2012 Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: September 13, 2012



• Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents – Wednesday, September 19

Mark your calendars! School district superintendents are invited to participate in the monthly dialogue via audio conference call with Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. The next conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Call-in instructions will be e-mailed to you two days prior to the conference call. All calls will be held 9:30-10:30 a.m.

2012-2013 Conference Call Schedule:

September 19 February 20
October 17 March 20
November 19 April 17
December 19 May 15
January 16 June 19

• Important Announcement about STAR (Staff Automated Reporting) 2012-2013

Please forward the following notification to your STAR Coordinator for the 2012-2013 school year: 

If your STAR coordinator has not received the “Opening Memo” from the STAR team, please have her/him e-mail mde.star@state.mn.us with current contact information. The STAR Web Edit System is scheduled to open for reporting 2012-2013 data on September 26, 2012 for the October 1 snapshot.  The reporting due date is November 5, 2012.  Thank you!

• Teacher Evaluation Process Survey

On October 1st, districts will receive an electronic survey asking for information about their teacher evaluation process.  That survey has been utilized in other states to study teacher evaluation processes and is designed to provide information to the MDE and the MDE’s “Teacher Evaluation Work Group” as they develop the state default model for teacher evaluation.  The survey will include questions regarding information about what districts currently have in place, what districts need to implement the evaluation requirements found in statute, and what districts intend to do relative to implementing the state’s default model or designing/refining a local model.  The survey is intended to be completed JOINTLY by the superintendent or his/her designee and the president of the local teacher bargaining unit or his/her designee. MDE is requesting that the surveys be completed and returned electronically no later than October 15th.

• Reimbursement for School Lunches

See the attached memorandum from Deb Lukkonen, Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs, regarding the 6¢ additional reimbursement for school lunches. There are specific menu certification requirements and submission processes that must be followed. School food service staff may require additional assistance in order to complete this requirement.


• Innovation Zones Pilot Project Application – Due by February 1, 2013

2012 legislation includes Chapter 263 – Innovation Zones Pilot Project, which establishes a five-year pilot project (FY 2014 – FY 2018) to allow groups of school districts to collaborate in providing innovative education programs and activities and sharing district resources. See the announcement providing application instructions for the Innovation Zones Pilot Project. Application must be made to the Commissioner by February 1, 2013. For assistance with questions, contact Kevin McHenry, director of Government Relations, at 651-582-8292.

• MDE-ORG Now Available!

The Minnesota Department of Education-Organization Reference Glossary (MDE-ORG) is now available on the MDE website. This searchable database includes a variety of Minnesota school, district and education-related organization directories and replaces the information formerly available on the Contacts-Schools and Organizations page.

Users can generate files using search parameters that can be used to create listservs, mailing lists, and more. Historical information on districts and schools, including the names and terms of administration staff, can also be found here. You may also find districts or organizations listed by region, such as city or legislative district. Tagged collections allow you to filter for school or district type, such as Alternative Learning Centers or Higher Education institutions. Visit the MDE-ORG page for more information and a link to the database.