Category Archives: Administrators

Join the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge

If you are like many teachers and parents at this time of year, you are celebrating the growth students have made as learners but wondering if that growth will be maintained over the summer months. Keeping young minds stimulated during summer vacation is so important to maintaining learning gains and one of the best ways for students to keep their minds active is through regular reading.

The Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge provides any opportunity to motivate students to read this summer. The Maine Department of Education is collaborating with the Freemasons of Maine to sponsor this contest for students in grades PK-8. The Maine Freemasons have generously donated 48 bikes with helmets as prizes for the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge.

Any school serving students in grades PK-8 may register by June 16, 2017 to participate. Students who read (or are read to if they are not yet reading) at least 500 minutes during summer vacation will be eligible for their school level drawing. Participating schools will document which students have completed the challenge and hold a drawing to select two students (one boy and one girl) to enter into the state level drawing to be held on September 22, 2017. Schools are encouraged participate and to coordinate this opportunity with any other summer reading challenges/programs they offer. Details about the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge and about how to register your school can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/summer-literacy.html.

Questions may be directed to Maine DOE’s Literacy Specialist Lee Anne Larsen at leeann.larsen@maine.gov.

Report of Adult Education (EF-M-39A) – opens June 1st, due by July 15, 2017

Starting June 1, the EF-M-39 Report of Adult Education will be submitted online through the NEO Student Data Module. The report is a resident-based aggregate count of students aged 16 to 20 who live within the boundaries of a school administrative unit (SAU), are no longer enrolled in regular education classes, and are taking academic courses through a Maine Adult Education program, but not necessarily through the SAU in which they reside.

New this year, the Department is requesting that units report the number of students, the number of courses and credits taken; student names are no longer required.

Who Needs to Report:

All public SAUs, excluding public charter schools, must complete the report, even if there are no pupils to report. Please note that the individual SAU member entities of AOSs and school unions must report separately. SAUs whose students attend a regional Adult Education programs must report the number of resident students who attend the regional Adult Education programs.

  • EF-M-39A: Opens on June 1, 2017
  • Due by July 15, 2017
  • Data reporting period: January 1 – June 30, 2017

To Complete the Form: Go to https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Accounts/

Once logged in to the NEO system navigate to Student Data, if you do not have NEO credentials please have your Superintendent submit a NEO Access Request Form to the Maine DOE Data HelpDesk.

  1. Enter the total number of students (between the ages of 16-20) enrolled in adult education
  2. Enter the total number of courses
  3. Enter the total number of credits

The Data Collection and Reporting (DC&R) Calendar lists all reports due to Maine DOE.

The accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the data sent for this report has a direct correlation to the subsidy that your SAU may receive.

Questions: Call the MEDMS Helpdesk at (207) 624-6896 or email mailto:medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

Webinar on ESEA equitable share participation of Maine’s SAUs and non-public schools

The Maine DOE will offer a WebEx session June 8, 2017 from 10 – 11 a.m. providing guidance to school administrative units (SAUs) and non-public schools in the delivery and agreement of equitable services under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The ESSA includes separate provisions governing equitable services for eligible private school students, teachers and other educational personnel, and families under Title I and programs covered under Title VIII, Part F, Subpart 1; as well as the Uniform Provisions Subpart 1—Private Schools: Equitable Services for Private School Students, Teachers, and Other Educational Personnel. Many of those requirements remain unchanged from requirements under the ESEA as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The ESSA, however, made a number of significant changes. Some of those changes are common to the equitable services requirements under both Title I and Title VIII; others are different.

The webinar will be conducted by Maine DOE’s Title I Consultant and Title II Coordinator, Jackie Godbout and Charles Lomonte, respectively. If you have questions prior to the event, please contact Charles Lomonte at 624-6723 or Charles.lomonte@maine.gov or Jackie Godbout at 624-6712 or Jackie.godbout@maine.gov.

Topics covered during the webinar include:

  • Consultation requirements between SAU and non-public schools
  • Deriving the proportionate share calculation
  • Allocation of funds
  • Eligibility
  • Types of equitable services
  • Evaluation of assessments

To participate in the webinar, please click here.  The conference phone number is 1-877-455-0244, followed by conference code: 8223978943.

The Maine DOE offers ESEA equitable services training for those Maine SAUs and non-public school leaders who must consult about participating in non-public school equitable share resources.

Maine DOE issues reminder to complete survey on the identification and exit criteria for English learners

This notice is a reminder asking everyone in the education community to take a few minutes to complete a survey on how to identify English learners and when to exit English learners from service. Take the Survey Now

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states are required to establish a uniform method of identifying and reclassifying English learners. Although Maine currently has these uniform procedures, it has been more than a decade since Maine has made any amendments to its Home Language Survey, and it was in 2013 that Maine underwent its latest data study to review English learners’ performance on academic assessments and their correlating WIDA ACCESS for ELLs scores. With the administration of the new ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and changes in academic assessments, the Maine Department of Education is taking this opportunity to elicit public input, along with data, to determine the best methods to ensure a valid and reliable identification procedure as well as fair and appropriate exit criteria. To begin the process, here is a brief survey to help guide the Department. Take the Survey Now

In addition, please feel free to reach out directly to Maine DOE’s ESL Consultant April Perkins at april.perkins@maine.gov or 441-9043 to share additional thoughts, comments and suggestions not captured by the survey.  

For more information about educational or English language acquisition services for English learners to ESL/Bilingual Programs, contact Maine DOE’s Director of ESL/Bilingual Programs Nancy Mullins at nancy.mullins@maine.gov or 624-6788.

