PRIORITY NOTICE: U.S. CDC COVID-19 School Testing Toolkit To Help Communicate with Families

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a COVID-19 School Testing Toolkit that includes materials that school administrators can use to teach parents, students, and staff about school testing programs and encourage participation. Many of these materials are customizable and can be adapted according to the school’s needs.

Toolkit features:

  • Social media content that communicates the importance of COVID-19 school testing and can be shared on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Informational flyers to promote school COVID-19 testing programs and answer questions about COVID-19 school testing.
  • Posters that highlight the benefits of COVID-19 testing programs in schools and portray in-person learning and activities.
  • Customizable letters and FAQs for teachers, parents, and guardians that address frequently asked questions about school COVID-19 testing programs.

Access the U.S. CDC COVID-19 School Testing Toolkit here!

A link to the COVID-19 School Testing Toolkit can also be found in the Testing Section of the Maine Department of Education (DOE) COVID-19 Toolkit.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Fall Office Hours, Training, & Professional Learning Opportunities NOW Available

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is providing a comprehensive collection of fall professional learning, training, office hours and other opportunities for Maine’s education field as they prepare for and begin the 2021-2022 school year.

Please find below a listing from the Maine DOE Professional Development & Training Calendar with links to a description, more information, and how to register.

In addition, below the calendar listing you will find ongoing and upcoming cohort learning opportunities, as well as links to curriculum resources that can help educators plan classroom and remote learning opportunities throughout the year.

Professional Learning/Training Opportunities:

Note: the below listing is a copy/paste of our Professional Development & Training Calendar. The calendar gets updated every day, check it out anytime for the most up-to-date listing.

September 1, 2021 – Wednesday

10:00 am – 11:30 am School Based Mental Health Supports Content Hour
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Child Nutrition Update with Walter
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm Distance Learning Basics: Recruitment, Intake, and Orientation
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Discover Digital Creativity on International Dot Day

September 2, 2021 – Thursday

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Public Pre-K Return to School Open-Office Hour

September 7, 2021 – Tuesday

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Primary Source Fall Workshop Series: Part 2: “Freedom & Captivity” Primary Source Set
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Virtual MAP Growth Basics for Maine Educators (NWEA)

September 8, 2021 – Wednesday

10:00 am – 11:30 am School Based Mental Health Supports Content Hour
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Special Education Office Hours: Referral to Special Education

September 9, 2021 – Thursday

9:00 am – 10:00 am Federal Emergency Relief Programs Office Hours (ESSER & ARP ESSER applications)
10:00 am – 12:00 pm McKinney-Vento Orientation / Refresher
10:00 am – 11:30 am Finance Training – Coding… Just the Basics
10:00 am – 11:00 am English Learner Data Webinar September 9th at 10am
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Public Pre-K Return to School Open-Office Hour
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Virtual MAP Growth Basics for Maine Educators (NWEA)
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm HE & PE Teachers Welcome Back To School Resources & Conversation

September 13, 2021 – Monday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Essential Reports for Administrators for Maine Educators (NWEA)
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Essential Reports for Administrators (NWEA)
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Essential Reports for Administrators (NWEA)

September 14, 2021 – Tuesday

8:30 am – 12:00 pm NSLP Review Training
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Verification Training
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 1: Virtual Connecting MAP Growth Scores to Student Learning for Maine Educators
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 1: Virtual Connecting MAP Growth Scores to Student Learning for Maine Educators

September 15, 2021 – Wednesday

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Overview of Alternate Assessment Participation
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Assessment Lunch & Learn Office Hours

September 16, 2021 – Thursday

10:00 am – 12:00 pm McKinney-Vento Orientation / Refresher
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 1: Virtual Connecting MAP Growth Scores to Student Learning for Maine Educators

September 17, 2021 – Friday

12:00 AM Digital Worksheets – Asynchronous
8:00 am – 4:00 pm ServSafe Manager Class & Exam
10:00 am – 11:00 am Adult Education: English Language Arts/Literacy Office Hours

