2012 Superintendent Mail

MDE WEEKLY SUPERINTENDENT MAIL

TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: June 28, 2012


MDE NEWS AND INFORMATION

ACTION ITEMS

• Northeast Minnesota Flooding Emergency Information

For those districts affected by flood damage, if you have not done so, please contact John Bulger, School Finance Division, regarding flood damage estimates. Thank you.

For updated information about the Northeast Minnesota flood recovery efforts, visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management/State Emergency Operations Center,

• Capital Expenditure: Health and Safety Revenue Application

Please see the memorandum from Commissioner Brenda Cassellius regarding the above-mentioned matter. The memorandum provides information related to the district health and safety (H&S) revenue application for the 2012 Pay 2013 levy cycle.

If you have any questions regarding application documents or processes, please contact Michael Oxborough at 651-582-8509 or michael.oxborough@state.mn.us.

• Revised 2011 Adjusted Net Tax Capacity

Please see the memorandum from Tom Melcher, director of Program Finance, regarding the above-mentioned matter. The revised 2011 adjusted net tax capacity for each school district is now available on the Department of Revenue’s website. If you are not satisfied with the result of the department’s review, you must file a notice of appeal. If you have any questions concerning this certification, contact the Sales Ratio Unit of the Property Tax Division of the Department of Revenue at 651-556-6110.

• School Finance Reports and Spreadsheets – Website Location Changes

The Minnesota Department of Education, in its ongoing efforts to make data easy to find and use, has made some changes to the School Finance section of the website. Spreadsheets and reports that are run on an annual or ongoing basis have been relocated to the Data Center. Pages that contained only this type of report or spreadsheet have been deleted from the School Finance section of the website. See below for a list of specific changes and a link to the Data Center where these files can now be found. Thank you for your patience during this transition. If you have questions about where to find information in the Data Center, please contact Teri Kostelecky at 651-582-8288 or at teri.kostelecky@state.mn.us.

Visit the Data Center now to find School Finance spreadsheets and reports.

Charter Schools – The Charter School Lease Aid reports have been moved; the page will remain.

Facilities and Technology – Building Age Reports – All reports have been moved to the Data Center and the page has been deleted.

Facilities and Technology – School Construction – The Review and Comments have been moved; the page will remain.

Financial Management – School District Profiles – This page has been deleted and all profiles moved to the Data Center.

Financial Management – Guidance and Reports – The Indirect Cost Rates have been moved; the page will remain.

Funding Projection and Trends – Financial Profile, Fund Balance and Revenue trends have been moved to the Data Center, the page will remain.

General Education – Interactive Projection Models (WHATIFs) – All WHATIF (General Education and Charter School) spreadsheets have been moved to the Data Center and the page has been deleted. (Charter School WHATIFs will be under Charter Schools and General Education WHATIFs will be under General Education.)

General Education – Area Learning Centers – All content moved to Data Center; page has been deleted.

General Education – Referendum – Operating Referendums moved; the page will remain.

General Education – Q Comp – All content moved to Data Center; page has been deleted.

General Education – General Education Revenue Disparity Reports – All General Education Disparity Reports have been moved to the Data Center and the page has been deleted.

General Education – Trust Land Endowment – All School Trust Land Endowment Payments have been moved to the Data Center; the page will remain.

General Education – Sparsity Revenue – All Sparsity Revenue spreadsheets have been moved to the Data Center and the page has been deleted.

Special Education – Cross-Subsidy Report – All Cross-Subsidies Reports have been moved to the Data Center, this page has been deleted.

Special Education – Excess Cost Projection Models – All Excess Cost Projection Models have been moved to the Data Center; this page has been deleted.

Special Education – Federal Allocations – All Finance Codes have been moved the Data Center; this page will remain.

Transportation – Resources – Revenue and Expenditures Analysis, Pupil Transportation Data, and District Total Mileage, Hours, and Routes have been moved to the Data Center; this page will remain.

Transportation – Statistics - All Transportation Statistics have been moved the Data Center and the page has been deleted.

• Minnesota Student Survey 2013: PPRA Notification Reminder

As part of Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232h; 34 CFR Part 98), all LEAs must provide parents and students notification of the Minnesota Student Survey administration in their district.  As part of this notification, parents must be allowed to review the survey and be given the opportunity to elect not to allow their child to participate in the survey (passive consent).  Notification of your District’s planned participation in the 2013 survey administration must be a part of your districts fall mailing and/or parent notification packet for the 2012-13 school year. This notification must information parents of their rights to review the survey and to request that their child does not participate.

