2012 Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: March 22, 2012



• Commissioner’s Monthly Dialogue with Superintendents held March 21

Thanks to all of you who participated in yesterday’s audio conference call with Commissioner Cassellius. The Commissioner provided updates on the public meetings scheduled regarding the approved NCLB waiver and Task Forces, including the newly established Task force on the Prevention of Bullying; Jennifer Dugan, director of Student Testing and Assessment, provided a preview of next year’s testing window; and Government Relations Director Kevin McHenry provided a legislative update.
As a reminder, the conference call schedule through June 2012 is as follows:
Wednesday, April 18, 9:30-10:30
Wednesday, May 16, 9:30-10:30
Wednesday, June 20, 9:30-10:30
The conference call schedule for the 2012-13 school year has been arranged and will begin in September, taking place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. You are invited to participate in these informative conference calls. Commissioner Cassellius will be happy to answer questions and hear your comments and concerns. Call-in instructions will be sent to you in a separate e-mail in the week of the next conference call.

• Commissioner Cassellius Kicks-Off Second Leg of Statewide Tour

Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and department staff were in Osseo on March 21, and will be in Duluth on March 22 and Virginia on March 23, to hold public listening meetings regarding Minnesota’s approved No Child Left Behind waiver and the new accountability system that will more accurately and fairly measure schools’ progress.
Duluth – Duluth Denfeld High School, Thursday March 22, 3:30 p.m.
Virginia – Virginia High School, Friday March 23, 3:30 p.m.
To read more about Minnesota’s approved NCLB waiver, visit the NCLB Waiver Workgroup Web page.


• Governor’s Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying Holds First Meeting

March 19 marked the first meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying. Established by Executive Order on November 29, 2011, the task force will be charged with examining the best practices and policies that currently exist to prevent bullying and providing future recommendations to the Governor and the legislature on this subject. Read the March 16 press release. Visit the Prevention of School Bullying Task Force website.


• Minnesota Statutes, Section 123B.57 Capital Expenditure Health and Safety

The 2011 Legislature amended Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.57, to change the application process for health and safety revenue as below.

Subdivision 1. Health and safety revenue application. (a) To receive health and safety revenue for any fiscal year a district must submit to the commissioner a capital expenditure health and safety revenue application by the date determined by the commissioner. The application must include a health and safety budget adopted and confirmed by the school district board as being consistent with the district's health and safety policy under subdivision 2. The budget must include the estimated cost of the program per Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards (UFARS) finance code, by fiscal year.

Subd. 2. Health and safety policy. To qualify for health and safety revenue, a school board must adopt a health and safety policy. The policy must include provisions for implementing a health and safety program that complies with health, safety, and environmental regulations and best practices including indoor air quality management.

As a result of this change, the health and safety revenue application for the Payable 2013 levy cycle must include school board adoption of a health and safety policy and an associated health and safety budget per fiscal year, per UFARS finance code by July 20, 2012. MDE will provide additional information in June regarding submission and administrative procedures through the annual publication of the health and safety application materials and in regional presentations.

The Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) is currently working on guidance regarding district health and safety policy development, and your regional management assistant professionals are available to help facilitate this process.

For assistance with questions, you may contact Michael Oxborough, MDE Division of School Finance, michael.oxborough@state.mn.us.