Reminder: Register now for 2018 Commissioner’s Conference – session highlights available

The 2018 Commissioner’s Conference will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, June 27th and Thursday, June 28, 2018. The Maine DOE has been working closely with Maine School Management Association (MSMA) to ensure that this year’s sessions meet the needs of attendees – see conference highlights below.

Find additional resources and information including pricing, a draft agenda, lodging options, further details about registration, including guest registration, and more on the Maine DOE Commissioner’s Conference webpage.

Register now »

Conference Highlights

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine
Duke Albanese, Commissioner’s Conference Keynote

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine: Getting There Requires a Focus on Education and Effective Leadership for Learning, Citizenship, and Opportunities for All Maine Students”

Finding widespread prosperity has been difficult for our state. Although Maine presents abundant opportunities to thrive and prosper as individuals and communities, pockets of vibrancy have often been limited even during the best of times. To turn the tide and make our state a great place to live and prosper, high quality education is the key. We have the scale and wherewithal to build a world-class early childhood through higher education system focused on equity and enriching learning opportunities for all students. What we need to achieve this is strong, effective, creative, and resourceful leadership. Can Maine do it? Yes. Who will lead?

Duke Albanese will serve as Commissioner Keynote, in addition to conducting a break-out session.

Cracker-Barrel Session
Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff

Come to this informal session and get a chance to talk one-on-one with Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff, including Department leadership. The Department will also have available some insider updates for superintendents.

Certification: What You Need to Know
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide participants with a review of important changes resulting from recent revisions to certification laws; clarification on common misconceptions about certification requirements and processes; an opportunity to discuss communication strategies for certification; and a question and answer segment on the new online system.

Legislative Update
Maine DOE Staff

The Maine Legislature adjourned its Second Regular Session sine die on May 2, 2018. While education bills remain, including LD 1869 –”An Act To Establish the Total Cost of Education and the State and Local Contributions to Education for Fiscal Year 2018-19 and To Provide That Employees of School Management and Leadership Centers Are Eligible To Participate in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System”—which are preserved to be carried over to any special session of the 128th Legislature, others were passed and became law are either in effect now as emergency legislation, or will become law on Wednesday, August 1. This session will include a summary of enacted educated-related legislation, the status of bills preserved by the joint order, and a progress report on the status of rulemaking.

Open Forum: Addressing the Teacher Shortage
Open Forum lead by DOE staff

What can Maine do to address the teacher shortage while strengthening our educator workforce? In this open forum session, we will discuss barriers to teacher retention and recruitment and what is being done across the state to overcome these obstacles. Together we will collaborate on ways that all stakeholders can work together to build our educator workforce and promote the teaching profession.

Put your Collaborative Project on the Regionalization Map
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will learn about the EMBRACE II initiatives, including lessons learned; be introduced to the process of forming a regional service center; learn about the upcoming grant opportunity offered by the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES); brainstorm possible regionalized services and programs; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

We Have Formed a Regional Service Center: Now What?
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will provide input for the Department as to what regional service centers and executive directors need for support; gain an understanding of the monitoring and reporting requirements for a regional service center; receive legislative updates that directly impact regional service centers and their funding; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

Panel: Preparing Kids for Maine’s Workforce
Maine DOE staff and panel of industry representatives

What are employers looking for? What are students prepared to offer? What can Career and Technical Education (CTE) provide for industry and students? In this session, a panel of industry representatives will share what they look for in an employee. We will discuss and seek ideas for how Maine’s CTE programs can help create more opportunities for students and meet workforce needs.

PreK with Staying Power!
Maine DOE staff

High quality prek has great potential; but research shows that to truly lessen the achievement gap, certain program elements must be present before kindergarten or the gains will “fade out” in the early elementary grades. What are the goals for a prek program in your district? Are you seeing these goals realized in child outcomes over time? Come hear about the prek programs that include the research-based elements and the end-of-prek outcome data that predicts 5th grade reading, writing, and math scores.

Improving K-3 Literacy Achievement by Building Teacher Knowledge
Maine DOE MoMEntum staff and educators from pilot schools

The Department is implementing an early literacy/technology learning pilot project, MoMEntum K-3 Literacy, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning. This session will provide an overview of the initiative; details about the professional learning, including intentional instruction, opportunities for student practice, technology integration, and assessment that informs ongoing instruction; preliminary findings related to student achievement; and lessons learned so far. During this panel discussion, participants will have the chance to hear from and ask questions of those leading the program as well as participating educators and school leaders.

