Changes to the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations, Birth-20, (M.U.S.E.R.) will go into effect on August 25, 2017. Until that date, schools should continue to use existing procedures for the identification of children with a specific learning disability.
Chapter 101 (Section VII.2.L) and pertaining to the identification of children with specific learning disabilities was amended to require:
- the inclusion of general education intervention data under Section III of the rule when the IEP team uses a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based interventions and,
- the inclusion of psychological processing data from standardized measures to identify contributing factors.
These changes will affect any child’s evaluation that begins on or after August 25, 2017.
The Specific Learning Disability Eligibility Form that is used in the process of identifying children with specific learning disabilities will also change on August 25, 2017.
Please check the Maine DOE website at http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/forms/ for more information or contact the Maine Department of Education, Office of Special Services at 624-6713.
In accordance with 20-A M.R.S. §4710-B, the Maine Department of Education recommends universal screening for all K-2 children. The law pertains to screening children K-2 for traits indicating that the child may be at-risk for difficulty learning to read, it is not a diagnostic assessment. The intent is to identify at-risk children so that they may receive early evidence-based intervention known to help children with SLD/dyslexia.
There is a list of suggested screening tools available on the Maine DOE website, along with other useful information about dyslexia, resources and frequently asked questions.
Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER) has long recognized dyslexia as a Specific Learning Disability [MUSER VII (2) (L)], consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1401) and the Federal Regulations (34 CFR 300.8) which implement the IDEA Law. However, there has been confusion regarding the use of the term, dyslexia. Consequently, in 2015 Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) issued a, “Dear Colleague” letter specifying that nothing in IDEA or the implementing regulations prohibits the inclusion of the condition that forms the basis for the child’s disability determination in the child’s IEP. https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/guidance-on-dyslexia-10-2015.pdf.
If you have further questions regarding dyslexia or 20-A M.R.S. §4710-B, please contact Lisa Whitis, MEd, JD, Maine DOE Dyslexia Coordinator at Lisa.Whitis@maine.gov or 624-6643.
The Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) Science testing window is coming to a close. The PAAP assesses students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades 5, 8, and third year high school as an alternate to the MEA Science assessment.
All electronic PAAP submissions are due April 30th. Measured Progress has provided return material kits for student portfolios to be returned. UPS will pick up all portfolios on MAY 2nd. Please have the completed portfolios sealed in the envelopes provided by Measured Progress and in school offices by 8:00 am May 2nd.
All return mailing kits should contain individual student return envelopes, a student roster, directions for mailing the portfolio and directions for submitting an electronic Principal’s Certification of Proper Test Administration.
Those with questions regarding the return of PAAP portfolios should contact Measured Progress at 1-800-431-8901: Sarah Greene, x7344 or email email@example.com or Jimmy Hartman, x7406 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2017 ESL Summer Retreat is open for registration. The retreat is scheduled for June 26th, 27th and 28th at the University of Maine in Orono. Superintendents, principals, district level administrators and ESL coordinators and teachers are encouraged to register for the retreat. Developed in collaboration with the University of Maine Project Reach, this year’s retreat’s agenda is linked below, highlights include:
- Presenter Dr. Jessica Costa, nationally recognized professional development senior outreach specialist for WIDA.
- Panel of Expert consisting of Superintendent(s), Assistant Superintendent(s), ELL Coordinator(s), Principal(s) and more to hold open discussion on best practices for enhancing collaborative structures and relationships to build quality language programs.
- ESL Summer 2017 Registration » $125 – Full 3-day conference fee (includes on-campus housing). $100 – Full 3-day conference fee (does not include housing). Registration includes meals and materials.
For more information about the conference, please contact Nancy Mullins at 624-6788 or email@example.com.
The EF-S-214 will be open to Maine public schools on March 13. The report must be approved by the School Finance Team by April 15 to be used in the calculation for an adjustment. School districts should sign into the report as early as possible, as some aspects of the report have changed. Starting this year, the business manager will have to certify that the figures reported by the Special Education office are consistent with the data in the school district financial system.
This report is required to be submitted by all publically funded school districts. School districts need to project the costs for the full fiscal year. Only costs for tuition and board should be included in the report. For Fiscal Year 2017 only students that have a total cost above $31,548 should be included on the report. Those districts that have no students who meet that threshold are still required to submit a report.
We have made some changes for this year:
- Students can have multiple lines if they have had more than one placement during the year
- School districts will now have the option to see a summary sheet that will provide them the total adjustment if all costs are approved
- An internal messaging system has been added if there are any questions
- The form will auto-populate the school district contact based on information in the staff module and the person filling out the form based on the login information
- The form will need to be certified by the business manager
The report can be located by logging into NEO at https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login
Questions about the report should be direct to Stephanie Clark at 624-6807.
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking public comments on its annual application for federal funds under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers services to children with disabilities, ages 3-20.
The application, which covers Maine fiscal year 2018 (starting July 1, 2017) is posted on the Maine DOE’s webpage at http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/idea. The Part B budget is projected on the basis of Maine’s award for the current State fiscal year (2017), pending the State’s receipt of the finalized federal award for the coming year. Both documents will be posted from March 9th, 2017 through May 8th, 2017.
Written comments will be accepted from March 9th, 2017 until 4 p.m. on April 8th, 2017. Please send comments to Janice Breton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME. 04333.
Maine Department of Education’s Special Services Division is offering a professional development opportunity specifically for education technicians working with students with disabilities and challenging behaviors. Topics covered during this day-long session include: the roles and responsibilities of the educational technician; special education and the IEP process; implementing accommodations/modifications; and, supporting students to succeed in the classroom at all grade levels.
These no-cost sessions are offered in Augusta, Brewer, Houlton and Portland. For dates, locations, registration and other information, visit the Department’s professional development calendar.
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is providing this guidance to ensure that all Maine school administrative units (SAU) receive direction on general education interventions for public preschool children.
As required by Maine DOE rules, Code of Maine Regulations (05-071 CMR Chapter 101, II, 2015) all SAUs shall develop and implement general education interventions. It is the Department’s interpretation that these requirements are for all children enrolled in your SAU, including children in your public preschool program(s). The Maine DOE also expects that general education interventions are utilized prior to making a referral to Child Development Services (CDS) and that any general education intervention data is shared when making a referral to CDS.
For more information, please contact the Department’s Director of Special Services Janice Breton at email@example.com or 624-6676.
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has developed responses to various questions from the field about what IEP teams are permitted to do in developing IEPs in Maine’s proficiency based diploma system. The Q&A is placed under the topic heading “Policies, Procedures & Effective Implementation”. The link to the Q&A document is here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/support/policies/index.html
The Special Services webpage also includes a new webinar addressing students with reading difficulties and dyslexia. The webinar can be accessed here: http://maine.gov/doe/dyslexia/training/index.html
Guidelines for Local Entitlement Budget Modifications involving 10 percent or more of the total allocation may be found at http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/support/fiscal/documents/LEBudgetModificationFinal.pdf
Please direct any questions to the Maine DOE’s Director of Special Services Jan Breton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in March 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:
- 2017 Quarter 1 MaineCare payment adjustments
Detailed student reports for Quarter 1 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.
In March, the 2016-17 State subsidy printouts (ED279s) will be updated reflecting these adjustments and are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.
Reporting issues: To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 1 and report any issues on these reports no later than March 10, 2017. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to email@example.com.
If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:
- Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
- Student’s State Student ID
- Service provided dates (to and from)
- Total amount of Seed being disputed
Summer services: The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.
For more information on MaineCare Seed payments including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.firstname.lastname@example.org.