Administrative Letter: 2018-2019 Maine Schools/Public School Approval Now Open

Administrative Letter: 16
Policy Code: KLL
TO: Public School Administrators
FROM: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
DATE: July 12, 2018
SUBJECT: 2018-2019 Maine Schools/Public School Approval Now Open

In accordance with 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 206 and Maine Department of Education (DOE) Rule Chapter 125, to maintain continued approval status for the school administrative unit and all schools within it, the superintendent shall submit timely completed annual school reports to the Commissioner, including the annual approval report for the unit and for each school in the unit certifying progress on the Comprehensive Education Plan.
Public schools complete the annual school approval process in the NEO information system, verifying required organization and school administrative unit and school approval information in the NEO Maine Schools module.

This year the two separate processes – Maine Schools Update, and School Approval – were integrated into a one-step process, thereby allowing submission of both organizational information and school approval checklist items in one sitting. In addition, the information may be saved when partially finished to complete at a later time. While completing the approval process, the page should be saved often, as there is a time-out period.

Public School and NEO

Maine Schools/School Approval NEO Module
The Maine Schools module in the Maine DOE’s NEO information system is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. The NEO Maine Schools form is required by all public schools to inform the Maine Department of Education of school and district contact information, changes in grade spans, and other school-related information. This module new includes the school approval component for public schools. As a preliminary step, in order for an organization to be updated in Maine Schools, the superintendent or chief administrator of the school must first be entered into the NEO Staff Module. Access to NEO staff can be obtained by submitting a NEO Access Request Form (Excel) form to the MDOE Data Helpdesk.

Filling out the Maine Schools/School Approval Module: All fields with the exception of Administrative Office Fax are required. PO Boxes will not be accepted in the “Physical Address” box. Mailing address is needed only if different from Physical address. The Cost Center information references the three-digit code that the business office uses in the public financial system to assign building level costs (may require two codes).
At the bottom, check the box to confirm that all information has been reviewed before signing and submitting the form.

Log in to the NEO information system. Click on Maine Schools. If you do not see this option on your menu, and are a superintendent, technical coordinator, or administrative assistant, please contact the MEDMS Helpdesk at MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

Please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, Maine DOE School Enrollment Specialist at 207-624-6617 or Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov with questions or comments about the school approval.

Administrative Letter: 2018-2019 Private School Approval, NEO Maine Schools, and Staff Now Open

Administrative Letter: 15
Policy Code: KLL
TO: Private School Administrators
FROM: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
DATE: July 12, 2018
SUBJECT: 2018-2019 Private School Approval, NEO Maine Schools, and Staff Now Open

In accordance with 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 117, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) requires private schools seeking approval status to be approved annually.

Private schools seeking approval status must enter required organization and staff information into the NEO information system and submit their annual school approval report. Related documentation should be submitted to Maine DOE’s School Enrollment/Approval Specialist, either electronically or by mail. The NEO requirements need not be completed prior to the submission of the annual report; however, school approval will not be issued until the NEO information is complete and verified.

Private School and NEO

Maine Schools NEO Module
The Maine Schools module in the Maine DOE’s NEO information system is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. The NEO Maine Schools form is required by all public and private schools to inform the Maine Department of Education of school and district contact information, changes in grade spans, and other school-related information. As a preliminary step, in order for an organization to be updated in Maine Schools, the superintendent or chief administrator of the school must first be entered into the NEO Staff Module. Access to NEO staff can be obtained by submitting a NEO Access Request Form (Excel) form to the MDOE Data Helpdesk.

Filling out the Maine Schools Module: All fields with the exception of Administrative Office Fax are required. PO Boxes will not be accepted in the “Physical Address” box. Mailing address is needed only if different from Physical address. The Cost Center information references the three-digit code that the business office uses in the public financial system to assign building level costs (may require two codes). Since this is a required field but currently not used for private schools, a value of “001,” “002,” etc. should be entered there to indicate this is an excluded field.

At the bottom, check the box to confirm that all information has been reviewed before signing and submitting the form.

Log in to the NEO information system. Click on Maine Schools. If you do not see this option on your menu, and are a superintendent (for private schools, this is the head of school), technical coordinator, or administrative assistant, please contact the MEDMS Helpdesk at MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

Staff NEO Module
For security and privacy purposes, all staff information must be entered in the NEO Staff module. The Maine DOE school approval process will include a clearance check for every school employee, as well as appropriate certification checks where applicable.

