MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

April 4, 2013

April is Financial Literacy Month!

This week marks the second year of the “April is Financial Literacy Month” statewide outreach effort. Governor Mark Dayton issued a proclamation on Monday, April 1, 2013, declaring April to be Financial Literacy Month in Minnesota—an initiative to help Minnesota students, soldiers, families, and senior citizens to learn more about their finances and make informed decisions to secure a successful financial future. Visit the Department of Commerce website to learn more.

The Department of Education’s Read-It will be sharing with students the importance of financial literacy by learning how to budget and open a bank account, balance a checkbook and even about basic investment principles. Visit the Minnesota Department of Education website to see what Read-It is learning about now.

Again, this year the Minnesota Department of Commerce is partnering with the Minnesota Twins in launching a statewide essay contest for elementary students. See the announcement this Friday on the Department of Commerce website.

GiveMN – A School Fundraising Tool

In the coming months, your district may be contacted by a representative from GiveMN. This Minnesota nonprofit specializes in grassroots fundraising and is dedicated to helping schools and nonprofit organizations connect with donors online. In its history, GiveMN has helped over 7500 organizations raise more than $70M using their free online fundraising tools. There is no expectation or pressure to collaborate with GiveMN; as always, it is important that you do what is right for your district. This is just one tool you may choose to utilize to support your fundraising efforts. Visit the GiveMN website for more information.

Minnesota Student Survey

If your district/schools haven't registered or taken the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey, it is not too late. Some schools are waiting to finish statewide assessments before they have students take the survey. Our web-based survey has been very successful if your schools have that capacity. If you have questions or need the registration link, please contact us at

Grants Available to Support School Breakfast and Physical Activity

Does your school need a boost to increase participation in breakfast? Do you need funding to support adding more minutes of physical activity for your students?

Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to partner with CSX Transportation, Kellogg Company, and the Walmart Foundation to offer grants for the 2013-2014 school year to support such initiatives. Awards will be given to over 400 schools ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Applications are due April 19, 2013!

Tips for Applying:

• Attend our upcoming webinar to learn more (archived sessions will be posted).
o Wed., April 10, 2013, 3:00-4:00 p.m. CT – REGISTER NOW via the Action for Healthy Kids online webinar form .
• DEADLINE: April 19, 2013!

Online Staff Development Reporting Site for 2012-13 Data Entry is Open

School districts are required to report staff development activities and expenditures for both their district and school sites. School districts using state staff development revenue under Minnesota Statutes, section 126C.10, subdivision 2, and Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.61, must use the state-designated reporting format to submit a copy of their annual staff development report to the Commissioner of Education. All districts, including those not reserving funds, must complete a program report. Access the Staff Development Report site to begin completing the district and school sites report. There is also an Online Staff Development FAQ on the Staff Development Report web page.

If you need further assistance, you may direct your questions regarding:

• Staff Development Online Report to Michael Foster at:
• General staff development questions to Deborah Luedtke at:

Staff Development Reports for 2011-12

District and school site staff development reports for the 2011-12 school year are now available. To view a district or site report go to the Data Reports and Analytics section of the MDE website and click on Staff Development Reports under District Information. These reports provide district information regarding the advisory committee, goals, findings, revenue, teacher induction and K-12 Arts education. School site reports include goals, designs and strategies, findings and information regarding the gifted and talented program.

National Rural Education Association Conference Call Regarding School Safety – April 11, 2013

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the National Rural Education Association (NREA) will host a conference call with rural school leaders and stakeholders on Thursday, April 11, Noon C.T., to provide an overview of school emergency management, and take your questions and comments. John White, ED’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach, and

David Esquith, ED’s Director of the Office of Safe and Health Students, will join NREA Executive Director John Hill on the conference call to engage rural education stakeholders in this conversation.

For more information, including call-in details, see the U.S. Department of Education bulletin.

Minnesota Computers for Schools – Monthly Promotion

Minnesota Computers for Schools refurbishes donated computers and provides them to schools at a minimal charge. Learn about the Monthly Special on the Minnesota Computers for Schools website.