School Renovation Funding Available

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is accepting applications to receive funding for school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The application deadline is October 31, 2022.

The Maine DOE will be able to approve approximately $10 million in SRRF loans. A portion of each loan will be considered a grant and will be forgiven. The remaining portion will be paid back over either five or ten years with no interest. The maximum loan amount is limited to $1 million per school building per priority in any five-year period.

Applications for Priority One projects will be accepted.  Priority One projects include indoor air quality improvement, structural roof repair, hazardous material abatement or removal, ADA compliance upgrades, and other health, safety and compliance renovations.

The SRRF application and additional information are available on the Maine DOE’s SRRF website. For more information or technical assistance, contact Ann Pinnette at 207-215-3809 or email ann.pinnette@maine.gov.

 

Media Release: Maine School Safety Summit Brings Together More than 300 Educators, School Leaders, and Law Enforcement Personnel to Collaborate on School Safety Issues

The Maine Department of Education’s Maine School Safety Center held its annual Maine School Safety Summit this week at Windham High School, with a focus on how educators, school leaders, law enforcement, and communities can increase collaboration and communication around school safety strategies. The three-day summit attracted more than 300 participants from across the state with roles ranging from school principals, social workers, and nurses to school resource officers, first responders, and emergency preparedness professionals.

Nearly 50 workshops were offered on a wide range of school safety topics, including trauma awareness; supporting the safety and well-being of young people; brain science; restorative practices; social media use; emergency operations planning; food security linked to school security; behavioral threat assessment; bus safety; and more. Staff from the Maine Department of Education’s Office of School and Student Supports and Office of School Facilities and Transportation also helped lead several workshops.

The Maine School Safety Center (MSSC) was created two years ago, and codified into law this year, with the mission of developing a safe school infrastructure that will deliver high quality, up-to-date best practices, procedures, training, and technical assistance and support to Maine schools. MSSC offers school supports and services on school emergency management, threat assessment and mental health, restorative practices, training, and school safety and security. MSSC has provided hundreds of trainings, courses, and professional learning experiences to support school staff and school leaders throughout Maine.

MSSC’s approach to school safety is comprehensive and is guided by the beliefs that supporting the well-being of students and a healthy school environment is essential to the reduction of behaviors that threaten the safety of the school community; everyone who comes in contact with students and a school system has a responsibility to help create and sustain a healthy school environment and ensure a student’s well-being; the school environment, culture, approaches to discipline, and interface with the community are crucial to the well-being of all students, and particularly to those students who are alienated from the school program and those with behavioral and/or mental health issues; and schools and communities need to collaborate to create a systematic approach to school safety.

“This summit was planned long before the tragedy in a Texas elementary school last month, but that event, and so many others, certainly underscore the fact that school safety and security, emergency prevention, and emergency response preparedness remain top concerns for students, staff, families, and communities nationwide and here in Maine,” said Education Commissioner Pender Makin in her keynote address. “This three-day event offers a wide variety of professional learning opportunities and technical assistance to help schools and their community partners enhance all aspects of school safety, ranging from culture and climate to hazard planning to crisis response and recovery planning. What is clear throughout all of the sessions, and reinforced by who is here attending the summit, is the overarching message that partnerships, relationships, communication, and collaboration are the keys to this work.”

“We all know that when we put our minds and our hearts together, we can be brilliant. Throughout the last 27 months, we have all worked together to stay safe, to keep our schools open and to make sure that we took care of our students and each other–both professionally and personally,” said Eileen King, Executive Director of the Maine School Superintendents Association. “Keeping our students and staff safe is the priority, change is the reality, and collaboration must be the strategy.”

“School boards across the state engage in and support sound school safety practices for students and staff,” said Steve Bailey, Executive Director of the Maine School Board Association. “Through the leadership of the DOE’s Maine School Safety Center, and the collaboration with other partner agencies and associations, this identified effort to expand and promote safety practices and important inter-agency relationships will be an important next step to helping keep our schools safe, while also knowing what to do and who to turn to should additional resources be needed.”

“Safety is a top priority for students and for school staff, and with safety encompassing so many things, physical and emotional/mental health, security, cyber, food security, and more, we need to do what we can to work collaboratively to address these issues and provide the public education our students deserve,” said Grace Leavitt, President of the Maine Education Association.

“It’s imperative that law enforcement and educators have an open line of communication and a collaborative working relationship,” said Chief Kevin Schofield, Maine Chiefs of Police, Windham Police Department. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to take this issue seriously and work together to make sure our students and schools are as safe as possible.”

The Maine School Safety Summit was sponsored by the Maine Department of Education, Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, Maine School Superintendents Association, Maine Chiefs of Police Association, Maine Sheriff’s Association, Maine Principals Association, Maine Department of Corrections, Maine School Resource Officers Association, Strategies for Youth, and Maine School Board Association.

