MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

May 2, 2013

Minnesota Department of Education Allows Districts More Time to Complete Student Testing Online

Commissioner Brenda Cassellius announced on Wednesday that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will extend the state’s online testing window. Read the May 1 press release.

Frequently Asked Questions about Principal Development and Evaluation Statutory Requirements

In collaboration with members of the state’s principal evaluation work group, the Department of Education has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding requirements for principal evaluation in Minnesota Statute. The document addresses the most common questions asked by districts as they plan processes and prepare for implementation. See the FAQ document on the Educator Evaluation website. Follow-up questions can be addressed by Greg Keith or by Tyler Livingston.


Annual Verification of District and School Site Information for FY14

Please see the memorandum from Matthew Porett, Chief Information Officer, regarding the process and timeline for maintaining accurate district and school site directory information. Please review your district and school site contact and organizational information, as it is critical in correctly processing records for your district including students, staff, payments, federal programs and is utilized by over 350 MDE electronic systems. For assistance with questions, contact Mary Pat Olsen, 651-582-8624.

Updated Inform and Consent Policies for Medical Assistance Billing

The Minnesota Department of Education has updated policies for school districts to inform parents and request their consent to bill special education services to Medical Assistance (MA). New federal regulations require specific information be provided to parents before requesting consent and provided annually thereafter. In addition, school districts have the option of using the Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) application form as documentation of consent if federal requirements for prior information are met. The updated policies and recommended special education Due Process and Procedural Safeguards text are provided in a letter from Assistant Commissioner Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman to Superintendents dated May 2, 2013. Read the May 2, 2013 letter.

2013 Minnesota Student Survey

It’s not too late for your district/schools to complete the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey. If you waited to finish statewide assessments before doing the survey, you can still register for paper or online surveys and administer through May. 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

Proposed Amendments to Rules Governing School and Child Care Immunization

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has formally proposed updates to the School and Child Care Immunization Law through the rulemaking process and published the Notice of Intent to Adopt on April 29, 2013 in the State Register. MDH and the Minnesota Department of Education want to make sure you aware of the proposed changes and how to comment on them. The health of students affects the ability of schools to provide a quality education; schools cannot educate students who are absent because of a vaccine-preventable disease (VPD).

MDH will be accepting comments on the proposed changes until Friday, May 31, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. Obtain more information on the proposed changes and how to submit comments at the MDH Immunization Rulemaking website or contact Patricia Segal Freeman, at P.O. Box 64975, St. Paul, MN 55164-00975, phone 651-201-5503 or 1-800-657-3970, fax 651-201-5501, and email

The changes bring the law up to date with current recommendations and practices. Some proposed changes include:

· Requiring Hepatitis A and B vaccination for children in child care or school-based early childhood programs.

· Replacing the current seventh-grade Td requirement with the Tdap vaccine.

· Requiring secondary students to have meningococcal vaccination beginning in seventh grade.

Note: These proposed changes do not change the medical exemption or the option for parents to decline any or all vaccines for conscientious reasons.


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Meal Programs

Childhood food insecurity remains at unacceptable levels across the country and children are most acutely at risk in the summer when they do not have access to school meals. See the letter from USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack and United States Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan requesting help from schools to make access to and participation in summer meal programs a priority. For more information about the USDA Summer Meal Programs, visit the USDA website.

Ethel Curry American Indian Leadership Scholarship – Application due May 31

The Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation (MAEF) in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce that the Ethel Curry American Indian Leadership Scholarship program is seeking applications for the 2013-2014 academic year. See the announcement and application forms for the Ethel Curry American Indian Leadership Scholarship for postsecondary education. For assistance with questions, contact LaDonna Mustin, 651-582-8832.

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.