2012 Superintendent Mail


TO: Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner

DATE: August 30, 2012



• State Releases MMR for 2012

The Minnesota Department of Education released 2012 Multiple Measurement Ratings (MMR) for schools today with early analysis showing the state gaining traction in efforts to close achievement gaps. See the August 30 press release.

• Minnesota Students use a Final Day of Summer Vacation to Help Those in Need

Today, 20 students from both the metro and greater Minnesota will use one of their final days of summer vacation to build a home for those in need. See the August 29 press release.

• Commissioner Cassellius to Host a Teacher Roundtable at State Fair

As teachers prepare for the start of a new school year, Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will host a teacher roundtable at the Minnesota State Fair Education Booth this Friday. See the August 29 press release.

• Minnesota Department of Education State Fair Booth

Stop by and visit us if you’re at the Fair! Children who listen to a story or take time to color a picture and share the title of a favorite book are invited to pose for a picture with Minnesota's official reading and literacy mascot, Read-It. See the photos. Guest readers scheduled to appear are WCCO 4 News Anchor Mike Binkley, FOX 9 News Reporter Kelsey Soby, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, St. Paul Winter Carnival royalty, Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, and more. See Education Booth happenings in the news corner and Twitter area of the Department of Education website.


• Minnesota Supreme Court Decision of Abrahamson, et al., vs. The St Louis County School District, Independent School District No. 2142

Please see the memorandum regarding the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling about ballot question expenditures and campaign finance reporting laws. For further information about campaign financing reporting requirements, contact the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. For inquiries about whether specific ballot question expenditures are advocacy or informational, please contact your district’s general counsel. For assistance with statutory questions, contact Daron Korte at daron.korte@state.mn.us , or 651-582-8407.

• October 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 the above-mentioned matter. Your district team is invited to participate in a three-part series of workshops, planned and facilitated by the Minnesota Department of Education, supporting districts’ planning and implementation of principal and teacher evaluation systems that meet the requirements in legislation.

• Teacher Evaluation Process Survey

On October 1st, districts will receive an electronic survey asking for information about their teacher evaluation process.  That survey has been utilized in other states to study teacher evaluation processes and is designed to provide information to the MDE and the MDE’s “Teacher Evaluation Work Group” as they develop the state default model for teacher evaluation.  The survey will include questions regarding information about what districts currently have in place, what districts need to implement the evaluation requirements found in statute, and what districts intend to do relative to implementing the state’s default model or designing/refining a local model.  The survey is intended to be completed JOINTLY by the superintendent or his/her designee and the president of the local teacher bargaining unit or his/her designee.

MDE is requesting that the surveys be completed and returned electronically no later than October 15th.

• District and School Web Collection is Now Open

The District and School Web Collection (formerly the Report Card Data Collection) data entry site is open. To ensure your district and school information is complete and up-to-date, please submit your data promptly. After the release of data this fall, you may make corrections and additions in this same site. Changes will appear the next business day.

The District and School Web Collection requires the same salary grid and school opportunity information as last year. Before entering the website, please review the User Guide, so you can prepare your data for entry.

Access the District and School Web Collection Website and User Guide. Use the Contact e-mail link if you have questions.


• Commissioner’s Dialogue with Superintendents – Monthly Conference Call Schedule

Mark your calendars! School district superintendents are invited to participate in the monthly dialogue via audio conference call with Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. The next conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Call-in instructions will be e-mailed to you 2-3 days prior to the conference call. All calls will be held 9:30-10:30 a.m.

2012-2013 Conference Call Schedule:

September 19 February 20
October 17 March 20
November 19 April 17
December 19 May 15
January 16 June 19

• 2013 United States Senate Youth Program Applications Available – Deadline October 19

The U.S. Senate Youth Program is a nationwide program that brings high school students to Washington D.C. for an onsite introduction to the functions of the federal government, particularly the U.S. Senate.  Students will spend the week of March 9-16, 2013, in Washington (all expenses paid) learning about the Senate and meeting with political leaders.  The selected students are also eligible for a $5,000 scholarship. Students are eligible for consideration if they hold an elected office (student government, civic, community, etc.) that will continue into the 2012-2013 school year or will hold an elected position in the 2012-2013 school year. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Senate and completely funded by The Hearst Foundations.  For more information, visit the U.S. Senate Youth Program website. Access the application form.

• Green Your School Sign Contest – Submission Deadline September 17

Schools all over Minnesota will be telling the world about how they are saving the environment. Right now, students are designing posters about their school's coolest sustainability project, like recycling, saving energy, or reducing waste. Your school could win free Twins tickets, an autographed baseball bat, and many other amazing prizes! Join in and spread the word. Final Submissions are due September 17th.

For more information and to register, visit the MN Green Schools Coalition Facebook site. This event is a part of the national Green Apple Day of Service and is organized by the Minnesota Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).