This Section establishes minimum requirements in areas
Instructional Time, Including a
Minimum School Day and Week
school week is the five days Monday through Friday. Exceptions occur when
schools are closed because of holidays, inclement weather, or other extenuating
B. A "school day"
means a day in which school is in operation as either an instructional day as
defined in this Section, or a non-instructional day that may be used for
in-service education of teachers, administrative meetings, parent-teacher
conferences, records' days or similar activities.
C. "Instructional day" means a school day
during which both students and teachers are present, either in a school or in
another setting, and engaged in instructional time.
D. "Instructional time" means that portion of
a school day devoted to the teaching-learning process, but not including
extra-curricular activities, lunchtime, or recess. Time spent on organized
field trips related to school studies may be considered instructional time, but
the instructional time counted for extended field trips shall not exceed a
normal school day for each day of the field trip. Alternative education
programs, multiple pathways, extended learning opportunities, and other
innovative programs may allow students to attend outside of the regular
instructional day, as outlined in the SAU Comprehensive Education
E. An instructional day for
grades K-12 must be a minimum of three hours in length. Plans to use school
days of varying length must be reflected in the Comprehensive Education Plan
submitted by the school administrative unit pursuant to
instructional day may be extended for students who need more than the minimum
day to meet the content standards of the system of Learning Results.
F. Instructional days that are canceled must
be rescheduled to meet the minimum school year requirements contained in
School administrative units may not
schedule make-up instructional time on days identified in
20-A M.R.S. §4802
Acceptable methods of rescheduling cancelled instructional days include:
1. Rescheduling or shortening scheduled
2. Postponing the
scheduled closing date of school;
3. Providing up to 25 one hour extensions of
the instructional day to equal a maximum of five 5-hour make-up instructional
days in a school year in accordance with a plan approved by the
4. Conducting classes
on the weekend; and/or
Developing other ways to make up school days missed due to weather or emergency
closures not included above, which will be incorporated into a plan approved by
an instructional day must be shortened due to circumstances that involve
student health or safety, the day is considered a full day if school has been
in session for at least 2.5 hours.
Staffing: Ratios and
Qualifications of Personnel
school board of the school administrative unit shall determine the number and
allocation of personnel for the unit.
Student teacher ratios. The school board
of each school administrative unit shall permit maximum student teacher ratios
of 25:1 school wide for kindergarten to grade 8; and maximum student teacher
ratios of 30:1 schoolwide for grades 9 to 12.
1. Band and chorus instruction may
exceed the student-teacher ratio identified above.
2. The number of students enrolled in a
laboratory course shall not exceed the number for which the laboratory was
designed and is equipped to serve safely.
3. A higher ratio may be allowed for long
term non-traditional scheduling or large group instruction in grades 1-12 with
approval of the Commissioner.
higher ratio may be allowed without Commissioner approval for occasional
short-term instruction at the option of the school board. In cases of
enrollments that are unexpectedly large, the maximum ratio for schools and
classes may be exceeded for up to 45 calendar days at the discretion of the
school board. If the enrollment problem remains unresolved, the superintendent
shall submit a written request to the Commissioner for a student-teacher ratio
waiver prior to the end of the 45-day period. The Commissioner may grant a
waiver of ratios when undue hardship exists due to limited financial, physical,
or human resources. Such a waiver shall include stipulated conditions deemed
necessary to the health, safety, or education of affected students.
C. Superintendent. The school
board of each school administrative unit shall employ a superintendent of
schools certified in the State of Maine, whether or not the unit operates a
school. 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 101.
Principal. A principal certified in the State of Maine shall supervise the
operation and management of each school and school property, unless it is
determined to be unnecessary by the superintendent under policies established
by the school board. A superintendent may, on an annual basis, request an
exception to the employment of a principal to lead a school and the
Commissioner may approve the request, which may be based on hardship due to the
small size of a school, a school's geographic location, or other extenuating
circumstances. 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 504.
E. Professional Personnel. Professional
personnel, including but not limited to teachers, counselors, library-media
specialists, other education specialists, assistant superintendents, curriculum
directors, special education directors, assistant principals, and other
administrators, shall hold certification appropriate to their assignments and
any state licenses required by statute and Maine Department of Education
§4502(4), Chapter 501
F. Support Personnel.
Support personnel, including but not limited to educational technicians,
secretaries, cooks, custodians, and bus drivers, shall meet all applicable
state requirements for authorization or approval, as specified in Maine
Department of Education Regulation 115.
G. Attendance Coordinator.
Each school board shall appoint an attendance coordinator in accordance with
H. School Medical Personnel. Each school
board shall appoint, annually, a school physician to advise the school board on
school health issues, policies, and practices. The school physician may examine
and diagnose but not treat students or employees unless it is necessary to
protect the health of the students in the school administrative unit. Each
school board shall appoint a certified school nurse to supervise and coordinate
health services for the unit. The school board may contract for the services of
qualified school medical personnel. 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 223.
Adequacy of Facilities.
School facilities shall have adequate space with respect to student enrollment,
the instructional program, and necessary administrative and supporting
1. Each classroom or laboratory shall be
adequate to safely serve the specific purpose for which it is intended and
shall have sufficient area to accommodate each student.
2. Each school shall maintain a designated
area that affords access to library-media resources, as appropriate to the age
of students in the school.
Storage space shall be provided so that materials and equipment may be securely
stored in a space other than in student instructional areas. Storage of
hazardous materials shall be in accordance with OSHA requirements.
4. Areas used for the provision of student
services and health services shall be adequate to provide for the privacy and
confidentiality of such services.
Requirements for Equipment and
A. Each school shall
maintain a library-media program that includes books, written materials, online
Internet resource materials, multimedia materials, and information technology
that supports the curriculum. Resources shall be appropriate to the ages of the
children served by the school. A certified library-media specialist shall
oversee the library-media program in a school administrative unit. However,
this shall not be interpreted to mean that each school within a school
administrative unit must have a certified library-media specialist.
B. The library-media resources, including
access to the Internet, shall be accessible to all enrolled students and
personnel during school hours. The school administrative unit shall have a
policy governing access to library resources by students in approved equivalent
instruction programs in accordance with state law.
The Comprehensive Education Plan shall
address updating and maintaining library-media resources.
Minimum School Size
Where a school administrative unit operates a secondary
school of fewer than 100 students or an elementary school of fewer than 10
students, it shall annually evaluate, as part of the Comprehensive Education
Plan adopted by the school board, whether it is necessary or profitable to
maintain the school building, and whether the enrollment of the school is
sufficient for students to meet the content standards of the system of Learning
Results. The procedures set forth in
§4102 shall be followed when closing any
Grade and Program
The grade and program organization of schools in a school
administrative unit that operates one or more schools shall provide a
developmental continuum that gives students the opportunity to meet the content
standards of the system of Learning Results. The school organization shall
facilitate achievement of the goals in the unit's Comprehensive Education Plan.
If there is more than one school in the unit serving a grade level, the school
board shall determine which students attend each school.
Schools shall implement developmentally appropriate
educational practices for kindergarten to grade 2 that:
A. Address all domains of development,
including cognitive, social/emotional, and physical well-being, across
established developmental trajectories;
B. Provide experiential learning across
disciplines through both teacher-directed instruction and student-directed
engagement with concrete materials;
C. Are culturally relevant to the lives of
children in this age/grade span; and
D. Are guided by formative assessment
practices, including teacher observation.
Assessment and Evaluation of
Student Performance for School Improvement
School administrative units shall demonstrate how school and
student assessment data are used to evaluate, develop, and improve curriculum,
instruction, and assessment.
222; Maine DOE Rule Chapter 127.
Student Support Services
Each school administrative unit shall have a Comprehensive
School Counseling Program.
Records, Record Keeping and
Records, record keeping and reporting requirements shall be
maintained according to 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 221, §1055, and Schedule 18,
School Records. A roster of resident, tuition, and transfer students will be
maintained as outlined in this Section.
A. The superintendent of each school
administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all resident and tuition
students attending schools operated by the unit.
B. The superintendent of each school
administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all students eligible to attend
school within the unit who are receiving equivalent instruction in an approved
or non-approved private school, or in an approved equivalent instruction
C. The superintendent of
each school administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all students who
have been expelled by school board action, who have dropped out of the unit,
who have withdrawn from the unit, or who are truant.
D. The superintendent of each school
administrative unit shall maintain a roster of all students who have been
approved for transfer into the unit or to another unit.
Health, Sanitation and Safety
A. Health and Safety
Requirements. Health and safety requirements shall include water and sanitation
requirements per Maine Department of Health and Human Services Regulations. All
school facilities, which shall include buildings, grounds, and equipment
necessary for the provision of instructional programs, shall be operated and
maintained in safe, healthful, and sanitary condition
B. Water. Drinking water from sanitary
fountains shall be available in each school.
C. Sanitary Facilities. Each school building
shall be provided with an adequate number of toilets that are clean, private,
well supervised, of the flush water type and connected to a sewage disposal
system approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. Toilet rooms
with a single toilet cannot be designated as "female" or "male." Toilet rooms
shall include wash sinks that are connected to an adequate, pressurized water
supply. The sanitary conditions of each school shall be inspected
D. Air Quality. Each
room used for instructional purposes shall have sufficient air changes to
produce healthful conditions and to avoid odors or concentrations of toxic
substances or dust particles. Temperatures shall be kept at a level that
provides a comfortable environment for employees and students. If the heating,
ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are mechanically driven, they
shall be maintained and in compliance with HVAC regulations and
School Inspections. Fire
and safety inspections shall be conducted in the school, in compliance with
State code, at least once every five years. The school board shall cause any
deficiencies to be corrected in the timeframes specified.