Guidance for Completing the Annual School Approval Report and Documentation

2018-2019 Approval Reports and requirement checklists are linked below, and also available from the updated Private School Approval  web page. If unsure of which form is appropriate for your needs, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, School Enrollment/Approval Specialist.

Changes/Additions/Clarifications:

  • Organization of annual report rearranged to make it clearer for schools meeting differing requirements according to accreditation and funding status.
  • Non-profit status.
  • Grade span may not include Pre-K. The Department does not “approve” private Pre-K schools. These schools are licensed by Maine DHHS.
  • Records maintenance and release policy
  • Schools receiving public funds must report the data that the Department requests, including attendance data for private schools enrolling 60% or greater publicly-funded students, per M.R.S. 20-A Section 2952.
  • Out of state private schools were “grandfathered” on previous approvals through 2017-18. For 2018-2019 these schools are no longer eligible to accept public funds unless they undergo the private school basic school approval process, including Maine fingerprint/background check, curriculum alignment with the Maine Learning Results, and movement toward proficiency-based diplomas.
  • Approval year will mirror the public school approval year – July 1 through June 30.

Please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, Maine DOE School Enrollment Specialist at 207-624-6617 or Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov with questions or comments about the school approval.

Updates on the RFP for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES)

Last week the State of Maine issued RFP#201806118, which offers a grant funding opportunity through the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES). An amendment to the RFP was posted on the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services website that includes additional requirements regarding applicant eligibility for subsequent grants under FEDES in accordance with Maine DOE Rule Chapter 122, Section 6, 2.

As a reminder, the Department will sponsor an online/telephone Information Session for the RFP on July 19, 2018 at 10:00 AM:

Proposals must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, via e-mail, to the following email address: Proposals@maine.gov. Proposal submissions must be submitted no later than 4:00 pm, local time, on November 7, 2018, when they will be opened. Proposals will be opened at the Burton M. Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall Street – 4th Floor, Augusta, Maine. Proposals not submitted to the Division of Procurement Services’ email address by the deadline will not be considered for the grant award.

All questions, answers, and a summary from the Information Session will be available on the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services website under RFP# 201806118 following the Information Session.

Maine DOE Initiates Electronic Registration System

In an effort to control cost and improve services, the Maine DOE is now using the standard electronic event registration system. Like many organizations that require electronic registration for professional development opportunities and meetings, the Maine DOE system requires payment at the time of registration. Discover, MasterCard, and Visa are all accepted forms of payment. Links to registration will now appear on invitations to participate.

The event registration system eliminates the time consuming paper registration system which includes collecting purchase orders, invoicing schools, and waiting for payment. The system simplifies the human hours and resources required to provide necessary and meaningful opportunities for Maine educators to access information and training with the Department.

This system update is a cost effective measure which enhances DOE specialists’ ability to provide continuing support and honors the intention of federal funding sources which are meant to be reimbursements. In practice, this change enhances accountability and fiscal responsibility.

Please note that purchase orders will no longer be accepted and all attendees will need to use a credit card.

 

Bureau of Justice Assistance Announces Two Grant Opportunities Under the STOP School Violence Act

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), alongside the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is inviting state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to apply for grant funding under the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) Violence Act Program. This act seeks to support and assist those jurisdictions in increasing the safety of their school personnel and students. To these ends, the BJA has announced two competitive grants: The Prevention and Mental Health Training Program and the Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program. Applications for both grants are due July 23, 2018.

The Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program would support and assist state, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions as they work to improve efforts to reduce violent crime, focusing on the creation of threat assessment teams for schools and the use of technology to create anonymous reporting systems for suspicious activity related to violence in schools.  More information on the Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program grant competition can be found at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/SSVthreat18.pdf

The Prevention and Mental Health Training Program would support and assist state, local, and tribal jurisdictions as they work to improve efforts to reduce violent crime, focusing on the creation of school safety training and mental health programs related to violence in schools for school personnel and students. More information on the Prevention and Mental Health Training Program grant competition can be found at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/SSVtraining18.pdf

For more information, contact Pat.Hinckley@maine.gov or support@grants.gov.