September 20, 2021 – Monday

8:30 am – 3:30 pm Fall Mentor Training

September 21, 2021 – Tuesday

9:00 am – 1:00 pm CACFP Basic Training

September 22, 2021 – Wednesday

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Suicide Prevention Curriculum Lessons Training Part 1
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Special Education Office Hours: Alignment
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Math Pact – Mathematics Whole School Agreement (Series A)

September 23, 2021 – Thursday

9:00 am – 10:00 am Federal Emergency Relief Programs Office Hours (ESSER & ARP ESSER applications)
10:00 am – 12:00 pm McKinney-Vento Orientation / Refresher
10:00 am – 11:30 am Finance Training Maine Care Seed
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Seesaw Skill Scaffolding
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Math Pact – Mathematics Whole School Agreement (Series B)
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm The Power of Language: Foundational Strategies for a Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment

September 24, 2021 – Friday

10:00 am – 11:00 am Tech Talk: Digital Marketing in Adult Education
11:30 am – 12:00 pm Special Education Office Hours: Lunch and Learn Q & A

September 27, 2021 – Monday

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm CNPWeb Claims

September 28, 2021 – Tuesday

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Integrating Computer Science in the PK-12 Classroom

September 29, 2021 – Wednesday

10:00 am – 11:00 am Adult Education ESOL Teachers Office Hours
12:00 pm – 3:30 pm Suicide Prevention Curriculum Lessons Training Part 2
3:30 pm – 7:00 pm Early Mathematics Diagnostic Interview (EMDI) Professional Learning

October 1, 2021 – Friday

12:00 AM Supporting Video Production in the Classroom, Part One

October 2, 2021 – Saturday

8:00 am – 4:00 pm ServSafe Manager Class & Exam

October 4, 2021 – Monday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 1: Virtual Connecting MAP Growth Scores to Student Learning for Maine Educators

October 5, 2021 – Tuesday

12:00 AM Strategies for Hybrid Learning – Asynchronous
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 1: Virtual Connecting MAP Growth Scores to Student Learning for Maine Educators
3:00 PM #PODtober – Podcasts as a Resource
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm MTSS Office Hour

October 6, 2021 – Wednesday

10:00 am – 11:30 am Finance Training – EPS Student Data
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Math Pact – Mathematics Whole School Agreement (Series A)

October 7, 2021 – Thursday

9:00 am – 10:00 am Federal Emergency Relief Programs Office Hours (ESSER & ARP ESSER applications)
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Essential Reports for Administrators for Maine Educators (NWEA)
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Math Pact – Mathematics Whole School Agreement (Series B)

October 8, 2021 – Friday

8:00 am – 4:00 pm ServSafe Manager Class & Exam
10:00 am – 11:00 am Tech Talk: TopsPro- Using CASAS Reports for Instruction

October 12, 2021 – Tuesday

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Primary Source Fall Workshop Series: Part 3: “Maine’s Bicentennial” Primary Source Set
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Essential Reports for Administrators for Maine Educators (NWEA)
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Supporting Video Production in the Classroom, Part Two
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm MTSS Office Hour

October 13, 2021 – Wednesday

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Assessment Lunch & Learn Office Hours
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Special Education Office Hours: Writing Compliant IEPs

October 14, 2021 – Thursday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 1: Virtual Connecting MAP Growth Scores to Student Learning for Maine Educators

October 15, 2021 – Friday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Essential Reports for Administrators for Maine Educators (NWEA)

October 18, 2021 – Monday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Essential Reports for Administrators (NWEA)

October 19, 2021 – Tuesday

9:00 am – 11:30 am Special Education IEP Training
12:30 pm – 3:00 pm Special Education IEP Training
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 1: Virtual Connecting MAP Growth Scores to Student Learning for Maine Educators
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm #PODtober – Podcasting in the Classroom
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm MTSS Office Hour

October 20, 2021 – Wednesday

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Math Pact – Mathematics Whole School Agreement (Series A)

