Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA): 2021 Request for Grant Applications

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is excited to announce the availability of approximately $46 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant funds to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, between 40 and 70 awards are anticipated.

Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality.

Visit the DERA National Grants Web Page for Application and Eligibility Information

Informational Webinars: Request for Applications 2021 DERA National Grants

Tuesday, January 26, 2021; 1:00-2:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 863 530 573#

Wednesday, February 3, 2021; 3:00-4:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 609 539 899#

Thursday, February 11, 2021; 2:00-3:00 p.m. (ET)
Join the Webinar
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 451 189 144#

Webinar Highlights:

  • Program Details
  • Changes This Year
  • Eligible Entities, Projects, Vehicles, Engines & Equipment
  • Funding: Availability, Project Funding Percentage, Restrictions
  • Proposal Submission
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Potential Pitfalls
  • Tools, Resources and Support
  • Question & Answer Period

Visit the DERA National Grants Web Page for Application and Eligibility Information

If you have questions, please contact DERA@epa.gov.

Maine DOE Update – January 15, 2021

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |


News & Updates

Priority Notice: Mills Administration Updates COVID-19 School Health Advisory System

The Mills Administration today released an update to its color-coded Health Advisory System that classifies counties’ relative risk of COVID-19 transmission to assist schools as they continue with their plans to deliver instruction and support to students safely. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) continue to review evidence that indicates lower transmission of COVID-19 in schools compared to the general population. Over the last 30 days, the rate of new cases is 27 per 10,000 staff and students, compared to 113 per 10,000 people statewide. This rate of new cases in schools is 24% of the statewide rate for the general population. | More

Celebrate the Read to ME Challenge During the Month of February

For the 6th year, the Maine Department of Education will collaborate with community organizations and schools to support the Read to ME Challenge, a month-long public awareness campaign held in February to promote childhood literacy in Maine. This year we will celebrate the Read to ME Challenge with a series of recorded videos by students and adults. We will post the videos and share, but if you would like to request the videos be sent to you directly, please complete this form. | More

Mitchell Scholarship Application Open Until April 1

Mitchell Scholarships are awarded to students planning to attend two- or four-year degree programs at colleges either in- or out-of-state. The strongest applicants demonstrate financial need, academic promise, and community impact. Please encourage any graduating college-bound students from Maine’s public high schools to apply before the April 1 deadline. | More

WAVES Initiative Begins to Build Connections

Today Governor Janet Mills and her administration announced the launch of a new initiative to support the mental health and wellbeing of Maine youth. Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students- WAVES is the latest project in the #ConnectKidsNow! campaign and will build a statewide network of online and outdoor opportunities, provided by multiple state agencies and community organizations, for Maine students to interact safely. | More

WAVES Is Calling All Educators to Share Your Ideas!

We are pleased to announce a new initiative focused on safely engaging Maine teens, WAVES (Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students). Our vision is that every week every Maine teen safely engages socially with a community of peers. Please see Tuesday’s WAVES media release for additional information. In order to learn more about what meaningful and engaging online communities for teens would look like, what the capacity or interest of educators to host such communities is, and how the Maine Department of Education may provide resources and support the creation and elevation of such communities For the Virtual Engagement component of the initiative, we would like to meet with middle and school educators and hear your ideas. | More

Seeking Nominations for Alternative Educator of the Year

The Alternative Education Association (AEA) of Maine is looking for nominations for the AEA of Maine Educator of the Year award. | More

PRIORITY NOTICE: Supporting Courageous Classroom Conversations Regarding January 6, 2021 Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

Even as the horrific events unfolded on Wednesday, January 6th in Washington D.C., Maine Department of Education’s social studies content specialist, Joe Schmidt was connecting with teachers from across Maine as they prepared for the conversations that were sure to follow in our classrooms.  | More

Get to Know the Maine DOE Team: Meet Janette Kirk

Maine DOE team member Janette Kirk is being highlighted as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Janette | More


Maine Schools Sharing Success Stories

| Submit your Maine School Success Story |


Professional Development & Training Opportunities

New! Online Child Development Associate Training Available for Foreign Trained Professionals

Portland Adult Education and Opportunity Alliance have announced the launch of their new ELL Child Development Associate (CDA) Training. The training is a partnership between Opportunity Alliance, Portland Adult Education and the Greater Portland Workforce Initiative. | More

| Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities

View current Maine Department of Education employment opportunities here


Celebrate the Read to ME Challenge During the Month of February

For the 6th year, the Maine Department of Education will collaborate with community organizations and schools to support the Read to ME Challenge, a month-long public awareness campaign held in February to promote childhood literacy in Maine. This year we will celebrate the Read to ME Challenge with a series of recorded videos by students and adults. We will post the videos and share, but if you would like to request the videos be sent to you directly, please complete this form.

This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, capture that moment via a photo or a video, and then post it on social media and challenge others to do the same. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ReadtoME and tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook!

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2021. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website, which includes a heat map of participants and an opportunity to submit your Read to ME story for the heat map!

For more information, contact Dee Saucier, Elementary Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE.

