Category Archives: Special Populations

USDOE releases guidance on civil rights of students with ADHD

The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance clarifying the obligation of State and local educational agencies, including charter schools, to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Federal civil rights laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and implementing regulations that it enforces (29 U.S.C. § 794; 34 C.F.R. Part 104). Read the letter here.

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Notice of proposed rule changes to Chapter 101: special education

The Maine Department of Education is proposing a refinement to two sections of Rule Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty.

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MSAA report window opens earlier

The MEA Alternate Mathematics and ELA/Literacy (MSAA) reporting window will open two months earlier than last year’s operational (NCSC) reporting window.

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Math teaching improves for students with disabilities

The Maine Department of Education provided three of its five days of intensive Foundations of Math training last month to some 30 educators in the Lewiston-Auburn and Turner areas. The rest of the training will take place in early August. The training is an integral piece of Maine DOE’s “Math4ME” special education initiative, designed to improve math achievement for Maine students with disabilities.

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Improving math achievement for Maine’s students with disabilities

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education will provide five days of intensive Foundations of Math training to 35 educators in the Lewiston-Auburn and Turner areas this week and in early August. The training, which begins today, is an integral piece of Maine DOE’s “Math4ME” initiative, designed to improve math achievement for all Maine students.

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Certification requirements for special education teachers update

On May 16, the Maine Department of Education issued a Priority Notice about the federal requirement under ESSA that all teachers of students with disabilities be fully certified. Maine DOE estimates approximately 300 to 400 teachers may be affected by this requirement.

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MaineCare Seed payment adjustments made, report review by June 25, 2016

The 2015-16 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2016 Quarter 2 MaineCare payment adjustments
  • 2016 Quarter 1 Corrections
  • 2016 Quarter 1 Additional Claims

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Full certification for special education teachers under ESSA

The purpose of this notice is to address the issue of full certification for special education teachers under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and amended some provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to reflect changes made by ESSA. The amendments to the IDEA related to personnel qualifications impact Maine schools in significant ways.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amended IDEA by reinstating a pre-NCLB requirement. That requirement (34 CFR Section 602(10)(B)) mandated that a person employed as a special education teacher in elementary school, middle school, or secondary school must have obtained full certification as a special education teacher. The teacher must not be working under certification or licensure requirements that are waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.

In their respective applications for IDEA Part B (Local Entitlement) funds, states were required to assure that for the 2016-17 school year, in accordance with section 612(a)(14)(C), that any public elementary or secondary school special education teacher has obtained full certification. Maine was not able to give that assurance because of our use of conditional, targeted needs, transitional and waived certificates.

As a result, Maine was required to submit an assurance that the State will revise policies and procedures no later than June 30, 2017 which will address special education teacher certification to bring us into compliance with the provisions of IDEA.

The Maine Department of Education will move ahead in the next year with the development of statute and/ or rules that eliminate the above mentioned less than fully certified credentials for special education teachers.

We wish to inform Maine school administrators that effective July 1, 2017, you will not be able to employ a special education teacher who is not fully certified. Please encourage your staff to work towards full certification between now and July 1, 2017.

If you have questions, contact Janice E. Breton, Director of Special Services

OSEP memo regarding children residing in nursing homes

On April 26, 2016 the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSEP) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter regarding the special education rights and responsibilities surrounding children residing in nursing homes. Education administrators are urged to review the contents of this letter and take steps to ensure that their policies and practices are consistent with the requirements and best practices described in it.

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MEA Alternate Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy (MSAA) Closes

The MSAA alternate assessment closes this Friday, May 13.

All “in progress” assessments must either be closed or submitted by 5:00 p.m.  No extensions are available.

Assessments for students that have received a Special Consideration should remain open.  All requests for additional Special Considerations must be received by the Department by the close of the assessment on Friday, May 13.

For assistance, contact Alternate Assessment Coordinator Sue Nay at 624-6774 or