Closing the Achievement Gap with Early Math Education
Maine DOE staff

Two years of assessing current state data shows an increasing gap in the percent of grade 3-5 students statewide who meet or achieve state expectations in mathematics as compared to ELA/literacy. The Maine Department of Education is embarking on a new initiative called the Numeracy4ME K-4 Mathematics Pilot program, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning of mathematics. This session will provide an overview of the initiative, including details about structure of the professional learning, the focus on numeracy concepts, and implications for PK-4 learning and assessment applicable to all schools.

Work Session: 2018/19 School Approval Requirements & Process
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide guidance on the 2018-19 school/district approval requirements and the new more streamlined process in the Department’s NEO system. Superintendents will have the opportunity to begin completing the approval process at this session – bring your laptops.

Open Forum: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide district leaders an opportunity to share their PEPG triumphs and tribulations. Do you have a strategy that is working well in your district that you would like to share with others? Do you have a need for greater support in certain areas such as observations and feedback? Is your school or district interested in improving the quality of the Student Learning Objectives? Participation, creative strategies, and a willingness to share is encouraged in this session!

Raising the Bar for Technology in Maine Schools
Jim Moulton, Apple Inc.

How do we help our students learn today and prepare them for a rapidly changing world? A driving force behind this change is technology. It affects the way we communicate, the way we work, the way we live day-to-day. It also empowers every individual—and every learner—to create amazing things and make a difference in the world. But first, we need to raise the bar for what’s expected, and what’s possible, for learning with technology.

Substance Abuse Resources
Maine Center for Disease Control

The presentation will provide an overview of Maine Prevention services, specifically substance and tobacco use prevention including electronic nicotine delivery systems/vaping to school leaders. The information provided will be useful for school administrators as they consider policies, practices and education necessary to protect and optimize the health and safety of students. Materials, resources and a list of community prevention providers who can support school prevention efforts will be available at this presentation.

Elevating Concussion Education: How to Address Everyone
Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI), Colby College

As schools prepare for the start of each year, it’s the perfect time to update concussion education. To ensure that head injury is addressed with each population in the district, MCMI has tailored plans to educate all stakeholders. Everyone in your district will benefit from tailored and current concussion information. Attend this session to learn more about how to get involved.

Other possible sessions:

  • Steve Levesque, and Glenn Cummings – Educating the Workforce Panel
  • Adult Education
  • Budget Methodology of State/Local Funds for ESEA
  • ESSA: School Improvement for All
  • Early Math Education
  • Post-secondary enrollment and credentialing options
  • Truancy
  • Trauma

Celebrating the growth and success of Career & Technical Education

When the U.S. Smith-Hughes Act was signed in 1917, establishing technical (or “vocational”) education in agriculture, few would have suspected the evolution of a much broader based Career and Technical Education (CTE) system across the country, including 12.5 million high school and college students in such subjects as agriculture, automotive technology, biotechnology, culinary arts, health occupations, and many others.  Today’s CTE programs reflect the increasingly complex technologies and advanced skills required of 21st century workers.

February is “CTE Month” in the United States, with a 2018 theme “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow.”  During this time, CTE programs across the country celebrate the many talents and accomplishments of their students, teachers, administrators and schools.  With rigorous technical program standards that also incorporate connections to required academics, CTE students are provided an education intended to prepare them for both entry-level positions toward high wage professions, as well as further post-secondary studies and training.  Connections to American industry are included in CTE programs in order to ensure that students are proficient in the latest practices and technologies, as well as links to future employers.  CTE not only provides students with the skills and understanding to be successful in their careers, but also establishes practical connections through which they may better understand and apply their academic education.  Students in CTE programs tend to be excited by what they are learning and eager to apply their education to the real world. To learn more about this opportunity for all students see the links below:

In  Maine the CTE system is a robust, relevant pathway for all students.

