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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.  49

POLICY CODE:  JF/KLL

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools (Please forward to Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators and Technology Directors)

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education

DATE:             October 22, 2004

RE:                   An Update on MEDMS Student Data Collection

Student personal and enrollment information is now being entered into the Maine Educational Data Management System (MEDMS) for initial use in the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) and MEA Online programs. While many schools are having success in entering their student data into MEDMS, I am aware that some school administrative units have experienced difficulty in transmitting the information, and others are still working to gather the required data for submission.  Since this is a new data collection effort, difficulties of this nature are not unexpected; please be assured that our staff will work with you to achieve success.  The use of MEDMS to pre-enter student information with what is needed to meet No Child Left Behind Act accountability requirements will save staff time and provide a more accurate accounting.  This benefit is just the beginning, as this single entry of student demographic information will be used to meet the information needs now collected on hundreds of redundant forms.

If I missed the October 13th submission date for grade 8 will my school be able to participate in the MEA Online?

Response:  Both training for school personnel and certification of readiness require pre-entry of student information through MEDMS.  The Department is working with Measured Progress to be as accommodating as possible, but time is running out on the window of time allowed to enter the needed data.  Please enter data as quickly next week as possible to ensure that you will be ready for training.

What is the purpose of the November 1st date for submission of student demographic data for students in all other grades?

Response:  The purpose is to assign unique student identifiers and to collect enrollment information for all students in all grades. For the first time, the MEA will use this information to pre-label student response booklets for the tests at grades 4, and 11, including the reading and mathematics assessments being field tested in grades 3, 5, 6 and 7.  In addition to saving valuable staff time, the benefit to schools is the assurance that the information to be used for the No Child Left Behind Act calculations of Adequate Yearly Progress is accurate.  Once the data is entered, schools will have the opportunity to review the data for accuracy, as well as update the information as students enter or leave the school unit.

What do I do if my school administrative unit is not able to meet the November 1st submission date?

Response:  Please contact the MEDMS Help Desk at 624-6896 or e-mail at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov. Please inform us of the date you will be able to submit the data.  If you are experiencing difficulty and need assistance, please use this same address to describe the nature of the problem and request assistance.

More detailed information is available in Informational Letter # 41, which may be accessed at http://www.maine.gov/education/edletrs/2005/ilet/05ilet041.htm, and Informational Letter # 45, which may be accessed at http://www.maine.gov/education/edletrs/2005/ilet/05ilet045.htm.  If you have questions concerning the MEA, please contact Brud Maxcy, MEA Coordinator at brud.maxcy@maine.gov