Category Archives: News & Views

Priority Notice: EFT-24 Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report due date extension

EFT-24 Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report due date extension

The due date for the year-end Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report (EFT-24) has been extended to March 17, 2016 in order to accommodate design updates.  The new updated report will open February 16, 2017.

Between February 16, 2017 and March 17, 2017 all districts must complete the report.  Submit your data early.  Districts that reported EFT-24 data before February 16, 2017 must log into the NEO data system to answer new questions and review their data.

For policy questions regarding the EFT-24, contact the Department’s Transportation and Facilities Administrator Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

For assistance with access to the NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

MEA Alternate Mathematics and ELA Literacy (MSAA) Test Coordinators (modified)

A Survey Monkey to designate district Test Coordinator(s) for the MSAA alternate assessment is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSAATC2017 .  Special Educator Directors in all districts are required to designate the number of Test Coordinators (TCs) needed in each district, according to district needs.  TCs should hold an administrative position, be available to monitor all Test Administrators through the on-line MSAA System and physically monitor each Test Administrator at least once during student testing.

All surveys must be submitted by January 17th to be enrolled in the MSAA System.  All questions may be directed to Sue Nay at sue.nay@maine.gov, or 624-6774.

Update 2016 Refresh of MLTI Devices

Recently, many districts received an invoice to cover the cost of broken and damaged devices from the 2016 Refresh of MLTI devices.

Understanding the difficulty that districts face in paying unanticipated invoices that arrive in the middle of a school year, the Department has been working to identify solutions to alleviate the financial burden on school districts.

As a result of this review, the Department eliminated the costs to districts for all affected districts for broken and damaged devices.  This does not include the costs for missing devices, which are still the responsibility of the district.

In the future, the Department will work with districts to find strategies to ensure that devices are maintained in good working order and that districts have sufficient notice of any costs that might be incurred. We understand that this recent series of events has not reflected the high level of support that you have come to expect from MLTI and we will work to re-earn your confidence.

If you have questions, please contact the MLTI Office at 624-6834.

Acting Commissioner Hasson Announces $3 Million Available for Grants to School Administrative Units for Regionalization and Efficiency Efforts

Department will develop application for integrated regional school construction.

On January 3, Acting Commissioner Robert Hasson announced that the Maine Department of Education has identified $3 million in funds that will be made available through a competitive application process for school districts pursing regionalization and efficiency efforts. An application for School Administrative Units (SAUs) is available on the DOE website at http://www.maine.gov/doe/.

“There is a clear appetite across Maine to discover new, efficient ways to increase educational opportunities for students in Maine.  The Department encourages every district considering innovative approaches to achieve efficiencies and deliver educational services in new or collaborative ways to apply for these funds. We hope to see ambitious proposals that serve Maine students and free up resources that can enhance educational opportunities,” said Acting Commissioner Hasson. “The Department has been urged by many stakeholders to provide support and incentives for voluntary efforts to regionalize and pursue cost efficiencies. We have heard those calls and are thrilled to take this step to support local efforts.”

“We carefully manage General Purpose Aid for Local Schools (GPA) to ensure that all available funds are available for our schools,” said Acting Deputy Commissioner Suzan Beaudoin. “When we passed the budget last year, we estimated the amount of funds that would be needed for adjustments to state subsidy. Based on the timing of bond issuance and the way that events unfolded, we believe that there are $3 million in funds that would not be dispersed. This grant will allow us to distribute those funds to school districts as adjustments to promote regionalization and efficiency, as allowed under GPA.” According to Acting Deputy Commissioner Beaudoin, undispersed funds resulted from sources such as delayed bond issuance for school construction and money set aside for districts that did not qualify for sudden and severe adjustments.

Acting Commissioner Hasson also announced that the Department is developing an application for regional schools construction projects. The process will support multiple districts working together to program and provide space for students. More details will be made available when the application is finalized and released.

INDIRECT COST RATE INFORMATION

MAXIMUS Consulting Services will be managing the indirect cost rate calculation process on behalf of the Maine Department of Education for sub recipients of Federal funds passed through the Department.

Sub recipients of Federal awards are not required to recover indirect costs; doing so is optional for a sub recipient.

Recovered indirect costs are considered revenue to a sub recipient’s general fund.  This revenue will have the effect of lowering expenditures which are used in the calculation of tuition rates and EPS per pupil rates.

Indirect costs may only be recovered once; if a cost is included in the indirect cost rate calculation, it cannot also be charged as a direct cost to a Federal award.

Indirect cost rates are applied only to the amount of the award actually expended, not the total amount budgeted/awarded.

Including indirect costs in an award application budget does not mean the amount of the award will be increased.  The amount of entitlement awards (supplement not supplant grants) available to be applied to direct services will be reduced by the inclusion of indirect costs.  Including indirect costs in discretionary grant application budgets may result in increased funding.

