PRIORITY NOTICE: Updates Regarding ESEA Dashboard, Data Correction, and Federal Accountability under ESSA

This notice provides an update to the original timeline released in the DOE newsroom on March 11, 2019 regarding School Year (SY) 2018/19 data correction requests, the timeline for the release of the ESEA Dashboard, and the implementation of the federal accountability model under ESSA.

Data requests submitted to the Maine DOE by the February 8, 2019 deadline were reviewed, amended if necessary with the updated data sets, and uploaded to the ESEA Dashboard. The original timeline indicated the Data Dashboards would be provided to Superintendents for review on Monday, April 15, 2019.  The Department is currently in the process of conducting Quality Assurance (QA), ensuring the accuracy of presented data sets, and therefore the Dashboards were not available for District and School review on April 15, 2019. Once the QA process has concluded, district and school leaders will be notified and provided two (2) weeks to review the information provided. The ESEA Dashboard will become available prior to the conclusion of SY 2018-19.

As a result of a Maine DOE leadership phone conversation with the US Department of Education (USDE) on December 12, 2018, a subsequent phone call on March 8, 2019, and written feedback provided to the Maine DOE on March 15, 2019 related to Maine’s ESSA amendment, the Maine DOE was directed to resubmit clarifying information on April 8, 2019 to the USDE for review.  USDE has verified receipt of the clarifying information, and the Maine DOE awaits their feedback so that the process can proceed.

During this time of pause, the Maine DOE has secured state funding to support the provision of virtual coaching to schools that the Maine DOE anticipates will be eligible to receive additional support when amendments to Maine’s ESSA State plan are approved.  Participation in the virtual coaching is currently optional, with many eligible schools taking advantage of this support.

Maine DOE has requested an extension, until August 31, 2019, to officially make school identifications, and has requested the period of availability of 1003(a) funds be extended until September 30, 2020. These extensions will allow the Maine DOE to ensure the Department is able to align available federal funds to the identification timeline, therefore ensuring the availability of financial supports to schools.

Please know that the Maine DOE continues to do everything conceivable to ensure Maine has an equitable federal accountability model that honors stakeholder feedback and Maine’s small, rural context.

 

 

 

New Homeschool Portal and SAU Superintendent Office Online Entry Underway

The Department is pleased to announce the opening of the new Online NEO Homeschool Portal for school year 2019-2020, and the more efficient Notice of Intent to Homeschool form. The new portal brings some changes to the Homeschool Notice process, including an enhanced role for superintendents and/or SAU homeschool administrative designees who will now share responsibility for entering information into the new portal.

Summary of changes:

  • Parents submitting a Notice for 2019-2020 no longer need to submit the information in two places or use certified mail to ensure the delivery of the form. They may use one of the three methods described below.
  • The portal will be the point of entry for parents. Superintendents or SAU and DOE homeschool administrative designees who enter information on behalf of resident parents who choose option 2 or 3 below will also utilize the portal for data entry.
  • The new Notice of Intent to Homeschool combines and replaces the previous Notice of Intent and Subsequent Year forms.

The new portal will allow parents to submit the Notice of Intent and Subsequent Year Letter and assessments once in one of three ways:

  1. Enter information directly on the new NEO online homeschool portal, and upload prior year required assessment information;
  2. Complete the form by hand and take it, with prior year required assessments, to the resident Superintendent’s Office for upload and entry into the system; OR
  3. Complete the new paper form and mail it with prior year required assessments to the Department of Education or to the Superintendent’s Office, where it will be entered into the new system.

Submission using one of the below methods will result in the automatic generation of an acknowledgement to the parent/guardian via email; please ensure that a valid and correct email address has been provided.

Superintendents and/or designees will utilize the new online homeschool portal in NEO in 2019-2020 to:

  • Enter paper forms received from parents. The Department will also be entering paper forms, so a duplicate check must be performed prior to entry.
  • Assist resident parents in completing the online homeschool process.
  • View a list of all the resident homeschool students in the Superintendent’s SAU.
  • Comply with homeschool roster requirements in Maine DOE Rule Chapter 125, sec.12.02 Roster of Resident, Tuition, and Transfer Students
  1. A) The superintendent of each school administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all resident and tuition students attending schools operated by the unit.
  2. B) The superintendent of each school administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all students eligible to attend school within the unit who are receiving equivalent instruction in an approved or non-approved private school, or in an approved equivalent instruction program.

Parents may read Maine’s statute related to homeschooling, including information about required assessments using this link: Title 20-A, Section 5001-A, Sub-section 3(A)(4).

Please note that online Homeschool Portal functionality works for the 2019-2020 school year forward; it may not be used for 2018-2019 school year homeschool students.

Please direct any questions or concerns to our Pamela Ford-Taylor at pamela.ford-taylor@maine.gov or 207-624-6617.

April 1 Attending Count

Open Date: 4/1/2019

Due Date: 4/15/2019

The April Attending Count Report will be available for districts to submit and certify, beginning on April 1st. Once submitted, the Department of Education will then review the reports and approve them, or return them for further information or clarification. If accepted, this will complete the April Attending Count report. If returned, the superintendent will receive notification about discrepancies; DOE staff is available to assist in reconciling the information.

The April Attending Count Reports will be used for calculating tuition rates in accordance with Title 20-A, §5805, subsection 1.B, which states: B. “The number of students shall be the average number of public secondary pupils enrolled on October 1st and April 1st of the same year.” This count will not be used for the Essential Services and Programs (EPS) School funding formula, but is still necessary for calculating the tuition rates. Please note that students who are attending outside placements at regional programs or special purpose private schools, are not included attending counts in the primary enrollment district.

Instruction on how to complete this report are available here:

https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/collection/helpdesk/resources/data-reporting-instructions

If you have any questions, feel free to contact:

Helpdesk – 207-624-6896

Trevor Burns (Student Data Coordinator) – 207-624-6678

Important Notice: Quarter 3 (Q3) Truancy, Behavior, Attendance and Bullying Data Review-due date approaches

The Department of Education offers quarterly windows for districts to review, for accuracy and comprehensiveness, the data that has been entered and reported to us. The fourth quarter review requires final certification for the annual data. It is our hope that review of this data on a more regular basis will save time and work at the end of the year, and will provide more time to make any necessary corrections.

The review period for Quarter 3 (Q3), which includes truancy, behavior, attendance and bullying, opens April 1st and review and submission is requested by April 15th. Again, certification is not required for Quarter 3 (Q3) reports; this will be obtained on the final, Quarter 4 (Q4), report.

Truancy review can be found here:

https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/StudentData/BehaviorCertification/TruancyCertification/Index?reportId=18

Guidance on reporting truancy can be found here:

https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/collection/helpdesk/resources/truancy

Behavior review can be found here:

https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/StudentData/BehaviorCertification/BehaviorCertification/Index?reportId=17

Guidance on reporting behavior can be found here:

https://www.maine.gov/doe/sites/maine.gov.doe/files/inline-files/BehaviorGuidanceSynergy_1.pdf

Attendance review can be found here:

https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/StudentData/AttendanceCertification/AttendanceCertification/Index?reportId=12

Guidance on reporting attendance can be found here:

https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/collection/helpdesk/resources/attendance

Bullying review can be found here:

https://neo.maine.gov/doe/neo/brs

Guidance on reporting bullying can be found here:

https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/safeschools/bullying

All due dates for reports are listed on the MDOE reporting calendar:

https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/DCAR/Calendar

If you have difficulties navigating to Synergy or NEO, please call the Helpdesk at 624-6896 or email at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov

All quarterly reports are based on the following months and are cumulative:

  • Quarter One (Q1)– As of Oct 1 (to include July, August, Sept) – due Oct 15
  • Quarter Two (Q2) – As of Jan 1 (to include July through Dec) – due Jan 15
  • Quarter Three (Q3) – As of April 1 (to include July through March) – due April 15
  • Quarter Four (Q4)– As of July 1 (to include July through June) – due July 15

 

Graduation Reporting Phase One

Based on feedback from our school and district colleagues who have been responsible for the graduation reporting process in the past, we have divided the tasks into what we hope are more timely and manageable steps.  We recognize the hard work being done to ensure accuracy of the data reported, and would like to offer technical assistance with the process of meeting this federal requirement.

Phase 1 will allow schools the opportunity to review and make any necessary changes to incorrect data. This phase will focus on ensuring accuracy of start and exit statuses for students who are part of the 2019 cohort. The cohort is comprised of any student who entered grade 9 for the first time in the 2015-2016 school year.  The emphasis of this phase is on examining the accuracy of the enrollment data, including transfer-in and transfer-out statuses. Validation of these codes assists us in ensuring accurate calculations of four-year graduation rates.

Phase 1: Graduation Reporting Phase I
Opens: April 1
Due: May 15

Phase 2: Validating Start and Exit Statuses in Synergy
Now through June 30

Phase 3: Graduation Reporting Phase II
Opens: July 1
Due: August 30

Phase 4: Dropout Reporting
Opens: November 1
Due: November 30

The Department will be holding an online webinar, offered at two different times, for convenience. The webinar is designed for any school staff who may be asked to complete Graduation Reporting Phase I in their school or district.  We will review the process, and will also give a detailed walk through on how to complete Phase I. Registration is free, but necessary prior to the webinar. This ensures that connection details can be shared with participants.

  • Webinar #1 – Thursday, April 4th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm OR
  • Webinar #2 – Tuesday, April 9th from 10:00 to 11:00 am

Webinar Registration:              https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1883859640113524225

More information on the Graduation Reporting process can be found on our website at:
https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/collection/helpdesk/resources/data-reporting-instructions

If you have any questions, feel free to contact: Helpdesk – 207-624-6896 or Trevor Burns (School Enrollment Specialist) – 207-624-6678