Maine Department of Education Diploma for Students Experiencing Educational
INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 105
POLICY CODE: ILBA
TO: Superintendents of Schools, Principals, and School Counselors
FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner
DATE: May 16, 2008
RE: Maine Department of Education Diploma for Students Experiencing Educational
Background: Students who have experienced educational disruption and have been recommended by the statewide review team to receive a Maine Department of Education Diploma will be issued a diploma by the Commissioner upon satisfactory completion of the content standards of the Learning Results in addition to any other diploma requirements applicable to secondary students as set forth in their School Work Recognition Plan.
This Informational Letter outlines the process for SAU’s to follow.
Students who are appropriate for seeking a Maine Department of Education Diploma are those who have documented reasons for being unable to graduate from their local high schools. The Maine Department of Education Diploma applies to students who fit the definition of secondary students experiencing education disruption, an interruption in their current educational program for 10 or more consecutive school days resulting from a student’s:
- unplanned psychiatric hospitalization;
- foster care placement;
- youth development center placement;
- unplanned hospitalization for a medical emergency;
- or some other out-of-district placement that is not otherwise authorized by either an individualized education plan or other education plan or a superintendent’s agreement.
- How will decisions be made:
Under Public Law 451, if it is determined that the student does not meet local requirements for a high school diploma, a team designated by the Commissioner will review compiled evidence of a student’s work and make a recommendation to the Commissioner regarding the awarding of a Maine Department of Education Diploma. A copy of the recommendation will be sent to the sending school.
a. The Department has designated a Statewide Review Team representing content specialists, school counselors, principals, superintendents, special purpose schools, special education, career and technical education, alternative education and the Department Team Leader for Federal Programs.
b. The Statewide Review Team will interpret and analyze evidence demonstrating that the student has achieved the minimum state criteria of 16 credits. The PSAT, SAT, ACT and/ or the Accuplacer may also be considered. In addition, the team may also consider work recognition for equivalent instruction.
c. The Statewide Review Team will make a determination of whether or not the student has met the criteria for a Maine Department of Education Diploma and submit its recommendation to the Commissioner for approval. Upon approval, the Commissioner will then invite the student to participate in a graduation ceremony for Maine Department of Education Diploma recipients in June on a date to be determined.
d. If a student has not met the criteria for a Maine Department of Education Diploma, the student will be provided with information on the options available: (1) to seek reconsideration upon presentation of further evidence in support of the Maine Department of Education Diploma or (2) available appropriate or alternate pathways.
e. A request for Reconsideration of a Maine Department of Education Diploma may be made by applicant within thirty calendar days of a denial for a Maine Department of Education Diploma.
- What to do to start the process
1. The SAU will complete an electronic Recommendation & Checklist
Maine Department of Education Diploma form located at www.maine.gov/education/disruption/longform.doc#checklist (page 8) which is posted on the Maine Department of Education website: www.maine.gov/education/disruption/ . The checklist itemizes information to be sent to the Statewide Review Team including documentation of completed curricula, transcripts, and documentation of any alternative learning experiences.
2. The Statewide Review Team will be ready to consider possible candidates in May, 2008. An SAU wishing to refer a candidate shall appoint a sponsor to support and assist the student throughout the application and review process. Students will provide information required on the Recommendation & Checklist
Maine Department of Education Diploma form located at www.maine.gov/education/disruption/longform.doc#checklist (page 8) that will be presented to the review team during a personal 20 to 30 minute interview.
For further information or questions please refer to Administrative Letter # 8 of September 25, 2007, which outlines the elements of Public Law 451 which introduced the Maine Department of Education Diploma and or contact: Debrajean Scheibel (624-6689) Debrajean.Scheibel@maine.gov , Shelley Reed (624-6637) Shelley.Reed@maine.gov , or Nancy Connolly (624-6655) Nancy.Connolly@maine.gov at the Maine Department of Education.