Beginning of School Year Checklist for Completing Reports

The following checklist is designed to assist districts with publicly funded students in completing required reporting.  The dates listed after each report are when the report is open for entry and due for certification, if required.

Synergy

The Synergy Student Information System is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. If you are a new user or, an existing user who needs changes to system access, please complete the system access form and return to the Maine DOE Helpdesk.

Please note, the first three uploads in Synergy must be done in order (State ID – only if needed, Student Enrollment and Student Personal). Manual entry will allow all three sections to be entered at once so the order is not as critical.

The following items are available. Please visit the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage for Synergy codes to be used for the items below and detailed instructions for entry.

☐ State ID Import – Caution! Please verify the student has not already been previously enrolled in the State of Maine at any time before using this.  Duplicate student IDs create inaccurate data and are not always easy to resolve.

☐ Student Enrollment

☐ Student Personal

☐ Economic Status

☐ Special Education Services – Please remember to use the start date of the services even if this was in a previous year.  Synergy will create a new line for each year the student received the services

☐ EL if applicable

☐ CTE schools and other concurrent schools may only enter their information after the primary school has done their enrollment information.

☐ Attendance, Truancy and Behavior as often as possible but at a minimum, quarterly for certification purposes

☐ Future dates are not permitted in the system.

☐ NEO Staff updated

Beginning of Year Reports and Certifications in DC&R

The following items can be accessed from DC&R. Guidance is available on the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage.

☐ Maine Schools and School Approvals due August 1.  This report must be completed to enter staff information:

Contacts and Questions

If you have questions about these reports, (i.e. what should be entered) please contact the specialist listed below:

  • Accountability: Penny Henry 624-6855
  • Attendance: Rick Bergeron 624-6840
  • Audits/EF-S-07:  Stephanie Clark 624-6807
  • Behavior/Bullying/Restraint and Seclusion: Sarah Ricker 624-6685 or Meredith Backus 624-6865
  • Maine Schools: Charlotte Ellis 624-6696
  • School Approvals: Pam Ford-Taylor 624-6617
  • Special Education: Brandi Giguere 624-6648
  • Truancy: Gayle Erdheim 624-6637
  • Financial Reports (actual expenditure and actual revenue): Tyler Backus 624-6635
  • School Nurse Report: Meredith Backus 624-6865

If you have questions about accessing the reports, please call or email the helpdesk. 624-6896 or medms.helpdesk@maine.gov

If you do not have credentials for Synergy or NEO – Access forms for Synergy and NEO if needed are located on the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage  These forms must be signed by Superintendent and returned to medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

 

Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge

Summer vacation is a welcome break from the daily school routine for children and parents alike, but the summer months can be a significant interruption to students’ learning if young minds are not kept active while school is out of session. Summer learning loss is a well-documented phenomenon, particularly with respect to reading achievement. Students can lose up to three months of reading progress during the summer. When all of the summers in a child’s PK-8 school career are combined, this can result in 1-2 years of lost reading progress.

Fortunately, preventing the summer slide can be greatly reduced when students continue to read on a regular basis. When children are encouraged to read from a variety of resources for fun and the pleasure of learning, they continue to practice applying the skills they have learned, build their vocabulary and widen their knowledge of the world. For students who are not yet reading independently or just beginning to read, reading to and with them is equally beneficial.

In an effort to promote summer reading, the Maine Department of Education is collaborating with the Freemasons of Maine to sponsor the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge for students in grades PK-8. The 18,000 Freemasons of Maine are pleased to expand their popular statewide Bikes for Books student reading incentive program to now encourage children to read during the summer. The Bikes for Books program provides over 2,000 bikes to Maine schoolchildren each year to promote literacy. The Maine Freemasons have generously donated 48 bikes with helmets as prizes for the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge.

To earn a chance to be entered into the State level drawing, students must meet the challenge of reading at least 500 minutes during the summer vacation period. Any school with students in the PK-8 grade span may register to participate. Participating schools will collect documentation of students who have completed the challenge. They will hold school level drawings to select two students (one boy and one girl) whose names will be entered into the state level drawing to be held on September 22, 2017.  Schools are encouraged to participate in this challenge, to coordinate it with any other summer reading challenges/programs they offer and to consider soliciting their own local level prizes for students who complete the challenge. Details about the Read to Ride Challenge and about how principals can register schools can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/summer-literacy.html. Please forward this information to your school principal to make them aware of this opportunity.

Questions may be directed to Maine DOE’s Literacy Specialist, Lee Anne Larsen, through email (leeann.larsen@maine.gov) or phone (624-6628).

MEA Alternate Science – PAAP submissions due April 30th

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 greene.sarah@measuredprogress.org or Jimmy Hartman, x7406 or email hartman.jimmy@measuredprogress.org.

Attendance Matters: Connecting For Student Success Regional Meetings

Attendance Matters! The Spring Connecting For Student Success regional meetings sponsored by ME Department of Education and Count ME In are happening statewide. You can attend a regional meeting that is convenient for you.

Lewiston -Tuesday, March 14
Portland –  Wednesday, March 22
Bangor – Monday, March 27
Caribou – Tuesday, March 28
Augusta – Thursday, April 6

Attendees will hear schools share effective strategies as well as a presentation on effective approaches to address bias and harassment . Sessions are free but registration is required.  To learn more go to www.countmeinmaine.org

Attendance Matters because early absences can affect later achievement, since students can miss some of the key building blocks for learning.  Absences add up- just two days a month can mean 18 absences a year.

To register: http://countmeinmaine.org/site/?page_id=168   For more information, please contact Sarah Ricker at sarah.ricker@maine.gov or Susan Lieberman at slieberman@countmeinmaine.org

Take the ‘Read to ME Challenge’

Augusta – Maine’s First Lady launched the Read to ME Challenge today at the Blaine House. Reflecting on how she and her husband, Governor Paul LePage, raised their children by reading to them and exploring the world through reading, Mrs. LePage shared, “I knew that when a child learns to read, there is nothing they can’t learn, imagine, or accomplish in life.”

First Lady Ann LePage reads to military children as she kicks off Maine's Read To Me Challenge
First Lady Ann LePage reads to children of military families as she kicks off Maine’s Read To Me Challenge

Reading to children of military families, the First Lady shared two books, Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs and Baxter in the Blaine House, with her captive audience. Once the children studied the brilliant illustrations of the Blaine House, they were offered the chance to explore and see some of the rooms depicted in the story book. First Lady LePage challenged Brigadier General Douglas Farnum of the Maine National Guard.

Baxter in the Blaine House
Baxter in the Blaine House

The Maine DOE’s Read to ME Challenge runs through March 2, Read Across America Day. Maine DOE Literacy Specialist Lee Anne Larsen wants the momentum to last all month long. “Our goal is to promote the critical importance of reading to and with children from birth through their childhoods. When children are read to regularly, their vocabulary grows, they build knowledge of the world, they stimulate their imaginations, and they discover how words communicate ideas.”

The challenge is simple. Read with a child for at least 15 minutes, capture a photo or video, post it on social media with the hash tags #ReadtoME or #ReadaloudME, and nominate others to do the same. Creative ways of completing the challenge are encouraged – for example, read to a child using FaceTime or Skype. If preferred, you can complete the challenge by listening to audiobooks with a child.

“The enthusiasm has been building since before the launch with schools, libraries and other organizations planning innovative ways of promoting the challenge. All Mainers are encouraged to get involved,” said Larsen.

You can reach Lee Anne Larsen at leeann.larsen@maine.gov to learn more about Maine DOE’s Read to ME Challenge. Go ahead, take the challenge!