Educational Disruption

Maine education statutes (MRS 20-A Chapter 211, Subchapter 5) make special provisions for students whose education is interrupted due to  homelessness, foster care placement, youth development center placement, or unplanned hospitalization and for students who attend more than three different schools in a single year.

When students are absent due to educational disruption, schools provide instructional materials so that students can continue making academic progress.  For students in interim placements, the school may instead execute an Academic Programming Agreement and accept credits and work from the interim placement once the student returns to school. 

Students experiencing educational disruption should have a current School Work Recognition Plan in place that outlines how they will be able to stay on track toward their learning goals.  For students aged 16-20, the School Work Recognition Plan must include a description of what the student must do in order to qualify for high school graduation.

Maine Department of Education Diploma

It is critical when students experience educational disruption, that everyone involved with the student be committed to keeping them on a pathway toward graduation.

Occasionally, in spite of everyone’s best collaborative efforts and support, educational disruptions become a barrier to meeting local graduation requirements for a student.

The Maine Department of Education Diploma is intended to be a backstop option for such students.  Students experiencing educational disruption may apply for this diploma if they cannot meet local graduation requirements but can provide evidence that they have fulfilled the following core state requirements:

English – 4 years or the equivalent in standards achievement

Social Studies and History – 2 years or the equivalent in standards achievement, including American history, government, civics, and personal finance

Mathematics – 2 years of the equivalent in standards achievement

Science – 2 years of the equivalent in standards achievement, including one year of laboratory study

Fine Arts – 1 year or the equivalent in standard achievement. May include art, music, forensics, or drama.


Beth Lambert

Coordinator of Secondary Education and Integrated Instruction