Priority Notice: IDEA Eligibility Extended Until Age 22

The Maine Department of Education has concluded that terminating eligibility to a free, appropriate public education at the end of the school year in which a student turns 20 pursuant to 20-A M.R.S. § 5201(1) years is inconsistent with the IDEA as interpreted by the First Circuit in K.L. v. Rhode Island Board of Education, 907 F.3d 639 (2018).  It is certain that the First Circuit would draw the same conclusions if Maine’s statutes were challenged.

In 2018, The First Circuit Court in K.L. v. Rhode Island Board of Education concluded that students are entitled to FAPE until age 22. The decision requires ongoing eligibility for entitlements created by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for special education students who have not yet been conferred a diploma and have not yet obtained the age of 22 years old.  According to this decision, special education and related services under the IDEA must remain available until the student’s 22nd birthday.

Effective immediately, Maine will implement the “federal standard” and provide FAPE to eligible students until their 22nd birthday. The Administrative Letter for this directive can be viewed, here.

All school administrative units must notify adult students who would have previously “aged out” of special education on June 30, 2021 of their right to receive a free, appropriate, public education until either they receive a regular high school diploma or their 22nd birthday, whichever comes first.

The Department will be providing technical assistance around FAPE beyond age 20.  For more information, contact Erin Frazier, State Director of Special Education Birth to 22, at

PRIORITY NOTICE: Moving Beyond the Movement Workshop: Fostering Authentic Transformation for Sustainable Outcomes

The Maine Department of Education is sponsoring a workshop by Amber Coleman-Mortley, Moving Beyond the Movement: Fostering Authentic Transformation for Sustainable Outcomes.  Amber Coleman-Mortley brings a diverse voice into civic education, manages a large network of education influencers, and has built a successful youth fellowship of students fighting for equity in civic education. Amber’s advocacy and expertise have been featured in the New York Times on several occasions.


Module 1 – Now is the Time: Using the past to inform the present
How do we apply anti-racism, anti-bias, and equity to civics and history classrooms?

Module 2 – Be bold. Be brave. Be inclusive: Engaging your stakeholders
How do we facilitate community engagement around anti-bias work?

Module 3 – Culturally relevant pedagogy for all
How can we leverage culturally relevant pedagogy to support all learners in our school community?

Module 4 – Practical applications and continued strategies for continued allyship
What small, and large, changes are required to ensure that our practices and policies are investments, not investigations?

Every Wednesday in February

February 3, 2021; 7:00-9:00 PM
February 10, 2021; 7:00-8:30 PM
February 17, 2021; 7:00-9:00 PM
February 24,  2021; 7:00-8:30 PM

Register here: 

Download the flyer.

Learn more about Amber

Amber Coleman-Mortley
Amber Coleman-Mortley

Amber Coleman-Mortley is a talented creator and builder of digital and grassroots networks where she focuses on cultivating an engaged community of active participants through multimedia video and virtual spaces. In her current role as Director of Social Engagement, she brings diverse voices into civic education, manages a large network of education influencers, and has built a successful youth fellowship of students fighting for equity in civic education.

Amber’s equity and civic work is centered around building strong teams for improved community outcomes, which is inspired by her years as a three-sport varsity athlete at Oberlin College where she earned North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) all-conference honors for 8 out of the 11 seasons she competed. She also has a Division 3 , NCAA appearance in the 4×100 m. She currently serves as an alumni advisor to Oberlin College’s, Black Student-Athlete Guild.

Amber taught for nine years as a P.E/Health teacher and head varsity volley ball and head varsity track coach. She has experience building curriculum and leadership programs for student-athletes and team captains. Amber presented on Anti-Racist Coaching and Sports and Social Justice at the U.S. Soccer

Foundation’s Virtual National Training. At the center of her work are equity, critical thinking, and civic problem-solving. She has experience collaborating virtually with parents and educators around equity, anti-racism, and culturally relevant pedagogy, which includes work with the DuPage (Illinois) Regional Office Of Education.

Amber is a highly regarded social media influencer whose work brought her to the White House to meet former first lady Michelle Obama to discuss influencer campaigns that focus on family health and wellness. She is a parenting expert and author of Mom Of All Capes where she covers parenting strategies in civic education, education technology, parent-teacher partnerships, and social-emotional development. The podcast she co-created with her children, Lets K12 Better, discusses how to improve K12 education and family life through partnerships and communication.

Amber’s advocacy and expertise have been featured in the New York Times on several occasions which includes viral videos, a full-page spread in print media, and several online articles. Her insights have been cited in publications from the LA Times to the Smithsonian Magazine, The Washington Post to LAist. Coleman-Mortley has shared insights for parents through her work for Edutopia, civic education and parenting for TODAY Parenting, and even shared tips for weary travelers through Southwest Airlines. Amber’s voice has been amplified on countless podcasts including Edit Your Life about how to talk to children about race, EduTable about education a inequity, NPR affiliate KPC Conprocessing the state of the world with children. She’s presented live with New York Times Parenting and Sree Sreenivansan’s daily global show on talking to kids about race.

Additional information:

This workshop series will require participants to maintain a reflection journal. Participants should come motivated to create change and should be prepared to participate in group discussions based on readings and resources shared prior to the session.

Engaging in this cohort provides an opportunity for participants to earn credit hours. To receive credit, participants must attend all four sessions.

For more information contact Danielle Despins; a volunteer member of Maine DOE’s internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) sub-committee at (207) 592-1448.

Behavioral Threat Assessment Presentation for Maine Schools

The Maine School Safety Center and Dr. Karen Barnes (MSSC Threat Assessment Officer) are pleased to invite you to a presentation that will provide you with a brief overview of School Behavioral Threat Assessment as well as inform you of current efforts underway in our state to identify at-risk students and mitigate violence by providing timely and effective interventions.  Additionally, we will provide you with details pertaining to free training opportunities to develop multidisciplinary threat assessment teams in your schools.  We hope you will join us as we share our work with you thus far and our vision for the future to ensure safety in all Maine schools.

The training will be conversational with ample opportunity for questions.  This training will be followed with a second training, at a later date, hosted by REMS addressing Behavioral Threat Assessment from a National perspective.

The target audience for this training are school administrators, school staff, mental health professional, law enforcement and other school safety stakeholders.

When: Jan 29, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For further information or questions please contact Maine DOE Coordinator of School Safety and Security Rob Susi at

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA): 2021 Request for Grant Applications

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is excited to announce the availability of approximately $46 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant funds to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, between 40 and 70 awards are anticipated.

Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality.

Visit the DERA National Grants Web Page for Application and Eligibility Information

Informational Webinars: Request for Applications 2021 DERA National Grants

Tuesday, January 26, 2021; 1:00-2:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 863 530 573#

Wednesday, February 3, 2021; 3:00-4:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 609 539 899#

Thursday, February 11, 2021; 2:00-3:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 451 189 144#

Webinar Highlights:

  • Program Details
  • Changes This Year
  • Eligible Entities, Projects, Vehicles, Engines & Equipment
  • Funding: Availability, Project Funding Percentage, Restrictions
  • Proposal Submission
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Potential Pitfalls
  • Tools, Resources and Support
  • Question & Answer Period

Visit the DERA National Grants Web Page for Application and Eligibility Information

If you have questions, please contact

Celebrate the Read to ME Challenge During the Month of February

For the 6th year, the Maine Department of Education will collaborate with community organizations and schools to support the Read to ME Challenge, a month-long public awareness campaign held in February to promote childhood literacy in Maine. This year we will celebrate the Read to ME Challenge with a series of recorded videos by students and adults. We will post the videos and share, but if you would like to request the videos be sent to you directly, please complete this form.

This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, capture that moment via a photo or a video, and then post it on social media and challenge others to do the same. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ReadtoME and tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook!

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2021. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website, which includes a heat map of participants and an opportunity to submit your Read to ME story for the heat map!

For more information, contact Dee Saucier, Elementary Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE.