Author Archives: Maine Department of Education

New Online System for Certification Available Soon

The Certification Team at the Department of Education is in the process of building an online portal for a new web-based credentialing system through Hupp Technologies. The system will be fully operational by the July 1st teacher, educational specialist and administrator renewal expiration date. 

One of the system’s highlights is the effortlessness teachers will have in creating an account, receiving notification that a renewal is waiting, and paying the renewal fee online. Other features include notifications for the teacher’s support system when a teacher is waiting for recommendation, and the ease of a chairperson to simply click ‘recommend’ to recommend the teacher for renewal. Thereafter, the certificate will automatically renew. Please note that training will be available soon.

The Certification Team is very excited to get the new system up and running. Although the adjustment period may present some anxiety, please be assured that no one will be left hanging. Allowances will be made if the system goes up later than expected and rules state that if a certificate is held up for any reason beyond the teachers’ control, then the previously held certificate is still valid.

For more information contact Ángel Martínez Loredo at 207-624-6603 or email cert.doe@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, review reports by April 12, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in April 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2017 Quarter 2 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 2 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In April, the 2016-17 State subsidy printouts (ED279s) will be updated reflecting these adjustments and are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

Reporting issues: To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 2 and report any issues on these reports no later than April 12, 2017. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to denise.towers@maine.gov.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:

  • Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
  • Student’s State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.

For more information on MaineCare Seed payments including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Maine DOE Update – March 23, 2017

From the Maine Department of Education


Notices and Reporting Items

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Webinar about Maine: 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Score Changes

WIDA will discuss the anticipated ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 score changes during a webinar on Wednesday, March 29 at 3pm. | More

Maine DOE seeks peer reviewers for 21st CCLC grant proposals

The Maine Department of Education is seeking qualified peer reviewers to read, assess and score competitive grant proposals for the 21st Century Community Leaning Centers (21st CCLC) Program. | More

Maine DOE kicks off 2nd Annual Farm to School Cook-off

The Maine Department of Education is holding its 2nd annual Maine Farm to School Cook-off this month. The cook-off showcases the skills of local school food service staff, while promoting locally grown products in school meals. | More

 

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Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Webinar about Maine: 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Score Changes

Maine: 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Score Changes Webinar
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Event address for attendees

During the webinar WIDA will discuss the anticipated ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 score changes.

In 2017, you may notice a change to your students’ ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 proficiency level scores: some students’ scores may go down; and fewer students may exit program support.

Earlier this month, WIDA held webinars detailing expected changes to ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 scores in 2017, to explain the reasons for anticipated changes in students’ scores as well as suggestions for how to communicate with students and families, other educators, and administrators about how it might impact them. These two webinars were recorded and posted to the WIDA website.

During the March 29th webinar, WIDA will briefly summarize the key information shared on these earlier webinars. Participants in the March 29, 2017, webinar will have ample opportunity to ask questions of either WIDA or their state representative(s). The Maine March 29, 2017, webinar will also be recorded and posted on  https://www.wida.us/membership/states/Maine.aspx

For more information about the score changes visit https://www.wida.us/Assessment/ACCESS%202.0/proficiency.aspx

Direct questions about educational or English language acquisition services for English learners to ESL/Bilingual Programs, Nancy Mullins at nancy.mullins@maine.gov (207) 624-6788.

Maine DOE seeks peer reviewers for 21st CCLC grant proposals

The Maine Department of Education is seeking qualified peer reviewers to read, assess and score competitive grant proposals for the 21st Century Community Leaning Centers (21st CCLC) Program.  This federally-funded grant program provides opportunities for schools and communities to develop “community learning centers” that serve children and youth during out-of-school time.  Maine currently has 34 current grant-funded 21st CCLC programs operating 59 individual centers in communities across the state.  Grant proposals for the 21st CCLC program will be evaluated through a formal peer review process, which will ensure that quality applications are selected for funding.

This year’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 21st CCLC program was released to the public on February 21 and is available online at: https://www.4pcamaine.org/century21/FY2017/. The Department anticipates receiving applications for new, expansion, and continuation awards as a result of this competition.

