Changes to the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (M.U.S.E.R.)

Changes to the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations, Birth-20, (M.U.S.E.R.) will go into effect on August 25, 2017. Until that date, schools should continue to use existing procedures for the identification of children with a specific learning disability.

Chapter 101 (Section VII.2.L) and pertaining to the identification of children with specific learning disabilities was amended to require:

  1. the inclusion of general education intervention data under Section III of the rule when the IEP team uses a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based interventions and,
  2. the inclusion of  psychological processing data from standardized measures to identify contributing factors.

These changes will affect any child’s evaluation that begins on or after August 25, 2017.

The Specific Learning Disability Eligibility Form that is used in the process of identifying children with specific learning disabilities will also change on August 25, 2017.

Please check the Maine DOE website at http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/forms/ for more information or contact the Maine Department of Education, Office of Special Services at 624-6713.

Mentoring workshop for educators of gifted and talented program

The Maine Department of Education will sponsor a mentoring workshop for new and experienced gifted and talented (GT) educators at the Division of Transportation (DOT) Building on 66 Industrial Drive in Augusta on September 14, 9am-3pm.

Workshop topics include: reviewing this year’s renewal application process, exploring identification tools, discussing curriculum options aligned with regular education initiatives, organizing and managing GT programs, evaluating program effectiveness, and discussing budget concerns.

The morning will consist of a workshop designed for teachers and administrators who are looking for information regarding this year’s renewal application process. The workshop will also provide a forum to discuss GT programming.

Depending on the needs of the participants, in the afternoon, attendees will be broken into two groups. One group will be educators who are fairly new to the field. They will continue their in-depth discussions on the topics listed above. The second group will be educators who have been in the GT field for a longer period and may have farreaching concerns and challenges. The mediator of this group, Lee Worcester PhD, asks that the advanced GT educators suggest a topic for the afternoon session by September 7 at lee.worcester@yahoo.com or 943-8804.

To register by September 10th at: http://events.egov.com/eventreg/ME/event.htm?name=giftedtalentedmentoringworkshopfall2017. Due to the location, lunch and refreshments will not be provided.

For any questions regarding the workshop, contact Educational Consultants: Lee Worcester at lee.worcester@yahoo.com or Patti Drapeau at ptdrapeau@aol.com.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule Chapter 134 (regulations for awarding a high school diploma)

The Maine DOE welcomes comments on proposed regulation, Chapter 134 pursuant to 20-A MRS §4722-A (Regulations for Awarding a High School Diploma). A public hearing will be held on August 14th in room 500 at the Cross State Office Building from 9-11 am. Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on September 8, 2017. Written comments may be sent to the attention Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@maine.gov or 23 SHS Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

The development of Chapter 134 has been underway since the summer of 2016 guided by the rule making requirements of the proficiency diploma law. This rule must:

  • Allow flexibility and innovation at the school and district level for the development of  consistent graduation standards,
  • Identify the manner in which multiple pathways in career and technical education can provide evidence of proficiency in the disciplines of the content areas and Guiding Principles of Maine’s system of learning results, and
  • Establish criteria for the placement in career and technical education programs while ensuring all students are exposed to all content areas of the system of learning results.

For more information on the diploma based on proficiency, contact Maine Department of Education Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@maine.gov or 624-6823.

Revised certification rules: guidance and clarification (Chapter 115)

The revised Chapter 115 certification rules have arrived and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) is providing the following clarifications: 

  • Part I of Chapter 115 goes into effect August 12th, 2017.
     
  • Part II does not go into effect until July 1, 2019, including the revisions to grade spans.  For now we will continue to use the K-3, K-8, 7-12 or K-12 grade spans for certification purposes.
     
  • For future reference a decision has been made by the Maine Department of Education to allow individuals who have a K-8 certification to continue with that credential, as long as the credential does not lapse.   

During the fall, the Maine DOE will be making more recommendations to certification rules to further accommodate the needs of, and feedback from the educational field.

For more information contact the Maine DOE Certification office at 207-624-6603 or cert.doe@maine.gov. 

School and workplace violence training hosted by Brewer Police Department

The Brewer Police Department in conjunction with the Penobscot Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is hosting the following two day training from the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA):

“SCHOOL and WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: PREPARATION and RESPONSE”

The training provides a venue for law enforcement to train, plan, and participate alongside of fire, EMS, dispatchers, government officials, school professionals, and business professionals. This course is nationally recognized and past attendees have given it outstanding reviews.

