Category Archives: Administrators

Nominations open for Maine’s 2017 Curriculum Leader of the Year

The Maine Curriculum Leaders’ Association (MCLA) is seeking nominations for Maine’s 2017 Curriculum Leader of the Year through April 14.

The Curriculum Leader of the Year is someone who has successfully served as a curriculum leader (designated curriculum director, assistant superintendent or teacher leader) in public education for at least five years; is a proven champion of curriculum, instruction and assessment policies and practices that enhance learning both within and outside the district; promotes and provides opportunities to learn and to share learning; and develops partnerships and networks with other districts and organizations to support learning.

The Curriculum Leader of the Year is selected by previous awardees and by MCLA’s board of directors. Finalists will be invited to provide the selection committee with additional information. The 2017 Curriculum Leader of the Year will be named in June.

More information is available on MCLA’s web page or contact Heidi McGinley Executive Director, Maine Curriculum Leaders’ Association at director@mainecla.org.

New Online System for Certification Available Soon

The Certification Team at the Department of Education is in the process of building an online portal for a new web-based credentialing system through Hupp Technologies. The system will be fully operational by the July 1st teacher, educational specialist and administrator renewal expiration date. 

One of the system’s highlights is the effortlessness teachers will have in creating an account, receiving notification that a renewal is waiting, and paying the renewal fee online. Other features include notifications for the teacher’s support system when a teacher is waiting for recommendation, and the ease of a chairperson to simply click ‘recommend’ to recommend the teacher for renewal. Thereafter, the certificate will automatically renew. Please note that training will be available soon.

The Certification Team is very excited to get the new system up and running. Although the adjustment period may present some anxiety, please be assured that no one will be left hanging. Allowances will be made if the system goes up later than expected and rules state that if a certificate is held up for any reason beyond the teachers’ control, then the previously held certificate is still valid.

For more information contact Ángel Martínez Loredo at 207-624-6603 or email cert.doe@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, review reports by April 12, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in April 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2017 Quarter 2 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 2 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In April, the 2016-17 State subsidy printouts (ED279s) will be updated reflecting these adjustments and are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

Reporting issues: To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 2 and report any issues on these reports no later than April 12, 2017. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to denise.towers@maine.gov.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:

  • Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
  • Student’s State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.

For more information on MaineCare Seed payments including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Media Advisory: 2nd Annual Farm to School Cook-Off

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Rachel Paling (207) 624-6747 or rachel.paling@maine.edu

MEDIA ADVISORY

What:  2017 Maine Farm to School Cook-Off

Who: School food service staff creating breakfast and lunch meal.

Judges for the regional cook-offs include a Career and Technical Education culinary arts student, a school nutrition director and a professional chef.

Where/When: 

  • Monday, March 27 – Regional cook-off
    Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, Westbrook
    1:00pm start time (cooking begins at 1:30pm)
    Teams are representing Falmouth, Yarmouth and RSU 14
  • Friday, March 31 – Regional cook-off
    Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta
    2:00pm start time (cooking begins at 2:30pm)
    Teams are representing Lewiston, RSU 52 and RSU 54
  • Wednesday, April 26th – Final cook-off
    Freeport High School
    1:00pm start time (cooking begins at 1:30pm)

The Westbrook and Augusta CTE centers were chosen as cook-off sites for their well-equipped kitchens and individual cooking and presentation areas.

How:  Each volunteer team will prepare a breakfast and lunch meal within a specific time frame using at least two ingredients that are grown, raised, caught, or manufactured in the State of Maine and meet National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements as well as one USDA food. As an added twist Maine wild blueberries and Maine potatoes will be used as “challenge” ingredients in the competition.

RSVP: Members of the media are welcome to attend the competition but are asked to notify Maine DOE Director of Communications, Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov or call 624-6747 ahead of time.

These competitions are NOT open to the public.

 

Administrative Letter: Superintendent Transfer Agreements

Administrative Letter: #7
Policy Code: CBC
To: Superintendents, School Board Chairs, and Private School Head Administrators
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed.D., Acting Commissioner
Date: March 15, 2017
Re: Superintendent Transfer Agreements

Last year, the Maine Department of Education sent out a letter to Superintendents entitled Clarification of Commissioner’s Review of Superintendent Agreements. As we move closer to the 2017-2018 school year and we begin to see more Superintendent Transfer Agreement requests, it may be helpful to review the letter again carefully. I also want to provide some additional guidance to address questions and clarify issues about the Superintendent Transfer request process at the local level.
Specifically, Superintendent Transfer Agreements are designed to facilitate a student transfer from one school administrative unit (SAU) to another for the student’s best interest. Per Title 20-A MRSA Section 5205(6):

A. Two superintendents may approve the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another if:

(1) They find that a transfer is in the student’s best interest; and

(2) The student’s parent approves.