Qualifications:

The most qualified reviewers will be individuals who are familiar and have experience with high-quality youth programs in schools and communities.  Examples of the experienced individuals sought include, but are not limited to:

  • Experts in expanded-learning opportunities
  • Teachers and principals
  • College and university faculty
  • Community educators
  • Community service providers
  • Staff from faith-based organizations
  • Staff from foundations and charitable organizations

Required Tasks:

Selected peer reviewers will work individually to read each assigned application and create detailed, objective, constructive, and well-written comments on approximately 10-15 applications on the basis of the criteria established in the RFP. These comments will be turned in to the Department prior to participating in on-site consensus scoring sessions.  Reviewers must be able to participate in an online training webinar and review grant applications through a web-based system.  It is anticipated that peer reviewers will have a two (2) week window in which to complete their individual review of assigned applications.  Following the individual review of applications, each peer reviewer will be required to travel to the Maine Department of Education for two scheduled scoring days.  It is during these consensus scoring sessions that each peer reviewer will work with the other members of the peer review team to score each application.

Selected peer reviewers must complete the following tasks during the following date(s):

Task Date(s)
Participate in an online training webinar April 25, 2017
Review grant applications through a web-based system and provide individual, written comments on each application (which MUST be turned in to the Department) May 5, 2017 – May 19, 2016
Participate in on-site consensus scoring sessions which will be located at the Maine Department of Education in Augusta, ME May 23 – 24, 2016

Compensation for Services: Peer reviewers who complete the required tasks will be reimbursed for travel costs to and from the consensus scoring sessions as well as provided a $75 honorarium per assigned application review, up to a maximum of 15 applications.

Previous peer reviewers have found that serving as a member of the peer review team is an excellent opportunity for professional development and growth. It is likely that, if selected, reviewers will be exposed to new program models, strategies, and practices.  These new concepts may provide ideas and support for ongoing work in the field as well as future grant writing efforts.  Most importantly, the time given to this effort will be of great benefit the children of Maine.

How to Apply: A peer reviewer application is available by contacting Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov. The Maine Department of Education will accept applications and resumes on a rolling basis until the needed positions are filled.

Pursuant to Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, peer reviewers may not include any applicant, or representative of an applicant, that has or will be submitting a proposal in response to the current competition.

Deadline:

All interested parties must submit a completed peer reviewer application and current resume or CV by April 12, 2017.

Contact: For more information, contact Federal Grant Coordinator, Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov or 624-6709.0%

Maine DOE kicks off 2nd Annual Farm to School Cook-off

The Maine Department of Education is holding its 2nd annual Maine Farm to School Cook-off this month. The cook-off showcases the skills of local school food service staff, while promoting locally grown products in school meals.

School food service teams representing Falmouth, Yarmouth, RSU 14 – Windham/Raymond, Lewiston, RSU 52 – Turner, and RSU 54 – Skowhegan, will be participating in the event this year.

Last year’s participants were from Lewiston Public Schools, RSU 38 – Maranacook, Portland Public Schools, and RSU 61 – Lakes Region Schools, with the winning team from Five Town CSD/MSAD 28 & RSU 13 –Rockport, Camden, Rockland and surrounding towns.

For the competition, each team must prepare a breakfast and lunch meal within a specific time frame using at least two ingredients that are grown, raised, caught, or manufactured in the State of Maine and meet National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements as well as one USDA food. As an added twist Maine wild blueberries and Maine potatoes will be used as “challenge” ingredients in the competition. All recipes will later be shared in a Maine farm to school cook-off recipe book.

This year, the regional cook-offs will be held on the March 27 at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center and on March 31 at the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta.

The final cook-off on April 26th will be held at the Freeport High School’s newly renovated kitchen and dining area.

Westbrook and Augusta CTE centers are returning hosts for the cook-off, while Freeport High School joins in for the first time. The locations were chosen as cook-off sites for their well-equipped kitchens and cooking and presentation areas.

A panel of judges for the two regional cook-offs will consist of a CTE culinary arts student, school nutrition director, and professional chef. The dishes will be scored based on presentation, taste, creativity, and feasibility to be used in a school breakfast or lunch program. Other criteria will include food safety and time management.

