MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: January 3, 2013


Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents – January 23, 2013

Save the date! The monthly conference call with Commissioner Cassellius, originally scheduled for January 16th, has been changed to Wednesday, January 23rd. Governor Dayton will release his budget recommendations on January 22nd, and so that we can provide an opportunity for you to ask questions about them, the next conference call will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Senator Al Franken will be joining the call; Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children, will be sharing information about We Day; and Commissioner Cassellius and Tom Melcher will be reviewing the governor’s budget recommendations. To see more information about We Day, visit Free the Children. Call-in instructions will be e-mailed to you a few days before January 23rd.

Minnesota Student Survey 2013 Update

Registration information for the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) was e-mailed to all superintendents and charter school directors in mid-December. New this year, schools have the option to administer the survey online using computers or iPads. The December 12, 2012, e-mail contained the secure registration link for schools to sign up for this year’s MSS.  If you didn’t receive the MSS e-mail or need us to send it to you again, please contact

Paraprofessional Recognition Week – January 14-18, 2013

Paraprofessional Recognition Week recognizes the valuable contributions of paraprofessionals in Minnesota’s public schools. A proclamation from Governor Dayton naming January 14-18, 2013, as Paraprofessional Recognition Week is available to print out and can be posted in your school buildings. A certificate of commendation, which can be personalized for individual paraprofessionals, is also available. Access both documents on the Department of Education website. For more information, contact Joan Breslin Larson.


Family Engagement Workshop – January 31, 2013

The Minnesota Department of Education, in collaboration with Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (NdCAD), is offering Cultural Literacy for Parent Involvement: Engaging Both Children and Parents, Thursday, January 31, at the Minnesota Department of Education, Conference Center B, Room 15, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (8:30-9:00 a.m., registration). Target audience: Title I teachers and coordinators, administrators, interested school/district staff and parents.

This workshop will examine the literacy-based family engagement model of NdCAD. Key aspects of the model will be presented, including literacy development within a cultural context and effective literacy practices for home and school that support cultural identity formation, reading motivation and academic achievement. The session will examine and contrast traditional, school-based parent involvement with an approach aimed at engaging parents not only in the schooling process of children, but also in the cultural education of the child and family, which provides a foundation for life-long learning. Participants will be introduced to NdCAD instructional strategies and tools that help children and parents make important connections between reading, cultural heritage and academic achievement as well as hear from NdCAD staff about strategies for involving and engaging parents and their children.

Session Learning Objectives:

- To understand the connections between literacy skill development, cultural identity development and academic achievement
- To understand 11 motivation factors associated with reading and how to foster intrinsic reading motivation in children
- To differentiate traditional parental involvement from cultural engagement
- To increase knowledge about how to use culturally-specific learning materials and approaches that help children grow, learn and succeed in school and life

Register for the Cultural Literacy for Parent Involvement: Engaging Both Children and Parents workshop. Cost is $60.00. Visit the NdCAD website.

For assistance with questions, contact Susan Martin, 651-209-3355, or contact Shirley Sanders.