New Homeschool Portal and SAU Superintendent Office Online Entry Underway

The Department is pleased to announce the opening of the new Online NEO Homeschool Portal for school year 2019-2020, and the more efficient Notice of Intent to Homeschool form. The new portal brings some changes to the Homeschool Notice process, including an enhanced role for superintendents and/or SAU homeschool administrative designees who will now share responsibility for entering information into the new portal.

Summary of changes:

  • Parents submitting a Notice for 2019-2020 no longer need to submit the information in two places or use certified mail to ensure the delivery of the form. They may use one of the three methods described below.
  • The portal will be the point of entry for parents. Superintendents or SAU and DOE homeschool administrative designees who enter information on behalf of resident parents who choose option 2 or 3 below will also utilize the portal for data entry.
  • The new Notice of Intent to Homeschool combines and replaces the previous Notice of Intent and Subsequent Year forms.

The new portal will allow parents to submit the Notice of Intent and Subsequent Year Letter and assessments once in one of three ways:

  1. Enter information directly on the new NEO online homeschool portal, and upload prior year required assessment information;
  2. Complete the form by hand and take it, with prior year required assessments, to the resident Superintendent’s Office for upload and entry into the system; OR
  3. Complete the new paper form and mail it with prior year required assessments to the Department of Education or to the Superintendent’s Office, where it will be entered into the new system.

Submission using one of the below methods will result in the automatic generation of an acknowledgement to the parent/guardian via email; please ensure that a valid and correct email address has been provided.

Superintendents and/or designees will utilize the new online homeschool portal in NEO in 2019-2020 to:

  • Enter paper forms received from parents. The Department will also be entering paper forms, so a duplicate check must be performed prior to entry.
  • Assist resident parents in completing the online homeschool process.
  • View a list of all the resident homeschool students in the Superintendent’s SAU.
  • Comply with homeschool roster requirements in Maine DOE Rule Chapter 125, sec.12.02 Roster of Resident, Tuition, and Transfer Students
  1. A) The superintendent of each school administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all resident and tuition students attending schools operated by the unit.
  2. B) The superintendent of each school administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all students eligible to attend school within the unit who are receiving equivalent instruction in an approved or non-approved private school, or in an approved equivalent instruction program.

Parents may read Maine’s statute related to homeschooling, including information about required assessments using this link: Title 20-A, Section 5001-A, Sub-section 3(A)(4).

Please note that online Homeschool Portal functionality works for the 2019-2020 school year forward; it may not be used for 2018-2019 school year homeschool students.

Please direct any questions or concerns to our Pamela Ford-Taylor at pamela.ford-taylor@maine.gov or 207-624-6617.

MEDIA RELEASE: Student Nutrition Continues Beyond School Year with Summer Food Service Program

AUGUSTA — With the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maine public schools have long offered a nutritious breakfast and lunch meal program to thousands of children in Maine during the school year. With summer right around the corner, it’s time to think about keeping children healthy while school is out. The Summer Food Service Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, operates at hundreds of sites across Maine to ensure children get the nutrition they need when school is out.

“The National School Lunch Program is an important element of the Maine public school system’s dedication to providing a healthy learning environment for students, and we are equally dedicated to ensuring that healthy environment can be extended to them even when school is not in session through the Summer Food Service Program,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr.

“This program seeks to address a clear health need during the summer months wherever it may be evident in Maine, and while it has been successful in doing so in the past, the Department expects that increased participation this summer will further foster this success and, as a result, the continued health of Maine students.”

The Summer Food Service Program may be offered statewide in areas or at sites where more than 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced meal benefits under the National School Lunch Program or census track data supports the need. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, nonprofit residential summer camps, government agencies, and tax-exempt organizations including faith-based organizations.

In 2017, 120 sponsors participated in the program, serving meals at 438 sites throughout the state. In 2018, these numbers are expected to grow. The 2018 program begins statewide today, Monday, June 18. Sponsors operate open sites in all 16 counties in Maine; anyone 18 and under may come to eat at no cost. To find nearby Summer Meal sites, please visit USDA’s Summer Meal Site Finder website at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks, text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call Maine 211. Information is available mid-June.

For more information about the Maine DOE’s Summer Food Service Program, contact adriane.ackroyd@maine.gov, call 624-6726 or visit http://www.maine.gov/doe/nutrition/programs/sfsp/index.html.

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency ere they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, heard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with State law this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs)

To file a complaint of discrimination, write Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Maine Department of Education

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