The superintendents shall notify the commissioner of any transfer approved under this paragraph. If either of the superintendents decides not to approve the transfer, that superintendent shall provide to the parent of the student requesting transfer under this paragraph a written description of the basis of that superintendent’s determination. [2013, c. 456, §1 (AMD).

SAUs often use a form to collect transfer request information, and to deliver decisions. The Department has created sample forms which may be adopted as part of the Superintendent transfer agreement process (optional):

Please feel free to use the forms as templates. These forms model the type of information that should be requested and generated as Superintendents and parents work through the details of a transfer.

When communicating with parents about required documentation for transfer request submission to the Superintendent, SAUs may advise parents to write a letter supporting their request and to include supporting documentation and compelling reasons for the request. Parents should be advised not to submit anything that they would not want shared with the Department or the State Board of Education, should the request be denied and subsequently appealed.

When responding to requests, it is important to communicate the basis for the Superintendent’s decision, based on the student’s best interest.

If the transfer is agreed to by both sending and receiving Superintendents, the student becomes a resident of the receiving SAU for one school year. Please note that agreements may not be subject to revocation, rescission, or contingencies for the school year. These students must be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as students who reside in the SAU.

Under a transfer, the receiving unit, by accepting the student as a resident of the receiving unit, is accepting full fiscal responsibility for the student just as with any other resident of the SAU, including fiscal responsibility for special education services. Special education services must be provided to transfer students by the receiving SAU at no cost to the parent and the cost of these services may not be billed to the sending SAU.

When possible, requests should be made and decisions rendered in an expedient manner, and preferably prior to the start of the school year.  In order to properly account for SAU fiscal responsibilities, it is recommended that the transfer be in effect for the October 1st student count. For students who have been in ongoing attendance and where tuition has been paid by the parent, tuition adjustments will be effective as of the date of parent request to the Superintendent.

Thank you for rendering informed and thoughtful Superintendent Transfer Agreement guidance and decisions that are in the best interest of Maine students.

For more information regarding this letter, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor at Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov or (207) 624-6617.

Learning Technology Grants Program Announced

The Department is announcing an evolution to our support of technology in public middle schools and high schools. Beginning July 1, 2017, MLTI Grants will be available to public middle schools and high schools to fund technology and support for 7th and 8th grade students and staff, and for staff in high schools with locally-funded student programs.

The grants will support programs that use technology to enhance teaching and learning in eligible schools and grades. The grant program takes the place of an “opt-in” to the programs offered in the past 3 years by HP and Apple, under a contract with the State.

Schools will apply to the Department of Education with a brief description of their proposed education technology programs, and a budget for the period of the grant.

The amount of the grant is up to $200 per eligible student or staff seat, each year, for up to 3 years. The length of the grant and the amount per seat will be based on the school’s proposed program and budget.

The grants provide flexibility to schools, but maintain some requirements designed to continue the basic structure of the current MLTI program. Any program funded by a grant must provide a personal digital computing device for each student, and must include professional development to support teachers’ use of technology to enhance student learning.

Further details for the grant program, including the application and the deadline for application submittal, will be provided as they are developed and posted on the MLTI website at http://maine.gov/doe/mlti/participation/index.html . MLTI programs in schools that opted in to HP or Apple solutions in 2014, 2015 or 2016 will continue as is, and are not affected by the grant program.

For additional information, contact the MLTI Office at mlti.project@maine.gov or call Deb Friedman, MLTI Project Manager at 624-6834.

Free computer science training opportunities available through Project>Login & MMSA

Project>Login mission is to engage Maine K-12 schools and provide support for Computer Science education. They recently became a regional partner, along with Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, for Code.org. As a result of this partnership, they are able to provide high quality professional development to educators interested in Computer Science education for free.

They are currently offering a  professional learning program for middle and high school teachers which includes :

  • TeacherCon, a five-day summer training in Philadelphia taking place July 30 – August 4, 2017, which will fully prepare teachers to utilize Code.org curriculum and teacher supports. Code.org provides airfare, lodging, and meals during the conference, and teachers will receive a gift card to cover incidentals.
  • Four, one-day local workshops during the school year (normally on Saturdays), during which teachers will join other teachers from Maine for ongoing training and just-in-time support.

Learn more about the program and apply here:
http://www.projectlogin.com/education/code-org-partnership

Maine DOE Data Helpdesk Survey

The Maine Department of Education Data Helpdesk Team is here to assist you with access to your NEO, Infinite Campus and coming soon, Edupoint systems.  We can offer general guidance on individual models within the applications.  If you have called our helpdesk in the past or make a call to us in the future, please help us by taking a few minutes to tell us about the service that you have received. We appreciate your time and want to make sure we meet your expectations.   click here to take the survey.

