School Safety and Security Bulletin: Family Reunification

Throughout the 2018- 2019 school year, the Maine Department of Education, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Maine State Police, Maine Sheriffs Association, Maine Chiefs of Police Association, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency will provide tips and resource information to Maine schools to help provide some guidance for identifying signs and preventing school violence.

School Safety and Security Bulletin  – January 2019

Further questions and inquiries can be send to Pat Hinckley, Maine DOE Transportation and Facilities Administrator at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

Online Bullying Reporting Program Available to Maine Schools Through Optania

Optania has created an online bullying reporting program that is aligned with Maine DOE’s model bullying policy and procedures.

This online program allows students, parents, and others to report allegations of bullying 24/7, with the allegation report (JICK-E1) being sent to pre-determined school staff (ie. principal, assistant principal, school guidance counselor, social worker, superintendent) who will then initiate the investigation procedure using an electronic form (JICK-E2).  The program also includes the remediation form (JICK-E3).  In addition, using artificial intelligence, students can create their own Safety Plan in the moments after reporting an allegation of bullying so they don’t have to wait until the next school day when they can meet with a school staff member.

To learn more about Optania:

Sessions are 30 minutes in length and will give an in-depth overview of Optania and allow time for questions and comments. Click on the calendar link on a day and time that works for your schedule.

Further questions or information about future webinars and trainings can be sent to Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator atsarah.adkins@maine.gov or by calling her at 207-624-6685

 

Priority Notice: School Nutrition Benefits for Families Impacted by Federal Shutdown

With the federal shutdown impacting numerous Mainers, the Maine Department of Education wants to remind school districts that applications for free and reduced-price meals may be submitted at any time throughout the school year, even during a federal shutdown. If federal employees impacted by the shutdown would like to apply for school meal benefits for their children, they may so do through their local school district.

To apply – A special application can be downloaded from the Maine Department of Education’s website (linked below) and submitted to your local school’s food service program.

Download printable meal benefit application (PDF)

School administrators should be aware that this is a federal application so it may look unfamiliar but please accept and process it as you would your current meal benefit applications. Please also be aware that Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition office is also releasing information to remind food service staff that parents can apply for meal benefits for their children at any time.

For more information, contact Walter Beesley, Child Nutrition Director, Maine Department of Education at Walter.Beesley@maine.gov or 624-6875.

Maine DOE Seeks Proposals for 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce the release of a request for proposals (RFP) seeking bids from interested parties to implement comprehensive 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs in 2019-2020.  It is anticipated that an estimated $1.75M will be available to issue grant awards later this year.

21st Century Community Learning Center Programs RFP (PDF)

Authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Act of 2015, the 21st CCLC program provides competitive grant funding to support before school, after school, and summer learning programs that focus on improving the academic performance of students in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.

The primary purpose of Maine’s 21st CCLC program is to provide school and community partnerships with funding to establish or expand programs that provide students in high-need, economically-disadvantaged communities with academic enrichment opportunities designed to complement their traditional school day curriculum.  In addition, these programs can provide a broad array of additional support services related to overall student health and well-being.

Local 21st CCLC programs – which can be located in elementary schools, secondary schools or similarly accessible community facilities – provide high quality support services to students during non-school hours.  As such, these programs also support working parents and families by providing safe, supportive learning environments for students at times when school is not in session.

The request for proposal (RFP), which includes information regarding eligibility, program requirements, and more, is available here. An informational webinar for this RFP will be posted to the Department’s application website on January 17, 2018.  It is strongly encouraged that interested parties view this presentation prior to completing an application for 21st CCLC program funding.

Below is the anticipated timeline for the Department’s 2019 21st CCLC grant competition:

Date Task
January 8, 2019 Grant Application Released to Public
January 17, 2019 Informational Webinar Posted Online
January 31, 2019 Deadline for Submission of Questions in Response to RFP
February 14, 2019 Interested Parties Submit Letter of Intent to Apply
April 4, 2019 Application Deadline
April 2019 – May 2019 Peer Review of Applications
May 2019 Grant Award Notifications
July 1, 2019 Grant Award Start Date

Please be advised that the dates above are subject to change. Interested parties must consult the RFP document for the most accurate dates and deadlines regarding this opportunity.

For more information on the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Program, contact Federal Grant Coordinator, Travis Doughty, at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov.

Maine Celebrates School Counselors of the Year with Local and National Ceremonies

The Maine School Counselor Association (MESCA) is pleased to announce that Kelly O’Brien Weaver from Weatherbee Elementary School is the 2018 Maine School Counselor of the Year and will represent Maine at the 2019 School Counselor of the Year celebration at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in February. Kelly’s focus has been on promoting comprehensive school counseling programs in the State of Maine through the RAMP process (Recognized ASCA Model Program).  Kelly has also worked to promote National Board Certification (NBCT) for School Counselors in Maine. Kelly’s passion includes use of experiential social learning through educational break-out boxes and escape games.

In addition, Tara Kierstead from Hall-Dale Middle & High School, has been announced as Maine’s 2019 School Counselor of the Year.  Tara was recognized at MESCA’s annual conference on November 30, 2018 in Portland, Maine. Tara’s focus has been to support all students, especially those who identify as LGBTQ to ensure they are successful in high school and beyond.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) School Counselor of the Year program (#SCOY19) honors the professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life.  State school counselor of the year honorees were selected based on several criteria, including: school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills and contributions to student advancement.

“The ASCA School Counselor of the Year award is an esteemed recognition for our profession,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director.  “School counselors make significant contributions to the overall well-being of students and their success. Their unique qualifications and training allow them to support students’ academic achievement, career development and social/emotional needs. This award highlights their commitment, dedication and excellence.”

On February 7, 2019, from 2:00-4:00, MESCA and the Maine DOE will recognize Kelly, Tara, and all of Maine’s School Counselors in the Hall of Flags to celebrate National School Counselor Week.  All are welcome!

For more information or questions about the role of the School Counselor, contact Sarah Adkins at sarah.adkins@maine.gov or 207-624-6685.