2021/22 Assessment Calendar Now Available

Thank you to the Maine educators who provided responses to the Maine Department of Education (DOE) assessment survey and attended weekly assessment office hours between February and June sharing feedback that was used to inform the construction of the 2021-2022 assessment calendar. The Maine DOE is pleased to share the finalized assessment calendar for school year 2021–2022.

Reminders related to administration of NWEA:

  • Language Usage
    Beginning with the fall 2021 administration, the NWEA language usage assessment will be administered in addition to the math and reading NWEA MAP growth assessments. Students in grades 3–8 and 3rd year of high school (HS) are required to participate in the fall and spring administration of math, reading and language usage.
  • 2nd year of high school students
    School Administrative Units (SAUs) have the option to administer the NWEA assessment to students who are in their 2nd year of high school at no cost to the SAU.
  • Winter Administration
    SAUs have the option to administer the NWEA during the winter assessment window as outlined in the MEA calendar (below). In order to ensure sufficient instructional weeks between assessment administrations, the winter NWEA assessment window is scheduled for January 17–February 10, 2022.

The finalized assessment calendar takes into consideration the following:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
    According the responses on the assessment survey, Maine educators indicated that it would be beneficial for students to be able to focus on preparing and participating in these assessments.  To accommodate this request, assessment windows for HS math, reading and language usage (NWEA) and science will be conducted during May 16–27,
  • Sufficient Instructional Time
    Maine educators also indicated a preference for assessments to be conducted, where possible, later during the spring. The science and NWEA administrations are scheduled for May 2021.
    Eighty percent (80%) of Maine SAUs indicated they will be utilizing the NWEA assessment during the winter administration window. The spring administration dates are influenced by the winter administration dates to ensure sufficient  instructional weeks between fall -> winter and winter -> spring assessment administration.
  • Staggered Implementation
    The Department did explore a staggered administration of NWEA for grades 3-8 and high school however, this would require the assessment window remain open for both administrations. This would significantly reduce the opportunity for Maine SAUs to use text-to-speech (TTS) outside of the state assessment administration windows (see below).

Other factors influencing the construction of the assessment calendar included:

  • School Vacation
    Assessment is not staggered over spring vacation during April and therefore eliminates potential scheduling challenges and equity of administration prior to and after spring vacation.
  • Availability of Text-to-Speech (TTS)
    Educators were clear in their desire to use TTS outside of the state assessment window. TTS remains unavailable during the identified [reading] assessment windows as outlined below.  SAUs may choose to administer the NWEA assessment locally outside of the identified 4-week windows and apply/utilize the TTS functionality.  The administration of the assessment using TTS is in addition to the state required administration of the assessment

 2021-2022 Assessment Calendar:  

A copy of the assessment calendar is also located on the assessment calendar page within the Maine DOE website.

Content Area  Assessment     State Assessment Administration Window   Grades   
Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Financial Literacy PISA  (selected schools only) September 30-October 29 Age 15
Math, Reading and Language Usage* NWEA

(Required: fall window

(August 15-November 30)

 October 4-29 Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS

(2nd year HS optional)

English Language Proficiency ACCESS & Alt. ACCESS January 10-March 4 K-12/ 1-12 (alternate)
Math, Reading and Language Usage NWEA

(Optional: winter window

December 1-February 28)

 January 17-February 10 Optional: Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS /

2nd year HS)

Mathematics and Reading Grades 4 and 8

Civics and U.S. History Grade 8

NAEP  (selected schools only) January 24-March 4 Grades 4 & 8
Alternate Math & ELA Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) March 14-April 29 Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS
Alternate Science MSAA Science March 14-April 29 Grades 5, 8, 3rd year HS
Science Maine Science May 2-13 Grades 5 & 8
Maine Science May 16-27 3rd year of HS
Math, Reading and Language Usage*  NWEA

(Required: spring window

March 1-June 15)

May 2-27 Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS

(2nd year HS optional)

Further questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems.  

