EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report (EF-S-214) Open for Reporting on March 1, 2019; Deadline is April 15, 2019

The EF-S-214, also known as the EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report will be open for data entry to Maine public schools on March 1 in the Maine DOE’s NEO Portal.

The report can be located by logging into NEO at: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login then Navigate to→ Special Education → Forms → EFS-214.

School districts should sign into the report as early as possible to allow time for data entry as well as the two-step submission process. The deadline to complete the report is April 15. The Department must approve the report by April 15 to allow time to make possible EPS adjustments.

This report is required for all publicly funded school districts, including districts that do not meet the High-Cost Out-of-District tuition threshold of $16,214 (see further details below).

Below are a few important things to note about the EF-S-214 report:

  • School districts will need to project the tuition cost for the full fiscal year.
  • Fiscal Year 2019 tuition/board cost that total above $16,214 for each student should be included in the report. 
  • Adjustments to the Special Education High-Cost Out-of-District allocation will be based on costs above $16,214 for placements in Regional Special Education Programs, $24,321 for placements in other school administrative units, and $32,428 for placements in private schools.


Questions about the report should be direct to Stephanie Clark (Fiscal Compliance Specialist) for the Maine Department of Education at 207-624-6807 or (Stephanie.clark@maine.gov).

MSAD 49 Partners with Harvard University School of Education

Submitted by Reza Namin, Superintendent of Schools for Maine School Administrative District 49

Under leadership of Superintendent Dr. Reza Namin, Maine School Administrative District 49 has implemented a partnership with the Harvard University School of Education. 47 teachers, staff, and specialists in 8 Professional Learning Communities are taking part in the partnership. The goal of professional learning through WIDE World at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is to transform school systems by developing professional communities of teachers and school leaders with interactive online courses and on-site support programs that enable schools to cultivate the critical learning students need for the 21st century world. Programs are based on Teaching for Understanding, a classroom-tested framework developed through research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. They are taught on-line which enables a truly global learning environment with educators participating throughout the world. Courses are job-embedded so that learners may integrate research-based strategies for learning and teaching into their own workplace. Teams of learners are supported by both a course instructor who is on the faculty of Harvard University as well as coaches from around the world who help them achieve their goals. WIDE World encourages participants to tailor their learning to their own classrooms, schools, programs, and systems while building local capacity for enhancing learning for all.

Courses for Maine School Administrative District 49

Teaching for Understanding 1: Focus on Student Understanding

TfU is an introduction to the Teaching for Understanding framework. In this course, participants learn to clarify educational goals, link student work to experience, design active learning instructional units, develop effective assessment practices, and reflect on their own teaching practice. As we enter a new century of the unknown, there are critical skills that students must have in order to excel. The Teaching for Understanding course is an opportunity to learn teaching strategies that will actively engage students in the critical-thinking and 21st Century problem-solving skills that are now demanded by society.

Teaching for Understanding: Understanding in Practice

This course builds upon concepts and strategies learned in our introductory courses, giving participants a chance to explore the practical challenges of Teaching for Understanding. Using the unit, participants have previously planned, they will look at ways to refine their practice and implement new strategies to keep students engaged and focused. With fellow educators, a coach, and an instructor, TFU will help you combine disciplinary goals and students’ understanding in the classroom, exchange successful approaches and guide you through the process of continual reflection and adjustment.
TFU will also give you practical strategies for incorporating participants’ educational institutions’ educational goals into their unit.

An Impact on Maine School Administrative District 49

As Maine School Administrative District 49 reaffirms its identity as a learning community, the philosophy of Teaching for Understanding is most appropriate. We acknowledge and build upon our current strengths as a school district, including our curriculum standards, faculty professional learning communities, and attention to individual student needs. It is important to focus now on understanding and the realization that 21st-century learners must not only have knowledge and skills, but also strategies to think deeply about their learning, themselves, and the world. As our school department moves forward, all of our learners – both children and adults- will be challenged in new ways through our curriculum, instruction, and professional development.

