The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has named 24 top-performing charter schools that are eligible to apply for grants from Minnesota’s Federal Charter Schools Program Grant Project to expand and/or replicate their education model. Read December 20 press release.
Forty-eight schools have been designated as Celebration schools. Read December 16 press release.
In conjunction with the World’s Best Workforce legislation requiring districts to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that will align district educational initiatives from pre-kindergarten to high school graduation, MDE is exploring the possibility of creating a structure to simplify multiple application processes and components. Ideally, this “unified” application (or “One Plan”) would allow more efficient application development and promote more strategic alignment across multiple applications/plans, intended outcomes and funding sources (for example, common or general information that is required of multiple applications/plans would not need to be repeated).
MDE is seeking your input to inform the agency’s One Plan Initiative work group. Please take five minutes to complete this quick survey by January 3, 2014.
Your feedback and ideas are greatly appreciated and valued! Take the One Plan Initiative online survey.
NEW! In response to the number of inquiries from districts and stakeholders, an e-mail box has been set up to field questions around the World’s Best Work Force (WBWF) plan. If you have questions you would like to see addressed, please send them to MDE.WorldsBestWorkForce@state.mn.us.
World’s Best Workforce Question of the Week:
“Are the Postsecondary Education and Employment Planning statute (Minn. Stat. § 120B.125) requirements being included in the World’s Best Workforce Plan?”
ANSWER: This most definitely is a key piece to a district’s World’s Best Workforce plan! As this legislation is aimed at assisting all students in developing a plan to not only complete a career-and college-ready curriculum and graduate but also to prepare them to access postsecondary education and career options, it clearly addresses the WBWF goals of having all students graduate from high school and prepare them to be college and career ready.
As posted in earlier newsletters, a planning document is available for development of your district’s WBWF plan. This tool is to help drive formative conversations within school districts as they develop their WBWF plans over the next several months. Access the planning document. Watch for future WBWF updates each week in this newsletter.
A PowerPoint presentation is available that can be used by districts to inform staff, parents and other stakeholders. Access the PowerPoint presentation.
Any questions regarding the One Plan Survey or the World’s Best Workforce initiative can be sent to MDE.WorldsBestWorkForce@state.mn.us.
Legislation requires that all students starting in grade nine have a plan incorporating seven key elements. This plan will have many names, but it should be looked at as a life plan that includes academic scheduling, career exploration, 21st century skills, community partnerships, college access, all forms of postsecondary training and experiential learning opportunities. The following documents provide resources relating to all seven required areas, as well as some recognized strategies and partnerships that could assist with implementing this directive.
View Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary and Employment Handout
-- A brief overview of the legislation (Minn. Stat. § 120B.125), and addresses the most commonly asked questions.
View Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary and Employment PowerPoint – Resource that could be used with individuals and/or groups.
View Transition Plan Guide: Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary and Employment (120B.125) Toolkit – Transition Plan Guide.
For assistance with questions, please contact Paula Palmer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We know hunger has a huge impact on learning, behavior and test scores, though sadly, it often is a hidden issue in schools. To help districts reduce school lunch costs while ensuring all students have access to healthy school meals, districts may want to consider participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). New to Minnesota, the Community Eligibility Provision is a National School Lunch and Breakfast program that provides free school lunch and breakfast meals to all students in qualifying districts or schools beginning with the 2014-15 school year. View more information on the Community Eligibility Provision Web page.
Schools are eligible to apply for CEP if the number of directly certified (SNAP and MFIP), migrant and homeless students is at least 40 percent of all enrolled students. The benefits to schools and students include:
• All students at participating schools will receive school meals at no cost. No more identification of free and reduced-priced eligibility.
• Improved attendance rates and test scores. Studies show that well-nourished children are able to focus in class and ultimately do better in school.
• Streamlined process for families and schools; no more “bad debts” to try to collect. Meal counting and claiming procedures are simplified.
What to do first? Start with the following:
1. Determine if at least 40 percent of students in the district or individual school sites are directly certified for free meals. Review current direct certification lists to find the percentage of “identified students” at each school site. Forty percent is the minimum criteria for this program.
2. Discuss what participation would mean with your school board, food service director, and other school administrative officials. Review the resources linked above and set up dialogue meetings with all partners.
3. Maximize your direct certification lists. Schools will want to capture all students who are eligible to receive free meals based on SNAP or MFIP data. Review the information on the MDE website. The Food Research and Action Council also has a great information guide titled, “Qualifying Students for School Meals.”
Mark your calendars for MDE’s Decision Making Strategies for Early Entrance Workshop designed to assist school districts and charter schools in developing board-approved policies for the early admission of select students into kindergarten. The Decision Making Strategies for Early Entrance Workshop will be held at MDE, Conference Center B on Thursday, February 13, 2014, from 9 to 3 p.m. The workshop will provide detailed information about effective assessment of children who potentially may be admitted to kindergarten prior to meeting the age-eligibility requirement for kindergarten entrance. More information about the workshop will be provided in early January 2014. For additional information, contact Debbykay Peterson at email@example.com or Wendy Behrens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minnesota Board of Teaching has taken the following licensure actions: