Maine DOE to Launch Maine Harvest of the Month Program in Schools

The Maine Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Program is excited to announce the launch of Maine’s Harvest of the Month Program. Currently in planning phases, the program is slated to launch in schools in the Spring of 2019. Jenn So has been hired by the Maine DOE as the Harvest of the Month Program Manager and will be leading the development, implementation, and trainings for the program statewide. This program is a collaboration between the Maine DOE Child Nutrition Program and the Maine Farm to School Network.

Program Background

Harvest of the Month (HOM) is a nationwide marketing campaign promoting the use of seasonally available, local products in schools, institutions, and communities. Each month, a different local product is highlighted and participating entities pledge to serve the product and promote it through educational materials and activities. The program launched in California and has been replicated by dozens of other states across the country. With Maine’s participation, all of New England will now have Harvest of the Month programs.

Maine Harvest of the Month Background 

In its pilot year, Maine’s HOM program will develop a unique Maine HOM crop calendar and create corresponding marketing materials and recipes for food service directors and schools to display and utilize. Regional trainings will be delivered to train food service staff and other interested stakeholders on how to best implement the program; support will be provided to schools as needed. The program’s goal is to increase the procurement and consumption of local Maine products in schools (K-12), and thus the total number of meals provided. To participate in the program, schools will sign a  pledge committing to: serve the local HOM product at least twice per month (local being defined as grown or caught in Maine); display HOM materials provided by the Child Nutrition office; and participate in pre-and post-evaluations. Schools are also encouraged to integrate the HOM into educational activities.

If your school or district is interested in participating, please contact Jenn So at or 207-664-6639 for more information.

Upcoming Review of Local MACM Programs; SAUs to be Contacted

As a reminder, Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring Program (MACM), in response to OSEPS’s requirements for qualified special educators, is in progress. The goal of MACM is to ensure that conditionally certified special educators earn Professional Certification by the end of a three year period.

As part of this work, the Department has contracted with Elaine Tomaszewski, a former special educator, special services director, and superintendent, to facilitate the development of structures in school administrative units (SAUs) to ensure strong systems of support. The intent is to strengthen existing district systems of mentoring or coaching whenever possible, or assist in developing systems as necessary.

As an early step in the process, SAU’s across the state will be contacted via email by December 21st requesting access to their existing support system information (manuals, plans). The intent is to review and compare them to national standards.

If your Special Services or Curriculum Director is contacted please encourage them to participate in this early phase of the work. If your district is not contacted but would like to have their information shared please contact Elaine Tomaszewski directly at


Certification of Superintendent Election or Re-election

The Maine DOE is reminding administrators and school board members of the approaching deadline for annual certification to the Maine DOE of employment of Superintendent of Schools.

A school board must meet by December 31 to elect a superintendent if its superintendent’s contract expires in 2019 and then must submit a certification of employment report with all required documentation to the Maine DOE by March.

The instructions and forms and can be found at the Maine Department of Education, Data & Reporting, Helpdesk, Data Reporting InstructionsPlease click on Superintendent/Agent Certification Form & Instructions (found at the bottom of the list).

If you have any questions, contact Danielle McKay at or 207-624-6663.

Online Bullying Reporting Program Available to Maine’s Schools Through Optania

Optania has created an online bullying reporting program that is aligned with Maine DOE’s model bullying policy and procedures.  Click here to check out the demonstration.

This online program allows students, parents and others to report allegations of bullying 24/7, with the allegation report (JICK-E1) being sent to pre-determined school staff (ie. principal, assistant principal, school guidance counselor, social worker, superintendent) who will then initiate the investigation procedure using an electronic form (JICK-E2).  The program also includes the remediation form (JICK-E3).  In addition, using artificial intelligence, students can create their own Safety Plan in the moments after reporting an allegation of bullying so they don’t have to wait until the next school day when they can meet with a school staff member.

To learn more about Optania, attend a free, live informational webinar this week.

Sessions are 1 hour in length and will give an in-depth overview of Optania and allow time for questions and comments.

Click on the Zoom link on a day and time that works for your schedule.  There is no need to sign-up or RSVP to this email to attend.

Bullying reporting made easy with Optania (pdf)

Further questions or information about future webinars can be sent to Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator at or by calling her at 207-624-6685

Report of Adult Education (EF-M-39B) – opened December 1st, due by January 15, 2019

Starting on December 1, the EF-M-39 Report of Adult Education opened for submissions through the NEO Student Data Module. The report is a resident-based aggregate count of students aged 16 to 20 who live within the boundaries of a school administrative unit (SAU), are no longer enrolled in regular education classes, and are taking academic courses through a Maine Adult Education program, but not necessarily through the SAU in which they reside.

School Administrative Units are asked to report the number of students, the number of courses and credits taken.

Who Needs to Report:

All public SAUs, excluding public charter schools, must complete the report, even if there are no pupils to report. Please note that the individual SAU member entities of AOSs and school unions must report separately. SAUs whose students attend a regional Adult Education programs must report the number of resident students who attend the regional Adult Education program.

  • EF-M-39B: Opened on December 1, 2018
  • Due by January 15, 2019

To Complete the Form: Go to:

Once logged in to the NEO system navigate to Student Data, if you do not have NEO credentials please have your Superintendent submit a NEO Access Request Form to the Maine DOE Data HelpDesk.

  1. Enter the total number of students (between the ages of 16-20) enrolled in adult education
  2. Enter the total number of courses
  3. Enter the total number of credits

The Data Collection and Reporting (DC&R) Calendar lists all reports due to Maine DOE.

The accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the data sent for this report has a direct correlation to the subsidy that your SAU may receive.

Questions: Contact the MEDMS Helpdesk at (207) 624-6896 or or Trevor Burns at (207) 624-6678 or