Notice of proposed rule changes to Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine

The Maine Department of Education is proposing to repeal and replace Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine in order to modernize the rule.

The proposal involves four major changes:

  1. Change the format of the rule to separate the rule into shorter and cleaner regulations.
  2. Remove forms from the rule making it easier to adapt to national changes and align with the federal medical examination regulations.
  3. Update the bus specifications to meet current bus technology, standards, and specifications.
  4. Clarify safety, training, and program language to make the rule easier to interpret.

Proposed language of rule Chapters 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86 can be found on the Department’s website. Written comments should be mailed to: Maine Department of Education, Attn: Pat Hinckley, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023, or emailed to pat.hinckley@maine.gov. The comment deadline is Friday, Jun. 16, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Changes to School and District IDs for 2017-18 school year

Since 2004, the Maine Department of Education has issued school and school administrative unit (SAU) IDs generated by the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS). The MEDMS system is being decommissioned and will no longer be used to generate or maintain these codes. School and SAU information is now maintained in the NEO Maine Schools module, which has its own set of IDs known as Organization (Org) IDs. Starting with the 2017-18 school year, schools and SAUs will need to use the NEO Org IDs for their schools and districts when communicating data to the Maine DOE. This includes uploading data to the new student information system (Synergy).

The Department will be communicating these ID changes to all student information systems (SIS) vendors that are on file as operating in Maine. Please ensure that your SIS vendor information is up to date in the NEO Maine Schools module so we will communicate with your vendor.

Crosswalks from the old MEDMS codes to the new NEO Org IDs are located on the Department’s Infrastructure website.

If you have any questions about these code changes, please contact Maine DOE’s Education Data Manager Charlotte Ellis at charlotte.ellis@maine.gov or 624-6696.

Public Preschool Annual Report due July 31

The Maine DOE is reminding school administrative units that have created or expanded a public preschool program within the past two years (2015-16 or 2016-17) to complete the Public Preschool Annual Report by July 31, 2017. The report can be found here 

This year’s report has been shortened to gather only the most pertinent information from Maine’s public preschool programs. 

Please note this report is not required from SAUs with programs existing prior to 2015 or those who completed the Public Preschool Application by the March 31 deadline.

If you have questions about the survey or to inquire if your SAU is required to complete it, please contact Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Program Monitor Nicole Madore at nicole.madore@maine.gov or at 624-6677.

Applications now being accepted for Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre

The Maine DOE Health Education (HE) and Physical Education (PE) programs are seeking quality, motivated applicants to join the Maine Health Education and Physical Education Teacher Leader Cadre (HEPEC). Participants of this initiative are charged with leading the way in ensuring high quality proficiency-based HE & PE in all Maine schools. Cadre participants will work together to provide Maine HE & PE professionals with curriculum, instruction and assessment resources and tools; professional development that supports effective proficiency-based education teaching strategies; and skills and resources to educate about and advocate for quality HE & PE. Successful applicants will:

  • receive training in facilitation and leadership skills and formative assessment;
  • develop and deliver professional development at local, regional and statewide events; and
  • develop a website for the field, as well as, establish other effective modes of communication to share resources and materials.

Administrators are asked to identify potential teachers (pre-K through high school) and encourage them to join the HEPEC for teacher leaders. Enthusiasm and a desire to learn and to lead are more important than the current years of experience. Interested individuals need to complete an online application and submit at least one letter of support from a colleague. Successful applicants will need written approval from administration to participate in the project including permission to attend all the trainings. Maine DOE has grant funding to reimburse substitute pay, mileage and lodging for training days as well as to pay stipends for the Summer Institute. To apply, click here.

For more in-depth information contact Maine DOE’s Health Education & Health Promotion Coordinator Susan Berry at susan.berry@maine.gov or Maine DOE’s Health Education & Physical Education Consultant Jean Zimmerman at jean.zimmerman@maine.gov.

Important Title VI Small Rural Schools Achievement (SRSA) program update

The US Department of Education will be sponsoring a series of webinars now through June 28 to assist eligible Title VI SRSA districts with the online application process. The webinars will provide a walk-through designed to take applicants from the start to the finish. An information sheet, including dates, times and links for registration can be found here. Register early as space is limited to 350 seats for each webinar session. For questions, please contact Maine DOE’s Title VI Director Daniel Weeks at Daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov or 624-6749.

 

Maine DOE recommendations for dyslexia screening

In accordance with 20-A M.R.S. §4710-B, the Maine Department of Education recommends universal screening for all K-2 children.  The law pertains to screening children K-2 for traits indicating that the child may be at-risk for difficulty learning to read, it is not a diagnostic assessment.  The intent is to identify at-risk children so that they may receive early evidence-based intervention known to help children with SLD/dyslexia.

 There is a list of suggested screening tools available on the Maine DOE website, along with other useful information about dyslexia, resources and frequently asked questions.

Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER) has long recognized dyslexia as a Specific Learning Disability [MUSER VII (2) (L)], consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1401) and the Federal Regulations (34 CFR 300.8) which implement the IDEA Law. However, there has been confusion regarding the use of the term, dyslexia.  Consequently, in 2015 Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) issued a, “Dear Colleague” letter specifying that nothing in IDEA or the implementing regulations prohibits the inclusion of the condition that forms the basis for the child’s disability determination in the child’s IEP. https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/guidance-on-dyslexia-10-2015.pdf.

If you have further questions regarding dyslexia or 20-A M.R.S. §4710-B, please contact Lisa Whitis, MEd, JD, Maine DOE Dyslexia Coordinator at Lisa.Whitis@maine.gov or 624-6643.