Maine DOE Monthly Update

For ESEA Coordinators

May Update

ESEA Federal Programs:


Preliminary ESEA Allocations

Thank you for your patience with receiving ESEA preliminary allocations. The ESEA team has completed preliminary allocations for FY19-20 for Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, and Title V.  Preliminary allocations are available here.

Title II

This past year, the ESEA team has been working more closely with the Maine DOE’s data team to ensure that all data used for accountability calculations, ESEA report cards, and ESEA grant allocations is accurate and validated. The Maine DOE believes that the newly incorporated quality assurance measures will ensure the accuracy of the data utilized to make ESEA funding and reporting determinations. This year some districts may see a slight change in their Title II allocation. This is a result of the new quality assurance measures now being implemented. Title II funding is used to provide professional learning activities for educators (teachers, instructional leadership teams, educational technicians, principals, and other school leaders) to address specific needs of their students. The money flows to districts based on student data and an n-size 5 or more students which aligns to the n-size for ESEA data reporting. The specific enrollment counts and poverty data used to make calculations are determined by using US census data and enrollment data provided by Maine school districts annually via the Maine DOE’s NEO portal.

For more information regarding FY20 Title II allocations, please contract Shelly Chasse-Johndro at

ESEA Monitoring for SY 2019-20

For some time now, school districts across the state have requested a more streamlined approach to the Department’s process for monitoring the use of federal funding.  The ESEA Federal Programs Team has been hard at work looking at ways to make this possible, to lessen the burden program monitoring has on local school districts.  After spending the last year working to update our monitoring procedures and tools, we are pleased to announce that the ESEA Federal Programs and Special Services Teams will join in our efforts to monitor districts in 2019-2020. Our intention is that the consolidated monitoring reviews and in-person visits will lighten the burden placed on district staff by not having different Maine DOE staff members visiting your districts several times throughout the year.  Our staff will continue to review the submission of various ESEA documents by local school districts to ensure various statutory requirements and ultimately the intent and purpose of each program is being met locally.  Please know that we plan for these reviews and potential visits will still consist of meaningful discussion around the processes used and progress achieved annually.  Our annual risk assessment process for all ESEA federal programs will also assist in determining those school districts that we will meet with in-person.

The updated ESEA Monitoring Tool will be released in August 2019. School districts within our monitoring cohort for this coming school year will need to submit all requested documentation by December 2019. The list of districts that will be monitored during the 2019-20 school year are available here.  

Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) Requirements

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 all districts are required to complete an updated CNA prior to completing the ESEA funding application.

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

Title I Summer School Reallocation

The Title IA summer school reallocation process has concluded and the available funding will support 32 summer school programs. The grant funding will enable school districts to provide rigorous academic intervention and programming for approximately 1600 students. Participating students statewide will attend comprehensive, engaging, and innovative summer programming.

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

ESEA Coordinators’ Annual Training

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


Registration for the May sessions is now closed.

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


The July ESEA training registration link is available here.

ESEA Dashboard and Implementation of the Federal Accountability Model Under ESSA

The ESEA team continues to work with the federal agency to get approval for our amended plan for accountability.  Review the priority notice on the status and timelines- Read more.


Carryover Extension Report

Districts with FY18 carryover funds remaining after December 31, 2018, must submit the extension carryover report available in the SY 2017-18 performance report portal.  The report is now available. Please submit by June 30, 2019.

For more information regarding the carryover extension report, please contact please contact your assigned ESEA Regional Program Manager. If you need assistance with identifying your assigned contact, please click here.

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 of these programs. The ESEA Spending Handbook is available here.

