Governor LePage Recognizes School District Collaboration To Benefit Students

Released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has issued the following statement recognizing today’s State Board of Education vote to accept the scoring for the finalists for the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project.

“Communities across Maine are demonstrating that when the state provides them with support and incentives, they will work together to create more opportunities for students in an efficient and effective way,” said Governor LePage. “I commend the local superintendents and school boards for putting the needs of their students first.”

The Governor added, “Enabling Maine students to benefit from regional and collaborative approaches to education is the right thing to do. When these projects are up and running, they will serve as a shining example of what is possible when our communities work together to benefit students.”

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has implemented the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project as part of the EMBRACE initiative, providing support and incentives to communities that work together to increase opportunities for students through regional partnerships that enable efficiency and take advantage of scale that the communities could not achieve on their own.

Most recently, Maine DOE announced grant awards of $4.6 million to school districts to pursue more than $10 million in savings through regional projects.

 

 

 

 

 

MSAA Alternate Assessment Test Coordinator Training Webinar

As a reminder to District Assessment Coordinators, Test Coordinators providing assistance with the upcoming administration of the MEA alternate Assessment, MSAA are invited to attend a training this Friday, February 16 at 2:30pm.  This webinar may be accessed online here.

This webinar will be recorded and posted on the Maine DOE MSAA website.  Online training will also be available within the MSAA site March 5 – May 4, 2018.

For questions regarding this training, please contact Sue Nay at sue.nay@maine.gov.

Mainers take on the Read to ME Challenge

After First Lady Ann LePage launched the Read to ME Challenge with second graders at Gilbert Elementary School in Augusta on February 1, it didn’t take long for others across the state to join in the campaign to promote awareness of the importance of reading regularly to and with children.  The Saco School Department hosted Maine children’s author, Chris Van Dusen, who accepted the challenge and read to students at Fairfield Elementary School that same day.  Van Dusen quickly challenged the Saco School Department’s superintendent and Fairfield Elementary School’s principal and their efforts have even reached Maine State Senator Chenette.

A bit further north, Lewiston Public Schools’ superintendent, Bill Webster, posted the challenge encouraging educators, parents, and community members read to children throughout the month. Very quickly, students at Lewiston’s McMahon School stepped up to get busy reading followed by students at Montello Elementary.

Each year the Maine Department of Education (DOE) promotes the challenge as an opportunity to help communities throughout Maine contribute to children’s literacy growth by reading aloud to one or more children for at least 15 minutes. Part of the challenge is capturing the moment via a photo or video and then posting it on social media (with the hashags #ReadtoME or #ReadaloudME) with a challenge to others to do the same.  Since the kick-off, parents, educators and community members have been stepping up to accept the challenge and issue challenges of their own.  With more than 60 partner organizations helping to support the effort, many minutes of reading have been logged across the state.

Some of the partners in the campaign have included institutions of higher education and community literacy teams.  In northern Maine, a number of staff and administration from the University of Maine at Fort Kent have read to students in three St. John Valley elementary schools – Fort Kent Elementary, Madawaska Elementary, and Dr. Levesque Elementary in Frenchville.  They targeted 1st and 2nd grade classrooms and read Mahalia Mouse Goes to College by John Lithgow to emphasize the importance of literary with the dual purpose of promoting college and post-secondary aspirations.

At the University of Maine at Farmington, Beaver Pride is strong for the challenge.  UMF has partnered with Mallett Elementary School.  UMF students have signed up to read to kindergarten and first grade students.  UMF students can also be Super Beaver Readers by signing up to read to second graders every week for 4 weeks.

Southern Maine Community College President Cantor read to 4th and 5th grade students at Skillin Elementary School in South Portland.

In Houlton, the Rotary Club’s community literacy team has plans to sponsor Read to ME Challenge events every Saturday in February.  They have combined reading with other fun activities at a variety of locations around Houlton.  Additionally, they invited First Lady LePage to read to students at Houlton Elementary School and to speak with their Rotary Club about the importance of reading to children.

Maine Department of Education employees are also taking on the challenge by visiting schools and day care centers to read to children.  During the February vacation week, the Maine DOE will be hosting a “read-in” during which employees can bring their children in listen to stories throughout the day.

For more information about the Read to ME Challenge, contact leeann.larsen@maine.gov.

Seeking special education mentors for MACM Program

Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring (MACM) Program is seeking up to 50 practicing or recently retired special educators interested in mentoring conditionally certified first-year teachers for 2018-2019. Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring program is a collaboration between Maine DOE and the UMaine System.

The mentorship position requires the following:

Current or recently expired certification and endorsements in 282, 286, 290, or 291 and at least 5 years of experience supporting students with disabilities. Special education directors and recently retired educators are also encouraged to apply. Must be available to attend training in late June 2018.

For more information and to apply – view the online application.

About Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program

For conditionally certified special educators, Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program offers intensive, ongoing support and mentoring for up to three years from an experienced special educator in the same area of practice. Find out more information about the MACM Program.

