Maine DOE Hosts Meeting of Regional Service Center Executive Directors

The Maine Department of Education recently hosted the 9 regional service center (RSC) executive directors in the inaugural meeting of RSC statewide leadership. Representatives from each RSC participated in the meeting led by the Maine Department of Education’s EMBRACE team.

The meeting provided opportunities for:

  • Discussing a framework for continued state-level support for RSCs
  • Creating a professional cohort of RSC Executive Directors
  • Questions and answers from Maine DOE staff and each other
  • Gaining a statewide perspective on RSC implementation, organizational development, activities, and services

Maine DOE outlined the data points the regional service center will report in the first year of operation, in addition to the following:

  • Define the RSC goals
  • Define how the RSC will measure year 1 success
  • Provide financial reports
  • Detail specific elements of state-level support needed

Regional Service Center executive directors shared their RSC’s activities. It was noted that RSCs are in varying stages of development; some are further along because the regional collaboration is a continuation of efforts already in place.

Ben Sirois, Superintendent of MSAD 27 & Executive Director of Valley Unified RSC updates other RSC Executive Directors

Some highlights include:

  • In 2015-16 Valley Unified’s RSC (prior to becoming an RSC) began working on their comprehensive regional strategic plan, which allowed them to be well-positioned to apply for Maine DOE’s EMBRACE I and II grant funding opportunities. Most recently the RSC was approved for an integrated, consolidated 9-16 facilities project.
  • In southern Maine, the Greater Sebago Education Alliance RSC is developing, among their many services, resources for a leadership academy in partnership with the University of Southern Maine, and developing resources for English Learners diversity training and intake procedures.

For more information on statewide regionalization initiatives visit the EMBRACE Regionalized Programs and Services webpages or contact the EMBRACE team Regionalization Specialists Jennifer Pooler at or Deb Lajoie at

2018-2019 Maine School Immunization Report Due December 31, 2018

Maine law (20A M.R.S.A. 6358, Chapters 126 & 216) requires students enrolled in grades K-12 to be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio and varicella (chicken pox). Additionally, all students enrolled in grades 7-12 must be immunized against meningococcal meningitis. Under this law, students are required to have either vaccine administration records, a physician note or laboratory evidence to prove immunity, a physician note indicating the student is medically exempt, or a religious or philosophical objection note from a parent/guardian for each of the required vaccines listed above.

In accordance with this law, each year, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Maine Immunization Program, in conjunction with the Maine Department of Education, sends out the Maine School Age Immunization Assessment Survey to collect immunization information on all students enrolled in Maine public and private schools. The data from this survey is used to measure compliance with this law and also to assess the level of immunization coverage throughout the State of Maine. The survey can be completed online using Survey Monkey through the following web link:

Who must report and what is reported:

  • All schools with students enrolled in these grades (K, 7th, 12th) MUST report. If you fail to report by the deadline the superintendent of your school will be notified.
      • Kindergarten – reporting on all required school age immunizations (DTaP, Polio, MMR, Varicella)
      • Seventh grade– Tdap and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) ONLY – 1 dose of each is required
      • Twelfth grade – MCV4 ONLY – 1 or 2 doses required based on age the first dose was given

Missing immunizations will require follow up. All students must either have an immunization record or exemption on file for each required vaccine. Superintendents will be notified of any non-compliance.

To complete the survey, you will need the number of students enrolled (full or part-time) for grades K, 7th, and 12th. For each required vaccine, you will need the number of students vaccinated, the number of students with either medical, religious, or philosophical exemptions, and the number of students missing records (non-compliant). A pdf copy of the survey is available here:

Complete the survey online
The deadline for completing the survey is December 31, 2018, after which the survey will be closed. This is extended from the usual December 15 deadline.

