MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

May 15, 2014

Commissioner Cassellius to Engage with Principals Across the State During Friday Twitter “EdChat”

This Friday, May 16, Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will join the Minnesota Elementary School Principal's Association (MESPA) to co-moderate a Twitter “EdChat” with Greenwood Elementary School Principal Brad Gustafson.

From 2 to 3 p.m., Commissioner Cassellius will pose questions to state principals via Twitter on a variety of topics, including: the changing field of education, how to be an effective school leader and what needs to happen to ensure students are prepared for the future.

Individuals looking to follow or participate in the “EdChat” should use the hashtag: #MESPAmn.

Moderator Twitter Handles:

· Commissioner Brenda Cassellius – @BCassellius
· Greenwood Elementary School Principal Brad Gustafson – @GustafsonBrad
· Event Twitter Hashtag – #MESPAmn

Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents – Wednesday, May 21

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 final monthly dialogue of the school year (via audio conference call) on Wednesday, May 21, 9:30-10:30 a.m. You will receive call-in instructions on Monday.


State Recognizes 30 Schools for Excellence in Behavioral Prevention Efforts

On May 13, the Minnesota Department of Education recognized 30 schools for their successful work using Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), a data-driven program that provides districts and individual schools throughout Minnesota with training and technical support to promote improvement in student behavior, especially for students with challenging social behaviors. Read May 13 press release.


Training and Implementation Support for Minnesota State Teacher Development and Evaluation Model – Information Requested by June 15

Please read the May 15 memorandum from Assistant Commissioner Steve Dibb available on the Educator Evaluation Web page. Minnesota statute requires that districts and charter schools begin implementing teacher development and evaluation plans in school year 2014-2015. Districts that have not reached joint agreement with their exclusive representative of teachers on a local plan must implement the state model. Charter schools that do not have a local plan must also implement the state model. Please note the information that is requested in the memo by June 15. This information is needed so that we can plan training and implementation support for districts and charter schools using the state model.

For assistance with questions, contact Tyler Livingston at or 651-582-8427.

Guidance to Ensure Equal Educational Opportunity for All Children, Regardless of Immigration Status

Please read the May 8 guidance from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced updated guidance to assist public elementary and secondary schools to ensure enrollment processes are consistent with the law and fulfill their obligation to provide all children—no matter their background—equal access to an education.

View the updated guidance documents:

Guidance Letter to States and School Districts

Fact Sheet

Q and A Document

National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program

Please read the May 2014 letter from the United States Department of Agriculture. The letter provides clarification regarding the policy on food consumption outside of the foodservice area. When children do not have adequate time to finish their meals while in the cafeteria, the USDA allows students to take meal items (items that are safe at room temperature) outside of the foodservice area. Guidance can be found in the USDA policy memo SP 41-2014, Clarification of the Policy on Food Consumption Outside of Foodservice Area, and the Whole Grain-Rich Requirement.

Career and Technical Education Levy Revenue Reporting – Due by June 15

Read the May 15 memorandum from Paula Palmer, director of the Office of College and Career Success, and Assistant Commissioner Steve Dibb. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Levy Reporting System is now open for entering the anticipated FY15 (2014-15 school year) budgets. Budgets must be entered for approved CTE programs by June 15, 2014. Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.4531, was modified in the 2013 Legislative Session, and directs the Department of Education to annually recalculate the authority of a school district to levy for costs associated with its CTE programs. Districts must submit annual budgets for their CTE programs to qualify for this permissive levy. Note: the new funding will take effect in the FY15 school year — please budget accordingly.

The following links are available to assist with reporting:

MDE User Account Login

CTE Levy Quick-Step Guide to help calculate anticipated budget for the FY15 school year

CTE Levy Web-Based Reporting System reporting manual for guidance in entering anticipated expenditures (updated spring 2014)

For assistance with detailed questions about the CTE Levy Program System, contact Anne Danielson (, 651-582-8333; or contact Joel Larsen (, 651-582-8395.

Authorization Process to Access Secured Data on Department of Education (MDE) Website

As we plan to enter the 2014-2015 school year, superintendents and directors will begin the annual authorization process for the following secure programs: SERVS Financial, Test WES, Student ID Validation, Graduation Requirement Record and Assessment Secured Reports. Submissions are being accepted now through July 31, 2014. Please visit the Data Submission page of the Minnesota Department of Education website. You will find access authorization instructions on each home page of the above-mentioned secure programs. Important reminder: All submissions must re-authorize current individuals with authorized access to these secure programs. Please direct questions or requests for the most recent authorization forms to Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS) – Personal Learning Plan

We are excited to announce that this fall MCIS will provide a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) that will align with the legislative requirement (Minn. Stat. § 120B.125) that all students create a transition to postsecondary education and employment plan. The PLP will extract information from the MCIS portfolio fields and place them into an easy-to-read report.

To learn more, please access the My Plan Fact Sheet for Educators. (

You can share this resource with parents: My Plan Fact Sheet for Parents. (

Visit the MCIS site to learn how MCIS complies with Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.125. (

For more information about Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS), contact Dorothy Wolf (, MCIS training specialist, 651-582-8475.


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

Registration will soon close for the Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium—a collaboration between 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.

There will be a pre-conference 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 at to inquire about options for partial attendance.

To register for the symposium, visit the Austin Public Schools 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.

FREE GIS Mapping Workshops for K-12 Teachers – Summer 2014

Learn how your students can use map-based data to investigate questions in social studies, science and other content areas. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has worked with ESRI to develop a statewide license for K-12 education in Minnesota allowing teachers, administrators and clubs to utilize professional mapping software FREE for instructional purposes (ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online).

Spatial education and geographic information systems (GIS) are now part of MN State Social Studies Standards.

· Standard 1: People use geographic representations and geospatial technologies to acquire process and report information within a spatial context.
· Standard 2: Geographic inquiry is a process in which people ask geographic questions and gather, organize and analyze information to solve problems and plan for the future. Mapping benchmarks are found in grades 4, 6 and 7. GIS is specified in 8th grade and high school benchmarks. GIS also supports standards in other content areas, especially science, mathematics and CTE.

To help develop skills for teachers to utilize in their classrooms, the Department of Education is partnering with GIS professionals around the State to host free GIS workshops (using ArcGIS Online). The workshops will be offered at various locations and dates in June and July, 2014. Attending a workshop will provide a teacher with the basics of geographic spatial thinking, what is GIS and how ArcGIS Online can be used by teachers and students to quickly and easily develop map products. The workshop will include hands-on exercises and a round robin discussion. CEUs will be available.

Access the workshop schedule and registration information on the GIS K-12 Web page.

For assistance with questions, contact Scott Freburg (, 651-582-8789.

Invitation to Explore eBooks MN

State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), is offering Explore eBooks MN, a series of programs that connect public, academic, school and special librarians and educators in a statewide effort to create a foundation for integrating eBooks in Minnesota’s libraries. Combining Minnesota’s internal expertise with perspectives from eBook innovators nationwide, this collaborative effort fosters an understanding of how eBooks and eContent impact libraries and provides an opportunity for librarians and educators to come together to create consensus around the direction of eBooks in Minnesota.

The next webinar, titled Access to eBooks: Challenges Facing Libraries and Publishers, will be presented by Jamie LaRue on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 1–2 p.m. In this webinar, LaRue will explore the challenges facing academic, public and K-12 libraries in providing their users access to eBooks and eContent. Participants will emerge with a deeper understanding of the shared barriers to increasing cost-effective access to eContent and learn about the groundbreaking work of the ReadersFirst initiative. After leading the Douglas County (Colorado) Libraries for over 23 years, LaRue now writes, speaks and consults about the future of libraries and eBooks.

For more information, visit the Explore eBooks MN website (, or contact Jennifer Verbrugge (, 651-582-8356.


College Knowledge Month – Explore. Plan. Apply!

October is College Knowledge Month in Minnesota. Participation in this initiative is one strategy schools can implement to help meet legislation requirements according to Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.125 (Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment). Register your school by the preferred deadline of June 15. Access online registration.

Sponsored by a network of K12, higher education and nonprofit partners, the goal of College Knowledge Month is to provide every graduating high school senior with the preparation, opportunity, and support needed to apply for college. A month-long effort allows students to do more than just submit an application. Applying is only one step of the college application process — the result of thoughtful exploration and planning.

The College Knowledge Month steering committee will provide resources, materials, support and training for registered sites to assist with their programming. Training dates have been announced and include options for new and returning site coordinators in May and September. Access training dates on the Office of Higher Education website.

View further information on the College Knowledge Month Web page.

Questions about College Knowledge Month? Contact Beth Barsness (651-582-8336).

Minnesota Board of Teaching Licensure Actions

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

· Anderson, Kimberly L. (FF# 452658) Ms. Anderson’s teaching license was suspended on May 12, 2014, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 270C.72, until she meets the requirements of the Board of Teaching.
· Anderson, Paul R. (FF# 363319) Mr. Anderson’s teaching license was suspended on May 12, 2014, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 270C.72, until he meets the requirements of the Board of Teaching.
· Anderson, Sheila F. (FF# 167169) Ms. Anderson’s teaching license was suspended on May 12, 2014, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 270C.72, until she meets the requirements of the Board of Teaching.
· Buerkle, Terri A. (FF# 304015) On May 9, 2014, the Board of Teaching Adopted a Stipulation Agreement suspending Ms. Buerkle’s teaching license until June 30, 2016.
· Clark, Brandy Lynn (FF# 430526) Pursuant to the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order and Memorandum, Ms. Clark’s teaching license is revoked.
· Erickson, Kevin L. (FF# 292370) Mr. Erickson’s teaching license was suspended on May 12, 2014, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 270C.72, until he meets the requirements of the Board of Teaching.
· Ford, John L. (FF# 465452) Pursuant to the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order and Memorandum, Mr. Ford’s teaching license is suspended for a period of two years and until he can meet other conditions of the Board.
· Hart, Vernon (FF#363319) Mr. Hart’s teaching license was reinstated on April 24, 2014.
· McGee, Dorothy B. (FF# 167169) Ms. McGee’s teaching license was suspended on May 12, 2014, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 270C.72, until she meets the requirements of the Board of Teaching.
· Mendez, Andrew M. (FF# 406711) On May 9, 2014, the Board of Teaching Adopted a Stipulation Agreement permanently revoking Mr. Mendez’s teaching licenses.
· Pierpont, Jonathan W. (FF# 430384) Mr. Pierpont’s teaching license was reinstated on May 2, 2014.
· Skye, Barry L. (FF# 318881) Mr. Skye’s teaching license was reinstated on May 5, 2014.