Using Your Transition Funds

In addition to the extensive tools and technical assistance available from the Maine Department of Education, school administrative units (SAUs) will receive targeted funds annually to support the transition to the proficiency-based diploma, starting in October of 2013. The law calls for the Department to distribute to each SAU a grant in the amount of 1/10th of 1 percent of that SAU’s total cost of education, as calculated under the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) school funding formula. 

Under Maine law, the funds are to be spent “in the manner determined by the school administrative unit to fund the costs of the transition (to proficiency-based graduation) not otherwise subsidized by the state.” To ensure that the funds are spent consistent with the statutory requirement, the Department will require a year-end report on the use of the funds. The report must include sufficient detail to see that the expenditures are related to the transition to proficiency-based graduation.

Examples of ways SAUs may use this transition funding include:

Building Capacity of Stakeholders

Describe how the funds were used to build capacity of the stakeholders.

Potential Activities

  1. Engage school board in developing conceptual understanding about proficiency-based learning
  2. Collaboratively develop the conceptual framework of proficiency-based learning with faculty and staff
  3. Engage faculty and staff in professional development on proficiency-based learning
  4. Engage faculty in professional development on proficiency-based curriculum design and instruction
  5. Engage faculty in professional development on assessment literacy
  6. Engage faculty to explicitly instruct and assess the Guiding Principles or content from Maine’s system of learning results
  7. Engage students, parents and the public about proficiency-based learning
    1. Ensure that there are multiple opportunities (and formats) for parents and the general community to learn about and provide feedback regarding our proficiency-based system

Potential Expenditures

  • Professional development training costs, e.g., stipends, meeting costs, substitute teacher costs to release teachers to attend the training or meeting, trainer/presenter fees, professional texts for book studies, proficiency-based learning coaches, opportunities to see proficiency-based learning in action through videos, site visits, school networks

Establishing Collaborative Partnerships

Describe how the funds were used in the implementation of a collaborative partnership with other SAUs for the purpose of supporting the implementation of proficiency-based learning in each of the participating districts.

Potential Activities

  • Pay proficiency-based learning expenses from the educational collaborative in which your SAU participates

Monitoring and Reporting of Student Progress

  • Describe how the funds were used to monitor student growth over time.
  • Describe how the transition funds were used to develop a system for reporting on the achievement of student learning.

Potential Activities

  1. Conduct a gap analysis of your current data management system’s ability to effectively manage information at the formative assessment level to track student growth over time (i.e., standards and their performance indicators, scoring scales and rubrics, individual student progress toward learning targets) as well as accessibility through teacher, student and parent portals
  2. Purchase and implement upgrades to the current data management system or purchase and implement new data management software that effectively manages information at the formative assessment level and summative levels
  3. Develop record-keeping process, transcript and report card
  4. Implement system for reporting on the achievement of student learning

Potential Expenditures

  1. Costs associated with upgrades or purchase and implementation of data management system with the capability to track student growth over time, aggregate formative data to inform teaching and learning and program effectiveness and report out progress
  2. Costs associated with training faculty, students and parents to use the full capacity of the data management system at the appropriate access level for each stakeholder group

Communication

Describe how the funds were used to create a communications plan for proficiency-based learning.

Potential Activities

  • Create a comprehensive messaging and communication plan at the outset of this work.

Potential Expenditures

  • Cost associated with regular communications to all stakeholders (such as through newsletter development and dissemination, website design, blog maintenance, videotaping of exemplars of proficiency-based learning in action in your schools, etc.)