Notice of proposed rule change to Chapter 82 School Bus Driver Fitness Determination

The Maine Department of Education is proposing to repeal Chapter 82 School Bus Driver Fitness Determination.  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 affects bus drivers hired by public schools.

Written comments should be mailed to:  Maine Department of Education, Attn:  Jaci Holmes, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0023, or emailed to jaci.holmes@maine.gov .  The comment deadline is March 16, 2018.

 

Title I schoolwide program eligibility waiver request now available

Section 1114(a)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires a Title I school to have at least 40% poverty to be eligible to operate a schoolwide program. Schoolwide flexibility allows a school to upgrade the entire educational program of a school. ESEA section 1114 (a)(1)(B) permits a State Education Agency (SEA) to waive the 40% poverty threshold requirement, after taking into account how a schoolwide program will best serve the needs of the students in the school while improving academic achievement and other factors.

If a Title I participating school does not meet the 40% poverty threshold and wishes to obtain a waiver to operate a schoolwide program, the School Administrative Unit (SAU) must complete the attached waiver request form on the school’s behalf. If multiple Title I schools wish to receive a waiver, the SAU must complete a waiver request form for each individual school.

The SAU and school remain responsible for meeting all other ESEA section 1114 requirements for operating a Title I schoolwide program. This includes the development of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan that addresses the needs of all students, but particularly the needs of students experiencing challenges to meet State academic standards.

Waiver request forms must be signed by the Superintendent to be accepted by the Maine Department of Education. To ensure timely waiver approval, it is recommended that waiver requests are submitted prior to the submission of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan for the school.

Download Waiver

Please submit completed waiver requests to:

Chelsey Fortin-Trimble
ESEA Federal Programs & Title I Director
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04330
Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov

Cybersecurity opportunity for young women in high school

There is still time to encourage young women in high school to participate in GirlsGoCyberStart’, national program created by CyberStart that uses online games of discovery to introduce high school students to the field of cybersecurity.

In a collaboration between the Maine DOE, the Maine Office of Information Technology and the Governor, the State of Maine helping promote this program in order to provide Maine students with an opportunity to learn more about the field of cybersecurity and to discover their ability for a careers in cybersecurity.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school who excel in the GirlsGoCyberStart game will have the opportunity to win computers and other prizes as well as a trip, with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference.

The website explaining the program is available at GirlsGoCyberStart.com. Registration will begin on January 29 and end on February 16, 2018. The first 10,000 young women in high school who have registered by then, can play the game online from February 20 through February 25.

For more information about eligibility visit GirlsGoCyberStart.com and for more information about Maine’s participation in the program contact Dr. Kelly Rickert, Director of Workforce Development for the Maine Office of Information Services.

Opportunity to develop, pilot and implement an evidence-based preschool curriculum for Maine

The Maine Department of Education has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to adapt and develop an evidence-based preschool curriculum in collaboration with Boston Public Schools (BPS).  Participating districts will work with the Maine DOE and a curriculum consultant from BPS to make this highly successful curriculum relevant to Maine’s students.

Selecting and purchasing a curriculum, as well as providing the training and coaching needed for implementation fidelity, has been a challenge for many school districts with prek programs.  This funding will allow 10 districts (or fewer depending on the number of prek classrooms/district) to participate in adapting a highly successful, evidence-based curriculum that aligns with Maine’s Early Learning & Development Standards and is designed for Maine’s prek programs.

In addition to participating in writing, the curriculum teachers and coaches, and/or curriculum coordinators will receive materials, supplies, training and coaching to pilot and implement the curriculum during the 18-19 school year.

For further information and to apply, download the Q&A and Application or contact Sue Reed at Susan.D.Reed@maine.gov.

 

Cancellation: 2/7 SAT Workshop cancelled due to weather

The following professional development workshop scheduled for tomorrow, February 7, 2018 (tomorrow) has been cancelled due to the anticipated snow storm. Registrants are being notified directly by email. The morning eMPowerME session will continue as originally scheduled.

