Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Seeking Nominations for MAITC Teacher of the Year Award

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is currently seeking nominations for their 2021 Teacher of the Year Award. This award is for any Maine elementary or secondary school teacher who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom to teach core subjects.

The winning teacher will get to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference (in Des Moines, Iowa on June 28 – July 1, 2021) and the MAITC 2021 Summer Teacher’s Institute, free of charge.

The application deadline for the MAITC Teacher of the Year Award is October 1st. Applications and more information about the award are available on the MAITC website

For more information on Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, contact Willie Sawyer Grenier, executive director, at or 207-287-5522.


Maine Department of Education Survey on Fall 2020

The Maine Department of Education will be releasing surveys to gather input about the safe return to classroom instruction today at noon, and would like to hear from our school community members! Our research partners are finalizing 10 translated versions for families/caregivers, which will be posted as soon as they become available. The official DOE surveys can be found at:



Maine DOE Data Management Systems Summer Training 2020-2021

The Maine Department of Education Data Team will be holding their annual summer trainings during the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August.  The focus this year will be on tips and resources to assist School Administrative Units (SAUs) with data reporting and with viewing/certifying reports.

  • Training sessions this year will be held remotely utilizing the GoToWebinar™ application.
  • All training sessions will begin with a presentation and conclude with a topical Q&A. Please feel free to register for as many sessions as you would like.
  • Sessions are duplicated to ensure as much availability as possible.
  • All sessions will be recorded and posted to the Helpdesk’s Webinar Page .
  • These training sessions are not necessarily intended for individuals who are brand new to state required reporting.

The MEDMS helpdesk is now offering one on one onboard training for SAU and school staff that are new to state required reporting. To request this training, simply email the MEDMS helpdesk at and request our new user training. Please note that these trainings will be held as helpdesk availability allows.

Training Sessions, Dates and Times

What’s New for 2021 & Online Resources – A presentation of all of the new staff and student data requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. We will also review the helpful online resources available to SAU and school staff charged with required state reporting

  • July 21st @ 10AM – 12PM              Register Now
  • August 11th @ 10AM – 12PM        Register Now

Student Upload Error Messages – This presentation will focus on understanding the various possible error messages that you may receive when uploading student data to Synergy State Edition.

Updating and Maintaining Contact Information – In this session we will be discussing why this data is important, how this data is used by the Department and how to keep staff contact information up to date.

NEO Staff Refresher – A refresher of the NEO Staff module including data entry, associated reports and helpful resources.

  • August 4th @ 1PM – 3PM              Register Now
  • August 11th @ 1PM – 3PM             Register Now

Externally Managed Data – (EL, Migrant, Foster Care, Residential, Direct Certification, etc.…) – A presentation focused on exploring and explaining student data elements that are derived from sources outside of the reporting SAU.

  • July 21st @ 1PM – 3PM                   Register Now
  • August 6th @ 10AM – 12PM          Register Now

Student Reports – This session will cover all of the various reports in the NEO Student Reports module.

  • July 22nd @ 10AM – 12PM              Register Now
  • August 12th @ 1PM – 3PM             Register Now

Home Instruction – Presenting of the NEO Home Instruction module, how it works, who it is for, as well as any updates for the 2021 school year.

  • July 22nd @ 1PM – 3PM                 Register Now
  • August 12th @ 10AM – 12PM        Register Now

Review of Enrollment Guidance Document – In this session we will be reviewing one of our most valuable online resources, our Enrollment Guidance document. This document depicts unique enrollment situations and who is responsible for what data requirements in these situations.

  • August 5th @10AM – 12PM           Register Now
  • August 10th @ 1PM – 3PM            Register Now

MEDIA RELEASE: Department of Education to Release Statewide Survey to Inform Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction


July 2, 2020

Contact: Kelli Deveaux

Department of Education to Release Statewide Survey to Inform Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction

Maine Department of Education continues to work with educators and health experts from across the State to develop health markers and corresponding plans to ensure the safe return to classroom instruction.  As this work develops, the Department is seeking input from additional stakeholders from across the State, and will release a survey on July 6.

On June 11, 2020 the Department of Education released the first draft of a framework to assist school administrative units (SAUs) in developing their plans and determining their capacity to meet the national CDC guidelines for safely returning to classroom instruction.  This draft framework will continue to evolve and will be developed based on science and community health markers.

The framework was created with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, and included education and health experts, students, parents, education advocates and leaders. We have worked with a research organization to develop a survey through which educators and support professionals, education leaders, and families of students can provide comment and share their opinions on the 2020-2021 school year and possible models and needs for a safe return to classroom instruction.

Four different surveys have been created, specific to the role of the person completing the survey, including: 1.  Teachers and educational technicians; 2:  School or SAU leadership;  3:  Specialists and student support staff or 4.  Family member. The surveys will be available at beginning July 6 through July 12. The Family Survey is available in 11 languages.

The data and feedback will be compiled by the research group and considered by the team who will continue to revise the framework over the next month. While these surveys will provide a snapshot at the state and county level, many superintendents have asked for and are reviewing their own community-specific information, which will inform the work of their Collaborative Planning Team in developing instructional plans that will be responsive to risk levels.

Your participation in these surveys is greatly appreciated in preparation for the next school year.  Our fervent hope is that our continued trends in the battle against COVID-19 here in Maine will allow our schools to resume classroom instruction for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, as our schools serve as a stabilizing force for our communities, students, families and the economy. Yet, it is prudent at this time to both hope for the best, and prepare for many possible scenarios.


PRIORITY NOTICE: Invitation to a Conceptual Conversation Regarding Rule Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards for Public Preschool

Since July 1, 2017, school approval standards governing implementation of public preschool programs in Maine have been in effect, as authorized by Title 20-A, Maine Revised Statutes, Chapters 203 and 206. Now that these rules, incorporated in Rule Chapter 124, have been in effect for several years, and in preparation for continued expansion of public preschool programming, the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) invites interested stakeholders to attend a conceptual conversation related to the rule on July 14, 2020 from 1pm-3pm via Zoom. The conceptual conversation will be an opportunity to provide feedback on current implementation of the Rule. If you are interested in being part of the conversation, please register, and a link will be provided.

The Department intends to take the following steps with respect to review of Chapter 124:

1.  On July 14, 2020, stakeholders are invited to attend a conceptual conversation which will be facilitated by Early Learning Team Coordinator Lee Anne Larsen, Early Childhood Specialist Nicole Madore, and Federal/State Liaison Jaci Holmes. This conversation will be guided by the following discussion prompts:

  • What aspects of Chapter 124 promote high-quality public preschool?
  • What aspects of Chapter 124 present challenges for implementing and/or achieving high-quality public preschool programming?
  • As the Maine DOE continues to support the expansion of public preschool opportunities to reach universal capacity, including partnerships with Head Start and private childcare/preschool programs, does Chapter 124 adequately support achievement of this goal?

2.  Taking into consideration the insights gained from the discussion on July 14, the Department will propose updates to Chapter 124 and begin the Maine Administrative Procedures Act (A.P.A.) routine technical rule process pursuant to 5 MRS §8052 (public notice of filing, public hearing, open public comment period).

3.  Once the proposed rule has been filed, the public will be notified of the scheduled public hearing and comment period.  This will be an opportunity to provide written and oral comments regarding the proposed rule.

4.  The Department will review all comments and respond accordingly.  Updates to the rule will then be filed for legal review before final adoption.

For more information about the conceptual conversations for Chapter 124, contact Lee Anne Larsen at