Maine Revised Statute 20-A M.S.R. § 4701-B requires school administrative units to screen students in kindergarten through second grade who have difficulty in these areas phonological and phonemic awareness, sound-symbol recognition, alphabet knowledge, decoding skills, rapid naming skills, encoding skills.
Screening measures, by definition, are typically brief assessments of a particular skill or ability that is highly predictive of a later outcome. Screening measures are designed to quickly differentiate students into one of two groups: 1) those who require intervention and 2) those who do not. A screening measure needs to focus on specific skills that are highly correlated with broader measures of reading achievement resulting in a highly accurate sorting of students. (IDA, Universal Screening: K-2 Reading Fact Sheet: For a downloadable PDF, click here.)
The Maine Department of Education Office of Special Services, to support Maine SAUs in the purchase of a high-quality screener, is offering the opportunity to apply for a reimbursement of up to $4,500.00 for Maine SAUs that select and administer a screener during the 2023-2024 school year that demonstrates each component of the required criteria.
In accordance with Maine’s tradition of local control, the Maine Department of Education does not mandate a specific screener. We will invite school units to submit an application for reimbursement that includes information from the appropriate vendor demonstrating alignment with the Maine Dyslexia Screening Project Evidence Document posted below.
If an SAU is looking for guidance of screeners that may meet the criteria for reimbursement, there are some states that have done screener reviews based on information submitted but assessment publishers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Center for Instructional Support has a page dedicated to Early Literacy Screening Assessments that may be helpful.
One screener that meets the above criteria is EarlyBird© Education Screener, developed and validated at Boston Children’s Hospital in partnership with faculty at the Florida Center for Reading Research and has been previously piloted in Maine Schools. For additional explanation of this screener being used in a Maine school consider looking at the RSU 11 case study.
To be considered for reimbursement, completed evidence documents and associated information must be submitted by May 15, 2024. For more information or to submit your SAU's evidence document, please contact Dee Saucier at email@example.com or Anne-Marie Adamson at firstname.lastname@example.org.