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 Chefs Highlight the Use of Local Ingredients in New Video Campaign  

The Child Nutrition Team at the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has set forth on a campaign to encourage schools to utilize fresh products the state of Maine offers in their school meal programs. The initiative, “Farm and Sea to School” brought in experts of cooking and agriculture to create videos on various recipes that use fresh ingredients grown or caught right here in Maine.  

Rob Dumas from the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture was featured making several different recipes, including a bean burrito bowl and lentil shepherd’s pie. Dumas is the Food Science Innovation Coordinator at the University of Maine and a certified executive chef with the American Culinary Federation.

Jeff Wolovitz from Heiwa Tofu in Rockport demonstrated how to make a crispy tofu recipe. Mike Flynn, head of School Nutrition at RSU 12, with the assistance of Food Corps service member Maggie Blumenthal made a crunchy baked fish. Annie Watson, co-owner of Sheepscot Valley Farm in Whitefield, made “Mac and Trees”- a healthy spin on a classic meal. Finally, Caitlin Frame from Milkhouse Farm and Creamery in Monmouth created a Waldorf Chicken Salad with a healthy yogurt replacement to the traditional mayonnaise-filled recipe. 

All of the chefs demonstrated how to use fresh ingredients to create healthy and nutritious meals. Throughout their videos, they also teach the audience various cooking skills, including food safety, several knife skills, tricks for keeping your workspace tidy, and many other kitchen hacks.

Information in this article is just a snippet of what these amazing chefs show in their videos. Check out the playlist below for some new recipes and skills to try out! For more information contact Robin Kerber, Maine DOE Farm and Sea to School Coordinator at 207-592-0820 or Robin.Kerber@maine.gov.

July 2021 School Safety and Security Professional Development Offerings

To allow as much flexibility as possible for school staff to take a break from the incredibly difficult school year, yet still have the opportunity to continue to learn about school safety and security, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) Maine School Safety Center (MSSC) has assembled a relaxed, go at your own pace, and self-select menu of short professional development sessions (30-45 minutes each)!

The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center (REMS TA) has archived several school safety asynchronous sessions.  Participants can register through REMS, complete any or all sessions listed below in any order, and can then  complete a brief MSSC survey on each completed session.  Once the survey is completed, a one-contact hour certificate will be made available to participants for each session completed.

Following is the link to, description of, and survey for each session:

Developing Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) K-12 101

A high-quality school EOP is adequate, feasible, acceptable, complete, and compliant with state and local requirements. To ensure that EOPs meet these criteria, school planning teams must work collaboratively to determine EOP goals and objectives. That is why the planning process is so important. Although processes should be adapted based on the unique characteristics of the school, school district and situation, teams can use this session to learn about all aspects of plan development, assessment, review, implementation, and maintenance.

Learn more and take the course

Survey and certificate link

School EOPs In-Depth: Developing a Bereavement and Loss Annex

This session has been designed to help you understand the importance of including plans for responding to bereavement and loss in a high-quality school emergency operations plan (EOP) and common manifestations among children related to bereavement and loss. When you are finished with this session, you will be able to assemble the appropriate team for developing the bereavement and loss plan; identify and incorporate responses to bereavement and loss into appropriate annexes; identify and consider the role of developmental factors in early elementary, school-aged children, and adolescents in creating your plan that includes establishment of a crisis response team, as well as appropriate policies and procedures; and conduct stakeholder training related to bereavement and loss.

Learn more and take the course

Survey and certificate link

School EOPs In-Depth: Developing a COOP Annex

This session has been designed to help you learn about the Continuity of Operations (COOP) Functional Annex, or “COOP Annex.” When you are finished with this session, you will be able to define and explain the purpose of the COOP Annex; identify the types of circumstances that lead to COOP Annex activation; develop a COOP Annex as aligned with steps 3 and 4 of the recommended six-step planning process; and understand how to revise and implement COOP planning as aligned with steps 5 and 6 of the recommended six-step planning process.

Learn more and take the course

Survey and certificate link

School EOPs In-Depth: Developing a Food Contamination Annex

This session has been designed to help you learn how to incorporate food safety planning into a school Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). When you’ve completed this session, you will be able to explain the purpose of the Food Contamination Annex; assemble the appropriate team for developing the annex; develop the annex to include procedures for addressing food contamination and food recall; conduct staff training and exercises related to the annex; and use data and techniques (e.g., after action reports) to revise and maintain the annex.

Learn more and take the course

Survey and certificate link

School EOPs In-Depth: Planning for Infectious Diseases

This session has been designed to help you learn how to incorporate infectious disease planning into a school Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). When you are finished with this course, you will be able to define and explain the purpose of the Infectious Disease Annex; identify the types of circumstances that lead to Infectious Disease Annex activation; explain the functions and recommended contents of an Infectious Disease Annex; explain the integration of infectious disease planning with relevant functional annexes; and understand how to revise and implement infectious disease planning, as aligned with steps 5 and 6 of the recommended six-step planning process.

Learn more and take the course

Survey and certificate link

School EOPs In-Depth: Planning for Large Events

This session has been designed to help you define large events and the special vulnerabilities they pose to schools, understand planning considerations unique to large events, update the other annexes in your Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) to account for large events, conduct staff and stakeholder training and exercises related to large events, and use data and techniques (e.g., after action reports) to revise and maintain your EOP.

Learn more and take the course

Survey and certificate link

For further questions, please contact the Maine School Safety Center.

