Read to ME Challenge to Kick-off February 3rd at Lincoln School in Augusta

Year five of the Read to ME Challenge is scheduled to begin on February 3, 2020.  Maine Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin will launch the campaign by reading to children at the Lincoln School in Augusta.  She will follow up her reading by issuing a challenge to participate in the 2020 campaign.  The Department will be live streaming this event, and will provide those details soon. This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo or short video and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same.  The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month leading up to Read Across America Day on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Schools and organizations are invited to join the challenge and to encourage community members to do the same. The collective voice of many key partners, leaders and those in respected positions will send a clear message about the vital importance reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine. Maine DOE also encourages partners to be creative and to use this opportunity to enhance ongoing literacy education outreach efforts.

If your organization is willing and able to promote the Read to ME Challenge, please follow this link to provide us with your contact information. Read to ME Challenge resources, including a guidance document, public service announcements in a variety of languages, fliers and a list of engaging ways to incorporate the challenge are available on the Read to ME webpage.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities. The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement.  Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity, and don’t hesitate to contact danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov (624-6734) with any questions.

50+ School and District Leaders Come Together to Enhance Student Support and Instructional Practice

Collaboration and support was the primary focus of three recent technical assistance session held in Ellsworth, Brewer, and Augusta between 50+ school and district leadership teams and the Maine DOE ESEA Federal Program team members.

During the half day sessions, the 100+ participants worked alongside DOE staff, including school leadership coaches, to explore innovative approaches to leveraging federal funds through blending and braiding of ESEA Federal Program allocations, school-wide authority, and additional Title I school improvement funds to supplement and enhance current student support and instructional practice.

“We had great turnout, great conversation, and enthusiasm at these meetings and we are encouraged as we move forward,” said Janette Kirk, Maine DOE Chief of Learning Systems.

Reminder: Register for Maine School Winter Wellness Summit on Jan 31

Life is Good, Wellness Makes It Better! The goal of the Winter Wellness Summit is to prepare and empower participants to create healthy, positive and safe schools for all school personnel and students by promoting policies and environmental practices that support healthier schools, improve personal health and well-being, and enhance academic achievement.

When: Thursday, January 30 and Friday, January 31
Where: The Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME
Audience: Any Individual and/or Wellness Team interested in tools and resources for supporting the health and well-being of Staff, Students and the School
Communities
Cost: Early registration until Dec 27 – $125/person*
Regular registrations after Dec 28 – $145/person *

~~ Contact Hours Awarded ~~

*Morning refreshments and lunch both days and dinner Thursday evening included in all registrations.

Sessions will address Physical-Emotional-Mental-Social-Spiritual & Occupational
dimensions of health with a special emphasis this year on Mental Wellness for all!

  • Engaging Workshops on Personal Wellness Practices
  • Programs & Leadership Skills
  • Action Planning
  • Positive School Environments
  • Wellness Exhibit Expo
  • Worksite Wellness Program Planning

Check out info on the two outstanding keynotes, Murray Banks and George Manning along with up-to-date details and a draft agenda for the 2020 Maine School Winter Wellness Summit on the Maine DOE Website’s Employee and Student Wellness web page.

Time is built into the schedule to practice taking care of YOU and to network with colleagues and professionals from across the state who value schoolsite health promotion and wellness.

DON’T MISS THIS AWESOME PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY!
Join us for the first Winter Wellness Summit, a component of the Maine Schoolsite Health Promotion Program, a program of the Maine Department of Education!

Register here for the Winter Wellness Summit

Accommodations:

Accommodations are on your own, but we have secured a block of rooms at an excellent rate at The Samoset Resort for the State per diem rate of $122 prior to taxes for Single/Double Occupancy. Please note that in order to be tax exempt you must bring documentation.

To book a room at The Samoset Resort:
1 – Click on this link: The Samoset Resort (Do not call for reservations)
2 – Enter the date(s) of your reservation, have a credit card ready
3 – Ignore the next two dropdown buttons
4 – Click on the SEARCH button
5 – Proceed with instructions
The last day to book from the block of reserved rooms is Friday, December 27, 2019.
After December 27, the rate will be honored if rooms are still available.

For more information and questions contact Susan Berry, Maine Department of Education Health Education and Health Promotion Coordinator at 207-624-6695 or susan.berry@maine.gov.

School-Based Services Training Survey, Due December 31.

 In partnership with our colleagues at Department of Health and Human Services(DHHS), we are asking special education directors to complete a brief survey regarding MaineCare, so we can better tailor professional development for special education providers.  

MaineCare will be proposing a new section of the MaineCare Benefits Manual, Section 106, School-based Services. We anticipate the rule will go into effect July 1, 2020. To help ensure successful implementation of this rule, MaineCare is offering a series of trainings to school district personnel, agencies, and any other stakeholders who would like to know more about what health-related services may be billed to MaineCare through this new section of policy.  

We are asking all school-based services providers to complete a survey regarding training needs. The survey results will allow MaineCare to provide access to support and resources, and adequate training prior to implementation.  

In-person trainings will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, and grouped geographically whenever possible. Because there are over 200 school districts and hundreds of stakeholders who need training, we will do our best to meet the needs of your staff. Preference will be given to current MaineCare providers. We will also provide two online, self-directed MaineCare Basics trainings, along with an updated MaineCare in Education Pre-Implementation Training Guide for Providers, which will be posted and available on the day that the new Section 106 policy is legally adopted.  The online MaineCare Basics self-directed trainings will be prerequisites for individuals attending the in-person training.  

Please complete the School-Based Services Training Survey by December 31, 2019. Please, only one response per agency or school administrative unit. One of the questions asks you to identify the number of staff in need of each of the training courses offered. Please refer to the Section 106 Policy Guides, Presentations, and Training document for the training descriptions on the MaineCare in Education webpage.

Please contact Trista Collins with questions.

Important Reminder: Due Date Approaches for Quarter 2 (Q2) Attendance, Behavior, Bullying, and Truancy Data Review

The Department of Education offers quarterly windows for districts to review, for accuracy and comprehensiveness, the data that has been entered and reported to us. It is our hope that review of this data on a more regular basis will save district personnel time and work at the end of the year, and that it will provide time for analysis and to make any necessary corrections.

The certification period for Quarter 2 (Q2), which includes attendance, behavior, bullying, and truancy, opens January 1st.  Review and certification are required by January 15th. Superintendent certification is required for all quarterly reports.

Attendance data certification can be found here, and guidance on reporting attendance can be found here.

Behavior data certification can be found here, and guidance on reporting behavior can be found here.

Bullying data certification can be found here, and guidance on what constitutes a reported incident of bullying can be found here.

Truancy data certification can be found here, and guidance on reporting truancy can be found here.

If you have difficulties navigating to Synergy or NEO, please call the Helpdesk at 624-6896 or email at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov

All due dates for reports are listed on the MDOE reporting calendar. All quarterly reports are based on the following months:

  • Quarter Two (Q2) – As of Jan 1 (to include Oct through Dec) – due Jan 15
  • Quarter Three (Q3) – As of April 1 (to include Jan through March) – due April 15
  • Quarter Four (Q4)– As of July 1 (to include Apr through June) – due July 15
  • Quarter One (Q1)– As of Oct 1 (to include July, August, Sept) – due Oct 15