MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

June 5, 2014

Math and Reading Summer Learning Opportunities for Students

To keep Minnesota kids learning throughout summer, MetaMetrics ® has teamed up with the Minnesota Department of Education to offer exciting and fun challenges to help students retain math and reading skills they learned this past school year, while ramping up their skills for next fall. There are free, self-directed activities provided which parents and students can have fun using together. And free resources are available, such as full-color bookmarks, posters, flyers and certificates of completion for you to use to promote these programs to your students and parents.

The Summer Math Challenge is a FREE math skills program based on grade-level standards that help prepare students for college and careers. The program is targeted to students who have just completed 2nd through 5th grades and is designed to help kids retain math skills learned during the previous school year. From June 23rd through August 1st parents will receive daily emails with fun activities and links to educational resources. When the program ends, parents can print an award certificate to celebrate their child's summer math accomplishment!

The Summer Reading Challenge includes a FREE “Find a Book, Minnesota” search tool, to help students select books that best match his or her reading ability (Lexile measure), interests and goals. The “Find a Book” tool is also used by students to submit their summer reading pledge and become eligible for a prize drawing.

Read more about these Summer Learning Opportunities on the Minnesota Department of Education website.


Training and Implementation Support for Minnesota State Teacher Development and Evaluation Model – Information Requested by June 16

Please read the May 15 memorandum from Assistant Commissioner Steve Dibb. Minnesota statute requires that districts and charter schools begin implementing teacher development and evaluation plans in school year 2014-2015. Districts that have not reached joint agreement with their exclusive representative of teachers on a local plan must implement the state model. Charter schools that do not have a local plan must also implement the state model. Please note the information that is requested in the memo by June 16, 2014. This information is needed so that we can plan training and implementation support for districts and charter schools using the state model.

For assistance with questions, contact Tyler Livingston at or 651-582-8427.

Read Well by Third Grade Data Submission – July 1 Deadline

Please read the memorandum from Beth Aune, director of Academic Standards and Instructional Effectiveness, regarding data submission information on reading proficiency for all students in kindergarten through grade two. The template for annual data submission is now available. This data will assist the Division of Academic Standards and Instructional Effectiveness in determining offerings of professional development and supports to districts in the coming school year in reading. It will also help districts meet their goals for students reading well by third grade as part of their World’s Best Workforce plan by providing feedback data to assist in district decision-making. The data is due by July 1, 2014.

Visit the Reading K-3 Data Upload Web page.

Visit the Reading Well by Third Grade Web page.

For assistance with questions regarding content support, contact Cory Stai, reading specialist, 651-582-8615. For assistance with questions regarding technical support, contact Katherine Edwards, data analytics specialist, 651-582-8285.

Social Studies Standards: Statutory Requirements and Implementation Support

Read the June 5, 2014 memorandum from Beth Aune, director of Academic Standards. As required by state statute, the 2011 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies were implemented by all schools in the 2013-14 school year. Please note the statutory requirements regarding the standards and consider how your district could benefit from the support provided by MDE and its partners this summer and in the upcoming school year. For more information about the standards and social studies education, contact Jessica Winkelaar,, 651-259-3448.

Nonpublic Pupil Aids; Promulgation of Revised Fiscal Year 2015 Program Rates of Entitlement and Pupil Reporting Procedure

Read the June 5, 2014 memorandum from Greg Sogaard. Please forward this information to your district administrator for nonpublic pupil aids. The purpose of this letter is to promulgate the Revised Fiscal Year 2015 rates of entitlement. For assistance with questions, please contact Greg Sogaard, education finance specialist.

Annual Verification of District and School Site Information for FY15 – Note June 30 and August 31 Deadlines

Read the May 29 memorandum from Matthew Porett, chief information officer, MN.IT@Education. Each year, information regarding schools and districts is updated in the Minnesota Department of Education master database for site organizations, which validates sites for all major MDE reporting systems such as MARSS, STAR, UFARS, etc. Please note the timeline and critical steps to maintaining accurate district and school site directory information.

For assistance with questions regarding the Minnesota District and School Site Verification process or website, please contact Mary Pat Olsen at (651) 582-8624, or email questions to


Annual Superintendents Back-to-School Conference – August 5-6, 2014

Save the dates! More information will be available soon.

Cradle to Career: Education for a 21st Century World – August 6-7, 2014

The education forum “Cradle to Career” is a two-day seminar that will focus on Education for the 21st Century World and will answer these questions: How should we nurture the next generation from cradle to career? How and when should we use 21st century technology to assist this process? Come join the discussion with education experts from Finland and the U.S. and create an action plan to address the needs of the next generation. Keynote speakers and presenters include:

· Krista Kiuru, Finnish Minister of Education
· Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota Commissioner of Education
· Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
· Peter Vesterbacka, CMO of Rovio Angry Birds
· Dr. Karen Seashore, Professor, University of Minnesota, Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development
· Dr. John Moravec, Founder of Education Futures

The forum will be held at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. CEUs for teachers and administrators will be available. Please forward this announcement to your principals and teachers. For more information and registration, visit the FinnFest USA 2014 website.


Minnesota Board of Teaching Licensure Action

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has taken the following licensure action:

Anderson, Paul R. (FF# 363319) On May 29, 2014, the Board of Teaching reinstated Mr. Anderson’s teaching license.

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.