We are very excited to announce that the Maine Teacher Leadership Committee (Teach to Lead® Maine), in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education, United States Department of Education, and the University of Maine Farmington, will be hosting the second annual Powered By Teach to Lead® Summit on August 16, 2019. This event encourages teams of teachers and administrators to identify a problem of practice or area of need in their school/district and develop a concrete plan to solve the identified problem/issue at their school. Each team will be paired with a critical friend who will serve as a facilitator throughout the day. All active Maine educators are welcome to submit ideas as individuals, but we strongly encourage schools/districts to bring a team of stakeholders to make the best progress at the Powered By Teach to Lead® Summit. Examples of problems of practice that teams identified for the 2018 summit included: trauma-informed schools, development of a makerspace, teacher-led professional development, arts education, and more!
Please consider joining us for this FREE event on August 16th, 2019 at University of Maine Farmington. As space is limited for this event, idea submissions will be reviewed by a team of education professionals, and invitations for participation, with registration details, will be emailed to those accepted.
Teach to Lead® Maine is a statewide effort, uniting educators, policy-makers, and the greater community around the common vision that every Maine student will benefit from the purposeful involvement of teacher leaders who collaborate in guiding the continuous improvement of schools and the teaching profession. For more information about teacher leadership, please visit the Maine Department of Education’s website.
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking 30 days of public comment from May 22 – June 20, 2019, on a Tydings amendment waiver application (waiver from §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 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) §1003(a) funds awarded during Federal fiscal year (FY) 2017.
Maine DOE Leadership participated in a call with USDOE program staff on Friday, May 10, 2019. During this call, the USDOE outlined next steps regarding Maine’s submission of an amendment to the Maine ESSA State Plan. The Maine DOE is working to provide the necessary information as expeditiously as possible. During this time of pause, the Maine DOE is unable to utilize 1003(a) funds. USDOE approval of the Tydings amendment waiver would allow the Maine DOE to make available 1003(a) funds to Maine schools identified for tiered supports, once the pause is lifted.
The U.S. Department of Education requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, solicit public comment on the application, respond to public comments, and provide evidence of the available comment period. The Maine Department is requesting the period of availability for $2,578,500.00 of 1003(a) funds be extended from September 30, 2019 to September 30, 2020.
A copy of the letter seeking waiver from §421(b) of the General Provisions Act can be downloadedwith key elements of the request included below.
Federal program affected by the requested waiver
Maine’s Model of Support for eligible Tier III (Comprehensive Supports and Intervention or CSI) and Tier I (Additional Targeted Supports and Intervention or ATSI) support under section 1003(a) of ESEA, as amended by the ESSA of 2015, is immediately impacted by the Department’s waiver request. This request is seeking to extend the availability of $2,578,500.00 to support eligible Maine schools. The funding will assist schools in engaging in whole-school reform by meeting school and student needs.
Impact to Student Achievement
Waiving §421(b) of the General Provisions Act (Tydings waiver) will directly impact student achievement by allowing the Maine Department of Education to provide increased support for school and classroom leaders during the 2019-2020 school year. Maine is committed to providing a differentiated method of support to struggling schools. Maine’s Model of Support includes coaching and mentoring for school leaders, evidence-based professional learning for educators, and content-specific instructional coaching in classrooms. This process requires all eligible Tier III schools to annually partner with educators, families, and community members to complete a comprehensive needs assessment (CNA). During this process each school team analyzes local academic and non-academic data, identifies promising practices and concerning trends, determines root cause,and creates meaningful goals and a plan for continuous improvement.
The Department will continue to work with schools eligible to receive Tier III (CSI) and Tier I (ATSI) support to ensure funds are utilized in a manner that is reasonable, necessary and allowable under the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA of 2015. The Maine Department of Education will continue to ensure proposed uses of funds align with the school’s completed CNA. Schools eligible to receive Tier III (CSI) supports will continue to document all school improvement related work within DirigoStar (Indistar), the Department’s online project management tool. Each school is also supported and monitored by an assigned school leadership coach. Maine DOE leadership and instructional coaches visit each Tier III eligible school several times throughout the school year.
Continuity of Services to Students
Schools will continue to utilize their completed CNAs to direct and implement the work without negative impact to specific student populations. The extension to the period of availability of funds will ensure schools will have an increased opportunity to access funds to further target supports and meet the needs and goals of the schools, students, and educators as determined in the CNA. Schools will continue to share and engage with communities and families in ways they have found beneficial, and which meet the needs of schools and their communities.
The following checklist is designed to assist districts with publicly funded students in completing required end of year reports. The dates listed after each report are when the report is open for entry and due for certification, if required.