This course is being taught by the National Tactical Officers Association’s (NTOA) subject matter expert, Don Alwes. Don Alwes is a police officer and trainer with more than 36 years of law enforcement experience. He is the current chair of the National Tactical Officers Association Patrol Section, providing instruction in active shooter response and school and workplace violence. Don also serves as an adjunct instructor for the NRA’s Law Enforcement Division and Kentucky’s Department of Criminal Justice Training. Don has also taught courses for the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors. Topics of instruction have included active shooter response, rapid deployment, terrorism, homeland security, school and workplace violence, and vulnerability assessment. Don is a member of the NTOA, the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, the Police Marksman Association and the International Association for Counter-terrorism and Security Professionals.

Course Information:

NTOA’s “SCHOOL and WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: PREPARATION and RESPONSE”
AUGUST 28-29, 2017 8AM to 5PM
JEFF’S CATERING & EVENT CENTER – 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer, ME 04412
COST: $110 per attendee: includes drinks and snacks and lunch

For more information download (PDF): Training Announcement and Registration Form for 2017 School and Workplace Violence

Synergy training dates and registration for special education and CTE

The Maine DOE is offering Synergy training dates for Special Purpose Private Schools (SPPS) and Regional Programs, and for Career and Technical Education (CTE). Dates and registration information are provided below in two focused half day sessions.

In these sessions, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to upload student data required by the State of Maine. In addition, participants will learn how to use Synergy DOE to enter and validate student data that is not included in the upload process.

After completing this session, participants will understand how to perform uploads and will be able to:

* Log in to Synergy and navigate the interface
* Use and understand Synergy concepts and terminology
* Change Focus to view other years/schools
* Create personal Navigation Menus
* View existing student information
* Create upload for concurrent enrollments
* Create upload for program enrollments
* Find a single student or multiple students
* Enter and modify student data
* Upload Quarterly Attendance
* Upload Behavior Information
* Enter Truancy information
* Use a Matrix to print student information or export student information to other desktop programs
* Create student filters
* Create Graph information
* Preview and Print common reports
* Save report settings
* Make corrections/additions on existing records

In addition to the two dates, the session will shared via Zoom so attendants can log in.

***August 14 – For Special Purpose Private Schools (SPPS) and Regional Programs Only***

SPPS Registration

***August 16 – For Career and Technical Education Programs (CTE) Only***

CTE Registration

23 State House Station
Room 103
Augusta, Maine

8:30-12:00

 

If you have any questions please contact Shannon Bartash, Data Systems Helpdesk Manager for the Maine Department of Education at 207.624.6799 or Shannon.Bartash@maine.gov.

Need Superintendent verification of district staff for new Student Information System

As the State finalizes its plans to move to the new Student Information System (SIS), Synergy, we are seeking information from Superintendents about exactly who needs to have access to the final production model.

Several district staff members have signed up for Maine DOE training sessions to learn the new system. For security purposes, we need to verify which district staff members should have access beyond the training site. Once we are ready to move into production, all training accounts will end. We will systematically be adding an account for each Superintendent and for the person listed in NEO contacts as your data specialist. Access will not be given to additional staff members unless the request comes directly from Superintendents via email.

Superintendents, please email medms.helpdesk@maine.gov with the following information for each person:

Staff member first and last name:
Staff member email address:
Please specify if they should have read only access or update access

Maine DOE will contact each person with their log in credentials. In the future, we will have an access form much like what we have for NEO.

As an update, members attending the trainings will receive access to a training site with their district information. Access to the final product will be available the second week of August.

During the week of August 1 to August 7, districts will not be able to get new student IDs.

If you have any questions, please contact Charlotte Ellis charlotte.ellis@maine.gov or Shannon Bartash shannon.bartash@maine.gov

PRIORITY NOTICE: Guidance on usage of additional state funds from 2017-2018 budget

The Department has received several requests from school administrative units for guidance regarding the interpretation of PL 2017 Chapter 284, Section JJJJJJJ. The Department offers this guidance with the caveats that 1) Differing legal interpretations may be put forth and in those instances, we would recommend consulting your school unit’s legal counsel and 2) this guidance applies to the fiscal year 2017-2018 only; no analysis has yet begun regarding the application of this section of statute to fiscal year 2018-2019.

