Private School Approval
The Maine Department of Education requires approved private schools to be approved annually per 20-A M.R.S.A Chapter 117.
Private schools, until and including 2017-18, have undergone a manual approval process, working with the School Enrollment Specialist. Currently the Maine Department of Education is working toward moving the private school approval process to the NEO education information system by 2019. The initial stage of this move was implemented in April of 2017, when the Department began to require private schools to enter their organization data (the NEO Maine Schools Update) on the same schedule as the public schools.* Additionally, the school approval process requires both private and public schools to complete staff data in the NEO Staff module. Please visit the following links for more information and instructions on how to complete these requirements:
The remainder of the Private School Approval process currently remains a manual process. For those schools renewing their current annual approval, please be aware of several changes to the checklist requirements effective for the 2017-18 school year approvals:
- Deleted item: Staff lists are no longer submitted with manual approval materials. For security and privacy purposes, staff information must be entered in the NEO Staff module in order for approval to be completed.
- New item: Protocol for Management of Students with Life Threatening Allergies. For more information please see 20-A M.R.S.A Chapter 223.
- New item: Policy for the Management of Concussive and Other Head Injuries, private schools with 60%+ public funds only. Please see more information and model policy at the Concussion Management webpage.
- New item: Physical Restraint and Seclusion Policy. See Maine Department of Education Rule Chapter 33.
Approval Reports and requirement checklists are linked below. If unsure of which form is appropriate for your needs, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor, School Enrollment Specialist.
- Private School - Annual School Approval Report
- Private School - Checklist
- Special Purpose Private School - Annual School Approval Report
- Special Purpose Private School - Checklist
- Non-Traditional Limited Purpose Private School - Annual School Approval Report
- Non-Traditional Limited Purpose Private School - Checklist
- Electronic Signature Certification
Schools that have successfully completed the basic school approval process, and that wish to be additionally approved as a Maine Private School Approved for the Receipt of Public Funds, may contact Paula Gravelle, School Finance Manager. The Department accepts requests on or after July 1 from Private Schools to receive public funds for the following school year (required annually). The request includes expenditure information from the previous school year, ending June 30. For more information please visit the Department’s Approval for Receipt of Public Funds by Private Schools webpage.
- April – publically funded students entered in Infinite Campus
- June – organization data in NEO
- July/Aug – staff data in NEO, basic approval application and supporting documentation
- July/Aug – application for receipt of public funds
*NEO Maine Schools must be completed by June 15 of this year. As a preliminary step, in order for an organization to be updated in Maine Schools, the superintendent or chief administrator of the school must first be entered into the NEO Staff Module, Access to NEO staff can be obtained my submitting a NEO access request form to the MDOE Data Helpdesk, who can also assist schools who are new to the process or in any stage of the Maine Schools NEO report completion, NEO Staff instructions can be found here. For School Approval, please contact Pamela Ford-Taylor.
School Enrollment Specialist
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023