Category Archives: Administrative Letters

Official correspondence. Letters from before July 1, 2010, are in the archive.

Administrative Letter: Superintendent Transfer Agreements

Administrative Letter: #7
Policy Code: CBC
To: Superintendents, School Board Chairs, and Private School Head Administrators
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed.D., Acting Commissioner
Date: March 15, 2017
Re: Superintendent Transfer Agreements

Last year, the Maine Department of Education sent out a letter to Superintendents entitled Clarification of Commissioner’s Review of Superintendent Agreements. As we move closer to the 2017-2018 school year and we begin to see more Superintendent Transfer Agreement requests, it may be helpful to review the letter again carefully. I also want to provide some additional guidance to address questions and clarify issues about the Superintendent Transfer request process at the local level.
Specifically, Superintendent Transfer Agreements are designed to facilitate a student transfer from one school administrative unit (SAU) to another for the student’s best interest. Per Title 20-A MRSA Section 5205(6):

A. Two superintendents may approve the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another if:

(1) They find that a transfer is in the student’s best interest; and

(2) The student’s parent approves.

The superintendents shall notify the commissioner of any transfer approved under this paragraph. If either of the superintendents decides not to approve the transfer, that superintendent shall provide to the parent of the student requesting transfer under this paragraph a written description of the basis of that superintendent’s determination. [2013, c. 456, §1 (AMD).

SAUs often use a form to collect transfer request information, and to deliver decisions. The Department has created sample forms which may be adopted as part of the Superintendent transfer agreement process (optional):

Please feel free to use the forms as templates. These forms model the type of information that should be requested and generated as Superintendents and parents work through the details of a transfer.

When communicating with parents about required documentation for transfer request submission to the Superintendent, SAUs may advise parents to write a letter supporting their request and to include supporting documentation and compelling reasons for the request. Parents should be advised not to submit anything that they would not want shared with the Department or the State Board of Education, should the request be denied and subsequently appealed.

When responding to requests, it is important to communicate the basis for the Superintendent’s decision, based on the student’s best interest.

If the transfer is agreed to by both sending and receiving Superintendents, the student becomes a resident of the receiving SAU for one school year. Please note that agreements may not be subject to revocation, rescission, or contingencies for the school year. These students must be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as students who reside in the SAU.

Under a transfer, the receiving unit, by accepting the student as a resident of the receiving unit, is accepting full fiscal responsibility for the student just as with any other resident of the SAU, including fiscal responsibility for special education services. Special education services must be provided to transfer students by the receiving SAU at no cost to the parent and the cost of these services may not be billed to the sending SAU.

When possible, requests should be made and decisions rendered in an expedient manner, and preferably prior to the start of the school year.  In order to properly account for SAU fiscal responsibilities, it is recommended that the transfer be in effect for the October 1st student count. For students who have been in ongoing attendance and where tuition has been paid by the parent, tuition adjustments will be effective as of the date of parent request to the Superintendent.

Thank you for rendering informed and thoughtful Superintendent Transfer Agreement guidance and decisions that are in the best interest of Maine students.

For more information regarding this letter, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor at Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov or (207) 624-6617.

Administrative Letter: Rescheduling and Requesting Waivers for Storm Days

Administrative Letter: #6
Policy Code: ID
To: Superintendents, School Board Chairs, and Private School Head Administrators
From: Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed.D., Acting Commissioner
Date: March 6, 2017
Re: Rescheduling and Requesting Waivers for Storm Days

As many of you are well aware, this winter has resulted in above normal snowfall amounts and many school administrative units have had to exceed the number of storm days that were originally planned for in the school calendar. This has resulted in concerns about meeting the regulations pertaining to the length of the school year. Below we have provided a link to the regulations pertaining to rescheduling and requesting waivers for storm days, along with a brief summary that we hope will help administrative leaders as they make decisions about how to make up the lost days. In Chapter 125: Basic Approval Standards: Public Schools and School Administrative Units Section 6.01, subsections C (1) and (2), regulations state that the Commissioner may waive the minimum school year requirements upon submission of a written request from the school board to the Commissioner, and that waivers will be granted only after school officials have exhausted all reasonable avenues for making up lost school days, and only in extraordinary circumstances. As a reminder, the requirement is 175 days for students in grades K-11, and 170 days for high school seniors. Acceptable efforts to reschedule classes include the following:

  • Rescheduling or shortening scheduled vacation
  • Postponing the scheduled school closing date
  • Conducting classes on weekends
  • In addition, districts sometimes choose to revert a scheduled teacher in-service day to a student instructional day

Please note, under Chapter 125 Section 6.02, subsection C, school administrative units may, with the permission of the Commissioner, schedule a one hour extension of the school day for up to 25 days in a school year; 5 one hour extensions may be counted as an additional school day. Please see the Waivers for Snow Days Frequently Asked Questions provided on Maine DOE’s website for more details, including defining/calculating an instructional day. Waivers should be submitted in writing from the school board or its designee to the Commissioner’s Office at the Maine Department of Education [per Chapter 125 Section 6.01 subsection C (2)]. In addition, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, School Approval Services, by email Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov or by phone 624-6617, of the intent to file a waiver request as soon as possible. We all realize how valuable instructional time is for our students. Thank you for your efforts to ensure that your students have the opportunity to learn for the intended full school calendar year.

