National Board Certified Teacher Salary Supplement Request Due November 6, 2020

Do you have National Board Certified Teachers on your staff? Awesome! We are sending along a reminder to those fortunate superintendents, or directors of a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region, with eligible staff who have attained National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification prior to July 1, 2020. Please let us know so we can provide you with their legislatively allocated salary supplement.

In order to qualify for the salary supplement, eligible staff must be currently employed by a Maine public school, or by a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region in Maine. Eligible position titles include classroom teacher, special education teacher, literacy specialist, long-term substitute teacher, library media specialist, guidance counselor, and teacher leaders with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or its successor organization.

Salary Supplement amount: Despite enacting language regarding a $5,000 supplement for those teaching in a school with a Free and Reduced Lunch Rate (FRLR) 50% and higher, no additional funds were appropriated to provide full funding for that, or full funding of the $3,000 for those under the 50% FRLR; therefore, both supplements will need to be prorated. Estimated* prorated amounts:

Teaching in a school with a Free and Reduced Lunch rate 50% and higher:  $3,350

Teaching in a school with a Free and Reduced Lunch rate below 50%: $2,022

*Please note these are estimated amounts. Final salary supplement totals will depend on the number of qualifying teachers in each category. We expect to have that information published on our web site the week of Dec. 7. The submission form and further information is available on our National Board Certification Salary Supplement web page: https://www.maine.gov/doe/educators/cert/nationalstandards/salary

National Board Scholarship Information:

Information will be available on November 10 on our National Board Certification Scholarship web page: https://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/nationalstandards/scholarship

Thank you for your patience regarding the delay in releasing information. Due to the pandemic, we are navigating a very different school year.

If you have questions, please contact Tamara Ranger at Tamara.Ranger@maine.gov.

MEDIA RELEASE: Mills Administration Updates COVID-19 School Health Advisory System

York County rejoins all other counties as green

AUGUSTA — The Mills Administration today released an update to its color-coded Health Advisory System that classifies counties’ relative risk of COVID-19 transmission by color and that is provided to assist schools as they continue with their plans to deliver instruction and support students safely this fall. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) assessed the data and trends for the counties. Based on this assessment, York County will be moved from yellow to green. All other counties remain green.

The move was made as York County demonstrates improved metrics, including a falling case rate per 10,000 of 4.67 and a lower positivity rate of 0.9 percent. Maine DHHS and CDC continue to closely monitor Androscoggin County, along with Kennebec and Somerset Counties.

The Health Advisory System categorizations are defined as follows:

  • RED: Categorization as “red” suggests that the county has a high risk of COVID-19 spread and that in-person instruction is not advisable.
  • YELLOW: Categorization as “yellow” suggests that that the county has an elevated risk of COVID-19 spread and that schools may consider additional precautions and/or hybrid instructional models as a way to reduce the number of people in schools and classrooms at any one time.
  • GREEN: Categorization as “green” suggests that the county has a relatively low risk of COVID-19 spread and that schools may consider in-person instruction, as long as they are able to implement the required health and safety measures.  Schools in a “green” county may need to use hybrid instruction models if there is insufficient capacity or other factors (facilities, staffing, geography/transportation, etc.) that may prevent full implementation of the health and safety requirements.

The county-level assessments are based on both quantitative and qualitative data, including but not limited to recent case rates, positivity rates, and syndromic data (e.g., symptoms of influenza or COVID-19). Those data are publicly posted every week on the Maine CDC website. DHHS and Maine CDC also consider qualitative factors, such as the presence of outbreaks that may potentially affect school-age children.

The Health Advisory System reflects ongoing analysis of evolving data and serves as one piece of information that school and district leaders can use to make decisions about how to deliver education this fall. The qualitative and quantitative considerations and data used by the CDC in determining community transmission risk levels for schools can be located here: How County Risk Levels for Maine Schools are Determined

The Health Advisory System can be found on the Maine DOE website in Part I of the Framework for Reopening Schools and Returning to In-Person Classroom Instructionhttps://www.maine.gov/doe/framework/part-I.

The next update is scheduled for Friday, October 23, 2020.