 

MaineCare Seed Adjustments to be Made, Review Q3’22 Reports by July 15, 2022

The recovery of Q3’22 MaineCare Seed will occur in the July 2022 subsidy payment and the Maine DOE is asking Districts to review their reports by July 15, 2022 to ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy. SAU staff must review, and submit disputes and student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q3’22 by July 15, 2022.

To access the MaineCare Seed reports, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into NEO using the link below
    https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Dashboard
  2. Click on the Student Data tab
  3. Click on the Student Report tab
  4. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  5. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  6. save iconClick “view report” button
  7. Once the report appears on the screen, choose the export button.

You may export the reports to Excel but, please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

To dispute a claim:

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should not be on the report, please send an email with the following information for each State Student ID to stephanie.clark@maine.gov.

  • State Student ID
  • The reason that you disagree
  • Identify the type of report: public or private
  • Quarter in which the claims are located
  • Service provided dates (From and To)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services:

Students must be enrolled for the time period they are receiving educational services. This means that students that are receiving extended school year services in district or extended school year services in an out of district placement must have a primary enrollment for that time period in order for the MDOE to have the most accurate enrollment data to determine SAU responsibility for MaineCare Seed.

If you have difficulty logging into NEO:

Anyone who currently has Special Education Director permissions to the Special Education module will automatically have permission to access MaineCare reports.
As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this module, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary. The helpdesk contact information is medms.helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

Please contact stephanie.clark@maine.gov for more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed

Panelist Opportunities for Maine Science Educators 

The Maine Department of Education is currently recruiting elementary (5th grade) educators and alternate participants (grades 8 and 3rd year of high school) to participate in an upcoming standard setting for the state’s science assessment, Maine (MEA) Science.

Maine educators and the DOE play a crucial role in the development of this assessment for students. No prior experience with standard setting or standard setting methodology is required however, panelists should be a science expert that teaches students who participate in the Maine Science assessment and have a thorough understanding of the assessed Maine Learning Results (MLRs) Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participants must be able to differentiate between student performances at different levels of achievement. Standard setting panels consist of 10 educators per grade band (grade 5, 8, and 3rd year of high school).  Panelists will have the opportunity to discuss and determine application thresholds for Maine.

Current needs include:

  • Grade 5 – 4 Educators
  • Grade 8 – Alternates*
  • 3rd year of High School – Alternates*

*Alternates need to indicate they would be available should a panelist be unable to participate.

The standard setting is scheduled to take place from July 26th – 28th 2022 in Augusta. Travel, accommodations and expenses will be covered with a daily stipend provided to selected panelists.

Please consider applying or sharing the upcoming opportunities with colleagues. The expertise and contributions of Maine educators are a critical element of the continued development cycle for these assessments.

Interested? Complete the panelist registration survey. 

Want more information? Please reach out to Janette Kirk, Chief of Federal Programs at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

Maine DOE Data Management Systems Summer Training

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) Data Team is holding their annual summer training July 26th-28th and August 9th-16th. The focus of the training this year will be on tips and resources to assist districts with their state required data reporting and viewing/certifying their reports. New for this year we have condensed our sessions down to three hours. Please note that these trainings are geared towards users who have experience in the states student and/or staff data collection and reporting systems (Synergy, NEO and MEIS). For those who are brand new to state required student and/or staff data reporting we offer one-on-one onboard training.

Register for one-on-one onboard training

To register for the training, please visit Summer 2022 Training Registration.

Training Dates and Locations

  • July 26th, Houlton Middle/High School, 7 Bird St, Houlton, ME 04730
  • July 27th, Hampden Academy, 89 Western Ave, Hampden, ME 04444
  • July 28th, Ellsworth Elementary/Middle School, 20 Forrest Avenue Ellsworth, ME 04605
  • August 9th, Cony High School, 60 Pierce Drive Augusta, ME 04330
  • August 10th, Park Avenue Elementary, Park Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210
  • August 11th, Orion Performing Arts Center, 50 Republic Ave, Topsham, ME 04086
  • August 12th, Biddeford High School, 18 Maplewood Ave, Biddeford, ME 04005
  • August 16th, TEAMS Live Event, select “Join Live” at 9am or when ever you would like to join.

All sessions will begin with registration at 8:30am, with presentations beginning at 9am.  Coffee and water will also be provided throughout the training.

The following is the daily agenda for this year’s summer data trainings Please note that these times are tentative and are subject to change. Thank you.

8:30 – 9:00 – Check-in, Meet & Greet

9:00 – 9:30 – Welcome, Helpdesk Resources, Introduction of new staff & What’s New for 2023 – Ryan Cunningham

9: 30 – 10:15 – NEO Staff Module & MEIS – Drew Mitchell

10:15 – 10:45 – Graduation/Student Reports– Trevor Burns

10:45 – 11:00 – Break

11: 00 – 11:45 – Synergy – Michael Mikrut

11: 45 – 12:00 – Closing – Questions, Comments and Concerns

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding these training sessions, please contact Ryan Cunningham Maine DOE Data Systems Helpdesk Manager at (207) 624-6809 or Ryan.L.Cunningham@maine.gov .