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.

 

Maine DOE Summer Literacy Conference Provides Professional Learning on Small Group Strategies

Maine DOE’s Elementary Literacy Specialist Dee Saucier and School Turnaround Literacy Coach Darlene Bassett led a two-day summer professional learning event earlier this week in Augusta for Maine educators.

Conference Participants had the opportunity to learn how to implement the Assess-Decide-Guide framework in balanced literacylearn the elements of text complexity and how it impacts instructional decisions, understand the foundations of guided reading as a small group, learn the components and purposes for today’s guided reading, and learn how to take elements of the Assess-Decide-Guide framework and apply them to other forms of small group instruction.

The conference enabled educators to walk away with a plan of action to begin implementing small groups. 

Title III Immigrant Children & Youth Subgrant

Each year, one Maine LEA is awarded the Title III Immigrant Children & Youth Subgrant. The purpose of the subgrant is to provide supplemental programs to enhance the education of immigrant students. The subgrant is awarded to the LEA that has experienced the greatest increase in the enrollment of immigrant students, based on the average immigrant enrollment of the two prior years as compared to the current year. For school year 2019-20, the Department will notify the subgrant recipient of its award once October 1 student enrollment counts are finalized. The LEA will then have the remainder of the grant period to expend these funds. The anticipated amount of the FY20 Immigrant Children & Youth Subgrant is $5949. If you have any questions related to Title III, please contact April Perkins at april.perkins@maine.gov.

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment for a Tydings Amendment Waiver

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking 30 days of public comment from May 22 – June 20, 2019, on a Tydings amendment waiver application (waiver from §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 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) §1003(a) funds awarded during Federal fiscal year (FY) 2017.

Maine DOE Leadership participated in a call with USDOE program staff on Friday, May 10, 2019. During this call, the USDOE outlined next steps regarding Maine’s submission of an amendment to the Maine ESSA State Plan. The Maine DOE is working to provide the necessary information as expeditiously as possible. During this time of pause, the Maine DOE is unable to utilize 1003(a) funds. USDOE approval of the Tydings amendment waiver would allow the Maine DOE to make available 1003(a) funds to Maine schools identified for tiered supports, once the pause is lifted.

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. The Maine Department is requesting the period of availability for $2,578,500.00 of 1003(a) funds be extended from September 30, 2019 to September 30, 2020.

A copy of the letter seeking waiver from §421(b) of the General Provisions Act can be downloaded with key elements of the request included below.

Federal program affected by the requested waiver

Maine’s Model of Support for eligible Tier III (Comprehensive Supports and Intervention or CSI) and Tier I (Additional Targeted Supports and Intervention or ATSI) support under section 1003(a) of ESEA, as amended by the ESSA of 2015, is immediately impacted by the Department’s waiver request. This request is seeking to extend the availability of $2,578,500.00 to support eligible Maine schools.  The funding will assist schools in engaging in whole-school reform by meeting school and student needs.

Impact to Student Achievement

Waiving §421(b) of the General Provisions Act (Tydings waiver) will directly impact student achievement by allowing the Maine Department of Education to provide increased support for school and classroom leaders during the 2019-2020 school year. Maine is committed to providing a differentiated method of support to struggling schools. Maine’s Model of Support includes coaching and mentoring for school leaders, evidence-based professional learning for educators, and content-specific instructional coaching in classrooms. This process requires all eligible Tier III schools to annually partner with educators, families, and community members to complete a comprehensive needs assessment (CNA). During this process each school team analyzes local academic and non-academic data, identifies promising practices and concerning trends, determines root cause,and creates meaningful goals and a plan for continuous improvement.

Monitoring

The Department will continue to work with schools eligible to receive Tier III (CSI) and Tier I (ATSI) support to ensure funds are utilized in a manner that is reasonable, necessary and allowable under the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA of 2015. The Maine Department of Education will continue to ensure proposed uses of funds align with the school’s completed CNA.  Schools eligible to receive Tier III (CSI) supports will continue to document all school improvement related work within DirigoStar (Indistar), the Department’s online project management tool. Each school is also supported and monitored by an assigned school leadership coach. Maine DOE leadership and instructional coaches visit each Tier III eligible school several times throughout the school year.

Continuity of Services to Students

Schools will continue to utilize their completed CNAs to direct and implement the work without negative impact to specific student populations. The extension to the period of availability of funds will ensure schools will have an increased opportunity to access funds to further target supports and meet the needs and goals of the schools, students, and educators as determined in the CNA. Schools will continue to share and engage with communities and families in ways they have found beneficial, and which meet the needs of schools and their communities.

Comments may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov

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.