Priority Notice: Public Comment Period for Rulemaking Required in Response to P.L. 2019, Ch. 154 Now Open

10-144 CMR, Chapter 261: Immunization Requirements for School Children (DHHS) / 05-071 CMR, Chapter 126: Immunization Requirements for School Children (DOE)

BRIEF SUMMARY: The Department of Health and Human Services – Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (DHHS) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) are jointly proposing these routine technical rule changes to implement P. L. 2019, Ch. 154: An Act to Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Disease by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirements (the “Act”)

The proposed rules can be reviewed, here.

The Act prohibits the rule from including any provision governing medical exemptions and repeals the exemption from required immunization for school students who object, based solely on a sincere religious belief or philosophical reason, effective September 1, 2021, with exemptions for certain students.

Those students who may have declined immunizations based on religious or philosophical objection and are otherwise not eligible for exemptions permitted under Maine’s immunization laws, including those attending elementary or secondary schools for pre-kindergarten instruction, will be subject to current immunization requirements for the certain specified diseases. This rule proposes to require schools to include in their annual report any stricter immunization requirements that may be adopted by ordinance or policy, in addition to the immunization status of all students, including immune students, exempt and non-immunized excluded students.

Additionally, these proposed rule changes include new and revised definitions; add a vaccine schedule for pre-kindergarten students; clarify existing authority and responsibility to dismiss or exclude a child from school when there is a public health threat (20-A MRS § 6301; 22 MRS ch. 250); and clarify superintendent and school authority and responsibility. Finally, changes are proposed to the format of the rule for conformity with Maine CDC rulemaking standards.

As required by law, a public hearing for the proposed rule will be held as a Virtual Public Hearing on July 26, 2021 at 9:00 am, and can be accessed, here.
Meeting ID: 864 0432 7981
Passcode: XeNRq!D2

Comments may be submitted to DOE Legislative Affairs Team member Jaci Holmes, State House Station #23, Augusta, Maine 04333; 207-831-3168 or jaci.holmes@maine.gov `until 5:00 pm August 5, 2021.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comments for a Tydings Amendment Waiver of FY20 ESEA Funds and FY21 Carryover of Excess Title I, Part A Funds

Pursuant to the authority granted under section 8401(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Maine Department of Education (DOE) intends to submit an application for waivers to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). As required, the Maine DOE is seeking 15 days of public comment from June 23, 2021 – July 7, 2021, on the request to waive the period of availability for Elementary & Secondary Education Act funds and Title I, Part A carryover limitations.

Requirements from which Maine will be seeking a waiver include:

A Tydings amendment waiver from Section 421(b) of the General Provisions Act to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The Tydings amendment waiver seeks an extension to the availability of Federal Fiscal Year 2019/State Fiscal Year 2020 Elementary and Secondary Education funds. Programs affected by this waiver:

  • Title I, Part A of the ESEA (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs), including the portions of the SEA’s Title I, Part A award used to carry out section 1003 school improvement, section 1003A direct student services, if applicable, and Title I, Part D, Subpart 2
  • Title I, Part B of the ESEA (State Assessment Formula Grants)
  • Title I, Part C of the ESEA (Education of Migratory Children)
  • Title I, Part D, Subpart 1 of the ESEA (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk)
  • Title II, Part A of the ESEA (Supporting Effective Instruction)
  • Title III, Part A of the ESEA (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement)
  • Title IV, Part A of the ESEA (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants)
  • Title IV, Part B of the ESEA (21st Century Community Learning Centers)
  • Title V, Part B, Subpart 2 of the ESEA (Rural and Low-Income School Program)
  • McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

A carryover limitation waiver from Section 1127(a) of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended for Federal Fiscal Year 2020/State Fiscal Year 2021 Title I, Part A funds. The carryover limitation waiver seeks to waive the requirement that limits the Maine DOE’s ability to grant to its local educational agencies (LEAs) a waiver of the 15 percent Title I, Part A carryover limitation of more than once every three years.

