NEO Accountability Report and Certification Webinar Recording and FAQ

The Maine Department of Education held a webinar on June 21 to Review the NEO Accountability Report and certification requirements. The recording is available for anyone who was unable to participate in the webinar.

The NEO Accountability Report allows districts to validate student enrollment and demographic data.  The report lists students by student groups which will directly inform student group reporting as part of school support determinations and ESEA Report Cards.  The report also identifies which assessments the students should have taken, full academic year enrollment for all students, and whether or not a student will be included for accountability measures or only for assessment reporting.

The Accountability Certification will need to be submitted by each Superintendent. Once validated, the data will be used for ESEA Report Cards and other assessment and accountability reporting.

NEO Accountability Report and Certification Webinar Recording (you will need to register for GoTo Webinar to view the recording)

Accountability Webinar Questions and Follow-Up FAQs

  1. My school is an SPPS (Special Purpose Private School). NEO also shows “no data” for this report
    • SPPS are not factored in the accountability model. However, the fact that data doesn’t show for your school is an error in NEO that will be corrected. Student data should show for your schools so you can validate that the information is correct. The report developers have been notified.
  2. As a SPPS, does my superintendent need to verify this report?
    • No
  3. What were the asterisks vs the blanks for on the Student Detail?
    • Asterisks indicate the assessment(s) that the student should have taken. A blank indicates that the student did not need to take any of the assessments.
  4. If something is not right, who do we contact?
    • If the data is related to student demographics or enrollments, please first validate that the information is correct in Synergy. If the data is correct in Synergy, please contact the Helpdesk – 207-624-6896 or contact 207-624-6696
  5. My accountability certification report is blank, but I can see kids in the detail report. Is this because I don’t do the certification? Or is there something else I need to do?
    • This was an error that has been corrected.
  6. Who certifies?
    • Superintendent
  7. Our schools are each their own district because we are an AOS. I have some kids who are marked N for full year district and a Y for full year school. They should be the same for each district and school in our case since our schools are their own districts. how do I fix this?
    • Please review the enrollment data in Synergy. It is possible for a student to attend one of your schools for the full year, but whose resident district has changed, so the district full academic year would not be Y, but the school full academic year would be Y.
  8. What is a schoolwide program?
    • Schoolwide program is a type of Title 1 program. For further information please contact Dan Weeks at: or (207) 624-6749.
  9. What about those that are tagged Y but are AFS students?
    • AFS (Foreign exchange) students are not treated any differently than other high school students.
  10. What if the students take their entire program at a vocational center?
    • The sending school/district is still responsible to see that the student takes the appropriate assessments.
  11. Can you explain where the numbers are coming from on the bottom? Such as Title 1
    • Title 1 numbers have two sources.
      • If the school has a schoolwide Title 1 program, then all of the students are flagged with Title1ELA and Title1Math.
      • If the school does not have a schoolwide Title 1 program, but rather a targeted assistance program, then the flags come from data entered into Synergy.
  12. We are a school wide, but the numbers are not matching the number of students above.
    • Please recheck the numbers. There was an error in the report earlier that has been fixed. If there are still issues, please contact 207-624-6696.
  13. Are Special Purpose Private Schools responsible for entering and checking this data for their students or is this a requirement for the public schools only?
    • SPPS should review the data (if the report has been fixed so you can see it) to validate that student grade levels and enrollments are entered correctly.
  14. Where can I get the recorded version?
  15. We have a student that was enrolled the entire year, but is showing N in both District and School Full Year columns.
    • Students are considered to be school full year if they are enrolled on October 1 and May 4 at the same school.
    • Students are considered to be district full year if the same district is responsible for the student on October 1 and May 4.
    • October EPS enrollment data is utilized to determine the October 1 status, if enrollments were entered after October EPS was closed (even if they cover the October 1 date), then the student isn’t counted as Full Academic Year.
  16. What does the E mean in the ELA Assessment column?
    • The “E” indicates Exempt.
      • EL students who arrived at a US school between April 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018 and who took the ACCESS for ELLs assessment are exempt from having to take the ELA assessment
      • EL students who arrive at a US school between March 1, 2018 and May 4, 2018 are exempt from having to take the ELA assessment
  17. We have students with “waivers” who shouldn’t be on the list
    • The only “waivers” that the Department recognizes are
      • the EL exemption – see question 16
      • special considerations – these students will have an S in the column for the assessment(s) for which the special consideration was granted
    • Students whose parents requested that the student not test will be counted as Non-Participants – there is no waiver for these students

For further questions contact Charlotte Ellis, Data Manager at

MeCAS Test Dates for 2018-2019 School Year Are Now Available

This announcement is intended to assist students, parents, schools and districts as they plan their school and district calendars for the 2018-2019 school year.

Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS) test dates for the 2018-2019 school year are now available on the Maine Department of Education’s website under Assessment Dates

The MeCAS consists of Maine’s Educational Assessments (MEA) and the national and international assessments administered in Maine.  The MEAs are annual measurements of students’ knowledge and skills in mathematics, English/language arts, science, and English language proficiency.  The national and international assessments include annual and biennial measurements of student achievement over time in Maine,  the United States and other countries.

