Proposed Revisions to Rule Chapter 115: Credentialing of Educational Personnel

As part of the Maine Department of Education’s efforts to streamline and clarify certification processes for Maine educators, the Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 115: Credentialing of Educational Personnel. The Department had withdrawn an earlier proposal in order to make necessary changes and fall within the timeframe needed for public hearings and legislative action during this session. Having made those changes, the Department is now releasing a refined proposed rule for public comment.

Please note: The Part I proposed changes are to the current Rule Chapter 115, Part 1, adopted in July 2018. The Part II proposed changes are to Rule Chapter, Part II, adopted in August 2017, which had been scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2019.

The proposed Rule Chapter 115 can be found here (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Summary of changes: Part I revisions refine and correct for articulation with statute and Part II and clarify certain provisions. Part II revisions include clarifications and refinements as well as more substantial changes, including the elimination of some provisions scheduled to take effect July 1, 2019. Part II proposed changes include:

  1. Eliminating literacy course work for Secondary Teacher Endorsement, Pathway 2
  2. Proposing grade spans: Public preschool-3, K-8, 6-12, Public preschool-12, and K-12
  3. Establishing a pathway to qualifying as a secondary teacher based on work experience and specified education course work
  4. Refining Career and Technical Education endorsement requirements to better meet the needs of the field.
  5. Sun setting endorsement 093: School Psychologist (Specialist or Doctoral), Pathway 4; and updating the requirements for this pathway
  6. Repealing and replacing endorsement pathways for some certificates to account for statutory changes in types of certificates (e.g. the elimination of the targeted certificate) and for clarity.

Public Comment Period Information for Rule Chapter 115:

Public Comment Period: December 26, 2018 – January 28, 2019
Comments should be submitted to Mary Paine at mary.paine@maine.gov or to the address below.

Public Hearing: January 14, 2019, 9:30 – 11:00 am Rm. 500, Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. People wishing to speak are asked to sign in and provide two written copies of their comments.

Anyone unable to send comments via email or attend the public hearing may send written comments to:

Mary Paine
Department of Education
23 State House Station, Augusta, ME

Upcoming Review of Local MACM Programs; SAUs to be Contacted

As a reminder, Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program (MACM), in response to OSEPS’s requirements for qualified special educators, is in progress. The goal of MACM is to ensure that conditionally certified special educators earn Professional Certification by the end of a three year period.

As part of this work, the Department has contracted with Elaine Tomaszewski, a former special educator, special services director, and superintendent, to facilitate the development of structures in school administrative units (SAUs) to ensure strong systems of support. The intent is to strengthen existing district systems of mentoring or coaching whenever possible, or assist in developing systems as necessary.

As an early step in the process, SAU’s across the state will be contacted via email by December 21st requesting access to their existing support system information (manuals, plans). The intent is to review and compare them to national standards.

If your Special Services or Curriculum Director is contacted please encourage them to participate in this early phase of the work. If your district is not contacted but would like to have their information shared please contact Elaine Tomaszewski directly at elaine.tomaszewski@gmail.com

 

New District Human Resource Role Available in Online Certification System

The Maine Department of Education is excited to announce the availability of a new district human resource role in the state’s online educator certification system. The new role in MEIS (Maine Educator Information System) can be requested for district human resource staff by the superintendent.

This new role will provide the user the ability to view the districts certification (violations) report as well as any district employees up for a credential. Prior to granting this role, the staff member will need to create an account for themselves (if they do not already have one) in MEIS.

Once a staff member has created an account and has been granted the district human resource role, instructions on navigating to the certification report will be sent to the user via email.

Contact the Maine DOE Helpdesk for additional help.

 

(Correction)Reminder of Information Sharing Statute Relating to Investigations of Educators

As a reminder, LD 1924 An Act To Improve Information Sharing Relating to Investigations of Educators (Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §13025) will go into effect on December 3rd  13, 2018.

The specific duties of school entities and the Department related to investigations of educators including confidentiality, subpoenas, and definitions are addressed within the statue which can be accessed here: L.D. 1924 An Act To Improve Information Sharing Relating to Investigations of Educators (Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §13025 LD)

 For further information, contact Ángel Martinez Loredo at Angel.Loredo@maine.gov.

 

Important Updates and Information About New Certification System

The Maine Department if Education is celebrating the Maine Educators Information System’s (MEIS) one year anniversary. MEIS has officially been in production for one year as of November 14, 2018. Over the course of the past year the following has occurred:

  • All applications have been processed internally by the Maine DOE in the new system.
  • The increase in data entry has allowed for data analysis never available prior to having MEIS in place.
  • All superintendents have online access to educator credentials and violations.
  • All certification chairpersons can recommend educators for renewal completely online.
  • All educators can now renew their credentials online.
  • 40,866 applications have been processed in the last 365 days! The chart below breaks down the application types:

Cert App Types

Next steps for MEIS:

  • Add an upload button so that educators can upload their supplemental documents outside of the application process and,
  • Roll out the ability for educators to complete initial applications online.

Stay tuned for these features in the near future.

Important Updates and Reminders for Educators:

  • All educators who have not yet created an account in the new online certification system are encouraged to do so. By creating an account, educators are ensuring the certification team has the most recent contact information available. Step by step instructions on how to create an account are available on the certification site.
  • Please ensure applications are complete upon submission with all test scores, transcripts, and other supporting documentation. Submitting incomplete applications or parts of applications at different times will result in significant delays in processing, beyond the typical processing time.
  • The Department would like anyone who has gotten a fingerprint to call the certification office at 624-6603 two days (or more) after completing your fingerprinting at IdentoGO. Placing this quick call will allow the Department to efficiently process your application.
  • Conditional certificates will now be issued without securing employment. It is important to note that the conditional certificate is only active for three years and cannot be renewed. For this reason, educators who call to request the conditional must understand that it is a commitment to fulfill deficiencies within a three-year time limit.

For more information about the Maine DOE certification and fingerprinting process please visit the Certification webpage on the Department’s website.