Commissioner’s Update – April 24, 2014

From the Maine DOE

This week’s Commissioner’s Update is landing in inboxes as many of you are hopefully enjoying a well-deserved April vacation.

The days between now and when the school year ends in June will likely be your busiest, and include a flurry of budget preparations, the administration of the SAT and/or Smarter Balanced field tests, the release of the State school report cards, all of the preparations that go into graduation and so much more.

As you enter the home stretch, I want to thank you for your tireless efforts each day on behalf of Maine’s students.

As you consistently rise to meet the increased expectations from our Department, the Legislature, your local school boards, students, families and many others, please know how much you are appreciated by me and the rest of the team here at the Maine DOE. There is no greater or more critical calling than preparing our children with the skills they’ll need to be successful in college, careers and civic life and all of you who work for and with districts are important to that process.

Thank you again. Good luck in these final two months and as always, please let us know how we can best support your work serving Maine schools and students.

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Updated ED 279s posted

The Department has posted updated FY 2015 (2014-15 school year) State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, here on the Maine DOE website. These printouts reflect the already-enacted biennial budget and all action to date by the Legislature. | More

Maine DOE offers webinar on maintenance of effort and excess cost

A webinar training provided by the Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services earlier this month is now available online as a tool for districts. The training, led by the Department’s Director of Special Services Jan Breton and Fiscal Analyst Tyler Backus, focused on the Local Entitlement Application for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds for the 2014-15 school year. | More

Maine DOE to host webinars on ESEA requirements in May

The Maine DOE is offering two webinars next month to provide guidance on current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. | More

Online district self-assessment available through June 30

The Maine DOE is reminding district leaders that the comprehensive online self-assessment developed in collaboration with Great Schools Partnership is available in its electronic form through June 30. The online district self-assessment is designed to support districts with their action planning for proficiency-based education and the transition to a proficiency-based diploma. | More

Maine arts teachers focus on standards, assessment

Arts teachers from across the state met at the University of Maine at Orono for a Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) regional workshop earlier this month. The workshop focused on articulating proficiency in arts learning and developing proficiency models for different grade levels. | More

Maine’s State Board of Education receives national grant

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has awarded $15,000 to the Maine State Board of Education to advance the state’s education reform work on Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Deeper Learning Principles and school leadership. Maine is one of only six boards to receive a stipend award. Kentucky, West Virginia, Guam, Washington D.C. and Delaware were also selected. | More

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