Category Archives: Administrators

Priority Notice: EFT-24 Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report due date extension

EFT-24 Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report due date extension

The due date for the year-end Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report (EFT-24) has been extended to March 17, 2016 in order to accommodate design updates.  The new updated report will open February 16, 2017.

Between February 16, 2017 and March 17, 2017 all districts must complete the report.  Submit your data early.  Districts that reported EFT-24 data before February 16, 2017 must log into the NEO data system to answer new questions and review their data.

For policy questions regarding the EFT-24, contact the Department’s Transportation and Facilities Administrator Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

For assistance with access to the NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

MEA Alternate Mathematics and ELA Literacy (MSAA) Test Coordinators (modified)

A Survey Monkey to designate district Test Coordinator(s) for the MSAA alternate assessment is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSAATC2017 .  Special Educator Directors in all districts are required to designate the number of Test Coordinators (TCs) needed in each district, according to district needs.  TCs should hold an administrative position, be available to monitor all Test Administrators through the on-line MSAA System and physically monitor each Test Administrator at least once during student testing.

All surveys must be submitted by January 17th to be enrolled in the MSAA System.  All questions may be directed to Sue Nay at sue.nay@maine.gov, or 624-6774.

Acting Commissioner Hasson Announces $3 Million Available for Grants to School Administrative Units for Regionalization and Efficiency Efforts

Department will develop application for integrated regional school construction.

On January 3, Acting Commissioner Robert Hasson announced that the Maine Department of Education has identified $3 million in funds that will be made available through a competitive application process for school districts pursing regionalization and efficiency efforts. An application for School Administrative Units (SAUs) is available on the DOE website at http://www.maine.gov/doe/.

“There is a clear appetite across Maine to discover new, efficient ways to increase educational opportunities for students in Maine.  The Department encourages every district considering innovative approaches to achieve efficiencies and deliver educational services in new or collaborative ways to apply for these funds. We hope to see ambitious proposals that serve Maine students and free up resources that can enhance educational opportunities,” said Acting Commissioner Hasson. “The Department has been urged by many stakeholders to provide support and incentives for voluntary efforts to regionalize and pursue cost efficiencies. We have heard those calls and are thrilled to take this step to support local efforts.”

“We carefully manage General Purpose Aid for Local Schools (GPA) to ensure that all available funds are available for our schools,” said Acting Deputy Commissioner Suzan Beaudoin. “When we passed the budget last year, we estimated the amount of funds that would be needed for adjustments to state subsidy. Based on the timing of bond issuance and the way that events unfolded, we believe that there are $3 million in funds that would not be dispersed. This grant will allow us to distribute those funds to school districts as adjustments to promote regionalization and efficiency, as allowed under GPA.” According to Acting Deputy Commissioner Beaudoin, undispersed funds resulted from sources such as delayed bond issuance for school construction and money set aside for districts that did not qualify for sudden and severe adjustments.

Acting Commissioner Hasson also announced that the Department is developing an application for regional schools construction projects. The process will support multiple districts working together to program and provide space for students. More details will be made available when the application is finalized and released.

Transportation EFT-21 Safety and Training Report and EFT-24 Vehicle Mileage and Operations Report due dates extended

The due date for FY16 year-end EFT-21 Transportation Safety and Training Report and EFT-24 Vehicle Mileage and Operations Report have been extended to January 31, 2017.

School transportation information is available on the Department’s website at http://maine.gov/doe/transportation/ . For policy questions regarding the EFT-21 and EFT-24 reports, contact the Department’s Transportation and Facilities Administrator Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov .

For assistance with access to the NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

Read to ME Challenge Set to Kick-off February 2nd

Year two of the Read to ME Challenge is scheduled to begin on February 2, 2017.  Again this year, First Lady Ann LePage will launch the campaign by reading to children of military families at the Blaine House.  She will follow up her reading by issuing a challenge to all Mainers to participate in the 2017 campaign.  This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same.  The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2017.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities.  The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement.  Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

Schools and organizations are invited to join the challenge and to encourage community members to do the same.  The collective voice of many key partners, leaders and those in respected positions will send a clear message about the vital importance reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine.   Maine DOE also encourages partners to be creative and to use this opportunity to enhance ongoing literacy education outreach efforts.

If your organization is willing and able to promote the Read to ME Challenge, please follow this link to provide us with your contact information: Read to ME Challenge Partner 2017Read to ME Challenge resources, including a guidance document, public service announcements in a variety of languages, fliers and a list of engaging ways to incorporate the challenge are available on the Read to ME Challenge webpage.

Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity, and don’t hesitate to contact leeann.larsen@maine.gov (624-6628) with any questions.

Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards go into effect July 1, 2017

As you will recall, the Maine Department of Education Regulation, Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards go into effect July 1, 2017 for all SAUs.  In order to ensure that your local child count in the public preschool program is included in the NEO system for the 2017-18 school year you will need to complete an application located at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ExistingPublicPreK

The Maine DOE is asking all superintendents to complete this application (unless you are submitting an application for a new program or have had an application approved for the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school year).  The information included in the application will demonstrate how the district complies with the new standards and will collect data on potential challenges in aligning programs with Chapter 124 regulation.   This information will help the DOE determine the types of support that may be needed in order to assist districts in addressing these issues.

