MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

February 21, 2013

Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents

Thanks to all of you who participated in yesterday’s conference call. Legislative and budget updates were given by Daron Korte. The Governor’s education budget was introduced last week in the House (HF 630) and Senate (SF 453). You can follow bill status for each and access committee audio and video recordings from the Minnesota State Legislature website. Jennifer Dugan provided an assessment update. In answer to a participant’s question, notification for application of ADSIS (Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services) will be sent to you via this weekly mailing very soon. Finally, We Day is coming to Minnesota October 8, 2013, at the Xcel Energy Center. Please watch for information about how to sign up for We Day from David Stillman, coordinator for Minnesota at Free the Children. Learn more on the We Day website. The next conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

Commissioner Cassellius Statement on Advanced Placement Results for Minnesota’s Class of 2012

Yesterday, The 9th Annual AP® Report to the Nation was released by the College Board, showing that more Minnesota public high school graduates are enrolling in and passing college-level Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams. Read statement from Commissioner Cassellius. For more information or to read the report, visit the College Board website.

Pilot Opportunities for the State Teacher Evaluation Example Model

A draft of the state model for teacher evaluation will be piloted in the 2013-14 school year.  We are asking school districts and local teachers’ unions to express interest in piloting the model, either in its entirety or individual components.  View the memorandum and letter of interest on the Teacher Evaluation Default Model website.  For assistance with questions about the pilot process or the letter of interest, contact Greg Keith or contact Tyler Livingston.


NOTE clarification for page 12 in the Instructions section, under the “Application Screening and Review” heading. Maximum page numbers allowed for two of the application components: Workplan component is four pages; Capacity component is one page.

State, Competitive – Success for the Future – Indian Education

The department invites applications to be submitted from districts, charter schools, alternative schools and tribal schools for the purpose of supporting American Indian education programs and improving outcomes for American Indian children and youth. Pursuant to the policy of the state to ensure equal opportunity to every individual, it is the purpose of this grant to provide for American Indian education programs specially designed to meet the unique educational and/or culturally related academic needs of American Indian youth.

The department estimates that $2,137,000 will be available to fund approximately 28 grants using a state appropriation from Success for the Future, Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.81, for the initial year of the two-year grant. The department estimates that each annual grant may not exceed $76,321 but reserves the right to award more or less contingent upon the number of applications received and final funding appropriated from the Legislature. Funds from year one will not carry forward into year two. Continuation grants up to an additional two years are anticipated contingent upon continued funding and progress made during the initial grant period.

The first year of the two-year grant is expected to run from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, and the second year grant period to run from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.

Access the grant application and instructions. Submitted and signed applications are due by March 21, 2013, 3:30 pm, Central Time. Applications must be mailed or delivered to MDE. They will not be submitted into the SERVS application system. A revised instructions section will be published clarifying the above section. It is not necessary to download the revised version but please be aware of the clarification.

For assistance with questions, please contact Dennis Olson, Office of Indian Education (651-582-8300).


Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – Title Programs Update

Sequestration – Current information indicates that sequestration will not impact the 2012-2013 school year funding for ESEA Title Programs. However, it appears that 2013-2014 funding will be impacted under the current Congressional Plan with a cut in funding somewhere between 5.1% and 8.5%.

Amendment Window One – Amendment Window One is just around the corner (March/April) for ESEA Title Programs. We encourage districts to:

· Check available funds, determine the budget & spending amounts for the current application cycle and decide what changes need to be made. (Where do you plan to end the budget and spending on June 30th?)
· Focus and Priority schools need to upload their current School Improvement Plans (SIP) into SERVS as part of amendment one activities.
· Districts that utilize the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) Flex/Transfer should check appropriateness of object codes utilized in FIN 414 and 401.
· Adjust or revise narrative, budget justification and/or budget amounts as needed, adding object code(s) if needed.
· Revisit district contact information to check for accuracy and include phone extensions.
· Set the stage for Amendment Window Two, application closeout and the next application cycle.

Carryover – Title II and Title III may carryover up to 100% of the current year’s allocation. However, Title I is limited to 15% carryover. Districts may apply once every three years to waive the Title I carryover limitation. Did your district utilize the carryover waiver last year? If so, then a waiver is not an option. If not, access the Title I, Part A Waiver Request form. Note the form is due by June 30, 2013.

A reminder – District allocations are available for up to 27 months. Check the vintage of the district’s available funds regularly so that oldest funds, “012” and/or “011,” are used prior to the expiration date.

For assistance with questions, contact John Moorse, director of the Division of Student Support.

Staff Automated Reporting (STAR) – System Opens February 27

The 2012-2013 Spring STAR reporting system will be ready to open on February 27, 2013 (Wednesday).  If your STAR coordinator has not received the Spring STAR Newsletter via email, please contact the STAR team at final STAR report will be due on Monday, April 22nd, by 3 p.m. For more information, visit the STAR Web-edit System Web page.

Early Childhood Family Education and School Readiness – New Student Identification Process

Early learning strategies are a critical piece of Governor Dayton’s 7-Point Plan: Better Schools for a Better Minnesota.  A specific strategy is to expand the existing K-12 system into a comprehensive PreK-12 system.  In support of this goal, the Minnesota Department of Education has developed a system to assign MARSS (Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System) numbers for children registering in Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and School Readiness district programs. This process builds on the work in Early Childhood Screening, Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education. View more information. For assistance with questions, contact Avisia Whiteman.


English Learner, Bilingual or Migrant Education Advocate Award Nominations

Do you know someone who has made a difference in English Learner, Bilingual, or Migrant education?  An innovative teacher?  A supportive administrator?  A tireless paraprofessional?  A vocal student leader?  An active community member?  An enthusiastic parent?  Access the online nomination form on the Minnesota ELL Conference website. Nominations will be accepted through March 30th, 2013. The award will be presented at the annual ESL, Bilingual and Migrant Education Conference at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minn., on May 3rd, 2013.

Minnesota Board of Teaching Licensure Actions

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

· Adelmann, Justin R. (FF 461993) On February 15, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted a Stipulation Agreement whereby Mr. Adelmann agrees to surrender his teaching licenses.
· Billings, Todd J. (FF 372040) On February 15, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted a Stipulation Agreement whereby Mr. Billings agrees to surrender his teaching licenses.
· Sieving, John F. (FF 214727) On February 15, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted a Stipulation Agreement suspending Mr. Sieving’s teaching licenses for one year and until he can meet other requirements imposed by the Board.
· Vanderbilt, Gary L. (FF 224346) On February 15, 2013, the Board of Teaching adopted a Stipulation Agreement whereby Mr. Vanderbilt agrees to surrender his teaching licenses and then will only be issued a short-call substitute teaching license.