MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

March 14, 2013

Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents – March 20, 2013

Superintendents are invited to participate in the monthly conference call with Commissioner Cassellius on Wednesday, March 20th, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Call-in instructions will be e-mailed to you tomorrow, Friday March 15th.

Special Education Roundtable in St. Cloud

As part of a series of school visits across Minnesota, Commissioner Cassellius held a roundtable on special education in St. Cloud on March 12. The Commissioner, St. Cloud Superintendent Bruce Watkins and area teachers and administrators talked about the current state of special education. The Office of the Legislative Auditor recently released a report that affirms the need for increased funding and special education reform, two substantial components of Governor Mark Dayton’s budget. Read Media Advisory. Visit the Governor's website.

Spring Principal and Teacher Evaluation Regional Meetings

See the memorandum from Assistant Commissioner Rose Hermodson; Greg Keith, Educator Evaluation Coordinator; and Tyler Livingston, Educator Evaluation Specialist; regarding spring principal and teacher evaluation regional meetings. Ensuring Effective Implementation and Continuous Improvement is the third in a three-part series on principal and teacher evaluation information sessions conducted by the Minnesota Department of Education scheduled within educational service regions. District teams are invited to attend the regional meetings scheduled for March and April. The focus of this session is to help district teams recognize and prepare for the stages of implementation, define critical practices of their evaluation models, learn from a piloting experience, and engage in a continuous plan-do-study-act cycle.

For assistance with questions regarding the content of these regional meetings, please contact Greg Keith ( by e-mail or by phone at 651-582-8316.


Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Division of Safety, Health and Nutrition, will be soliciting applications for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) from school food service authorities of elementary schools. The award period is anticipated to be July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.

Eligible applicants must: 1) Be an elementary school; and 2) Participate in the National School Lunch Program; and 3) Have at least 50 percent or more of its student’s eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Priority will be given to schools with the highest level of free and reduced-price enrollment. Recipients of the FFVP will offer free fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options to elementary school children during the school day. This program creates healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expands the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience, increases children’s fruit and vegetable consumption, and makes a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health. Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture FFVP website for more information about the program. Send application, due April 19, 2013, Midnight, Central Time, to

Access the application packet available Monday, March 18th on the MDE website.

For assistance with questions, contact Gail Anderson, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Coordinator, 651-582-8255, toll free at 1-800-366-8922.

State Aid – Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services (ADSIS) for SY 2014 and SY 2015

NOTE: Revised Instructions (page 31) and Excel Application will be available on the grant opportunity site below after March 15, 2013.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) invites applications to be submitted from Minnesota’s public schools and charter schools using state special education aid, per Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.50. This state aid funding is for the provision of direct instruction and services to K-12 students who may need additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in the general education environment and if prevention services were not available may eventually qualify for special education.

The maximum amount of special education regular aid and special education excess cost aid attributable to ADSIS may not exceed $500,000 annually per district. The state total ADSIS aid must not place the state in jeopardy of failing to meet maintenance of effort.

Please visit the grant opportunity site to Access the ADSIS announcement and application documents. Submitted and signed applications are due by April 25, 2013, Midnight, Central Time.

For more information, please contact Cindy Shevlin-Woodcock, 651-582-8656.

Two Application Information Sessions will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 (9:00-11:30, and 1:00-3:30). Interested applicants may attend in person or through WebEx.
See ADSIS application information session details.

ServeMinnesota Notice of Funding Opportunity for 2013-2014 AmeriCorps*State School Turnaround Grants

The School Turnaround AmeriCorps initiative is a collaborative effort by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED). This partnership will support the placement of AmeriCorps members in persistently underachieving schools across the country. Grants will be awarded to organizations that implement programs that utilize AmeriCorps members to engage in evidence-based interventions to increase educational achievement, high school graduation rates, and college readiness for students in our nation’s lowest-performing elementary, middle, and high schools. Grants will fund projects that address multiple student needs and are aligned with comprehensive school turnaround plans. See list of eligible schools on ServeMinnesota website.

Application Deadline: Letter of Intent to Apply is due by close of business March 29, 2013. Applications are due in eGrants by close of business April 10, 2013. Funding decisions will be announced in July 2013.

For more information or to download the application materials, visit the ServeMinnesota website.