The Maine DOE is seeking to fill vacancies on the Title I Committee of Practitioners.

Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires each state educational agency that receives Title I funds to create a State Committee of Practitioners to advise the State in carrying out its responsibilities under the Title I program. The purpose of this committee is to review any state rules and regulations relating to Title I, ensuring that they conform to the intent and purposes of Title I.

The majority of members must be representatives from local education agencies and includes representatives from the following categories:

  • Administrators
  • Teachers, including vocational educators
  • Parents*
  • Members of local school boards*
  • Representatives of private school children*
  • Pupil Services Personnel

*areas currently under-represented

Regular meetings of the committee will be conducted on a quarterly basis at the Maine Department of Education Offices in Augusta, with the term of membership commencing August 1st, 2019 and expiring July 31st, 2021.

Those interested in serving on the Title I Committee of Practitioners Committee should contact the Maine DOE Title I Program Coordinator, Monique Sullivan, at monique.sullivan@maine.gov or 207-624-6723 by 5pm on Friday, July 26th, 2019 for further information.

Release of FY2018 Title IA Basic Disadvantaged and Program Improvement Funds for General Title IA Reallocation-Title IA FY2019 Summer School

The Maine Department of Education’s ESEA Federal Programs Title IA Office is announcing the availability of approximately $700,000 of FY18 Title IA Disadvantaged and Program Improvement funds for Title IA reallocation purposes.

The Application for FY2018 Title IA Funds Reallocation (Title IA FY19 Summer School Application) and Title IA Reallocation Procedures are available on ESEA Federal Programs website by clicking on the Title I Icon.  The Application or FY2018 Title IA Funds Reallocation (including how the funds will be used to improve the performance of Title IA identified students along with a detailed budget) must be mailed/postmarked by April 12, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. and mailed to:

Department of Education
ESEA Clearinghouse
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023

For more information regarding Title IA programs, please contact monique.sullivan@maine.gov. or jackie.godbout@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Information Regarding ESEA Dashboard and Implementation of the Federal Accountability Model Under ESSA

Dear District and School Leaders,

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding School Year (SY) 2018-19 data correction requests, the timeline for the release of the ESEA Dashboard, and implementation of the federal accountability model under ESSA.

Data requests submitted to the Maine DOE by the February 8, 2019 deadline will be completed by Friday, March 15, 2019. The updated data sets will be uploaded to the ESEA Dashboard and provided to Superintendents for review on Monday, April 15, 2019. The review period will end on Monday, April 29, 2019. After April 29, 2019, no further data corrections will be possible. The ESEA Dashboard will be publicly  available later in SY 2018-19.

Maine DOE leadership had a phone conversation with the US Department of Education (USDE) on December 12, 2018 to discuss Maine’s ESSA amendment. During this conversation Maine DOE staff members outlined Maine’s proposed amendment. USDE did not indicate required revisions to Maine DOE during the call or provide written follow-up. The Maine DOE submitted the amendment on December 14, 2018.

The Maine DOE leadership emailed USDE leaders several times over the past three months to inquire about the ESSA amendment status. To meet USDE’s required timeline for implementation, the previous administration instructed Maine DOE leaders to move forward with the implementation of the ESEA Dashboard and federal accountability system, without regard to the status of Maine’s amended ESSA Plan.

Under my leadership, Maine DOE leaders expressed concern regarding the implementation of the federal accountability model without federal approval of Maine’s amended model. After gaining a deeper understanding of the concerns expressed by Maine DOE leaders, I called Frank Brogan, Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, to inquire about the status of Maine’s amendment. As a result of that call, a meeting was scheduled with USDE staffers and Maine DOE leadership for Friday, March 8, 2019.  During the call, Maine DOE leadership connected with USDE to discuss Maine’s amended ESSA plan, which had been submitted to them on December 14, 2018. Given the USDE’s recent feedback provided during the March 8, 2019 call, the Maine DOE suspects current anticipated school identifications will likely remain unchanged. However, Maine DOE believes USDE’s proposed revisions will require Maine to identify additional schools. The Maine DOE expects to receive written feedback from USDE by Friday, March 15, 2019.

In light of these developments, Maine DOE will request an extension to make school identifications during SY 2019-20. Please know that the Maine DOE is doing everything conceivable to ensure Maine has an equitable federal accountability model that honors stakeholder feedback and Maine’s small, rural context.

