McKinney-Vento Sub-grant Program for the Education of Homeless Children Now Available

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce that it is seeking proposals for the McKinney-Vento Sub-grant program for the education of homeless children and youth.  Proposals will be accepted from SAUs seeking to develop, implement, or expand programs that improve the academic success of students identified as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act.

The Department is interested in proposals that are focused on narrowing the achievement disparity between Maine’s homeless students and their stably housed peers.  These grants are renewable for a total of three years, with a maximum annual award of $40,000.  The application deadline is August 15, 2018.

The RFP (#201806134) for this competitive grant, including details of the application process, can be found on the State of Maine Division of Purchases website.

For more information on the McKinney-Vento Sub-grant program or other homeless education issues, contact Gayle Erdheim, State Homeless Education Consultant, at gayle.erdheim@maine.gov or (207) 624-6637.

 

 

Register Now for Computer Science Day on August 13

The Maine Department of Education, Maine State Library, Project Login, and Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance are partnering to host Computer Science Day this summer. We’ll explore how computer science skills can be learned in formal and informal learning settings, and how those skills can be applied in current and future jobs in Maine. We hope to create more connections, partnerships, collaboration, and access to resources between educators, students, non-profits and businesses.

Participants can join presentations, hear from panelists from multiple industries, and visit booths with hands-on learning opportunities. Here are some of the organizations who will be presenting:

Apple, Microsoft, CashStar, Sphero Edu, Pi-Top, Thomas College, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine RiSE Center, Husson University, Wonder Workshop, Tyler Technologies… and many more!

  • Date: Monday, August 13th from 9am – 4pm
  • Location: Maine State House (Hall of Flags), Maine State Library (Atrium), and Various Committee Rooms in the Maine State House
  • Attendees: Open to the public. Educators have the opportunity to earn up to 7 contact hours for attending.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Computer Science Day Registration Link

For continued updates visit the Computer Science Event page.

For more information or questions, contact any of the following event organizers:

CS Day Handout

Maine DOE Announces Award for Management of Assistive Technology

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce that Maine CITE Coordinating Center has been awarded a grant to provide management of assistive technology (AT) services under the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (ATA).

The Maine CITE Coordinating Center has served as the ATA Grant Manager since the federal law was enacted in 1989. Maine CITE oversees a statewide effort to get assistive technology (AT) to people of all ages with disabilities who need it through device demonstrations, device loans and AT reuse. Maine CITE also provides public awareness, information and referral, and training and technical assistance on AT.

Kathy Adams OTL, ATP the Director of the Maine CITE Coordinating Center said, “we are very pleased to be awarded this grant. AT can be essential in education, employment, community living and telecommunications. We renew our commitment to assisting Maine citizens with disabilities to learn about and get the AT they need and want to lead productive independent lives.”

Under this grant, Maine CITE will continue to support the needs of Maine students with print disabilities through the Maine Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Program as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. The statewide Maine AEM Program works to improve students’ access to AEM and to facilitate the use of AT.

Jan Breton, Director of Special Services Birth – 20 said, “we are very pleased to continue working with Maine CITE which has demonstrated over many years its commitment to expanding and supporting the use of technology to assist people with disabilities.”

For details about Assistive Technology (AT) and the Maine Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Program visit mainecite.org or maine-aem.org.

For information on AT demonstrations and loans visit at4maine.org.

Updates and FAQs Regarding New Online Certification System

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to provide an update on the progress of the new online certification system.

  • 8,474 individual renewal applications have been received (many of those with multiple endorsement renewals)
  • 64% of teachers whose certificates expire have applied for renewal
  • 6,995 endorsements have been auto issued back to applicants within minutes of submission
  • An additional 2,205 applications have been processed by the certification team
  • There are currently 2,700 applications in queue to be worked on

The Department’s certification team is fielding more than 500 calls a day and wait times can be significant. Many of the questions asked via phone have been addressed in the “Things to Know/Frequently Asked Questions” list below in this notification.  In addition to the FAQ, please be sure to use the resources available on the Certification Webpage to help reduce the amount of calls for both wait time purposes and to enable the team to process additional applications.

Things to Know/Frequently Asked Questions:

  • One contact point is sufficient – your inquiry will be answered as soon as possible. The certification team has noticed there are multiple emails in addition to multiple calls from the same individual at the same time. When applicants are reaching out in multiple ways to multiple department staff it causes longer wait times and inefficacies in the ability to get to everyone.
  • Not all renewals will be auto issued. If yours is not auto issued, there is no need to call. The receipt you received during the renewal process shows that it was received and the website also indicates current processing times.
  • If you need to have your fingerprints done, please select “new hire” and not “renewal” on the IdentoGo website. If you select renewal, you will be instructed to call the certification department unnecessarily.
  • If you see that you are “missing” a transcript, please know that there are hundreds of thousands of files that all have historical scanned files in the new online system. Transcripts are in the historical file; therefore, educators will not be able to see them in the system but those transcripts are still utilized for any processing.
  • The Certification Department is no longer accepting walk-in appointments. With this policy change, certification staff can increase the number of educators assisted by 80%.
  • During the renewal process:
    • Please do not use Firefox Internet Browser.  Use Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer.
    • If you are prompted to upload documents and you have nothing to upload, please select “Next”.
    • If you are having trouble uploading documents, please ensure the file is in PDF format and that your computer can support Adobe.
    • If you are uploading contact hours, please upload those under the “Other Documentation” screen and not under the transcript screen.

Further communications and updates are available on the Maine Department of Education Certification Webpage, Maine DOE’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, and the DOE newsroom.

Important Work Permit Process Updates

Dear Superintendents and all designated minor work permit issuing officers:

In an effort to best protect data considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII), the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Standards is making slight adjustments to the work permit process effective immediately:

Do not include the following information sent to the Bureau of Labor Standards:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social security numbers
  • Date of birth or place of birth

Your review and validation of ‘proof of age’ documentation provided by the minor meets the statutory requirements of the work permit process and eliminates the potential exposure of sensitive information in unsecured environments, like email.

Additionally, Maine DOL has revised the work permit form to eliminate the birth date and place of birth.  In place of those fields, we have added an ‘age’ line for you or your designee to provide to us as part of the validation process.  Here is a link to the updated work permit form.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in ensuring a safe and efficient work permit process.

For more information and/or clarification of the role of the superintendents and/or designees in processing Maine minor work permits, it is clearly defined in Maine Revised Statue on work permits (paragraph three).