Please make sure you complete the entire application; at the end you will find a list of areas where you can indicate where there are alignment challenges for your preschool program. For more information please contact Sue Reed, Early Childhood Specialist, susan.d.reed@maine.gov  624-6632.

This application is due by March 31, 2017.

**Clarification:  Please note that only districts with existing preschool programs need to complete the application.  If your district does not have a preschool program, please disregard this notice.

Revisions to Chapter 126/ 261 Regulation:

Immunization Requirements for School Children were adopted on December 21, 2016. These rule changes ensure a safe and healthy school environment for all Maine students by requiring all children attending public or private schools in the State of Maine to receive the required vaccines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  The update to the number of Varicella exclusion days aligns with recommendations issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) and removes outdated implementation language. In addition, these updates of terms more clearly reflect the DHHS Office names and structure, to reduce confusion in following the rules.  In recent years, new vaccines against pertussis have been introduced to the routine immunization schedule for children and adolescents, recommended for youths aged 11 to 12 years; specifically Tdap. Pertussis is a highly contagious infection, often causing school or community outbreaks. Maine is one of only three states in the nation without a current Tdap school requirement. Changes to the joint rule include updating the vaccine dosage requirement to include 1 dose of Tdap vaccine for 7th grade entry, which will align with the CDC and ACIP current recommendations. Additionally, the required number of exclusion dates for Varicella disease will change from 16 days to 21 days to reflect the current US CDC school exclusion guidelines, an oversight from the previous change to this rule. The link to the rule is:   http://www.maine.gov/doe/rule/changes/index.html

For further information, contact Jaci Holmes at 624-6669 or by email at jaci.holmes@maine.gov.

Regional school calendars due by May 5

School administrative units and private schools approved for tuition purposes are expected to establish regional school calendars, in coordination with their local secondary career and technical education school, by May 5, 2017.

The Legislature enacted that requirement as part of Public Law 2011, Chapter 686, which expands access to career and technical education in Maine and ensures that students completing career and technical education (CTE) coursework have greater access to post-secondary opportunities.  Specifically, the law addresses scheduling conflicts that pose barriers to students by requiring that those school districts and private schools approved for tuition purposes that share a CTE school adopt a regional school calendar with no more than five dissimilar days. Furthermore, implementation of the law is intended to promote collaboration among local school administrative units that may benefit other forms of inter-administrative unit collaboration beyond CTE.  The law became effective Aug. 30, 2012, and establishing the regional calendar is a condition for eligibility for state subsidy.

For 2017-18, both regional school calendars and individual calendars for each school administrative unit must be submitted by the director of the local CTE Center/Region to the Commissioner of Education by May 5 for a decision on approval by June 2. Guidance and templates can be accessed electronically at www.maine.gov/doe/regionalcalendar/.

Given the coordination required for fulfillment of this law, the Maine DOE recommends that school districts initiate discussions as soon as possible, including representatives from all affected secondary schools and their associated career and technical education center or region.

For more information including guidance, templates, a waiver process and a link to the complete law, please visit  www.maine.gov/doe/regionalcalendar/ or contact Doug Robertson (doug.robertson@maine.gov) at 624-6744 or Margaret Harvey (margaret.harvey@maine.gov) at 624-6739.

Survey to Identify Barriers that Prevent SAUs from Pursuing Shared Programs and Services

The Maine Department of Education staff is seeking input from you on identifying barriers and challenges that prevent School Administrative Units from pursuing shared programs and services.  We would appreciate your assistance in identifying these barriers and challenges by completing the survey below.  The results will assist the Department with the goal of removing the barriers and challenges to your efforts.

The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FNBMKYW

Please provide any responses by January 13, 2017.

We will share with you the final results once the survey is completed.

If you have any questions, please contact Suzan Beaudoin at suzan.beaudoin@maine.gov.

Priority Notice: Revisions Made to EF-M-39A and EF-M-39B Reports

The Maine Department of Education has revised the EF-M-39A due July 15th, and the EF-M-39B report due January 15th is now a one page report.

The EF-M-39A has been reduced to a one page form. The listing of the actual students has been eliminated, and the form has also been designed so it can be used for both the EF-M-39A and the EF-M-39B submissions. You will not need to download two separate spreadsheets. You will only be asked to provide the number of 16- to 20-year-old resident students who are enrolled in academic courses in adult education somewhere in Maine, and are no longer enrolled in “Regular Education.” Finally, the user is asked to provide the total number of adult education academic courses (not credits) that these same students were taking during this reporting period.

The reporting calendar lists all reports due to MDOE.

Find the EFM39B report here.

It is important to note that subsidy is estimated unless actual numbers are submitted.  The accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the data sent for this report has a direct correlation to the subsidy that your district may receive.

If you have any questions about the new process please contact Travis Wood at travis.wood@maine.gov or call the MEDMS helpdesk at (207) 624-6896.