Maine DOE offers new resource to help local districts monitor student growth in reading

The Maine Department of Education (Department) will begin using a universal reading metric called The Lexile® Framework for Reading to help Maine school districts monitor student growth and progress.

The Lexile Framework, which aligns with Maine’s State eMPowerME Assessments administered to grades 3 through 8 (among many other nationally used assessments), will allow districts to benchmark reading growth and assist with a comparison of data across commercial assessments.

“The framework will provide all schools in Maine with an additional resource to enhance classroom instruction,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. “It will also help schools in their efforts to support families working at home with their children.”

The Lexile Framework was created by MetaMetrics® and provides a scientific approach to measuring growth and matching students to ability-appropriate learning materials. The Lexile Framework involves a scale for measuring both the reading ability of an individual and the text complexity of materials he or she encounters.

Content specialists at the Maine Department of Education, in collaboration with MetaMetrics, are beginning to prepare professional development opportunities that align with Lexile Framework data to help districts make instruction improvements based on student need.

The new resource is available through funds from Title I grant money from the U.S. Department of Education and administered by Maine’s Department staff, with ongoing professional learning opportunities to support statewide implementation.

Set to become available late spring/early summer, districts will be able to start using the new resource to monitor growth beginning in the 2018/19 school year, both within a single school year and from year-to-year going forward.

For more information contact Rachel Paling, Maine DOE Director of Communications at or (207) 624-6747.

Guidance for reporting Quarter 3 attendance and truancy

Quarter 3 attendance information may now be uploaded into the Synergy Student Information System. The Department is providing some additional guidance for Quarter 3 reporting because student attendance data is now an accountability indicator in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). It is important that districts are clear on the instructions for uploading truancy and attendance reports so that the data is accurate and consistent.

The following are guidance for truancy and attendance uploads:


Under ESSA, Maine is now required to report Chronic Absenteeism to the U.S. Department of Education. A student is considered absent if that student is present for less than 50% of his or her instructional day. A student is either considered absent or present for any given day. Less than half a day is counted as zero; half or more of a day is counted as one. A student is considered chronically absent if a student is absent 10% or more of the days enrolled and is enrolled for a minimum of ten days.

Most students have an instructional day that is defined by the school’s daily schedule, but there may be students for whom this is not the case.  For example, a high school senior taking only two classes might have a full instructional day of 3 hours.  That student would be absent if present for fewer than 1.5 hours.  Your schools may also have specific attendance policies that address the completion of instructional activities off-campus (e.g., distance education, community projects).

The student attendance report will ask that you provide the following information for each student:

  • Number of days enrolled (whole number only. Decimals not allowed). This is the number of active instructional days that school has been in session since the student’s initial enrollment.  Holidays, in-service days, and days that the school is closed for inclement weather would not be included. With some exceptions (See Maine Statute Title 20-A Section 4801)a student who is enrolled for the full school year would be expected to
  • Total days absent (whole number only. Decimals not allowed). Students should NOT be counted absent when participating in sanctioned school activities that cause them to miss classroom instruction (e.g. field trips, school sports team activities)
  • Total days of excused absences (whole number only. Decimals not allowed)

This will allow you (and the DOE) to determine the number of unexcused absences the student accrued and therefore give you a tool with which to double check your truancy data. For example, you would expect to see a truancy incident created for a student with 10 or more unexcused absences (days absent – excused absences).


Truancy refers only to a student’s unexcused absences and is a term that only applies to students who are of compulsory school age (7 to 17).  There are four different truancy thresholds:

  1. A student aged 7 or above who hasn’t completed 6th grade and has 5 or more consecutive unexcused absences
  2. A student aged 7 or above who hasn’t completed 6th grade and has 7 or more cumulative unexcused absences.
  3. A student who has completed 6th grade but is not yet 17 and has 7 or more consecutive unexcused absences.
  4. A student who has completed 6th grade but is not yet 17 and has 10 or more cumulative unexcused absences.

For schools to determine when a student reaches any of these thresholds, it would be necessary for the school to track daily attendance and maintain information on whether each absence is excused or unexcused.

