Registration now open for 2018 Commissioner’s Conference

Registration is now open for the 107th Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents.

Location: Augusta Civic Center

Dates: Wednesday, June 27 – Thursday, June 28, 2018

2018 Highlights:

  • The keynote speaker will be Duke Albanese, a nationally sought-after adviser and speaker on educational issues. His career in education has spanned over forty years, including service as the Commissioner of Education for the State of Maine (1996–2003) and a long tenure as the superintendent of schools for the Messalonskee School District in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine.
  • Discussion and meeting topics include: Career and Technical Education, Student Health/Safety, Educator Workforce, Certification, Regionalization, and much more.
  • This year’s conference will include a cracker barrel session where conference attendees will have a chance to talk informally with Commissioner Bob Hasson and other staff members of the Maine Department of Education.
  • The Annual Awards & Recognition Banquet.

Download a draft agenda.

Register here »

Find additional resources including pricing, lodging options, further details about registration, including guest registration, and more on the Maine DOE Commissioner’s Conference webpage.

PRIORITY NOTICE: New certification system now open for pilot schools

The Maine Department of Education’s new online certification system has now been released to four pilot school districts: Gorham Public Schools, Bangor School Department, MSAD 15 and RSU 13.  Those pilots have received access to the district portal, which will provide support chairs the ability to verify renewal requirements using the new online certification system.

Once those verifications are complete and the educator portal is released, educators from those districts will then be able to login and submit their renewal applications online.

By allowing access to the district portal first, support chairs will be able to manage their renewal lists and both the chair and the superintendent will have time to become familiar with the system and all its features.

As the Department transitions to the pilot phase of the online certification system, we want to assure the field that we are very aware that the deadline for submission of renewal applications is July 1, 2018 and that schools will be closing in early to mid-June.

In anticipation of the release to districts beyond the pilots, it is highly recommended that district support chairs have renewal verifications prepared ahead of time.  Most will find the online process to be simple, but please be advised that advanced preparation will increase efficiency.

Please note that during the pilot phase, the certification office will continue to process paper applications for initial certification. The Certification office has been processing paper applications internally on the new system for several months and will continue to do so until the educator portal is fully released.

The highly anticipated online certification system has been a long time in the making and the Department greatly appreciates the patience and support of the field as we make this important transition.

Further communications and updates will be posted on the Maine Department of Education Certification Webpage well as on Maine DOE’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, in addition to the DOE newsroom.

PRIORITY NOTICE: EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment Report will not be collected for 2017/18 school year

This notice was sent to Private School Administrators.

The Maine Department of Education (Department) will not be collecting the EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment report for non-publicly funded students for the 2017-2018 school year.

In previous school years, the Department collected the EF-M-14 April 1st resident Enrollment report in April and the EF-M-13 in October to capture a head count students of attending private schools.

At this time, the Department is actively working on identifying an improved collection process that will be less labor intensive and more timely for schools and other consumers of the data.

The Department will use the October 1 collection to calculate the subsidy count of publicly funded students. For those instances where an April 1 count is needed, the Department will use a “year-end” count that is as of April 1, but not due within the same rigid time frame.

Further communications and actions for Private School Administrators will be forthcoming once an improved process is identified.

For further questions or clarification contact Maine Department of Education Student Data Analyst, Travis Wood at (207) 624-6742.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE announces alternative rural and low-income federal allocation formula; more districts now eligible for funds

The Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) received notification that its proposed Title V, Part B, Sub Part 2 allocation formula, submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) in November 2017, has been approved. The approved alternative formula provides increases funding through the Title V Rural Low-Income Schools (RLIS) grant to districts that have higher poverty rates.

Contained in their April 5, 2018 approval email the U.S. DOE indicated the following:

“We appreciate your patience as we carefully considered whether Maine’s proposed alternative RLIS funding formula meets the standard under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(C) that an alternative formula better target RLIS funds to LEAs serving the highest concentrations of children from families below the poverty line.  We have determined that your proposed formula meets this standard given that, in general, LEAs with the highest percentages of low-income children will receive higher awards than they would under the current ADA-based formula under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(B).”

The new RLIS formula divides the Title V, Part B, Sub part 2 state allocation between poverty (70%) and Average Daily Attendance ADA (30%). Under the alternative distribution, there are some districts that will receive less funding under Title V, however, overall more districts and students will be served. The alternative formula provides a more equitable distribution of the funds across the State, including:

  • 71 Districts (up from 55) will receive funding from the RLIS grant
  • 67,608 students (up from 64,740) will be served by RLIS grant funds

The Title V RLIS grant will be included in the ESEA Consolidated Application with Title IA, II, III, and IVA for FY19.

Further questions regarding the formula or to better understand the calculation process contact Maine DOE Title V Coordinator, Daniel Weeks, at 207-624-6749 or daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Department’s proposed diploma bill (LD 1898) released for review

The Maine Department of Education’s proposal for the high school diploma, as referenced in this recent priority notice, was released from the Maine State Legislature Office of the Revisor of Statutes on Wednesday, April 4 as LD 1898, An Act To Amend Maine’s High School Diploma Standards and Ensure Maine Students Meet State Standards upon Graduation.

The Commissioner requested that the Department’s proposal be submitted as a “Governor’s” bill to allow for the greatest possible opportunity for discussion between the Department and the public. The Department considers this discussion to be an open dialog and we look forward to further conversations.

A public hearing is expected to be scheduled for early next week. Once it is scheduled, it will be posted on the Joint Standing Education and Cultural Affairs Committee calendar.

In anticipation of the public hearing, the Department is providing an updated summary of what the bill does and does not do.

LD 1898

  1. Removes the mandate that districts base a diploma on an undefined concept (“proficiency”) by repealing 4722-A and replacing it with 4722-B.
  2. Points to a reasonable and appropriate level of achievement in two foundational content areas (English and math) required for the diploma
  3. Bases achievement criteria on knowledge, skills, and progressions that are already present and defined in Maine’s Learning Results
  4. Provides students with disabilities equitable access to education and a diploma
  5. Requires that students have high quality instruction and learning in all content areas
  6. Makes room for students to access their education through both traditional, (classroom-based) avenues and non-traditional (experience-based) avenues in separate, integrated, and independent contexts
  7. Allows districts to implement diploma requirements beyond the minimum set by the state

LD 1898 does not

  1. Eliminate what has come to be called “proficiency-based education,” “proficiency-based teaching,” or “proficiency-based learning.” Instruction and learning based on learning outcomes, as described by some in recent articles, is standards-based education by a different name.  Maine schools have been striving for and succeeding in implementing teaching and learning based on standards since the state adopted the Maine Learning Results in 1997. Under the Department’s proposal, school districts may continue to teach, grade, and structure learning as they determine best meets the needs of students, parents, and the school community