October 21, 2021 – Thursday

9:00 am – 10:00 am Federal Emergency Relief Programs Office Hours (ESSER & ARP ESSER applications)
10:00 am – 11:30 am Finance Training CTE Student and Staff
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 2: Student Growth and Goal Setting with MAP Growth
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm What Does Cyber Security Mean to ME?
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Math Pact – Mathematics Whole School Agreement (Series B)

October 25, 2021 – Monday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 2: Student Growth and Goal Setting with MAP Growth
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 2: Student Growth and Goal Setting with MAP Growth

October 26, 2021 – Tuesday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 2: Student Growth and Goal Setting with MAP Growth
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm MTSS Office Hour

October 27, 2021 – Wednesday

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Special Education Office Hours: Writing Compliant IEPs

October 28, 2021 – Thursday

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 2: Student Growth and Goal Setting with MAP Growth
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Tech in the Classroom: It Doesn’t Need to be Scary. 🎃

October 29, 2021 – Friday

10:00 am – 11:00 pm Tech Talk: Excel- After the Export, Part II
11:30 am – 12:00 pm Special Education Office Hours: Lunch and Learn Q & A
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Applying Reports 2:A1:C131 Student Growth and Goal Setting with MAP Growth

Cohorts and Other Opportunities

  • Maine’s Leadership Development Program (Maine LDP) – Executive leadership training to selected educational leaders across Maine at no cost to the fellows or their sending school administrative units (SAUs). | Learn more here
  • The Transformational Leaders’ Network (TLN) – A two-pronged approach to leadership development that provides school principals an opportunity to deepen their leadership skills while they are leading transformational efforts in their schools. 2 hour virtual monthly sessions and 3 in-person full days over 8 months | Learn more here
  • Learning Moments of Mindfulness: Managing Difficult Situation – In this facilitated, online course, learn about different mindfulness techniques to use both inside and outside the adult education classroom to help you manage difficult situations. Offered October 12 – November 22, 2021 | Register & More Info
  • Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures is gearing up for several fall offerings.  RREV offers customizable PD to PK-12 public and private schools state wide at no cost to your teams. We still have over 9 million dollars to award innovative pilot projects over the next two years.  Please contact: Martin Mackey, RREV director to learn more about how RREV can support your team in developing a culture of innovation in your school or creating  Innovative pilots or check out our website for more info: RREV Website here
  • ThinkerAnalytix – join a team of teachers to work closely with ThinkerAnalytix over the 2021-2022 academic year to receive in-depth training in argument mapping and intellectual empathy- the ability to engage in constructive disagreements over controversial issues with precision and care. Educators are encouraged to register in teams of 2 or 3 with their colleagues. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER HERE
  • EVERFI – join a team of teachers to work closely with EVERFI over the 2021-2022 academic year to receive in-depth training on how to successfully implement EVERFI’s digital resources to build your classroom culture and academic readiness. | LEARN MORE AND REGISTER HERE
  • Webinar: Engaging Your Students with Learning Activities using the Founding Documents of the United States – Join the National Archives Foundation and Dr. Charles Flanagan (Outreach Supervisor – Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives) on Thursday, September 9 (4:00pm ET) to learn about engaging your students with learning activities using the founding documents of the United States. Free lessons and resources will be shared. The webinar is free, but registration is required by using this link.

Coming Soon:

  • Text Study for K-5 teachers – The Writing Revolution by Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler. The study will run from October – December – dates to be determined.
  • Understanding the Maine DOL Employment Projections for Career and Development staff/educators – Registration expected to start mid-September.
  • Economic Trends for Career and Development staff/educators – Registration expected to start mid-September.
  • Rethinking Literacy: Sputnik Meets Why Johnny Can’t Read (K-3) – Join Maine DOE Elementary Literacy Specialist Dee Saucier, Maine DOE Science and Engineering Specialist Shari Templeton and other K-3 teachers across the state to learn and work together synchronously and asynchronously. We will read recent research, view short videos and webinars, participate in group discussions and work collaboratively – registration coming fall and early winter.
  • The National Archives – More information about this learning cohort is coming soon. Contact Joe Schmidt (schmidt@maine.gov) with any questions or if you are interested in participating in this learning cohort when more details are made available.
  • The OER Project from The Gates Foundation – More information about the learning cohort coming soon. Contact Joe Schmidt (schmidt@maine.gov) with any questions or if you are interested in participating in this learning cohort when more details are made available.

