Administrative Letter: New School Approval Process, Maine Schools Update due June 15, 2017

Administrative Letter: #8
Policy Code: KLL
TO: Private School Administrators
FROM: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
DATE: May 15, 2017
SUBJECT: New School Approval Process, Maine Schools Update due June 15, 2017

In accordance with 20-A M.R.S.A Chapter 117, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) requires private schools seeking approval status to be approved annually. Private schools, until and including 2017-18, have undergone a manual approval process, working with the School Enrollment Specialist.

Currently the Department is working toward moving the private school approval process to the NEO education information system by 2019. Our goal is to streamline and facilitate the entry and transfer of important and sensitive information critical to the school approval process.

Effective immediately, private schools seeking approval/renewal are required to enter their organization data (the NEO Maine Schools Update) on the same schedule as the public schools,* and complete staff data in the NEO Staff module prior to submitting the annual application/report. Please see this linked notice posted on April 12, 2017. The remainder of the Private School Approval process currently remains a manual process.

New Maine DOE School Approval web pages have been set up to fully outline the process, and link to instructions and guides for completing the required information in the NEO Maine Schools and Staff modules. The Private School Approval  web page will be the source for required private school approval annual applications/reports and checklists, and will also provide links to other Department resources related to school approval, such as certification, helpdesk, and private school approval for receipt of public funds.

Please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, Maine DOE School Enrollment Specialist at 207-624-6617 or with questions or comments about the new requirements, the new web pages, or the school approval process.

*NEO Maine Schools must be completed by June 15 of this year. As a preliminary step, in order for an organization to be updated in Maine Schools, the superintendent or chief administrator of the school must be verified in the NEO Staff Module by contacting the Helpdesk staff, 624-6896 at the Department of Education, who can also assist schools who are new to the process or in any stage of the Maine Schools NEO report completion. For School Approval, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor.