MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: February 4, 2013


Nonpublic Pupil Aids; Promulgation of Fiscal Year 2014 Program Rates of Entitlement and Pupil Reporting Procedure

Please see the memorandum from Greg Sogaard, education finance specialist, regarding the above-mentioned matter. REF:

(a) Minnesota Rules, Chapter 3540.

(b) Minnesota Statutes, Sections 123B.40 – 123B.48 (1998).

Please forward this information to your district administrator for nonpublic pupil aids. For assistance with questions, contact Greg Sogaard.

MCCC Deadline for 2010-2011 Staff and Student Reporting Extended

The February 15 deadline for reporting 2010-2011 MCCC Staff and Student Course Records has been extended to the end of the business day Friday, April 12, 2013. This extension is being made to accommodate complete implementation of schema 2 XML files. We appreciate the efforts both vendors and schools have put forth to implement the MCCC data collections and wish to allow all schools the opportunity to report information they have prepared. We will need to close all 2010-2011 MCCC data collections on April 12 to institute a regular, yearly MCCC collection cycle. For assistance with questions, contact the MCCC Team.


Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation (MAEF) School Spotlight Awards

Please see the memorandum from Assistant Commissioner Rose Chu and Wendy Behrens, gifted and talented education specialist, regarding the School Spotlight Awards. The Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation (MAEF) invites schools to apply for a 2012-13 School Spotlight Award. The purpose of the award is to identify schools that have demonstrated excellence in one of three areas: 1) Attaining Excellence by Closing the Achievement Gap; 2) Achieving Excellence through Innovation; and 3) Realizing Excellence through Community Involvement.

Up to four awards will be given for each category. Awardees will receive recognition on both a statewide and local level as well as a certificate of recognition signed by the MAEF Board Chair and the Commissioner of Education. Schools interested in applying in multiple categories should complete a separate application for each category.

Access more information and download application forms on the Scholarships and Recognitions Web page. Application deadline is 4:30 p.m., Monday, March 18, 2013. For assistance with questions, contact Wendy Behrens (651-582-8786).


Minnesota Common Course Catalogue (MCCC) Grades K-8 Implementation WebEx Sessions Scheduled 

Implementation of the K-8 portion of the MCCC begins this spring.  A series of five different WebEx sessions to facilitate implementation have been scheduled, beginning February 18 and concluding April 23.  Multiple dates for each of the five sessions are offered for your scheduling convenience; however, sessions should be taken in order, one through five. 

Registration information is posted on the MCCC web page. Look for “Registration Instructions: MCCC Implementation Grades K-8” in the download section under WebEx Information Sessions, or go directly to the WebEx meeting page to register for these sessions.

For more information, please contact the MCCC team.

WebEx Information Sessions for Minnesota Common Course Catalogue (MCCC): Changes for Reporting Year 2011-2012 Grades 9-12

Additional WebEx sessions about changes to the MCCC data collections for the 2011-2012 reporting year for grades 9-12 have been scheduled for February. These sessions repeat information provided in the WebEx sessions offered last October and November. If you participated in one of those sessions, these repeat sessions will not provide any new information. All sessions contain the same content; multiple sessions are offered for your scheduling convenience.

Registration information is posted on the MCCC web page. Look under WebEx Information Sessions for “Registration Instructions: Changes for 2012 Grades 9-12” in the download section, or go directly to the WebEx meeting page to register for these sessions.

For more information, please contact the MCCC team.


Federal, Competitive – Regional Implementation Projects (RIPs) for School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SW-PBIS) in Minnesota

The department invites applications to be submitted from Minnesota’s Regional Educational Cooperative Service Units, Special Education Cooperatives, Education Districts and Intermediate School Districts. Federal funds, from CFDA 84.027A, Special Education – Grants to States, are available for the purpose of establishing Regional Implementation Projects (RIPs) for School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SW-PBIS). SW-PBIS is a framework that guides selection, integration and implementation of evidence-based practices in order to improve academic and behavior outcomes for all students. Grantees will build the capacity of school programs (early childhood programs through secondary school settings) which are annually selected into two-year training cohorts.

Approximately $744,000 is available the first year of a two-year grant to fund three projects. An award will be made for a Northern Region Grant ($198,000 approximate maximum award each year), a Southern Region Grant ($198,000 approximate maximum award each year) and a Metro Region Grant ($348,000 approximate maximum award each year). Access the grant application and instructions. Submitted and signed applications are due by March 12, 2013, Midnight, Central Time.

For assistance with questions, please contact Debra Price-Ellingstad (651-582-8568).


Minnesota to China Teacher Exchange Program 2013-14 – Application Deadline Extended

The application deadline for the Minnesota-China Teacher Exchange Program has been extended to February 15th. Applications can still be submitted for Minnesota K-12 teachers who wish to participate in the Minnesota-China Teacher Exchange Partnership.

Since 1986, Minnesota has had a teacher exchange with the Hangzhou Foreign Language School, a select high school located outside the city of Hangzhou. Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient capitals of China and approximately three hours south of Shanghai.

Minnesota teachers from any subject area are eligible to participate in either a semester or full-year program. Under the program, teachers from Minnesota teach conversational English and American culture in grades 7-12.  Teachers from the Hangzhou Foreign Language School who come to Minnesota schools teach Chinese language and culture during their stay.

Teachers in both countries receive compensation and living accommodations. Upon returning teachers share their experiences and cultural learning with colleagues in their respective schools.

Learn more about the Minnesota to China Teacher Exchange Program.  Application deadline is February 15, 2013.  Please distribute this professional development announcement to the teachers in your district.

For assistance with questions or to request an application, contact Ursula Lentz, World Languages Content Specialist (651-582-8664).

Annual Conference of the Association for Middle Level Education!

One of the most valuable professional development events, the 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), is coming to Minnesota and will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Mark your district calendar for November 7th - 9th, 2013, and take advantage of this rare opportunity to improve instruction, raise the bar and close the gap. AMLE is working closely with the Minnesota Department of Education to ensure a successful conference that will bring in national experts and practitioners.

A range of sessions, including practical, hands-on sessions and theoretical, research-based presentations will provide a varied program selection in which professional middle grades educators – teachers, principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, central office administrators, community agency employees, and other youth workers – can find what they need to improve their practice and instruction to middle grade students.

This could be an ideal time to schedule a professional development day for all staff, send a team of middle level educators, or submit an application to present:

Visit the Association for Middle Level Education website for more information about the 2013 conference. Read the “Call for Presenters” information and application instructions on the Association for Middle Level Education website.

Minnesota eLearning Summit – July 29-30, 2013

Save the date. The Minnesota eLearning Summit will be held July 29-30, 2013, at Northwestern College in St. Paul. The 2013 Summit theme, “eSynergy: Bringing it All Together,” is designed for K-12, college and university educators, innovators and education technologists across the continuum of education.

The Minnesota eLearning Summit is sponsored by the Minnesota Learning Commons: a collaboration of the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Education, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Submit your proposal now to lead a Summit session or hands-on workshop. Submission deadline is March 15. Access further information on the Minnesota eLearning Summit website.