Curriculum & Other Resources:

  • Maine DOE Webinar Library – recordings of webinars, office hours, and other professional learning categorized by subject.
  • SEL4ME – a free to use, comprehensive, CASEL aligned and trauma informed PreK-12th grade Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum for Maine schools
  • MOOSE (Maine Online Opportunities for Sustained Education) – anytime, anywhere learning options and resources for educators, students, and their families
  • Standards and Instructional Support – The Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) Team collaborates with statewide and national partners to provide professional learning opportunities, resources, and guidance for educators to promote integrated learning experiences and educational practices for the whole child that lead all students to become well-rounded citizens.
  • Digital Learning 101 – A 12-Part Series – Creating a successful remote learning environment requires numerous considerations. In this series, we look at some models and best practices for digital learning. We also draw from both the successes and challenges of the emergency digital learning of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Rethinking Digital Learning – As we emerge from the cloud of digital learning due to necessity, let’s explore what worked and what didn’t. We’ll share best practices for remote learning as well as dig into innovative ways to rethink how digital learning can be done.
  • Memes, Gifs, and Emojis – A Mini-Series – In this mini-series, we explore innovative ways to use memes, gifs, and emojis to enhance connection in remote and hybrid environments and increase general student engagement. We also look at some best practices to get students excited about digital communication.
  • Green Screen Creation in the Early Elementary Classroom – Green screen technology may seem intimidating at first, but the basics are fairly simple and allow for tremendous creativity.  While having a professional green screen is helpful, teachers have been “hacking” this technology for years with green clothing, green tents, puppets on green sticks, green screen boxes and even green playdough.  Teachers can transport themselves anywhere and students’ imaginative play can go to a new level.
  • Building a Digital Toolbox for Asynchronous Learning at the Elementary Level – This video series has been developed as part of the Maine Department of Education’s efforts to provide guidance and support around the use of digital tools in the 2020-2021 school year. Some of these trainings are tied in with the Department’s MOOSE platform training materials while others are being covered that are specifically not part of the MOOSE digital tools.  The goal is to explore those digital tools that can used effectively for asynchronous learning with a focus on the elementary level.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Toolkit of Resources Available to Promote the Meal Benefit Application

As schools across Maine prepare for the 2021/2022 school year with many changes, including the implementation of free school meals and the challenges of COVID-19, we are aware of the increasing difficulty you face with asking families to fill out the Meal Benefit Application.

Families, schools, communities, and our state can greatly benefit from the data that is gathered from the application, which includes key funding for school resources and additional resources for families in need.

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has created a Meal Benefit Application Toolkit for schools/districts to help inform and promote the application within your school community:

Meal Benefit Application Toolkit for Schools

We hope that having these resources laid out in this toolkit can ease some of the burden to create your own promotional and informational materials. Here are some of the resources you will find in the toolkit:

  • Social Media Graphics – short informational graphics that can be shared on your district/school social media platforms.
  • Translated Informational Materials – a one-page info sheet that can be printed and distributed to families (translated versions available), info for teachers and school staff, and a letter to families expressing the importance of the Meal Benefit Application.
  • Meal Benefit Application Form Options – links to the original printable application, an online option, and an alternative sample form that can be used to help inform state subsidy calculations.

We recognize and appreciate all your hard work as you prepare for the start of the school year. Please contact Maine DOE for questions and/or additional resources:

  • If there is a specific additional resource you’d like to see in this toolkit, please contact Caroline Bennett (caroline.bennett@maine.gov) and Rachel Paling (rachel.paling@maine.gov).
  • For questions regarding application collection and SSO (Seamless Summer Option), please contact David Hartley (david.hartley@maine.gov).
  • To add your district to the web-based application via Nutrilink (we HIGHLY recommend this to increase accessibility of application), please contact Sarah Platt (sarah.d.platt@maine.gov).

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.