Subject: March 2018 - New from Metro ECSU

March 2018, Vol. 25, No. 3
edNews is a quarterly publication of the Metropolitan Educational Cooperative Service Unit
Editor: Colleen Feller
Check out our new accessible and mobile-friendly website!

Explore Metro ECSU's programs and services:

Metro ECSU Event Calendar
Success Beyond the Classroom was featured as the "non-profit of the month" at the Minnesota Wild vs. the San Jose Sharks hockey game on February 25. Check out our in-arena video that was shown during intermission!

New Metro ECSU service! Cyber Insurance Program

Network held for ransom.
Thousands of private records compromised in cyber-attack.
Hackers shut down website.

We’ve seen the headlines too, and like you, they make us nervous. And, like us, you may have questions:
“Are we at risk?”
“How do we prepare?”
“How would we restore our network, our balance sheet, and, most importantly, the public trust?”
Our mission is to listen to your concerns, identify solutions, and deliver value. To that end, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of the Minnesota Service Cooperatives Cyber Insurance Program.

We’ve partnered with one of the Midwest’s leading risk management & insurance firms, Hausmann-Johnson Insurance, to craft a program that will help you manage your cyber risk and mitigate the effects of a cyber security event. For more information about the program and how we can help you, contact Julie Frame, Metro ECSU Executive Director,, 612-638-1508.
Charting the Cs 2018: 6th Annual Student-Family Conference
Choose the Possibilities; not the disability
This annual event will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 12:30pm to 5:00pm at the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center in Alexandria, Minnesota. The cost is only $10 for the entire family! This includes snacks and an evening meal.
Learning, Playing, Relaxing
A variety of informational sessions for families and children of all ages will be provided in a relaxed, recreational atmosphere, geared to individual needs and accommodations. The sessions are designed to include all family members in activities—making things, playing, and learning together. Families have the option of staying overnight at the Arrowwood Resort and are invited to enjoy the indoor water park, both at reduced rates.
Think about joining us if you…
  • Have an adolescent, school or preschool-aged child with special needs which may pose challenges when they interact with siblings, friends, and family,
  • Would like to learn more about what you can do to actively engage your child at home, in school and  in community environments, or
  • Want to learn how fun physical movement activities can facilitate learning and well-being for all ages and abilities.
For more information about registering for this event, contact: Jolene King, or (218) 737-6521 or
Denny Ceminski, (218) 838-0623
Note: Event planning participants and presenters are from the MN DAPE (Developmental Adaptive Physical Education) Leadership Group, the MN Department of Education, the MN Low Incidence Projects, and other community agencies, in collaboration with the Minnesota Charting the C’s 2018 Cross Categorical Conference planning group.

SBC Program Updates
Knowledge Bowl teams score big at the State Meet!
Forty-six teams from 15 Minnesota middle schools competed at the second annual State Knowledge Bowl Meet for 6th-8th graders held January 27 at St. Francis Middle School.

Check out the final standings for this middle school academic competition here

The top winner was Minnetonka MS West whose teams earned 1st place overall, Rookie of the Year (Team Omega, pictured), and the Triple Team Award.

Learn more at
Record number of teams compete at Minnesota Future City Competition!

Fifty-eight teams of 6th-8th graders from around the state competed at the Minnesota Future City Competition on January 20 at Dakota County Technical College

The Future City Competition (FCC) is a national, cross-curricular program that lets 6th-8th graders do the things engineers do: identify problems, brainstorm ideas, design solutions, test and retest, build and then share the results.

FCC runs from September to January. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to develop a project plan; create a virtual city design with SimCity software; research and write a proposed solution to an engineering challenge; build a tabletop city model with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges.

Public, private, and home schools, as well as organized youth groups (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Boys & Girls Club, etc.), are welcome to form teams and compete in Future City.

Standings from this year's competition:

1st place: Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis Public Schools)
2nd place: Scott Highlands Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan)
3rd place: Westwood Middle School (Spring Lake Park)
Honorable Mention: Friendly Hills Middle School (West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan) and
Church of St. Paul Home School.

Learn more at
SBC & Dunwoody College of Technology partner!

On March 13 several hundred 5th and 6th grade students attended the inaugural STEMLink at Dunwoody College of Technology. Dunwoody faculty and STEM professionals taught interactive sessions about automotive technology, virtual/augmented reality, oil spills, robotics, construction management, and more! It was an inspiring day of career possibilities for these students.

One teacher said she would recommend STEMLink to others because the program is "engaging, hands-on, and is an opportunity for real world problem solving."

