EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report (EF-S-214) Open for Reporting on March 1, 2021; Deadline is April 15, 2021

The EF-S-214, also known as the EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report will be open for data entry to Maine public schools on March 1 in the Maine DOE’s NEO Portal.

School districts should sign into the report as early as possible to allow time for data entry as well as the two-step submission process. The Department must approve the report by April 15 to allow time to make possible EPS adjustments.

Adjustments to the Special Education High-Cost Out-of-District allocation will be based on costs exceeding:

  • $18,586 for placements in Regional Special Education Programs,
  • $27,879 for placements in other school administrative units, and
  • $37,172 for placements in private schools.

Below are a few important things to note about the EF-S-214 report:

  • School districts will need to project the tuition cost for the full fiscal year.
  • This report is required for all publicly funded school districts, including districts that do not meet the High-Cost Out-of-District tuition threshold, these districts must login and submit “no students to report”

The report can be located by logging into NEO at: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login

Navigate to→ Special Education → Forms → EFS-214

Questions about the report should be direct to Stephanie Clark Fiscal Compliance Associate for the Maine Department of Education at Stephanie.clark@maine.gov or 207-624-6807.


The Special Education Staff Certification Report (EF-S-05 Part II) Open on March 1, 2021; Deadline is April 15, 2021.

The EF-S-05 Part II Special Education Staff Certification report must be verified and certified by the Special Education Director in the Maine Department Of Education’s NEO System. The report is used to verify the full-time equivalency (FTE) and qualification status of special education teachers, paraprofessionals (educational technicians), and related services personnel who were employed or contracted to provide special education services to students with disabilities ages 3 through 20 as of December 1, 2020.

  • Please note that this will be final year that the EF-S-05 Part II will allow for adjustments of numbers. The 2021-2022 collection will come directly from NEO staff and the EF-S-05 Part II will only be a certification of those numbers.  The timeline of the certification will also change to align with the NEO staff certification timeline.  More information will be provided in summer and fall of 2021.

Access instructions for completing the EF-S-05 Part II report.

If you have trouble logging into NEO or have other technical issues, contact the help desk at 207-624-6896 or MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov .

For questions about the EF-S-05 Part II report, contact Brandi Giguere at 207-446-6526 or brandi.a.giguere@maine.gov.

School Union 76 Celebrates Public Schools Week with an Inspiring Video

Closing out National Public Schools Week this week, School Union 76 (SU76) made up of Brooklin School, Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School, Deer Isle-Stonington High School, Isle au Haut School and Sedgwick Elementary School created a heartwarming and informative video about how their community has pulled together to ensure that students continue learning through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the community recently, SU76 Superintendent Christian Elkington expressed his gratitude:

“The efforts made by all to have learning continue during the pandemic is truly a work of caring, kindness, determination and toughness,”

“More than at any time as your Superintendent of Schools, over this last year I have felt extremely fortunate and honored to be working with each of SU 76’s Public Schools! Throughout the pandemic our Nation’s Public Schools, including our own, have found differing ways to help our young people learn, grow and achieve. I have seen first-hand and so believe strongly that each and every day we in SU 76 are making Lemonade out of Lemons. Through positive efforts we are problem-solving so that our students can move forward and continue to learn, grow and achieve.”

Check out the SU76 National Public Schools Week Video:

Like schools across Maine, SU 76 Schools is continuing to take steps forward in support of their students and community. Their video and story speaks to the hard work of schools across Maine and serves as an inspiring message that celebrates everything that Maine’s communities have accomplished through the past year.

Information for this story was provided by School Union 76 as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. If you have a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Mills Administration Updates COVID-19 School Health Advisory System

For the second time since January 28 update, all counties remain 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 to assist schools as they continue with their plans to deliver instruction and support to students safely.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) continue to review evidence that indicates lower transmission of COVID-19 in schools compared to the general population. Over the last 30 days, the rate of new cases for school staff or students is 25 per 10,000, nearly 70 percent lower than a new case rate of 81 per 10,000 for the general population.  This evidence continues to demonstrate that in-person learning in schools that follow public health precautions can be conducted safely, without increased transmission of COVID-19.

DHHS and Maine CDC assessed COVID-19 data and trends for all counties and all counties remain green.  In the last two weeks, there was no increase in positivity rate, new case rate, or the number of newly opened outbreaks in any of Maine’s 16 counties.

It is essential that school districts across the State of Maine continue to implement plans that adhere to the six requirements for returning to in-person instruction, regardless of their county’s designation.

