MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

October 18, 2013

PRESS RELEASE

I-35W Mississippi River Bridge Goes Gold for After-School Programs

Lights on the I-35W Bridge will glow gold as Governor Dayton declares October 17 “Lights On Afterschool” Day. Read press release.

ACTION ITEMS

Aid and Tax Shift Buyback Update

See the October 17 memorandum from Tom Melcher. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide an update on his memorandum of October 3 regarding the aid and tax shift buyback. For assistance with questions, contact Audrey Bomstad.

World’s Best Workforce Legislation

Minnesota schools strive to provide the best educational opportunities for all children. Providing an education to Minnesota youth that leads to creating the world’s best workforce is a goal that must be addressed throughout every child’s life. Students are more likely to reach this goal if they are ready for school upon entering kindergarten, achieve grade level literacy by grade three, graduate from high school and attain career and college readiness. In order to reach the goal of the world’s best workforce, it is imperative that the academic achievement gap is closed among all groups of students regardless of race, ethnicity, English language proficiency, and special education or socioeconomic status. These are the five corner stones of the legislation that districts will develop goals to address locally. The comprehensive strategic plan that districts create under this legislation is intended to serve as a foundational document to align district educational initiatives from pre-kindergarten to post high school graduation and can serve as a blueprint to create a quality workforce equipped with skills for the 21st century. The plan is to be developed with involvement and input from district stakeholders including teachers, parents and community members.

A detailed toolkit has been created to provide guidance to districts on the requirements and goals of the legislation. This document unpacks the key components of the legislation and offers suggested best practices for development of local plans. Access the World’s Best Workforce toolkit.

Districts are to begin developing the district plan for this school year and report next fall on the district’s progress on that plan. A series of regional informational meetings are being developed to provide more assistance to districts over the next several months. These sessions will assist districts in successfully navigating the components of this legislation and to create a locally designed and implemented student achievement plan that addresses the needs of all learners in the district through locally developed goals and the implementation of effective strategies and practices designed to improve student achievement.

Further information about the regional sessions will be shared in next week’s newsletter.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Pathways to Postsecondary – Regional Leadership Summits

Regional Leadership Summits have been scheduled for December for Pathways to Postsecondary: Aligning systems through postsecondary partnerships for student success.

The Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities invite you to assemble a secondary or postsecondary team to deepen our common understandings of newly-enacted legislation and to explore opportunities for new or expanded partnerships between our systems that will better prepare our continuum of learners to be career and college-ready.

Please share this opportunity with your secondary principals.

For more information, see the following documents.

For assistance with questions, please contact Paula Palmer, Minnesota Department of Education, or contact Jessica Espinosa, Minnesota State College and Universities Systems.

Minnesota SchoolSpeedTest Webinar – October 24, 2013

Last June, President Obama announced his ConnectED initiative to bring high-speed internet connections to 99 percent of America’s students—which he is calling on the FCC to do within five years. Read more information on the White House website.

In order to take action on the president’s initiative, take local steps to maximize the impact of current funds, and make the case to connect every teacher and student in Minnesota to high-speed internet, we need to understand what bandwidth is currently available in the classrooms at your schools. The SchoolSpeedTest bandwidth data collection from your schools will be available from October 28 through November 28. The data will help find network bottlenecks, support network planning, demonstrate the need for increased connectivity/hardware funding, and support your district readiness for digital learning. The SchoolSpeedTest webinar with Q&A has been scheduled for Thursday, October 24, at 2 p.m. Access the Minnesota SchoolSpeedTest Webinar Invitation which includes instructions for how you can participate.

For assistance, direct your questions to mde.schooltechplan@state.mn.us.

ITEM OF INTEREST

Minnesota Board of Teaching Licensure Actions

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

Ford, John L. (FF# 465452) On October 11, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order denying Mr. Ford’s application for a period of two years.
DelCaro, Denio J. (FF# 449245) On October 11, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted a Stipulation Agreement whereby Mr. DelCaro will be granted a short-call substitute license. His application for a continuing teaching license will be denied until August 1, 2014.
Thompson, Scott L. (FF# 473117) On October 11, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order denying Mr. Thompson’s application for a period of one year.