 

###

 

 

 

Registration Open for FREE Virtual Future Teachers Academy Oct. 20-21

Open to Maine high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, this free, virtual Future Teachers Academy will be held on Oct. 20, 1:00 – 3:00 pm and Oct. 21, 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The event is for students who are interested in exploring the field of education.

During the academy, students will have the opportunity to imagine themselves as a future educator as they: design a game idea for a future classroom, problem-solve challenges, and collaborate with peers throughout the state.

Any students who are interested in creativity, leadership, and making a positive difference in the world through education are encouraged to attend the academy. The Future Teachers Academy is a collaboration between Thomas College, The Maine State Teachers of the Year program, and the Maine Department of Education.  #TeachMaine #LoveTeaching

Register here:  https://www.thomas.edu/future-teachers-academy/

 

Funding Available for New or Expanding Pre-K Programs in 2021-2022!

Are you opening a new Pre-K program or expanding an existing program in FY22? – Maine Department of Education will provide funding for FY22 for new or expanded Pre-K programs!

If your SAU is opening or expanding a Pre-K program in the 2021-2022 school year, you are eligible to receive funding on your FY22 ED279 for children you enroll in these new or expanding Pre-K programs in 2021. This means you will receive the funding for enrollment in the same year that you enroll the Pre-K children, without a year delay.

Beginning in FY19, the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding formula added an allocation for Pre-K programs’ estimate student count. The Pre-K program estimate count allocation is intended to provide funding for Pre-K programming in advance of actual student enrollment, helping to offset the upfront costs associated with expanding or starting Pre-K programs. This Pre-K program allocation was first authorized into law on July 1, 2018 to begin in FY19 and continue indefinitely.

If you are expanding and would like to receive an FY22 estimate Pre-K allocation, please notify the Maine DOE by completing the FY22 Estimate Pre-K Count Data Form before October 30, 2020. There are 3 questions to be answered:

  1. Choose your SAU from a list
  2. Do you have an existing Pre-K program (FY21)? – Yes/No
  3. Provide your SAU’s Pre-K Estimated Increase Count (new slots available in new or expanding program)

SAUs completing the form must also complete the Pre-K Program Application with DOE’s Early Childhood Team by April 30, 2021 and obtain program approval.

The FY22 Estimate Pre-K Count Data Collection form is meant to capture the FY22 estimate for new and expanding Pre-K program enrollment. The estimate student count data, in addition to the current (FY21) enrollment in an existing Pre-K program, will be used to provide funding on the FY22 ED279. SAUs’ Pre-K total enrollment number, as reported and verified October 1, 2021, should match the combined existing and estimated increase total that was used to calculate funds in the ED279. After October 1, 2021 an audit adjustment, based on actual enrollment reported in NEO on October 1, 2021, will be made to the Pre-K allocation assigned on the FY22 ED279. Please note that this may increase or decrease funding.

For more information about establishing or expanding a Pre-K program, please check out our webpage on the topic, or please contact Paula Gravelle at 624-6792 or Paula.B.Gravelle@maine.gov

 

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies for Covid-19

This information has been provided by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry.

IAQ and IPM strategies for Microbial Pests

October is bringing predictably cooler temperatures, which means we’ll all be spending more time indoors. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is well known to affect human health and academic performance, but the pandemic has brought renewed attention. Now is a good time to take a second look at both ventilation systems and cleaning/disinfecting protocols to make sure all processes are working optimally and that staff have completed the necessary training.

Ventilation and Filtration

Our understanding of coronavirus has evolved in the past ten months, and we now know that people can become infected merely by sharing air, especially in close quarters. While wearing masks, installing barriers, reducing occupancy, and holding classrooms outdoors are good strategies, schools are also implementing additional ventilation and air filtration processes to reduce risk of disease transmission while also improving overall indoor air quality. Ventilation and filtration of indoor air may be at least as important, if not more so, than surface disinfection for reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission1,2. And, with increased use of cleaning and disinfectant products, it is especially important to ensure that indoor spaces are adequately ventilated.

