Upcoming Rulemaking to Support the Implementation of a Diploma Based on Proficiency

The Maine DOE recently submitted to the Secretary of State proposed regulation, Chapter 134, pursuant to 20-A MRS § 4722-A (Regulations for Awarding a High School Diploma). This rule chapter supports the implementation of a diploma based on proficiency, and fosters the culture of learning that makes it possible for each learner to graduate ready for next steps after secondary school.

We anticipate that a formal notice for the rulemaking will be published on July 26 (in the Bangor Daily News, Kennebec Journal, Portland Press Herald, Lewiston Sun-Journal and the Central Maine Morning Sentinel).

A public hearing will be held on August 14th in room 500 at the Cross State Office Building from 9-11 am with the deadline for public comment closing on September 8th at 5 pm.

The development of Chapter 134 has been underway since the summer of 2016 guided by the rule making requirements of the proficiency diploma law. This rule must:

  • Allow flexibility and innovation at the school and district level for  the development of  consistent graduation standards,
  • Identify the manner in which multiple pathways in career and technical education can provide evidence of proficiency in the disciplines of the content areas and Guiding Principles of Maine’s system of learning results
  • Establish criteria for the placement in career and technical education programs while ensuring all students are exposed to all content areas of the system of learning results.

For more information on the diploma based on proficiency, contact Maine Department of Education Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@maine.gov or 624-6823.

2017 Commissioner’s Conference Survey

The Maine Department of Education is seeking feedback from superintendents and other administrators who attended the 2017 Commissioner’s Conference held in Bar Harbor on June 26th and June 27th.

Please take a few moments to fill out this 7 question survey:

2017 Commissioner’s Conference Survey »

For further questions or comments, contact Georgette Valliere at georgette.valliere@maine.gov or 207-624-6620.

RFP issued for Translation and Subscription Services to Provide Unlimited Access to Multi-Language Forms

The Maine Department of Education is seeking proposals for subscription services to provide unlimited remote access to all Maine School Administrative Units (SAUs) for the collection of ESSA Parent Notifications and forms to assist Maine’s SAUs in meeting ESSA compliance requirements. These documents must be available in English with translations in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Somali, with opportunities for additional languages to be added. The Department and SAUs must have the ability to upload locally created documents. These documents must be available to download and print onto State or local letterhead.

A copy of the RFP, as well as the Question & Answer Summary and all amendments related to this RFP, can be obtained at the following website: http://www.maine.gov/purchases/venbid/rfp.shtml

Proposals must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Purchases, located at the Burton M. Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall Street – 4th Floor, Augusta, ME 04330. Proposals must be submitted by 4:00 pm, local time, on July 25, 2017, when they will be opened. Proposals not received at the Division of Purchases’ aforementioned address by the aforementioned deadline will not be considered for contract award.

Notice of Special Purpose Private School Tuition Rate Change – Future Builders School

Pursuant to Title 20-A, Chapter 303, subchapter 3§7302, the Maine Department of Education Special Services team has authorized a 2017 fiscal year rate change for Future Builders School effective July 1, 2017. The daily rate for Future Builders School will be $190, this rate will only apply to billing for days of attendance starting July 1, 2017.

Billing during the 2018 fiscal year for Future Builders School will still be subject to a rate change determined by analyzing expenditure report budgets submitted for the previous year.

For more information contact Tyler Backus, Maine DOE School Finance and Compliance Coordinator at 207-624-6635 or tyler.backus@maine.gov.

2017-2018 MeCAS Testing Dates Posted

The 2017-2018 Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS) testing dates have been posted. This includes Maine Educational Assessments (MEA) and National/International Assessments:

  • Science grades 5, 8, high school (general and alternate)
  • WIDA English Language Proficiency (general and alternate)
  • Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy grades 3-8 and high school (eMPowerME, SAT, and alternate)
  • Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (sample grades 4 & 8)

NOTE: eMPowerME Math and ELA/Literacy Essay test session is incorporated into the 4-week test window with all other eMPowerME test sessions (reading, math, writing & language), not in a separate window.

Click here to see 2017-2018 Maine Comprehensive Assessment System testing dates.

For further information and questions, contact:
Eric Buckhalter – Office Associate II
Eric.buckhalter@maine.gov
207-624-6770

Maine DOE Special Services Revised Forms

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services has revised the forms listed below. Revised forms are identified as Final Revision: Effective 08/01/2017.