Healthy Decisions Day a Success at Maranacook Community Middle School

Submitted by Kristen Levesque, Principal at Maranacook Community Middle School

Healthy Decisions Day is an annual event at Maranacook Community Middle School, that is organized by the school counselor, Gwen Mohlar, with support from other staff.  It started as a way to help educate students about making healthy decisions (especially about drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure) when growing up. This year the event was held on February 1st.

Students have opportunity to see a keynote speaker, go into grade level programs then pick 3 sessions under the themes below. It was a very informational day.

  • Effects of Substances on the Brain/ Body: Presenter focused on how the brain and body are affected by many or different types of substances.
  • Refusal Skills: Presenters focused on how students’ futures can be effected and the decision making skills students can use/ learn to remain substance free.
  • Healthy Coping Skills: Presentations focused on healthy alternatives to substance misuse. These techniques can be used by many and is a great way to introduce different, healthy stress relief techniques to students.

Below are photos from the day:

MSAD 42 Celebrates World Read Aloud Day

Submitted by Natasha L. Brewer, District Library-Media Specialist/GT Teacher at Central Aroostook Jr./Sr. High School in MSAD #42

On Friday, February 1, 2019, MSAD #42 celebrated World Read Aloud Day. Guests were invited to read to PK through 12th grade students. Volunteers included: Superintendent, Elaine Boulier; School Board Member and local business owner, Josh Tweedie; Bus Driver, John York; Guidance Director, Sadie Shaw; School Board Chair/Aroostook County Sheriff, Shawn Gillen; Elementary Principal, Dawn Matthews; School Board Member/State Police Lieutenant, Brian Harris; Choral Director, Andy Cottle; District Librarian, Natasha Brewer; and High School Principal, Dr. Kay York.

Students were able to hear classic tales, like Blueberries for Sal, and a few new tales, like Scaredy Squirrel!

Author Keely Hutton joined our 8th grade students in a 20-minute Skype session where she explained her writing process and read an excerpt from her first novel Soldier Boy. The day was a lot of fun, and gave both readers and students a chance to enjoy the excitement that reading aloud can bring to both the listener and reader.


MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Participates in National Cybersecurity Opportunity for Young Women in High School

To help educate more young women about the opportunities in the field of cybersecurity, Governor Janet Mills, the Maine Office of Information Technology, and the Maine Department of Education are promoting ‘GirlsGoCyberStart’, an exciting national program that uses online games of discovery to introduce high school girls to the field.

“Cybersecurity is a growing and critical field. It is more important than ever before to train skilled experts in Maine and across the nation to defend our national and financial security,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This program will help young women pursue the education and training they need for lifelong careers and leadership positions in cybersecurity.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Maine students to showcase the incredible skills and talent they have acquired from the many computer science initiatives, programs, and curricula happening in schools throughout Maine,” said Maine Education Commissioner A. Pender Makin.

CyberStart was created by the SANS Institute and was first piloted to youth in the summer of 2017. The program enabled 3,500 students nation-wide to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity, yet only five percent of the students who participated were young women.  The results of the pilot sparked the GirlsGoCyberStart program, specifically designed to interest young women in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12.

This will be Maine’s second year participating in the GirlsGoCyberStart.  Last year, nearly two hundred students from all over Maine participated in the event and placed in the top 100 of all participating state teams.

“We are excited to join this wonderful opportunity to expand our talent pipeline by engaging young people interested in learning more about cybersecurity and directing them to the appropriate training and career coaching,” said Ande Smith, acting Chief Information Officer for the Office of Information Technology.

Maine students who participate in GirlsGoCyberStart will be doing so alongside students from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience.  All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school who excel in the GirlsGoCyberStart game will have the opportunity to win scholarships and other prizes.  The website for registration opens on February 18, 2019. More information about the program and eligibility can be found at CyberStartUS.

For more information about Maine’s participation in the program, contact Dr. Kelly Samson-Rickert, Director of Workforce Innovations for the Maine Office of Information Technology at Kelly.Rickert@maine.gov or 207-624-9965.