Synergy: The following items are available in the Synergy Student Information System. Please visit the Synergy Instructions Helpdesk Page for Synergy codes to be used for the items below.
Update Attendance – All students with an enrollment must have attendance entered.
Update Truancy – All students who have met the threshold for truancy must have a truancy incident entered.
Special Education – exit any students who have left special education: Special Education will not need to be ended unless the student is exiting the special education program. Special Education services will need to be uploaded each year.
Update Behavior – Note: all enrollments exited with an expulsion must have an expulsion incident in the Behavior module.
Update/End ALL Enrollments (done last):
DOE will NOT be automatically ending enrollments
Concurrent enrollment MUST be ended before the primary enrollment can be ended
All students will need to be exited on their actual last day of school. This may be verified using “Attending Student Report”
June 30 should not be automatically populated for the last day of school.
Future exit dates that are more than 7 days out are not permitted in the system.
Ending a student’s enrollment will end Economic Status and Truancy – to avoid this, update Truancy records prior to ending enrollments
Ending enrollments will prevent you from manually updating Attendance Data. Once an enrollment has been ended, attendance data can only be modified by uploading the data.
New enrollments will need to be uploaded/entered as well as special education information each school year.
Annual End of Year Reports and Certifications:
The following items are Annual Reports for the 2018/2019 school year. Instructions for these reports can be found here:
On June 12, the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) is joining the Maine Resilience Building Network (MRBN) to provide a free, full-day opportunity for school and community prevention partners to learn and think about ways to collaborate to address challenging topics such as mental health, substance use, and student health.
Participants will learn about resources and funding that is available to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive activities and programs that are focused on supporting safe and healthy students.
All school personnel who are familiar with their school district’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and are knowledgeable of their school’s goals to provide students with access to a well-rounded education and to improve school conditions for student learning are encouraged to participate.
All community prevention partners who have the tools and resources to address safe, healthy, supportive and drug-free environments and are wanting to work with schools to address problems that relate to mental health and substance use are encouraged to participate.
In addition, pediatrician Dr. Ken Ginsburg, via Zoom from Philadelphia, will engage with participants to discuss strength based approaches to reaching teens through school and community engagement efforts.
The day’s agenda will also include: school and community prevention partners’ success stories; a panel presentation with representation from Maine DOE, programs within Maine DHHS, MRBN, and the CAN (Child Abuse and Neglect) Council; an overview of Dr. Ginsburg’s Building Blocks of Resilience (the 7Cs); and facilitated discussion.
This learning opportunity will be held in the Bangor Savings Bank in Augusta on June 12, 2019, beginning at 8:30am and ending by 4:00pm. Lunch will be provided.
Registration and an agenda for the day can be found here. Registration closes June 4, 2019
For more information or to ask questions, please contact Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator at the Maine DOE at firstname.lastname@example.org, 624-6685, or Kini-Ana Tinkham, Interim Executive Director, Maine Resilience Building Network at email@example.com.
Data requests submitted to the Maine DOE by the February 8, 2019 deadline were reviewed, amended if necessary with the updated data sets, and uploaded to the ESEA Dashboard. The original timeline indicated the Data Dashboards would be provided to Superintendents for review on Monday, April 15, 2019. The Department is currently in the process of conducting Quality Assurance (QA), ensuring the accuracy of presented data sets, and therefore the Dashboards were not available for District and School review on April 15, 2019. Once the QA process has concluded, district and school leaders will be notified and provided two (2) weeks to review the information provided. The ESEA Dashboard will become available prior to the conclusion of SY 2018-19.
As a result of a Maine DOE leadership phone conversation with the US Department of Education (USDE) on December 12, 2018, a subsequent phone call on March 8, 2019, and written feedback provided to the Maine DOE on March 15, 2019 related to Maine’s ESSA amendment, the Maine DOE was directed to resubmit clarifying information on April 8, 2019 to the USDE for review. USDE has verified receipt of the clarifying information, and the Maine DOE awaits their feedback so that the process can proceed.
During this time of pause, the Maine DOE has secured state funding to support the provision of virtual coaching to schools that the Maine DOE anticipates will be eligible to receive additional support when amendments to Maine’s ESSA State plan are approved. Participation in the virtual coaching is currently optional, with many eligible schools taking advantage of this support.
Maine DOE has requested an extension, until August 31, 2019, to officially make school identifications, and has requested the period of availability of 1003(a) funds be extended until September 30, 2020. These extensions will allow the Maine DOE to ensure the Department is able to align available federal funds to the identification timeline, therefore ensuring the availability of financial supports to schools.
Please know that the Maine DOE continues to do everything conceivable to ensure Maine has an equitable federal accountability model that honors stakeholder feedback and Maine’s small, rural context.