For additional information or assistance, contact Jessica Shiminski from DHHS at 207-287-3746 or 1-800-867-4775 or email:

Resource to Help Prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse childhood experiences—commonly known as ACEs—affect children and families across all communities. ACEs can impact kids’ health and well-being, and they can have long-term effects on adults’ health and wellness. They can even have consequences that impact entire families, communities, and our whole society. Thankfully, ACEs are preventable.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Cervices, Center for Disease Control has provided an new online training tool, Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences.

This training will help you understand, recognize, and prevent ACEs. You’ll learn about risk and protective factors, outcomes associated with ACEs, and evidence-based strategies you can use to reduce or eliminate the impact of ACEs and stop them from occurring in the first place.

Get the knowledge and insights you need to help create healthier, happier childhoods for kids today, and bright futures for adults tomorrow.

Training topics include:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences, Brain Development, and Toxic Stress
  • The ACE Study
  • Prevalence and Consequences of ACEs
  • Risk and Protective Factors for ACEs
  • Essentials for Childhood: Assuring Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments

For further information, contact Emily Poland, School Nurse Consultant for the Maine Department of Education at

11/6/18 TransACT Training in Machias Cancelled

The TransACT training scheduled for November 6, 2018 in Machias, as described in this DOE newsroom article, has been cancelled due to low registration. Please note that the trainings scheduled for November 5, 2018 in Portland and Bangor are still happening as planned.

If you would like further information about TransACT Parent Notices, especially as it pertains to their use as a parent and family engagement tool, please contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III at (207)624-6627 or


What is Academic Progress? #success4ME

academic progress ela (blue)
Academic Progress – English Language Arts (ELA)

The Academic Progress indicator, is one of four (4) indicators utilized in Maine’s Model of School Supports and is used for grades 3-8. Academic Progress is defined as the comparison of individual student assessment performance scores from one year to the next, aggregated to the school level.

At the state, district, school, and classroom levels, Maine educators are committed to creating a culture of support and encouragement for families with children experiencing challenges. In the past, Maine has focused solely on achievement and in particular, achievement gaps between student groups. Academic achievement records the number of students on average, who are performing at state expectations. Although this is beneficial to track, when conducting a more detailed analysis of data, academic achievement does not take into account the individual growth of a student.

academic progress math (blue)
Academic Progress – Mathematics

What does this look like in Maine?

Each year students in grades three through eight are administered statewide assessments in both English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Student performance on the state assessment is scored on a scale of 1 to 4.  A performance level of 3 or above indicates that a student is meeting grade-level expectations. Every student grades 3 -8 who has been in the same school for two consecutive years will receive a progress score by looking at his or her assessment results from the previous year in comparison to the current year. Individual students are assigned scores of 0 to 450 according to academic achievement scores from one year to the next. A score of 100 indicates expected growth. An individual score of less than 100 indicates that a student has not yet made adequate growth. The progress scores of all eligible students are added together and then divided by the number of eligible students.  The resulting number is the school indicator scores for ELA and math.

The above is repeated to determine a progress indicator score for mathematics and a progress indicator score for ELA.

How will academic progress data be presented on the school report card?

The school as a whole will receive a performance measure related to the percentage of students who are making academic progress. Academic progress rates will never be reported at the student level.

The school level descriptors for academic progress are as follows:

Academic Progress – English Language Arts (ELA)

Emerging Developing Meeting Excelling
A score of less than 100 for all eligible student groups A score of at least 100 for at least one eligible student group A score of at least 100 for all eligible student groups A score of at least 150 for all eligible student groups

Academic Progress – Mathematics

Emerging Developing Meeting Excelling
A score of less than 100 for all eligible student groups A score of at least 100 for at least one eligible student group A score of at least 100 for all eligible student groups A score of at least 150 for all eligible student groups

Eligible student groups include: Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Two or More Races, White, Students with Disabilities, Economically Disadvantaged, Migrant students, and English Learners.

Academic progress data will be presented on the initial page of the report card in the following way:


To assist parents and community members in understanding academic progress, the report card provides “hover over” features that explain the definition of the performance level.


Further questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Acting Director, Office of Learning Systems at