Effective Dispute Resolution: IEP Facilitation Program Available to Parents and SAUs at No Cost

The implementation of the Facilitated IEP (FIEP) meeting program allows the Maine Department of Education to provide another cost-free mechanism for stakeholders to utilize in the effective dispute resolution process. A facilitated IEP meeting is one where an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is developed by a collaborative team whose members share responsibility for the meeting process and results, and where decision-making is managed using facilitation skills.  In states that offer Facilitated IEP meetings, data suggests that there is a positive impact on IEP team member communication, and increased levels of trust and collaboration among stakeholders.

The Maine Department of Education has contracted with six impartial individuals to be assigned to facilitate IEP meetings. Facilitators are assigned to cases on a rotating basis, where there is no conflict of interest. These individuals are neither members of the IEP team, nor involved in the determinations of a meeting.

During a facilitated IEP meeting, the facilitator assists the team in keeping the focus on conflict resolution in place of contentious debate and discussion. Meetings are kept on track to ensure equal opportunity for input by all participants and determinations and outcomes are child focused. Districts are responsible for following MUSER regulations and IDEA as is the case for any IEP meeting.

Interested parties (parents/care givers and School Administrative Units) can make a request for an IEP Facilitator. Both parties need to agree to the facilitation. IEP facilitation is provided at no cost to parents and SAUs. Forms and handbooks are available by calling or emailing the Dispute Resolution Office or here: Effective Dispute Resolution.

For more information, contact the Dispute Resolution Office at 207-624-6644 or dueprocess.doe@maine.gov.

Changes to Maine DOE’s ESEA Program Office Effective July 1, 2021

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Program Office within the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has recently undergone reorganization that will take effect on July 1, 2021.  The Department’s ESEA Team takes a collaborative approach to the oversight of the various educational programs under the ESEA.  As part of this collaborative approach, individuals within the ESEA Program Office serve as primary school administrative unit (SAU) contacts for different parts of the state.  Each ESEA Program Officer will continue to assist SAUs within each of the nine (9) superintendent regions with work related to ESEA programs.

Please review and note the updated regional ESEA contacts within the Maine DOE.  School administrative units located in each of the following superintendent regions can contact the following individuals for support with their ESEA program work as of July 1, 2021:

Superintendent Region ESEA Program Manager Phone Email
Region 1 – Aroostook Jessica Caron (207) 458-0334 jessica.s.caron@maine.gov
Region 2 – Penquis Travis Doughty (207) 624-6709 travis.w.doughty@maine.gov
Region 3 – Washington Ryan Reed (207) 530-2129 ryan.reed@maine.gov
Region 4 – Hancock Daniel Weeks (207) 624-6749 daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov
Region 5 – Mid Coast Ryan Reed (207) 530-2129 ryan.reed@maine.gov
Region 6 – Western Jackie Godbout (207) 557-3746 jackie.godbout@maine.gov
Region 7 – Cumberland Daniel Weeks (207) 624-6749 daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov
Region 8 – Kennebec Jessica Caron (207) 458-0334 jessica.s.caron@maine.gov
Region 9 – York Travis Doughty (207) 624-6709 travis.w.doughty@maine.gov

For SAUs that (1) may not know which superintendent region they belong to or (2) would simply like to confirm who to contact, please visit the ESEA Program Office’s regional contact map at: https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/esea/contact.  Individuals can select a particular SAU from the drop-down menu on this page to determine who their ESEA Program Manager is and how to contact them.

For more information on the Department’s ESEA Federal Program Office, please contact ESEA Federal Programs Director, Cheryl Lang, at cheryl.lang@maine.gov or (207) 441-8059.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comments for a Tydings Amendment Waiver of FY20 ESEA Funds and FY21 Carryover of Excess Title I, Part A Funds

Pursuant to the authority granted under section 8401(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Maine Department of Education (DOE) intends to submit an application for waivers to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). As required, the Maine DOE is seeking 15 days of public comment from June 23, 2021 – July 7, 2021, on the request to waive the period of availability for Elementary & Secondary Education Act funds and Title I, Part A carryover limitations.

