Subject: Metro ECSU - December 2019 edNews

December 2019, Vol. 27, No. 2
edNews is a quarterly publication of the Metropolitan Educational Cooperative Service Unit
Metro ECSU - 2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 101 - Arden Hills, MN 55112
Front desk: 612-638-1500

edNews Editor: Colleen Feller
Young Authors Conference celebrates its 30th anniversary!
Success Beyond the Classroom is excited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Young Authors Conference (YAC) with the theme Words Have Power!

Do you have students who are passionate writers? This is the field trip for them!

At the Young Authors Conference, students learn from and write with amazing local fiction and non-fiction authors, spoken word artists, playwrights, media professionals, and more. During their time at the conference, students attend a keynote address, 3 breakout sessions, enjoy live music, and have the option of attending a book fair and open mic.
Conference date: March 20, 2020
For: Students in grades 4-8
Location: Bethel University
Keynote: Geoff Herbach (pictured)
Early bird rate registration deadline ($39/student for Metro ECSU members and $53/student for non-members): December 13, 2019
Regular rate registration deadline ($41/student for Metro ECSU members and $55/students for non-members): January 17, 2020

Conference dates: May 26-29, 2020
For: Students in grades 4-8
Location: Bethel University
Keynote: Kevin Kling (pictured)
Early bird rate registration deadline: February 3, 2020
Regular rate registration deadline: February 28, 2020

In 2019, of the 4,000+ young writers,
  • 96% of students said the Young Authors Conference encouraged and challenged them to be better writers.
  • 98% of students said the Young Authors Conference gave them new strategies, ideas, and skills to become a better writer.
  • 95% of students left the Young Authors Conference understanding that strong writing skills are important in life.
New This Year!
Senior High Young Authors Conference debuts on March 20, 2020
Eighth grade students who attend YAC frequently write on their evaluations, "I wish I could come back next year!"

Now they can!

On March 20, 2020, high school students are invited to attend our first ever Senior High Young Authors Conference. This conference will be held concurrently (but separate) from the YAC for 4th-8th graders. Senior High students will attend a keynote and 3 breakout sessions. Snacks and beverages will be provided. Lunchtime will include the opportunity to interact with organizations that provide writing resources to high school students, such as Hamline University Creative Writing Programs.

The details:

Senior High Young Authors Conference: March 20, 2020
For: Students in grades 9-12
Location: Bethel University
Keynote: Michael Torres (graffiti artist turned poet and creative writing teacher!)
Cost: $41/students for Metro ECSU members and $55/student for non-members)

Registration deadline: January 17, 2020

Presenter roster includes:
  • Swati Avasthi
  • Diego Vázquez
  • Vanessa Ramos
  • May Lee-Yang
  • Daniel Bergin
  • Michael Torres
Because this pilot conference is limited to 120 students, schools are invited to register a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 30 students.

Century College will host STEMLink in May 2020 - Register today!
Join us on May 21, 2020 for a day of STEM career immersion at Century College in White Bear Lake. Fifth and sixth grade students will attend a keynote presented by H2O for Life and spend the day attending three different hands-on sessions learning about careers in the STEM fields. Led by STEM professionals and Century College professors, students can build a prosthetic leg, write code, program a robot, experiment with solar energy, explore the Fab Lab, and more! Learn more

Discover STEMLink!
In 2019...
  • 95% of students agreed that STEMLink provided them with real-world examples of STEM work and workers.
  • 90% of students who attended STEMLink said that each session they attended could be described as interesting, hands-on, and challenging.
  • 89% of students said that STEMLink helped them understand how studying math and science can lead to exciting careers.
The cost per student is based on Metro ECSU membership status: $30/student for Metro ECSU members, and $45/student for nonmembers. 

Metro ECSU hosts Twin Cities Regional Spelling Bee - register by Dec. 20!
Metro ECSU is pleased to serve in our fourth year as the Twin Cities Regional Spelling Bee sponsor. In this important educational event, 50 school champions compete for a chance to move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

The Metro ECSU Regional Spelling Bee will take place Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at the Shoreview Community Center, 4580 Victoria St. N, Shoreview, MN 55126. The champion of the Metro ECSU Regional Spelling Bee will receive an expense-paid trip to compete in the 2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC!