Admin Letter: Special Purpose Private School Tuition Rates

Administrative Letter Number: 5
Policy Code: BG/CH
To: Superintendents of Schools, Business Managers/Bookkeepers
From: William H. Beardsley, Deputy Commissioner
Date: October 24, 2016
Re: Special Purpose Private School Tuition Rates

Pursuant to 20-A M.R.S. §7302, the Maine Department of Education Special Services team has established rates for the 2017 state fiscal year.

Special purpose private schools shall only bill for education costs for those days when a child is in attendance.

These rates are retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year. Rates were determined by analyzing expenditure report budgets submitted for the previous year for all special purpose private schools and represent the maximum amount each special purpose private school may charge per day.  Please click here to view a PDF version of the current complete rate chart. If there are further questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact:  Edward Fournier, Coordinator of Finance and Data – Special Services, at edward.fournier@maine.gov or 624-6845 or  Jonathan Braff, Coordinator for State Agency Clients, at jonathan.braff@maine.gov or 624-6671.

Use of federal funds to provide food or beverages

Administrative Letter: 4
Policy Code: KLM
To: Superintendents of Schools, Business Managers, Directors of Special Education
From: William H. Beardsley, Acting Commissioner
Date: January 13, 2016
Re: Use of Federal Funds to Provide Food or Beverages

The Maine Department of Education has received a number of questions regarding the use of federal funds to provide food and beverages at meetings and conferences. Generally, the use of federal funds for food and beverages is discouraged. The documents posted at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/fund/guid/gposbul/gposbul.html are the federal government’s advisory on this topic.

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Correction to Administrative Letter #2 2015 – Special purpose private school tuition rates

Administrative Letter Number: 2
Policy Code: BG/CH
To: Superintendents of Schools, Business Managers/Bookkeepers
From: William H. Beardsley, Acting Commissioner
Date: January 13, 2016
Re: Correction to Administrative Letter #2 2015 – Special Purpose Private School Tuition Rates

The MUSER citation and following explanatory text of the second paragraph of Administrative Letter #2 for 2015 is incorrect.

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Public school approval report

Administrative Letter Number: 3
Policy Code: CL
To: Superintendents of Schools, Business Managers/Bookkeepers
From: William H. Beardsley, Acting Commissioner
Date: November 5, 2015
Re: Public School Approval Report

The Public School  Approval Report is due Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

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Special purpose private school tuition rates

Administrative Letter Number: 2
Policy Code: BG/CH
To: Superintendents of Schools, Business Managers/Bookkeepers
From: William H. Beardsley, Acting Commissioner
Date: November 5,  2015
Re: Special Purpose Private School Tuition Rates

Pursuant to Title 20-A, Chapter 303, subchapter 3§7302, the Maine Department of Education Special Services team has authorized rates for the 2016 state fiscal year.

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Clarification of pilot year for PEPG systems

Administrative Letter: 1
Policy Code: BGE
To: Superintendents
From: Chief Academic Officer, Rachelle Tome
Date: November  5,  2015
Re: Clarification of Pilot Year for PEPG Systems

In an effort to further clarify the expectations of ME Dept. of Education Regulation, Chapter 180 and the Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) development process the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) is offering this guidance for all Maine School Administrative Units (SAUs).  It is important to remember the 2015-2016 is the pilot year for all districts to develop and adjust their PEPG systems. Public Law 2015, Chapter 18 changed the pilot year. This bill was effective April 12, 2015.

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Maine DOE offering PEPG development grants to SAUs

The following priority notice was sent today to all Maine school districts.

In an effort to support school administrative units (SAUs) develop their PEPG systems, the Maine DOE is proud to offer grants of $4,600 for the purpose of PEPG professional development. To receive these targeted funds, SAUs must complete the PEPG Implementation Grant Application and respond to the Department’s Intent to Pilot survey (released in June) by Thursday, Oct. 15.

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Reminder to districts: Suicide awareness and prevention training

The following priority notice was sent today to superintendents as a reminder all school personnel must complete suicide awareness and prevention training by the start of the 2015-16 school year.

Dear Superintendents,

Ensuring the safety of our students is a priority and a shared responsibility. Suicide awareness and prevention efforts are a part of safeguarding schools. To increase the potential of recognizing a student (or colleague) is in need of assistance, Maine passed the school-based suicide awareness and prevention law (LD 609, PL 53, DOE Rule Chapter 38) in April 2013.

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