  • Written Notice and all other required forms – updated identifying information for consistency
  • Individualized Education Program – changes include additions and updates. CDS has a required section separate from K-12 for goal writing. Results of all initial and most recent evaluations located in a separate section, no longer divided between academic, functional or developmental. Some minor changes under in the Considerations Section to reflect new language related to accessible education material.
  • Learning Disability Evaluation Report – based on updated MUSER revisions

The Office of Special Services has communicated all revised forms to vendors. We will also offer a webinar in September to further explain the form changes. All updated forms will be available on the Special Services forms page by 8/1/17.  In the meantime, questions may be directed to the Department of Special Services, Roberta Lucas at Roberta.Lucas@maine.gov  or 624-6621.

Infinite Campus Data Entry for the 2016/2017 School Year Closes June 30, 2017

Any data modifications needed to all student enrollments for the 2016/17 school year must be completed by 5:00 pm on June 30, 2017.  Modifications can not be made after this date as Infinite Campus will no longer be used.

Exit Data for Students

The Infinite Campus State Edition Student Information System will be closing for the 2016/17 school year on June 30, 2017. Updates of student enrollment data for year-end reporting must be made by school units for the current reporting year before Infinite Campus State Edition is closed.

Homeless status in Infinite Campus:
Students who were homeless at any time during the current school year must have the “Homeless Night-time Residence ” field filled in on the Enrollments tab in Infinite Campus. Do not remove the homeless status in this field until the following school year, even if the student was homeless for only a short time during the year.

Importance of Exiting Students at the end of the school year:
The Department’s calculation of your school unit’s graduation and dropout rates for the current school year will be based on student enrollment data in ICSE.  To ensure a successful and timely transmission of data, and therefore accurate graduation and dropout reporting, it is important that school units take the following steps before Infinite Campus is closed:

  1. Check the Start Statuses for the current school year for students in grades 9 through 12. If a student was with you in 2015/16 and 2016/17, be sure the start status for the 2016/17 enrollment record is a code 02 (continuous in same school). Otherwise a Transfer-In could be added if the wrong start status was selected thereby hurting your graduation rate. We hope to have a new report added in ICSE which displays students with incorrect start statuses. More information on this as it becomes available.
  2. Exit all students who are known to be leaving their schools at the end of the current school year. This is especially important for students in grades seven (7) through twelve (12), in order to avoid issues related to the Dropouts report.
  3. For Home School students – exit all home school students who are currently enrolled as home-schooled with Exit Code 13 – Transfer to home schooling. If they return in the fall, use the appropriate Start Status to transfer in from Home School.
  4. Foreign exchange students should be exited with a code 10: Transfer to a school outside of the country.
  5. All students that were expelled during the year must be exited with a code 19. In addition, all students with this exit code must also have an entry of the expulsion in the Behavior Module of Infinite Campus State Edition.
  6. Exit high school seniors using the appropriate exit type codes including:
    • Graduated with Regular High School Diploma
      (Exit Code 15 – Completed – Graduated);
    • Students who receive an Adult Ed Diploma or High School Equivalency diploma should be exited with code 23.
    • Reached Maximum Age for Services
      (Exit Code 20 – Maximum Age for Services);

      1. Students who turn 20 years of age on or before July 1, 2017 must be exited with Exit Code 20.

NOTE: Maine Virtual Academy and Maine Connections Academy are two approved Public Charter Schools. Students that transfer to one of these schools must be exited with a code 12 – Transfer to a public charter school. Do not use exit code 26 in these two scenarios.

  1. For high school seniors who will be completing their graduation requirements during the summer and after Infinite Campus State Edition is closed, you will be able to fix these enrollments directly in NEO Graduation module later this summer.

Examples of appropriate exit type codes can be found on the MEDMS website at:
http://www.maine.gov/education/medms/Data/ExitType/ExitTypeCodes.htm

Questions specific to enrollments should be directed to the MEDMS Helpdesk at:
MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

Fostering Artful Classrooms for Early Childhood Students a Great Success

Five school districts participated in a professional development pilot from the Maine Department of Education this year to learn how to improve visual art offerings to public preschool students. Visual art and early childhood teachers from RSU 10, Lewiston School District, Glenburn School Department, MSAD 58 (Phillips), and MSAD 53 (Pittsfield) attended in teams for training three times during the 2016-2017 schoolyear. Guided during these session by early childhood expert, Terri Petnov, and early childhood arts specialist, Judy Fricke, teachers built collaborative partnerships as they broadened their skills in 2-D, 3-D, and Fiber Arts, as well as developmentally appropriate teaching for preschoolers. Both teachers learned strategies to be used in both in the early childhood classroom and the art room. This program was sponsored by Early Childhood Specialist, Sue Reed, and Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Beth Lambert.

The training was aligned to Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards and supported by research on the importance of art education being available every day in the early childhood classroom. Over the course of the three workshop days, teams learned a variety of visual art techniques and became more comfortable integrating art education into the other learning domains to support knowledge and development.

Here are some of the comments teachers had at the end of the experience:

“Children have become more engaged and have developed stamina to create and finish a project. It has created a calming effect on my room,” Lori Fowler, Preschool Teacher, Montello Elementary School.

“The collaboration and teamwork I now have with my art teacher has brought about valuable changes in my planning and instruction awareness of how the arts can connect and strengthen student learning opportunities,” Vicky Grotton, Preschool Teacher, Glenburn Elementary School.

“The value of this training, for me, was in learning the true and genuine connection between the arts and achievement across the curriculum. The foundation of learning and whole-student enrichment are clearest in prek, but persist throughout the entire academic career,” Adam Masterman, Art Teacher, SAD 58.

“(The prek teacher and I) have worked together to create a new space in her classroom where students are completely independent and encourage exploring materials…. I have gone into their classroom and taught lessons and group projects that would not be possible in my space,“  Karen Thayer, Art Teacher, RSU 10.

Due to the tremendous success of this pilot, the Maine Department of Education is exploring funding options to expand this training statewide during the 2017-2018 schoolyear as well as develop and offer music and performing arts in the early childhood classroom training.

For more information on this pilot you can visit our website http://www.maine.gov/doe/arts/ecevpa.html.

For more information on Early Childhood Education contact, Sue Reed, susan.d.reed@maine.gov . For more information about Visual and Performing Arts Education, contact, Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov.

New Online Certification System Training for Superintendents and Support Chairs

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will be offering training sessions for superintendents and support system chairs to learn the new online certification system this spring and summer (online training for educators will also be available later this summer).

At each training session participants can expect to learn how to log in, navigate the system, approve educator certifications, and manage their own certification. Participants will need to bring a lap top.

Training dates, times and locations are as follows:

June 19, 2017
8:30am – 12:00pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Jewett Hall, RM 190

June 20, 2017
1:00pm – 4:30pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Jewett Hall, RM 190

July 26, 2017
8:30am – 12:00pm
University of Maine at Orono, Donald P. Corbett Business Building, RM 100

July 27, 2017
1:00pm – 4:30pm
University of Maine at Orono, Donald P. Corbett Business Building, RM 100

Please RSVP to Brenda Vigue at brenda.vigue@maine.gov or (207) 624-6852.

Maine DOE Summer Training Dates and Registration for NEO and Synergy

The Maine Department of Education is offering five half-day sessions for NEO updates and training and one half-day for Synergy Training. An additional full-day session will also be held for districts who manually enter information into the State level Student Information System.

During the NEO session, Maine DOE Helpdesk members will review changes to NEO, which include Maine State Reports previously located in Infinite Campus State Edition. Other changes to NEO include the new Data Collection and Reporting (DC&R) module, access to NEO, changes to NEO staff, and clarification of Staff and District Roles. There will also be a short session on Student Data Privacy. Attendees should include those who currently complete NEO Reports, those who previously worked with student reports in Infinite Campus State Edition, and those who will be doing these activities in the coming school year. Student data certifications will now be done in NEO, so Superintendents who certify reports may also want to attend.

A light lunch will be provided, and during this time, Maine DOE and Synergy staff will be available for questions.

For the Synergy session, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to upload student data required by the State of Maine. In addition, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to enter and validate student data that is not included in the upload process.

Upon completion of this session, participants will understand how to perform uploads and will be able to:

* Log in to Synergy and navigate the interface
* Use and understand Synergy concepts and terminology
* Change Focus to view other years/schools
* Create personal Navigation Menus
* View existing student information
* Find a single student or multiple students
* Enter and modify student data
* Truancy
* Discipline
* Use a Matrix to print student information or export student information to other desktop programs
* Create student filters
* Create Graph information
* Preview and Print common reports
* Save report settings

The August 1st, Manual Entry Session will be an all-day in-depth look at how to enter student information directly into the system. (NEO topics will not be covered at this session).

Dates and Registration

July 25
Houlton High School
7 Bird Street
Houlton, ME 04730
http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=doeneosynergytraininghoulton

July 26
Ellsworth Elementary School/Middle School
20 Forest Avenue
Ellsworth, ME 04605
http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=doeneosynergytrainingellsworth

July 27
Orion Performing Arts Center
50 Republic Avenue
Topsham, ME 04086
http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=doeneosynergytrainingtopsham

July 31
Cony School
60 Pierce Drive
Augusta, ME 04330
http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=doeneosynergytrainingaugusta

August 1
MANUAL UPLOAD Schools only please. NEO not presented
Cony School
60 Pierce Drive
Augusta, ME 04330
http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=doeneosynergytrainingaugustamanualentry

August 2
Portland Arts & Technology High School
196 Allen Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=doeneosynergytrainingportland

If you have any questions please contact Maine’s Data Systems Helpdesk Manager Shannon Bartash at (207) 624-6799.