WAVES Is Calling All Educators to Share Your Ideas!

We are pleased to announce a new initiative focused on safely engaging Maine teens, WAVES (Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students). Our vision is that every week every Maine teen safely engages socially with a community of peers. Please see Tuesday’s WAVES media release for additional information. In order to learn more about what meaningful and engaging online communities for teens would look like, what the capacity or interest of educators to host such communities is, and how the Maine Department of Education may provide resources and support the creation and elevation of such communities For the Virtual Engagement component of the initiative, we would like to meet with middle and school educators and hear your ideas.

If you or a colleague are already engaging students in online communities outside of the school day, we would love to hear about your work, and consider it as a model for these virtual communities. Our goal is for WAVES to elevate, celebrate, learn from, and perhaps expand on the wonderful work Maine educators are all already doing to authentically engage teens in your communities and throughout the State. Your efforts must not go unnoticed, and we want to learn from YOU.

If you are able to find the time and are willing to engage in a conversation to share your work, provide feedback, and/or inform the design of this initiative, please register for any of the sessions below. Registrants will be emailed a link to the session(s) for which they are registered. Thank you for your time, care and perseverance throughout these challenging times and for your service to Maine students and communities. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and you are deeply appreciated.

If you are unable to make it to a meeting but are interested in the initiative, please reach out to Project Director Sarah Woog (sarah.woog@maine.gov) anytime.

Date/Time: Tuesday, January 19; 4:30-5:30 or Wednesday, January 20; 4:30-5:30
Register Here!

Priority Notice: Mills Administration Updates COVID-19 School Health Advisory System

Androscoggin, Cumberland, Oxford, and York counties remain yellow; all others designated green

AUGUSTA — The Mills Administration today released an update to its color-coded Health Advisory System that classifies counties’ relative risk of COVID-19 transmission to assist schools as they continue with their plans to deliver instruction and support to students safely.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) continue to review evidence that indicates lower transmission of COVID-19 in schools compared to the general population. Over the last 30 days, the rate of new cases is 27 per 10,000 staff and students, compared to 113 per 10,000 people statewide. This rate of new cases in schools is 24% of the statewide rate for the general population.

DHHS and Maine CDC assessed COVID-19 data and trends for all counties and released the following designations:

  • REMAIN YELLOW: Androscoggin, Cumberland, Oxford, and York counties continue to see increases in both 14-day new case rates per 10,000 people and positivity rates, exceeding the statewide averages.
  • REMAIN GREEN, REMOVED ASTERISKS: Aroostook County’s positivity rate continues to be above the state average, but its new case rate per 10,000 people has remained steady and is now below the statewide average. Penobscot County’s positivity rate and 14-day new case rate per 10,000 people have fallen below the statewide averages.

All other counties remain in the green designation.

Under the “yellow” designation, which indicates an increased (moderate) level of community risk, schools may consider additional precautions, such as limiting numbers of people in school buildings at the same time, suspending extracurricular or co-curricular activities including competitions between schools, limiting interaction through cohorting, or other measures based on the unique needs of each school community.

These designations are made out of an abundance of caution and for the consideration of school administrative units in their decisions to deliver instruction.

It is essential that school districts across the State of Maine continue to implement plans that adhere to the six requirements for returning to in-person instruction, regardless of their county’s designation.

The Health Advisory System categorizations are defined as follows:

  • RED: Categorization as “red” suggests that the county has a high risk of COVID-19 spread and that in-person instruction is not advisable.
  • YELLOW: Categorization as “yellow” suggests that that the county has an elevated risk of COVID-19 spread and that schools may consider additional precautions and/or hybrid instructional models to reduce the number of people in schools and classrooms at any one time.
  • GREEN: Categorization as “green” suggests that the county has a relatively low risk of COVID-19 spread and that schools may consider in-person instruction, as long as they are able to implement the required health and safety measures.  Schools in a “green” county may need to use hybrid instruction models if there is insufficient capacity or other factors (facilities, staffing, geography/transportation, etc.) that may prevent full implementation of the health and safety requirements.

The county-level assessments are based on both quantitative and qualitative data, including but not limited to recent case rates, positivity rates, and syndromic data (e.g., symptoms of influenza or COVID-19). Those data are publicly posted every week on the Maine CDC website. DHHS and Maine CDC also consider qualitative factors, such as the presence of outbreaks that may potentially affect school-age children.

The Health Advisory System reflects ongoing analysis of evolving data, and serves as one piece of information that school and district leaders can use to make decisions about how to deliver education during the school year. The qualitative and quantitative considerations and data used by the CDC in determining community transmission risk levels for schools can be located here: How County Risk Levels for Maine Schools are Determined

The Health Advisory System can be found on the Maine DOE website in Part I of the Framework for Reopening Schools and Returning to In-Person Classroom Instructionhttps://www.maine.gov/doe/framework/part-I.

The next update will be provided on January 29, 2021. Updating this advisory on a two-week basis aligns with the incubation period for COVID-19 and allows for greater stability in the trend data for small counties.

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