The simplest way to increase ventilation is to open screened windows and doors for cross-ventilation of indoor spaces, if doing so does not compromise safety or interfere with normal operation of ventilation systems. This is less ideal as temperatures drop, but may offer a temporary way to improve IAQ (and reduce risk of coronavirus transmission) in buses and some classrooms.

Portable air cleaners can also help. Environmental engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder and Harvard have created a guide on selection and use of portable air cleaners for schools.

Environmental engineers also recommend increasing settings on mechanical ventilation systems to six to nine fresh air exchanges per hour, if possible. When more people are in a space, the air exchange rate should be at the higher settings. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) provides detailed checklists and comprehensive guidance on ventilation and filtration to help schools slow transmission of viruses and improve indoor air quality via HVAC systems in ‘Reopening of Schools and Universities’. Consult with your HVAC specialist before making any changes to operation of your HVAC system.

Image Credit: Yale School of Public Health ()https://publichealth.yale.edu/research/covid-19/schools/spaces/

Additional Resources

References Cited

1Goldman, E. 2020. Exaggerated risk of transmission of COVID-19 by fomites. The Lancet 20 (8): 892-893

2Sy, S. and F. Carlson. How a Focus on Cleaning Can Distract from Actual Virus Spread. PBS NewsHour. Sept 22, 2020

Cleaning and Disinfection

Selecting the right cleaning and disinfecting products and using them correctly is critical to the health and safety of the people in your care—including your own staff. Some products may pose unnecessary health risks, may be ineffective against coronavirus, and/or are not permitted for use in Maine schools. Avoid learning after the purchase, that the sales rep was misinformed about Maine’s regulations or was making false claims.

Before purchasing any products, obtain and read both the product label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and verify that the products under consideration are permitted for use and will be appropriate for the intended purpose. For disinfectants and sanitizers, the product label has instructions on how and where to use the product, what PPE may be required, the required contact time, and more. You must read and follow the label! Disinfectant labels are legal documents that clearly state, “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” The SDS has additional chemical safety information but lacks the critical information found only on the product label. Obtain the product label from your distributor or contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control.

Because many disinfecting and sanitizing products share similar trade names, refer to the product’s unique identifier—the EPA Registration Number (EPA Reg. No.) found on the label. Keep a copy of both the product’s label and the SDS in your school’s pest activity logbook, along with a written record of were, why, how and by whom, these sanitizing or disinfectant pesticides are used in your schools.

Using Electrostatic or Other Powered Sprayers? Governor Mills issued Executive Order 7 FY20/21, temporarily suspending some pesticide applicator licensing requirements, thus permitting the unlicensed use of powered sprayers for routine disinfection by qualified staff. To qualify for this temporary exemption personnel must complete School Disinfectant Applicator Training and the associated on-line exam to receive a certificate.

Non-school employees, including contracted cleaning services and bus drivers are not included in this license exemption and must have a full Commercial Pesticide Applicator’s license for powered disinfectant application. All other pesticide applications on school properties, powered or not, also require a Commercial Pesticide Applicators license. Contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control for more information.

Additional Resources

Training

alling new IPM Coordinators! 

All School IPM Coordinators must complete the Initial Training Module and the Comprehensive IPM Training one time.

  • The next Comprehensive IPM Training  will be offered via webinar Friday October 30, 8:00-11:00 AM. REGISTER NOW. Note: This webinar will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing later.

 

  • Initial IPM Training, provides an overview of Maine’s School IPM requirements (always available on-demand).

After completion of these two trainings, you must also earn one hour of IPM continuing education/year. Credit can be earned by viewing webinars, presentations and videos related to school IPM such as the webinars listed below.

Additional Training Opportunities

October 20, 2020, 1:00-2:30 PM ET. Cleaning up after Rodent Infestations. Register Now.

October 22, 2020, 1:00-2:30 PM ET. New Tools to Assess and Address IAQ Health and Safety. Register Now.

Questions/Comments? Contact us!
Email: kathy.murray@maine.gov
Phone: 207-287-7616

Get this from a friend? Subscribe Now! Or visit maine.gov/schoolipm to subscribe.