A copy of the 2013 Survey instrument and additional information about both the Minnesota Student Survey and the PPRA parental notification will be provided to districts in August 2012. If you have questions about the upcoming survey administration, please contact MDE staff person Deb Loy at deb.loy@state.mn.us or 651-582-8306.

• Minnesota Student Survey 2013: Changes in Survey Administration

In spring 2013, MDE in partnership with the Departments of Health, Human Services and Public Safety, will be administrating the ninth Minnesota Student Survey (MSS). This upcoming administration will include several changes to the survey including: web-based survey participation, participating grades and survey content.

The MSS has undergone some significant changes for the 2013 administration. Many of these decisions were informed based on feedback from principals and previous MSS Contacts. Changes in the Minnesota Student Survey include:

• 2013 survey administration will be an online web-based survey. A paper and pencil version will be made available upon request.

• The preferred survey administration window will be from the beginning of January to the end of March. (a change from the previous preferred administration window of mid-February to mid-April).

• The participating grades will include grades 5, 8, 9 and 11. We expect that this change will allow for schools to participate in the survey that have never previously participated.

• All survey items will be reviewed for validity and context. Many of the current items will be replaced with updated or improved questions and new content areas may be included.

The change to an online survey administration will impact the current trend lines. Because of this, the Minnesota Student Survey Interagency Team is taking the opportunity to improve the quality of the survey and make some significant changes to the instrument and grade-level participation. The MSS Research Team is reviewing all of the survey items for validity and is replacing many of the current items with updated or improved questions.

As stated above, the Minnesota Student Survey will include a change in participating grades. Acknowledging the need to maintain some trend information and a desire to keep a cohort analysis option, the survey will now include grades 5, 8, 9, and 11. By surveying grades 5, 8 and 11, the option for a cohort analysis is maintained. By including grade 9, the potential for questions to be trended from previous survey administrations is maintained. Also, by including grades 5, 8 and 11, the survey will reach elementary school, middle school and high school students.

Our goal is that these changes will not only continue to provide students, parents, schools and their communities a dynamic vehicle for on-going communication about issues vital to the health, safety and academic success of youth, but also improve the quality of the data. Copies of the new survey instruments will be made available to districts in August 2012.

• 2012 Minnesota Staff Development Legislation and Reporting Requirements

View the memorandum regarding recent legislative changes pertaining to staff development. Districts are still required to submit a report to MDE via the online reporting system by October 15. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Deborah Luedtke at (651) 582-8440 or deborah.luedtke@state.mn.us.

• Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Achievement

See the checklist regarding the requirements for the 2011-2012 Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Achievement. This report is due to the public by October 1. Districts are no longer required to submit a copy of the report to the commissioner of education. For more information regarding this report, view Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.11. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Deborah Luedtke at (651) 582-8440 or deborah.luedtke@state.mn.us.

MISCELLANEOUS

• Grant Opportunity: Federal Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Scholarship Coordination

Please see the attached memorandum from Karen Cadigan, director of Early Learning Services, regarding the above-mentioned grant opportunity. The grant objective is to coordinate and administer Early Learning Challenge Scholarships to promote and access high-quality early learning development programs (ELD) for children with high needs within each transformation zone as indicated. Access the application packet after July 2. Signed applications are due by July 24, 2012, 3:30, Central Time. For further information, contact Lisa Cariveau, Early Learning Services, at lisa.cariveau@state.mn.us or 651-582-8332.

• Grant Opportunity: Telecommunications Projects for K-12 Education in Minnesota

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission seeks proposals from qualifying primary, middle and secondary school educators, both public and nonpublic, for grants to fund telecommunications projects for the benefit of K-12 students in Minnesota.  The source fund is held by Qwest Corporation and will be distributed by Qwest with direction from the Commission.  The fund balance is approximately $2.8 million.  The deadline for applications is August 31, 2012.  For a copy of the application instructions, see the Commission’s website. For assistance with questions, contact Dr. Kevin O’Grady, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, at 651-201-2218 or k12grant.puc@state.mn.us.

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