Commissioner’s Notes: Hello District Leaders!  We have been extremely busy at the Department of Education fielding what has been described as a record-breaking legislative session.  I have also begun to get out into the field to visit schools and programs around the state, and am humbled and inspired by the phenomenal work that you are leading!   We have received final input into our DOE Mission, Vision, and Strategic Priorities and are in the process of incorporating that; the  final version will be posted soon. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have questions, concerns, hopes, or ideas to share

 ** Superintendents:  The Annual Commissioner’s Conference agenda is shaping up and we are delighted to be bringing you some exciting speakers, including Frank DeAngelis, Columbine High School Principal during their horrific tragedy and throughout the following 18 years (he stayed to see all kindergarteners all the way through to graduation after the event). He now speaks nationally to share his story of resilience with educational leaders. Gov. Mills is working with her scheduler to see if it will be possible for her to speak with you also! I hope you’ll all join us in Bar Harbor on June 23-25th! Registration information coming soon.

**Curriculum Directors:  Frank DeAngelis will be in Maine and available to speak to groups. We are happy to work with MCLA or regional groups to schedule this outstanding speaker on your behalf, just say the word!

  • Legislative update: As shared last month, the tidal wave of legislation keeps coming; with frequent changes in language of previously reviewed bills, and a slew of new bills before various committees, we are working to prioritize our tasks and responses, and to steady the course. While we continue to try to mitigate the impact on schools, some of the 288 bills will pass into law. We are committed to providing a transparent and participatory process for rulemaking and we are working to provide guidance where we can.

To date, there are 12 signed and 41 dead bills.


Some of the work we are doing-

  • Defining Diplomas: LD 985 We worked very hard and collaboratively with multiple stakeholder groups and legislators to define graduation requirements in a way that honors the work that has been done and the expertise in the field. There was deep discussion and painstaking wordsmithing and revision of §4722, until we arrived at a solution that all parties were able to support, leading to a unanimous vote of ought to pass from the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.
  • Bills requiring additional content areas and standards: There are a number of bills with an interest in adding requirements for instruction. We have worked on the sidelines with many legislators to redirect these mandates to the Department, giving us the responsibility to develop work groups on the inclusion of different topics in our curricula, rather than having the bills take the form of mandates to schools.
  • 40k Salary (LD 898): There were three bills addressing a minimum teacher salary; one remains and is being considered by the legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. Anticipating that this was a priority of the governor, as she seeks to attract and retain a robust work force, we included funding in our proposed biennium budget to support this effort. We have been gathering input into potential implementation scenarios and welcome your ideas as to what might work best.
  • Immunization (LD 798):  The Department has supported this bill. At this time the House and Senate have passed two different versions.  The timeline for implementation, should either pass as presented, is a year out, during which time we plan to provide guidance to schools.
  • LD 1478:  The Department has submitted a bill that is looking to fix a few critical pieces of Chapter 115. Once this passes, we will be opening up a transparent process for rulemaking to involve stakeholders and the field in identifying and addressing the issues that remain. 
  • LD 92:  Became public law, Chapter 27 on April 11, 2019. This law will remove mandated use of student learning and growth measures, beginning September 1, 2021. It also specifies the composition of district’s PEPG Steering Committee to include majority teachers, effective 90 days after the close of the 129th legislative session. Further guidance forthcoming.  FMI contact Emily Gribben at



Kudos go out to Maine districts and schools for another successful assessment season. By May 3, all of the Maine Educational Assessments (MEA) will be completed, with a shout-out to all for your efforts on:

  • General Math & ELA/Literacy MEA eMPowerME grades 3-8
  • General Math & ELA/Literacy MEA high school SAT
  • Alternate Math & ELA/Literacy MEA MSAA grades 3-8 & high school
  • General MEA Science grades 5, 8, high school
  • Alternate Science PAAP grades 5, 8, high school

Awards and Honors:

  • The Brassil award recognizes exceptional English language arts and literacy teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, contributed to the profession, and shown a commitment to the community. MCELA is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Brassil Award. Go to the MCELA Brassil Award page for further details and to nominate a great teacher before June 30, 2019!
  • Congratulation to Maine’s semifinalists for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Check out more information and which Maine seniors are being recognized for their achievements here.

