ESEA Monthly Update- March Update

Maine DOE Monthly Update
For ESEA Coordinators

March Update


ESEA Federal Programs

Shelly Chasse-Johndro has joined the Department of Education as the Title II Coordinator.  She is excited to engage with Maine’s schools and her new colleagues to increase the academic achievement of students while helping to improve teacher quality and serve as a resource to our school leaders. Shelly has a great deal of experience with data analysis and grant management as the former Director of Teacher Education Accreditation at UMF and Director of a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant at UMaine. Shelly is the assigned ESEA regional program manager for Region 4- Hancock and Region 9 - York. These two regions were temporarily assigned to other ESEA team members while the Title II position was vacant. The ESEA team is working collaboratively to ensure a smooth transition.

Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) Requirements

Thank you for the tremendous efforts put forth to complete a district-level CNA during the 2017-18 school year. The intent behind this process was to streamline state and federal requirements into one succinct document to support districts in making data-driven decisions. Since July 2018, the Department has completed reviews of all submitted district plans. The process of review of the district CNAs provided the Maine DOE with meaningful information that allowed teams from across the Department to have a deeper understanding of the positive impact that classroom, school, and district educators are having on Maine students. It has also helped in the planning of professional learning opportunities for educators statewide.

The Department has issued a follow-up about Comprehensive Needs Assessments (CNAs), which includes guidance for 2019-20.  Learn more here. Also, please note that feedback on 2017-18 District CNAs will be available to superintendents through their Maine DOE Regional Representatives as part of this month’s Superintendent Regional meetings.

For more information regarding CNA requirements, please contact Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at



Title I Summer School Reallocation

The Maine Department of Education’s Title IA Office is announcing the availability of approximately $500,000 of FY18 Title IA Disadvantaged and Program Improvement funds for Title IA reallocation purposes. The application will be released on Monday, March 11, 2019. The Reallocated Form for FY18 funds—including how the funds will be used to improve the performance of the Title IA identified students, along with a detailed budget, must be postmarked by April 12, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

For more information regarding Title IA summer school reallocation, please contact Monique Sullivan at



Preliminary ESEA Allocations

Thank you for completing the FY18-19 ESEA federal funds End of Year Carryover Reports and for requesting reimbursement in regular three-month intervals. The ESEA team is currently working on Title IA allocations for FY19-20 and expects to release preliminary allocations to school districts by the end of March. Title IA allocations will not be finalized until June. Final allocations will be posted here.

When compared to other states, Maine is doing well economically and our prosperity is reflected in a slight reduction of Title IA funds for FY19-20. Maine’s FY19-20 Preliminary Title IA allocation ($53,219,538) is roughly $2 million less than last year’s allocation ($55,038,663). Because of this reduction, many school districts may experience a reduction in Title IA funds for next school year.

The ESEA team is currently working on compiling ESEA FY19-20 allocations for Titles II, III, IV, and V.


ESEA Coordinators Annual Training

The ESEA team is looking forward to hosting the annual trainings for ESEA Coordinators throughout the state during the month of May. Please save the date for the session in your region!

May 15, 2019: University of Maine - Presque Isle

May 16, 2019: Jeff’s Catering - Brewer

May 17, 2019: Senator Inn - Augusta

May 20, 2019: Elks Lodge - Portland


There will be two sessions for “NEW” ESEA Coordinators held in July.

July 9, 2019:  Jeff’s Catering - Brewer

July 10, 2019:  Senator Inn -Augusta

Please Register Here

Title III Meeting

Districts that receive Title III funds are invited to participate in a day of collaboration and training on April 26th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the University of New England in Portland. We will be joined by Dr. David Holbrook, Executive Director of the National Council of State Title III Directors. Register here. Contact April Perkins at if you have any questions.



NEW! ESEA Spending Handbook

The ESEA team has released a spending handbook that provides general guidance on how local educational agencies (LEAs) may spend funds under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


This spending guidance addresses the following four formula programs:

• Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs),

• Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction),

• Title III, Part A (English Language Acquisition), and

• Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment).


It is important to note that this handbook only provides an overview of each of these programs’ spending rules and options; it does not discuss the many other compliance requirements that apply to each program. The ESEA Spending Handbook is available here.



DOE is modeling trust in “the Field” by encouraging the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs to avoid passing legislation that would result in new mandates that supplant the professionalism, expertise, and judgment of Maine’s educators, school leaders, and district leaders. We intend to provide time (and other resources/support as needed) for districts to evaluate the practices, initiatives, and mandates they are already implementing and to prioritize practices that promote student and school success.


DOE is committed to promoting the excellent work accomplished by our public schools, educators, and leadership, and we are having candid discussions with vendors and service providers around marketing and lobbying practices that utilize negative messaging or otherwise denigrate schools as a means of generating a perceived need for their products. We are seeking input from the Field regarding any such practices if they become aware of these. We will also provide information to schools and districts as we discover marketing practices that perpetuate the myth of “failing public schools” so that this may inform local decisions around engaging with certain vendors/providers.

Below is a framework that we’ve shared with legislators and with the governor’s office so that they will better understand how the DOE will prioritize proposals.

Maine Department of Education’s Values-Based Framework for Decision Making


With hundreds of proposed bills hitting the legislative floor this session and hundreds of agencies and individuals who seek opportunity to benefit financially from the work of our public schools, DOE must have a values-based filter for assessing ideas, initiatives, legislation, and vendors/products.

Core Values / Priorities:

1). Is it good for students?

  • Will it foster better outcomes for all?
  • Is it equitable?
  • What might the unintended consequences be?
  • How will this promote the well-being of students?


2)   Does it honor the expertise in the Field? We are disinclined to support proposals that:

  • Supplant the professional judgment, creativity, technical expertise of educators, school leaders, and/or district leaders.
  • Devalue the decision-making of local communities and school boards.
  • Are incompatible with the best interests of school communities.
  • Are unnecessary. 


3)  Will engagement with this product or initiative represent responsible stewardship?

  • Is the likely outcome proportional with respect to the cost and/or effort?
  • Who supports, funds, and provides lobbying for this proposed initiative/product/entity (and what are their motivations)?
  • Hidden pitfalls? (Advertising based on denigrating schools? Predatory sales practices? Disproportionate burden on socioeconomically disadvantaged populations? Marketing practices that perpetuate the myth of “failing public schools”?)


 The Department’s certification office has reached its operational goal of a three-week turnaround time for processing educator certification applications that are complete. Learn more.

Data & Reporting

  • EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report (EF-S-214) is open for reporting on March 1, 2019. The deadline for submission is April 15, 2019 - Learn more.
  • The Special Education Staff Certification Report (EF-S-05 Part II) is open on March 1, 2019. The deadline is April 5, 2019.
  • The Department is working on a leaner and more streamlined school approval process. Further guidance will be forthcoming as the NEO Maine Schools / School Approval module is revised and released for FY2020. Learn more.

Funding & Operations

  • The 2019/20 Subsidy Printouts (ED279s) are now available with an explanation of funding changes – Access the 279s and Learn more.
  • The Department has released reminders for storm closures and updated guidance for remote school days, which includes a way for districts to pilot Anytime-Anywhere learning days. Learn more.

School Health

There is a new webinar recording available for administrators about the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Model Policy – learn more and access it here.

Special Education 

Public Comments are being sought on Maine’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Application for Federal Funds. Learn more.

Standards and Instructional Support

  • MLTI T-shirt Design Competition is accepting entries until April 12, 2019 – Learn more.
  • Maine is again participating in the GirlsGoCyberStart Program, which is a national competition that encourages student interest in the computer science industry. Learn more.
  • Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms – Series of sessions that focus on music in the public preschool classroom – in-person dates in late March. Learn more.
  • Bullying Prevention – Available online through a collaboration with Safe Schools, addresses Maine’s anti-bullying law. Learn more.
  • Leveraging Free Technology to Create More Inclusive Classrooms – a collaboration with Microsoft, program runs from March 2019 to June 2019 - Learn more

Staff Changes

  • Janette Kirk has officially taken the position of Chief of Learning Systems, she has been working as Acting Director of Learning Systems for several months.
  • Perry Gates has joined the Department to work as a consultant in the in the Commissioner’s office and will work in tandem with the Governor’s Office of Innovation.
  • The Department has created the Office of School Success to ensure that schools are meeting requirements for approval – but also will work within districts and communities to develop plans for measuring school success more qualitatively. Pamela Ford-Taylor and Mary Paine will work in the Office of School Success.