Repeal of Chapter 82 School Bus Driver Fitness Determination

The enacted repeal of Code of Maine Regulations 05-071 Chapter 82 School Bus Driver Fitness Determination became effective on March 25, 2018.  Current motor vehicle laws provide substantial protections for public safety.  The repeal supports local school districts in the selection and hiring of school bus drivers.  This repeal effects those bus drivers hired by public schools.  Public school bus drivers must still have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a school bus endorsement for school bus operation pursuant to Maine Motor Vehicle Statutes 29-A MRS § 2303.

More information regarding commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and CDL endorsements including for school bus operation is available on the following Bureau of Motor Vehicle websites:  http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/commercialexam.html and http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/index.html

Date set for presentation of Major Capital Improvement Program priority list

The scoring process for the Major Capital Improvement Program is close to completion for the 75 schools visited during the Fall of 2017.  A Proposed Priority List will be presented to the State Board of Education at its June 13, 2018 meeting. The acceptance of that list will initiate a 30 day appeal period.

Once the State Board has taken action after the scheduled meeting date, the Major Capital Improvement Program priority list will be posted on the Department’s website at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/facilities/construction/index.html

For further information, contact Maine DOE Director of School Construction Scott Brown at (207) 624-6883.

ESEA Federal Programs to provide May sessions for program updates and technical assistance

As a result of feedback received from ESEA Coordinators and Title I Directors, the Maine Department of Education’s Federal Programs team will be providing updates and technical assistance at the following sessions scheduled at locations across the State during the month of May.

 

Technical assistance and program update sessions:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hampden Inn

768 Main Street,

Presque Isle, ME 04769

 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Jeff’s Catering

15 Littlefield Way,

Brewer, ME 04412

 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thomas College

180 West River Road,

Waterville, ME 04901

 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Keeley’s Banquet Center

178 Warren Avenue

Portland, Maine 04103

 

Registration is required. Please register by April 20, 2018.

Please note: Due to the preparation required for each of the individualized sessions, registration is required to attend. Walk-ins will not be accepted. 

Register here »

Download draft agenda »

Registration is now open through April 20, 2018.

Questions regarding changes to registered participants, availability to attend or general questions can be directed to Daniel Weeks, Maine Department of Education Title V Coordinator at (207) 624-6749 or via email: Daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov.

Edward Little High School teacher selected for Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship Program

Erin Towns
National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. Erin Towns from Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine

High School teacher Erin Towns from Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine has been selected as one of this year’s Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows in recognition of her commitment to geographic education. The 2018 Fellows, a group of 40 highly respected educators from the United States and Canada, will embark on global expeditions on board the Lindblad Expedition ships for a hands-on experience for professional development.

Starting later this year, the 2018 Fellows will begin their 10 to 17 day expeditions to locations including the Canadian High Arctic, Antarctica, Southeast Alaska, Arctic Svalbard, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Galápagos Islands. Accompanied by Lindblad-National Geographic expedition experts, ranging from undersea specialists to National Geographic photographers, the Fellows will experience landscapes, cultures and wildlife unique to their regions of exploration.

For more information about Ms. Towns and the other fellows, check out the Grosvenor Teacher Fellows website.

Supports for Advanced Placement and College Board assessments

As part of a notification provided in September 2015, the Maine Department of Education provided guidance regarding the removal of supports provided for some assessments administered by the College Board. This included the ACCUPLACER, PSAT/NMSQT and the former Readistep.

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, removed previously designated funding to support subsidies for Advanced Placement assessments.

In collaboration with the Title I Committee of Practitioners, the Department has determined that setting aside an additional 3% of Title I funds (beyond the mandated 7% for School Improvement and 1% for State Administration) was not in the best interest of all Maine students. This approach would have removed funding from each Title I school district, making it more challenging to support students in need. Maine receives the minimum Title IV allocation from the federal government, therefore State level activity funds available under Section 4104 are also not sufficient to support all students currently enrolled in Advanced Placement courses (Section 1003A and Section 4104).

The Department encourages local education agencies look to federal funds awarded to them under Titles I and IV to support students taking Advanced Placement courses and examinations. Below are options available:

  • Under ESSA, locally received ESEA Title I federal funds can be utilized to support Advanced Placement courses and assessments in Title I schools for the appropriately identified population as outlined in a comprehensive needs assessment, SAU consolidated plans or schoolwide plans.
  • Similarly, local education agencies receiving an allocation of funding under Title IV, Part A of ESSA may also utilize funds to support the costs associated with access to accelerated learning opportunities. Section 1112(b)(12) & 1112 (b) (13) Section 1114(b) (7)(A) (iii)(II) Section 4107(a)(3)(D).

Should you have further questions, please contact Janette Kirk, Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at 624-6707 or Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.