Data & Reporting:

  • School Approval: Mary Paine has begun work to create an organic system for defining school success.  She will be meeting with school communities to identify and highlight what we value in our Maine schools. It is a priority of the department to provide the supports needed to schools without the practice of publicly shaming any school or community in the process.  We will be examining the sometimes cumbersome process for annual school approval and will be seeking feedback on the proposed rules and our efforts to streamline the required data and reporting. We will be developing a method for collecting your input.
  • The NEO portal for public and private schools and public school approval portal will be opening in the beginning of May. For more information for private schools, read here – for public schools, read here .
  • Graduation Reporting Phase One - Based on feedback from our school and district colleagues who have been responsible for the graduation reporting process in the past, we have divided the tasks into what we hope are more timely and manageable steps - Read more


Facilities, Safety, and Transportation:

  • There are three federal grants now open for school safety related issues. Read more


Funding & Operations:

  • Public Pre-k Funding for 2019-20 -With the exciting potential to expand pre-k funding being discussed in the legislature as part of the biennial budget, there has been some confusion for schools as to what funding will be available, and to whom, for the 2019-2020 school year. 

In order to receive EPS subsidy for new or expanded public pre-k programs in the 2019-20 school year, school districts must have completed the Public Pre-k Funding Survey by 10/31/18.  Schools who are interested in developing or expanding a pre-k program for the 2020-2021 school year should anticipate completing a funding survey in by 10/31/19.

FMI:  Sue Reed, Early Childhood Specialist, 624-6632

School Health:

  • Many schools are dealing with the how to address the use of electronic nicotine devices. Check out this Graphic
  • There is free technical assistance and support for districts to review and update their wellness policies -Read more


Special Education:

  • As a reminder, the Maine DOE released an Administrative letter regarding Clarification on Requirement to Ensure Parents’ Meaningful Access to IEP Information – Access the letter

English Learner Resources & Guidance:

  • Ramadan is about to begin for Muslim families. Please see the following guidance and resources for schools, located here.

Professional Development and Opportunities: 

  • Maine DOE is seeking Title I Committee of Practitioners members. This representative group is especially in need of parents, school committee members, and representatives of private school children with Title I experience. Check here for more information.
  • There is a professional learning opportunity for middle school teachers. Learn and see innovative and exciting ways in which technology can be integrated into the classroom - Read more
  • Principals are invited to attend an exciting summer institute on leadership -Read more
  • Join the Maine Department of Education content specialists in July as we explore knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are necessary for 21st century careers, and the intentional actions of educators to support students developing the skill and will to fuel their learning- Read more  
  • August 6th thru August 15th, the Maine Department of Education Data Team will be hosting regional data entry trainings. This annual training is geared toward district and school level staff who are tasked with reporting student/staff data to the Maine DOE. - Get more info and register

New Staff:

Richard Meserve has joined the Maine DOE as the interim Chief Innovation Officer. Rich will work to identify opportunities for innovative practices in education to reach the goals of the Department and the State; his first project will focus on developing School and Student Supports. Rich joins us from his role as Head of School for the RSU 14 Katahdin Program. As a former teacher, special educator and assistant principal, Rich will bring a valuable collection of experiences to this new role. His accomplishments (in brief summary) include 2009 Milken Educator Award, Carnegie Hero Award and Maine Teacher of the Year Nominee, 2011 Lowell Milken Fellow and James Madison Fellow. Finally, Rich has had roles in community organizations, the historical society and the Alternative Education Association of Maine. Welcome Rich!

Mary-Ellen Savage has joined the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Team as a Secretary Specialist. She will be providing support to the CTE Team in a variety of capacities such as the regional calendar, Perkins V reauthorization, CTE Middle School Model, CTE data collection as well as school reviews. Mary-Ellen joins the DOE after spending several years with the Department of Corrections. She brings with her knowledge from a variety of industries, and has seen the true impact of CTE, as her family all attended a CTE center and benefitted from this experience.