Commissioner’s Update – May 29, 2014

From the Maine DOE

There is perhaps no greater opportunity to ensure Maine students graduate college and career ready than the transition to proficiency-based diplomas now underway in our state.

That’s why our Department supported the 2012 law making it mandatory that schools award these diplomas starting in 2018 and why we have worked hard in the two years since to be a resource to districts as they make this significant shift. It is also why earlier this week, the Department previewed the options it was offering Maine school administrative units (SAUs) who need more time in meeting this requirement.

The decision to use the authority I have under a provision in Maine’s Basic School Approval Law to grant school units waivers from the proficiency-based diploma requirement through July 1, 2020 was not one I took lightly.

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News & Views

State supports proficiency-based diplomas, offers districts implementation flexibility

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education affirmed its commitment to the state’s students being awarded diplomas based on proficiency but announced today it would give school districts more flexibility in meeting a requirement to do so by 2018.  | More

Maine DOE provides Q & A on educator effectiveness system development

Earlier this month, the Maine DOE announced the final adoption of rule Chapter 180, which governs the development and implementation of Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PE/PG) systems that improve teacher and principal effectiveness. | More

Maine DOE offers training to new ESEA/NCLB coordinators

The Maine DOE is inviting new coordinators of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title Programs to a free training session in Augusta on July 10. | More

Maine teachers chosen for summer humanities institute

PORTLAND– Five Maine teachers have been selected as National Endowment for the Humanities (NEW) Summer Scholars from a national applicant pool to attend an Acadian culture summer institute. | More

Maine DOE offers facilities, maintenance staff training

The Maine DOE and the Educational Plant Maintenance Association of Maine invite school administrators, facilities directors, business managers, maintenance teams and custodial staff to the 46th Annual School Facilities Conference at Colby College on June 23-25. Registration to the multi-track conference on leadership, maintenance and custodial care is free to public school staff. | More

Guidance on transportation for special education students and equivalent school days

Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER) §VI.2.L state that “[i]t is the full expectation that children eligible under this Chapter will attend school the equivalent amount of time per day as children without disabilities in the same school and/or program.”  | More

New mentor reading program opportunity for schools

Funding is now available to Maine schools from the Barbara Bush Foundation to offer a Teen Trendsetters™ program for their students. | More

Maine FFA Association holds annual convention

Students in the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) celebrated another year of accomplishments during their State Convention at the University of Maine, Orono earlier this month. | More

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