MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

November 7, 2013


Minnesota Makes Significant Gains in Narrowing Achievement Gap

The 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress—known as the "Nation's Report Card"—indicates that Minnesota students are among the top in the nation! Additionally, Minnesota is making tremendous progress, especially in the early grades, in narrowing achievement gaps. “Today’s results are a testament to the incredible work of teachers who know that every child matters,” said Commissioner Cassellius. Read news release. Visit NAEP website.


World’s Best Workforce – Informational Sessions Update

See the latest updated schedule of informational sessions regarding the World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) legislation. Visit the site/organization indicated on the schedule for additional details and registration information.

In addition, readers can access the planning guide for districts.

Watch for future WBWF updates each week in this newsletter.

Chemical Safety Training OSHA Requirement

By December 1, 2013, all employees who handle chemicals must be trained on a new chemical classification and labeling system called the Global Harmonized System (GHS). This is a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA) that affects all employers, including school districts and independent/charter schools. The training does not have to be extensive and may be included in the annual safety training that OSHA requires.

Information about the GHS and the training content is available on OSHA’s Hazard Communication website. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industries (DLI) is responsible for implementing OSHA requirements at the state level. A GHS PowerPoint presentation is available on the DLI Workplace Safety Web page (see presentations tab – HazCom Training). Many of the educational service cooperatives have safety consultants that may be able to deliver training. Several vendors of chemicals for schools have resources and even video training on their websites.

This is also a good time to review your safety procedures and complete the Science Safety Checklist for laboratories that the state fire marshal requires. For assistance with questions, contact John Olson, science content specialist,, 651-582-8673.

Minnesota Common Course Catalogue (MCCC) – Grades 9-12 Implementation WebEx Sessions Scheduled

Repeat WebEx information sessions to facilitate implementation of the grades 9-12 portion of the MCCC have been scheduled for December and again in January. Each session is offered twice for your scheduling convenience; however, sessions should be taken in order, one through five.

If you participated in previously offered 9-12 WebEx sessions or your school has implemented grades 9-12 of the MCCC data collections, you may not wish to attend these repeat sessions. No new information has been added.

Registration information is posted on the MCCC Web page. Look for “Registration Instructions 9-12 MCCC Implementation Sessions Winter 2013-14” in the download section under WebEx Information Sessions, or go directly to the WebEx meeting page to register for these sessions. Make sure you are in the Meeting Center tab to find these sessions.

For more information, please contact the MCCC team (

To request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, contact Cheryll Ostrom (, 651-582-8417. Note: The Minnesota Department of Education requires a two-week advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice to cancel a requested accommodation.

Fall 2013 0-4 Census Count – Report Due December 2, 2013

If your district has not submitted the fall 2013 0-4-year-old census count, the data are due at the Minnesota Department of Education by December 2, 2013. The fall 2013 0-4 Census Online Data Submission System is scheduled to be shut down on December 2.

To access the online system to submit the data, go to the Minnesota Department of Education website, select the “School Support” header tab, “Data Submissions” from the drop-down menu, and then “0-4 Census Data Reporting” in the left column.

If you have any questions regarding the submission of 0-4 census data, please contact Greg Sogaard (651-582-8858). Please note that this information does not apply to charter schools.

Facilities Age and Square Footage Report (ED-2051-13) – Due December 16, 2013

See the October 25 memorandum from Tom Melcher. School districts are required to annually review the district’s inventory of buildings and the vital information pertaining to each building. Districts are requested to submit any changes or corrections to this report no later than December 16, 2013.

You can access the inventory of buildings on the agency’s main website, select the “School Support” header tab, “Data Submissions” from the drop-down menu, and then scroll down to the “Facilities Age and Square Footage Report.” Charter schools and cooperatives are not required to complete this report.

If you have questions or require additional information, please contact Karen Dykoski (651-582-8766).


Advisory Committee on Financial Management, Accounting and Reporting – Membership Search

See the November 6 memorandum from Tom Melcher, director of the School Finance Division. The Minnesota Department of Education is seeking volunteers for membership on the Advisory Committee on Financial Management, Accounting and Reporting. This committee advises the department on matters of school accounting, reporting, budgeting and financial management. Individuals eligible to be appointed may apply for membership directly to the department by Friday, December 6, 2013. For assistance with questions, contact Karen Dykoski (651-582-8766).

Minnesota Computers for Schools – End-of-Year Promotion

Minnesota Computers for Schools refurbishes donated computers and provides them to schools at a minimal charge. End-of-year specials feature their “Desktop Blowout.” Learn about their monthly discounts on the Minnesota Computers for Schools website.

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.