MAARS Workshop and Overview of Approved Changes to Maine’s Model of School Support

Online Registration Portal for 2019 MAARS Workshop, including an overview of key changes to Maine’s Model of School Support (Accountability) is now available.

FocalPoint K12, in conjunction with the Maine Department of Education Assessment Team, will be holding a workshop for the Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS). Topics during the session include an overview of the MAARS system, information on User Account management, revised Individual Student Reports (ISRs) formats, New Features, and a Q & A session.  Members from Maine’s ESEA Federal Programs team will provide an overview of key changes to Maine’s Model of School Support, as a result of the approval of the amendment submitted to Maine’s ESSA State Plan in December 2018. Each day long session is scheduled from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Lunch will be provided.

Venue and Registration Information

November 19, 2019
Abromson Community Education Center
88 Bedford St
Portland, ME 04101

Click here to register for the November 19, 2019 session.

November 20, 2019
Wells Conference Center
131 Munson Road
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Click here to register for the November 20, 2019 session.

November 21, 2019
University of Maine – Presque Isle
Grand Ballroom – Aroostook Room
181 Main St
Presque Isle, ME 04769

Click here to register for the November 21, 2019 session.

Additionally, the assessment team and our reporting vendor FocalPointK12 will also be providing a MAARS webinar on November 13, 2019, 2:30 in preparation for the November 19 and 20 training sessions.  MAARS Webinar .  The audience for this session is returning and new District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Directors. The updated roles within MAARS will be a critical element to prepare for the upcoming November 19 & 20 MAARS Workshops.

The content of the webinar will include:

  • Role of DACs
  • MAARS Confidential Reports Overview
  • How to add/delete/change MAARS roles and permissions (‘districtadmin’, ‘districtuser’ ‘schooluser’ ‘rosteruser’)

To access the November 13, 2019 webinar please use this link.

Please direct any additional questions regarding registrations to these sessions to Eric Buckhalter at (207) 624-6770 or eric.buckhalter@maine.gov

Public Comment Period for Alternative Science Waiver Application Now Open

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking 30 days of public comment from October 31 – November 29, 2019, on a waiver application (waiver from §8401(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015) to the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The request seeks a waiver from publicly reporting student alternate science test data from the Spring 2020 assessment administration.

The U.S. Department of Education requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, solicit public comment on the application, respond to public comments, and provide evidence of the available comment period. A copy of the letter seeking waiver from §8401(b) of the ESEA as amended by ESSA can be downloaded with key elements of the request included below:

Federal program affected by the requested waiver

Section 1111(h) of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, requires State and LEA report cards to include information on student achievement on the academic assessments in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science described in section 1111(b)(2) at each level of achievement (as determined by the State under section 1111(b)(1)) for all students.

Maine’s 2020-2021 ESEA Data Dashboard (Report card) will continue to publicly report general state assessment results for mathematics, English language arts, and science and will publicly report alternate assessment results for mathematics and English language arts. Maine is seeking a waiver from public reporting for the alternate science assessment only. Maine will continue to report the alternate science assessment results to parents through individualized student reports (ISRs).

Maine will continue to meet all other reporting requirements. Maine specifically requests a waiver from the public reporting of alternate science assessment performance only.

Sections impacted include:

  • Section 1111(b)(2)(B)(iv)
  • Section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) (disaggregation of alt. science data by subgroup)
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(A)
  • Section 1111(h)(2)(iii)

Impact to Student Achievement

There will be no impact to assessing student achievement as all eligible students will continue to participate in the alternate science assessment where applicable. The waiver will permit Maine to not publicly release student alternate science assessment achievement scores. The Maine Department of Education will only report participation rates related to the administration of the alternate assessment in grades 5, 8, and the third-year high school during the 2020 spring administration. Maine is committed to moving towards increased compliance with the assessment peer review for an alternate assessment.  During the 2021 spring assessment administration, Maine will participate in the MSAA on-line Operational alternate assessment.  Standard setting and post equating in the summer of 2021 would allow for reportable student achievement levels and scores that fall.

Monitoring

The Department will actively monitor the delivery of the paper-based assessment through an established monitoring process. Test administration will follow all test administration policies and protocols. Schools will be provided ISRs available for bulk download in order to share student performance with parents/guardians or caretakers.

 Continuity of Services to Students

The vendor for MSAA will provide  Expanded Performance Expectations (EPEs) based on the Next Generation Science Standards for grades 5, 8, and third-year high school.  Teachers will have an opportunity to begin implementing the EPEs during the 2019-2020 school year, in preparation for the on-line Operational Field Test in 2021.