Maine Statute Title 20-A, Section 5001-A enumerates six categories of excusable absence:

  • Personal illness;
  • An appointment with a health professional that must be made during the regular school day;
  • Observance of a recognized religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day;
  • A family emergency;
  • A planned absence for a personal or educational purpose that has been approved;
  • *Education disruption resulting from homelessness, unplanned psychiatric hospitalization, unplanned hospitalization for a medical emergency, foster care placement, youth development center placement or some other out-of-district placement that is not otherwise authorized by either an IEP, other education plan, or a superintendent’s agreement.

Local school boards have the responsibility for developing rules to administer the attendance statute, which could include any local policies on what, if any, documentation is required to excuse an absence.

Truancy reporting requires student information to be submitted that indicates which of the four truancy thresholds the student crossed and documentation of the school’s response to the truancy.  The sequence of steps to that response are also described in statute Title 20-A, Section 5051-A.

Going forward, attendance and truancy data will be need to be uploaded at no less than on a quarterly basis. For the 2017-2018 year, the Department will be requiring only Quarter 3 and the Final report to be certified.  However, for intervention purposes, the Department recommends districts review student attendance on at least a weekly or monthly basis.

For questions regarding attendance and truancy, please contact Gayle Erdheim 207-624-6637.  For questions regarding access to Synergy or NEO, please contact the help desk, 207-624-6896.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Additional training dates for Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan

As a result of the substantial response to technical assistance sessions for support regarding the development and completion of a Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan, as required under the recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Maine Department of Education has expanded the training schedule.

Completed SAU Consolidated Plans must be submitted to the Maine Department of Education on or before July 1, 2018. The utilization of the CNA and SAU Consolidated Plan template will ensure all required elements are included.

The Department has expanded upon the following training schedule to support SAU Data Coordinators, SAU and school staff as they complete the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan. Registration can be completed through the session title hyperlinks below.

Data Collection – Remains unchanged
The target audience for this session is SAU Data Coordinators and will provide an overall view of the template document. Please ensure participant has log-in credentials to NEO for all applicable modules. Tandberg is available.
Tuesday February 13, 2018
9 AM – 12 Noon
Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 103

Work session – Extended timeframe & change in location
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan. Morning timeframe will focus on sections 3-6, afternoon timeframe to focus on sections 7-10. You may attend one or both sessions.
Tuesday February 6, 2018
9 am – 3 pm
Capital Area Technical Center, 7 Pierce Dive, Augusta, ME 04330
(1 pm – 4 PM Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 541)

Work session – Remains unchanged
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan. Session to focus on sections 3-6 only. Tandberg is available.
Tuesday March 6, 2018
8:30 AM – 12 Noon
Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 541

Work session – Additional date added
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan. Morning timeframe will focus on sections 3-6, afternoon timeframe to focus on sections 7-10.
Friday March 9, 2018
9 am – 3 pm
Capital Area Technical Center, 7 Pierce Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

Data Dive and Evaluation – Remains unchanged The target audience will be central office and plan development team members who will examine the data to determine root cause and next steps. The group will be divided into two groups for a work session: Group 1 – NWEA data, Group 2 – STAR data.
Monday March 19, 2018
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 103

Available resources to assist SAUs to complete the SAU Consolidated Plan include:

  • Guidance Document –  – This document provides guiding questions for SAUs to ponder and respond to when completing the CNA. The SAU Consolidated Plan will be developed after the CNA is completed.
  • Question and Answers – This document contains a summary of all questions posed during technical assistance sessions.

In order to register for the upcoming professional development sessions, please click on the hyperlinks included below. By clicking on the appropriate link, you will be brought to a registration form.

For further information please contact Janette Kirk, Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at (207) 624-6707 or

SAT 3rd Year High School Student Enrollment Confirmation

As previously announced, the 3rd year high school student enrollment (bulk registration) file for spring 2018 SAT assessment will be sent to Measured Progress/College Board on Friday, February 2, 2018. Any students changing enrollment after 2/2/18 will need to complete paper registrations on the day of SAT testing (4/10/18 or the makeup date on 4/24/18). SAT enrollments can now be checked in NEO.

Confirm your enrollment in NEO/Student Data (for SAT bulk registration) Dashboard login:

1.) Click “Student Data” module

student data

2.) Click “Student Reports” module

student reports

3.) Choose Reporting Area “Assessment” – SAT Report

4.) Click View Report

If there are discrepancies in your 3rd year high school enrollment, please recheck your enrollment system and/or contact the DOE Data HelpDesk at or 624-6896.

