New and Updated Fact Sheets Highlight Key MIYHS Survey Results

There are 6 new and updated fact sheets available that highlight key survey results from 2017 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS).  Each topic specific-fact sheet includes, key statistics and data from the 2017 survey, links for “Who Can Help,” and additional resources for schools, community and parents.

New and updated fact sheets include:

  • Health Disparities faced by Transgender Youth in Maine (NEW!! HS Level Data)
  • 2017 Health and Risk Factors among LGBT youth in Maine (NEW!! HS Level Data)
  • What Youth in Maine are Eating (MS and HS Data)
  • Bullying and Harassment in Maine High Schools
  • Daily Activity and Health Behaviors of Youth in Maine (MS and HS data)
  • Mental Health among Maine High School Students

The new fact sheets can be found on the MIYHS webpage.

Over 61,000 students from 300+ schools participated in the 2017 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS), including about 80 percent of all Maine middle and high schools, and the 2017 data is now publicly available. For the first time, all Geographic Public Health Districts and County level data are reportable. All results can all be found on the MIYHS website

The MIYHS staff would like to extend many thanks to the principals and superintendents who chose to participate in the MIYHS over the years, to the teachers and school staff who supported the effort, and to the community organizations whose help was vital to the success of the survey. Most importantly, we would like to thank the students and parents who took the time and effort to share their experiences with us. The MIYHS will be administered again in 2019.

For questions or more information, Please visit the website or contact Reid Plimpton at  or Jean Zimmerman at

School Nurse of the Year Nominations

This past week the Maine Department of Education celebrated National Nurses Week by hosting school nurses for National School Nurse Day at the Blaine House for tea where the Department and Maine Association of School Nurses honored our current School Nurse of the Year, Ann Bouchard.

Please consider honoring a deserving colleague by putting in a nomination for the 2018-2019 School Nurse of the Year.

This title provides recognition to an individual who demonstrates leadership in 6 areas of their practice: Care provision, program management, health education, professional development, community involvement, and research.

Please take this opportunity to showcase your School Nurse’s accomplishments and nominate! The individual selected will receive a $500 cash award and be recognized at the Maine Association of School Nurses Summer Institute, the Blaine House Tea and at the National Association of School Nurse annual conference.

We are accepting applications now. Below you can find the nomination form and the information necessary to begin this process:

The application deadline is June 1st (please disregard the erroneous date on the forms).

For further information contact Maine DOE School Nurse Consultant, Emily Poland at or (207) 624-6688.


Nominations being accepted for 2018 MAHPERD Teachers of the Year

Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD) Teachers of the Year awards.

Maine educators in the following categories are eligible for consideration: Elementary Physical Education Teacher, Middle Level Physical Education Teacher, Secondary Physical Education Teacher, Adapted Physical Education Teacher, Health Education Teacher (All levels), Recreation Teacher/Leader, and Dance Teacher. There are many deserving teachers throughout the State of Maine and MAHPERD would like to be able to recognize more of those individuals.

Click here for more information regarding eligibility, nomination criteria and to access the application.

Nominations are due by June 30 and completed applications are due by August 21. For more information contact Kristen Allen at, MAHPERD Awards chairperson, before June 30.

The Maine Event: Fostering Equity and Justice for Youth conference, June 28-29 in Bangor

The Positive Youth Development Institute and the Collaboration for Perpetual Innovation has a premiere staff development opportunity for educators, youth serving professionals, and volunteers.

This locally organized, national conference will address education equity and justice issues paramount to adults and students. Presentations will focus on student voice and choice, new approaches to discipline, and school-wide practices of inclusion for all students. The content will be linked school climate, bullying prevention, discipline disparities, and requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Keynote presenters will be Shakti Butler, PhD, President and Founder of World Trust Educational Services, Inc.; Michael D. Clark, MSW, Director of the Center for Strength-Based Strategies; and the cast of Maine Inside Out, in their performance, Love is Alternatives to Incarceration.

In addition, full-day training opportunities are available on June 27, including:

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (NAMI: Maine)
  • Nurturing Social Trust Through Meaningful Dialogue (Cindy Carraway-Wilson, Youth Catalytics)
  • Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools (Kathleen Guarino, American Institutes for Research)
  • Programs that Matter: Positive Outcomes Through Proven Practices (Margaret Jones, Maine Afterschool Network & Bolster Collaborative)

A discount provided by PYDI-CPI is available for teams of five or more from the same school district.

For more information about The Maine Event: Fostering Equity and Justice for Youth, visit the conference website here.

For questions related to the conference, contact Donna Duffey, Conference Manager at 800-294-4322 or, or Sarah Ricker, Maine DOE Student Assistance Coordinator at or 207-624-6685.

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: Guidance on multiple disabilities eligibility category under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Administrative Letter: 14
Policy Code: BGC
To: Public School Administrators and Special Education Directors
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
Date: May 7, 2018
Subject: Guidance on multiple disabilities eligibility category under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services is providing the following information regarding the identification of “multiple disabilities” as an eligibility category for students with disabilities. This guidance is intended to help Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams correctly identify students with multiple disabilities consistent with the definition in federal law.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B, for a child to qualify under the category of “multiple disabilities,” the following criteria must be met:

  1. The child has impairments that occur concomitantly (two or more disabilities that occur at the same time); and
  2. the result of the combination of the impairments causes such severe educational needs that the child cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.

Based on these criteria, the category of multiple disabilities requires the presence of severe educational needs, not solely the presence of two or more disabilities. For example, a child who has an intellectual disability and blindness or a child who has an intellectual disability and orthopedic impairment would be categorized as multiply disabled. An example of a child that should not be classified as having multiple disabilities could be child who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has a speech language disability.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that Maine has much higher identification rates of children in the category of multiple disabilities than the national average.  In 2016-17, for ages 6–21, the national multiple disabilities rate (pooling across all states and territories for which data were available) was 2.34 percent while Maine’s rate was 10.77 percent. There are very few states/territories with higher rates than Maine’s.

Maine Multiple Disabilities Identification Rate Compared to National Average

National 2.34%
Maine 10.77%
These values represent the percentages of multiple disabilities out of all children with disabilities, not out of all children both with and without disabilities. 

Maine Multiple Disabilities Identification Rate 2014 – 2016

2016-17 10.46%
2015-16 10.04%
2014-15 9.68%
These values represent the percentages of multiple disabilities out of all children with disabilities, not out of all children both with and without disabilities. 

Given the significant difference between Maine’s identification rate and the national average, the Department will be working on supportive efforts to ensure that students are being correctly identified in this category. As such, the Maine Department of Education Office of Special Services’ monitoring team will be working with school districts with high identification rates in multiple disabilities as part of the general supervision system of monitoring and supports.  It is recommended that this information be shared with anyone who is a part of identification and/or triennial evaluations.

For more information about this topic, please contact the Maine Department of Education Office of Special Services by phone at (207) 624-6713 or via email to Jan Breton, Director of Special Services at