Attendance Matters: Connecting for Student Success Regional Meetings

Attendance Matters: The Fall Connecting for Student Success regional meetings sponsored by Maine Department of Education and Count ME In are happening statewide.  You can attend a regional meeting that is convenient for you.

  • Tuesday, October 16 in Bangor 12:00 to 2:30
  • Wednesday, October 17 in Presque Isle 12:00 – 2:30
  • Thursday, November 1 in Augusta 9:00 – 11:30
  • Thursday, November 29 in Portland 8:30 – 11:00 (Full)

Attendees will hear schools and agencies share updates on programs and effective strategies as well as a short presentation on anxiety-steps to support students. Sessions are free but registration is required.  

Attendance matters because early absences can affect later achievement, since students can miss some of the key building blocks for learning.  Absences add up- just two days a month can mean 18 absences a year.

Register Now  

For more information, please contact Gayle Erdheim at, Emily Poland at or Susan Lieberman at

Seeking School Highlights for School Report Cards

The Maine Department of Education is requesting the assistance of school principals in the development of the new 2017-2018 School Report Cards that will be publically released later this year as part of the rollout of Maine’s Model of School Support and the Every Student Succeeds Act. The highlights will appear in the School Report Card along with other school data and information, as part of a two-page graphical snapshot which may be viewed online or printed as a PDF for distribution.

A “School Highlights” section will be included on the Report Cards to provide the opportunity for schools to emphasize elements of which they are especially proud. Some examples that have already been submitted include: college credit programs, specific athletic programs, active parent groups, school resources officers, gifted and talented programs, special projects, Job’s for Maine Graduates Programs, mentoring programs, chorus and band, student clubs, specific facilities and learning spaces, after-school programs, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports systems, attendance programs, hands-on learning opportunities, and much more.

The Maine Department of Education will be reaching out to principals via email asking them to submit their school highlights in an online survey. The data collection survey tool provides a list of categories with examples of possible responses. Schools may choose to create their own categories in the provided “Other” selection. Up to four categories will be available for submission.

School highlights will be due to the Department by October 5, 2018. Please share this information with the principals in your district.

For further questions and information contact Maine DOE Assessment and Accountability Data Coordinator Penny Henry at


Administrative Letter: Annual Notification of Eligibility for Schoolwide Programs that Include Students with Disabilities

Administrative Letter: #18
Policy Code:  BGE
To: District and School Administrators, Special Education Directors
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D., Commissioner
Date: September 5, 2018
Subject: Annual Notification of Eligibility for Schoolwide Programs that Include Students with Disabilities

Schools that receive federal Title I funds, have poverty rates of at least 40 percent and have approved Title IA Schoolwide Plans are eligible to use their Title I funds – and funds from other sources – to develop “schoolwide programs.”

Schoolwide programs are comprehensive reform strategies aimed at raising the achievement levels of all students.

To facilitate the inclusion of students with disabilities in schoolwide programs, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the federal regulations at 34 CFR §300.206(a) allow school administrative units (SAU) to use a portion of the funds they receive under Part B of IDEA for any fiscal year to fund such schoolwide programs.

SAUs can use those funds as long as students with disabilities receive the services to which they are entitled under their Individualized Education Programs and that are guaranteed under IDEA.

The amount of Part B funds a school expends for schoolwide programs cannot exceed the amount the SAU has received for that fiscal year, divided by the number of children with disabilities in that unit, multiplied by the number of children with disabilities participating in the schoolwide program.

For more information visit Maine DOE’s ESSA Webpages or contact Maine DOE’s Title IA Data Specialist Daniel Weeks at, or Director of Special Services Jan Breton at

Assessment Professional Development and Learning

During the month of July, Department staff engaged in the review of submitted Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA)/SAU Consolidated Plans. All submitted plans have been reviewed and the Department continues final synthesis of review notes and team meetings in order to provide meaningful feedback to districts.

Cross team discussions during the review of submitted district CNAs/SAU Consolidated Plans afforded the Maine DOE  a unique opportunity to identify trends in challenges and successes experienced by  schools and districts across the state.  As a result of this review, the Department has developed a series of professional development and learning opportunities related to assessment and instructional practice. Full details including the list of dates will soon be available on the Maine DOE Professional Development & Training Calendar – at this time a listing can viewed in the following downloadable excel listing:

2018 Professional Development & Learning Opportunities (excel)

The first session of the series will be conducted via webinar and will focus on a Balanced Assessment System. This session will include an overview of the planned opportunities and timeline in addition to reviewing the key components of a Balanced Assessment System. Registration details regarding this session can be found below.

Session: Balanced Assessment Systems
Location: Webinar
Date & Time: September 26, 2018 at 2 pm
Join the Webinar (no registration necessary)

For further information please contact Janette Kirk, Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at or 624-6707.



ESSA Implementation and Report Card Release #success4ME

Formerly known as No Child Left Behind, the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December, 2015.

During the fall of 2018, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) will begin implementation of ESSA including the rollout of Maine’s Model of School Supports and the public release of the Maine’s School Report Cards.

The reauthorization of ESSA provides Maine with the opportunity to develop and refine Maine’s strategic vision for education and provides flexibility for Maine to develop an accountability system known as Maine’s Model of School Supports, which incorporates measures of success beyond that of academic assessment data.

Over the coming weeks and months, in on-going communications from the Maine DOE Newsroom; official social media sites Facebook and Twitter (with use of the hash tag #success4ME); and in-person meetings throughout the State, the Maine DOE will be providing updates and information regarding Maine’s Model of Support, why it matters, and how it impacts schools and students.

In addition, the Department will be providing workshop sessions across the state for principals and school leaders to learn more about the School Report Card Dashboard and the Model of School Supports.  Registration information will be forthcoming.

Anticipated Timeline

  • September 2018 – January 2019 (and beyond): Ongoing communications via the Maine DOE Newsroom and in-person meetings scheduled throughout the State to prepare local officials and communities for the release of the implementation of ESSA and the public release of the report cards.
  • October 15, 2018: Confidential release of Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) student results with three weeks for districts to review and verify the data.
  • November 5, 2018: Public release of MEA student results.
  • November 2018: Internally, the Department will run the final and full 2017/2018 data through the Model of School Supports to check for accuracy.
  • December 2018: Confidential preview of School Report Cards for districts and schools followed by the public release of the School Report Cards.
  • January 2019: Department staff will meet with schools identified for tier III supports at regional meetings held throughout the State.


For further information, please contact Janette Kirk, Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at or 624-6707.