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TO:         Superintendents of Schools & School Principals

FROM:   Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:    May 18, 2005

RE:         Redistribution of MLTI Laptops Because of Enrollment Changes in Grades 7 and 8

As you are all aware, Maine sees a shift in student enrollment from one school year to the next.   In terms of both the total number of students in each grade level and the number of students in each school, the summer months can bring significant changes in enrollment.

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) is certainly one area where we have seen the effect of these enrollment shifts and the impact that this can have on a school’s ability to rollout their laptops at the start of the school year.   In order to address the issues of recent years, the Department has developed a new approach to the redistribution of laptops between schools for the next academic year.

This new approach will involve working with schools that have projected declines in enrollment to collect some of theses extra laptops at the end of the current school year and then prepare to redistribute those laptops to schools with increased enrollments for next school year.

The Department will work in cooperation with the Career Centers of the Maine Department of Labor to facilitate the pickup and drop-off of laptops.   Maine now has more than 30 Career Centers around the State and each school should have one in close proximity.

Here’s an outline of the plan:

            1.   MLTI staff will analyze the enrollment data filed by each school unit as of April 1, 2005 and compare this information with the number of laptops currently assigned for students in those schools.

            2.   For schools whose data indicate that they will have a declining enrollment for the next school year, the MLTI staff will contact the school directly to arrange for their drop-off of the extra laptops to a designated Career Center in their region.   MLTI staff will provide full instructions to the school on the details of the drop-off.

            3.   During the summer months, the MLTI staff will relocate these laptops to Career Centers in regions close to schools that have projected increases in enrollment.   MLTI staff will contact these schools with the details on how to pick up these laptops for the start of next school year.

Because we expect that a majority of schools will likely see a relatively stable enrollment from this year into next, not all schools will be contacted to either drop-off or pick up laptops under this plan.

In order for this plan to be effective, we must all remember that Maine has enough laptops in the State to meet the enrollment projections and that we need schools to work cooperatively with the Department and each other to ensure that everyone has the correct number of laptops.   Just a few schools holding onto more laptops than their enrollments justify can result in other schools waiting for several weeks for the laptops they need for their students.

If you have questions or suggestions on this plan, or if you already expect that you will see a significant decline in your grades 7 and 8 enrollment next year, please contact Tony Sprague, the Department’s MLTI Project Manager at the phone number or address below.

Thanks for your continued cooperation.

Contact Info:

Tony Sprague

MLTI Project Manager