Two indirect cost rates will be calculated for a sub recipient; restricted indirect cost rates are utilized with Federal awards that have a “supplement not supplant” requirement.  Restricted indirect cost rates are lower than unrestricted rates meaning, a lesser dollar amount will be recovered under indirect costs for “supplement not supplant” awards.

A template is available to provide sub recipients of Federal awards through the Maine Department of Education with a format for calculating both restricted and unrestricted indirect cost rates.  The template, with instructions for submission, is available here:

http://www.maine.gov/education/audit/indirectcostrate.shtml

*Important Notice: Quarter 2 (Q2) review-due date approaches:

The quarterly report review, which includes truancy, behavior, ADA/ADM and bullying-are due January 15th.

Certification is not required for Q2.  Certification for each of the data sets, for each of these reports, will be obtained on the Quarter 4 (Q4) report.

Truancy and Behavior reviews are located in Infinite Campus State Edition (ICSE):
https://maine.infinitecampus.org/campus/mese.jsp

ADA/ADM review reports are not yet available in ICSE: Reviews will not be required until Quarter 3 (Q3).  You are still asked to submit the student level data into ICSE for ADA/ADM. The MDOE needs the detail data elements in order to properly create reports for your review by Q3.

Bullying review is located in NEO:

https://neo.maine.gov/doe/neo/brs

All due reports are listed on the MDOE reporting calendar:

http://www.maine.gov/doe/reporting/calendar.shtml

If you have difficulties navigating to ICSE or NEO call the Helpdesk at 624-6896 or email at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov

All quarterly reports are based on the following months and are cumulative:

  • Quarter One (Q1) – As of Oct 1 (to include July, August, Sept) – due Oct 28
  • Quarter Two (Q2) – As of Jan 1 (to include July through Dec) – due Jan 15
  • Quarter Three (Q3) – As of April 1 (to include July through March) – due April 15
  • Quarter Four (Q4) – As of July 1 (to include July through June) – due July 15

Transportation EFT-21 Safety and Training Report and EFT-24 Vehicle Mileage and Operations Report due dates extended

The due date for FY16 year-end EFT-21 Transportation Safety and Training Report and EFT-24 Vehicle Mileage and Operations Report have been extended to January 31, 2017.

School transportation information is available on the Department’s website at http://maine.gov/doe/transportation/ . For policy questions regarding the EFT-21 and EFT-24 reports, contact the Department’s Transportation and Facilities Administrator Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov .

For assistance with access to the NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

MSAA Test Coordinators

A Survey Monkey to designate district Test Coordinator(s) is available at http://www.maine.gov/doe/paap/administration/index.html.  All districts are required to designate the number of Test Coordinators (TCs) needed in each district, according to their individual needs.  TCs should hold an administrative position, be available to monitor all Test Administrators through the on-line MSAA System and physically monitor each Test Administrator at least once during student testing.

All surveys must be submitted by January 17th to be enrolled in the MSAA System.  All questions may be directed to Sue Nay at sue.nay@maine.gov, or 624-6774.

Read to ME Challenge Set to Kick-off February 2nd

Year two of the Read to ME Challenge is scheduled to begin on February 2, 2017.  Again this year, First Lady Ann LePage will launch the campaign by reading to children of military families at the Blaine House.  She will follow up her reading by issuing a challenge to all Mainers to participate in the 2017 campaign.  This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same.  The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2017.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities.  The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement.  Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

Schools and organizations are invited to join the challenge and to encourage community members to do the same.  The collective voice of many key partners, leaders and those in respected positions will send a clear message about the vital importance reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine.   Maine DOE also encourages partners to be creative and to use this opportunity to enhance ongoing literacy education outreach efforts.

If your organization is willing and able to promote the Read to ME Challenge, please follow this link to provide us with your contact information: Read to ME Challenge Partner 2017Read to ME Challenge resources, including a guidance document, public service announcements in a variety of languages, fliers and a list of engaging ways to incorporate the challenge are available on the Read to ME Challenge webpage.

Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity, and don’t hesitate to contact leeann.larsen@maine.gov (624-6628) with any questions.

Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards go into effect July 1, 2017

As you will recall, the Maine Department of Education Regulation, Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards go into effect July 1, 2017 for all SAUs.  In order to ensure that your local child count in the public preschool program is included in the NEO system for the 2017-18 school year you will need to complete an application located at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ExistingPublicPreK

The Maine DOE is asking all superintendents to complete this application (unless you are submitting an application for a new program or have had an application approved for the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school year).  The information included in the application will demonstrate how the district complies with the new standards and will collect data on potential challenges in aligning programs with Chapter 124 regulation.   This information will help the DOE determine the types of support that may be needed in order to assist districts in addressing these issues.

Please make sure you complete the entire application; at the end you will find a list of areas where you can indicate where there are alignment challenges for your preschool program. For more information please contact Sue Reed, Early Childhood Specialist, susan.d.reed@maine.gov  624-6632.

This application is due by March 31, 2017.

**Clarification:  Please note that only districts with existing preschool programs need to complete the application.  If your district does not have a preschool program, please disregard this notice.