These designations are provided for the consideration of school administrative units in their decisions to deliver instruction.

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 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 during the school year. 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 will be provided on March 12, 2021. Updating this advisory on a two-week basis aligns with the incubation period for COVID-19 and allows for greater stability in the trend data for small counties.




PRIORITY NOTICE: Moving Toward Understanding: Fostering an Intercultural Learning Environment

A workshop series by Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants (MICC).

“MICC is a women-owned business based in Portland, Maine, with years of experience helping schools, organizations, and individuals develop interculturally and navigate differences effectively. Passionate and engaging facilitators, we ground our interactive and experiential trainings in best practices of adult learning, and build on the strengths you already have. We have lived across the globe, and our work reflects that dexterity, curiosity, and humility.”


Thursday, March 18, 7:00-8:30 PM
Thursday, March 25, 7:00-8:00PM

Presented from both the perspective of a Muslim immigrant in Maine and a non-Muslim Mainer who lived in a Muslim majority country, this training seeks to dispel myths and misunderstandings by asking the questions: What is Islam and what is it NOT?

This training will:

  • Provide a brief history and context of the religion
  • Include discussion of Islam’s similarities to Christianity and Judaism
  • Define important terms
  • Give participants insight to more effectively reach, serve, educate, and connect with Muslim people

Presented by Reza Jalali and Liz Greason


Thursday, April 1, 7:00-8:30 PM
Thursday, April 8, 7:00-8:00 PM

As educators, what don’t we know we don’t know? Exploring this question can be a gateway into understanding and interrupting microaggressions.

This training will:

  • Define microaggression
  • Differentiate between different types of microaggressions
  • Identify the impact microaggressions have on marginalized student groups
  • Discuss what we, as educators, can do to minimize the impact of microaggressions in the classroom and schools settings

Presented by Deb Breiting and Liz Greason

Register here: https://mainestate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qceusrTwrGdC9jU12AsxF9NXts3SoWEt9

About the Presenters:

Liz Greason
Liz Greason

Deb Breiting is co-founder of Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants and hails from Vancouver, Canada. Born in Montreal to immigrant parents from Germany and Japan, Deb grew up in a multilingual and multicultural home and is a first generation university graduate. She has a degree in Linguistics and German from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is a graduate of the UBC Certificate Program in Intercultural Studies. With a professional focus on teaching English as a Second Language, Deb most recently taught at Portland Adult Education for the New Mainers Resource Center and coordinated projects designed to further support the integration of immigrants with professional backgrounds into Maine’s workforce. In addition, Deb has lived in Toronto, Munich, and Tokyo where she has worked for schools and non-profit organizations. Deb is an IDI Qualified Administrator and is currently enrolled in the Master’s program of Adult and Higher Education at University of Southern Maine.

Liz Greason
Liz Greason

A Mainer by birth, Liz Greason is co-founder of Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants. She lived in the Middle East for many years, where she taught students from around the world at the American University in Dubai, with a focus on effective cross-cultural communication. Since returning to the United States, Liz has applied her knowledge of the Middle East and Islam, intercultural competency, and intercultural communication to help Mainers effectively recruit and retain a diverse workforce and serve diverse populations equitably. Liz has also served on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine (USM) and Portland Adult Education. Growing up in Bridgton, Liz graduated from, and later taught at, Lake Region High School.

Liz holds degrees in Women and Gender Studies, with focus areas of intersectional feminism, from Mount Holyoke College and Reed College. She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.

Reza Jalali
Reza Jalali

Reza Jalali is a noted writer, educator, immigrant advocate and former refugee from Iran. He was recently appointed Executive Director of the Greater Portland Immigrant WELCOME Center, a non-profit organization that serves as a hub for organizations and individuals to collaborate in helping Maine’s thriving immigrant community reach its civic, economic, and social potential. Additionally a prolific author of the immigrant experience, Reza’s forthcoming book Dear Maine: The Trials and Triumphs of Maine’s 21st Century Immigrants will be available in August 2021. Jalali’s other books include New Mainers, Moon Watchers, Homesick Mosque and Other Stories, and The Poets and the Assassin. His children’s book, Moon Watchers, has received the Stepping Stone Multicultural Award. His five-act play, The Poets and the Assassin, which is about women in Iran and Islam, has been staged to rave reviews across New England. Jalali’s storytelling was also featured on National Public Radio’s popular program, The Moth Radio Hour.

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.