Seeking Additional Maine Schools for Social Emotional Learning Pilot Program

The Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MECDC), in partnership with the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE), is seeking additional schools that would like to implement the social emotional learning (SEL) program, Second Step, funded by a grant through MECDC.

The MECDC received a portion of the State Opioid Response grant to provide community-based substance use prevention as part of the grant’s larger goal to reduce the prevalence of non-medical use of opioids. The Second Step Curriculum is research-based and available for PreK through 8th grades. Many of the skills within the Maine Learning Results for health education in elementary school align with goals of Second Step, such as nurturing skill building and preventing problematic developmental behaviors that are part of the trajectory towards substance use.

If you are interested in adding Second Step to your school’s curriculum and you are not already part of the MECDC pilot or have not already been contacted by the Maine CDC regarding your application from the last round, please complete this brief 5 minute application survey which will be open for submissions until Friday, October 11, 2019.

Please note: If you applied in the last round and have not heard from the Maine DOE or CDC, please feel free to apply again. We may not have had enough information from you in the last application to proceed.

For more information, contact Megan.Scott@maine.gov at Maine CDC or Emily.Poland@maine.gov at the Department of Education.

Funding Available for New or Expanding Pre-K Programs in 2020-2021!

Are you opening a new PreK program or expanding an existing program in FY21? – Maine Department of Education will provide funding for FY21 for new or expanded PreK programs!

If your SAU is opening or expanding a PreK program in the 2020-2021 school year, you are eligible to receive funding on your FY21 ED279 for children you enroll in these new or expanding PreK programs in 2020. This means you will receive the funding for enrollment in the same year that you enroll the PreK children, without a year delay.

Beginning in FY19, the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding formula added an allocation for PreK programs’ estimate student count. The PreK program estimate count allocation is intended to provide funding for PreK programming in advance of actual student enrollment, helping to offset the upfront costs associated with expanding or starting PreK programs. This PreK program allocation was first authorized into law on July 1, 2018 to begin in FY19 and continue indefinitely.

If you are expanding and would like to receive an FY21 estimate PreK allocation, please notify the Maine DOE by completing the FY21 Estimate PreK Count Data Form before October 15, 2019. There are 3 questions to be answered:

  1. Choose your SAU from a list
  2. Do you have an existing PreK program (FY20) – Yes/No
  3. Provide your SAU’s PreK Estimated Increase Count (new slots available in new or expanding program)

SAUs completing the form must also complete the PreK Program Application with DOE’s Early Childhood Team by April 30, 2020 and obtain program approval.

The FY21 Estimate PreK Count Data Collection form is meant to capture the FY21 estimate for new and expanding PreK program enrollment. The estimate student count data, in addition to the current (FY20) enrollment in an existing PreK program, will be used to provide funding on the FY21 ED279. SAUs’ PreK total enrollment number, as reported and verified October 1, 2020, should match the combined existing and estimated increase total that was used to calculate funds in the ED279. After October 1, 2020 an audit adjustment, based on actual enrollment reported in NEO on October 1, 2020, will be made to the PreK allocation assigned on the FY21 ED279. Please note that this may increase or decrease funding.

For more information about establishing or expanding a Pre-K program, please check out our webpage on the topic, or please contact Deb Lajoie at 624-6613 or deborah.j.lajoie@maine.gov.

 

 

 

Maine Teachers Engage in “K for ME” Curriculum Pilot Training

In Augusta, kindergarten teachers and their administrators from five Maine school districts participated in three days of training for the K for ME pilot, a research-based, discipline integrated, whole child curriculum for kindergarten.

Principals and teachers volunteered to implement this curriculum, based on the Boston Public Schools kindergarten program, to help tailor it for Maine’s children and school communities. Melissa Luc, consultant from the Boston Public Schools, facilitated the training and is working with participants from schools and Department to oversee the revisions.

During the 2018-19 school year, the Maine DOE piloted the PreK for ME curriculum in 14 preschool classrooms – the curriculum will soon be posted as an open source on the DOE website. K for ME expands upon this work by creating a vertical alignment for students building on concepts and content they learned in prek. K for ME will also be an open-source curriculum available on the Maine DOE website as a resource for districts after the pilot year.

For more information ,contact Lee Anne Larsen at leeann.larsen@maine.gov or 624-6628.

Public Preschool Annual Report Due July 31, 2019

We are grateful to our school districts who are addressing the need for public preschool programming in their communities, and we are committed to fostering partnerships and increasing early intervention and educational opportunities for our youngest learners. As you are likely aware, all public preschool programs are required to complete the Public Preschool Annual Report. We have shortened the report for ease of use, and the Department of Education will refer to the data collected throughout the year to help inform policy, determine professional development needs, and provide follow up information or support.

The Public Preschool Annual report is now available  and is due to the Department no later than close of business on July 31, 2019.

Before you start the survey, it will be useful to have the following information readily available:

  • Information related to staff turnover
  • Program operation:
    • Number of hours per day
    • Number of days per week
    • Any major changes to the program, including, but not limited to:
      • partners
      • curriculum
      • location
    • Successes/challenges experienced over the course of the year
    • Student attendance-
      • number economically disadvantaged
      • number chronic absenteeism
      • transient students
    • Students identified for additional support:
      • English Learners- screening process
      • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) information including but not limited to:
        • referrals
        • IDEA eligibility identification
        • no longer qualify
      • Student growth in all learning domains

For further information or questions, please contact Nicole Madore at Nicole.madore@maine.gov  or 624-6677.

Free Training, Technical Assistance, Equipment and Materials for Public Preschool Programs

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has received a grant from the US Department of Education to support public preschool teachers, special educators, principals and special education directors in providing high quality classroom environments and inclusion practices for 4-year-olds.

The program is being offered through Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network (MRTQ PDN), a University of Maine System partnership between University of Southern Maine (USM) and University of Maine (UMaine), that includes the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) which has expertise in providing training and technical assistance around inclusionary practices.

MRTQ PDN will contract with Maine DOE and partner with Child Development Services to provide online training and technical assistance to 3 classrooms of 6 participants each. Teams must include the preschool teacher, ed tech, principal, special education director, elementary special education teacher, and a CDS consultant or teacher. The purpose of team participation is to ensure consistent understanding and application of the course content so that high quality inclusive practices will be supported and sustained.  All team members will receive certificates of contact hours which support certification renewal and/or local professional development requirements.

This project will serve as a pilot to help Maine DOE gather information on what schools need to best support all preschool age children, including those with special needs and disabilities.

Upon completion of training and technical assistance, each public preschool classroom teacher who has participated will receive $1500 in mini-grants for materials and supplies to support high quality preschool inclusionary environments.

For more information, or FAQ view the application or contact Nicole Madore at Nicole.madore@maine.gov