Pender Makin
Commissioner
Maine Department of Education

Guidance Regarding Automated Translation/Interpretation Services

As Maine districts have experienced increasing numbers of students and parents who speak languages other than English, there has also been an increase in the availability of machine or automated translation/interpretation software and apps. While these tools may seem like a convenient (and oftentimes free) way to meet a district’s civil rights obligations for communicating with parents, they have not yet reached the level of accuracy necessary to serve as a substitute for a qualified human translator/interpreter. Meaningful communication with parents, including parents whose children have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), is not only a civil rights requirement, but it also serves to strengthen family engagement and promote positive relationships between families and schools.

A 2015 guidance document from the US Department of Justice and US Department of Education clarifies that even a bilingual person without appropriate training cannot be used by a school to translate/interpret for parents. Whether for the vital communications listed in this guidance document or for more casual interactions, best practice is always to utilize trained professionals, such as through a phone interpretation service or translation/interpretation agency.

For a list of translation/interpretation providers, please refer to the Maine Department of Education website. For parent notices required under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Maine Department of Education has partnered with TransACT to give districts free access to notices in 17 languages.

For further information about translation/interpretation please contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III at (207) 624-6627 or april.perkins@maine.gov. For further information about supporting students with an IEP, please contact Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services at (207) 624-6713.

Maine Seeks Qualified Peer Reviewers for 21st CCLC Grant Applications

The Maine Department of Education is seeking qualified peer reviewers to read, assess, and score competitive grant proposals for the 21st Century Community Leaning Centers (21st CCLC) Program.  This federally-funded grant program provides opportunities for schools and communities to develop “community learning centers” that serve children and youth during out-of-school time.  Maine currently has 32 grant-funded 21st CCLC programs operating 55 individual centers in communities across the state.  Grant proposals for the 21st CCLC program will be evaluated through a formal peer review process, which will ensure that quality applications are selected for funding.

This year’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 21st CCLC program was released to the public on January 8 and is available online at: https://www.4pcamaine.org/century21/FY2019/. The Department anticipates receiving applications from local education agencies, community-based organizations, and other eligible entities seeking awards under this RFP.

Qualifications:

Peer reviewers will be selected for their experience in providing effective academic support, enrichment, youth development, and related support services for children and youth.  The most qualified reviewers will be individuals who have experience in the administration of high-quality youth development programs within schools and communities.  Examples of the experienced individuals sought include, but are not limited to:

  • 21st CCLC program directors and site coordinators
  • Teachers and principals
  • College and university staff
  • Youth development workers
  • Community service providers

Please note that an applicant or member of an applicant’s organization will not be selected to serve as a member of the Department’s peer review team.

Required Tasks:

Selected peer reviewers will work individually to read each assigned application and create detailed, objective, constructive, and well-written comments on approximately 10-15 applications on the basis of the criteria established in the RFP. These comments will be turned in to the Department prior to participating in on-site consensus scoring sessions.  Reviewers must be able to participate in an online training webinar and review grant applications through a web-based system.  It is anticipated that peer reviewers will have a three (3) week window in which to complete their individual review of assigned applications.  Following the individual review of applications, each peer reviewer will be required to travel to the Maine Department of Education for two scheduled scoring days.  It is during these consensus scoring sessions that each peer reviewer will work with the other members of the peer review team to score each application.

Selected peer reviewers must complete the following tasks during the following date(s):

Task Date(s) Time(s)
Participate in an online training webinar March 28, 2019 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Review grant applications through a web-based system and provide individual, written comments on each application (which MUST be turned in to the Department) April 8, 2019 –
April 27, 2019
Any Time
Participate in on-site consensus scoring sessions which will be located at the Maine Department of Education in Augusta, ME April 30, 2019;
May 1, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM;
9:00 AM – Finished

Compensation for Services:

Peer reviewers who complete the required tasks will be reimbursed for travel costs to and from the consensus scoring sessions as well as provided a $75 honorarium per assigned application.

Previous peer reviewers have found that serving as a member of the peer review team is an excellent opportunity for professional development and growth. It is likely that, if selected, reviewers will be exposed to new program models, strategies, and practices.  These new concepts may provide ideas and support for ongoing work as well as future grant writing efforts.  Most importantly, the time given to this effort will be of great benefit to the children and families of Maine.

How to Apply:

Interested parties must contact Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov to obtain a copy of the 2019 peer reviewer application and then return the completed application along with a current resume or CV.

Pursuant to Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, peer reviewers may not include any applicant, or representative of an applicant, that has or will be submitting a proposal in response to the current competition.

Deadline:

The Maine Department of Education will be accepting peer reviewer applications on a rolling basis until March 7, 2019 or until the needed positions are filled.  Interested parties are encouraged to submit applicants as soon as possible.

Contact:

For more information, contact State Coordinator, Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov or 624-6709.