School Renovation Funding Available

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is accepting applications to receive funding for school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The application deadline is October 31, 2022.

The Maine DOE will be able to approve approximately $10 million in SRRF loans. A portion of each loan will be considered a grant and will be forgiven. The remaining portion will be paid back over either five or ten years with no interest. The maximum loan amount is limited to $1 million per school building per priority in any five-year period.

Applications for Priority One projects will be accepted.  Priority One projects include indoor air quality improvement, structural roof repair, hazardous material abatement or removal, ADA compliance upgrades, and other health, safety and compliance renovations.

The SRRF application and additional information are available on the Maine DOE’s SRRF website. For more information or technical assistance, contact Ann Pinnette at 207-215-3809 or email ann.pinnette@maine.gov.

 

Media Release: Maine School Safety Summit Brings Together More than 300 Educators, School Leaders, and Law Enforcement Personnel to Collaborate on School Safety Issues

The Maine Department of Education’s Maine School Safety Center held its annual Maine School Safety Summit this week at Windham High School, with a focus on how educators, school leaders, law enforcement, and communities can increase collaboration and communication around school safety strategies. The three-day summit attracted more than 300 participants from across the state with roles ranging from school principals, social workers, and nurses to school resource officers, first responders, and emergency preparedness professionals.

Nearly 50 workshops were offered on a wide range of school safety topics, including trauma awareness; supporting the safety and well-being of young people; brain science; restorative practices; social media use; emergency operations planning; food security linked to school security; behavioral threat assessment; bus safety; and more. Staff from the Maine Department of Education’s Office of School and Student Supports and Office of School Facilities and Transportation also helped lead several workshops.

The Maine School Safety Center (MSSC) was created two years ago, and codified into law this year, with the mission of developing a safe school infrastructure that will deliver high quality, up-to-date best practices, procedures, training, and technical assistance and support to Maine schools. MSSC offers school supports and services on school emergency management, threat assessment and mental health, restorative practices, training, and school safety and security. MSSC has provided hundreds of trainings, courses, and professional learning experiences to support school staff and school leaders throughout Maine.

MSSC’s approach to school safety is comprehensive and is guided by the beliefs that supporting the well-being of students and a healthy school environment is essential to the reduction of behaviors that threaten the safety of the school community; everyone who comes in contact with students and a school system has a responsibility to help create and sustain a healthy school environment and ensure a student’s well-being; the school environment, culture, approaches to discipline, and interface with the community are crucial to the well-being of all students, and particularly to those students who are alienated from the school program and those with behavioral and/or mental health issues; and schools and communities need to collaborate to create a systematic approach to school safety.

“This summit was planned long before the tragedy in a Texas elementary school last month, but that event, and so many others, certainly underscore the fact that school safety and security, emergency prevention, and emergency response preparedness remain top concerns for students, staff, families, and communities nationwide and here in Maine,” said Education Commissioner Pender Makin in her keynote address. “This three-day event offers a wide variety of professional learning opportunities and technical assistance to help schools and their community partners enhance all aspects of school safety, ranging from culture and climate to hazard planning to crisis response and recovery planning. What is clear throughout all of the sessions, and reinforced by who is here attending the summit, is the overarching message that partnerships, relationships, communication, and collaboration are the keys to this work.”

“We all know that when we put our minds and our hearts together, we can be brilliant. Throughout the last 27 months, we have all worked together to stay safe, to keep our schools open and to make sure that we took care of our students and each other–both professionally and personally,” said Eileen King, Executive Director of the Maine School Superintendents Association. “Keeping our students and staff safe is the priority, change is the reality, and collaboration must be the strategy.”

“School boards across the state engage in and support sound school safety practices for students and staff,” said Steve Bailey, Executive Director of the Maine School Board Association. “Through the leadership of the DOE’s Maine School Safety Center, and the collaboration with other partner agencies and associations, this identified effort to expand and promote safety practices and important inter-agency relationships will be an important next step to helping keep our schools safe, while also knowing what to do and who to turn to should additional resources be needed.”

“Safety is a top priority for students and for school staff, and with safety encompassing so many things, physical and emotional/mental health, security, cyber, food security, and more, we need to do what we can to work collaboratively to address these issues and provide the public education our students deserve,” said Grace Leavitt, President of the Maine Education Association.

