Category Archives: Proficiency-Based Diploma

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:

The Special Services webpage also includes a new webinar addressing students with reading difficulties and dyslexia. The webinar can be accessed here:

Guidelines for Local Entitlement Budget Modifications involving 10 percent or more of the total allocation may be found at

Please direct any questions to the Maine DOE’s Director of Special Services Jan Breton at

Maine DOE opens window for SAUs to complete 2016 progress report on proficiency-based diploma implementation

Public school superintendents and public charter school directors received a live link this week to the 2016 Progress Report: Implementing Proficiency-Based Learning and Proficiency-based Diplomas. A printable version of this progress report is available here.

Continue reading

Maine DOE 2016 Survey for SAUs to report proficiency-based implementation progress

The following Priority Notice was sent on October 11, 2016

During the period of transition to proficiency-based learning and proficiency-based diplomas, SAUs are asked to report implementation progress annually.  The window for completing this year’s progress report is from October 11, 2016 through November 30, 2016. To preview this progress report, click here for a printable version of the 2015-2016 Progress Report: Implementing Proficiency-Based Learning and Proficiency-Based Diplomas. The online version of this progress report is available for SAUs to complete.

The Department’s goal is 100 percent participation on this survey. The information collected helps the Department chart progress toward implementation of proficiency-based diplomas and informs the development of additional resources and supports for districts. The aggregate of the information is shared with lawmakers and with the public

The 2016 progress report reflects the recently adopted timeline for phasing-in the proficiency-based diploma requirements and is a way for Maine districts to report vital data to the Maine DOE regarding the progress made from July 1, 2015-July 31, 2016. As such, this report generates a brief but important source of data for both districts and the State.

For more information please contact the Department’s Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at  or 624-6823.

Maine DOE to distribute funds to support proficiency-based diploma transition

In September, the Maine DOE will distribute grants to support the transition to proficiency-based diplomas to school administrative units operating schools.

Continue reading

Deputy Commissioner joins radio show on WVOM

Deputy Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley joined the George Hale Ric Tyler Show on Bangor’s WVOM earlier this month. Beardsley talked about everything from forestry and the economy to testing and proficiency-based diplomas.

Continue reading

Personalized learning: voices from the field

Maine educators shared their stories about personalizing learning at the New England Secondary Schools Consortium conference in March. The recording of this presentation is available for Maine educators interested in listening to these powerful accounts.

Continue reading

Students advocate for learning…the marine studies way

Advocating for changing the age limit from 18 to 23 for obtaining a fishing license was the topic of discussion last month when five students from Deer Isle-Stonington High School  (DISHS) provided testimony in support of LD 1503 to the legislature Committee on Marine Resources. Each student’s testimony articulated the positive impact the bill’s proposed changes would have on their learning and their future careers. Many of the student testimonies pointed to the difficulty of meeting the 1000 hours and 200 days of fishing required for earning a license in the student apprentice program while simultaneously attending to their studies and earning a high school diploma.

Continue reading

A snapshot of statewide implementation of proficiency-based education

Across the five Guiding Principles Maine school administrative units are making progress in providing students opportunity to demonstrate proficiency, and across the content areas, SAUs have made more progress on aligning curriculum and summative assessments to the standards than in reporting proficiency.  The data reveals that current implementation work in Maine SAUs most often focuses on shifts in instructional practice.

Continue reading

Proficiency Council Preliminary Report presented to Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs

The Maine DOE and the Proficiency Council recently presented the Proficiency Council Preliminary Report to members of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs.

Continue reading

Maine DOE and NESSC collaboration offers second webinar to support proficiency diplomas

The Maine Department of Education and the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) hosted a webinar early this month featuring RSU 2’s collaborative efforts to assess student work in ways that are increasingly consistent. Courtney Belolan (Instructional Coach) and Matthew Shea (Coordinator of Student Achievement) set the context for their work by describing a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration that led to the district’s initial development and implementation of proficiency-based learning. Their district-wide content area K-12 curriculum teams are central to their work.

Continue reading