 Public Comment

Maine has solicited public comment regarding a request for a waiver from public reporting. This public comment was announced through the Departments Newsroom, social media accounts and through relevant Listservs. Public comment was solicited between October 31st and November 29th, 2019 for a period of 30 days. A summary of comments and the Department’s response is attached with the waiver request. All comments, in support of or against the waiver request should be submitted to Janette Kirk at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

Timeline for Implementation

Date General Science Alternate Science
September 2019 Survey educators regarding science assessment modes
October 2019 Convene RFP Writing Team
November 2019 Develop contract for Science Alternate Assessment paper-based test (2020 administration) with MSAA.
December 2019 Execute Science Alt. Assessment contract with MSAA.
January 2020 Release general Science assessment RFP
Spring 2020 Administer MEA Science assessment Administer paper-based Alt. Science assessment
Summer 2020 Proposed award of general science contract
SY 2020-2021 Item Development
Spring 2021 Field test new general science assessment Implement operational field test of online assessment
Submit waiver for public reporting of science data Submit waiver for public reporting of alt. science data
Summer 2021 Completion of post equating and standard setting
SY 2021-2022 Item Development
Spring 2022 Field Test (year 2) Implementation of operational alt. assessment
Spring 2023 Operational assessment Operational alt. assessment (year 2)

Further information related to this notice can be obtained from Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Mandatory Annual Notification of Eligibility for Schoolwide Programs

Updated annual notification of eligibility for schoolwide programs 

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 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, contact Maine DOE’s Title I Coordinator Monique Sullivan at monique.sullivan@maine.gov, or Acting Director of Special Services Jan Breton at janice.breton@maine.gov.

 

Quarter 4 Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Webinar 

The final quarter of attendance reporting for school year 2018-2019 is coming soon. Quarter 4 attendance (end of year attendance certification) will finalize data for federal reporting of Chronic Absenteeism data to EDFacts, and for the calculation and reporting of the ESSA non-academic indicator of Chronic Absenteeism. This information is required to be made available to the public on the ESSA dashboards for each school. It is important for each school and district to verify that the attendance data is accurate and complete, prior to submitting by June 30th. Once we pass into July, the school year will then roll over into the 2019-2020 school year. This will finalize all the information from the 2018-2019 school year, and no changes  to the attendance or chronic absenteeism data for the 2018-2019 school year will be possible.

Open Date: June 1st, 2019

Due Date: June 30th, 2019

On June 5th, the Maine DOE Data Team will be holding a webinar for Quarter 4 attendance reporting. This would be beneficial for data compliance staff and district leaders. The purpose of this webinar is to provide the following:

  • a refresher on how to complete the Quarter 4 Attendance reporting
  • a brief overview of how this data is used for DOE reporting
  • why the timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of this data matters to your district & community.

Webinar Registration: 
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3377460425957327627

More Information On Attendance Reporting:
https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/collection/helpdesk/resources/attendance

For assistance accessing attendance reporting, please contact the MEDMS Helpdesk at 207-624-6896

For questions regarding attendance certification or chronic absenteeism, please contact Student Data Coordinator Trevor Burns at 207-624-6678

 

Accountability Certification Validation Due Date and Details

The Accountability Assessment Detail Report is currently available in NEO to allow districts to validate the detail student enrollment and demographic data that will provide the foundation for future Assessment and Accountability reporting for the 18-19 school year. The report lists student details which will be used to produce student groups for school support determinations and ESEA Dashboards.  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 validated by each school/district and certified and submitted by each Superintendent by June 14, 2019.

Once validated, the data will be used for ESEA Data Dashboards and other assessment and accountability reporting on the 18-19 academic year.  The due date is important, as the Department cannot release assessment data in the Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) until these student demographic data are certified to be matched up with the assessment results.

The Data Team will be hosting a May 29th 1:00 PM webinar about the Accountability Report.  Please use the following link, here, to register for the webinar https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7759757532334082317

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If something is not right, who do we contact?

Please first validate that the information is correct in Synergy. If the data is correct in Synergy, or if it is not located in Synergy, please report your question to the Helpdesk – MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov 207-624-6896.

ASSESSMENTS – 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.

TITLE 1 – Can you explain the Title 1 information?

Title 1 numbers have two sources:

If the school has a Schoolwide Title 1 program, then all of the students are flagged with Title1 ELA and Title1 Math.

If the school does not have a school wide Title 1 program, but rather a targeted assistance program, then the flags come from data entered into Synergy.

What is a school wide program?

School wide program is a type of Title 1 program. For further information, please contact Jackie Godbout at Jackie.Godbout@maine.gov or 624-6712.

SPPS – 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.

Full Academic Year – 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 3 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 3.

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.

AOS – 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?

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

EL Assessment – 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, 2018 and March 1, 2019 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, or have an EL start date, between March 1, 2019 and May 3, 2019 are exempt from having to take the ELA assessment

WAIVERS – We have students with “waivers” who shouldn’t be on the list

The only “waivers” that the Department recognizes are

  • the EL exemption
  • 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.