Training Opportunity: TransACT Parent Notifications – Part of Your Parent and Family Engagement Planning

The Maine Department of Education will be hosting three trainings across the state to assist districts in using TransACT, a resource that supports parent and family engagement. Use of TransACT is provided to Maine districts at no cost, sponsored by the Department’s Office of ESEA Federal Programs.


Research has shown that when parents and families engage in the education of their children, the children tend to perform better academically. TransACT’s Parent Notices are an important tool to engage parents and families, especially those with limited proficiency in English. This presentation provides:

  • Information about the TransACT Parent Notices purchased for you by the Maine Department of Education;
  • Directions for how to access those Parent Notices in English and other languages;
  • Highlights of the importance of communicating in a language that parents and family members can understand;
  • Information on how to identify important notices that need to be sent, who to send them to, and when they need to be sent; and
  • Information about other resources available from TransACT.

Facilitator Bio:

Dr. David Holbrook earned his Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of the West Indies in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and has over 20 years experience working with speakers of other languages. He has lived in five countries and worked in more than 15. He taught ESL at Colorado State University for approximately two years. He spent nearly six years at the Wyoming Department of Education, where he held positions as Federal Programs Division Director, Title I Director, and Title III Director. He trained with the U.S. Department of Education and participated in federal monitoring of Title III in five states. He served nine years with the National Council of State Title III Directors, two years as President. He was designated as their first Honorary Member and now serves as their Executive Director. His current position is as Executive Director, Federal Compliance and State Relationships for TransACT Communications.

November 5, 2018
1945 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102

November 5, 2018
Elks Lodge
108 Odlin Rd, Bangor, ME 04401

November 6, 2018
University of Maine at Machias
116 Obrien Ave, Machias, ME 04654


Interactive Workshop on the Legal Rights of English Learners

All educators are invited to attend this workshop which will provide participants with information regarding the legal responsibilities of schools serving English learners. Districts receiving federal funds under Title I and/or Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) are strongly encouraged to participate in this workshop, as it will clarify the core requirements for English learner programming that must be met before supplemental federal funds may be utilized.

The workshop, facilitated by Charo Basterra, Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC), will include practical applications, scenarios, and tools that promote appropriate implementation of practices to address the needs and rights of English learners. MAEC is one of four regional technical assistance centers funded by the United States Department of Education.

Three contact hours will be available upon completion of a feedback survey. Wireless internet and free parking will be available, either on campus or at an off-campus parking lot connected by a free shuttle service. The ESEA Title III office of the Maine Department of Education is sponsoring this event and there is no registration fee.

Date: September 20, 2018

Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

University of New England
Innovation Hall
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

Register Now

If you have any questions about this workshop, please contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs, at or (207)624-6627.

New Video Available to Assist with English Learner Identification

A new video is now available to help train staff who assist families in enrolling in school. As part of the English learner identification process, the parent/guardian of every student enrolling in an SAU for the first time completes a Language Use Survey.

To support all Maine schools in administering this required form, the Maine Department of Education has produced a short video that explains the purpose of the Language Use Survey, how to access translation/interpretation services, and when further screening is needed to determine whether a student is an English learner.

Below please find a link to the video and the Language Use Survey:

If you have any questions about this video, please contact Maine DOE Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III, April Perkins at (207)624-6627 or

Clarification of the Process for Addressing Complaints of Discrimination

The Maine Department of Education would like to clarify the process for addressing complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. requires that schools communicate with families in their primary language as much as possible regarding academic, extracurricular, and family engagement activities. Schools are also required to provide students who are English learners (ELs) with an effective language support program that:

  • is evidence-based;
  • is regularly evaluated and modified as needed;
  • enables ELs to meaningfully access grade-level curricula while acquiring English;
  • is designed and implemented by qualified, ESOL-endorsed staff;
  • does not unnecessarily separate ELs from their non-EL peers;
  • does not place ELs in a facility below the standard provided to their non-EL peers; and
  • does not provide ELs with educational materials below the standard provided to their non-EL peers.

The US Department of Justice and the US Department of Education have issued guidance for schools and families regarding Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Requirements for schools to provide translation/interpretation are described in this notice: Information for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Parents and Guardians and for Schools and School Districts that Communicate with Them. The January 7, 2015 Dear Colleague Letter outlines an EL’s educational rights.

To file a discrimination complaint, contact the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. A complaint may be submitted online or by downloading the complaint form and submitting it by mail or email. For more information and access to the online form and pdf, go to

If you have questions about this notice, please contact:

April Perkins
Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Office: (207)624-6627
Cell: (207)441-9043

NEO Accountability Report and Certification Webinar Recording and FAQ

The Maine Department of Education held a webinar on June 21 to Review the NEO Accountability Report and certification requirements. The recording is available for anyone who was unable to participate in the webinar.

