Assessment Capable Learning for the 21st Century -Save the Date!

Join the Maine Department of Education as we explore knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are necessary for 21st century careers and the intentional actions of educators to support students developing the skill and will to fuel their learning. Participants will delve into the principles of assessment capable learning as they examine strategies for building units of instruction that integrate multiple content areas. Sessions will be led by teams of the Department’s content specialists. Units will integrate combinations of world language, social studies, visual and performing arts, science, English language arts, health education and physical education, and mathematics. Units will also incorporate strategies for technology integration and family engagement.

School districts are encouraged to bring teams of three or more people. We will gather as teams at the beginning of the day for a panel and some discussion. Then, each team member will attend a different breakout session where they will experience integrated lessons and units incorporating the principles of assessment capable learners. Finally, at the end of the day, teams will reconvene to share, process, and apply what they experienced in the breakout sessions. Teams may include educators, administrators, instructional coaches, and special education instructors.  Schools are encouraged to include representation from multiple grade levels and all content areas when forming their teams.

When:

Elementary (Pk-5):

July 9th at the Ramada in Lewiston

July 24th at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer

Secondary (6-12):

July 10th at the Ramada in Lewiston

July 25th at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer

Cost:

$130/ team of 3 or $50/ person; lunch provided. Individual registrations are accepted but teams are preferred.

More details about this opportunity and the registration will be provided after April school vacation week.

For more information please contact Lee Anne Larsen, leeann.larsen@maine.gov or Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov.

MaineCare Seed Adjustments to be Made, Review Q219 Reports by April 12, 2019

The recovery of Q219 MaineCare Seed will occur in the April 2019 subsidy payment and the Maine DOE is asking districts to please review their reports by April 12, 2019 to ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy. SAU staff must review student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q219 by April 12, 2019.

To access the MaineCare Seed reports, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into NEO using the link below
    https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Dashboard

    • Anyone who currently has Special Education Director permissions to the Special Education module will automatically have permissions to access MaineCare reports.
    • As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this module, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary. The helpdesk contact information is medms.helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.
  2. Click on the Student Data tab
  3. Click on the Student Report tab
  4. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  5. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  6. Click view report button
  7. Once the report appears on the screen, choose the export button. MaineCare File
    You may export the reports to Excel but, please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

You may export the reports to Excel, but please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with the following to Denise.towers@maine.gov.

  • Identify the type of report (public or private) and the quarter in which the claims are located.
  • State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (From and To)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: Students must be enrolled for the time period they are receiving educational services. This means that students that are receiving extended school year services in district or extended school year services in an out of district placement must have a primary enrollment for that time period in order for the MDOE to have the most accurate enrollment data to determine SAU responsibility for MaineCare Seed.

For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Administrative Letter: Clarification on Requirement to Ensure Parents’ Meaningful Access to IEP Information

Administrative Letter: #23
Policy Code:  BGE
To: Public School Administrators, Special Ed. Directors, EL Coordinators/Directors, and ESOL Teachers
From: Pender Makin, Commissioner
Date:  March 12, 2019
Subject: Clarification on Requirement to Ensure Parents’ Meaningful Access to IEP Information

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees parents’ right to receive communication from their children’s schools in a language they can understand. The US Department of Education has provided guidance (PDF) clarifying that, “State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have flexibility in determining what mix of oral and written translation services may be necessary and reasonable for communicating the required information to parents with limited English proficiency.”

For parents of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), LEAs must ensure that parents are able to understand the proceedings of the IEP meeting and access the IEP document as needed.

In a 2007 letter (PDF) to Conway Public Schools in Arkansas, the Office of Special Education (OSEP) indicated that, “while providing written translations of IEP documents is not required under IDEA, we believe in some circumstances it may help to show that a parent has been fully informed of the services his or her child will be receiving.”

A 2016 Dear Colleague Letter (PDF) from OSEP states that, “Under Title VI, all vital documents, including a student’s IEP, must be accessible to Limited English Proficient (LEP) parents, but that does not necessarily mean that all vital documents must be translated for every language in the district. For example, a timely and complete oral interpretation or translated summary of a vital document might suffice in some circumstances. A district must, however, be prepared to provide timely and complete translated IEPs to provide meaningful access to the IEP and the parental rights that attach to it. This is because a parent needs meaningful access to the IEP not just during the IEP meeting, but also across school years to monitor the child’s progress and ensure that IEP services are provided.”

This notice does not serve as legal advice, and LEAs should consult legal staff and/or the Office for Civil Rights for guidance pertaining to their specific contexts.

The Maine Department of Education would like to acknowledge and thank Maine’s special education directors, administrators, and educators for ensuring federal and state regulations for educating students with special needs are met, and for their ongoing dedication to the students and families that these processes serve.

For further information about translation/interpretation please contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III at (207) 624-6627 or april.perkins@maine.gov. For further information about supporting students with an IEP, please contact Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services at (207) 624-6713.

Guidance Regarding Automated Translation/Interpretation Services

As Maine districts have experienced increasing numbers of students and parents who speak languages other than English, there has also been an increase in the availability of machine or automated translation/interpretation software and apps. While these tools may seem like a convenient (and oftentimes free) way to meet a district’s civil rights obligations for communicating with parents, they have not yet reached the level of accuracy necessary to serve as a substitute for a qualified human translator/interpreter. Meaningful communication with parents, including parents whose children have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), is not only a civil rights requirement, but it also serves to strengthen family engagement and promote positive relationships between families and schools.

A 2015 guidance document from the US Department of Justice and US Department of Education clarifies that even a bilingual person without appropriate training cannot be used by a school to translate/interpret for parents. Whether for the vital communications listed in this guidance document or for more casual interactions, best practice is always to utilize trained professionals, such as through a phone interpretation service or translation/interpretation agency.

For a list of translation/interpretation providers, please refer to the Maine Department of Education website. For parent notices required under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Maine Department of Education has partnered with TransACT to give districts free access to notices in 17 languages.

For further information about translation/interpretation please contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III at (207) 624-6627 or april.perkins@maine.gov. For further information about supporting students with an IEP, please contact Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services at (207) 624-6713.

The Special Education Staff Certification Report (EF-S-05 Part II) Open on March 1, 2019; Deadline is April 5, 2019.

The EF-S-05 Part II Special Education Staff Certification report must be verified and certified by the Special Education Director in the Maine DOE’s NEO System. The report is used to verify the full-time equivalency (FTE) and qualification status of special education teachers, paraprofessionals (educational technicians), and related services personnel who were employed or contracted to provide special education services to students with disabilities ages 3 through 20 as of December 1, 2018.

Access instructions for completing the EF-S-05 Part II report.

If you have trouble logging into NEO or have other technical issues, contact the help desk at 207-624-6896 or MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov.

For questions about the EF-S-05 Part II report, contact Brandi Giguere at 207-624-6648 or brandi.a.giguere@maine.gov.