2012 Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: August 2, 2012



• Minnesota Assessments Show Gains in Math and Reading

The Minnesota Department of Education released statewide assessment results showing that students in grades 3 – 8 are making gains in reading and math. See the August 1 press release.

• Prevention of Bullying Task Force Delivers Recommendations to Governor Dayton

After months of meetings and community sessions gathering input from residents across the state, the Task Force for the Prevention of Bullying submitted recommendations to Governor Dayton. See the August 1 press release.

• A Statement from Governor’s Prevention of Bullying Task Force Co-Chairs Julie Hertzog and Walter Roberts

The Prevention of School Bullying Task Force submitted their recommendations to Governor Mark Dayton yesterday. Co-Chairs Julie Hertzog and Walter Roberts released a statement. See the August 1 press release.


• 2012 School Leadership Summit: Minnesota on the Move – August 7-8 – Have you Registered Yet?

NOTE: Governor Dayton will be presenting remarks the morning of August 7. Please join me at the 2012 School Leadership Summit: Minnesota on the Move on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 7-8, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest (formerly the Northland Inn) in Brooklyn Park. (This has been known previously as the Annual Superintendents Back-to-School Conference.)

Superintendents and charter school directors are invited to bring their leadership teams. We have a great day and a half planned for you. Our keynote speaker is Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap. As you know, Minnesota's demographics are shifting rapidly and we can no longer economically or morally accept leaving 40 percent of our students behind. Hopefully, together we can find the answers to improve achievement for all students, especially those who have historically underachieved. Register your team today!

Registration is available only online!  Click here to register.  (Check or credit card required.) Click here for the agenda. Click here for details of breakout sessions.

• Media Article Regarding School Immunization Rates

Please see the attached memorandum from Margo Roddy, Immunization Program Manager at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), regarding the above-mentioned matter. An upcoming news article about kindergarten-level immunization exemption rates is anticipated to be published in early August, and you may receive questions from parents and the public in response to the article. The data provided for the article came from the annual immunization status report (AISR) application, which is a reporting tool for administrators/school health personnel to provide immunization status data on students. This data is attached to the memorandum. If you have any questions regarding AISR, send an e-mail to health.aisr@state.mn.us, or call Lisa Harris at 651-201-3523. More information about the Minnesota Immunization Law is available on the MDH website. If you have questions regarding the School Immunization Law, contact the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5503 (metro) or 1-800-657-3970 (greater Minnesota).

• 2012 Nonpublic Pupil Aid Legislation

Please see the memorandum from Tom Melcher, director of School Finance, regarding the above-mentioned matter. Laws of Minnesota for 2012, Chapter 144, expands the list of items eligible for purchase under the textbook / individualized instructional material / cooperative learning material component of the Nonpublic Pupil Aid program under Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.41. For assistance with questions regarding this legislation, contact Greg Sogaard, Education Finance specialist, School Finance Division, at (651) 582-8858, or greg.sogaard@state.mn.us.

• FAQ Reference Document: Nonpublic Schools, Including Homeschools, Unaccredited by a Minnesota-Recognized Accrediting Agency

A revised Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is available on the MDE website to be used as a reference for homeschools and other unaccredited nonpublic schools in your district. Access the document on the Minnesota Department of Education website. For assistance with questions regarding this document, contact Cindy Jackson at cindy.s.jackson@state.mn.us, or (651)582-8572.


• Connecting for Middle Level School Success Initiative 2012-2013

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to invite principals to participate in the Connecting for Middle Level School Success Initiative during 2012-2013. The goal is to increase the achievement of Minnesota middle level students. Participating schools will gather, analyze, and utilize multiple sources of data; develop strong, effective, change-oriented leadership; and implement results-based programs and strategies. If interested, please complete the attached form and submit by September 28, 2012, to Angie Johnson at angie.johnson@state.mn.us.

• Please Provide New Superintendent Contact Information

We’d like to make sure new superintendents and charter school directors are added to our listserv for receiving the MDE Weekly Supt. Mail and any special e-mail notices requiring immediate attention. If you know of a superintendent or charter school director who is not receiving these e-mails, please forward this information to them. Superintendents can send their name and e-mail address to Cindy Heitman, MDE Communications Office, at cynthia.heitman@state.mn.us or 651-582-1598. Thank you!

• Minnesota Computers for Schools – Monthly Promotion

Minnesota Computers for Schools (MCFS) refurbishes donated computers and provides them to schools at a minimal charge. See their Special Deals for August.