The NEO Accountability Report allows districts to validate student enrollment and demographic data.  The report lists students by student groups which will directly inform student group reporting as part of school support determinations and ESEA Report Cards.  The report also identifies which assessments the students should have taken, full academic year enrollment for all students, and whether or not a student will be included for accountability measures or only for assessment reporting.

The Accountability Certification will need to be submitted by each Superintendent. Once validated, the data will be used for ESEA Report Cards and other assessment and accountability reporting.

NEO Accountability Report and Certification Webinar Recording (you will need to register for GoTo Webinar to view the recording)

Accountability Webinar Questions and Follow-Up FAQs

  1. My school is an SPPS (Special Purpose Private School). NEO also shows “no data” for this report
    • SPPS are not factored in the accountability model. However, the fact that data doesn’t show for your school is an error in NEO that will be corrected. Student data should show for your schools so you can validate that the information is correct. The report developers have been notified.
  2. As a SPPS, does my superintendent need to verify this report?
    • No
  3. What were the asterisks vs the blanks for on the Student Detail?
    • Asterisks indicate the assessment(s) that the student should have taken. A blank indicates that the student did not need to take any of the assessments.
  4. If something is not right, who do we contact?
    • If the data is related to student demographics or enrollments, please first validate that the information is correct in Synergy. If the data is correct in Synergy, please contact the Helpdesk – 207-624-6896 or contact 207-624-6696
  5. My accountability certification report is blank, but I can see kids in the detail report. Is this because I don’t do the certification? Or is there something else I need to do?
    • This was an error that has been corrected.
  6. Who certifies?
    • Superintendent
  7. Our schools are each their own district because we are an AOS. I have some kids who are marked N for full year district and a Y for full year school. They should be the same for each district and school in our case since our schools are their own districts. how do I fix this?
    • Please review the enrollment data in Synergy. It is possible for a student to attend one of your schools for the full year, but whose resident district has changed, so the district full academic year would not be Y, but the school full academic year would be Y.
  8. What is a schoolwide program?
    • Schoolwide program is a type of Title 1 program. For further information please contact Dan Weeks at: or (207) 624-6749.
  9. What about those that are tagged Y but are AFS students?
    • AFS (Foreign exchange) students are not treated any differently than other high school students.
  10. What if the students take their entire program at a vocational center?
    • The sending school/district is still responsible to see that the student takes the appropriate assessments.
  11. Can you explain where the numbers are coming from on the bottom? Such as Title 1
    • Title 1 numbers have two sources.
      • If the school has a schoolwide Title 1 program, then all of the students are flagged with Title1ELA and Title1Math.
      • If the school does not have a schoolwide Title 1 program, but rather a targeted assistance program, then the flags come from data entered into Synergy.
  12. We are a school wide, but the numbers are not matching the number of students above.
    • Please recheck the numbers. There was an error in the report earlier that has been fixed. If there are still issues, please contact 207-624-6696.
  13. Are Special Purpose Private Schools responsible for entering and checking this data for their students or is this a requirement for the public schools only?
    • SPPS should review the data (if the report has been fixed so you can see it) to validate that student grade levels and enrollments are entered correctly.
  14. Where can I get the recorded version?
  15. We have a student that was enrolled the entire year, but is showing N in both District and School Full Year columns.
    • Students are considered to be school full year if they are enrolled on October 1 and May 4 at the same school.
    • Students are considered to be district full year if the same district is responsible for the student on October 1 and May 4.
    • October EPS enrollment data is utilized to determine the October 1 status, if enrollments were entered after October EPS was closed (even if they cover the October 1 date), then the student isn’t counted as Full Academic Year.
  16. What does the E mean in the ELA Assessment column?
    • The “E” indicates Exempt.
      • EL students who arrived at a US school between April 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018 and who took the ACCESS for ELLs assessment are exempt from having to take the ELA assessment
      • EL students who arrive at a US school between March 1, 2018 and May 4, 2018 are exempt from having to take the ELA assessment
  17. We have students with “waivers” who shouldn’t be on the list
    • The only “waivers” that the Department recognizes are
      • the EL exemption – see question 16
      • special considerations – these students will have an S in the column for the assessment(s) for which the special consideration was granted
    • Students whose parents requested that the student not test will be counted as Non-Participants – there is no waiver for these students

For further questions contact Charlotte Ellis, Data Manager at