Priority Notice: Maine DOE seeks public comment on waiving requirement that 21st CCLC programs operate only during non-school hours

In response to the unprecedented obstacles schools, teachers, students, and their families are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has offered an additional waiver to state education agencies, pursuant to section 4201(b)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).  Under Title IV, Part B of the ESEA, section 4201(b)(1)(A) requiring that 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs operate only during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session.  If granted, this waiver would allow 21st CCLC program providers in Maine to temporarily operate with greater flexibilities to better meet the needs to students and families during the 2020-2021 school year.

This waiver would grant the Maine Department of Education (DOE) temporary authority to permit its 21st CCLC programs to provide supplemental services when school is in session, but students are not receiving in-person instruction.  For example, it would be permitted that a teacher provides additional 21st CCLC-funded academic supports for a group of students during a remote learning day when those students are not otherwise engaged in facilitated instruction with their classroom teacher.

The Maine DOE continues to work diligently to support Maine’s schools and educational communities as the 2020-2021 school year begins.  Given the hybrid instructional approaches many schools have adopted this year, students may benefit from dedicated staff and enhanced resources to help with remote lessons, independent work, and other enrichment opportunities during the portion of the week when remote lessons learning is occurring.  It is for reasons such as these that the Maine DOE has chosen to pursue this waiver.

As part of the statutory requirements for seeking this waiver, the Maine DOE must solicit and respond to public comment on its waiver request as well as provide evidence of the available comment period.  This 15-day public comment period shall begin on September 29, 2020 and conclude on October 14, 2020.

Comments may be submitted to: travis.w.doughty@maine.gov

Special Education Forms Update 08.01.2020

Based on the periodic review and feedback from a stakeholder group of practitioners in the field, the Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services has revised two of the required forms for Special Education. Specifically, the IEP form and the Optional Referral form have been revised; all vendors have been notified of these changes. Below are links to the updated forms:

A complete list of all forms is available on our website. All changes in the revised forms go into effect on August 1, 2020. Below are the detailed changes to the IEP form and the Optional Referral Form:

  • Section 3. Considerations C. and Ci. on page 1 were updated to include current language related to English Learners.
  • Section 7. Related Services on page 4, Behavioral Health Day Treatment was removed from the related services grid. Please see guidance about documenting behavioral services in section 6. Supplementary Aids, services, Modifications and/or Supports of the IEP. The guidance was jointly issued, in March of 2020, by the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office of MaineCare Services (OMS).
  • Section 5. The Academic Performance description was updated to include all children in Part B, ages 3-20.
  • Section 5. The Functional/Development performance descriptions were updated to include all children in Part B, ages 3-20.
  • The Optional Referral Form, section J, Recent Academic Achievements was revised to include the grade level benchmarks for the assessments that are considered during a referral.

The updated Procedural Manual is posted on the Office of Special Services website. For more information or assistance, please call Roberta Lucas, Federal Programs Coordinator at 624-6621 or roberta.lucas@maine.gov

Notification Regarding the Maine Department of Education Accommodations Policy 

A policy on Requesting Reasonable Accommodations in dispute resolution matters has been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and adopted by the Maine Department of Education. 

The Maine DOE is making this information available by posting it on the Maine DOE’s Special Services website. The link to the policy and procedures is available at https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/specialed/director