Make sure to register your school by December 20, 2019! Registration is available now on

Questions? Contact Angela Skrade at 612-638-1528 or

We look forward to once again providing this fantastic opportunity to metro area
New! December Co-Teaching Workshops
Presented by Martina Wagner
Leading and Supporting Co-Teaching Systems
Featuring Co-Teaching Core Competency Framework with classroom observational tools for Administrators
Date: December 16, 2019
Time: 12:30-3:00pm
Location: Metro ECSU
Cost: $50 Metro ECSU member; $95 Non-member
Are you an administrator who is trying to support co-teacher teams, but might not know how? Or are you an effective instructional leader who just needs a deeper level of understanding on how to best implement and sustain highly effective co-teaching? If so, this session is for you and your team. View flyer

Advanced Co-Teaching through an Equity Lens
Date: December 17, 2019
Time: 8:30am-3:30pm
Location: Metro ECSU
Cost: $115 Metro ECSU member; $225 Non-member
Co-teachers, you’re not on an island. If you’ve found your co-teaching partner and are looking for more to take you further, this is the session for you! Participants will dive deeper into the models of co-teaching, critical setup and maintenance of their co-teaching partnerships, and will analyze the makeup of the students in their co-taught class through an EQUITY LENS. Likewise, this session explores how equity mindset impacts instructional strategies and the conceptual concept of collaboration! View flyer
Martina Wagner, Ed.D has served English Language learners in grades pre-K through adult education for every twenty years. Her expertise includes best practice and programming for ELs, Sheltered Instruction, Co-Teaching, Special Education Identification of ELs, WIDA standards (World-class Instructional Design and Assessment), and English Language Learning assessments and analysis. Martina’s background in co-teaching spans from classroom to district implementation, professional developer, instructional coach, as well as strategic district action planning and implementation. Martina has done extensive research throughout the United States on co-teaching and currently serves public, private, and charter schools as a professional development consultant.
For more information about these events, contact Angela Skrade at 612-638-1538, or
Education leaders: Ring in 2020 with MELN winter workshops!
Metropolitan Education Leaders Network (MELN) had a great start to the school year with dynamic Leadership In-Service workshops. Two workshops are yet to come in 2020; like a great New Year's Eve party, you won’t want to miss them.

Both workshops take place at Metro ECSU and are offered both from 8:30am-11:30am and 12:30pm-3:30pm. Choose the time that works for you!
The January 14 workshop, Problem Solving with Student Voice: Practical Strategies and Lessons from the Field, will be a valuable learning opportunity with metro area leaders.

Imina Oftedahl, director of Curriculum and Instruction, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage, and Kristine Schaefer, Assistant Superintendent Academic Excellence and Accountability, South Washington County, will explore proactive strategies to address hearing student voice, facilitating conversations, and working with student data. They will provide specific examples of how these strategies are being used successfully in various situationsRegister
On February 11, John Eller from Leadership Development and Coaching, will lead a Difficult Conversations workshop. Discussion will include understanding what motivates difficult behaviors in others and tools for holding difficult conversations, including a planning template and keys to working with specific situations.

All education leaders are welcome at MELN events including school and district administrators, principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders, teaching and learning directors, superintendents, content and instruction coaches and others.

For more information, contact Susan Frame,, 612-638-1543.
Paraprofessionals: Mark you calendar for the 15th Annual Winning Strategies Conference!
Metro ECSU and Normandale Community College are proud to present the 15th Annual Winning Strategies Conference for paraprofessionals and future teachers. This year’s keynote, Dr. Jodi Janati, will address the topic "Balancing Your Conflict – Step by Step Communication to Transform Difficult Interactions."

Date: February 1, 2020
Location: Normandale Community College (Bloomington)
Cost: $25/person
Register for the Winning Strategies Conference!

Balance Your Conflict!
Find your Conversation Peace. Most people have come to accept that conflict is inevitable. Assertive communication promotes healthy boundaries and can transform conflict during difficult conversations. There are a number of conflict management workshops offered each year, yet rarely does the facilitator tell participants exactly what should be said or done. The purpose of this workshop is to specifically address, "What do I say and do" when dealing with people during difficult situations to avoid destructive patterns. Participants will learn how to control their anger and emotions, be assertive and effectively defuse conflict through a variety of applied approaches. Multiple techniques will be discussed to demonstrate that practical solutions are attainable through a variety of step-by-step methods. For more information, visit
Conference participants will also attend three different break-out sessions, many of which are tailored to mental health and relate to strategies for paraprofessionals and future teachers.
For more information, contact Kayna Plaisted
MNCoE welcomes Karen Satre!
Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities (MNCoE) is excited to welcome Karen Satre to our team in Region 11. Karen comes to us with a vast array of experience in the field of early childhood special education. Specifically, Karen offers deep knowledge and expertise to our team and collaborating partners around areas such as ongoing assessment, Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, and service delivery under Part B and Part C of IDEA.

Prior to joining MNCoE, Karen worked directly as an early childhood special education teacher for seven years in two metro area school districts and then engaged in systems-level work through her position as an Education Specialist for three years at the MN Department of Education (MDE). 

Karen has been working with the MNCoE for a couple of months now as an Early Childhood Special Education Professional Development Facilitator, supporting school districts throughout the metro area in both foundational and innovation work. Karen will also be supporting MNCoE in continuing to scale up a data system that allows our collaboration partners to engage in ongoing data-based decision making.

Contact Karen at
Minnesota DeafBlind Project welcomes Jackie Bauer!
Jackie Bauer joined the Minnesota DeafBlind Project in September 2019 as the Family Engagement Coordinator. She is a parent of a 9-year old son, who is deafblind and has CHARGE Syndrome. She has devoted the last 9 years to learning as much as possible about navigating life with a special needs child. She has been closely connected with the MN Deafblind Project and many of the families that are impacted by deafblindness. Jackie is motivated to share her experience and meet families in a similar situation.

Jackie graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in Business Management. She attended St.Paul College and earned a certificate in ASL to better communicate with her son. Prior to the birth of her son, she spent 7 years working in the commercial real estate industry. She is married and is a mom to 3 busy children. She enjoys entertaining at her home, spending time with friends and family, reading, and traveling.

You can contact Jackie at 612-638-1505 or
Be safe this winter with Health and Safety winter programs and resources
Upcoming Health and Safety Events at Metro ECSU
  • 12/05/19 - Health and Safety Meeting, 9am-11am, Machine Guarding
  • 1/06/20 – Unlicensed Electrician Training, 8am-11am
  • 1/09/20 – Health and Safety Meeting, 9am-11am, Active Shooter Protocols
  • 2/04/20 – Chemical Hygiene Training, 12pm-3:30p

Winter brings with it the usual cold weather challenges: extreme temperatures, ice, snow and freeze-thaw-freeze. It’s important to be prepared for the weather to stay safe and healthy. Take steps to protect your home, prepare your vehicle, plan for emergencies and protect your family and pets. For more information on winter weather safety, go to:
Staying healthy this winter includes avoiding the flu and norovirus. The City of Minneapolis rolled out a campaign to educate people about norovirus that includes an unmistakable visual graphic. The Minnesota Department of Health has a trove of information on influenza. A basic step to fighting the flu is to get vaccinated. For more information on vaccination, contact your provider or the MN Department of Health
The Health and Safety program at Metro ECSU has grown and now offers members assistance on issues related to accessibility under Title I and Title II of the ADA. Do you need help navigating a reasonable accommodation request? Have you identified areas needing improvement and aren’t sure where to start? Do you plan to restripe a parking lot next year and want to avoid making mistakes? For questions related to physical space accessibility or reasonable accommodations, feel free to contact Bianca Virnig at
Congratulations to Rich Burke, recipient of MNSHAPE Carolyne "Dolly" Strumbel Award
Rich Burke has been awarded the Minnesota Society of Health and Physical Educators (MNSHAPE) Carolyne "Dolly" Strumbel Award, which is intended to honor and recognize the significant contributions professional retirees have made to MNSHAPE for at least 10 years.
Rich Burke retired after thirty-six years of teaching, 1982-2018. He began his career in Minot, ND at South Prairie after completing his Bachelor of Science degree from Minot State University. He then moved to Minnesota where he taught in the Bloomington School District for many years, then at Mounds View Schools.

Rich is currently the Statewide Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE) Specialist with the Minnesota Low Incidence Project, hosted at Metro ECSU, a position he has held for the past ten years. Rich has served on the DAPE Leadership Committee since 1988 and remains very active with this position. Rich has made many presentations at state, district and national SHAPE America conventions. His passion for our profession motivates all those who have ever heard his presentations. 

Rich's commitment and knowledge of physical education and physical activity is evidenced again and again. Rich has been a driving force behind the many efforts to promote the importance of daily physical activity and daily quality physical education for ALL Minnesota students.

Rich has been serving on the Minnesota Department of Education and MNSHAPE Standards Leadership Committee ensuring that all students will be represented with these new standards. A few past awards include Minnesota DAPE Teacher of the Year; Central District TOY and SHAPE America Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year; the MNSHAPE George Hanson DAPE Award; MNSHAPE President, 2002-03; and Central District President, 2003-04. Rich Burke is enthusiastic, committed, knowledgeable, compassionate, honest, and a very dedicated retired professional who always has a positive impact on those around him.
Cooperative Purchasing: Reliable and Competitive (see for yourself!)
Vendor Conference!

Vendors from across the country came to the City of Ramsey Municipal Center to learn more about how using the CPC Contract supports Minnesota (and Metro) education and municipal communities, saves members time and money, and enables departments to make purchases that advance their strategic goals while remaining in compliance with state and local procurement policies. 
The conference was opened by Bill Harvey, a member of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board and the Executive Committee of Metro ECSU. Bill shared a message of gratitude that was echoed throughout the day. CPC is truly grateful to all the members and vendors that work to ensure that money spent by Minnesota schools, cities, counties, and nonprofits is spent responsibly. 
In a telling moment, one vendor noted that some Texas cooperatives used by school districts across the country are organized in someone’s garage and operated for profit. With CPC, both members and vendors know that their contracts are backed by a statewide, compliance-first, educational service nonprofit that was created by the Minnesota State Legislature.
CPC is proud of its awarded vendors and the services that we provide to members and participating organizations! Thank you for your support.
Metro ECSU wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season!
Metro ECSU, 2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 101, Arden Hills, MN 55112, United States
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