MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

April 25, 2013

Four Minnesota Schools Recognized by U.S. Department of Education for Green Efforts

Three Minnesota schools and one Minnesota district are among the 64 schools and 14 districts from across the nation to be honored for their efforts to cut utility costs, implement smart conservation strategies and cultivate healthy and productive classrooms. Read the April 23 press release.

Update on Online Assessment Issues

MDE continues to investigate reports about testing interruptions that occurred within the last week. Please know we have heard your concerns, and continue to devote all available resources to respond to and mitigate the potential for future disruptions.

Unlike the interruptions last week, which were traced to a server at AIR, as of today, AIR has not been able to pinpoint a cause for similar interruptions this past Tuesday, nor have they been able to indicate how many students may have been impacted. MDE will continue working closely with AIR to determine the cause of the disruptions. We will continue to provide regular updates to districts and we appreciate your assistance in providing information during this challenging time.

Director of Assessments Jennifer Dugan, Chief of Staff Charlene Briner and MDE assessment staff held a conference call with district assessment coordinators today to provide updates and answer questions.

Districts should continue testing. As of today, there are no changes to either administration modes or testing windows. We continue to evaluate the situation on a daily basis.

We Day – Sign Up by May 31!

The deadline for schools to register is May 31, 2013. To be part of We Day on October 8 at the Xcel Energy Center, sign up today on the We Day website.

What is We Day and We Act?

- We Day is an initiative of Free The Children, an international charity and educational partner, with an 18-year history of youth engagement.
- We Day is a stadium-sized educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change.
- We Day connects world-renowned speakers and performers with thousands of middle and high school students and teachers in an inspirational setting to learn about some of the most pressing local and global issues. Past participants include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Magic Johnson, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Jennifer Hudson and many others.
- We Day is tied to the year-long We Act program, which supports students and educators with free educational resources, student-led campaigns and support materials to help turn the event’s inspiration into sustained activation.
- Students can’t buy a ticket to We Day. They earn it through service by making a commitment to take one local and one global action of their choice to better the world as part of the We Act program.

Find more information on the We Day website.

Email Messages to Superintendents from Commissioner Cassellius

We want to make sure our MDE Weekly Supt. Mail, Special Supt. Mail, and other e-mail messages directly from Commissioner Cassellius are reaching you. Because these messages are sent via GovDelivery, our listserv mailing system, and are considered bulk mailings due to the high number of recipients, your computer could filter them as junk e-mail or SPAM. In the future, if you should replace your computer or adjust the filtering, please be aware of this and add mnmde@service.govdelivery.com to your Safe Senders List. We would also appreciate being informed when your e-mail address changes. Please send changes to Cindy Heitman. Thank you!

Reading Well by Third Grade Newsletter Available

See the latest Reading Well by Third Grade newsletter.The newsletter includes information on data submissions, literacy plan revisions, and updated assessment information. For more information, please contact Kari Ross, MDE Reading Specialist, 651-582-8455.