VISTA Member Joins Maine DOE for Food Security Project

Rebekah Sousa has joined the Maine Department of Education (DOE) Office of School and Student Supports to build awareness, capacity, and resources related to food justice for Maine students.  She is a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) member of Americorps, serving a one year term.  Americorps was established in 1964 to help communities combat poverty.  Rebekah’s position is one of 25 state-wide VISTA positions that are focused on ending hunger in Maine by 2030.

Rebekah will be creating a needs assessment to identify schools and communities that may need more support reaching families in need, working with the Maine School Safety Center (MSSC) to communicate the relationship between food security and school security, and applying for grants to create programming and support resources to ameliorate food insecurity for students and their families.  The end goal is for all children to have regular access to enough nutritious food for growth, learning, and development, contributing to a safe, active, and healthy life.

Rebekah is an Air Force Veteran and mother of 6.  She holds a master’s degree in public health and has worked largely in the healthcare setting and in preventative medicine.  Very recently, she worked as an Ed Tech at her village school and discovered how rewarding it is to work with the future generation.  Rebekah hopes to return to the classroom when she finishes her teaching certificate, but in the meantime, she will pursue another passion project: feeding the hungry.

Rebekah grew up in a food insecure home and fondly remembers helping out in the kitchen at school in exchange for meals.  The memories of empty cupboards in her single-parent childhood home are not as rosy.

Rebekah aims to strengthen services, reduce barriers, and make resources more easily available for the students who are currently receiving free/reduced meals. She also longs to reach the students who are living on the cusp of poverty and might not qualify, but would greatly benefit physically, mentally, and emotionally from nutritional support.  The short and long-term consequences of food insecurity are too great to ignore; no one should have to live with hunger or uncertainty where their next meal is coming from.  To this end, she welcomes all collaboration and insight from the educators and support staff with “boots on the ground” doing the front-line work every day.

Rebekah joins Caroline Bennett, a VISTA member serving on Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition Team. Caroline is halfway through her year of service with the Department on promoting the federal meal benefit program and other initiatives that provide Maine children with healthy meals through school.

Please contact Rebekah at Rebekah.sousa@maine.gov or (207) 816-1440.

Sub-Grant Application to Support Homeless/Housing Insecure Students Now Available to SAUs

The McKinney-Vento subgrant application for 2021 is now open! This funding will support School Administrative Units (SAUs) in developing, implementing, continuing, and expanding programs that facilitate the school success of children and youth experiencing homelessness or housing instability. This funding is provided under the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program. The application can be found here.

Applications must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, via email, to Proposals@maine.gov. The Department is not using the new Grants4ME system for these applications. Please see the link for more information about the submission process.

All Maine SAUs as defined by 20-A M.R.S. §1(26) are eligible to submit bids in response to this Request for Proposals. Multiple SAUs may join together to submit a collaborative proposal, but such proposals must be submitted by a lead SAU that agrees to act as the fiscal agent for the project.

In the interest of assuring that these funds reach as many of Maine’s homeless students as possible, the Department will give priority consideration to applicants (single SAUs or collaboratives) that have identified an average of 50 or more homeless students in the past two school years (2019-2020, 2020-2021).

SAUs that currently have a McKinney-Vento subgrant (with an active date beyond September 1, 2021) cannot apply for additional subgrant funds.

For more information about the McKinney-Vento subgrant application, please contact Amelia Lyons at 207-557-1787, or amelia.lyons@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comments for a Tydings Amendment Waiver of FY20 ESEA Funds and FY21 Carryover of Excess Title I, Part A Funds

Pursuant to the authority granted under section 8401(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Maine Department of Education (DOE) intends to submit an application for waivers to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). As required, the Maine DOE is seeking 15 days of public comment from June 23, 2021 – July 7, 2021, on the request to waive the period of availability for Elementary & Secondary Education Act funds and Title I, Part A carryover limitations.

Requirements from which Maine will be seeking a waiver include:

A Tydings amendment waiver from Section 421(b) of the General Provisions Act to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The Tydings amendment waiver seeks an extension to the availability of Federal Fiscal Year 2019/State Fiscal Year 2020 Elementary and Secondary Education funds. Programs affected by this waiver:

  • Title I, Part A of the ESEA (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs), including the portions of the SEA’s Title I, Part A award used to carry out section 1003 school improvement, section 1003A direct student services, if applicable, and Title I, Part D, Subpart 2
  • Title I, Part B of the ESEA (State Assessment Formula Grants)
  • Title I, Part C of the ESEA (Education of Migratory Children)
  • Title I, Part D, Subpart 1 of the ESEA (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk)
  • Title II, Part A of the ESEA (Supporting Effective Instruction)
  • Title III, Part A of the ESEA (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement)
  • Title IV, Part A of the ESEA (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants)
  • Title IV, Part B of the ESEA (21st Century Community Learning Centers)
  • Title V, Part B, Subpart 2 of the ESEA (Rural and Low-Income School Program)
  • McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

A carryover limitation waiver from Section 1127(a) of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended for Federal Fiscal Year 2020/State Fiscal Year 2021 Title I, Part A funds. The carryover limitation waiver seeks to waive the requirement that limits the Maine DOE’s ability to grant to its local educational agencies (LEAs) a waiver of the 15 percent Title I, Part A carryover limitation of more than once every three years.

The Maine DOE must solicit and respond to public comment on its waiver request as well as provide evidence of the available comment period. As the Maine DOE moves forward to provide as much flexibility as possible and continued support for expending ESEA federal funds, comments can be submitted to: Jessica Caron at Jessica.s.caron@maine.gov