Requirements from which Maine will be seeking a waiver include:

A Tydings amendment waiver from Section 421(b) of the General Provisions Act to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The Tydings amendment waiver seeks an extension to the availability of Federal Fiscal Year 2019/State Fiscal Year 2020 Elementary and Secondary Education funds. Programs affected by this waiver:

  • Title I, Part A of the ESEA (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs), including the portions of the SEA’s Title I, Part A award used to carry out section 1003 school improvement, section 1003A direct student services, if applicable, and Title I, Part D, Subpart 2
  • Title I, Part B of the ESEA (State Assessment Formula Grants)
  • Title I, Part C of the ESEA (Education of Migratory Children)
  • Title I, Part D, Subpart 1 of the ESEA (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk)
  • Title II, Part A of the ESEA (Supporting Effective Instruction)
  • Title III, Part A of the ESEA (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement)
  • Title IV, Part A of the ESEA (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants)
  • Title IV, Part B of the ESEA (21st Century Community Learning Centers)
  • Title V, Part B, Subpart 2 of the ESEA (Rural and Low-Income School Program)
  • McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

A carryover limitation waiver from Section 1127(a) of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended for Federal Fiscal Year 2020/State Fiscal Year 2021 Title I, Part A funds. The carryover limitation waiver seeks to waive the requirement that limits the Maine DOE’s ability to grant to its local educational agencies (LEAs) a waiver of the 15 percent Title I, Part A carryover limitation of more than once every three years.

The Maine DOE must solicit and respond to public comment on its waiver request as well as provide evidence of the available comment period. As the Maine DOE moves forward to provide as much flexibility as possible and continued support for expending ESEA federal funds, comments can be submitted to: Jessica Caron at Jessica.s.caron@maine.gov

ESEA Demographics Certification Report to Open 5/15/2021

The ESEA Demographics Report is an aggregation of students enrolled on 05/15/2021 for participation in state assessments during the 2020 assessment administration. This report includes student demographic categories for assessment and accountability purposes. This is required reporting for RSUs, CSDs, MSADs, Municipal school units, Maine Indian Education, charter schools, state operated schools, and private schools that accept publicly funded students.

The ESEA Demographics Report will be available for districts to submit and certify, beginning on May 15th with a certify-by date of May 30th.

The Maine Department of Education’s data management team will be holding a webinar where we will be discussing the ESEA Demographics Report and fielding any questions that you may have at 10AM on Tuesday May 18th, 2021. Register Here

In order to view this report, you will need access to NEO – Student Data, if you do not have this access please have your superintendent fill out our online Access Request Form.

ESEA Demographics Certification Report Instructions (PDF)

If you have any questions, comments or concerns in regards to the April 1st Enrollment Count Report please feel free to contact us at the MEDMS Helpdesk.MEDMS.Helpdesk@Maine.gov or (207) 624-6896.

Priority Notice: Seeking Public Comment to Waive Requirements Related to Accountability and Public Reporting.   

In a US Department of Education (USDOE)  Dear Colleague letter to state chiefs on February 22nd, 2021, USDOE provided guidance and invited states to apply for waivers granting significant flexibility in the areas of accountability and reporting for the 2020-2021 school yearFollowing this guidance and flexibility, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) is requesting accountability and reporting waivers pursuant to §8401(b) from requirements within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015)USDOE requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, to solicit and respond to public comment on the request and provide evidence of the available comment period. This 14-day public comment period will be available from April 27, 2021- May 10, 2021.  

A full copy of the waiver request can be located on the Maine DOE’s ESSA webpage.  In summary, the Maine Department of Education will be requesting waivers from the following requirements:  

  • Accountability and school identification requirements in ESEA sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D): the requirements that a State measure progress toward long-term goals and measurements of interim progress; meaningfully differentiate, on an annual basis, all public schools, including by adjusting the Academic Achievement indicator based on a participation rate below 95 percent; and identify schools for comprehensive, targeted, and additional targeted support and improvement based on data from the 2020- 2021 school year. 
  • Report card provisions related to accountability in ESEA section 1111(h) based on data from the 2020-2021 school year. These include: 
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(i)(I)-(IV) and (VI) (Accountability system description, other than the list of comprehensive, targeted, and additional targeted support and improvement schools).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iii)(I) (Other Academic indicator results for schools that are not high schools). 
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(v) (School Quality or Student Success indicator results). 
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vi) (Progress toward meeting long-terms goals and measurements of interim progress). 
  • Section 1111(h)(2)(C) with respect, at the local educational agency (LEA) anschool levels, to all waived requirements in section 1111(h)(1)(C). 

Public Comment may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov. Additional questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems.