Subject: Metro ECSU - March 2019 edNews

March 2019, Vol. 26, No. 3
edNews is a quarterly publication of the Metropolitan Educational Cooperative Service Unit
Editor: Colleen Feller
Upcoming workshop will provide district & school security information in three ways
Metro ECSU is offering a school safety and security workshop, Delivering District and School Security Three Ways, on April 9, 2019.

This full-day workshop will include a cyber breach simulation tabletop session, a student safety management discussion (self-harm, substance abuse, cyberbullying, and violence) plus Gaggle demonstration, and an introduction to RIPL training for violent intruder prevention.

District teams of superintendents, district school safety and security team members, E-12 principals, and other interested educators are encouraged to attend.

Photo from Gaggle website (, used with permission: Gaggle Safety Management Dashboard

For more information and to register, visit:
Help Me Grow referral data informs future outreach plans
Who’s making the referrals?
The Region 11 Interagency Early Intervention Committee (IEIC) oversees the Help Me Grow initiative for the seven-county metro area. Help Me Grow provides resources for families to understand developmental milestones and learn if there are concerns.This helps families take the lead in seeking additional support or referring their child for a comprehensive, confidential screening or evaluation at no cost.

The committee has collected referral source data from all of the school districts in the seven-county metro area for four calendar years, 2014-2017. This data helped us determine which audiences to target for outreach activities.

The committee thanks metro region school district early childhood coordinators and staff for providing early childhood data.Total referral numbers both through Help Me Grow and directly through school districts continue to increase.The primary referral sources have consistently been as follows (percentages are based on 2017 data):
The big question – what happens after referral?
The IEIC will begin to collect data about what happens after a referral is made to a school district. This data is not collected by or reported to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE); the data reported to MDE is restricted to eligible children.

The data will assist us in understanding if appropriate referrals are being made; whether we need to provide better guidance for parents and professionals about when or why to refer a child; and how professionals could better explain the rationale to parents for making a referral. The new data collection process will continue to look at the total number referred as well as the status of each referral as listed below:
  • Not able to contact parents
  • Parent declining screening or evaluation
  • Child NOT meeting eligibility (by race/ethnicity)
  • Child meeting eligibility (by race/ethnicity and primary disability)
  • Parent declining early intervention services (by race/ethnicity)
Help Me Grow is an interagency initiative of the State of Minnesota Department of Education, Department of Health and Department of Human Services.

Metro ECSU and Success Beyond the Classroom welcome new staff!
Kathie Thompson is a new member of Metro ECSU's accounting team. Kathie's background in accounting has been in various industries -- manufacturing, wholesale distributing, funeral services, and drug testing. Kathie is excited for the opportunity to learn about a new field of education and government.

Kathie and her husband enjoy spending time at their cabin on the Lower Snake River in Pine City, Minnesota. They have five grandchildren from the ages of 2 to 15 who keep them very busy. They also enjoy traveling and have been to Brazil, many islands in the Caribbean, and to Europe several times.

Contact Kathie at 612-638-1504 or
Introducing Madi Grove, the new part-time Program Assistant at Success Beyond the Classroom. Madi will be assisting with all the programs SBC has to offer.

Over the past year, Madi has been volunteering with SBC through Young Authors Conference, Creativity Festival, and Knowledge Bowl. She loved volunteering with the SBC staff so much that she decided to join them as soon as the opportunity presented itself! SBC is thrilled to welcome Madi to their team.

Madi also works at Granite City as a supervisor, bartender, and server to keep herself busy.

Contact Madi at 612-638-1514 or
Centers of Excellence rolls out INSPIRE ACTION 2018
In addition to the Minnesota Centers of Excellence (MNCoE) supporting Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs in working to install evidence-based innovations, the MNCoE also supports local ECSE programs in work around locally identified program priorities and goals.

In 2014 the Minnesota Department of Education ECSE team rolled out the INSPIRE ACTION framework.This was developed in order to provide local ECSE programs with a tool to identify and celebrate strong program components and to identify those program components most in need of improvement. INSPIRE ACTION 2018, the new and improved version of this tool, was distributed to all  Minnesota ECSE programs in the fall of 2018. 
INSPIRE ACTION 2018 includes the following 12 core components:

  • Identification
  • Natural/Least restrictive environment
  • Services are coordinated
  • Partnerships with families
  • Intentional instruction within routines
  • Responsive interactions and environments
  • Effective leadership (technical/adaptive)
  • Assessment & Curriculum
  • Collaboration
  • Transitions
  • Intensity
  • ON-going Data Driven Improvement
INSPIRE ACTION 2018 is designed to be completed by local ECSE teams, including program leaders and team members representing a variety of perspectives, such as ECSE teachers, Related Service Providers, and paraprofessionals. Teams walk through the tool and rate themselves on multiple themes for each of the core components through team discussion, document review, and local data review.
ECSE Professional Development Facilitators (PDFs) through the MNCoE were available to support teams in the following ways:
  • understanding the benefits of the INSPIRE ACTION framework
  • understanding the process to complete the tool
  • understanding how to use the data from INSPIRE ACTION to engage in program
  • supporting completion of the tool, and
  • engaging in celebrations and improvement planning based on results of completing the tool.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will use the data from INSPIRE ACTION 2018 to:
  • inform the required State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP);
  • identify and celebrate relative programs strengths throughout the state; and
  • identify the greatest opportunities for improvement at the state and local level, which will assist MDE’s ECSE team in building capacity to support districts in achieving high-quality programming that promotes positive outcomes for the children and families served.
Justice Page Middle School wins Minnesota Future City Competition 2nd year in a row!
At team of six students from Justice Page Middle School in Minneapolis won top honors at the 19th annual Minnesota Future City Competition, which took place on January 19, 2019 at Dakota County Technical College. Justice Page Middle School also won 1st place in 2018.

The students, pictured below, presented their city, "The Lost Phoenix," at the National Future City Competition in Washington, DC in February.

48 teams competed at this year's Minnesota Future City Competition.

Final Standings
First place: Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis)
Second place: Dodge Middle School (Farmington)
Third place: Scott Highlands Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan)
Honorable Mention: Black Hawk Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan)
Honorable Mention: New London-Spicer Middle School

The Future City Competition is a cross-curricular education program that asks 6th-8th grade students to imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future.

From September to January, participants complete five deliverables: a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model built from recycled materials; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at Regional Competitions in January. Students work under the guidance of a teacher and a volunteer engineer mentor.

Learn more about bringing Future City to your school next year. Contact Colleen Feller at 612-638-1511 or

116 teams competed in Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl this season!
During the 2018-2019 Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl season, 116 teams from 35 school districts participated. These teams competed at four after-school academic competitions where they honed their teamwork skills and flexed their brain power.
At the 2019 You Odyssey This State Meet, 44 teams from 15 school districts from across Minnesota compete at Hastings High School. Teams had a great time on "Mount Olympus" competing with other gods and goddesses for awards and accolades.

Thank you to this year's MGKB meet sponsors: Northeast Minneapolis Lion's Club, Beckman Coulter Foundation, and Smead.

Contact Katie Lewis at 612-638-1554 or to learn more about Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl.
Ramalynn Montessori Academy - second place winners at the MGKB state meet.
Spots available at STEMLink on May 23 at Century College!
Spots have opened up on the May 23 date of STEMLink at Century College in White Bear Lake.

At this popular SBC program, 5th and 6th graders are invited to explore STEM careers by attending 3 interactive sessions that take place on a college campus!

Session topics include:
Dissect an Eyeball
Cybersecurity & Forensics
Batteries, Bulbs & Wires
Flying Projectiles
Topographic Maps
Build a Joystick (and a Shark!)
Build a Motor
Build a Leg (Orthotics & Prosthetics)

Questions? Contact Betsy Narr at 612-638-1536 or

Cooperative Purchasing Connection:  Vendor Spotlight
Revolutionary Furniture Lifting System for Carpet Install

School kids and carpet. Oh the possibilities. Spilled milk, snowy boots, overflowing science projects.

A diligent director of operations looks for the best options to cover floors in various school areas. Glenn Simon, from District 191, did just that when selecting a company to install carpet at Harriet Bishop Elementary School in Savage, Minnesota.
Pictured: Katie Selmela, Elementary Media Specialist, and Glenn Simon, Director of Operations, District 191.

Simon had used a number of Cooperative Purchasing Connection (CPC) contracts in the past, and he knew Hiller Commercial floors had a great reputation. After discussion with Dave Barr, owner, Simon selected Hiller for the project. By using Hiller through the CPC contract, the school received a 25% discount on the carpet, pre-installation assessment, discounted installation and debris removal. 

In the media room, Hiller used its revolutionary furniture lifting system to raise the shelving — books and all — just enough to remove the old carpet and slide the new carpet into place. With this system, staff does not lose time moving books because it is all lifted in place.  The same holds true in office areas where equipment is used to lift workstations and file cabinets. Staff has virtually no downtime during the installation.

All CPC contracts are competitively solicited and meet state guidelines. The audit packets are posted on the purchasing connection website ( for full transparency.
Think spring!
Metro ECSU, 2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 101, Arden Hills, MN 55112, United States
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