2012 Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: April 26, 2012



• Bullying Prevention Task Force to Hold Listening Sessions in Rochester

Members of the Governor’s Task Force for the Prevention of Bullying are convening listening sessions across the state to hear from Minnesota students, educators and community members on the issue of bullying and school climate. On Thursday, April 26, listening sessions will be held in Rochester. Read the April 24 media advisory.

• Obama Administration Names Three Minnesota Schools as First-Ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

Out of the 78 schools nationwide selected for this honor, the three Green Ribbon Schools selected from Minnesota are North Shore Community School in Duluth, Garlough Environmental Magnet School in West St. Paul, and Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph. Read the April 23 press release.


• Technology Plans and Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid -- UPDATE

See the attached follow-up memorandum from Tom Melcher, director of School Finance Division, regarding the current technology plan requirement (Minn. Stat. §125B.26, subd. 2) to qualify for Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid. This memorandum is to provide a reminder that Minnesota Statutes, section 125B.26, subdivision 2, requires school districts, charter schools and intermediate districts to have a current technology plan on file with the department to qualify for Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid. The spreadsheet attached to this memo has been updated. Note the June 30 deadline.

For assistance with questions regarding completion of the plan, contact Anne Sheridan at mde.schooltechplan@state.mn.us. For assistance with questions regarding Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid calculations, contact Chris Kubesh at (651) 582-8319 or chris.kubesh@state.mn.us.

• Analysis of Pupil Transportation Revenues and Expenditures

Please see the memorandum from Tom Melcher, director of School Finance division, regarding the above-mentioned matter. Spreadsheets analyzing pupil transportation revenues and expenditures for

each school district and charter school for FY 2009 and FY 2011 have been posted to the data center on the MDE website under the School Finance Spreadsheets – Transportation category.

Questions regarding the expenditure data shown on the spreadsheets should be directed to Kelly Wosika at kelly.wosika@state.mn.us. Questions regarding the revenue data and analysis shown on the spreadsheets should be addressed to Bob Porter at bob.porter@state.mn.us.

• Minnesota Common Course Catalogue

The Minnesota Common Course Catalogue (MCCC) is a course classification system intended to provide uniform information about which courses are taught by Minnesota teachers and completed by Minnesota high school students. The MCCC local course index file submission and manual calendar entry functionality for grades 9-12 will reopen on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. See additional information regarding MCCC. If you have questions about how to create and submit local course index or calendar information for grades 9-12, please contact the MCCC team at mde.mccc@state.mn.us.

• Amended State Law Regarding Food Service Fund

Effective July 1, 2012, Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.111, subdivision 3(d), is amended to simplify the process for capital expenditures. This information applies to public schools. School districts will no longer be required to have the Minnesota Department of Education approve capital expenditures from the food service fund. This is the only change to the law. No changes were made in the permissible uses of the food service funds. While this change simplifies the purchasing process, school districts must continue to follow federal and state requirements on allowable costs when purchasing food service equipment. A copy of the state law is available from the link provided below.

The revised state law is Chapter 138 of the 2012 session laws on the Office of the Revisor of Statutes website: View - Chapter 138.

If you have any questions about this information, contact Food and Nutrition Service at 651-582-8526, 800-366-8922 (MN Toll-free), or e-mail mde.fns@state.mn.us.


• Conversations with Commissioner Cassellius: An Event for Minnesota Principals – Thursday, May 3

Minnesota principals are invited to attend a special dinner event uniquely tailored for them to engage in dynamic conversations with Commissioner Cassellius focusing on the education of English Learners. The event will be held in conjunction with the annual Minnesota ESL, Bilingual & Migrant Education Conference on May 3, 2012. Principals are also invited to attend the Thursday conference (at no additional cost) to receive updates around the new ESEA Waiver, WIDA Standards and Assessments, and Response-to-Interventions for ELs, Culturally Responsive Parent Engagement and others. Principals will receive CEUs. See the flyer and registration information on the www.mnellconference.org website. The registration deadline is April 27.

Please contact Ruslana Westerlund at ruslana.westerlund@state.mn.us or 651-582-8574 with questions.