PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment for English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Career and Education Development Education 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 English language arts, mathematics, and career and education development standards. Find links to each of the current standards below along with details for submitting comments.

Current Standards:

The standards review process opens with a public comment period and a public hearing prior to the convening of steering committees who are charged with reviewing all submitted comments and with developing blueprints for the revision of the state standards in their assigned content area. Once the blueprints are created, writing teams, consisting of pk-12 teachers who represent Maine’s cultural and geographical diversity, will assemble to draft the standards revisions.

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 comments.

Public hearings will occur on November 7th in room 103 at the Cross Building, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta, at the following times:

  • 2-4pm: Career and Education Development
  • 4-6pm: Mathematics
  • 6-8pm: English Language Arts

A link to the live-streamed hearings will be available prior to the public hearings.

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on December 1st, 2018. Written comments may be sent to Standards Review at sis.doe@maine.gov, or mailed to Beth Lambert, 23 SHS Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

PRIORITY NOTICE: 2017-18 MEA Confidential Assessment Results Now Available to Districts

The 2017-18 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) Confidential Results are now available in the Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS). The confidential portal is now open to district personnel with “DRAFT” district/school/student reports containing 2017-18 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) data.

Schools and districts have until October 31, 2018 to review and verify the district and school data. Should a district determine there are discrepancies in the data, please contact Varun Motay, Data Analyst at Varun.Motay@maine.gov. Access the data in the link below:

MAARS Portal »

Once verified, the MAARS Public portal will be available with 2018 MEA results on November 5, 2018.

Three quick reminders that will assist you when logging into MAARS to review confidential data:

1. Use the Focal Point link

Please ensure you are clicking “Focal Point” icon and not the ‘Google’ icon when signing into MAARS.  The “Google” icon is not supported for the MAARS application. If you inadvertently click “Google” please clear the browser cache, close all browser windows, and (if on a Mac) QUIT/EXIT the browser. Then open a new browser and go the https://lms.backpack.education and click on the FocalPointK12 icon to login. If any additional problems arise, please contact the Focal Point Helpdesk.

                                                     

2. Ensure you have your log-in credentials in hand

For username and/or password information, please check with your District Assessment Coordinator. If there are any further issues, contact the Focal Point Helpdesk.

3. Use a browser other then Firefox

Firefox is not recommended and may lead to instances of blank screens after logging in. Please use a different browser if you are currently using Firefox to ensure a stable user experience.

If you are using another browser, try clearing your cache and cookies, restarting the browser completely (as outlined above in issue 1), and try opening the page once more. If the issue persists, please contact the Focal Point Helpdesk

Focal Point Helpdesk Contact information
Phone: 866-377-4265 ext. 1
Helpdesk Access: https://support.focalpointk12.com
Email: support@focalpointk12.net

For questions contact Maine DOE’s Assessment Team at (207) 624-6770 or eric.buckhalter@maine.gov or contact Interim Director of Learning Systems Janette Kirk at (207) 624-6707 or Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Guidance on New High School Diploma Law

Governor LePage signed into law PL 2017, Chapter 466 on July 10, 2018, allowing SAUs to award either proficiency-based or credit-based diplomas. This change will take effect on December 13, 2018. The new diploma law, enacted by the 128th Legislature, removes the mandate that a high school diploma be based on a student’s demonstration of proficiency in Maine’s Learning Results and instead makes a proficiency-based diploma one of two options.

To help inform school districts and the public about the new law, the Department is providing a side-by-side comparison of the two diploma options. While the new law provides opportunities for flexibility and innovation in awarding a high school diploma, it also presents challenges. The Maine DOE believes the comparison chart will help districts navigate their different options to ensure that, whatever the local decision is, students are provided a high quality education.

Side-by-side comparison of the two diploma options (PDF) »

The chart demonstrates that many details must be worked out both at the state and local level. As school leaders consider the uncertainties presented by the new law, the Commissioner wants districts to know that Maine DOE has an unwavering commitment to the quality of education for all Maine students. In this vein, districts should move forward with diploma requirements that serve students with an understanding that further legislation is likely necessary to reduce the inconsistencies between the two options.

The Commissioner is working collaboratively with stakeholders to establish common goals and seek solutions that ensure Maine’s high school diploma requirements provide a challenging, high quality education for every student in Maine. The Maine DOE looks forward to working with districts in this endeavor to prepare our graduates for a bright future.

Resources

Laws Quick Look Up:

Maine Learning Results

Guiding Principles of The Maine Learning Results

Understanding the Guiding Principlesa Resource developed by the Maine DOE and epic, Educational Policy Improvement Center.

For further questions, contact Mary Paine, Maine DOE Chief of Planning and Implementation at Mary.paine@maine.gov or (207) 624-6672.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Graduation Reporting Due by September 15, 2018

The Graduation Module has opened in NEO so that School Administrative Unit staff can start entering graduation data. This module is used to calculate the graduation rates for the 2017/18 school year. It will also be used, in part, to determine supports for Maine public schools as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The data is due to the Maine Department of Education on or before Saturday, September 15, 2018. As the final step in the new streamlined process, the Department will look over submissions and send an email response to the Superintendent and the person who sent the report to inform them that the data is ready for certification. As in the past, the data needs to be certified by the Superintendent within two working days from the receipt of the email from the Department. More detailed instructions are available below.

For further questions regarding accessing the module, please call the Helpdesk at 207-624-6896. For further questions about how to complete the Graduation Module, please contact Richard Bergeron 207-624-6840.

To further assist districts as they manage required reporting, the Department will be releasing a comprehensive beginning of the school year checklist for completing required reports.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Regionalization Grant Opportunity Now Available – Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES)

The State of Maine is seeking proposals for a grant opportunity through the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services to assist in financing the cost of local and regional initiatives to improve educational opportunity and student achievement through more efficient delivery of educational programs and services.

This is the third round of regional grant opportunities offered as part of the Maine Department of Education’s EMBRACE Regionalization Initiative.

A copy of the RFP and all amendments related to it are available on the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services website under RFP# 201806118.

Note: there have been updates on the RFP for the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES)

Proposals must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, via e-mail, to the following email address: Proposals@maine.gov.  Proposal submissions must be submitted no later than 4:00 pm, local time, on November 7, 2018, when they will be opened. Proposals will be opened at the Burton M. Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall Street – 4th Floor, Augusta, Maine. Proposals not submitted to the Division of Procurement Services’ email address by the deadline will not be considered for the grant award.

For further questions, the Department will sponsor an online/telephone Information Session RFP# 201806118 on July 19, 2018 at 10:00 AM:

All questions and answers will be available on the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services website under RFP# 201806118 following the Information Session.