ESSA & Accountability: Why does accountability matter? #success4ME

Every element of our education system, including our expectations for students, how we understand if students are meeting those expectations, and how we are working with and supporting teachers and leaders, work toward the goal of ensuring all students are prepared for success after high school. Accountability is one piece of that system.

Accountability systems are intended to help us focus on what matters most, give us a better understanding of what is working well, and determine where we need to make improvements so we can help all students succeed. Just as state standards and assessments set expectations for what students should know and be able to do, state accountability systems set expectations for school performance helping schools determine next steps in accessing available supports from the state.

Statewide accountability systems set goals for achievement and growth for all schools regardless of race, income and zip code, and provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to understand school and district profile, and performance information.

Maine’s accountability system is now known as Maine’s Model of School Support. Through the implementation of the model,  Maine will identify schools eligible to receive additional supports in January 2019.

What is Maine’s Model of School Support?

Maine has moved towards a more purposeful approach to supporting Maine Schools. Maine’s Model of School Supports utilizes the following indicators:

Elementary/Middle Schools High Schools
Chronic Absenteeism Chronic Absenteeism
Academic Progress English Language Proficiency
English Language Proficiency Academic Achievement
Academic Achievement Graduation Rate

As you can see, the indicators remain a constant across grade spans with the exception of academic progress and graduation rate. Graduation rate only applies to high schools and as such is a high school model indicator. Progress can only be calculated when there are multiple years of data and this is currently only possible between grades 3-8 or Elementary/Middle level, therefore, progress is utilized in Elementary/Middle schools.

Data related to these indicators will be utilized to determine performance levels for each student population. Student populations include: white, Asian, black, two or more races, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, economically disadvantaged, English language learners, migrant, homeless, foster care and students with disabilities (data for bolded student groups is included in the model. Data for non-bolded student groups is used for reporting purposes only).

In order for a school to receive a performance level within the above indicators, there must be a minimum count of 10 students. If there are less than 10 students in a student group, the data is not utilized, is suppressed, and the indicator will not be applicable for that specific student group.

The method by which 2018/2019 determinations are made is a new process to Maine containing many new indicators (listed above). The Department in collaboration with stakeholders, believe the inclusion of a wide variety of indicators will provide a more comprehensive view of school success. Maine uses performance on these indicators to determine schools who would benefit from the provision of school supports. Schools determined eligible to receive supports will receive additional assistance from the state and their districts. Additional assistance and support through the Maine Department of Education will include professional development and learning, regional leadership coaching, and other supports as determined by the tier of support.

Comprehensive Supports and Interventions (CSI) or Tier III supports are determined as a result of all student populations within Title I schools experiencing challenges across all indicators within Maine’s Model of School Supports. This comprehensive support assists in accelerating  improvement schoolwide. Schools will receive supports for a period of three (3) years. These are schools similar to those identified as priority schools in Maine’s previous accountability model.

Targeted Supports and Interventions (TSI) or Tier II Supports – are determined as a result of specific student populations experiencing challenges in a specific indicator consistently for three(3) years.  These schools are similar to schools that were previously identified as Focus schools; however, under ESSA, Maine  now must identify any school with a consistently underperforming subgroup of students. Maine will not be making determinations for schools eligible for Tier II supports until the 2019/20 school year and then annually thereafter as four (4) years of data is required in order to determine three (3) years of consistently underperforming.

Additional Targeted Supports and Interventions (ATSI) or Tier I Supports – are determined as a result of a single student population(s) experiencing challenges across all indicators. These determinations will be made on an annual basis. Support is provided to schools due to a need based on the performance of at least one student group.

Upcoming articles in the DOE Newsroom will focus specifically on each of the five (5) indicators.

Questions regarding the above information can be sent to ESSA.DOE@maine.gov or Janette Kirk via email at janette.kirk@maine.gov or 624-6707.

 

Regional PD Opportunities Based on CNAs and Provided Under ESSA #success4ME

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Maine has developed a differentiated model of school supports that includes statewide professional development targeted to regional needs. Upon review of submitted statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessments/SAU Consolidated Plans, the Maine DOE is providing regional professional development to address the explicit needs outlined in submitted CNAs.