Judges for the final event will include a Freeport High School student, a school nutrition director and a professional chef. The winning team will be awarded a plaque and have the opportunity to be spokespeople for the second annual cook off in 2018.

The cook-off is part of the State’s child nutrition projects and follows legislation to support healthy meals in schools. For more information on Maine’s Local Foods to Local Schools program, visit www.maine.gov/doe/nutrition/programs/localfoods/.

Members of the media are welcome to attend any the events. We ask that you confirm you are coming ahead of time by contacting Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov or call 624-6747.

Media Advisory: 2nd Annual Farm to School Cook-Off

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Rachel Paling (207) 624-6747 or rachel.paling@maine.edu

MEDIA ADVISORY

What:  2017 Maine Farm to School Cook-Off

Who: School food service staff creating breakfast and lunch meal.

Judges for the regional cook-offs include a Career and Technical Education culinary arts student, a school nutrition director and a professional chef.

Where/When: 

  • Monday, March 27 – Regional cook-off
    Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, Westbrook
    1:00pm start time (cooking begins at 1:30pm)
    Teams are representing Falmouth, Yarmouth and RSU 14
  • Friday, March 31 – Regional cook-off
    Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta
    2:00pm start time (cooking begins at 2:30pm)
    Teams are representing Lewiston, RSU 52 and RSU 54
  • Wednesday, April 26th – Final cook-off
    Freeport High School
    1:00pm start time (cooking begins at 1:30pm)

The Westbrook and Augusta CTE centers were chosen as cook-off sites for their well-equipped kitchens and individual cooking and presentation areas.

How:  Each volunteer team will prepare a breakfast and lunch meal within a specific time frame using at least two ingredients that are grown, raised, caught, or manufactured in the State of Maine and meet National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements as well as one USDA food. As an added twist Maine wild blueberries and Maine potatoes will be used as “challenge” ingredients in the competition.

RSVP: Members of the media are welcome to attend the competition but are asked to notify Maine DOE Director of Communications, Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov or call 624-6747 ahead of time.

These competitions are NOT open to the public.

 

Maine DOE Update – March 16, 2017

From the Maine Department of Education


Notices and Reporting Items

More Notices | Administrative Letters | Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Administrative Letter: Superintendent Transfer Agreements

Administrative Letter:  7      Policy Code: CBC
Last year, the Maine Department of Education sent out a letter to Superintendents entitled Clarification of Commissioner’s Review of Superintendent Agreements. As we move closer to the 2017-2018 school year and we begin to see more Superintendent Transfer Agreement requests, it may be helpful to review the letter again carefully. | More

Learning Technology Grants Program Announced

The Department is announcing an evolution to our support of technology in public middle schools and high schools. Beginning July 1, 2017, MLTI Grants will be available to public middle schools and high schools to fund technology and support for 7th and 8th grade students and staff, and for staff in high schools with locally-funded student programs.  | More

Free computer science training opportunities available through Project>Login & MMSA

Project>Login mission is to engage Maine K-12 schools and provide support for Computer Science education. They recently became a regional partner, along with Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, for Code.org. As a result of this partnership, they are able to provide high quality professional development to educators interested in Computer Science education for free.  | More

Maine DOE Data Helpdesk Survey

The Maine Department of Education Data Helpdesk Team is here to assist you with access to your NEO, Infinite Campus and coming soon, Edupoint systems.  We can offer general guidance on individual models within the applications.  | More

New School Absenteeism Reporting Form

When a potential outbreak, including those involving exposure to a communicable disease, toxic agent, environmental hazard, or a potential epidemic is identified, immediate notification to the Maine CDC should be made.  One of the ways these outbreaks can be identified is through elevated school absenteeism. | More

More Dispatches | Press Releases | Priority Notices


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Administrative Letter: Superintendent Transfer Agreements

Administrative Letter: #7
Policy Code: CBC
To: Superintendents, School Board Chairs, and Private School Head Administrators
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed.D., Acting Commissioner
Date: March 15, 2017
Re: Superintendent Transfer Agreements

