Category Archives: Special Populations

Training offered for education technicians

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.

Guidance on general education interventions for public preschool children

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 janice.breton@maine.gov or 624-6676.

FAQ on proficiency diplomas and students with disabilities

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 janice.breton@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, report review by March 13, 2017

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 denise.towers@maine.gov.

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.towers@maine.gov.

Maine seeks feedback on IDEA Part C – Family Cost Participation Policy

The Maine Department of Education is seeking comments from the public on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Family Cost Participation Fee Policy which is used in relation to services for young children birth through age two with disabilities.

Maine is required to submit to the U.S. Department of Education a Family Cost Participation Fee Policy. The General Education Provisions Act requires that the State publish each proposed policy in a manner that will ensure circulation throughout the state at least 60 days prior to the date on which the policy is submitted or on which the policy becomes effective, with an opportunity for public comments to be accepted on the policy for at least 30 days.

The public, including superintendents, special education directors and CDS Regional Site Directors are encouraged to review the policy, which can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/idea/index.html and submit comments.

Written comments will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2017. Please send comments to Roy Fowler at 23 State House Station; Augusta, ME 04333 or via email at roy.fowler@maine.gov .

Maine seeks feedback on IDEA Part C application

Maine is seeking input on its application for the Part C (birth to three) early intervention program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA. The Part C budget included in the application is for State Fiscal year 2018.

The General Education Provisions Act requires that the State publish each proposed annual application in a manner that will ensure circulation throughout the State at least 60 days prior to the date on which the plan is submitted to the Secretary of Education or on which date the plan is effective.

The public, including superintendents, special education directors and CDS Regional Site Directors are encouraged to review the application, which can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/idea/index.html

Written comments will be accepted through April 19, 2017 and can be submitted to Roy Fowler: 146 State House Station; Augusta, ME 0433 or via email at roy.fowler@maine.gov .

 

Priority Notice: Maine DOE and DHHS release joint guidance regarding foster care provisions

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS) has collaborated to release initial joint information regarding provisions under the Every Student Succeeds Act for children in foster care. To ensure compliance with Federal Statute, the DOE has designated ESEA Director – Title I, Janette Kirk, to oversee the implementation of the provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and serve as a point of contact for OCFS.  To view the official notice, click here.

The goal of ESSA is for children in foster care to experience minimal disruption in their education as a result of being placed in foster care and that they are given the same opportunities to develop the necessary skills to be successful as children who are not in foster care.

Under ESSA the Maine DOE and OCFS must work together to ensure:

  • A child in foster care will enroll or remain enrolled in the child’s school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to attend that school.
  • If a determination is made that is not in the child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child will immediately be enrolled in a new school, even if the child and/or his or her guardians are unable to produce records normally required for enrollment; and
  • The child’s new school must immediately contact the school of origin to obtain relevant records.

The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed on Dec. 10, 2015 and amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The ESSA contains provisions related to protections for children in foster care and require the Maine DOE and school districts to collaborate with the OCFS to ensure educational stability for children in foster care.

Further information will be shared during a conference call on Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 11am -12:30 pm. To access the presentation please use the following information:

URL:                 http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/r2kkcalf1rf/

Conference Number(s):        (877) 455-0244

Conference Code:               8223978943

 

For further information, please contact Janette Kirk, ESEA Director – Title I at 624-6707 or janette.kirk@maine.gov .

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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