Category Archives: Priority Notices

PRIORITY NOTICE: 106th Annual Commissioner’s Conference

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dear Superintendents,

I am pleased to announce that the 106th Annual Commissioner’s Conference is open for registration. The conference is scheduled for June 26th – 27th at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Event Center in Bar Harbor. Superintendents, school board members and other school or district level administrators are encouraged to register for the conference.

Developed in collaboration with the Maine School Superintendents Association, this year’s working agenda is attached below, highlights include:

  • Keynote speaker Dr. Janet Zadina – internationally renowned speaker, consultant, author, and former high school and community college teacher best known for her extraordinary ability to inform, educate, and empower audiences with her scholarly and credible brain research and teachings
  • Discussion and meeting topics including: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Proficiency Based Education (PBE), teacher prep, certification, school finance, school construction, regionalization, and much more!
  • student panel
  • The Annual Awards & Recognition Banquet

Conference Information:

For more information about the conference, please contact Georgette Valliere at 624-6605 or georgette.valliere@maine.gov.

We look forward to seeing you, and working together on June 26-27 in Bar Harbor.

Sincerely,

Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Ed.D.
Commissioner
Maine Department of Education

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, review reports by April 12, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in April 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2017 Quarter 2 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 2 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In April, the 2016-17 State subsidy printouts (ED279s) will be updated reflecting these adjustments and are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

Reporting issues: To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 2 and report any issues on these reports no later than April 12, 2017. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to denise.towers@maine.gov.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:

  • Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
  • Student’s State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.

For more information on MaineCare Seed payments including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Reporting 2016-17 Student Information – Due Date: April 15, 2017

The Infinite Campus State Education system (ICSE), is online for school year 2016-17 updates.  The updated 2016-17 student information will be utilized to meet State and federal reporting requirements (ESSA, Graduates, Dropouts, AYP, etc.) as well as the calculation of State subsidy for 2017-18 for Maine’s public school administrative units.

All private schools with publicly funded students must report ALL “publicly funded students” in the Infinite Campus State Education System.   The private schools that receive publicly funded students must report these students in the Infinite Campus State Education system in order for the public school administrative units to receive a subsidy count for these students in their future State subsidy.  The State subsidy to a public school unit is often the source of funding that a school administrative unit uses to pay the tuition for these students to attend the private schools.

Student Enrollment Reporting – Due Date:  April 15, 2017:

April 1, 2017 Student Count – all publicly funded students should be enrolled in Infinite Campus State Edition (ICSE) before April 15, 2017 so that the resident public school administrative units may review the data and verify the April 1st student count which takes place between April 16, 2017 and April 30, 2017.

  • For private schools enrolling “ALL” students in the Infinite Campus State Education System, please fax (1-866-219-8344) or mail the completed Signature Page of the April 1st Enrollment Report (EF-M-14) indicating that all students have been enrolled in the Infinite Campus State Education system. There will be no need to complete the remainder of the EF-M-14.
  • For private schools enrolling only publicly funded students in the Infinite Campus State Education system, please complete the April 1st Enrollment Report (EF-M-14 – Sections 2 and 3 only) and email the Excel spreadsheet form to the Department at GPA.DOE@maine.gov. In addition, please fax the completed Signature Page to 1-866-219-8344.
  • For private schools that have no publicly funded students, please complete the April 1st Enrollment Report (EF-M-14 – Sections 2 and 3) for the non-publicly funded students and email the Excel spreadsheet form to the Department at GPA.DOE@maine.gov. In addition, please fax the completed Signature Page to 1-866-219-8344.

The EF-M-14 Form can be downloaded from the Department of Education’s website at:
http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/misteam/enrollment/april/aprilpriv.htm

60% Publicly Funded Private Schools

These 11 private schools must complete both the EF-M-14 and the EPS April Enrollment Certifications.

Private Schools Using the Infinite Campus State Education System:

For private schools that enter students into the Infinite Campus State Edition, please refer to the document titled “Data Standards Document” located at:

http://www.maine.gov/education/medms/standards/index.htm

If you have any questions regarding the Infinite Campus State Education (ICSE), please contact the MEDMS Help Desk, Tel. (207) 624-6896 or e-mail medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

If you have any general student questions, please contact Travis Wood, Tel. (207) 624-6742 or e-mail travis.wood@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment for the Maine Department of Education Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan

The Maine Department of Education is seeking 30 days of public comment on Maine’s ESSA State Consolidated Plan from March 1 – 30, 2017

The passage of the Every Students Succeeds Act in 2015 shifted the former Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 from a federally driven, highly prescriptive set of programs and regulations to a state determined plan to ensure a focus on equity and excellence for all students.

The U.S. Department of Education is requiring every state educational agency to submit a Consolidated State Plan. “When developing its consolidated State plan, the Department encourages each State Educational Agency to reflect on its overall vision and how the different sections of the consolidated State plan work together to create one comprehensive approach to improving outcomes for all students.”

As a result, the Maine Department of Education ESSA State Plan is based on prioritized needs identified in Maine’s existing strategic plan. This plan was stakeholder informed and driven in 2012 and correlates with the five overarching elements of the federal Consolidated Plan, which are as follows:

  1. Long-Term Goals
  2. Consultation and Performance Management
  3. Academic Assessments
  4. Accountability, Support, and Improvement for Schools
  5. Supporting Excellent Educators
  6. Supporting All Students

By this integration the Department is utilizing the ESSA Plan as the enhancement mechanism to move Maine’s educational priorities forward.