“It’s imperative that law enforcement and educators have an open line of communication and a collaborative working relationship,” said Chief Kevin Schofield, Maine Chiefs of Police, Windham Police Department. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to take this issue seriously and work together to make sure our students and schools are as safe as possible.”

The Maine School Safety Summit was sponsored by the Maine Department of Education, Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, Maine School Superintendents Association, Maine Chiefs of Police Association, Maine Sheriff’s Association, Maine Principals Association, Maine Department of Corrections, Maine School Resource Officers Association, Strategies for Youth, and Maine School Board Association.

 

MaineCare Seed Adjustments to be Made, Review Q3’22 Reports by July 15, 2022

The recovery of Q3’22 MaineCare Seed will occur in the July 2022 subsidy payment and the Maine DOE is asking Districts to review their reports by July 15, 2022 to ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy. SAU staff must review, and submit disputes and student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q3’22 by July 15, 2022.

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

  1. Log into NEO using the link below
    https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Dashboard
  2. Click on the Student Data tab
  3. Click on the Student Report tab
  4. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  5. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  6. save iconClick “view report” button
  7. 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 dispute a claim:

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should not be on the report, please send an email with the following information for each State Student ID to stephanie.clark@maine.gov.

  • State Student ID
  • The reason that you disagree
  • Identify the type of report: public or private
  • Quarter in which the claims are located
  • Service provided dates (From and To)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services:

Students must be enrolled for the time period 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.

If you have difficulty logging into NEO:

Anyone who currently has Special Education Director permissions to the Special Education module will automatically have permission to access MaineCare reports.
As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this module, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary. The helpdesk contact information is medms.helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

Please contact stephanie.clark@maine.gov for more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed

Want to Bring Local Food to Students in your Community this Summer?

Summer means fresh, local food and we are lucky to live in a state with so many wonderful farms to support in our communities! Bringing the farm to your school is easy with Harvest of the Month (HOM), and the Child Nutrition Program has FREE promotional and educational material to help make this happen! Beautiful posters, fact sheets with recipes, stickers and more will be mailed to you at no cost. Maybe your school has a garden bursting with summer squash and cucumbers (the HOM highlighted ingredients for July and August), or perhaps you have a family recipe using summer produce that you know kids in your community would love.

Sample promotional materials!

Reach out to your district’s School Nutrition Director to partner on this great opportunity to, whether it be through summer meal sites or summer school! For more information contact Robin.Kerber@maine.gov or visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/harvestofthemonth/summer.

Media Release: Maine Child Nutrition Programs Continue Feeding Children Beyond School Year with Summer Food Service Program Hot Lunch Summer

As the school year comes to an end, Maine children can access nutritious meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, administered by the Maine Department of Education (DOE). These meals are available at hundreds of sites across Maine and will be listed on the Maine DOE’s Hot Lunch Summer website.

“No child should worry about going hungry when the school year ends,” said Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “Hot Lunch Summer ensures that Maine children continue to receive the healthy, nutritious meals they rely on during the school year and we thank the schools and organizations that have stepped up to make the distribution of these meals possible.”

The Summer Food Service Program may be offered statewide in areas or at sites where more than 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced meal benefits under the National School Lunch Program or where census track data supports the need. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, nonprofit residential summer camps, government agencies, and tax-exempt organizations including faith-based organizations.

The Maine DOE launched a statewide ad campaign to raise awareness that the Summer Food Service Program exists and clearly explain the logistics of where, when, and how Maine children and adolescents can access complementary meals. The multi-media campaign includes a fun, original song entitled ‘Hot Lunch Summer’ for broadcast radio, an accompanying sing-along video in several lengths including a 30-second broadcast and streaming television ad, a series of colorful shareable graphics for social media, and a series of printed materials for distribution at schools and meal sites. The campaign, which will run through July, is expected to generate more than 5.25 million impressions.

To find nearby Summer Meal sites, please visit www.hotlunchsummer.com, or text “Summer Meals” to (914)342-7744.  Information will be available mid-June.

For more information about the Maine DOE’s Summer Food Service Program, contact adriane.ackroyd@maine.gov, call 592-1722 or visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/nutrition/programs/sfsp

###

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
(1)       mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
(2)       fax:
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
(3)       email:
program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, religion, ancestry or national origin.

Complaints of discrimination must be filed at the office of the Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. If you wish to file a discrimination complaint electronically, visit the Human Rights Commission website at https://www.maine.gov/mhrc/file/instructions and complete an intake questionnaire. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.