English Teachers Gather at the Summit!

Nearly 200 English teachers from across the state attended the Maine Council of English Language Art’s annual conference at the summit of Point Lookout in Northport last week. The conference began on Thursday with a celebration of poetry headlined by Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum. Kestenbaum read several of his poems, explaining how several started as a list of words handed to him by students, then transformed into moving and vibrant stories in verse.

On Friday, teachers supported teachers by providing 24 different opportunities to learn with and from each other. Topics included Teaching Trauma and Resilience Through Literature, The Dream-Centered Classroom, and Exploring Power, Social Justice, and Other Contemporary Issues Through Book Clubs in Middle and High School Classrooms.

The event ended with Gillian French, author of Grit and several other novels, reading from her works and encouraging place-based writing. A native of Bucksport, French embraces to beauty of Maine, the grittiness of its residents, and the sometimes challenging, sometimes uplifting experiences that come from rural living.

MCELA presented the 2019 Brassil Award, honoring distinguished Maine educators John and Claudette Brassil, to Stephanie Hendrix of Bangor High School. Hendrix teaches English and Humanities, is a doctoral student, integrates technology flawlessly into her instruction, and is quite active in theater. This award recognizes exceptional English language arts and literacy teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, contributed to the profession, and shown a commitment to the community. MCELA is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Brassil Award. Go to the MCELA Brassil Award page for further details.

Catch up on all the details on twitter with #MCELA2019

 

 

Graduation Reporting Phase One

Based on feedback from our school and district colleagues who have been responsible for the graduation reporting process in the past, we have divided the tasks into what we hope are more timely and manageable steps.  We recognize the hard work being done to ensure accuracy of the data reported, and would like to offer technical assistance with the process of meeting this federal requirement.

Phase 1 will allow schools the opportunity to review and make any necessary changes to incorrect data. This phase will focus on ensuring accuracy of start and exit statuses for students who are part of the 2019 cohort. The cohort is comprised of any student who entered grade 9 for the first time in the 2015-2016 school year.  The emphasis of this phase is on examining the accuracy of the enrollment data, including transfer-in and transfer-out statuses. Validation of these codes assists us in ensuring accurate calculations of four-year graduation rates.

Phase 1: Graduation Reporting Phase I
Opens: April 1
Due: May 15

Phase 2: Validating Start and Exit Statuses in Synergy
Now through June 30

Phase 3: Graduation Reporting Phase II
Opens: July 1
Due: August 30

Phase 4: Dropout Reporting
Opens: November 1
Due: November 30

The Department will be holding an online webinar, offered at two different times, for convenience. The webinar is designed for any school staff who may be asked to complete Graduation Reporting Phase I in their school or district.  We will review the process, and will also give a detailed walk through on how to complete Phase I. Registration is free, but necessary prior to the webinar. This ensures that connection details can be shared with participants.

  • Webinar #1 – Thursday, April 4th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm OR
  • Webinar #2 – Tuesday, April 9th from 10:00 to 11:00 am

Webinar Registration:              https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1883859640113524225

More information on the Graduation Reporting process can be found on our website at:
https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/collection/helpdesk/resources/data-reporting-instructions

If you have any questions, feel free to contact: Helpdesk – 207-624-6896 or Trevor Burns (School Enrollment Specialist) – 207-624-6678

Regional School Calendars Due May 3, 2019

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 3, 2019.

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 school year 2019-20, 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 Department of Education no later than May 3, 2019 for a decision on approval by June 7, 2019. 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, instructions, templates, a waiver process, and a link to the complete law, please visit www.maine.gov/doe/regionalcalendar/.  Further questions should be directed to Doug Robertson doug.robertson@maine.gov / 624-6744 or Dwight Littlefield dwight.a.littlefield@maine.gov / 624-6721.

Beginning of School Year Checklist for Completing Reports

The following checklist is designed to assist districts with publicly funded students in completing required reporting.  The dates listed after each report are when the report is open for entry and due for certification, if required.

