MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: January 17, 2013


Please join Commissioner Cassellius, Dr. Tom Melcher and MDE Senior Staff for a Public Briefing of Governor Dayton’s Education Budget – January 25

Governor Dayton will be releasing his biennial budget on January 22. The Association of Metropolitan School Districts has offered to host a public briefing of the governor’s recommendations for education funding on Friday, January 25 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. 

The briefing is open to ALL superintendents and business managers across the state.  It will be held at the TIES Building in St. Paul. View map to TIES.  For those who are unable to travel to St. Paul, the briefing will be live-streamed. Access the live-streamed briefing from TIES.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to get an in-depth look at the governor’s budget and how it would impact funding for Minnesota schools.

Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents – January 23, 2013

Note update. Governor Dayton will release his budget recommendations on January 22nd. The Minnesota Department of Education will provide an overview of the recommendations during our monthly conference call Wednesday, January 23rd, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

We regret that Senator Al Franken has another commitment at this time, however we hope that he can join the conference call on another date. Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children, will lead off the meeting to share information about We Day. See more information about We Day on the Free the Children Website. Call-in instructions will be e-mailed to you tomorrow.

Announcing New Enhancements to the MDE User Account System

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce a new release of the MDE User Account System for our password protected applications. We have updated the system to match the new website design and made significant enhancements to improve usability.

The Data Submissions page is now your MDE User Account home page.  Access the Data Submissions page. We have added new documentation on this page with step-by-step instructions.  Start here to:

· create a new user account

· request access to an application

· view or update your user account

For assistance with any questions, please contact the IT Helpdesk.


District Support for Chinese Language Programs – Informational Meeting January 24

The Minnesota Visiting Teacher Program is a unique collaborative designed solely for Minnesota schools. Minnesota districts and charter schools are eligible to participate in the partnership agreement with China. Schools wanting to start or expand a Chinese language program are supported in resolving their two greatest challenges, partial funding and finding a qualified teacher.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the Chinese Education Ministry, the Minnesota Department of Education, Confucius Institute University of Minnesota and the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing, China, and participating schools work collaboratively to select, train, orientate, mentor and supervise the Chinese language teachers contracted by Minnesota K-12 districts and charter schools. Visiting Teachers are current K-12 teachers who hold a valid teaching license in China and have a minimum of three years of teaching experience.

On Thursday, January 24, 3:30 p.m., the Confucius Institute will host an informational meeting for administrators of schools interested in participating in this opportunity.

Consider the benefits to your school:

· Teachers qualified to teach Chinese language in Minnesota schools

· Teacher salaries partially subsidized by the Hanban at the rate of $1,000 per month

· Teacher salary may be U.S. salary combined with housing and/or transportation benefits. (Salaries for teachers must meet the salary of first year teachers in your district/school).

· J-1 Visa processing provided by the Minnesota Department of Education

· Minnesota schools participate in interviews using videoconferencing technology to select teachers.

· Minnesota schools work directly with local support for teacher orientation and ongoing professional development.

· “Teaching in Minnesota” orientation provided by Confucius Institute and MDE

· Minnesota schools are networked with each other while creating and sustaining Chinese language programs.

· Minnesota schools can offer its students a unique opportunity to develop global competency skills through the study of Chinese language and culture.

The meeting will be held at the Confucius Institute located within the University International Center at 331 17th Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. See directions and parking information on the Confucius Institute website. RSVP to Emily Ruskin at 612-625-5210.

For additional information, contact Ursula Lentz.