The Department offers guidance on the following scenarios for fiscal year 2017-2018:

Scenario 1: The school administrative unit has passed a budget through all applicable stages and the budget did not include a warrant article to provide the school board with authority to use any additional state funds received.  Under this scenario, Section JJJJJJJ-4 would apply and provide 50% of the increase in subsidy to reduce the school administrative unit’s required local contribution.  For combined school administrative units (RSU, SAD or CSD), the Department’s suggested distribution of the 50% subsidy increase, based on the statutory language, is posted at the link below.  For combined school units with a Private & Special Law that amends the required local share calculation under 20-A § 15688, the Department suggests utilizing the required local contribution percentages as calculated under that Private & Special Law.

http://www.maine.gov/education/data/eps/fy18/index.html

Scenario 2: The school administrative unit has passed a budget through all applicable stages and the budget did include a warrant article providing the school board with the authority to use any additional state funds received.  Under this scenario, Section JJJJJJJ-5 applies and the school administrative unit may utilize the increase in subsidy as permitted under the approved article.

Scenario 3: The school administrative unit has not passed a budget.  This school administrative unit would present budget calculations which reflect the required local share and state subsidy amounts as displayed on the ED 279 dated July 12, 2017.  Section JJJJJJJ-5 would not apply as tax relief is provided via the reduction of the required mill expectation in the enacted ED 279.

Should you have questions or need additional clarification, please contact tyler.backus@maine.gov paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov or joanne.allen@maine.gov

Upcoming Rulemaking to Support the Implementation of a Diploma Based on Proficiency

The Maine DOE recently submitted to the Secretary of State proposed regulation, Chapter 134, pursuant to 20-A MRS § 4722-A (Regulations for Awarding a High School Diploma). This rule chapter supports the implementation of a diploma based on proficiency, and fosters the culture of learning that makes it possible for each learner to graduate ready for next steps after secondary school.

We anticipate that a formal notice for the rulemaking will be published on July 26 (in the Bangor Daily News, Kennebec Journal, Portland Press Herald, Lewiston Sun-Journal and the Central Maine Morning Sentinel).

A public hearing will be held on August 14th in room 500 at the Cross State Office Building from 9-11 am with the deadline for public comment closing on September 8th at 5 pm.

The development of Chapter 134 has been underway since the summer of 2016 guided by the rule making requirements of the proficiency diploma law. This rule must:

  • Allow flexibility and innovation at the school and district level for the development of consistent graduation standards,
  • Identify the manner in which multiple pathways in career and technical education can provide evidence of proficiency in the disciplines of the content areas and Guiding Principles of Maine’s system of learning results
  • Establish criteria for the placement in career and technical education programs while ensuring all students are exposed to all content areas of the system of learning results.

For more information on the diploma based on proficiency, contact Maine Department of Education Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@maine.gov or 624-6823.

Upcoming Rulemaking to Support the Implementation of a Diploma Based on Proficiency

The Maine DOE recently submitted to the Secretary of State proposed regulation, Chapter 134, pursuant to 20-A MRS § 4722-A (Regulations for Awarding a High School Diploma). This rule chapter supports the implementation of a diploma based on proficiency, and fosters the culture of learning that makes it possible for each learner to graduate ready for next steps after secondary school.

We anticipate that a formal notice for the rulemaking will be published on July 26 (in the Bangor Daily News, Kennebec Journal, Portland Press Herald, Lewiston Sun-Journal and the Central Maine Morning Sentinel).

A public hearing will be held on August 14th in room 500 at the Cross State Office Building from 9-11 am with the deadline for public comment closing on September 8th at 5 pm.

The development of Chapter 134 has been underway since the summer of 2016 guided by the rule making requirements of the proficiency diploma law. This rule must:

  • Allow flexibility and innovation at the school and district level for  the development of  consistent graduation standards,
  • Identify the manner in which multiple pathways in career and technical education can provide evidence of proficiency in the disciplines of the content areas and Guiding Principles of Maine’s system of learning results
  • Establish criteria for the placement in career and technical education programs while ensuring all students are exposed to all content areas of the system of learning results.

For more information on the diploma based on proficiency, contact Maine Department of Education Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@maine.gov or 624-6823.