Informational Risk Summary: Education Facilities Subsector

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Homeland Security have published a Cyber Risk Summary: Education Facilities Subsector

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) vulnerability management Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability Scanning performed between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020—identified the following vulnerabilities on Education entity IT assets. Note: This fact sheet uses data collected from Education Facilities Subsector entities as defined in the Government Facilities Sector Specific Plan. The Education Facilities Subsector consists of private and government-owned K-12 and higher education institutions.

View the full summary here

Questions can be sent to CISA at CSD_VM_Insights_Intake@cisa.dhs.gov. If you have feedback specific to your experience with this product, please send CISA your input by filling out the CISA Product Survey

WEBINAR: New Technology Funding Available Through Federal Emergency Connectivity Fund

Colleagues from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will share information regarding the Emergency Connectivity Fund in an upcoming webinar on July 22 at 2:30pm.  The event will go over information about how your district, school, or library can apply for technology reimbursement, answer common questions they are receiving from district leaders, and will have experts on hand to answer questions from participants. Participants are encouraged to submit their questions in advance when registering for the webinar.

Webinar Info:

July 22, 2021, 2:30pm EDT
Register here

The pandemic has brought equity-related issues such as home connectivity to the forefront, and the need for remote learning forced district leaders to invest more funds for technology than ever before. Fortunately, additional help is on the way.

Are you applying to get your fair share of the federal funds being provided to offset the costs of remote learning? Purchases between July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 for student or teacher home use are eligible for this reimbursement, including:

  • Up to $400 per laptop or tablet
  • Up to $250 per Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Monthly service is not capped but is expected to be in the range of $10-$25 per month

Learn more about the Emergency Connectivity Fund and how your district, school, or library can apply. The application deadline is August 13, 2021.

Webinar Guests

  • Allison BakerPolicy Advisor, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal Communications Commission
  • Travis LitmanActing Chief of Staff, Federal Communications Commission
  • Thomas C. MurrayDirector of Innovation, Future Ready Schools (moderator)
  • Ramesh NagarajanActing Wireline Advisor, Office of Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, Federal Communications Commission

Register here. For questions about the webinar, contact Lia Dossin.

WEBINAR: Strategies for Safely Returning to School: The Latest Federal Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education is hosting a webinar series to support educational settings in safely sustaining or returning to in-person instruction. The series features the latest federal guidance, and lessons learned and best practices from faculty, staff, schools, districts, institutions of higher education, early childhood education providers, and other places of educational instruction describing approaches to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools, the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) invites you to join the next webinar, Strategies for Safely Returning to School: The Latest Federal Guidance.

Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST

Please join us for this informative webinar featuring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ED on preparing to return to school for the 2021-22 school year, including the latest on mitigation strategies, as we continue to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the federal agency updates, practitioner questions will be addressed by the CDC and ED staff to allow field personnel to better understand and ultimately operationalize guidance.

Speakers/Panelists

  • Christian Rhodes, Moderator, Chief of Staff, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Neha Cramer: Lead, Schools Unit, Community Intervention and Critical Populations Task Force at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Jessica McKinney: Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (OPEPD), U.S. Department of Education Related Documents

This event will reference the following resources, which we encourage you to access in advance of the webinar to inform participation:

For your reference, slides for this presentation will be posted on the event webpage on the day of the event.

Registration – You must register to participate in this presentation. Register Here!

Please contact NCSSLE if you have any questions. We look forward to sharing this information with you and hearing from you about the important work you are doing in your schools, communities, and states to meet the needs of your students and staff as they return to in-person learning.

Maine Students Earn Honors at the National History Day

Students from across Maine impressed judges from across the globe in the National History Day (NHD) competition. NHD is an international program focusing on studying and learning history in middle and high schools. Students choose a specific topic that fits in with the year’s theme and lead an extensive research project. NHD culminates in the presenting of the students’ projects to experts from across the field of history. The theme of the 2021 NHD contest was “Communication in History: the Key to Understanding.”

Several Maine students were given the Outstanding Affiliate Award. Jillian Muller, Charlotte McGreevy, and Brittany Carrier from Buckfield Jr./Sr. High school received this award for the documentary they created titled “Communicating with Children: How Fred Rogers Approached Tough Topics with Kids.” Uyen Nguyễn from John Bapst Memorial High school was also awarded for her website “United States Involvement in the Vietnam War: The Impacts of Multimedia ON Mainstream Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy.”

The highlight of the tournament for the state of Maine was Maya Faulstich, who took second place overall in the Individual Performance category. Maya, an eighth-grader from Frank H. Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, drew on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to create her project “A Climate Carol.”

Maya’s project illustrates how the Keep America Beautiful campaign in the 1950s-1970s had a lasting negative influence on how the public thinks about trash and litter and highlights how the campaign continues to influence public opinion today. Maya’s second-place finish is the highest place a Maine student has taken in the category of Individual Performance on NHD. Maya’s performance can be watched below. In addition, her research and process can be read here.

The Maine DOE congratulates all students and teachers involved in the competition on such an impressive showing.

More details on the NHD completion can be found on the official press release. Extensive information on Maya’s project can be found in her recent interview.

This article was written by Maine DOE Intern Clio Bersani in collaboration with National History Day in Maine and Yarmouth School Department as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

MEDIA RELEASE: Call to Action for Maine Parents: Complete the Meal Benefit Application at School This Year – Even if School Meals are Free

Maine needs all parents and caregivers to take action this school year––by taking the time to complete the confidential Meal Benefit Application through your local school, even if school meals are already free for all students. Families, schools, communities, and our state can greatly benefit from the data that is gathered from the application, and this application is important for a number of reasons.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, when school meals became complementary, there has been a significant drop in Meal Benefit Application returns––meaning less families are filling out the application.

The family income data provided by the application informs key funding for school resources. This includes school meal reimbursements, funding for Title I programs, funding and resources for after school programs, funding provided to schools from the Maine State Legislature for essential programs and services at school, funding for special education, teacher loan forgiveness, and much, much more!

Federal and state government use the aggregate data from the application to distribute education funding to schools across the county and state of Maine. In other words, if there is no data to inform the needs of the community, it could result in less education funding for your local district and for Maine.

By completing the Meal Benefit Application, you are directly investing in your child’s education and the children and families in your community.

Specific programs that are funded by the data collected from Meal Benefit Application:

How can I complete the Meal Benefit Application?  The application is available through your local school administrative unit (SAU) school nutrition program and it is completely confidential. Most SAUs have the application available to be completed online. Follow this link to access your SAU’s online application (if your school district is not listed, please contact them directly). A printed version of the application is also required to be available––it will often be part of beginning of year paperwork that comes home with your child.

This past school year has certainly had its challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are thrilled that, despite these challenges, all Maine children have had the opportunity to access free healthy school meals on a daily basis. We would like to extend our gratitude to Maine parents and caregivers who have participated in their SAUs’ meal programs. We know that with the continued support of Maine’s incredible families, we can ensure the best for our children.