2018 SAT Assessment Workshop – Augusta

Date: February 7, 2018 –
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Event Type: Conference or Workshop
Content Area: Maine’s Comprehensive Assessment System
Grade Level(s):
Presenter: Maine DOE/Measured Progress/eMetric

Description of Training:

Workshop designed to provide a detailed overview of the SAT administration as educators prepare for the April 10, 2018 administration of SAT School Day in Maine. Enhancements regarding College Board updates for 2017-18 include: students not required to supply a photo ID; discontinued use of SAT admission tickets; and changes to the student questionnaire (SDQ) process. In addition to reviewing key dates and deadlines, this session will provide a general overview of the College Board’s SSD process.

URL/Website for Additional Information:
http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=2018satassessmentworkshopaugustapm

Event Location:
Augusta Civic Center
76 Community Drive
Augusta, ME 04330

Contact Information:
Eric Buckhalter
eric.buckhalter@maine.gov

Program Producer/Provider Information:
Department of Education

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education and Response Model Policy

The Maine Department of Education (DOE), as directed by Maine law Public Law 2015, Ch. 292 (LD 1180), An Act To Require Education in Public Preschool Programs and Elementary Schools Regarding Child Sexual Abuse, has developed a model policy for schools on child sexual abuse prevention education and response. The law (20-A MRSA §254, sub-§18) states that all school administrative units (SAUs) that operate schools with grades public preschool program through grade 5 shall adopt a written local policy for child sexual abuse prevention education and response that is consistent with the Maine DOE model policy located at www.maine.gov/doe/healthed/laws/ under Safety & Accident Prevention. The policy must include the following:

  • Child sexual abuse response and reporting procedures;
  • Child sexual abuse awareness training and prevention education for school personnel;
  • Age-appropriate child sexual abuse prevention education for students;
  • School response and reporting procedures for child sexual abuse; and
  • Resources a victim of child sexual abuse or nonoffending caregivers of a victim of child sexual abuse may access for services and support.

Pursuant to this statute, school administrative units (SAUs) are required to develop a policy beginning in the 2017-18 school year. However, given the late release of the model policy, SAUs are expected to develop the policy on or before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

The Maine DOE and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) are available to provide technical assistance in the writing and implementation of this policy that is intended to educate preschool through grade 5 children, as well as school personnel, families and community members in the prevention of and response to child sexual abuse. A web-based resource and trainings to support the implementation of this law are being developed by the MECASA with support from the Maine DOE. The website is expected to be launched this spring.

For more information on the new requirements contact Susan Berry, Maine DOE’s Health Education and Health Promotion Coordinator, at susan.berry@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE seeks public comment for science standards

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current science standards.

The science standards are based on the National Research Council’s 1996 National Science Education Standards and include both processes (ways scientists investigate and communicate about the natural world) and bodies of knowledge (concepts, principles, facts, theories). Technology includes the design process and the study of technological tools and their effects on society. The standards are broken into grade spans (pK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-Diploma) and the five MLR standards for Science and Technology are organized as follows:

  • A – major themes that unify science and technology ideas, e.g. systems, models, constancy and change, scale
  • B – skills and traits of scientific inquiry and technological design
  • C – history and nature of science and the impacts on society
  • D – earth, space and physical science
  • E – life science

The standards review process opens with public comments and public hearings prior to the convening of writing teams that will review and revise the science standards.  Public hearings will occur on the dates and locations listed below and are intended to give anyone the opportunity to weigh-in on the direction of future science standards in Maine. Anyone may speak at the public hearings which will be live-streamed.  People wishing to speak will be asked to sign in and it will be helpful, but not mandatory, to provide a written copy of their comments.

  • February 27, 2018 – Cross Office Building, room 103, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, 4:00 – 6:00pm
  • February 28, 2018 – Houlton High School Library, 7 Bird Street, Houlton, 4:00 – 6:00pm
  • March 1, 2018 – Westbrook Middle School Cafeteria, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, 4:00 – 6:00pm

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on March 16th, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to sis.doe@maine.gov with the subject “Science Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Paul Hambleton, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Please note that the Department will also be conducting a review of the social studies standards. Public hearing dates will coincide with the dates announced in his notice (with different times so that attendees can plan accordingly).

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov.