Commissioner’s Update – March 13, 2014

From the Maine DOE

Last summer, the Department received approval for an accountability waiver under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This waiver provides flexibility in meeting federal accountability requirements by allowing Maine to implement its own tiered statewide system of support. By reviewing annual progress and student proficiency, schools are placed in one of five categories: priority, focus, monitor, progressing and meeting, allowing us to most intensively target support to the schools that need it most.

In the months since, the Department’s team of Title I school improvement consultants have been working closely with the 19 priority and 35 focus schools that were identified, assisting them with a comprehensive review of needs and with developing improvement plans.

Just as Maine’s system allows our Department to identify schools that most need improvement support, it also recognizes those showing the greatest levels of improvement and performance. Through this process, we are pleased to announce that 19 schools have been named as a High Progress Reward School and 20 as a High Performance Reward School.

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Maine DOE offers additional guidance on transportation inclusion in IEP

The Maine DOE recently issued guidance regarding the provision of transportation to special education students.  If a student’s disability results in a need for specialized transportation services beyond the regular transportation described in 20-A MRSA §5401-5402, then transportation must appear as a related service in Section 7 of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). | More

Preliminary FY15 State subsidy printouts published

The Department is pleased to let you know that the FY 2015 (2014-15 school year) preliminary State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, are now available here on our website. It is important to remember that these printouts reflect the currently enacted biennial budget, and will no doubt be adjusted as the Legislature responds to current and projected budget shortfalls. | More

AP4ALL registration now open

Student registration is now open for AP4ALL, which provides online Advanced Placement courses free of charge to any student residing in a Maine school administrative unit who is educated at the public expense. | More

General and special educators working together to improve student outcomes in transition to proficiency-based system

High expectations, inclusion/collaborative teaching practices and frequent assessment of progress are known to improve student outcomes. | More

Literacy for ME offers community literacy webinars

The Maine DOE is providing a webinar series designed to support community literacy teams. This five-part monthly series began in January and will continue through May. | More

Proficiency in World Languages more than just vocabulary

As Maine moves to a proficiency-based diploma, students will be required to demonstrate proficiency in content areas including World Languages. | More

Premier science events offer opportunity for Maine educators

Two upcoming national events in nearby Boston will provide extensive professional development opportunities for Maine science educators. | More

Free newspaper subscriptions available for educators

The Boston Globe News in Education (NIE) program is offering free Boston Globe NIE digital classroom subscriptions and educational resources to Maine teachers in kindergarten through grade 12. | More

Deadline approaching for Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest

The deadline for the 18th annual Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest is April 1 and this year’s theme is to assess the changes the United States has undergone over the past 50 years. | More

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