Open Comment Period for Required Civil Rights Data Collection Revisions: Closes November 18!

The Maine Department of Education has just learned that the United States Department of Education (USED) has released proposed revisions to the data required as part of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), and that the comment period for the proposed revisions closes on Monday, November 18.  We wanted all school administrative unit (SAU) and school leaders, and any other interested parties, to be aware of this open comment period, and to have the opportunity to review the proposed revisions and provide feedback directly to the  USED.

The most clear documentation of changes we could find are located at the following link or by entering:

In particular, the files titled Data Groups, Data Categories and Directional Categories provide references to the proposed changes and new expectations for data submission by SAUs and schools.


Is YOUR data done?

We are thrilled to share that 74% of our SAUs made the October 31 deadline, and have their student data submitted!  This helps all of us, as it impacts the accuracy and timeliness of the ED 279.

We appreciate that SAUs have been working diligently to ensure the accuracy of their staff data prior to submitting; we are still waiting to receive about 50% of SAU staffing data currently.  Please be sure to check that your staff information is updated in NEO, and call us if we can help!

Also, the truancy, attendance and behavior data for Quarter 1 is due, and the bullying reporting window is now open through November 30th. As we are looking at model policies and identifying what supports and resources we can provide for schools as they work to ensure a safe school climate, this data is helpful for the conversation.

THANK YOU to all of our SAU staff who have worked so hard to ensure the data is submitted.

And remember, if we can help please, contact our helpdesk at 
or call 207 624-6896.

MAARS Workshop and Overview of Approved Changes to Maine’s Model of School Support

Online Registration Portal for 2019 MAARS Workshop, including an overview of key changes to Maine’s Model of School Support (Accountability) is now available.

FocalPoint K12, in conjunction with the Maine Department of Education Assessment Team, will be holding a workshop for the Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS). Topics during the session include an overview of the MAARS system, information on User Account management, revised Individual Student Reports (ISRs) formats, New Features, and a Q & A session.  Members from Maine’s ESEA Federal Programs team will provide an overview of key changes to Maine’s Model of School Support, as a result of the approval of the amendment submitted to Maine’s ESSA State Plan in December 2018. Each day long session is scheduled from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Lunch will be provided.

Venue and Registration Information

November 19, 2019
Abromson Community Education Center
88 Bedford St
Portland, ME 04101

Click here to register for the November 19, 2019 session.

November 20, 2019
Wells Conference Center
131 Munson Road
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Click here to register for the November 20, 2019 session.

November 21, 2019
University of Maine – Presque Isle
Grand Ballroom – Aroostook Room
181 Main St
Presque Isle, ME 04769

Click here to register for the November 21, 2019 session.

Additionally, the assessment team and our reporting vendor FocalPointK12 will also be providing a MAARS webinar on November 13, 2019, 2:30 in preparation for the November 19 and 20 training sessions.  MAARS Webinar .  The audience for this session is returning and new District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Directors. The updated roles within MAARS will be a critical element to prepare for the upcoming November 19 & 20 MAARS Workshops.

The content of the webinar will include:

  • Role of DACs
  • MAARS Confidential Reports Overview
  • How to add/delete/change MAARS roles and permissions (‘districtadmin’, ‘districtuser’ ‘schooluser’ ‘rosteruser’)

To access the November 13, 2019 webinar please use this link.

Please direct any additional questions regarding registrations to these sessions to Eric Buckhalter at (207) 624-6770 or

Webinar to Assist with Annual Dropout Data Submission

To assist those who are responsible for the important task of reporting annual dropout data to the Department of Education, the DOE Data Team will be holding a webinar on Wednesday October 23rd from 10am to 11am.

This webinar will focus on how to complete, validate and certify the Annual Dropout Report. If you are tasked with editing, validating or certifying the annual Dropout Report for your district or school, you are encouraged to attend. If you have any questions, comments or concerns in regards to this webinar, please do not hesitate to contact us at the MEDMS helpdesk at  or (207) 624-6896.

Please use the Registration URL and the Webinar ID:  785-724-819.

CORRECTION: Data Reporting Deadlines That Impact Subsidy Calculations (ED279)

The initial post on 9/26/2019 indicated that the Student Data and Staff Data Certifications would both be due by October 15, 2019; we apologize for this error and have corrected the due dates below to October 31st for both certified reports.  The Student Data certification period begins on October 15, 2019 and ends on October 31, 2019.  The Staff Data certification period begins after July 1, 2019 and also ends on October 31, 2019.

Please ensure that any revisions to the data collections are completed by October 31, 2019 so that the School Finance & Operations Teams have time to ensure that the collections are accurate prior to the start of the EPS FY 21 subsidy calculations in November.

The table below details data that has a direct impact on the calculation of an SAU’s subsidy. SAU’s can use the table to quickly assess what action they must take and by what deadline. The table also includes the follow up actions SAUs can expect from Maine Department of Education. The information in the table provides deadlines for reporting data errors, asking specific data questions, and when data revisions must be submitted to Maine DOE to be included in the SAU’s FY 21 EPS Funding Calculation. Please contact us with any questions!

Data Point SAU Reporting Period SAU Action Needed Maine DOE Action
NEO Staff Data – Specifically but not limited to EPS positions – Teachers, Guidance, Librarians, Health, Education Technicians, Library Ed Techs, Clerical, School Administration  July 1, 2019 -October 31, 2019 Enter/Update Staff Data in the NEO Staff Module.

Superintendent must certify the data is accurate
Revision and certification/ recertification until 10/31/19

Data questions can be emailed to

Close Staff data entry 10/31/19

DOE staff begins data quality checks/data scrubbing 10/15/19 to 10/31/19

DOE contacts SAU staff as necessary to resolve inconsistencies and/or errors

Synergy Student Information System –

10/1/19  enrollment (Public Schools) including- attending students, resident students, superintendent transfer students, equivalent instruction (home school) students taking a course(s) in the district, economic disadvantaged students, English learners, special education students

October 1 – October 31, 2019 10/01/19-10/15/19

-Enter/Update Student Data in Synergy

– Review data for accuracy and completeness in the October 1st Student Enrollment Count report in the NEO Student Data moduleTop of Form

Bottom of Form

10/15/19 – 10/31/19

-Superintendent must certify the data is accurate

-Revision and certification/ recertification until 10/31/19

Data questions can be emailed to

Close Student data entry 10/31/19

DOE staff begins data quality checks/data scrubbing by 10/15/19 to 10/31/19

DOE contacts SAU staff as necessary to resolve inconsistencies and/or errors

Financial Data – FY19 August 23, 2019 Upload to the Maine Education Financial System (MEFS)

FY19 – 7/1/18 to 6/30/19 Actual Expenditures

FY19 7/1/18 to 6/30/19 Actual Revenues

FY19 Balance Sheet Transactions

Maine DOE staff reviews financial data submissions

DOE contacts SAU staff as necessary to resolve inconsistencies and/or errors

Financial Data – FY20 August 2, 2019 Upload to the Maine Education Financial System (MEFS)

FY20 Revenue Budget

FY20 Expenditure Budget

Budget Approvals – Email Budget Meeting Referendum results including budget expenditure and revenue articles to Denise Towers.

More detail guidance on can be found at:

ED279 Public Posting February 1, 2020 Post public report, Preliminary ED279 – prior to February 1, 2020.
ED279 Review March 3, 2020 or 30 days after the public posting of ED279 SAU superintendent and staff review the Preliminary ED279

Direct questions and notification of errors to the Maine DOE School Finance Team by 3/3/2020. Tyler BackusPaula Gravelle or Ida Batista