The Department invites district, school, and classroom leaders, and their staff to attend the many regional professional development opportunities being offered by the Department this fall. These sessions are offered at no cost and sessions information is available on the Department’s professional development calendar.

Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools:  Using Relationships to Promote Growth & Learning

Session Description: Schools across the country are adopting a trauma-sensitive approach in order to effectively educate students who have been exposed to adverse experiences. Neurodevelopmental impacts resulting from childhood adversity hinder a student’s ability to engage in the academic setting and manifest as disruptive, and often unsafe, behavior in the classroom. Creating trauma competent schools has become an imperative for educators who work to ensure safety and promote learning for ALL students. The field of social neuroscience draws from vast disciplines to explain how we have evolved in the context of interpersonal relationships through attachment and group cohesion, and how we have subsequently developed the capacity to shape the brains of those with whom interact and connect. This presentation will describe how educators can use our knowledge of interpersonal neurobiology to create classrooms and student relationships that maximize growth and learning. Participants will understand their role in creating trauma-competent systems and be able to employ trauma-sensitive principles, practices, and procedures to address the impact of trauma on learners and increase their students ability to succeed in the school environment.

Facilitator Information: Cassie Yackley, Psy.D.,  has spent more than 25 years committed to understanding and effectively addressing the impact of traumatic/adverse experiences on children, caregivers/families, and systems. She brings together recent discoveries from developmental neuroscience, attachment, implementation science, and reflective practice to help audiences develop skills of relationship and self-awareness in ways that transform organizations, promote staff professional growth and wellness, and improve outcomes for the consumers they serve.

The three session dates and locations are listed below with a link to each registration.  Space is limited so we recommend you register at the earliest possible opportunity.  Please register no later than, October 9, 2018 for the session closest to you.

Oct. 16, 2018                           
Elks Lodge – Brewer  
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Oct. 17, 2018                                              
State Armory – Augusta 
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Oct. 18, 2018                                              
Elks Lodge –  Portland  
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Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with each session running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a break for a provided lunch.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact ESEA Federal Programs and Title I Director, Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at chelsey.a.fortin@maine.gov.

Beginning of School Year Checklist for Completing Reports

The following checklist is designed to assist districts with publicly funded students in completing required reporting.  The dates listed after each report are when the report is open for entry and due for certification, if required.

Synergy

The Synergy Student Information System is now open for the 2018-2019 school year. If you are a new user or, an existing user who needs changes to system access, please complete the system access form and return to the Maine DOE Helpdesk.

Please note, the first three uploads in Synergy must be done in order (State ID – only if needed, Student Enrollment and Student Personal). Manual entry will allow all three sections to be entered at once so the order is not as critical.

The following items are available. Please visit the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage for Synergy codes to be used for the items below and detailed instructions for entry.

☐ State ID Import – Caution! Please verify the student has not already been previously enrolled in the State of Maine at any time before using this.  Duplicate student IDs create inaccurate data and are not always easy to resolve.

☐ Student Enrollment

☐ Student Personal

☐ Economic Status

☐ Special Education Services – Please remember to use the start date of the services even if this was in a previous year.  Synergy will create a new line for each year the student received the services

☐ EL if applicable

☐ CTE schools and other concurrent schools may only enter their information after the primary school has done their enrollment information.

☐ Attendance, Truancy and Behavior as often as possible but at a minimum, quarterly for certification purposes

☐ Future dates are not permitted in the system.

☐ NEO Staff updated

Beginning of Year Reports and Certifications in DC&R

The following items can be accessed from DC&R. Guidance is available on the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage.

☐ Maine Schools and School Approvals due August 1.  This report must be completed to enter staff information:

Contacts and Questions

If you have questions about these reports, (i.e. what should be entered) please contact the specialist listed below:

  • Accountability: Penny Henry 624-6855
  • Attendance: Rick Bergeron 624-6840
  • Audits/EF-S-07:  Stephanie Clark 624-6807
  • Behavior/Bullying/Restraint and Seclusion: Sarah Ricker 624-6685 or Meredith Backus 624-6865
  • Maine Schools: Charlotte Ellis 624-6696
  • School Approvals: Pam Ford-Taylor 624-6617
  • Special Education: Brandi Giguere 624-6648
  • Truancy: Gayle Erdheim 624-6637
  • Financial Reports (actual expenditure and actual revenue): Tyler Backus 624-6635
  • School Nurse Report: Meredith Backus 624-6865

If you have questions about accessing the reports, please call or email the helpdesk. 624-6896 or medms.helpdesk@maine.gov

If you do not have credentials for Synergy or NEO – Access forms for Synergy and NEO if needed are located on the Maine DOE Data Resources webpage  These forms must be signed by Superintendent and returned to medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

 

ESEA Federal Fund Manual Extension Changes

The Maine Department of Education’s ESEA Federal Programs Team is providing an update regarding the requesting of manual extensions for ESEA Federal funds.

The ESEA Federal Programs will continue to grant manual extensions to school administrative units (SAUs) that were unable to expend their ESEA Federal carryover funds within the expected two-year time frame however, manual extension requests for FY17 funds will only be accepted until August 15, 2018. Requests submitted August 16, 2018 and beyond will not be reviewed or approved.

All requests for manual extensions should go to the district’s ESEA regional team member. Manual extension requests require all funds to be obligated by September 30, 2018 and liquidated by October 30, 2018.

With the understanding that it is not always possible to plan expenditures of ESEA Federal Funds within the fiscal year the funds are granted. In the event that funds are not expended, the ESEA allows for SAUs to carry funds over into the following year. The provision for a manual extension should be the last option in order to expand funds carried over from prior years.

Your continual support as a responsible steward of ESEA Federal Funds is greatly appreciated. If you have questions regarding manual extensions, please contact your ESEA regional team member.

 

Maine DOE Releases Chronic Absenteeism Data in an Effort to Support Student Success

The Maine Department of Education (Department) has collected chronic absenteeism for the 2016/17 school year as a non-academic indicator of school success. Absenteeism for any reason, excused or unexcused, has potential negative consequences on student learning and it is important for schools, districts, and the Department to have this broader measure of student attendance so that we can measure student success. Previously, the Department collected Average Daily Attendance (ADA), and truancy data. ADA measures the average number of students who attend school on any given day. Truancy is a measure of unexcused absences.

Research shows a statistically strong link between school attendance, the development of academic skills, and the likelihood of high school graduation. Research also shows that when a large percentage of students are chronically absent, even the progress their peers, who have better attendance, may suffer.

Below are some additional facts to help answer questions about the shift in chronic absenteeism data collection:

Why is this important?

Chronic absenteeism is a new indicator in Maine’s Accountability system which was designed as part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Current research shows chronic absenteeism has a clear relationship to negative consequences for students, including lower achievement, disengagement from school, course failure, and increased risk of dropping out.

How is chronic absenteeism defined?

Chronic absenteeism is a measure of how many students miss a defined number of school days for any reason. In Maine, this equates to missing 10% of school days or 18 days (based upon 175 school days). As part of Maine’s accountability system, student information will be compiled into an overall school measure indicating the percentage of students at the school who have missed 10% or more of school days. For further information about how chronic absenteeism data is collected visit http://www.maine.gov/doe/data/student/attendance.html.

Where can I find the data?

The 2016/17 chronic absenteeism data is available here. The percentage of Maine students missing 10% or more school days is higher than anticipated as this is the first year school districts have reported this data to the State.

What can schools and districts expect now?

The Department is already working to develop a system of supports available to newly identified Tier II and Tier III schools, with resources to address challenges of attendance. These supports are part of the differentiated tiered model of support under the new ESSA Accountability model with identifications being made in January 2019.

Chronic absenteeism data will be collected annually through the Maine Department of Education’s Synergy Student Information System at the end of the academic year going forward.

The Department will continue collecting truancy data, as required by Maine statute.

For further information about the Department’s ESSA Accountability Model and needed supports, contact Janette Kirk at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov or (207) 624-6707.