Commissioner’s Update – May 8, 2014

From the Maine DOE

This Teacher Appreciation Week, I had the honor on behalf of the Department and the LePage Administration of recognizing the first-ever Maine County Teachers of the Year.

Maine students are being inspired each day by the effective, engaging educators we are fortunate to have in so many of our classrooms and the 16 teachers named this week are among the best of the best.

I look forward to recognizing one of them as Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year this fall, though I believe all of them are certainly more than deserving of that distinction. I also want to thank Hannaford, Geiger, Bangor Savings Bank, Unum, the Maine Board of Education, Educate Maine and the Maine Teacher of the Year Association for their tireless support of the Maine State Teacher of the Year Program.

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Registration, agenda available for Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents

The Department has opened registration for its 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents. | More

Certification changes to become effective May 14

The Maine State Board of Education has finally adopted the revised Rule for Certification, Authorization and Approval of Education Personnel. The two part (Rule Chapter 115, Part I and Part II) revised rule becomes effective May 14. | More

Maine DOE seeking panel members to set achievement levels

As a governing state in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Maine continues to support the efforts to develop a rigorous assessment system that will become operational in the 2014-15 school year. As part of those efforts, the Maine DOE is seeking the nomination of qualified educators, administrators, parents and business/community leaders to participate in the process to recommend cut scores for achievement levels on Smarter Balanced developed assessments. | More

School nutrition standards to become effective July 1

Federal school nutrition standards adopted in 2010 will become effective on July 1. The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) requires that all foods sold on a school campus outside of the school meal program must meet the Smart Snacks nutrition standards set forth in the interim final rule titled “National School Lunch Program (NLSP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP): Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as required by the HHFKA of 2010.” | More

Maine DOE to offer trainings on National School Lunch Program improvements

Maine DOE Child Nutrition Program staff will be offering training sessions this summer to update local school unit nutrition program staff on federal and State improvements to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). A regional training schedule will be available in June and published in the Commissioner’s Update and on the Department’s professional development calendar. | More

More information on the School Facility Management System

The Maine DOE is reminding district leaders that the School Facility Management System (SFMS) provided to school administrative units (SAU) through the Maine DOE will no longer be available after June 30, the end date of the current contract with WFA, Inc., the software provider. | More

Department guidance on annual review of IEPs

The Maine Unified Special Education Regulation (MUSER) requires that the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team review a child’s IEP no less than annually. | More

Consultation by teachers of the visually impaired

An appropriately qualified teacher of the visually impaired (TVI) who provides consultation to regular education teachers and/or to special education teachers of children from age 3 to 20 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is providing consultation, as a special education service.   It is a service in itself, not a level of intensity of service.  Also, this consultation should not be confused with “vision services,” which are available under IDEA only to infants and toddlers. | More

Nominations being accepted for Maine Curriculum Leader of the Year

Nominations are now open for the 2013-14 Maine Curriculum Leader of the Year award.

Strong curriculum and instructional leadership is particularly important in our state as schools work to implement proficiency-based education. Nominees should be effective curriculum leaders who have been active at the local, regional and state level. | More

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