Due Date for Graduation and Dropout Reporting Extended to 12/21

The Department of Education has extended the due date for the Graduation and Dropout report to December 21, 2017.

Districts will gain access to the graduation module in NEO on December 4, 2017 and will have access to complete Graduation and Dropout report through December 21, 2017. Please note that there will be multiple districts that are required to submit these reports for the first time. If your district has never completed this report, be sure to check DC & R to see if it is now required.

Instructions for completing this report:

  • The reports can be accessed through DC & R or through NEO directly.
  • As a reminder, along with the attending district reporting requirements there are now responsible district reporting requirements as well.
  • Login issues: If you can log in to NEO but do not see the graduation tab or if you find that you cannot login; you will need a NEO access request form to be filled out and then signed by the superintendent. Send completed forms to the MEDMS help desk.

If you need assistance with the Graduation reports or have questions you may email Travis Wood, or call 624-6742; or email Leda Cunningham, or call 624-6897.

For other questions about NEO or the Graduation module contact Maine DOE Help Desk at MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

U.S. Senate Youth Program Application Deadline is Oct. 6

U.S. Senate Youth Program Application Deadline is Oct. 6

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), established in 1962, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students. Each year, two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity spend a week in Washington, D.C., experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies. Delegates also participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, each delegate will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses are provided by the Hearst Foundations.

Maine delegates are nominated by their principal and must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Students are permanent residents of the U.S., and one of their parents or guardians is a legal resident of Maine.
  2. Students are juniors or seniors in a Maine school.
  3. Students must have been elected or appointed to one of the following posts for the current school year:
    • Member or officer of student council, student senate or equivalent student government organization
    • Class officer – president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
    • Student representative on a district-, regional- or state-level civic and/or educational organization

Informational packets and specific instructions were mailed to high school principals and headmasters in August. Each principal may nominate one eligible student for consideration.

Oct. 6 is the deadline for completed applications to be sent via postal mail to: Joe Schmidt, USSYP Coordinator; Maine Department of Education; 23 State House Station; Augusta, Maine 04333.

On Oct. 20 up to 10 finalists will be notified of advancement to the final round, then in November the 10 finalists will convene at the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan for interviews with a selection committee. The two finalists and two alternates will be announced in December.

Find Application materials and more information about the USSYP.

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.

MEA Alternate Science – PAAP submissions due April 30th

The Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) Science testing window is coming to a close. The PAAP assesses students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades 5, 8, and third year high school as an alternate to the MEA Science assessment.

All electronic PAAP submissions are due April 30th.  Measured Progress has provided return material kits for student portfolios to be returned. UPS will pick up all portfolios on MAY 2nd.  Please have the completed portfolios sealed in the envelopes provided by Measured Progress and in school offices by 8:00 am May 2nd.

All return mailing kits should contain individual student return envelopes, a student roster, directions for mailing the portfolio and directions for submitting an electronic Principal’s Certification of Proper Test Administration.

Those with questions regarding the return of PAAP portfolios should contact Measured Progress at 1-800-431-8901: Sarah Greene, x7344 or email greene.sarah@measuredprogress.org or Jimmy Hartman, x7406 or email hartman.jimmy@measuredprogress.org.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment for the Maine Department of Education Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan

The Maine Department of Education is seeking 30 days of public comment on Maine’s ESSA State Consolidated Plan from March 1 – 30, 2017

The passage of the Every Students Succeeds Act in 2015 shifted the former Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 from a federally driven, highly prescriptive set of programs and regulations to a state determined plan to ensure a focus on equity and excellence for all students.

The U.S. Department of Education is requiring every state educational agency to submit a Consolidated State Plan. “When developing its consolidated State plan, the Department encourages each State Educational Agency to reflect on its overall vision and how the different sections of the consolidated State plan work together to create one comprehensive approach to improving outcomes for all students.”

As a result, the Maine Department of Education ESSA State Plan is based on prioritized needs identified in Maine’s existing strategic plan. This plan was stakeholder informed and driven in 2012 and correlates with the five overarching elements of the federal Consolidated Plan, which are as follows:

  1. Long-Term Goals
  2. Consultation and Performance Management
  3. Academic Assessments
  4. Accountability, Support, and Improvement for Schools
  5. Supporting Excellent Educators
  6. Supporting All Students

By this integration the Department is utilizing the ESSA Plan as the enhancement mechanism to move Maine’s educational priorities forward.

The Department engaged over 40 Maine educators representing different stakeholder groups to serve as members of the ESSA Advisory and Workgroup teams to examine the components of the consolidated application pertinent to their focus area and to discuss potential recommendations for each specific component.

 Please note the changes which may affect the final format of  plan:

  • Possible changes in the ESSA Accountability federal regulations
  • Changes to the Consolidated Plan template indicated by the U. S Department of Education Secretary Devos on February 13, 2017 to reflect only those components that are “absolutely necessary”.

The Full Maine Consolidated State Plan
The Executive Summary (Includes an introductory letter from Acting Commissioner Hasson)

Comments may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov

Attendance Matters: Connecting For Student Success Regional Meetings

Attendance Matters! The Spring Connecting For Student Success regional meetings sponsored by ME Department of Education and Count ME In are happening statewide. You can attend a regional meeting that is convenient for you.

Lewiston -Tuesday, March 14
Portland –  Wednesday, March 22
Bangor – Monday, March 27
Caribou – Tuesday, March 28
Augusta – Thursday, April 6

Attendees will hear schools share effective strategies as well as a presentation on effective approaches to address bias and harassment . Sessions are free but registration is required.  To learn more go to www.countmeinmaine.org

Attendance Matters because early absences can affect later achievement, since students can miss some of the key building blocks for learning.  Absences add up- just two days a month can mean 18 absences a year.

To register: http://countmeinmaine.org/site/?page_id=168   For more information, please contact Sarah Ricker at sarah.ricker@maine.gov or Susan Lieberman at slieberman@countmeinmaine.org

Take the ‘Read to ME Challenge’

Augusta – Maine’s First Lady launched the Read to ME Challenge today at the Blaine House. Reflecting on how she and her husband, Governor Paul LePage, raised their children by reading to them and exploring the world through reading, Mrs. LePage shared, “I knew that when a child learns to read, there is nothing they can’t learn, imagine, or accomplish in life.”

First Lady Ann LePage reads to military children as she kicks off Maine's Read To Me Challenge
First Lady Ann LePage reads to children of military families as she kicks off Maine’s Read To Me Challenge

Reading to children of military families, the First Lady shared two books, Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs and Baxter in the Blaine House, with her captive audience. Once the children studied the brilliant illustrations of the Blaine House, they were offered the chance to explore and see some of the rooms depicted in the story book. First Lady LePage challenged Brigadier General Douglas Farnum of the Maine National Guard.

Baxter in the Blaine House
Baxter in the Blaine House

The Maine DOE’s Read to ME Challenge runs through March 2, Read Across America Day. Maine DOE Literacy Specialist Lee Anne Larsen wants the momentum to last all month long. “Our goal is to promote the critical importance of reading to and with children from birth through their childhoods. When children are read to regularly, their vocabulary grows, they build knowledge of the world, they stimulate their imaginations, and they discover how words communicate ideas.”

The challenge is simple. Read with a child for at least 15 minutes, capture a photo or video, post it on social media with the hash tags #ReadtoME or #ReadaloudME, and nominate others to do the same. Creative ways of completing the challenge are encouraged – for example, read to a child using FaceTime or Skype. If preferred, you can complete the challenge by listening to audiobooks with a child.

“The enthusiasm has been building since before the launch with schools, libraries and other organizations planning innovative ways of promoting the challenge. All Mainers are encouraged to get involved,” said Larsen.

You can reach Lee Anne Larsen at leeann.larsen@maine.gov to learn more about Maine DOE’s Read to ME Challenge. Go ahead, take the challenge!