Development of All Personnel
Each school board shall establish a system for training and
development of all personnel that is aligned with the system of Learning
Results as established in
§6209. School boards shall establish a
system of professional training and development that fosters continuous
improvement and is differentiated to be relevant to all personnel.
Restraint and Seclusion
School boards and school personnel shall recognize the proper
use of physical restraint and seclusion as an emergency intervention when the
behavior of a student presents a risk of injury or harm to the student or
others. Restraint and seclusion shall be administered in accordance with
requirements adopted by the department.
§4502(5)(M); Maine DOE
Rule Chapter 33.
School administrative units shall have a written local policy
and implement training for all unlicensed personnel who administer medication
in accordance with the requirements under
§4502(5)(N); Maine DOE
Rule Chapter 40.
Reintegration Planning Training
School administrative units shall have a written local policy
and implement training for all school counselors and school personnel who
administer reintegration planning, who participate on a reintegration team, and
who have access to confidential criminal justice information regarding
Family Outreach and Support
School administrative units shall provide family outreach and
support programs designed to improve parent engagement and parent-school
relations consistent with
shall have written policies and procedures that demonstrate intentional,
strength-based practices designed to foster strong reciprocal relationships
with families. These practices include, but are not limited to: open houses,
parent conferences, parent education opportunities, newsletters, family events,
and program evaluations. Policies and procedures are to be translated in
languages understandable to parents.
Promotion, Retention, Acceleration
and Graduation of Students
School administrative units shall have policies to guide
promotion, retention, and graduation of students.
20-A M.R.S. §§
Maine DOE Rule Chapter 127.
Lockdown Drills and Emergency
Schools are required to conduct lockdown drills as well as
emergency evacuation drills. Written procedures for emergency evacuation drills
shall be posted in all buildings. Written procedures for lockdown drills shall
not be posted. Schools at all levels K-12 are required to hold two drills
during the first two weeks of school. Schools enrolling grades K-4 shall hold
an additional eight drills during the year; schools enrolling grades 5-8, an
additional six drills; and schools enrolling grades 9-12, an additional four
drills. Schools enrolling any combinations of these grade levels shall hold the
additional number of drills required of the lowest grade level within the span,
except that the local fire chief may increase the number of drills required.
Results shall be recorded and deficiencies noted and corrected using local code
compliance forms. School personnel shall receive an annual orientation in drill
requirements. SAUs must develop and maintain Comprehensive Emergency Management
Plans that require school board approval pursuant to
Multi-tiered System of
All school administrative units are required to develop and
implement a multi-tiered system of support, kindergarten to grade 12, that
provides each child with differentiated learning experiences and/or assistance
to achieve social and emotional development, meet the content standards of the
system of Learning Results, and graduation requirements. These supports must be
specific, timely, and based upon ongoing formative assessments that
continuously monitor student progress. Public Law 2019, Chapter 219.
A multi-tiered system of support has three distinct levels of
intervention available to general education students:
Tier I - Universal Supports. This tier begins with the
implementation of core, curriculum, including strategies to assist student
development and learning. Typically, these supports are differentiated based on
student need and provided to all students within the classroom. Tier I supports
continue when Tier II or Tier III interventions are added.
Tier II - Targeted Supports. Supplemental instruction or
supports provided to students in addition to Tier 1. These may be provided by
qualified staff, including, but not limited to, the classroom teacher, an
intervention specialist, or an authorized Educational Technician. Targeted
support may involve more intensive practice and/or monitoring of regular
Tier III - Intensive Supports. Intensive instruction or
supports provided to students through small group or one-to-one interventions,
within the classroom or through an individualized environment, with an
increased focus on teaching specific skills.
While there may be variations in how school administrative
units develop and implement a multi-tiered system of support, the systems must
* Assurance that every child is provided with evidence-based
core (Tier 1) academic instruction and positive behavioral and social/emotional
* A collection of evidence-based, academic, behavioral, and
social/emotional Tier II and III interventions that are available for students
who need them;
* A team-based process to review children's progress and
evaluate whether students who are struggling in any academic, behavioral, or
social/emotional area may need more intensive Tier II or III support;
* A consistent process of valid, reliable, and age
appropriate screening and progress monitoring to evaluate student progress at
* A method to determine whether a child's assessed challenges
are likely the result of trauma, linguistic, and/or cultural experiences;
* A mechanism for including parents in decision-making about
a child's potential participation in Tier II or III activities; and
* Provisions for supports to continue during any subsequent
special education referral.
The parent may request that a full and individual evaluation
for possible special education eligibility determination be conducted at any
time during the multi-tiered system of support review process.