Changes to 2016/17 Graduation, Completers, and Dropouts reporting in NEO

The Maine Department of Education has extended the due date for the Graduation Attending Reports to end of day, February 2, 2018 to allow for extra time for districts to complete the report. This report includes the certification of Superintendents.

In addition to the extension, the responsible district section of graduation reporting will no longer be necessary to complete for the 2016/17 school year. This section will be removed from DC&R.

For questions regarding Graduation, Completers, and Dropouts, contact Travis Wood at –207-624-6742 or Leda Cunningham at –207-624-6816.

For questions about NEO, contact the Maine DOE Help Desk at — 207-624-689.

MaineCare Seed adjustments to be made, review Q417 and Q118 reports by February 9, 2018

Due to time constraints, the recovery of Q417 and Q118 MaineCare Seed will occur in the February 2018 subsidy payment.

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

  1. Log into NEO using the link below

Anyone who currently has permissions to the Special Education modular, will automatically have permissions to access MaineCare reports.

As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this modular, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary.

  1. Click on the Student Data tab
  1. Click on the Student Report tab
  1. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  1. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  1. Click view report button
  2. 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 ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q417 and Q118 by February 9, 2018.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with the following to

  • Identify the type of report (public or private) and the quarter in which the claims are located.
  • State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: Students must be enrolled when 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.

For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact

Student Enrollment Files and Assessment Preparation Dates

Please be aware of the following important dates regarding student enrollment when preparing for the 2018 spring Maine Educational Assessments (MEA). The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is continuing the transition from the data management software platform Infinite Campus to Synergy State Edition. The following table outlines the dates in which student enrollment files are captured in Synergy State Edition by the DOE, and sent to Measured Progress, the contractor for state required assessments:

  • Science
    • MEA General (Grades 5, 8, 3rd year high school)
    • Alternate/PAAP (Grades 5, 8, 3rd year high school)
  • Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy
    • General Grades 3-8 & – eMPowerME
    • General 3rd year high school – SAT
    • Alternate/MSAA (Grades 3-8, 3rd year high school)
Data File Completion Date
PAAP Science Enrollment Data File completed
MSAA Enrollment Data File 1/8/18
eMPowerME Enrollment Data File 1/19/18
SAT Enrollment Data File 2/2/18
MEA Science Enrollment Data File 2/26/18
NEW: Date enrollment is captured for assessment reporting 5/4/18

Enrollment in Synergy includes:

  1. Identification of student participating in alternate assessments, which cannot be changed after March 1, 2018.
  2. Attending district/school

The following bullets explain the process for updating changes to student enrollment from the data file upload date to the testing window for each assessment in chronological order:

  1. PAAP Alternate Science
    1. This data file was sent to Measured Progress in November 2017, as the PAAP Task Bank opened 12/1/17. The testing window is 3/1/18-4/30/18. If student enrollment changes between 12/1/17 and 4/30/18, please contact Sue Nay at 624-6774 or
  2. MSAA Alternate Math & ELA/Literacy
    1. The enrollment data file will be sent to Measured Progress on 1/8/18. If student enrollment at your school changes between 1/9/18 and 5/4/18, please contact Sue Nay at 624-6774 or
  3. eMPowerME General Math & ELA/Literacy
    1. The enrollment data file will be sent on 1/19/18. Beginning on 2/19/18, nightly enrollment changes will be captured in Synergy and sent to Measured Progress/eMetric to facilitate the changes between 1/20/18 and 4/13/18 in the eMPowerME Portal.
    2. If nightly enrollment uploads from the DOE to Measured Progress/eMetric are not immediately captured in the eMPowerME Portal, please call the DOE Data Help Desk at 624-6896 or
  4. SAT General Math & ELA/Literacy
    1. The enrollment (bulk registration) data file will be sent on 2/2/18. If student enrollment changes between 2/3/18 and 4/10/18, students will not have a Pre-ID label for their test booklet and must paper-register on the SAT school day or make-up day.
  5. SAT General Science
    1. The enrollment data file will be sent on 2/26/18. If student enrollment changes between 2/27/18 and 4/13/18 for high school students, or between 2/27/18 and 5/4/18 for grades 5 & 8), students will not have a Pre-ID label for their test booklet. Student will continue to test as scheduled but will enter demographic information through paper-register/bubble-in fields on extra/blank Science test booklet(s) the day(s) of testing.

Questions can be addressed to: Varun Motay 624-6657 or