2012 Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: December 20, 2012

Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents

Thanks to all of you who participated in yesterday’s conference call. School Climate Specialist Nancy Riestenburg provided information regarding school safety support, the importance of reviewing your district’s crisis management policy and encouraged providing mental health support for your staff and students. Student Testing and Assessment Director Jennifer Dugan provided an assessment update. Government Relations Director Kevin McHenry presented budget and legislative updates. Governor Dayton will release his budget on January 22, and so that we can provide an opportunity for you to ask questions about the governor’s budget, the next conference call will be held on Wednesday, January 23, 9:30-10:30.

Commissioner Cassellius gave a brief overview about We Day Minnesota, which is coming in mid-October. Please take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the tremendous opportunities available for students who would like to make a difference in the world. View the 60 Minutes segment by visiting the We Day website.


For those of you who may have missed it, Commissioner Cassellius released a statement last Friday regarding the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. View statement from Commissioner Cassellius. A message was sent to superintendents and principals on December 14 that included the following two guidance documents. View Talking About the News. View sample letter to parents.


Resources for Schools to Prepare for and Recover from Crisis

On Monday, December 17, districts and schools were sent an e-mail bulletin from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan regarding resources available for schools to prepare for and recover from crisis. We’d like to make sure you receive the information. View Resources for Schools to Prepare for and Recover from Crisis – a bulletin from the U.S. Department of Education.

Outstanding Audit Reports

With the December 31, 2012, submission deadline approaching, this is a reminder regarding the submission of Financial Audit Reports. The statutory deadline for the Minnesota Department of Education to receive Financial Audit Reports, management letters, etc., is December 31, 2012, per Minnesota Statutes, section 123.77, Subdivision 3.

As of December 19, 183 school districts have NOT submitted required audit reports. You may view the file named “Outstanding Reports” at the following link: Download list of districts with outstanding audit reports. The file lists districts from which financial reports have not been received as of December 19, 2012.

Also, review the memorandum regarding “Summary of Audit Requirements FY 12 Audits” via the following link: Download Summary of Audit Requirements FY 2012 Audits. The memorandum defines how districts / auditors may submit financial files electronically. Districts may also send printed reports via USPS, FedEx, UPS, or other ground carriers. HOWEVER, the Minnesota Department of Education would prefer to receive the documents in electronic format.

Please note, the file-naming conventions and e-mail address outlined in the audit notification memorandum. Please take a moment to determine if your district is on the list. If so, contact your audit firm and work with them to ensure the reports are submitted before December 31, 2012.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact David Day at 651-582-8384.