CTE education allows students to obtain industry credentials that are important to Maine businesses and companies. The required program advisory industry participation ensures this.  http://www.maine.gov/doe/cte/schools/standards/assessments.html http://www.maine.gov/doe/cte/resources/cluster.html

Recent legislation allows CTE as a pathway for students to earn a proficiency based diploma – students can now use their participation in an approved CTE program to meet the requirements of graduation. This will allow more students access to the rigorous programming in our CTE schools and gain more formal recognition for their learning and achievement in CTE. https://mainedoenews.net/?s=CTE+pathway

CTE uses research and labor statistics to approve their programs – this allows programs to remain relevant and incorporates labor needs into the programs offered to students. http://www.maine.gov/doe/cte/schools/documents/guide.pdf

CTE has revamped its programs in the last five years by hard work and commitment. We have:

  • implemented national industry standards,
  • developed an assessment system and the process to allow students to obtain an industry recognized credential
  • documented intersections between academic and CTE standards
  • developed secondary / post-secondary articulation systems including dual enrollments and state wide credits
  • Providing million-dollar equipment grants for CTE each year
  • developed and funded the bridge year program
  • increased trainings on safety and labor requirements

changed certification requirements to allow more industry experts to serve as CTE teachers who share their knowledge with our students

The CTE programs allow the students of Maine to prosper in their careers here in Maine and nationally.

For more information on Maine CTE, contact: Margaret.harvey@maine.gov

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE awards second round of EMBRACE grants for regional efforts

Augusta – The Maine Department of Education today announced that 11 new EMBRACE grants have been awarded to school districts and other education agencies. Made available as part of the statewide regionalization initiative, the round-two EMBRACE grants prioritize Enabling Maine students to Benefit from Regional and Coordinated approaches to Education. The awardees are partnering on a regional level to improve educational opportunities for students.

A total of 19 applications were received by the Department for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES) grant, which was made available to districts last fall. Of those 19 applications, 11 have been conditionally awarded funding. Based on the funding requests, totaling $4.6 million, the 11 awardees are projected to save over $10 million in a 5-year period.

In the first round of EMBRACE grants in 2017, 10 grantees were awarded a total of $4.5 million in funds for regionalization efforts, and in 2019 an additional $5 million in competitive grant opportunities will be available as part of the EMBRACE initiative.

Round two EMBRACE (FEDES) grant project descriptions:

Creating a Strong and Sustainable Regional Collaborative for Professional Development in Washington County

This project will re-establish the Washington County Consortium by creating a sustainable infrastructure for offering professional development in Washington county. This regional effort is intended to provide students with excellent school leaders and teachers.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Calais Public Schools
  • Cherryfield Public Schools
  • Maine Indian Education
  • RSU 37/MSAD 37 (Addison, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, Milbridge)
  • AOS 77 (Alexander, Baring Plantation, Charlotte, Crawford, Dennysville, Eastport, Pembroke, Perry, Robbinston, RSU 85/MSAD 19 (Lubec))
  • AOS 90 (Baileyville, Carroll Plantation, Cooper, Drew Plantation, East Range CSD (Codyville Plantation, Topsfield), Grand Lake Stream Plantation, Lakeville, Lee, Macwahoc Plantation, Meddybemps, Princeton, Reed Plantation, RSU 30/MSAD 30 (Lee, Springfield, Webster Plantation, Winn)
  • AOS 96 (Cutler, East Machias, Jonesboro, Machias, Machiasport, Marshfield, Northfield, Roque Bluffs, Wesley, Whiting, Whitneyville)
  • Washington Academy
  • UM Machias
  • Washington County Consortium
  • Washington County Leadership Team

 Great Falls Regional Support for Preschoolers with Disabilities 

This project will support the transition of special education services for 3- to 5-year olds into the Lewiston School Department with full implementation by August 2020 to ensure a successful early integration of students into district schools.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Lewiston Public Schools
  • Auburn Public Schools
  • RSU 16 (Mechanic Falls, Minot, Poland)
  • RSU 52/MSAD 52 (Green, Leeds, Turner)

Greater Biddeford CDS Regionalization Project 

This project will support the transition of special education services for 3- to 5-year olds into the Biddeford School Department with full implementation by school-year 2021 to ensure a successful early integration of students into district schools.

 Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Biddeford Public Schools
  • Dayton Public Schools

Kennebec Valley Expanded STEAM Outreach Project

This project will build on clear evidence of improved student outcomes to support the expansion of the current STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program, which was funded through the round-one EBRACE grant. STEM-related arts will be added to the curriculum and student access will be increased. The STEAM program will introduce middle school students to STEAM educational experiences and career pathways.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • RSU 83/MSAD 13 (Bingham, Moscow)
  • RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)

Kennebec Valley Whatever It Takes School

This project will support a middle school alternative education program that aims to reduce dropout and truancy rates by providing new and improved opportunities for at- risk students with multiple pathways for achievement.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)
  • RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • RSU 83/MSAD 13 (Bingham, Moscow)

 Northern Penobscot Regional Partnership

This project will support the development of a flexible regional service center that initially focuses on increasing program opportunities for students by creating an alternative education program, a shared world language program, and providing access to regional student support services.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 67 (Chester, Lincoln, Mattawamkeag)
  • East Millinocket Public Schools
  • Medway Public Schools
  • Millinocket Public Schools
  • RSU 30/MSAD 30 (Lee, Springfield, Webster Plantation, Winn)

PBIS Regional Professional Development Cohort

This project will create a sustainable, regional professional development program with a multi-tiered Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework using evidence-based behavioral practices shown to improve academic achievement and social-emotional growth among students as well as improving overall school climate.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 3/MSAD 3 (Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity, Waldo)
  • Brewer Community School
  • Indian Island School
  • RSU 20 (Searsport, Stockton Springs)
  • Wiscasset Elementary School
  • University of Maine

Southern Aroostook Area Regional Alternative Center

This project will create a high school alternative education program that will provide students with learning opportunities in career and technical education with the aim of increasing individual achievement levels and graduation rates in a personalized learning environment.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 29/MSAD 29 (Hammond, Houlton, Littleton, Monticello)
  • RSU 50 (Crystal, Dyer Brook, Hersey, Island Falls, Merrill, Moro Plantation, Mount Chase, Oakfield, Patten, Sherman, Smyrna, Staceyville)
  • RSU 70/MSAD 70 (Amity, Haynesville, Hodgdon, Linneus, Ludlow, New Limerick)
  • RSU 84/MSAD 14 (Danforth, Weston)

Unified Valley Cooperative Project

This project will support the development of a regional service center that will share central administration services and resources. This increased efficiency will allow resources to be reallocated to student programming including career education, world language classes, skill certification, and an innovation lab.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – MSAD 27 (Fort Kent, New Canada, St. Francis, St. John Plantation, Wallagrass)
  • Madawaska Public Schools
  • RSU 33/MSAD 33 (Frenchville, St. Agatha)

 Westbrook-Gorham Adult CTE Program

This project will support the creation of a regional adult education program that will provide adult learners access to career and technical education that will prepare them for high-skill, high-demand occupations that have defined pathways for advancement.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – Westbrook Public Schools
  • Gorham Public Schools

Western Maine Standard Analysis

This project will support an audit of the programming and graduation standards across the regional members. The analysis will lead to greater uniformity of standards across districts to support seamless transfer of student achievement from school to school and collaborative staff development.

Participants:

  • Lead SAU – RSU 73 (Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls)
  • RSU 9 (Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld, Wilton)
  • RSU 10 (Buckfield, Hanover, Hartford, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford, Sumner)
  • RSU 44/MSAD 44 (Bethel, Greenwood, Newry, Woodstock)
  • RSU 56 (Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru)
  • RSU 58 (Avon, Kingfield, Phillips, Strong)
  • RSU 59/MSAD 59 (Madison)
  • RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland, Solon)
  • Western Maine Education Collaborative

 

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PRIORITY NOTICE: 2018/19 subsidy printouts (ED279s) available with detailed explanation of funding changes

The fiscal year 2018-2019 ED 279 subsidy printouts are now available: http://www.maine.gov/doe/eps/

The subsidy printouts are provided based on $1.1 billion in funding allocated to education in the 2018/19 Biennial Budget that was enacted by the Maine State Legislature. See the trend in education funding from 2011 – 2019.

As a reminder, a number of EPS funding formula changes were also enacted as part of the budget. Many of these changes were made to both increase funds to education and to target more funds toward classroom expenditures. Provided below is a detailed list of the changes along with other important factors that impact EPS funding formula calculations.

