Maine DOE begins math achievement pilot program in 6 Maine elementary schools

The Maine Department of Education is embarking on a new initiative called the Numeracy4ME K-4 Mathematics Pilot program. The project is designed to improve the mathematics achievement of students in kindergarten through grade four in 6 pilot schools: Academy Hill, Cherryfield Elementary School, Cornville Charter School, G.D. Cushing School, Indian Township School, and Milbridge Elementary School.

Students in kindergarten through grade four in the pilot schools are the focus of the Numeracy4ME Project. These learners will be supported by their teachers, who will be engaging in high quality professional learning on numeracy related instructional practices delivered by trained mathematics specialists. In addition, each school will be supported by a Maine Department of Education mathematics specialist coach.

Schools were selected based on mathematics achievement, defined by Maine Education Assessment (MEA) proficiency rates in Grades 3 and 4, and economic need, defined by free and reduced lunch counts. The pilot includes schools in two Regions: Washington County and Franklin/Somerset County.

As a pilot project, the Numeracy4ME program is designed to study results of implementation to inform decisions about extending the opportunity to other Maine schools in the future.  The resources available to support the project are limited to 25 teachers in each region.

The Numeracy4ME Pilot Project will run from January 2018 through June 2018 and, pending funding, will continue through July 2019.

For more information about the Numeracy4ME Pilot Project contact Cheryl Toby, Mathematics Specialist for the Maine Department of Education at

Maine Education Assessments (MEA) Student Test Status Extended 3/16/18

The Department is extending the period to identify a student’s test type as “alternate” or “general” until March 16 in order to allow districts sufficient time to complete their updates.

All students participating in the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) for mathematics and ELA/Literacy or the Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) for science must be identified in the Synergy Student Information System by March 16.

Students that are not identified in the Special Education Student Services module of Synergy will participate in the grade 3 – 8 mathematics and ELA/Literacy eMPowerME test, or the or the high school mathematics and ELA/Literacy SAT test.

For further information regarding alternate assessment testing contact Sue Nay at or 624-6774. For technical assistance with Synergy contact the Helpdesk at or 624-6896.

EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report (EF-S-214) open for reporting on March 1

The EF-S-214 will be open to Maine public schools on March 1 for data entry.  School administrative unit staff responsible for completion of this report should complete the report in NEO as early as possible to allow time for certification by the special service director and the business manager. The Department’s School Finance Team must approve the report by April 15 in order to apply eligible adjustments to the current year subsidy calculation before the end of the fiscal year.

The EF-S-214 report is required to be submitted by all publicly funded school administrative units. Only costs for tuition and board should be included in the report, and only students that have a total cost above $36,229 should be included on the report.  School administrative units should project the costs for the remainder of the fiscal year.  For those school administrative units with no students that will meet that threshold, a “zero” report should be submitted.

Reminder of changes made to the report since the last reporting cycle:

  • The form is to be certified and submitted by the business manger
  • The ability to import out of district placements is now available
  • Students can have multiple lines if they have had more than one placement during the year
  • There is now the option to view a summary sheet which provides a total adjustment amount, if all costs are approved
  • An internal messaging system has been added to communicate questions
  • The form will auto-populate the school administrative unit contact information based on data on file in the Department’s NEO staff module

The EF-S-214 report may be found by logging into NEO at:

Please contact Stephanie Clark, Fiscal Review and Compliance Consultant at

Updated guidance on local approval for regional service centers

The Department is issuing updated guidance on obtaining local approval for a regional service center (RSC).  Previous guidance stated that each school administrative unit (SAU) member of an RSC must hold a referendum on their interlocal agreement; however, a recent review of applicable statutes provides that local practices and each SAU’s structure will determine the approval process for an RSC interlocal agreement. Specifically:

Approval by town meeting

For a regional school unit (RSU), school administrative districts (SAD), community school district (CSD) or municipal school unit that has a town meeting to approve the annual school budget, a referendum is not required to approve an interlocal agreement establishing an RSC. These types of SAUs can obtain local approval of the interlocal agreement establishing an RSC at the annual school budget meeting.

Approval by referendum

There is no change to guidance for cities and charter municipalities that do not approve the annual school budget at an annual budget meeting. For SAUs in this category a referendum vote to approve an interlocal agreement establishing an RSC will be required on the June 12, 2018 statewide election day.

As stated in Regional Service Center Part I Letter and Guidance published in the Maine DOE Newsroom in December 2017, the Department remains committed to the goal that initial regional service centers will be operational by July 1, 2018, and encourages all applicants to pursue this timeframe.

