join a Learning Design Lab lead by Kim Gray, a Kindergarten teacher, Jill Plummer, a Middle School teacher, and Jennifer Gilman, a 6-12 Mathematics teacher. This is an opportunity for educators to visit classrooms and talk with students and teachers about ways technology is successfully integrated into elementary, middle, and high school grades. | More

Bullying Prevention: Online Professional Development

Through a collaborative effort with Safe Schools, an industry leader in K-12 school safety, the Maine DOE is providing all schools free, equitable access to professional development that addresses Maine’s anti-bullying law.  The professional development course, Bullying: Recognition & Response, specifically highlights An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools and addresses the proper use of Maine DOE’s model bullying policy and procedures, which can be found here.  | More

Professional Development Opportunity: Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms

The Maine Department of Education invites educators to be part of its upcoming professional development opportunity, Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms. | More

| Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Thomaston Grammar School Shares their School and Community Success

DSC_0266Submitted by Ainslee Riley, Principal of Thomaston Grammar School

Thomaston Grammar School, located in the Mid-Coast town of Thomaston, is a great place to be. Our K-5 school has approximately one hundred and eighty-five students, with two classes at each grade level.  In addition to having a daily focus on mathematics, literacy, science, social studies, and health instruction, students also have weekly art, music, technology, SEL (social emotion learning), and physical education classes.  Our focus centers around our district goals of proficiency based learning and social emotional learning, which go hand in hand. Teachers have worked together to create appropriate grade level performance indicators that align with our state standards.  The school has also adopted Restorative Practices and Second Step to help us work toward meeting our goals in the area of social emotional learning.

IMG_8524We have a wonderful parent group that works to provide opportunities for our families to come together to have fun in the school community. They sponsor and run big events like our annual Fall Fest and Cookies with Santa weekend events, movie nights, family dances, Trunk-or Treat for Halloween, and more.  They have also brought in organizations like Mad Science of Maine for school wide learning opportunities.  In addition to these events that our parent group provides for our school community, we: have two concerts a year, host a Family Fun Night, hold a Talent Show, celebrate Read Across America week with a week filled with theme days, collect food for our local food pantry and hold a Passing of the Food event, and more.

IMG_9238We partner with a variety of organizations that enable our students to have further educational enrichment during and outside the school day. We have partnered with Leaps of Imagination, allowing for art enrichment during the school day for all students in second and fourth grade.  We work with the Strand Theatre, which offers a variety of learning opportunities where we travel to the theatre or they bring in artists to do workshops inside our school.  Our older students have the opportunity to participate in after school art enrichment, after school programming through Youthlinks, and a Big Trek/Little Trek mentoring program.  Through funding from the Georges River Education Foundation, our second grade students and teachers, along with our PE teacher, have been working with an area gym, Hybrid Fitness, to complete an integrated unit on fitness and nutrition.  Our students in third grade have the opportunity to learn to ice skate at the MidCoast Recreation Center, and our students in fourth grade have the opportunity to learn to ski at the Camden Snow Bowl.  Fifth grade students are able to enrich their learning through our school’s fifth grade TGS Common Ground Garden and Outdoor Classroom.  Students in various grades have the opportunity to visit Herring Gut Learning Center, the Botanical Gardens, the Owl’s Head Lighthouse, Tanglewood, Old Fort Western and more, depending on the year, as part of integrated units they are studying.  This year the Georges River Education Foundation also helped to fund a birding unit for our fifth grade students that has involved bringing in a variety of experts to talk and work with our students.

IMG_9325We recognize students at monthly theme-based assemblies. Our assemblies focus on a variety of attributes including, but not limited to, respect, compassion, and perseverance.  There is also a monthly Principal’s Award given to a student who exemplifies all these attributes on a daily basis. Students who are recognized have a special lunch with Principal Riley. Students who receive TGS tickets are recognized at this assembly as well. These are students who go above and beyond our school rules: Be Safe, Be Kind, and Try Your Best. Students who get tickets are also announced daily and earn prizes for receiving multiple tickets. Students are very excited to receive these tickets.

Teachers at Thomaston Grammar School work hard to make learning meaningful and fun for all of the students in our community.

Happenings in Afterschool Programs for RSU#13

RSU 13 Afterschool Programs

Submitted by Sarah Chadwick Rogers, Associate Director of After School Programming, Youthlinks at Broadreach Family & Community Services in RSU 13

At Broadreach’s 21st Century Learning Center, providing afterschool programming for the towns of RSU#13, we are proud to announce that students from grades K-12 participated in their town’s local “Pies on Parade!” event. This annual event raises funds to help hungry Midcoast Maine families through the local Area Outreach Food Pantry.

Pies that the youth baked were enjoyed at our YMCA’s Community Building, which also featured a pie obstacle course, art projects and pie games – designed by students in the afterschool program.