Funding changes enacted in the budget:

  • Essential Programs and Services (EPS) Operating Transition Percentage – What is recognized as essential programs and services has increased from 97% to 100% due to a repeal of the EPS transition percentage. This means that the formula now recognizes 100% total cost allocation as calculated by the formula for each district. The 3% increase has resulted in over $42 million increased funding for education.
  • Funds for Special Education – There were several changes enacted that resulted in more funding to special education students. These changes have resulted in an increase of $30 million in funding for special education:
    • The weight for special education students increased from 1.27 per student to 1.50 per student. This change provides more funding to districts with higher number of special education students.
    • The Special Education Adjustment made for minimum receivers has increased from 33% to 40%.
    • Incentives are provided to public schools that place special education students in regional special purpose schools closer to home versus placing students in private schools further away.
    • The Special Education Budgetary Hardship Fund is now available for districts to apply for additional special education funding when they receive high cost special education student/s during the current school year, rather than wait for the coming year to receive extra funding.
  • Career & Technical Education (CTE) – Allocation for Career and Technical Education (CTE) is now based on a program-driven cost model, which bases the calculation of state subsidy on the following components: direct instruction, central administration, supplies, operation and maintenance of plant, other student and staff support, and student enrollment. As part of this model, State subsidy payments will be made directly to Career and Technical Education Centers and Regions and replaces both state and local share for the costs included in the model. Going forward, assessments will only be necessary for costs outside/above the model, such as new equipment or costs not covered by the model. FY19 CTE Centers & Regions Summary Estimate Funding Levels.
  • Additional Public Preschool funding – An additional $10 million in funding has been specifically allocated toward new and expanded public preschool programs.
  • Town valuation – Each town’s valuation is provided by the Maine Revenue Service each year and is part of the calculation that determines the town’s ability to pay local share. Previously the amounts used were determined based on the average valuation of the previous 3 years for each town. This coming fiscal year they will be based on an average of the previous 2 years. This change has created an increased “ability to pay” for some towns resulting in a higher required local share.
  • Student-to-Teacher ratio for New Early Childhood programs –  The student to teacher ratio for programs for 4-year-old through kindergarten has changed from 17 – 1 to 15 – 1. This change has resulted in an $8 million increase in funding.
  • Funding for System Administration – Allocation for system administration has gone from a rate of $135 per pupil in FY18 to $92 per pupil in FY19. Districts pursuing a Regional Service Center as part of Chapter 123 were allotted an additional $46 per pupil, pending approval of round II applications.
  • Basic pupil count – The pupil count used in EPS calculations is based on an average of the previous two year’s October pupil counts (reported by each district). Previously, it was based on the average of the most recent October and April counts.
  • State share percentage has grown – The average State share percentage has grown to 53.02%. The previous year was 52.02%.

Other important factors that impact EPS calculations:

  • Mil Rate – The Mil Rate, which is used as part of the calculation that determines each towns ability to pay required local share is 8.51. Previously the Mil Rate was 8.19.
  • Student enrollment – A dramatic increase or decrease in student enrollment has a major impact on funding because the EPS funding formula’s major driver is student population.
  • Changes in debt service payments – Districts that have either paid off or begun to pay principal or interest payments for equipment (new school, new bus, etc.), that the State has allocated funds to pay those payments could see dramatic changes in calculations if either payments no longer need to be made or if payments have begun.

Further information about FY 19 EPS can be found on the Maine DOE website.

Districts that have questions regarding subsidy printouts can contact the School Finance Team: Tyler Backus at tyler.backus@maine.gov; Paula Gravelle at paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov; or Ida Batista at ida.batista@maine.gov.

Media that have questions about school funding should contact Director of Communications, Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov or (207)624-6747

PRIORITY NOTICE: Guidance for Changes to Career and Technical Education Funding

Beginning with fiscal year (FY) 2018/2019 state funding for education, the State allocation for Career and Technical Education (CTE) will be based on a program-driven cost model, which bases the calculation of state subsidy on the following components: direct instruction, central administration, supplies, operation and maintenance of plant, other student and staff support, and student enrollment.

State subsidy payments will be made directly to Career and Technical Education Centers and Regions. In this model, State subsidy will replace both state and local share for the costs included in the model, which should provide relief to assessment payments that sending schools would have previously received. Going forward, local assessments will only be necessary for costs outside/above the model, such as new equipment or costs not covered by the model.

When the FY 2018/2019 ED279 subsidy printouts are released, SAUs and school board members should consider these changes as they review their state allocation and move toward setting a 2018/2019 budget.

As a reminder, the ED279s are on track for release by the February 1 statutory deadline.

Further details about the new model can be found in the CTE Model Executive Summary. Further questions about funding can be directed to Tyler Backus at Tyler.Backus@maine.gov and questions about CTE operations can be directed to Paul Hambleton at Paul.Hambleton@maine.gov.