Maine DOE Update – April 26, 2018

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

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News & Updates

National 2017 “State of Preschool Report” shows progress in Maine

A new national state-by-state report shows more young children enrolled in public Pre-K programs nationwide, with Maine investing more in Pre-K, serving nearly 40 percent of 4 year olds in high-quality pre-K. | More

Maine DOE publishes preliminary Title IV, Part A allocations for 2018-2019

The Maine Department of Education, in an effort to assist local districts plan for the coming school year, has issued preliminary allocations for the federal Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program. | More

Maine DOE announces 3rd Annual Read to Ride Summer Reading challenge

Again this year, the Maine Department of Education is collaborating with the Freemasons of Maine to sponsor the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge for students in grades PK-8.  The Maine Freemasons have generously donated 48 bikes with helmets as prizes for the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge. | More

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Professional Development & Training Opportunities

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Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Maine DOE announces 3rd Annual Read to Ride Summer Reading challenge

Summer vacation is a welcome break from the daily school routine for children and parents alike, but the summer months can be detrimental to students’ learning if young minds are not kept active. Summer learning loss is a well-documented phenomenon, particularly with respect to reading achievement.  Students can lose up to three months of reading progress during the summer if they don’t keep reading.  When combined across a child’s PK-8 school career, this can result in 1-2 years of lost reading progress.

Fortunately, the summer slide can be prevented or greatly reduced when students continue to read on a regular basis. By encouraging children to read from a variety of resources for fun and to explore topics of interest, they continue to practice applying the skills they have learned, build their vocabulary and widen their knowledge of the world.  For students who are not yet reading independently or just beginning to read, reading to and with parents is equally beneficial.

Again this year, the Maine Department of Education is collaborating with the Freemasons of Maine to sponsor the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge for students in grades PK-8.  The Maine Freemasons have generously donated 48 bikes with helmets as prizes for the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge.  During the first two years of this initiative, thousands of Maine children completed the challenge of reading 500 minutes during the summer vacation.  Maine DOE hopes to see this number grow even higher during the summer of 2018.

Any school with students in the PK-8 grade span may register to participate. Participating schools will collect documentation from students who have completed the challenge. They will hold school level drawings to select two students (one boy and one girl) whose names will be entered into the state level drawing to be held on September 21, 2018.   Schools are encouraged to participate in this challenge, to coordinate it with any other summer reading challenges/programs they offer, and to consider soliciting their own local level prizes for students who complete the challenge.  Details about the Read to Ride Challenge and information to register your school can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/summer-literacy.html.

Questions may be directed to Maine DOE’s Early Learning Coordinator, leeann.larsen@maine.gov.

Maine DOE publishes preliminary Title IV, Part A allocations for 2018-2019

The Maine Department of Education, in an effort to assist local districts plan for the coming school year, has issued preliminary allocations for the federal Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program.

Enacted under Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the SSAE program provides formula grant awards to eligible school districts.  The purpose of this funding is to raise student academic achievement by increasing the capacity of local education agencies and schools to

  • Provide all students with access to a well-rounded education;
  • Improve school conditions for student learning by fostering safe and healthy students; and
  • Support the effective use technology in schools and classrooms.

States, local education agencies, and schools are all currently within the first year of administering SSAE programs and activities, with relatively limited funding compared to other ESEA programs.  In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, federal funding for the SSAE program is slated to see a rather significant increase, which would in turn result in funding increases for many eligible school districts nationwide.  It is due to this significant change in funding that the Department has made these available statewide.

The Department would also like to remind all eligible Title IV, Part A recipients of the requirements under Section 4106 of ESSA, which states that local education agencies, as part of a comprehensive needs assessment, must examine the needs for improvement of:

  • access to, and opportunities for, a well-rounded education for all students;
  • school conditions for student learning in order to create a healthy and safe school environment; and
  • access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology and professional development for the effective use of data and technology.

In order to comply with federal law, any local education agency receiving an allocation of $30,000 or more in Title IV, Part A funding, must include the pieces outlined above as part of their Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA)/SAU Consolidated Plan.  All CNA/SAU Consolidated Plans are due to the Department by July 1, 2018.

Once available, the Department will be posting final FY19 allocations for the Title IV, Part A programPlease note that preliminary allocations for all other ESEA title programs are not available at this time.

For more information on the SSAE program under Title IV, contact the Department’s Federal Grant Coordinator Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov.

Maine DOE Update – April 19, 2018

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

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News & Updates

Administrative Letter: Important changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

The Maine Department of Education has instituted new requirements for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) beginning May 1, 2018.  | More

Changes in Rule Chapter 45: Vision and Hearing Screening in Maine Schools

This notice is to inform you of the recent changes to Chapter 45: Rule for Vision and Hearing Screening in Maine Schools. This rule outlines the standards and processes for periodic vision and hearing screenings. | More

Changes in Joint Rule Chapters 126/261: Immunization Requirements for School Children

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education have revised the Maine School Immunization Requirements rule to now include meningococcal meningitis disease. | More

PRIORITY NOTICE: EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment Report will not be collected for 2017/18 school year

The Maine Department of Education (Department) will not be collecting the EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment report for non-publicly funded students for the 2017-2018 school year. | More

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Professional Development & Training Opportunities

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Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Administrative Letter: Important changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

Administrative Letter: 13
Policy Code: BGB
To: Public School Administrators and Special Education Directors
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
Date: April 14, 2018
Subject: Important changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

The Maine Department of Education has instituted new requirements for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) beginning May 1, 2018. This guidance is offered in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of this change is to clarify the documentation of educationally and medically necessary services on the IEP aligning to Section 65 and Section 28 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.  These changes will ensure compliance with documentation required for access to MaineCare benefits.

When an IEP Team determines that the nature and severity of a child’s educational needs are significant enough that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily (MUSER X.2.B. page 120), the least restrictive environment (LRE) statement must reflect the fact that certain services will be necessary in order for the child to access the curriculum.

Beginning May 1, 2018, the Department requires that newly developed or amended IEPs contain justification for medically and educationally necessary services such as day treatment services, rehabilitation services, nursing services, or other medical services that a child needs in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Other educationally and medically necessary services such as speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work services, and transportation are already listed in the service grid. The justification will be stated in the least restrictive environment section (LRE) of the IEP (Section 9).

The LRE statement must include information that would justify MaineCare paid educationally necessary medical services. An example of such a statement is the following: “Due to the child’s complex medical needs, the child requires a highly-structured setting with a predictable routine, clear and consistent consequences and integrated therapy for social and emotional needs in a significantly more restrictive day treatment setting”.  Please note that an LRE statement might include additional explanation and that the above example is not intended to necessarily model a complete LRE statement.

Beginning May 1, 2018, schools are requested to write an LRE statement similar to the above example depending on the specific needs of the child.  When the revised IEP form goes into effect on August 1, 2018, it will still be important to develop an appropriate LRE statement but the documentation for MaineCare purposes will be in section 8, “Additional Medical Services for FAPE”.

A draft copy of the revised IEP form can be accessed at the following site:  http://maine.gov/doe/specialed/forms/index.htmlPlease note: this form is only a draft and the revised IEP form will change before implementation on August 1, 2018. 

Further guidance will be included in a revision of the procedural manual available on the Special Services webpage sometime before the August 1 date.  For more information, contact the Department of Education – Office of Special Services at (207) 624 -6713.