Focus on Family Engagement
The Minnesota Department of Education recently hosted a day-long conference, Engaging Somali Families for Student Success: Schools and Special Education. MDE partnered with the PACER Center and the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota to present the conference, which included sessions on Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Positive Behavior Support. School leaders who work with Somali students—who often have unique needs—gathered to learn how to better serve this growing segment of Minnesota’s school-age population.
Statewide Support for Schools
Successful school improvement requires a strong system of support and Minnesota's just doubled! The Regional Centers of Excellence have expanded from three locations to six. Staffed by specialists in reading, math and other content -- the centers utilize a combination of professional development and technical assistance to help school leaders create and implement plans to narrow achievement gaps, increase graduation rates and ensure students are career and college ready. Read news release.
Higher Scores! Closing Gaps!
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.
School Accountability Shows Progress
Seventeen schools previously identified as Priority schools and 10 schools previously designated as Focus schools will no longer carry that status. In addition, 10 of these schools are now eligible to apply for Celebration recognition, and three will be honored as Reward schools. Read news release. Read all 2013 designations.
Early Learning Scholarships
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce a new Early Learning Scholarships Program available for Minnesota families in early fall of 2013. It will increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for three- to five-year-old children with the highest needs. The 2013 Legislature has appropriated $23 million for FY 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) and $23 million for FY 2015 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015) for the Program.Visit Early Learning Scholarship page to learn more.