Regional school calendars due by May 6

School administrative units and private schools approved for tuition purposes are expected to establish regional school calendars, in coordination with their local secondary career and technical education school, by May 6, 2016.

The Legislature enacted that requirement as part of Public Law 2011, Chapter 686, which expands access to career and technical education in Maine and ensures that students completing career and technical education (CTE) coursework have greater access to postsecondary opportunities. Specifically, the law addresses scheduling conflicts that pose barriers to students by requiring that those school districts and private schools approved for tuition purposes that share a CTE school adopt a regional school calendar with no more than five dissimilar days. Furthermore, implementation of the law is intended to promote collaboration among local SAUs that may benefit other forms of inter-administrative unit collaboration beyond CTE. The law became effective Aug. 30, 2012, and establishing the regional calendar is a condition for eligibility for State subsidy.

For 2016-17, both regional school calendars and individual calendars for each SAU must be submitted by the director of the local CTE center/region to the Commissioner of Education by May 6 for a decision on approval by June 3. Guidance and templates can be accessed electronically at www.maine.gov/doe/regionalcalendar/.

Given the coordination required for fulfillment of this law, the Maine DOE recommends that school districts initiate discussions as soon as possible, including representatives from all affected secondary schools and their associated career and technical education center or region.

For more information including guidance, templates, a waiver process and a link to the complete law, please visit www.maine.gov/doe/regionalcalendar/ or contact Doug Robertson (doug.robertson@maine.gov) at 624-6744 or Margaret Harvey (margaret.harvey@maine.gov) at 624-6739.