MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

March 21, 2013

Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents

Thanks to all of you who participated in yesterday’s conference call. Agenda topics included Graduation Rates (they’ve gone up!), legislative, budget, and assessment updates, and information about the teacher evaluation model pilot opportunity.

Legislative – While the Legislature is working on funding decisions, superintendents are encouraged to inform their legislators about their district’s needs. Assessment – Following the first operational administration of the new reading assessments, standard setting and alignment activities will take place this summer. The department is recruiting educators to serve on standard setting and alignment committees. See more information and the online application. August 1, 2013, is the date for the Annual Assessment Conference. The call for proposals and registration information will be provided when details are finalized. Teacher Evaluation Model Pilot – Districts are invited to participate in a pilot of the state draft model for teacher evaluation during school year 2013-2014. See the memorandum and letter of interest available on the Teacher Evaluation Default Model web page.

The next conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

Commissioner Cassellius Hosts Education Roundtable in Rochester

Yesterday, Commissioner Cassellius visited a Regional Center and hosted a roundtable discussion on education and the governor’s budget. She met with Rochester Superintendent Michael Munoz and nearly two dozen teachers and administrators to talk about the current state of education in Rochester, including topics about education finance, early education and special education. Read media advisory. Visit the Governor's website.


Invoice for Educational Services for Students in Care and Treatment

See the memorandum from Tom Melcher, director of School Finance, regarding the Invoice for Educational Services for Students in Care and Treatment. Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.19 was amended by Law 2012, Chapter 239, Article 3, Section 2, to include reference to Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.51. The statute now reads, “All tuition billing for nonresident children pursuant to sections 125A.03 to 125A.24, 125A.51, and 125A.65 must be done on uniform forms prescribed by the commissioner. The billing shall contain an itemized statement of costs that are being charged to the resident district.”

View the Invoice for Educational Services for Students in Care and Treatment.

For assistance with questions regarding billing, contact George Holt, Special Education Funding and Data supervisor (651-582-8889).

Opportunity to Participate in Standard Setting or Alignment Study

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) needs English Language Arts, Reading and Special Educators to serve on committees in summer 2013. Please share this information with teachers in your district. MDE will set standards on the new Reading MCA-III, MCA-Modified and MTAS and will conduct alignment studies of these assessments to the 2010 Minnesota Academic Standards. Participants will be compensated. See more information and the online application.

For assistance with questions,
contact Cheryl Alcaya, supervisor of research and assessment.

Funding Opportunity – Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding is available to qualified communities (and school districts) interested in mitigating future damage from natural hazards and helping residents (students and staff) stay safe during severe weather.

Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) administers the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program. The HMGP is a cost-share grant (75% federal/25% local) made available statewide post-disaster. Due to the floods of June 2012 and resulting disaster declaration DR-4069-MN, funds are now available for mitigation projects.

Potential projects include:

· Acquisition of repetitively damaged structures from flood-prone areas
· Tornado safe rooms – part of new construction or retrofit of existing schools
· Retrofit of overhead power lines

Eligible applicants include:

· State and local governments
· Certain private non-profit organizations and institutions
· Native American tribes and authorized tribal organizations

The deadline to submit a one-page Notice of Interest (NOI) to HSEM Hazard Mitigation is April 5, 2013. Access NOI form from the HSEM website.

The State Hazard Mitigation Team will meet in April to evaluate NOIs. Eligible applicants will be invited to develop full HMGP applications. Access the NOI and additional information on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety -- HSEM website. Access additional information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.

For assistance with questions, contact Jennifer E. Nelson, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, at 651-201-7427.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 15-19, 2013

During this important week, the Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) is asking school administrators, safety officers and faculty to review their severe weather safety procedures to ensure every school is prepared to respond.

Statewide tornado drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 18 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. Sirens and NOAA Weather Radios are expected to sound, so this is an excellent opportunity for a safety drill. If your school can’t participate in the drill, please explain to students why the warning sirens are sounding and recommend that they practice their family emergency plan during the evening drill.

Why Severe Weather Awareness Week? According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. In 2012, 37 twisters touched down. A record was set in 2010 with 104 tornadoes across the state.

Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives. Please, take advantage of Severe Weather Awareness Week to make students aware of tornadoes and other weather-related hazards.

Each day of the week, the Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will focus on a different topic available on their website.

· Monday – Alerts and Warnings
· Tuesday – Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
· Wednesday – Floods
· Thursday – Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills)
· Friday – Extreme Heat

Find specific information about these topics, including factsheets, checklists, data and other resources on the HSEM Weather Safety website.

Minnesota eLearning Summit – Call for Proposals Extended to March 25

The Minnesota eLearning Summit will be held July 29-30, 2013, at Northwestern College in St. Paul. The 2013 Summit theme, “eSynergy: Bringing it All Together,” is designed for K-12, college and university educators, innovators and education technologists across the continuum of education.

The Minnesota eLearning Summit is sponsored by the Minnesota Learning Commons: a collaboration of the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Education, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Submit your proposal now to lead a Summit session or hands-on workshop. Call for Proposals deadline has been extended until March 25. Access further information on the Minnesota eLearning Summit website.

Minnesota Board of Teaching Licensure Action

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has taken the following licensure action:

McDaniel, Michael K. (FF# 285685) On March 15, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted a Stipulation Agreement revoking Mr. McDaniel’s teaching licenses for two years and until he can meet other requirements imposed by the Board.