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TO:                   Superintendents of Schools

FROM:             Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             September 8, 2005

RE:                  SAU Review Process



            As we continue our planning, here in the Department of Education, for the upcoming SAU Review Process, and as SAUs begin their preparations for the review visits, it is important to review a few considerations that inform or will be part of the success of the process:  

            In addition, we'd like to provide you with an outline of updated information about the SAU Review Visits.



            The Department was pleased to have so many SAUs volunteer to be pilot sites for this process.   Our selection was based on ensuring the best possible geographic, size and organizational representation from among those who volunteered; and the following SAUs will serve as pilot sites:   Union 93, SAD 77, SAD 43, SAD 75, and Glenburn.    The pilot site review visits are scheduled to take place on September 21 and 28, 2005.



            Attached please find a chart of the regional Orientation Meetings we have scheduled as an opportunity for SAUs to discuss their questions or concerns, after having reviewed the self-assessment tool and protocol that were sent to all SAUs on August 19, 2005.   To make the most of these 2 hour sessions, please review those materials with your SAU team prior to the regional Orientation Meetings.   We look forward to seeing you at a regional meeting.



            As noted in Informational Letter # 13 (dated August 19, 2005) that accompanied the self-assessment, it is our recommendation that the SAU's presentation team be made up of the individuals of differing perspectives that participated in the completion of the self-assessment.   We also strongly recommend that the members of the SAU team that make the morning presentation be the same members of the SAU team that participate with the DOE Review Team in the "concluding conversation" at the end of the day, as that conversation will be a reflection on the SAU's presentation, with particular emphasis on strengths, challenges, technical assistance needs, and next steps and will be most productive if it is conducted with the same SAU team that made the presentation.



            The self-assessment, and the review visits, address the fundamental underpinnings of the SAU's system for implementing Learning Results and the Local Assessment System; thus, the standards contained in the self-assessment tool don't isolate individual programs or program options but rather ask for information about the SAU's approach to all students.   However, as the SAU compiles its evidence on the Core Standards 1-3, evidence on different programming options will be quite helpful, including evidence on the SAU's use of the regional Career and Technical Education (CTE) program to meet the needs of its students.   In addition, the SAU may want to consider making a representative of the regional CTE program a member of the SAU's team, for purposes of completing the self-assessment and making its presentation.   We strongly encourage the inclusion of a CTE representative in all cases where the SAU depends on the regional CTE program to meet the needs of its students.



            Finally, we are continuing to accept applications, from educational colleagues in our schools and in the field, to join one of our DOE Review Teams.   Please consider participating, or having someone from your staff participate with us in this project; the collaboration between the Department and our educational colleagues will enrich the process and undoubtedly make it better for both the reviewers and the SAUs.   If you're interested in participating, please contact Jennifer Pooler at 624-6638 or

            If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Phillips at 624-6620 or

            I hope your school year has started well and happily, and we look forward to visiting with you soon.


Attachment:   SAU Review Process Orientation Session Schedule