Last year, the Maine Department of Education sent out a letter to Superintendents entitled Clarification of Commissioner’s Review of Superintendent Agreements. As we move closer to the 2017-2018 school year and we begin to see more Superintendent Transfer Agreement requests, it may be helpful to review the letter again carefully. I also want to provide some additional guidance to address questions and clarify issues about the Superintendent Transfer request process at the local level.
Specifically, Superintendent Transfer Agreements are designed to facilitate a student transfer from one school administrative unit (SAU) to another for the student’s best interest. Per Title 20-A MRSA Section 5205(6):

A. Two superintendents may approve the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another if:

(1) They find that a transfer is in the student’s best interest; and

(2) The student’s parent approves.

The superintendents shall notify the commissioner of any transfer approved under this paragraph. If either of the superintendents decides not to approve the transfer, that superintendent shall provide to the parent of the student requesting transfer under this paragraph a written description of the basis of that superintendent’s determination. [2013, c. 456, §1 (AMD).

SAUs often use a form to collect transfer request information, and to deliver decisions. The Department has created sample forms which may be adopted as part of the Superintendent transfer agreement process (optional):

Please feel free to use the forms as templates. These forms model the type of information that should be requested and generated as Superintendents and parents work through the details of a transfer.

When communicating with parents about required documentation for transfer request submission to the Superintendent, SAUs may advise parents to write a letter supporting their request and to include supporting documentation and compelling reasons for the request. Parents should be advised not to submit anything that they would not want shared with the Department or the State Board of Education, should the request be denied and subsequently appealed.

When responding to requests, it is important to communicate the basis for the Superintendent’s decision, based on the student’s best interest.

If the transfer is agreed to by both sending and receiving Superintendents, the student becomes a resident of the receiving SAU for one school year. Please note that agreements may not be subject to revocation, rescission, or contingencies for the school year. These students must be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as students who reside in the SAU.

Under a transfer, the receiving unit, by accepting the student as a resident of the receiving unit, is accepting full fiscal responsibility for the student just as with any other resident of the SAU, including fiscal responsibility for special education services. Special education services must be provided to transfer students by the receiving SAU at no cost to the parent and the cost of these services may not be billed to the sending SAU.

When possible, requests should be made and decisions rendered in an expedient manner, and preferably prior to the start of the school year.  In order to properly account for SAU fiscal responsibilities, it is recommended that the transfer be in effect for the October 1st student count. For students who have been in ongoing attendance and where tuition has been paid by the parent, tuition adjustments will be effective as of the date of parent request to the Superintendent.

Thank you for rendering informed and thoughtful Superintendent Transfer Agreement guidance and decisions that are in the best interest of Maine students.

For more information regarding this letter, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor at Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov or (207) 624-6617.

Learning Technology Grants Program Announced

The Department is announcing an evolution to our support of technology in public middle schools and high schools. Beginning July 1, 2017, MLTI Grants will be available to public middle schools and high schools to fund technology and support for 7th and 8th grade students and staff, and for staff in high schools with locally-funded student programs.

The grants will support programs that use technology to enhance teaching and learning in eligible schools and grades. The grant program takes the place of an “opt-in” to the programs offered in the past 3 years by HP and Apple, under a contract with the State.

Schools will apply to the Department of Education with a brief description of their proposed education technology programs, and a budget for the period of the grant.

The amount of the grant is up to $200 per eligible student or staff seat, each year, for up to 3 years. The length of the grant and the amount per seat will be based on the school’s proposed program and budget.

The grants provide flexibility to schools, but maintain some requirements designed to continue the basic structure of the current MLTI program. Any program funded by a grant must provide a personal digital computing device for each student, and must include professional development to support teachers’ use of technology to enhance student learning.

Further details for the grant program, including the application and the deadline for application submittal, will be provided as they are developed and posted on the MLTI website at http://maine.gov/doe/mlti/participation/index.html . MLTI programs in schools that opted in to HP or Apple solutions in 2014, 2015 or 2016 will continue as is, and are not affected by the grant program.

For additional information, contact the MLTI Office at mlti.project@maine.gov or call Deb Friedman, MLTI Project Manager at 624-6834.