Commissioner’s Update – August 20, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

Results from the spring 2015 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for mathematics and English language arts/literacy are being carefully rolled out. The steps in that process include:

Online Reporting System: Since mid-July, preliminary results have been available to schools/SAUs in the Online Reporting System (ORS) of the assessment portal at me.portal.airast.org. These reports have students placed as they were in the Test Information Distribution System (TIDE), and not necessarily aggregated according to Maine’s decision rules (e.g., exclusion of home-schooled students, outplaced students included with sending district, exclusion of students with special considerations). Access to these results is controlled by the permissions structure in TIDE, which allows for different levels of access. Permissions begin with the superintendent’s designation of a District/System Administrator (DSA). If administration changes have taken place which necessitate the assignment of a new DSA, the current superintendent needs to send an email identifying the designated DSA to the Department’s Bethany Dodge at bethany.l.dodge@maine.gov.

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News & Views

NCLB Report Cards now available

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Maine DOE awarded flexibility from Feds

The Maine Department of Education received a three-year waiver allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  | More

Funds to support proficiency-based diploma transition

Maine school administrative units (SAUs), that operate public schools, will receive targeted funds to support the transition to a proficiency-based diploma again this year. | More

Maine DOE accomplishments for the first half of the year

The first six months of 2015 saw great success for the Maine DOE including these highlights. | More

Reminder to districts: protocol for reviewing invoices for special education services

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Professional standards for food service

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Salary supplement available to eligible educators and school staff

Maine educators and school staff may be eligible for a salary supplement for the 2015-16 school year. | More

Educators encouraged to apply for certification scholarship program

Maine educators are encouraged to apply to and enroll in the certification program offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. | More

Maine Teacher of the Year candidates nearing end of reviews

Eight teachers in the running for the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year title presented to and answered questions from members of the State review panel last week. | More

Conference focuses on effective teaching with an emphasis on tech and social media

On August 6 and 7, a conference entitled “ECET2 Maine Teacher Leadership Summit” (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers) was held at Colby College in Waterville. | More

Pilot training of a kindergarten entry assessment

Fifteen Maine kindergarten teachers spent three days last week learning how to pilot a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA). | More

Blue Hill teacher receives week-long learning in nation’s capital

A local teacher’s passion for the Civil War and his collaboration with his school librarian and local historical society, led to a week of learning this summer. | More

Horatio Alger Scholarship now open

Maine students are invited to apply for the 2016 Horatio Alger Association Scholarship Program. | More

Maine DOE staff changes and additions

While many take time to relax over the summer, some folks at Maine DOE have done little of that while embracing their new positions with the Department. | More

Schools invited to host dangers of texting while driving program

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Third annual National Anthem sing-a-long

In Maine, and across the nation, students are invited to sing in unity our National Anthem on September 11. | More

Maine schools invited to study and track weather

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