MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

February 13, 2014

Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents – February 19

The monthly conference calls with Commissioner Brenda Cassellius are one of the best ways to stay informed about each other’s work and continue an open dialogue. Superintendents are invited to participate in the next monthly dialogue via audio conference call on Wednesday, February 19, 9:30-10:30 a.m. You will receive call-in instructions on Tuesday.

The call schedule is as follows: February 19, March 19, April 16 and May 21. All are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. Call-in instructions will be sent prior to each call.


MDE has issued updated meal policy guidance that includes information about the new Community Eligibility Provision that will be available starting in the 2014-2015 school year. Read the Meal Policy Guidance.

Additionally, on February 11 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a notice to all chief state school officers requesting that it be shared with all districts. The USDA notice refers to national coverage of a recent lunchroom incident in Utah, but it is timely given recent discussions here in Minnesota. Read the USDA memo.


More Students Taking Advanced Placement Courses, Earning College Credit

According to the College Board 2014 AP Report to the Nation, released February 11, more Minnesota high school students are taking rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses than ever before, and those course offerings are paying off—both academically and financially. Read the February 13 press release. Read the full AP Report to the Nation on the College Board website.

Minnesota Schools Post Strong Progress Toward Closing Achievement Gaps for Students

New data from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) show that districts and charter schools across the state are largely on track to meet an aggressive statewide goal of closing gaps by 50 percent by 2017. Read the February 11 press release.

Governor Dayton Proposes Funding Measure to Ensure No Child is Denied Lunch in Minnesota Schools

Governor Dayton committed to including $3.5 million in his supplemental budget proposal to ensure that no Minnesota student is denied access to a hot meal at lunchtime. Read the February 11 Governor’s Office press release.

MDE Seeking Providers for 2014 Summer Food Service Program

During the school year, many Minnesota families depend on free or reduced-price meals their children get at school to provide nourishment. When school is out, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) bridges the “nutrition gap.” The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is looking for organizations to sponsor the 2014 SFSP and provide free meals to Minnesota children 18 and under during the summer when school is out. Read the January 31 press release.


Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium – June 9-12

Registration is now open for the Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium—a collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), the Hormel Foundation, and Austin School District. The dates of the sixth annual General Symposium are June 9-12, 2014. Daily sessions address best practices on the assessment of students for services, program models, social and emotional needs, instructional strategies, under-represented populations, under-achievement, integration of STEM and technology as well as specific content in the areas of science, mathematics, language arts and social studies.

Pre-conference sessions will be held on June 8 and an Administrator Day on June 9. Districts with school calendars that conflict with some of the symposium dates should contact Wendy Behrens ( to inquire about options for partial attendance.

See general information and how to register on the Austin School District website.

A private foundation has provided limited funding for first-time attendees who are Minnesota public school administrators, gifted and talented coordinators, school psychologists, counselors, librarians or school board members. For information, contact Wendy Behrens (

Preparing Lessons for Global Learning – March 1, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Education is partnering with the SCSU Confucius Institute to offer a FREE professional development opportunity for K-12 teachers to learn how to effectively design and implement lessons and units that embed and embrace global learning.

Donna Nesbitt, education consultant from the Columbus Council on World Affairs, will lead Minnesota K-12 teachers from all content areas who have a passion for promoting global learning in developing lessons that promote global competency. Registration is limited to the first 100 registered participants.

When: Saturday, March 1, 2014, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (hour-long lunch break on your own)

Where: Minnesota Department of Education, 1500 Hwy. 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113, Conference Center B, Room 15

Register for Preparing Lessons for Global Learning.

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.