 

Peer reviewers sought for Maine’s 21st CCLC program

The Maine Department of Education is seeking qualified peer reviewers to read, assess, and score competitive grant proposals for the 21st Century Community Leaning Centers (21st CCLC) Program.  This federally-funded grant program provides opportunities for schools and communities to develop “community learning centers” that serve children and youth during out-of-school time.  Maine currently has 26 grant-funded 21st CCLC programs operating 45 individual centers in communities across the state.  Grant proposals for the 21st CCLC program will be evaluated through a formal peer review process, which will ensure that quality applications are selected for funding.

This year’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 21st CCLC program was released to the public on January 15 and is available online. The Department anticipates receiving applications from local education agencies, community-based organizations, and other eligible entities seeking awards under this RFP.

Qualifications:

Peer reviewers will be selected for their experience in providing effective academic, enrichment, youth development, and related support services for children and youth.  The most qualified reviewers will be individuals who have experience in the administration of high-quality youth development programs within schools and communities.  Examples of the experienced individuals sought include, but are not limited to:

  • 21st CCLC program directors and site coordinators
  • Teachers and principals
  • College and university staff
  • Youth development workers
  • Community service providers

Please note that an applicant or member of an applicant’s organization will not be selected to serve as a member of the Department’s peer review team.

Required Tasks:

Selected peer reviewers will work individually to read each assigned application and create detailed, objective, constructive, and well-written comments on approximately 10-15 applications on the basis of the criteria established in the RFP. These comments will be turned in to the Department prior to participating in on-site consensus scoring sessions.  Reviewers must be able to participate in an online training webinar and review grant applications through a web-based system.  It is anticipated that peer reviewers will have a three (3) week window in which to complete their individual review of assigned applications.  Following the individual review of applications, each peer reviewer will be required to travel to the Maine Department of Education for two scheduled scoring days.  It is during these consensus scoring sessions that each peer reviewer will work with the other members of the peer review team to score each application. Selected peer reviewers must complete the following tasks during the following date(s):

Task Date(s) Time(s)
Participate in an online training webinar April 19, 2018 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Review grant applications through a web-based system and provide individual, written comments on each application (which MUST be turned in to the Department) April 27, 2018 – May 18, 2018 Any Time
Participate in on-site consensus scoring sessions which will be located at the Maine Department of Education in Augusta, ME May 22, 2018; May 23, 2018 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM; 9:00 AM – Finished

Compensation for Services: Peer reviewers who complete the required tasks will be reimbursed for travel costs to and from the consensus scoring sessions as well as provided a $75 honorarium per assigned application.

Previous peer reviewers have found that serving as a member of the peer review team is an excellent opportunity for professional development and growth. It is likely that, if selected, reviewers will be exposed to new program models, strategies, and practices.  These new concepts may provide ideas and support for ongoing work as well as future grant writing efforts.  Most importantly, the time given to this effort will be of great benefit the children and families of Maine.

How to Apply: Interested parties must contact Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov to obtain a copy of the 2018 peer reviewer application and then return the completed application along with a current resume or CV.

Pursuant to Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, peer reviewers may not include any applicant, or representative of an applicant, that has or will be submitting a proposal in response to the current competition.

Deadline:

The Maine Department of Education will be accepting peer reviewer applications on a rolling basis until March 22, 2018 or until the needed positions are filled.  Interested parties are encourage to submit applicants as soon as possible.

Contact: For more information, contact Federal Grant Coordinator, Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov or 624-6709.

Notice of proposed rule change to Chapter 82 School Bus Driver Fitness Determination

The Maine Department of Education is proposing to repeal Chapter 82 School Bus Driver Fitness Determination.  Current motor vehicle laws provide substantial protections for public safety.  The repeal supports local school districts in the selection and hiring of school bus drivers.  This repeal affects bus drivers hired by public schools.

Written comments should be mailed to:  Maine Department of Education, Attn:  Jaci Holmes, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0023, or emailed to jaci.holmes@maine.gov .  The comment deadline is March 16, 2018.

 

Title I schoolwide program eligibility waiver request now available

Section 1114(a)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires a Title I school to have at least 40% poverty to be eligible to operate a schoolwide program. Schoolwide flexibility allows a school to upgrade the entire educational program of a school. ESEA section 1114 (a)(1)(B) permits a State Education Agency (SEA) to waive the 40% poverty threshold requirement, after taking into account how a schoolwide program will best serve the needs of the students in the school while improving academic achievement and other factors.

If a Title I participating school does not meet the 40% poverty threshold and wishes to obtain a waiver to operate a schoolwide program, the School Administrative Unit (SAU) must complete the attached waiver request form on the school’s behalf. If multiple Title I schools wish to receive a waiver, the SAU must complete a waiver request form for each individual school.

The SAU and school remain responsible for meeting all other ESEA section 1114 requirements for operating a Title I schoolwide program. This includes the development of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan that addresses the needs of all students, but particularly the needs of students experiencing challenges to meet State academic standards.

Waiver request forms must be signed by the Superintendent to be accepted by the Maine Department of Education. To ensure timely waiver approval, it is recommended that waiver requests are submitted prior to the submission of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan for the school.

Download Waiver

Please submit completed waiver requests to:

Chelsey Fortin-Trimble
ESEA Federal Programs & Title I Director
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04330
Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov