MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

March 28, 2014

Regional Centers of Excellence (RCEs)

Expanding the Network from Three to Six

In 2011 the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) launched three RCEs in collaboration with three service cooperatives to establish a consistent, cohesive regional delivery system to provide effective, efficient and equitable access to the Statewide System of Support (SSOS) for all for Focus and Priority schools.

Following the first year of implementation, approximately three-quarters of the Focus and Priority schools working with RCE SSOS staff made progress toward improved student outcomes. One-third of the schools made enough growth to be released from their status as Focus or Priority schools, and several achieved gains that earned them recognition as Celebration or Reward Schools. For more information, read the November 25 press release.

In light of this compelling positive impact on student learning, the Minnesota Legislature established a statute in 2013 to expand the RCE network, to enable this innovative partnership to have even greater impact on improved student outcomes in Minnesota. This legislation (Minn. Stat. § 120B.115) states that the RCEs will “…assist and support school boards, school districts, school sites, and charter schools in implementing research interventions and practices to increase the students' achievement within a region...” and increases the number of centers from three to six. Three additional service cooperatives in Mountain Iron, Fergus Falls and Marshall are in the process of being launched. In the coming weeks and months, services in areas such as family and community engagement, transition planning for high school students, dropout prevention, implementation of academic standards, and the World’s Best Work Force efforts will be made available throughout the state.

Educators wishing to receive more information regarding the services and support offered in the RCEs are encouraged to visit the Regional Centers of Excellence Web page, or contact Anne Lundquist, RCE coordinator, at 651-582-8318.


Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary and Employment Toolkit Training

Office of College and Career Success and the Regional Centers of Excellence

The Minnesota Department of Education is pleased to invite middle and high school teams to participate in a free half-day workshop focused on implementation of the Planning for Students' Successful Transition to Postsecondary and Employment legislation (Minn. Stat. § 120B.125).

This legislation requires all students beginning no later than 9th grade to have a "plan" around seven key elements. This plan may have many names, but it should be looked at as a life plan that includes academic scheduling, career exploration, 21st century skills, community partnerships, college access, all forms of postsecondary training, and experiential learning opportunities.

The Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment (Minn. Stat. § 120B.125) Toolkit provides resources around all seven required elements, as well as some recognized strategies and partnerships that could assist with implementing this directive. The training will provide opportunities to discover what elements schools already have in place and what needs to be addressed. Several schools will present information about the strategies that they are using. Time for planning will be provided.

Access the Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary and Employment Toolkit Workshop Flyer.

Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS) Training

Providing supports to our students who are showing signs of disengaging from school is critical to increasing Minnesota’s graduation rates. The Minnesota Department of Education has developed a screening tool to assist educators in tracking and supporting student progress toward graduation from high school in four years. The Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS) is a tool that can be used to provide a snapshot of students in grade six and grade nine who are at increased risk of not completing high school in four years. Using validated research-based variables associated with dropping out of school (such as attendance, multiple enrollments, state accountability test scores and suspension/expulsion), supports can be developed and targeted to students who may need additional assistance to stay on track for graduation. Access further information on the MEIRS Web page.

The Minnesota Department of Education is pleased to offer a Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS) Training for the district personnel who have been designated by their superintendents to have access to the data, superintendents, principals, school psychologists, counselors, and/or other staff who will use the data to plan interventions. A team of three is encouraged to attend. The training will provide information about the screening process used to identify students as being at risk; the process to access the district data, using the data to identify and engage students in school and learning; and using the data to match appropriate supports to student needs. Access the training session schedule and registration information. CEUs will be available.

Contact Cammy Lehr at 651-582-8563 with your training content questions.

Indian Home/School Liaison Training Opportunity – Open to Administrators

MDE Office of Indian Education and the Division of Special Education in collaboration with Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, invite administrators, Indian Education staff, and Special Education directors of districts that enroll American Indian students to our upcoming regional meetings for American Indian Home/School Liaisons. The agenda, available dates, locations, and registration information is listed below.

Liaisons serve as a connecting point between American Indian families and school special education programs. For the past several years, MDE has held a statewide meeting of Indian Education staff in December followed by spring regional meetings to which we invite special education directors, principals and other staff who work with Indian Education. Our goal is to foster communication and collaboration across programs in order to meet the needs of American Indian students and families. Please plan on attending or send a representative. Access online registration. Select “Courses” and then select “Indian Home/School Liaison” under the heading for Education.

Dates and Locations:

· April 3, 2014 – Hampton Inn, Bemidji
· April 8, 2014 – Black Bear Resort, Carlton
· April 22, 2014 – Grand Casino Mille Lacs Event Center, Onamia
· April 23, 2014 – Mystic Lake Casino and Event Center, Prior Lake

Agenda for each location:

· 9:00 Continental breakfast
· 9:30 Welcome
· 9:45 Overview of the updated guidelines – ”Promoting Fairness in Special Education Evaluation of American Indian Students”
· 11:15 Break
· 11:30 Using Circles to build relationships and repair harm
· 12:30 Lunch
· 1:15 Shaping your Future: Increasing Participation of American Indian Youth in College Preparation
· 2:45 Indian Education and Special Education updates
· 3:30 Adjourn

Ethel Curry American Indian Leadership Scholarship – Application Deadline May 31, 2014

For Postsecondary Education – 2014-2015

The Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation (MAEF) in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce that the Ethel Curry American Indian Leadership Scholarship program is seeking applications for the 2014-2015 academic year. These awards are quite competitive; therefore, we have set a deadline of May 31, 2014 for completed applications to be postmarked.

To be eligible for priority consideration, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

· An enrolled member of a Federally recognized tribe;

· Attending an accredited college or university in the State of Minnesota;

· Pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree;

· Possess a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 for undergraduate applicants and 3.0 for graduate applicants.

Ethel Curry was born in Hixton, Wisc., in 1888. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1914 with a B.A. in Mathematics and Biology. After graduation, Ms. Curry was accepted to two medical schools, but due to health considerations, did not attend either. She instead worked for the Mayo Clinic for nearly 40 years as a surgical secretary.

According to her niece, Jeanne Angel, Ms. Curry lived simply and frugally, without television or telephone. She was a lifelong scholar with a lively, inquiring mind and an independent spirit. Her tremendous wealth was attained through investments in Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M). Ms. Curry was a warm and sociable person, with compassion for American Indian people. Ethel Curry died in 1995 at the age of 107.

The Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation (MAEF) is a non-profit organization that promotes academic excellence in Minnesota public and nonpublic schools and communities through public-private partnerships.

A list of required documents necessary for consideration appears on the Ethel Curry Scholarship Application form which may be found on the Indian Education page of the MDE website. Access the information on the Indian Education Web page. For assistance with questions, contact LaDonna Mustin (651-582-8832).

2014 MN eLearning Summit – Final Call for Presentation Proposals

The Minnesota eLearning Summit program committee reminds you to participate in the upcoming Summit as a presenter in this final call for proposals for the 2014 conference: Open. Online. Opportunity. This event will be held July 30 and 31 at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

The MN eLearning Summit attendees benefit from the insights and practices presenters provide to discover and learn more about open education resources, online technology, and innovative opportunities for learning. Join us and get ready to explore emerging trends, interesting applications, and effective processes for 21st century learners.

Submit your proposal for a presentation or a poster session on best practices for creating, implementing and maintaining technology-integrated programs, resources and services for K-12 and post-secondary educators and learners.

Please submit your proposal for the Summit today on the conference website.

Proposal deadline: March 31, 2014

Questions about the Summit? Contact Summit representatives or call 651-631-5380. Please consider forwarding this message to a colleague.