Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program (MACM) for Special Educators

Beginning in the fall of 2018, conditionally certified special educators that are in their first year of teaching are required to participate in Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring program (MACM), a Maine Department of Education program developed in partnership with the University of Maine.

This program is an alternative pathway to certification to support Maine’s need for highly qualified special educators. MACM offers intensive, focused support and mentoring during the special educator’s critical first year of practice.

Newly conditionally certified special educators will be paired with a MACM mentor who is an experienced special educator, and will be required to enroll in and complete two semester-long seminar courses entitled, Special Education Mentorship.

School Administrative Units (SAUs) may use federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds to support the cost of the professional development courses if an appropriate professional development project is written in the application.

MACM Procedures for School Districts

Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring program (MACM) will provide a trained special education mentor and an intensive year-long seminar designed to support conditionally certified special educators during their first year of practice.

Per Chapter 115 rules that go into effect July 1, 2018, qualified conditionally certified special educators special educators must successfully complete 9 semester hours of special education coursework by August 31, 2018 to qualify for conditional certification. The teacher applicant provides the Maine DOE Certification Office with a complete application for conditional certification.

The MACM coordinator will identify first year conditionally certified special educators and will contact the new teacher with information about participation in the program, including how and by when to enroll in the appropriate section of Special Education Mentorship. The new conditionally certified teacher is expected to work with the SAU to cover the course tuition. This enrollment process must be completed by the first week of September 2018.

For more information about MACM, please visit its website: https://umaine.edu/edhd/outreach/macm/ or contact Valerie Smith at Valerie.smith@maine.edu, or by calling 581-2419. Please continue to monitor the Maine DOE website for updates to Chapters 115 and 180.

Maine Department of Labor youth employment initiative – Getting to YES

The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) has launched an initiative called Getting to YES, Youth Employment and the Steps to Success, to promote youth employment coming into the 2018 summer season. The Department is asking for your support in spreading the word about the importance of, and opportunities for, jobs for Maine youth, and in continuing to assist us in streamlining the permitting process.

Important things to know about:

  • The permit application has changed. Please use the most recent version, which is available at this link, http://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_laws/publications/maine_work_permit.pdf
  • Related, we expect the additional focus on youth employment to increase the number of permit requests you will be seeing. Please be sure to have a designee in place in your absence, so that we can continue to move the permit process along efficiently for both the employer and the student applicant.
  • MDOL is conducting workshops across the state for parents and minors (14 & 15 year-olds) to learn about what types of jobs are available, how to get that first job and keep it, and what the permit process is like. Below are the dates, times and locations of workshops near you. You are welcome to attend! FMI or to register, contact Kerri.L.Demerchant@maine.gov, 207-621-5095.
Site Address Date Time pm
Hall-Dale High School 97 Maple St, Farmingdale, ME 04344 4-Jun-18 6:00-7:30
Augusta CareerCenter 45 Commerce Dr., Augusta, ME 5-Jun-18 5:00-6:30
Calais CareerCenter 1 Calais Dr., Calais, ME 5-Jun-18 4:30-6:00
Machias CareerCenter 53 Prescott Dr., Machias, ME 5-Jun-18 4:30-6:00
Rockland CareerCenter 91 Camden St., Rockland, ME 5-Jun-18 6:00-7:30
Waldo County Tech Center 1022 Waterville Rd., Waldo, ME 5-Jun-18 5:00-6:00
Ashland School 180 Presque Isle Rd., Ashland, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Bangor CareerCenter 45 Oak St., Bangor ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Fort Kent Adult Education 84 Pleasant St., Fort Kent, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Greater Portland CareerCenter 151 Jetport Blvd., Portland, ME 6-Jun-18 5:00-6:00
Houlton ACAP Office 91 Military St., Houlton, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Madawaska ACAP Office 88 Fox St., Madawaska, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Presque Isle CareerCenter 66 Spruce St., Presque Isle, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
University College Bath/Brunswick Rm. 101, Orion Hall, 12 Sewall Street, Brunswick, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Skowhegan CareerCenter 98 North Ave., Skowhegan, ME 7-Jun-18 5:00-6:00
Springvale CareerCenter 9 Bodwell Ct., Springvale, ME 7-Jun-18 5:00-6:00

Why is the MDOL doing this?

Maine is facing a workforce challenge. With unemployment at record lows (under 4% for 29 consecutive months), the Department wants to focus more on what is available within the state. Looking at Maine’s minor population makes sense for many reasons.  First and foremost, Maine has approximately 27,700 14 and 15 year-olds.

Introduction into the workforce at a younger age helps to build confidence, self-reliance and independence, impart the value of money and cultivate soft skills that are transferrable within the young worker’s world. Young workers learn, respect and self control, how to work well with others, good time management and personal responsibility, all important attributes that will serve them well in their personal, educational and professional lives.

“Getting to YES, Youth Employment and the Steps” to professional success seeks to promote these positives in the media and among our stakeholder groups to boost youth employment this summer, and also get youth thinking about their professional future; e.g. pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, college, career, etc.

According to the Maine Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of work permits for minors made some gains this past year (4,200 over 3,200 the year before), likely due, in part, to changes to child labor laws in Maine that made work permits easier to obtain and submit.

Goals of this project:

  1. To increase the number of work permits issued in 2018 (by 50%);
  2. Create a narrative that supports, promotes and encourages 14 and 15-year old workers;
  3. Continue to streamline the process of acquiring and processing work permits; and
  4. Get employers interested, onboard and prepared for hiring youth.

Partners:

  • Maine Department of Education
  • Maine Department of Economic & Community Development
  • Jobs for Maine Graduates
  • Maine CareerCenters/Maine Joblink
  • Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
  • Maine Tourism Association
  • Maine Restaurants and Innkeepers Association

Recent Press:

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/12/state-pushes-to-loosen-work-rules-for-teens-but-labor-advocates-have-concerns/

Promotion:

Over the coming days and weeks, we will use social media, the DOL website, email, radio and television to get the word out. A formal press conference on May 30th will launch the initiative fully, with all of our partners communicating the message and spreading the word.

If you have questions or ideas about any part of this initiative, please contact Laura Hudson, Laura.J.Hudson@maine.gov or 207-621-5009.

New deadline for changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs)

On April 14, 2018, the Department issued guidance regarding a change in IEP requirements in Administrative Letter #13. The purpose of the change is to document educationally and medically necessary services on the IEP aligning to Section 65 and Section 28 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.

On May 1, 2018, the Department issued a priority notice putting in effect a 1-month hold (until June 1, 2018) on the implementation, in order to resolve some questions on IEP document wording. After further review, it has been concluded that an extended delay in implementation is needed.  The Department expects the new procedures and forms to be clarified soon. The Department will announce the new effective date and clarified language as soon as possible.

For more information, contact the Department of Education’s Office of Special Services at (207) 624 -6713.

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 janice.breton@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Delay in changes for documentation of IEPs; DOE will update guidance in admin letter #13

On April 14, 2018, the Maine Department of Education issued Administrative Letter #13: Important changes in documenting medical services in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). This notification announced changes in documenting IEP plans with Maine Care services that are necessary for a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Since the release of this guidance, the Department has received feedback from stakeholders and legal counsel for further clarification on some of the wording. While Department staff work with the Attorney General’s office, districts and stakeholders to make these clarifications, the implementation will be delayed.

The planned implementation of these changes is expected to begin June 1, 2018. The Department will release updated, clarified guidance before that time.

Thank you for your feedback and patience. Please look for further notifications in the Maine Department of Education Newsroom. For further questions contact Maine DOE Director of Special Service, Jan Breton at Janice.Breton@maine.gov.