Maine DOE Monthly – July 28, 2015

Welcome to the July issue of the Maine DOE Monthly, which provides a recap of some of the month’s news from the Department.

What’s next?

While we await the final results from this past spring’s statewide assessment for math and English language arts/literacy, all eyes are on what’s next. As you may recall, the legislature passed LD1276 terminating Maine’s membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. In response, a Standardized Assessment Task Force was created of Maine educators which first met in June to discuss the successes and needed areas of improvement of the last assessment. The group has since been engaged in a question and answer exchange that will act as a guide to help the Department draft a Request for Proposals (RFP). These proposals will be scored according to the RFP to determine which vendor will administer next year’s assessment. Your comments are welcome by visiting the Department’s Standardized Assessment Task Force page. | More

Verifying results

Everyone is waiting for the 2015 assessments results. Some states have already released results, but Maine school districts just received preliminary data mid-July and at this time, all information is being verified. The goal is to release the final data by the end of next month. While we want to showcase student growth in proficiency, we need to keep in mind this past year’s testing was the first, more rigorous testing of the past few years of implementing Maine’s Learning Standards, preparing for college and career readiness. | More

Collecting district progress data

A survey for SAUs on proficiency-based implementation progress is currently underway. High schools have until August 27 to complete the survey. The information collected will help the Maine DOE chart progress toward the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas. This information will be shared with the public and with lawmakers and will inform the development of additional resources and supports for districts. The progress report will also create a moment-in-time snapshot of district progress. The Department expresses its gratitude to the Maine school districts that piloted this survey. Click here to complete the survey. | More

NEO workshops & account management

NEO may sound like a new summer flick, but it’s actually Maine DOE’s new data collection system. The New Educational Ontology (NEO) has the Department hosting 13 training sessions this summer across the state which began July 21 and wraps up August 26. The feedback from these sessions so far has been healthy as the agenda includes: changes in how student enrollment is uploaded, truancy, student security, and more. Two items of particular interest are the new procedure for graduation and drop out verification allowing districts to enter their data instead of the Department, and the new staff system. With the 2015-16 school year upon us, SAUs with new staff requiring access to NEO must contact the MEDMS Helpdesk.| More

Budget numbers

Early this month, Maine DOE posted updated FY 2016 (2015-16 school year) State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, here on our website. This was a quick turnaround by The Department once the biennial budget (PL 2015 Ch. 267) was approved by the legislature. Maine DOE continues to provide districts guidance in how school finance statues impact their budgetary process. The Department also assists with clarifying timelines for districts to pass their budgets and keeps districts appraised of legislative action that may affect the budget process at the local level. | More

A struggling school gets a financial boost

The Washburn Elementary School in Auburn has been awarded just over $1.63 million in a federal School Improvement Grant (SIG). The Maine DOE will monitor the school’s success in raising student proficiency in math and reading over the next five years. This grant will allow the struggling PreK-6 school to enhance educator effectiveness and instruction under the leadership of a new principal. The school will also hire two Instructional Coaches, three Ed Techs, a Pre-K Instructor, a Parent Liaison and a part-time Grant Coordinator. In addition, Washburn plans to provide upward of two additional days of structured staff time to review student data to inform interventions and instruction. | More

Deadlines ahead:

Just a few days remain for these reporting items:

And more housekeeping items, listed in the last Commissioner’s Update, are:

More

Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner