MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

August 1, 2013


2013 Superintendents’ Back-to-School Conference – August 6-7

The 2013 Superintendents’ Back-to-School Conference will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, August 6 and 7, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park. Superintendents, charter school directors, and district/school leadership teams are invited to attend. For an updated agenda and further details, visit the 2013 Back-to-School Conference website.

The District and School Web Collection is Now Open!

The District and School Web Collection (formerly the Report Card Data Collection) entry site is now open. To ensure your district and school information is complete and up-to-date in the MDE Data Center’s Data for Parents and Educators, you may submit your data now. Changes will appear the next business day.

The District and School Web Collection requires the same salary grid and school opportunity information as last year. Before entering the website, please review the User Guide, so you can prepare your data for entry.

Access the District and School Web Collection System and User Guide from the MDE website under School Support, Data Submissions. This information is important to parents, educators and the public as they review information about districts and schools in the Data Center. We thank you for your efforts in keeping this information up-to-date. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Pat Olsen (651-582-8624).

Connecting for Middle Level School Success – Invitation to Participate

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to invite schools to participate in the Connecting for Middle Level School Success Initiative during 2013-2014. The goal is to increase the achievement of Minnesota middle level students. Participant schools will gather, analyze, and utilize multiple sources of data; develop strong, effective, change-oriented leadership; and implement results-based programs and strategies. Initiative benefits include increasing knowledge of research-based instructional and leadership strategies, leadership capacity and skills for long-term success. Access the Connecting for Middle Level School Success Initiative application. The application and more information are available on the High School Professional Development Web page and due by September 1, 2013.

MDE will provide assistance to a select number of principals as they learn and implement strategies related to the following six research-based core components of the Systemic Middle Level Redesign: Building a Minnesota Model Framework. The core components include rigorous and relevant curriculum for all students; a personalized learning environment for each student; highly effective teachers and instruction; effective leadership; a safe and healthy school environment; and data use for improvements in a timely and ongoing manner.

Participating principals will be expected to attend five free half days of training in their regions during the 2013-2014 school year. The training would be directly related to increasing the school capacity to successfully implement a systemic school improvement initiative related to one of the six core components and to collect data regarding the outcome. Principals will also be asked to share middle level school initiative experiences with regional and state groups and use a SharePoint online networking tool to support other participating principals with their initiatives.

Clarification Regarding Charter Schools and Early Childhood Special Education

See the July 11, 2013, memorandum from Bobbie Burnham et al., regarding charter schools and early childhood special education. For assistance with questions, contact Lisa Backer, Early Childhood Special Education Services (651-582-8473), or contact George Holt, Special Education Funding (651-582-8889).

2013-14 and 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collections – Request for Comments

The U.S. Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on the proposed 2013-14 and 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collections (CRDC). Since 1968, this data collection (formerly known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Civil Rights Compliance Report) has been an integral and important aspect of how the Office for Civil Rights undertakes its responsibilities under the civil rights laws it administers.

As with previous CRDC collections, the purpose of the 2013-14 and 2015-16 CRDC is to obtain vital data related to the requirement under the civil rights laws that public local educational agencies (LEAs) and elementary and secondary schools provide equal educational opportunity. ED has extensively analyzed the uses of every data element collected in the 2011-12 CRDC and sought advice from experts across ED to refine, improve, and where appropriate, add or remove data elements from the collection. The 2013-14 and 2015-16 CRDC redesign effort ensured that, while several new indicators were added to the collection, data elements also were removed where appropriate. ED also made the CRDC data definitions and metrics consistent with other mandatory collections across ED wherever possible. The proposed additions and changes to the 2013-14 and 2015-16 CRDC reflect the need for and will provide a deeper understanding of and accurate data about the educational opportunities and school context for our nation's students.

View more detailed information about the proposed data collection and how to submit a public comment on the Federal Register website.

ED recognizes and appreciates the hard work and commitment of the school districts and states in providing these important data. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 20, 2013. For further information, contact


ED Review – A U.S. Department of Education Newsletter

ED Review provides a biweekly update on U.S. Department of Education initiatives and activities. See the latest ED Review posting on the U.S. Department of Education website.