MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

February 6, 2014


Minnesota to Seek NCLB Waiver Renewal

Two years after receiving a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, the U.S. Department of Education has reviewed Minnesota’s progress under the waiver and issued a report commending the state’s new accountability system as meeting all expectations and requiring no additional steps.

This stamp of approval comes as the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is preparing to submit its intent to renew the waiver with minor changes that strengthen the state’s accountability to ensure all students graduate and are ready for career and college. Read the February 5 press release.


World’s Best Workforce Update

WBWF Question of the Week: I work in a charter school. Are we required to do a World’s Best Workforce plan too?

Answer: Yes, all public school districts (including charter schools) are required to develop a World’s Best Workforce Plan within the context of your educational delivery system. Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.10, Subdivision 8, states:

“(u) A charter school must adopt a policy, plan, budget, and process, consistent with section 120B.11, to review curriculum, instruction, and student achievement and strive for the world's best workforce.”

An informational session was held in January for charter authorizers where they learned what the legislation requires of districts and discussed their roles as authorizers. For further information about the legislation, please see below.

A planning document is available to help drive formative conversations within school districts as they develop their WBWF plans over the next several months. Access the planning document.

A PowerPoint presentation on the WBWF legislation is available that can be used by districts to inform staff, parents and other stakeholders. Access the PowerPoint presentation.

Watch for future WBWF updates each week in this newsletter. Any questions regarding the World’s Best Workforce initiative can be sent to

Online Telecommunications/Internet Access Aid Cost Reporting – FY 2013 Actual Costs

See the January 30 memorandum from Chris Kubesh, division of school finance. The memo serves to notify you that the online website for schools and telecommunication clusters is open for data collection of FY 2013 cost and e-rate data. The deadline for data submission is February 28, 2014.

District, charter and nonpublic schools that are members of a telecommunications regional cluster organization are reminded that reporting may be coordinated by your regional cluster. Please contact your regional organization’s director (provided in the memo) for guidance or if you have questions regarding this reporting.


Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS) Training

Does your district have access to the secure MEIRS report? 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.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to offer Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS) training sessions for district personnel who have been designated by their superintendents to have access to the data—personnel such as principals, school psychologists, counselors, and/or other staff who will use the data to plan interventions. A team of three is encouraged to attend. Access to the MEIRS secured site will be provided to the district designee upon successful completion of the spring training and receipt of the authorization form from the superintendent.

Training Session Schedule:

· February 18 – Minnesota Department of Education, Roseville
· February 27 – Minnesota Department of Education, Roseville
· March 25 – South Central Service Cooperative, North Mankato

Read more details and register for MEIRS training.

Access the MEIRS Authorization Form.

Visit the MEIRS Web page.

For assistance with questions, contact Cammy Lehr at 651-582-8563.

Preparing Lessons for Global Learning – March 1, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Education is partnering with the SCSU Confucius Institute to offer a FREE professional development opportunity for K-12 teachers to learn how to effectively design and implement lessons and units that embed and embrace global learning.

Donna Nesbitt, education consultant from the Columbus Council on World Affairs, will lead Minnesota K-12 teachers from all content areas who have a passion for promoting global learning in developing lessons that promote global competency. Registration is limited to the first 100 registered participants.

When: Saturday, March 1, 2014, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (hour-long lunch break on your own)

Where: Minnesota Department of Education, 1500 Hwy. 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113, Conference Center B, Room 15

Register for Preparing Lessons for Global Learning.

Immunization Rule Changes Webinar – February 19, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) invites school health personnel to participate in a webinar on the changes to the school immunization law in Minnesota.

What: Immunization Rule Changes Webinar

· Overview of MN immunization school law changes
· Example of how Anoka/Hennepin district will be implementing the law
· Q and A session

Presenters: Lynn Bahta, MDH, and Cindy Hiltz, Anoka/Hennepin School District
Intended Audience:
School health personnel

When: February 19, 2014, 2-3 p.m. You must register to participate. Register online for the Immunization Rule Changes Webinar. Select the “Upcoming” tab on the calendar to find the session – School Nurses: Imm Rule Changes webinar. You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Keep that confirmation to easily logon the day of the webinar.

If you would like to submit a question before the webinar, send your question to:

Prior to the day of the webinar, test the computer you plan to use for compatibility with WebEx. Select “Training Manager” under “Set Up” in the left side toolbar. Follow the instructions on the “Set Up Training Manager” page.

If you have questions, contact Lisa Harris, adult/adolescent immunization program specialist, Minnesota Department of Health, 651-201-3523.

Minnesota Computers for Schools – Monthly Promotion

Minnesota Computers for Schools refurbishes donated computers and provides them to schools at a minimal charge. Learn about their monthly discounts on the Minnesota Computers for Schools website.