Seeking special education mentors for MACM Program

Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring (MACM) Program is seeking up to 50 practicing or recently retired special educators interested in mentoring conditionally certified first-year teachers for 2018-2019. Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring program is a collaboration between Maine DOE and the UMaine System.

The mentorship position requires the following:

Current or recently expired certification and endorsements in 282, 286, 290, or 291 and at least 5 years of experience supporting students with disabilities. Special education directors and recently retired educators are also encouraged to apply. Must be available to attend training in late June 2018.

For more information and to apply – view the online application.

About Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program

For conditionally certified special educators, Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program offers intensive, ongoing support and mentoring for up to three years from an experienced special educator in the same area of practice. Find out more information about the MACM Program.

 

Administrative Letter: Guidance for suspension, expulsion and modified schedules in public preschool programs

Administrative Letter: 12
Policy Code: JKD
To: Public School Administrators
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed. D. Commissioner
Date: January 18, 2018
Subject: Guidance for suspension, expulsion and modified schedules in public preschool programs

This guidance is offered by the Maine Department of Education to clarify suspension, expulsion, and modified schedules as they apply to 4-year-olds attending public preschool programs.

Suspension, Expulsion, and Modified Schedules in General Education

Suspension for up to 10 days of 4-year-olds attending public preschool programs is permitted only in accordance with 20-A M.R.S. § 1001(9).

As with their K-12 counterparts, 4-year-olds attending public preschool may not be unenrolled nor asked not to return without being afforded the due process standard for expulsion in accordance with 20-A M.R.S. §1001(8-A).

Districts cannot unilaterally determine that a child attend on a modified schedule-e.g. reduced school day, reduced school week.  Parents must be involved in and agree to this decision and understand thoroughly the reasons for the request.

Suspension and Expulsion for Children with Disabilities

In accordance with Federal and State law, a child may not be excluded from enrollment in a public preschool program based solely on the presence of a disability.  Enrolled children who are referred to Child Development Services (CDS) based on program concerns regarding the child’s development or behavior must be considered a child with a disability and afforded the same rights as his/her K-12 counterparts until the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team makes its determinations.

Please contact Sue Reed, Early Childhood Specialist at 624-6632 or susan.d.reed@maine.gov or Jan Breton, State Director of Special Services, Birth – 20, Janice.breton@maine.gov 624-6676 with questions or comments about the guidance.

CDS Committee Recommendations

On December 11, 2017, the Part B 619 Advisory Committee, which discussed the proposed transition of special education and related services for children ages 3 to 5 from Child Development Services to the public schools, held its final meeting. Over the course of the Committee’s six meetings, multiple issues related to the proposed transition were identified and discussed. The final product of the Committee’s work is a list of recommendations, for the Commissioner’s consideration, which focus on funding, staffing, facilities, and regionalization opportunities.

A complete list of the Committee’s recommendations can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/cds/guidance/documents/PartB619AdvisoryCommitteeRecommendations-Final.pdf

Any questions regarding the recommendations may be sent to the Child Development Services State Director, Roy Fowler, at roy.fowler@maine.gov

 

MaineCare Seed adjustments to be made, review Q417 and Q118 reports by February 9, 2018

Due to time constraints, the recovery of Q417 and Q118 MaineCare Seed will occur in the February 2018 subsidy payment.

To access the MaineCare Seed reports, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into NEO using the link below

https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Dashboard

Anyone who currently has permissions to the Special Education modular, will automatically have permissions to access MaineCare reports.

As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this modular, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary.

  1. Click on the Student Data tab
  1. Click on the Student Report tab
  1. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  1. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  1. Click view report button
  2. Once the report appears on the screen, choose the export button.

You may export the reports to Excel but, please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q417 and Q118 by February 9, 2018.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with the following to Denise.towers@maine.gov.

  • Identify the type of report (public or private) and the quarter in which the claims are located.
  • State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: Students must be enrolled when they are receiving educational services. This means that students that are receiving extended school year services in district or extended school year services in an out of district placement must have a primary enrollment for that time period in order for the MDOE to have the most accurate enrollment data to determine SAU responsibility for MaineCare Seed.

For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Maine DOE Office of Special Services receives approval of revised policies and procedures

In 2015, the federal Office of Special Education (OSEP) required the Maine Department of Education-Office of Special Services to revise its policies and procedures for excess cost determinations and for allocating federal funds consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

OSEP also required that the Maine Department of Education notify grant sub-recipients of the revisions under Criteria 1.1 and 2.2 of OSEP’s fiscal monitoring letter dated, October 27, 2015. The Maine Department of Education is hereby notifying all grant sub-recipients of the revisions as follows:

Criterion 1.1

  1. Child Development Services (CDS) received the correct sub-grant a local educational agency (LEA) in Federal fiscal years (FFYs) 2014 and 2015 under section 611 and section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); and
  2. Allocations under IDEA 611 to eligible LEAs, including CDS, are consistent with 34 CFR
  3. §300.705(a).

Criterion 2.2

LEAs comply with the excess cost requirements in 34 CFR §300.16, 300.202(a)(2) and (b), and Appendix A to 34 CFR Part 300.

  • Procedures to allocate the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act-Part B, sections 611-619 sub grants to eligible LEAs based upon the corrected formula;
  • Procedures to ensure that LEAs use IDEA funds only to pay the excess costs of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities.

The Maine Department of Education is hereby notifying all LEAs that the Office of Special Services’ policies and procedures in these two areas are in compliance with federal requirements. No further action by the Maine Department of Education or Local Education Agencies is required. The link to OSEP’s letter of compliance can be found here:

http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/support/fiscal/documents/OSEPFindingsComplianceLetterDec2017.pdf

Questions may be directed to Janice E. Breton, State Director of Special Services, Birth – 20 at Janice.Breton@maine.gov.

 

Tutoring for students who receive special education

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Education would like to remind special educators about the provision of specially designed instruction on IEPs.  

 When students are out of school because of discipline, an abbreviated school day, or medical reasons, tutoring may be provided as a short-term measure to ensure that students receive instruction. Tutoring is not specially designed instruction.  

Schools should make every effort, including re-entry plans and proposals for definitive placements, to ensure that students with disabilities are enrolled and attending school. The IEP must be revised to add tutorial instruction.  

For more information view Maine Unified Special Education Regulation (MUSER) or contact Maine Department of Special Services Director, Jan Breton at Janice.breton@maine.gov . (207) 624-6676.

Information regarding special education teachers in NEO and certification

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services would like to request Directors of Special Education and other school personnel to check the information in the Department’s data system, NEO, to ensure that special education teachers are correctly coded in the system. Please check to see that:

  • There are no missing codes.
  • The coding for each teacher is correct.
  • Teachers who were granted a one-year extension for certificates expiring on July 1, 2017 per Commissioner Hasson’s priority notice dated May 5, 2017 should not be coded as having a waiver.
  • Special education teachers who teach children with a number of disabilities should not be coded as teachers of children with Multiple Disabilities unless the students are coded with that disability.
  • Educational technicians should not be coded as special education teachers or teachers.

This is an important correction for SAUs to make since we are trying to determine capacity needed to address the alternate pathways requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Maine’s newly revised certification rule, Chapter 115 which became effective on August 12, 2017.

Log in processes to NEO can be found at the following link: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2fDOE%2fneo%2fAccounts%2fHome%2fHome.

For questions about logging into NEO, contact the Maine DOE Help Desk at MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.