To learn more about the MeCAS on the Department’s website, or contact Eric Buckhalter at or Andrew Hudacs at

Maine DOE Releases Chronic Absenteeism Data in an Effort to Support Student Success

The Maine Department of Education (Department) has collected chronic absenteeism for the 2016/17 school year as a non-academic indicator of school success. Absenteeism for any reason, excused or unexcused, has potential negative consequences on student learning and it is important for schools, districts, and the Department to have this broader measure of student attendance so that we can measure student success. Previously, the Department collected Average Daily Attendance (ADA), and truancy data. ADA measures the average number of students who attend school on any given day. Truancy is a measure of unexcused absences.

Research shows a statistically strong link between school attendance, the development of academic skills, and the likelihood of high school graduation. Research also shows that when a large percentage of students are chronically absent, even the progress their peers, who have better attendance, may suffer.

Below are some additional facts to help answer questions about the shift in chronic absenteeism data collection:

Why is this important?

Chronic absenteeism is a new indicator in Maine’s Accountability system which was designed as part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Current research shows chronic absenteeism has a clear relationship to negative consequences for students, including lower achievement, disengagement from school, course failure, and increased risk of dropping out.

How is chronic absenteeism defined?

Chronic absenteeism is a measure of how many students miss a defined number of school days for any reason. In Maine, this equates to missing 10% of school days or 18 days (based upon 175 school days). As part of Maine’s accountability system, student information will be compiled into an overall school measure indicating the percentage of students at the school who have missed 10% or more of school days. For further information about how chronic absenteeism data is collected visit

Where can I find the data?

The 2016/17 chronic absenteeism data is available here. The percentage of Maine students missing 10% or more school days is higher than anticipated as this is the first year school districts have reported this data to the State.

What can schools and districts expect now?

The Department is already working to develop a system of supports available to newly identified Tier II and Tier III schools, with resources to address challenges of attendance. These supports are part of the differentiated tiered model of support under the new ESSA Accountability model with identifications being made in January 2019.

Chronic absenteeism data will be collected annually through the Maine Department of Education’s Synergy Student Information System at the end of the academic year going forward.

The Department will continue collecting truancy data, as required by Maine statute.

For further information about the Department’s ESSA Accountability Model and needed supports, contact Janette Kirk at or (207) 624-6707.

Washington County Title I: School Improvement Initiative

On May 8 and 14, a total of 41 classroom, Title 1, and special education educators completed a 3 -part literacy professional development series on Guided Reading with a focus on differentiation, acceleration, and classroom focus. The two cohorts, are the result of a year-long pilot sponsored by the Maine Department of Education’s ESEA Title I: School Improvement Team.

The professional development was provided by Darlene Bassett, Literacy Coach for the Maine DOE, and was based on Jan Richardson’s nationally recognized book, The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading. Al Pfeiffer, Leadership Coach for the Maine DOE, facilitated the pilot with local schools.

Due to the geographical and economic challenges in Washington County, the Department provided these high-quality professional development sessions right in Machias.

Washington County Title I School Improvement Initiative cohort 1
Cohort 1

As part of this work, the Department’s literacy consultant collaborated with Pembroke Elementary School Principal Deb Jameson and three Pembroke Elementary Teachers, Karin Lingley (grades 3 & 4); Beckery Renaud (grades 5 & 6); and Rosie Griffith (7 & 8) to implement guided reading in their classrooms, and also create a “hub school” at Pembroke that has served as a site for other teachers and administrators in the area to visit and reflect as they implement guided reading.

Due to the interest in the area, and accompanying student assessment data, the Department’s Title I School Improvement Team offered a series of professional development sessions to provide teachers with an understanding of present day research and the classroom practices that are linked to the basis of Richardson’s new Guided Reading Model. This collaboration and involvement has lead to staff development for 14 schools in the area.

The Department’s Title I: School Improvement Team plans to continue this meaningful and targeted work with Washington County educators in the fall. One of the schools in the cohort will be identified as the hub school and will receive on-going services and become a resource for all teachers in the region to observe instruction.

Washington County Title I School Improvement Initiative cohort 2
Cohort 2

If you have any questions, please contact ESEA Federal Programs and Title I Director, Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at

2019 Maine State SAT School Day Administration Dates

The 2019 Maine State SAT School Day Administration Dates will be the following:

  • Maine State SAT School Day Administration – Tuesday, April 9, 2019
  • Makeup Date – Tuesday, April 23, 2019

This announcement is intended to help schools and districts with scheduling and calendar development for the 2018-2019 school year.  Test dates for other Maine Educational Assessments will be announced as soon as they are available.

The Maine State SAT administration is utilized for determining assessment participation rates and used for the achievement indicator within Maine’s accountability system for High School under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act  (ESSA) of 2015.

Released test items will only be available for the SAT administration on April 9th, 2019.  There will be no released items available for the SAT administered on the makeup date.

For questions about the Maine State SAT School Day Administration please contact Nancy Godfrey at, (207) 624-6775 or Andrew Hudacs at, (207) 624-6827.