Synergy

The Synergy Student Information System is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. If you are a new user or, an existing user who needs changes to system access, please complete the system access form and return to the Maine DOE Helpdesk.

Please note, the first three uploads in Synergy must be done in order (State ID – only if needed, Student Enrollment and Student Personal). Manual entry will allow all three sections to be entered at once so the order is not as critical.

The following items are available. Please visit the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage for Synergy codes to be used for the items below and detailed instructions for entry.

☐ State ID Import – Caution! Please verify the student has not already been previously enrolled in the State of Maine at any time before using this.  Duplicate student IDs create inaccurate data and are not always easy to resolve.

☐ Student Enrollment

☐ Student Personal

☐ Economic Status

☐ Special Education Services – Please remember to use the start date of the services even if this was in a previous year.  Synergy will create a new line for each year the student received the services

☐ EL if applicable

☐ CTE schools and other concurrent schools may only enter their information after the primary school has done their enrollment information.

☐ Attendance, Truancy and Behavior as often as possible but at a minimum, quarterly for certification purposes

☐ Future dates are not permitted in the system.

☐ NEO Staff updated

Beginning of Year Reports and Certifications in DC&R

The following items can be accessed from DC&R. Guidance is available on the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage.

☐ Maine Schools and School Approvals due August 1.  This report must be completed to enter staff information:

Contacts and Questions

If you have questions about these reports, (i.e. what should be entered) please contact the specialist listed below:

  • Accountability: Penny Henry 624-6855
  • Attendance: Rick Bergeron 624-6840
  • Audits/EF-S-07:  Stephanie Clark 624-6807
  • Behavior/Bullying/Restraint and Seclusion: Sarah Ricker 624-6685 or Meredith Backus 624-6865
  • Maine Schools: Charlotte Ellis 624-6696
  • School Approvals: Pam Ford-Taylor 624-6617
  • Special Education: Brandi Giguere 624-6648
  • Truancy: Gayle Erdheim 624-6637
  • Financial Reports (actual expenditure and actual revenue): Tyler Backus 624-6635
  • School Nurse Report: Meredith Backus 624-6865

If you have questions about accessing the reports, please call or email the helpdesk. 624-6896 or medms.helpdesk@maine.gov

If you do not have credentials for Synergy or NEO – Access forms for Synergy and NEO if needed are located on the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage  These forms must be signed by Superintendent and returned to medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

 

Computer Science Day: Save the date and invitation to present

The Maine Department of Education, Maine State Library, and Project Login are partnering to host Computer Science Day this summer. The event will be open to the public, applications for presentations are now being accepted.

Date: Monday, August 13th from 9am – 4pm

Location: Maine State House (Hall of Flags), Maine State Library (Atrium), and Various Committee Rooms in the Maine State House

Attendees: Open to the public

Activities: Attendees can join presentations, hear from panelists from multiple industries, and visit booths with hands-on learning opportunities

Topics that will be explored include: What is Computer Science? What is it not? Where do we see it both in Maine and in our everyday lives? What is the skill set our students need to be successful in an evolving workforce that is coming to rely more and more on Computer Science? How can we foster more partnerships, collaboration, and access to resources between educators, non-profits and businesses? What resources exist to help educators integrate computer science into their teaching and learning practice?

Presenters: K-12 schools, Higher Education, Businesses with Employees Engaged in Computer Science Work, Non-Profits, Informal Learning Providers, Companies that have Computer Science Education Products, etc.

If you are interested in presenting at Computer Science Day, please submit the following application by June 4th, 2018!

Application to present: http://bit.ly/csday2018presenters

For more information or questions, contact any of the following event organizers:

Amanda Nguyen, Maine Department of Education, Digital Learning Specialist (Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov)
Jamie Ritter, Maine State Library, Maine State Librarian, (James.Ritter@maine.gov)
Jason Judd, Educate Maine, Program Director, Project>Login (jason@educatemaine.org)