ESEA Monthly Newsletter



January 5, 2021

Our goal is to provide you with helpful information monthly through the newsletter and office hours. Our newsletters will often include: 

  • General and Title Specific Updates from the ESEA Federal Programs Team 

  • Fun Data Fact(s)  

  • Friendly Reminders for Planning and Program Implementation 

  • Professional Learning Opportunities 

  • Contact Information 

Virtual Office Hours: 2nd Tuesday of every month from 10:15 – 11:15 am (Please note the above time change from 10:00 am to 10:15 am.) 

(Next Virtual Office Hour is Tuesday, January 12th: contact or your regional program coordinator for the link) 


General & Title Specific Updates from the ESEA Federal Programs Team 

Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) Title V, Part B Eligibility Update:  

As of last month, data has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) office in order to determine eligibility for both Title V programs:  Small Rural Schools Achievement (SRSA) and Rural Low-Income Schools (RLIS) grants.  Last year, the REAP office changed the way they determined eligibility to align to statutory requirements, using the Small Area Income Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) data from the U.S. Census versus the Alternative Poverty Data Maine had been allowed to provide for over 10 years.  Due to this change, Maine and several other states were heavily impacted with the potential of programming funding being cut by 75%.  Thanks to the efforts of the team at the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and our congressional delegation, Maine was able to spearhead the effort to maintain the use of the Alternative Poverty Data for eligibility this past year. Senator Collins’ office was able to get some language put in place in the bill that was passed just before Christmas that would provide a “hold harmless” at 100% of the FY20 award amounts for the next two years, allowing time for a more permanent solution.   At this time, REAP office has not released the eligibility spreadsheet.  Once the eligibility spreadsheet comes out, all impacted districts will be notified and asked to review the data.  If you have any questions regarding this information or Title V in general, please contact Daniel Weeks. (


Title I Funding and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) 

In order to ensure fair and accurate distribution of Title I funding for FY22, it is important that SAUs enter their Free & Reduced lunch numbers into the NSLP system.  The Maine DOE uses the October data from that system to create the ED-534 report that is used for Title I allocations.  The Title I team has attempted to use this data and has seen some issues with it.  We have been working with the School Nutrition Office at the Maine DOE to have the data cleaned and updated.  With some SAUs still not reporting this data and some of this data possibly inaccurate, it is causing the Title I team some concern as we near our time for using this data to determine preliminary FY22 allocations.  

Please review your district’s data using the above link to the ED-534 report.  Connect with your district’s Food Service Manager if the data is missing or if the enrollment and other data appear “odd”.  Schools designated as Community Eligibility Program (CEP) schools should have all data located in the Free category with no data in the Reduced category.  If the Food Service Manager has further questions, they should contact Nanci Kittredge at  

 Your assistance with ensuring high-quality data is most appreciated. 

Fun Data Fact(s) 
In school year 2018-2019, 1,955 kindergarten through grade 5 teachers, 922 grade 6 through 8 teachers, and 1,036 grade 9 through 12 teachers participated in 69 professional development projects funded by Title II. The top three professional development strategies utilized were: study groups, curriculum implementation, and professional networks. Based on the performance reports submitted to date, 1,429 kindergarten through grade 5 teachers, 748 grade 6 through 8 teachers, and 760 grade 9 through 12 teachers participated in 46 professional development projects funded by Title II during the school year 2019-2020.  The top three professional development strategies utilized were identical to the previous year.  


Friendly Reminders for Planning and Program Implementation 

FY 21-22-Title I Schoolwide Authority 

The due date for applying for FY21-22 Title I Schoolwide Authority is July 1st, 2021. If a school is thinking about applying for Title I Schoolwide Authority, it is recommended that the school begin planning at least 6 to 9 months prior to the submission.  Planning includes conducting a comprehensive needs assessment (CNA), reviewing school policies and procedures, assessing curriculum and instructional delivery models, discussing the transition from a Target Assistance Program to a Schoolwide Program, and lastly submitting the Title I Schoolwide plan by July 1st. The Schoolwide plan template can be found at In addition, there are several Title I Schoolwide webinars available on the ESEA website resources page at If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Monique Sullivan at  

Here are a few things to keep in mind as the 2020-21 school year continues and January begins: 

Time and Effort – Semi-Annual Certifications 

If the SAU follows a July to December and a January to June semi-annual certification calendar, this is a reminder that semi-annual certifications should be completed in January for all staff paid with a single federal funding stream or multiple funding streams and have a consistent schedule.  It is important that the schedule be attached to the semi-annual certification if using that provision. 

Parent & Family Engagement 

As parent and family engagement activities are being conducted, remember to gather evidence of meetings including agendas, itineraries, surveys, evaluations, etc. 


We encourage Business Managers to submit monthly invoices for all ESEA titles. 

State and Local  

Professional Learning Opportunities 

Professional Learning offered through the Department of Education is a fantastic resource for supporting leadership development for administrators and educators. The Department’s professional learning calendar is available at This calendar has increased functionality including a search feature.  

For more information about professional learning opportunities specific to Tier III identified schools, please contact Teri Peaslee, Tier Schools Professional Learning Coordinator at or (207) 624-6706. 

Contact Information 

As always, please reach out to your ESEA regional program coordinator with questions. Their contact information can be found at Also, your feedback is encouraged and appreciated. Please contact Cheryl Lang at with feedback and suggestions.