The Maine DOE must solicit and respond to public comment on its waiver request as well as provide evidence of the available comment period. As the Maine DOE moves forward to provide as much flexibility as possible and continued support for expending ESEA federal funds, comments can be submitted to: Jessica Caron at Jessica.s.caron@maine.gov

PRIORITY NOTICE: Investment in Maine’s Career and Technical Education Centers Critical to Economic Recovery, Says Governor Mills

Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan proposes $20 million for CTEs to train students and strengthen Maine’s workforce

During a tour of Foster Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center in Farmington today, Governor Janet Mills highlighted the importance of Maine CTEs in training skilled workers and spurring economic recovery and long-term growth from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Mills has proposed investing $20 million for program, equipment and facility upgrades for the state’s 27 CTEs as part of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, her proposal to invest more than $1 billion in discretionary Federal relief funds allocated to Maine under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Maine CTEs have not received a significant investment from the State since 1998.

“Jobs in the trades bring with them good skills and good pay, as well as stable, life-long careers, but it’s been decades since we’ve invested in the upgrades our career and technical education centers need to train students to fill those jobs,” said Governor Mills. “Investment in Maine’s CTEs is critical to our economic recovery and long-term growth. With newly available funds, now is the time to make that investment to connect our students with rewarding careers and the businesses that are waiting to hiring them.”

“Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will support the ability of the Foster Career and Technical Education Center, and all 27 CTEs around the state, to help students grow into career-ready adults,” said Melissa Williams, Director of the Foster CTE. “It is critically important that we have the ways and means to support students and create stronger relationships with business and industry partners. Thank you, Governor Mills, for this important investment.”

“Governor Mills’ support for Career and Technical Education Centers will help Maine’s CTEs unleash the potential of Maine’s young people, help fill Maine’s high-growth careers, and create sustained economic growth,” said Dave Keaton, CTE Director of Region Two School of Applied Technology in Houlton and incoming the Executive Director of Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education (MACTE). “The investment from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is long overdue, and will provide Maine students with exceptional learning opportunities and prepare them for future success as skilled members of Maine’s workforce.”

“Through the Foster CTE Center, I’ve had the opportunity to take business courses, intern at the United Way, and will be graduating with over 40 college credits,” said Mariah Thomas, a senior at Mt. Blue High School. “The support I’ve gotten from my school and programs has given me confidence and clarity in my college and career choices.”

“All my life I wanted to own my own veterinarian clinic, but didn’t know where to start. The courses I’ve taken at Foster CTE Center have given me the direction I needed,” said Allyson Walsh, a senior at Mt. Blue High School. “In the fall I will be attending the University of Maine to major in veterinary medicine and minor in business having already earned 46 college credits, which has given me a head start on my degree.”

“My experience in mechanical and architectural drafting helped spark my interest in engineering through hands-on modeling, design and innovation, which led to a degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute,” said James Brann, a 2007 graduate of the Foster CTE Center. “Whether students choose to pursue a college degree or enter the workforce directly, time spent at any of Maine’s Career and Technical Education schools is time well spent. Thank you to the educators who inspire our future machinists, engineers, loggers, mechanics, carpenters, electricians and more, and thank you to Governor Mills for recognizing the value of Maine programs like the one here at Foster CTE Center.”

“The relationship between Maine employers and the state’s Career and Technical Education Centers is important for Maine’s economy to ensure our students are learning the skills needed to thrive in skilled trades, health care, biotechnology, and more,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. “The workforce investments of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, which total more than $100 million, will create new economic opportunities for Maine students and employers.”

As Attorney General, Governor Mills used funds she obtained through a settlement with Bath Fitter to create plumbing programs at several CTEs in Maine, including Foster CTE Center. In 2019, as Governor, Governor Mills also proposed a $5 million bond to support equipment upgrades at CTEs. The proposal was rejected by some members of the Legislature at the time despite bipartisan support.

Joining Governor Mills today were Melissa Williams, Director of Foster CTE, Allyson Walsh and Mariah Thomas, Foster CTE Center students, and James Brann, a 2007 graduate of Foster CTE Center.

Maine’s public education system has 27 CTE schools that provide Maine students with training for careers, including in welding, nursing and emergency medicine, computer programming and pre-engineering, electrical, heating and cooling systems, building trades, early childhood education, marine trades, automotive technology, horticulture, hospitality and culinary arts, among others.

Governor Mills has presented the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to the Legislature and will travel the state in the coming weeks to discuss it in more detail with the people of Maine.