2012 Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: April 5, 2012



• Minnesota Twins Team Up with Commerce Department to Hit a Home Run for Financial Literacy

As Financial Literacy Month continues, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Minnesota Twins mascot TC the Bear kicked off a statewide financial literacy essay contest yesterday. The contest was announced during a school-wide assembly at Mississippi Creative Arts Magnet Elementary School in Saint Paul. ALL Minnesota kids in grades 3-5 are encouraged to participate. The essay contest is called Hit a Homerun for Financial Literacy Month. Kids interested in participating in the contest will submit a 300-word essay in response to this question: What three steps can you take this month to make smart decisions with your money?

Responses are due no later than Monday, April 30. Send essays to Anne O'Connor at anne.oconnor@state.mn.us, or by mail to Anne O'Connor, Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 Seventh Place East, Suite 500, Saint Paul, MN 55101. See the April 4 press release.

• Governor Dayton Proclaims April Financial Literacy Month, Kicks Off Statewide Outreach Efforts

In January, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman convened the Interagency Work Group on Financial Literacy comprised of commissioners and representatives from ten state agencies, including the Minnestoa Department of Education. Read April 2 press release. Additional Financial Literacy Month information is available on the Department of Commerce website.


• Change in Budget Process for Federal Special Education Funds, FY 2013

See the attached memorandum from Tom Melcher, director of the Division of School Finance, regarding the above-mentioned matter. Effective FY 2013, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will be managing the budget process for federal Special Education funds on the Electronic Data Reporting System (EDRS) instead of through the State Education Record View and Submission (SERVS) financial system. Any questions concerning this change can be directed to George Holt, supervisor of the Special Education Funding Team, Division of School Finance, at george.holt@state.mn.us.


• Severe Weather Awareness and Safety Information

The Department of Public Safety wants school districts to prepare for Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week, April 16-20, 2012.  Two statewide tornado drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 19, at 1:45 and 6:55 p.m. The Department of Public Safety has ideas available on their website for schools to conduct preparedness training, exercises and education. See further information, and for assistance with questions, contact the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

• Voluntary Paraprofessional Credential – Guidelines and Application Procedures Update

To answer questions about the voluntary paraprofessional credential, see the Minnesota Board of Teaching Web page for information regarding Guidelines and Application Procedures. Also available is the Paraprofessional Credential Competency Grid used to map exhibits to each competency area. Please share this information with those interested in the paraprofessional credential. The following clarifications and changes have been made within these documents:

1. All categories within each competency must be completed.
2. Review panel has up to 120 days to complete portfolio review after the submission window has closed.
3. Only copies should be submitted and documents will not be returned. (All documents submitted during the April 2012 submission and prior will be returned.)

If you have any questions regarding the paraprofessional credential process, please contact Heather Ward, Minnesota Board of Teaching, at heather.ward@state.mn.us or 651-582-8213.