School Construction List Receives Approval 

Three schools in critical need of renovation or replacement got the go-ahead to build new facilities or renovate existing ones last week from the State Board of Education, which approved a proposal from Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin.  The three projects were considered because their total estimated costs, when added to existing debt, will be within the current debt service limit of $126,000,000. 

The Board approved the Maine Department of Education’s “Approved Projects List,” a key step in a school construction process that includes: evaluating needs, determining solutions, designing, and building.  The schools were at the top of the Final Priority List of 74 schools that applied for renovation or replacement, which was approved by the State Board in August of 2018. 

The three schools on the approved list are:  Fairfield Primary School (RSU 49/MSAD 49);  Skowhegan’s North Elementary School (RSU 54/MSAD 54);  and Rumford Elementary School (RSU 10). 

The Department would like to stress that the decision to begin work on the first three projects does not preclude additional projects from being approved later.  As the nature and anticipated costs of the first three projects becomes clearer over the ensuing months, the Department intends to then assess when, and if, additional projects on the Final Priority List can be approved to move forward. 

Information about the Department’s school construction program can be found at: http//www.maine.gov/doe/schools/facilities/mcscp. 

Mandatory Annual Notice of Integrated Pest Management Requirements

Encounters with rodents, hornets, bats, poisonous plants and other pests can threaten the health and safety of students, staff and visitors on school properties. However, pesticides can also pose a risk, and the use of these chemicals in Maine is strictly regulated.  All public and private schools serving any grades pre-k through 12 are required, under state law, to adopt and implement an integrated pest management (IPM) policy to reduce potential risks of exposure to pests and pesticides.

Specific requirements include:

Appointment of IPM Coordinator.  Appoint a staff member to serve as and annually report their name and contact information (e-mail address and phone number) by September 1st via the Department of Education NEO system. If unable to use NEO, report via email to pesticides@maine.gov or by calling 207-287-2731. This information is required to provide necessary educational information and training and ensure compliance with regulations.

Training. The IPM Coordinator must complete two trainings: 1) Initial Training Module must be completed within one month of appointment (available online at www.maine.gov/schoolipm  click on ‘Trainings and Events’) and 2) Comprehensive IPM Training Training must be completed within one year of appointment (free workshop offered in numerous locations throughout the year. See schedule at www.maine.gov/schoolipm). In addition, the IPM Coordinator must earn 1-hr of Continuing Education credit per year.

Notification, Signage and Authorization. A notice describing your school’s IPM program must be included in the school policy manual or student and staff handbooks.  Specific information is required.  A sample notice is available at www.maine.gov/schoolipm.  This information must be kept up to date, but an annual notice to parents and staff is no longer required. A notice about the schools’ IPM Policy must be published in your policy manuals, such as the student and staff handbooks. Before any pesticide application on school properties (including non-school properties used primarily for official school functions) the IPM Coordinator must authorize it. Parents and staff must be notified five days in advance and signs must be posted two days in advance. Some types of applications are exempted. More information and sample notices are available at maine.gov/schoolipm or by contacting the Maine Board of Pesticides Control at pesticides@maine.gov or 207-287-2731.

Licensing. A commercial Pesticide Applicators License is required for all pesticide applications except for the control of stinging insects and for routine use of disinfectants.

Record-Keeping.  A Pest Management Activity Log must be kept current and on file for at least two years. Specific records about IPM steps taken and pesticide use must be kept.  Sample logbook pages are available at maine.gov/schoolipm.

The School IPM Program, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, is available to help with pest problem-solving advice, training resources and more (www.maine.gov/schoolipm, e-mail: kathy.murray@maine.gov, phone: 207-287-7616).  For more information contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (pesticides@maine.gov or 207-287-2731) or Pat Hinckley at the Department of Education (pat.hinckley@maine.gov, 207-624-6886).

 

School Renovation Funding Available

The Maine Department of Education is accepting applications to receive funding for school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The application deadline is September 30.

The Department will be able to approve approximately $25 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 and Priority Two 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.  Priority Two SRRF projects include school building structures, windows and doors, and water and septic systems.  Eligible Priority One projects will receive funding preference over Priority Two projects.

The SRRF application and additional information are available on the Maine DOE’s SRRF website. For more information or technical assistance, please contact Ann Pinnette at 624-6885 or email ann.pinnette@maine.gov.

 

Free School Safety Presentation

I Love You Guys Foundation School Safety Presentation Coming to Maine

What:                 Standard Response Protocols and Standard Reunification Method for schools and districts, and an After Action Review of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting.

When:                 31 July 2019- William Cohen Middle School, Bangor.  8:00-12:00

2 August 2019- Windham High School, Windham.  8:00-12:00

Audience:          Maine school superintendents, principals and staff; local first responders; county emergency management agency staff.

Presenter:          Scott Parker, Scott Parker, “I Love You Guys” Certified Trainer for the Standard Response Protocols and Standard Reunification Method; National school safety subject matter expert; supported the development of the Maine Model plan in 2007; certified SRP and SRM Train the Trainer in 2013; has worked with over 20 school districts and academies in Maine; currently working with 8 school districts in Maine.

Cost:                    Free, supported by National School Safety Organization, “I Love You Guys Foundation”

Registration:     Advance registration will be required. Contact: ScottParker.preparedness@gmail.com

Technical Assistance:  A new Update Standard Response Protocol and Standard Reunification Method will be available for attendees after this training.

Save the date!

 

 

Registration now open for the 2019 state Custodial and Maintenance Conference

Registration is now open for the 51th Custodial and Maintenance Conference for Maine school custodians and facilities directors.

Location:  Waterville Senior High School, Waterville, Maine

Dates:  Wednesday, June 26, 2019 – Thursday June 27, 2019

2019 Highlights:

  • The Wednesday keynote is motivational speaker Andrew Raycroft, former National Hockey League Goalie and Assistant College Coach
  • The Thursday motivational speaker will be Roseann Sdoia, Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor
  • Discussions and meeting topics include: school indoor air quality, oil storage tanks and spills, hands on strategies for fields and landscaping, school security and safety, inspections and preventative maintenance for roofs, all-hazards emergency preparedness, floor covering systems, facilities manager certification roundtable, and much more.
  • This year’s conference will include Maine School Integrated Pest Management certification sessions where conference attendees can complete required IPM training delivered by Dr. Kathy Murray from Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
  • The Annual A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence that recognizes the vital role of custodians in facilities and education

Review Draft Agenda

To register and find additional resources including pricing, lodging options, further details about registration, including guest registration, by contacting Jim Reny of Educational Plant Maintenance Association (EPMA) by phone 861-2351 or email jreny8@roadrunner.com .