Maine’s transition to a proficiency-based diploma by 2018 is underway. Already, many school administrative units are planning spring outreach to the class entering high school next fall as those students will be the first to graduate having demonstrated mastery of all State standards in the eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results.
As part of those ongoing efforts, supported by the $2 million in transition funding our Department distributed this fall and the resources we’ve made available on our website, those who serve students with disabilities are beginning to bring Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals into alignment with the new graduation requirements. To support that work, the Department will be providing evidence-based practice professional development in each of the nine superintendent regions this month in the instructional usage and IEP goal alignment of proficiency-based learning for children with disabilities.
We are also pleased to release our new Policy on Standards-Based IEP Goals, which outlines the requirements for the development of IEPs as it relates to the transition to a proficiency-based diploma. Like the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), our policy reinforces the expectation that students with disabilities have access to the general education curriculum as appropriate based on their individualized needs and the belief that they can reach the same high standards as all other students. If you are not attending one of our PD offerings related to this topic this month, please closely review this policy and submit any questions to our Director of Special Services, Jan Breton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of us at Maine DOE look forward to supporting our schools as they make this important transition to ensure all students achieve all standards and graduate with a meaningful diploma.
Please continue to review the resources on our Getting to Proficiency: Helping Maine Graduate Every Student Prepared website and let us know what we can do to help.