For more information visit the DOE Data Helpdesk page.  http://www.maine.gov/doe/data/helpdesk.html

 

Reporting 2016-17 Student Information – Due Date: April 15, 2017

The Infinite Campus State Education system (ICSE), is online for school year 2016-17 updates.  The updated 2016-17 student information will be utilized to meet State and federal reporting requirements (ESSA, Graduates, Dropouts, AYP, etc.) as well as the calculation of State subsidy for 2017-18 for Maine’s public school administrative units.

All private schools with publicly funded students must report ALL “publicly funded students” in the Infinite Campus State Education System.   The private schools that receive publicly funded students must report these students in the Infinite Campus State Education system in order for the public school administrative units to receive a subsidy count for these students in their future State subsidy.  The State subsidy to a public school unit is often the source of funding that a school administrative unit uses to pay the tuition for these students to attend the private schools.

Student Enrollment Reporting – Due Date:  April 15, 2017:

April 1, 2017 Student Count – all publicly funded students should be enrolled in Infinite Campus State Edition (ICSE) before April 15, 2017 so that the resident public school administrative units may review the data and verify the April 1st student count which takes place between April 16, 2017 and April 30, 2017.

  • For private schools enrolling “ALL” students in the Infinite Campus State Education System, please fax (1-866-219-8344) or mail the completed Signature Page of the April 1st Enrollment Report (EF-M-14) indicating that all students have been enrolled in the Infinite Campus State Education system. There will be no need to complete the remainder of the EF-M-14.
  • For private schools enrolling only publicly funded students in the Infinite Campus State Education system, please complete the April 1st Enrollment Report (EF-M-14 – Sections 2 and 3 only) and email the Excel spreadsheet form to the Department at GPA.DOE@maine.gov. In addition, please fax the completed Signature Page to 1-866-219-8344.
  • For private schools that have no publicly funded students, please complete the April 1st Enrollment Report (EF-M-14 – Sections 2 and 3) for the non-publicly funded students and email the Excel spreadsheet form to the Department at GPA.DOE@maine.gov. In addition, please fax the completed Signature Page to 1-866-219-8344.

The EF-M-14 Form can be downloaded from the Department of Education’s website at:
http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/misteam/enrollment/april/aprilpriv.htm

60% Publicly Funded Private Schools

These 11 private schools must complete both the EF-M-14 and the EPS April Enrollment Certifications.

Private Schools Using the Infinite Campus State Education System:

For private schools that enter students into the Infinite Campus State Edition, please refer to the document titled “Data Standards Document” located at:

http://www.maine.gov/education/medms/standards/index.htm

If you have any questions regarding the Infinite Campus State Education (ICSE), please contact the MEDMS Help Desk, Tel. (207) 624-6896 or e-mail medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

If you have any general student questions, please contact Travis Wood, Tel. (207) 624-6742 or e-mail travis.wood@maine.gov.

Administrative Letter: Rescheduling and Requesting Waivers for Storm Days

Administrative Letter: #6
Policy Code: ID
To: Superintendents, School Board Chairs, and Private School Head Administrators
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed.D., Acting Commissioner
Date: March 6, 2017
Re: Rescheduling and Requesting Waivers for Storm Days

As many of you are well aware, this winter has resulted in above normal snowfall amounts and many school administrative units have had to exceed the number of storm days that were originally planned for in the school calendar. This has resulted in concerns about meeting the regulations pertaining to the length of the school year. Below we have provided a link to the regulations pertaining to rescheduling and requesting waivers for storm days, along with a brief summary that we hope will help administrative leaders as they make decisions about how to make up the lost days. In Chapter 125: Basic Approval Standards: Public Schools and School Administrative Units Section 6.01, subsections C (1) and (2), regulations state that the Commissioner may waive the minimum school year requirements upon submission of a written request from the school board to the Commissioner, and that waivers will be granted only after school officials have exhausted all reasonable avenues for making up lost school days, and only in extraordinary circumstances. As a reminder, the requirement is 175 days for students in grades K-11, and 170 days for high school seniors. Acceptable efforts to reschedule classes include the following:

  • Rescheduling or shortening scheduled vacation
  • Postponing the scheduled school closing date
  • Conducting classes on weekends
  • In addition, districts sometimes choose to revert a scheduled teacher in-service day to a student instructional day

Please note, under Chapter 125 Section 6.02, subsection C, school administrative units may, with the permission of the Commissioner, schedule a one hour extension of the school day for up to 25 days in a school year; 5 one hour extensions may be counted as an additional school day. Please see the Waivers for Snow Days Frequently Asked Questions provided on Maine DOE’s website for more details, including defining/calculating an instructional day. Waivers should be submitted in writing from the school board or its designee to the Commissioner’s Office at the Maine Department of Education [per Chapter 125 Section 6.01 subsection C (2)]. In addition, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, School Approval Services, by email Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov or by phone 624-6617, of the intent to file a waiver request as soon as possible. We all realize how valuable instructional time is for our students. Thank you for your efforts to ensure that your students have the opportunity to learn for the intended full school calendar year.