The Department engaged over 40 Maine educators representing different stakeholder groups to serve as members of the ESSA Advisory and Workgroup teams to examine the components of the consolidated application pertinent to their focus area and to discuss potential recommendations for each specific component.

 Please note the changes which may affect the final format of  plan:

  • Possible changes in the ESSA Accountability federal regulations
  • Changes to the Consolidated Plan template indicated by the U. S Department of Education Secretary Devos on February 13, 2017 to reflect only those components that are “absolutely necessary”.

The Full Maine Consolidated State Plan
The Executive Summary (Includes an introductory letter from Acting Commissioner Hasson)

Comments may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov

Preliminary FY 2018 State subsidy printouts available

The Department is pleased to announce that the FY 2018 (2017-18 school year) preliminary State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, are now available here on our website:

http://www.maine.gov/doe/eps/

These preliminary amounts are based on Governor LePage’s proposed biennial budget. Governor LePage’s FY18 budget proposal includes $991.3 million for general purpose aid for Maine schools and $1,002.4 billion for FY19. The Governor’s budget does propose changes to the current funding law, which include repealing the adjustment for Title I revenues when calculating the per pupil rate, increasing the targeted funds weight for K-2 from 10% to 15%, with a proposal to add grade 3 in FY 2019, and increasing the adjustment for those school units receiving a minimum special education adjustment to 33%.

The subsidy amounts for FY 2018 (2017-18) reflected on these printouts are only preliminary and do not represent final action of the 128th Maine Legislature and should therefore only be used as “initial” guidance for your budget preparations. Some calculations included in these amounts are dependent upon enactment of statutory changes. Please review your ED 279 printouts in order to familiarize yourself with the full scope of changes proposed in the Governor’s budget.

The Department hopes this release of the preliminary ED 279s is informative to your local budgeting preparations. If you have any questions as you review these printouts, please contact our School Finance Team via email:  tyler.backus@maine.gov or paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov or ida.batista@maine.gov or at 624-6790.

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, report review by March 13, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in March 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2017 Quarter 1 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 1 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In March, the 2016-17 State subsidy printouts (ED279s) will be updated reflecting these adjustments and are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

Reporting issues: To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 1 and report any issues on these reports no later than March 10, 2017. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to denise.towers@maine.gov.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:

  • Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
  • Student’s State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.

For more information on MaineCare Seed payments including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE – Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards effective 7/1/17

This Priority Notice is being resent – originally issued Jan. 5, 2017.

All School Districts with Public Preschool Programs Established before 2015-16

As you will recall, the Maine Department of Education Regulation, Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards go into effect July 1, 2017 for all SAUs.  In order to ensure that your local child count in the public preschool program is included in the NEO system for the 2017-18 school year you will need to complete an application located at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ExistingPublicPreK

The Maine DOE is asking all superintendents to complete this application (unless you are submitting an application for a new program or have had an application approved for the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school year).  The information included in the application will demonstrate how the district complies with the new standards and will collect data on potential challenges in aligning programs with Chapter 124 regulation.   This information will help the DOE determine the types of support that may be needed in order to assist districts in addressing these issues.

Please make sure you complete the entire application; at the end you will find a list of areas where you can indicate where there are alignment challenges for your preschool program. For more information please contact Sue Reed, Early Childhood Specialist, susan.d.reed@maine.gov  624-6632.

This application is due by March 31, 2017.

Save the date: 2017 Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents

The 106th Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents will be held  June 26 & 27 at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Event Center in Bar Harbor.

Registration information and conference materials will be available in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Georgette Valliere at 624-6605 or georgette.valliere@maine.gov .

Priority Notice: Transportation EFT-21 and EFT-24 annual report due date extension

EFT-21 and Transportation Safety and Training Report and EFT-24 Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report due date extension

The due date for the year-end Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report (EFT-24) and the Transportation Safety and Training Report (EFT-21) have been extended to March 31, 2017 in order to accommodate design updates.  The new updated reports will open March 1, 2016.

Between March 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016 all districts must complete and certify FY16 data for both reports.  Submit your data early.  Districts that reported EFT-21 or EFT-24 FY16 data before March 1, 2016 must log into the NEO data system to answer a few new questions, review data, and complete superintendent certification.  This extension is the last due date extension for transportation annual reports EFT-21 and EFT-24.

Delayed and late reports will lead to withheld subsidy until reports are received per Title 20-A §6801-A §§2.

For policy questions regarding the EFT-21 or EFT-24, contact Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

For assistance with access to NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

 

Priority Notice: Advance Data Review for FY 2018 ED 279 Subsidy Printouts

The Department’s School Finance Team has created reference documents for Superintendents and Business Managers to review in advance of receiving the preliminary FY 2018 ED 279 report. These documents highlight annual changes in school unit data which have direct impact to state subsidy calculation.

Proposed changes to the FY 2018 EPS funding model are included as part of the Governor’s biennial budget, on which the preliminary FY 2018 ED 279 report will be based.  In order for school units to evaluate the impact of those changes, it is important to understand the annual changes to a school unit’s student population, state valuation, debt service commitment and approved bus payments which will impact state subsidy, regardless of any other change in the EPS model or the funding distribution formula.  The documents at the link below detail the changes in these data points from the FY 2017 ED 279 to the preliminary FY 2018 ED 279:

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

Please review these documents in advance of publication of the FY 2018 ED 279 reports to and should you have questions regarding this information, please contact the School Finance Team:  tyler.backus@maine.gov  paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov or ida.batista@maine.gov