Category Archives: Special Populations

Professional development opportunity for Education Technicians working with students with challenging behaviors

Please note – a third and fourth opportunity have been added to those originally held in October in order to accommodate all interested in attending

The Maine Department of Education’s Special Services Division will be providing a professional development opportunity for special education related Education Technicians.  There is no cost to the registrant for these opportunities. Registration is now open for these two one-day training modules for both the Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 venue: 

  • November 30, 2016 at the Governor Hill Mansion, 136 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330

Registration has been re-opened for registration to attend the Nov. 30th event only.   Please use this link to register:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ET_PD_Nov2016

  • December 7 (snow date December 8th) at the University of Maine Presque Isle, 181 Main Street, Presque Isle, ME  04769

Please use the following link to register to attend the Dec. 7th event only:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ET_PD_2016

Registration will begin at 8:00 and the agenda runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a working lunch provided at 11:30.

The day’s agenda will include guest speakers’ input on the following discussions:

  • What is my responsibility in implementing an Individualized Education Program (IEP);
  • Core characteristics of ASD, ED and OHI;
  • Implementing educational and behavioral accommodations;
  • Using prompting, chaining, task analysis reinforcement and visual supports;
  • What is a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP); and,
  • Where do you go from here?

This professional development opportunity is funded via the Maine State Personnel Development Grant.  Please direct questions regarding this opportunity to Sheryl Banden at 624-6658 or sheryl.banden@maine.gov.

Information on certain provisions of LD 1576

LD 1576, an Act To Amend Certain Education Laws went into effect as Public Law 2015, Chapter 448.

Among the provisions of the law are changes that affect students who may have no school in which to enroll. The law directs the Commissioner of Education to designate a receiving school administrative unit (SAU) to enroll a student who resides in a SAU that neither maintains a school nor contracts with another SAU. The law contains a provision allowing the superintendent of the residing SAU or the superintendent of the receiving SAU, if dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s decision, within ten calendar days of the Commissioner’s decision, to request that the State Board of Education review the transfer. The State Board may approve or disapprove the Commissioner’s designation within 45 calendar days of receiving the request and shall provide a written decision which is final.

The law also provides that if a student under this section is receiving special education services, the state subsidy of special education costs for the transferred student may not be reduced as a result of the transfer.  For other provisions related to funding for students with disabilities, please refer to the law here.

LD 1576 also requires a resident SAU to pay to the receiving SAU tuition and other costs directly related to the student’s special education program, and costs associated with due process proceedings.

The law also provides that, when the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) places a state ward in an out-of-state residential treatment center, the Department of Education Commissioner may designate the Maine DOE as having responsibility for oversight of the child’s individualized education program to ensure that child receives a free, appropriate public education.

If you have questions about these provisions of law, please contact Debra Plowman, Maine DOE’s Director of Policies and Programs, at debra.plowman@maine.gov or 624-6620.

Proposed changes to Chapter 115, “Certification, Authorization and Approval of Education Personnel”

On April 6, 2016 the Maine Department of Education received a letter from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education which reflected the impact of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B application. ESSA reactivated an IDEA statutory provision which requires that special education teachers be fully certified. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is requiring that Maine amend the Chapter 115 regulations by June 30, 2017 to come into compliance with the reactivated IDEA statutory provision. As Department staff began to address the OSEP concerns it became evident that there were components of Chapter 115 that need to be revised for all educators. The State Board of Education voted unanimously at its Oct. 12 meeting to initiate the joint rulemaking process with the Department.

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State agency client students in crisis placements

The Maine DOE previously (1/22/14) issued guidance with respect to students in crisis placements. That guidance applies as well to students who are hospitalized as a result of a mental health crisis, i.e., those students remain enrolled in their home SAUs, which SAUs remain responsible for providing educational services to them. In the case of a state agency client student in crisis who is expected to return to the same placement after stabilization, the SAU where the placement is located will continue to have educational responsibility. Where, however, the state agency client student (who is not also a state ward) is not expected to return to the same placement, typically because that facility has discharged the student, then the educational responsibility reverts to the SAU of the student’s parents’ residence. The student will remain a state agency client providing that the intention is to place the student outside the home after stabilization; should the intention become to return the student to the parents’ home after stabilization, the student would lose state agency client status and should be enrolled in the home SAU. For state wards, the SAU where the student resided prior to going into crisis remains educationally responsible until such time as the student is placed in another SAU.

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Maine identifies the 1% alternate assessment population

Many districts have identified their students participating in alternate assessments in Infinite Campus State Edition, ahead of the October 6 deadline. The Department populated spreadsheets from each district report last year so an update is all that is needed. If the district’s identified population remains the same, there is no need to contact the Department.

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Seventh annual PBIS conference to be held November 4

This year’s topic for the seventh annual PBIS conference, hosted by USM, is “Building and Sustaining Multi-Tiered Systems of Behavioral Support.”

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Professional development opportunity for education technicians working with students with challenging behaviors

Please note the original location of the Oct. 25 training has changed and will now be held in Brewer. As of Oct. 5, the Oct. 24 session remains open; all slots have been filled for Oct. 25.

The Maine DOE’s Special Services division will provide a free, professional development opportunity for education technicians working within special education. For convenience, the one-day training will occur in two separate locations in October.

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Notice regarding upcoming special education reports EF-S-05 Part I and II

EF-S-05 Part I, Special Education Child Count: School administrative units are advised to verify the “Special Education Students for Federal Count” report in Infinite Campus State Edition (ICSE) and ensure that all student records in ICSE are updated by October 15, 2016. The “Special Education Students for Federal Count” report will refresh automatically between Oct. 1 and the end of the business day on Oct. 15. If changes to any student enrollments are made after Oct. 15, a manual refresh of this report must be requested by calling the MEDMS Help Desk at 624-6896. The “Special Education Federal Count Certification” can be submitted to the Department from Oct. 16 through Oct. 31. Detailed instructions for completing the EF-S-05 Part I can be found here.

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Addition made to MUSER FAQs on diagnostic placements

The Maine DOE has made an addition to the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations frequently asked questions concerning the placement into special education settings, as a general education intervention, of students not identified as eligible for special education.

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Maine DOE announces alternate assessment workshops

The Maine DOE is sponsoring a series of four workshops for the MEA Alternate Mathematics and ELA/Literacy (MSAA) and the MEA Alternate Science (PAAP) assessments.

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