In the event that there are applicants with member SAUs that are unable to ratify interlocal agreements in time for July 1, the Department will consider, on a case by case basis, whether it makes sense to hold the regional center subsidy for a reasonable amount of time to allow local school communities to reach agreement. In such an instance, the Department will proceed as follows:

  • The subsidy adjustment calculated for each participating SAU on the ED 279 will be held by the Department, pending the negotiation of an agreement between the Department and each SAU.
  • In the agreement, the member SAUs will outline the steps that will be taken during the 2018-2019 fiscal year to finalize the regional service center, and laying out milestones that the member SAUs commit to meeting by certain dates to keep the progress on track.

In the event that the milestones are met and ratification of the regional service center occurs by the deadline established in the agreement, the DOE shall make the entire subsidy adjustment available to each member SAU that joins the proposed regional service center and agrees to purchase at least two services from at least two distinct categories.

Reminder regarding student participation in post-secondary enrollment programs

Maine high school students are afforded the opportunity to participate in post-secondary programs under 20-A MRSA, Chapter 208-A.  This statute details student eligibility requirements and proscribes the level of student participation as 6 credit hours per semester, not to exceed 12 credit hours per academic year.

As the second semester began, the Department received invoices from post-secondary institutions for students who had already met the 12 credit hours per academic year threshold. This notice is a reminder of the reasons that limiting the credit hours can be beneficial to students:

  • Completing a high number of college courses while in high school can affect a student’s enrollment status in the first year of college with unintended consequences to federal financial aid, campus housing, academic standing, and scholarship eligibility. Career and technical programs, in a often have tight, sequential requirements in each semester: completing part of a semester of requirements can impact enrollment status (for example there are not enough remaining courses for a student to take to be full-time).
  • Course requirements can differ from program to program and there is no guarantee that a course will transfer to the student’s college of choice. Therefore, a secondary student participating in the post-secondary enrollment program should receive guidance in the selection of post-secondary enrollment courses, giving consideration to the student’s intended program of study/career pathway. Students should choose intentionally and with the combined guidance of school counselors and advisors at the colleges and/or universities.
  • Funds to support students enrolled in this program are limited by legislative appropriation and credit hour limits have been established in an effort to afford participate for as many students as possible within the limits of the appropriation.

As a reminder to Superintendents, Principals and Guidance Counselors, the responsibility to monitor student participation in post-secondary enrollment programs lies with the school administrative unit. Please be sure to verify student credit hours each semester, prior to approving a student to enroll in post-secondary courses.

Should you have questions or need clarification, please contact Stephanie Clark, Fiscal Review and Compliance Consultant for the Maine Department of Education at

PRIORITY NOTICE: Reminder of public hearings for science and social studies standards; live broadcast links available

As a reminder, the Maine Department of Education has scheduled a series of public hearings this week as part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results. The Department is seeking public comments regarding the current social studies standards and science standards.

Public hearings for each standard have been scheduled back to back in locations throughout the State of Maine. Below is a list of relevant links as well as hearing dates, locations and times including a live links for each event:

Science Standards:

Social Studies Standards:

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on March 16th, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to with the subject “Science Standards Review” or “Social Students Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Paul Hambleton, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at

Discretionary medication administration in schools

This memorandum is in response to queries from the field regarding PRN or discretionary medication administration in schools.

Registered nurses working as school nurses are in a unique place. Although they are school employees working under the rules and regulations of the local school board and State of Maine Department of Education, they are also licensed by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Board of Nursing and therefore must follow the Nurse Practice Act and its rules. The registered nurse coordinates and oversees unlicensed personnel within a school to assign specific health tasks to be done and provides the training. Any unlicensed school staff who will administer medication must be trained by a registered nurse or physician before carrying out this task. It is the position of the Board of Nursing, that any task that requires a nursing assessment or judgment cannot be assigned to unlicensed personnel. When medication is not routine, such as with over-the-counter ibuprofen, for example, and the student’s response to the medication is less predictable, nursing oversight should be carefully considered. When evaluating if medication can be administered by an unlicensed staff, the school nurse should assess the situation and consider the following:

  • The task should not inherently involve ongoing assessment, interpretation, or nursing judgment and decision making
  • The school nurse should have the ability to provide adequate oversight of the unlicensed staff member’s medication administration tasks

It is recommended that schools take time to review their medication policies and procedures to ensure requirements from both the Board of Nursing and the Department of Education are being met. The following are resources that may assist your school in doing this:

Maine Board of Nursing Position Statement for School Nursing

Maine State Board of Nursing, Chapter 6 Regulations relating to coordination and oversight of patient care services by unlicensed health care assistive personnel.

Maine Department of Education, Chapter 40 Rule for Medication Administration in Maine schools.

Maine Department of Education, Decision Tree for Nurse Coordination and Oversight.

Maine Department of Education, School Health Manual. Medication Administration in Schools Introduction

For further information contact Emily Poland, School Nurse Consultant, Maine Department of Education at