Next up are STEMLink events at Normandale Community College on May 11 and at Century College on May 16 and 17.
Young Authors Conference: inspiring writers to connect with each other and the world
One thousand students gathered at SBC's March Young Authors Conference on March 16. Tea Rozman-Clark, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Executive Director of Green Card Voices, and two authors of the Green Card Youth Voices series, delivered an inspiring keynote related to this year’s theme, Connecting the World – One Story at a Time.
Young Authors Conference students were encouraged to use their own stories to connect with each other and the world.

One teacher remarked, "This conference was full of engaging, interesting, and diverse options for our young writers."

Green Card Voices has created a traveling photo exhibit, “Immigrants Telling Their Life Stories,” as part of its mission to share immigrant stories with as many people as possible. The exhibit features 20 high school age immigrants in the Twin Cities and has traveled to over 35 locations throughout Minnesota. The exhibit includes portraits of immigrants, their 200-word bio, a quote and a QR code (viewers can scan the code with iphone/ipad and watch the first-person video story). Students and chaperones were invited to view this exhibit at lunchtime.

Green Card Voices and the photo exhibit will return for the May/June Young Authors Conference. Limited space is available for school groups. Contact Colleen Feller to inquire about registration.
Two TV monitors available for free to Metro ECSU member districts
The first Metro ECSU member district that responds via email and is able to pick up the TVs from our office in Arden Hills is the winner!
Items up for donation (photo below)*:

Two Samsung 530 Series HDTVs - specs listed below
  • Model LN52C530F1F
  • LCD – 1080p – 60 Hz
  • 52” screen size
  • SRS TruSurround HD sound
  • Energy Star Certified

Please email if you are interested in obtaining these items. They will go to the first Metro ECSU member district who responds via email. Items must be picked up at the Metro ECSU office in Arden Hills by a member district representative.
*TV monitors are “as-is” with no warranty (all items worked upon deinstallation). Please note: theseTVs are not Smart TVs.
Supporting Low Incidence Special Educators Through Professional Communities of Practice
One of Minnesota’s best kept secrets is our long history of supporting educators who work with students who have low incidence disabilities, such as a physical, sensory or significant cognitive disability, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders), or a chronic/acute health disability (OHD). These students often have complex learning needs and require an array of specialized services and supports in the school setting. The MN Low Incidence Projects, a statewide grant program which receives state and federal dollars, is uniquely positioned to support low incidence educators through professional development opportunities; access to statewide specialists who offer technical assistance and resources; and ongoing support of statewide professional communities of practice, or CoPs.

What do They Do? Members share resources and projects and benefit from professional development opportunities.They frequently address emerging trends and evidence-based practices to increase their awareness of new research in the field. They also expand or develop tools, resources, and teaching strategies unique to their disability area. Members may also assist with the development or updating of statewide resources, such as professional manuals for educators, student evaluation tools and methods, online presentations, and service considerations for practitioners. CoP members also support opportunities for collaboration with universities that offer teacher licensure in their respective areas and provide ongoing mentorship opportunities for teachers new to the field.

Stay Tuned: Watch for future issues to learn more about each of our Low Incidence CoPs and the work they do to support educators, students and their families
Charting Minnesota Regional EHDI Teams Collaborate to Support Children Who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Families, and Professionals
Minnesota’s statewide Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) System has been built on interagency collaboration to support young children who have hearing loss, their families, and the Early Intervention professionals who serve them. The overall goals of EHDI efforts in Minnesota are to ensure that:

1. Young children who have hearing loss are able to maximize their communication and learning potential, regardless of the degree of their hearing loss.
2. Young children who have hearing loss are able to begin kindergarten with communication, social and early literacy skills at developmental levels similar to those of their typically-hearing peers, or commensurate with their cognitive abilities. 
3. Each family receives the quality, individualized supports and services they need to help their child grow and learn.
Members of the MN Regional EHDI Teams are Educational Audiologists, Teachers DHH, ECSE Teachers, and Speech Language Pathologists who work to support local, regional, and statewide interagency EHDI initiatives. All are committed to continued professional development for meeting the significant, unique educational needs of young children with hearing loss and their families. They are also eager to share resources and help build capacity in their school districts and regions in support of high-quality, evidence-based early intervention and early childhood services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Regional EHDI Team members recently met together to identify local and regional EHDI system needs, share resources, and create annual work plans. Two national speakers provided professional development for the group: 
  • Dr. Cathy Carotta, Boys Town National Research Hospital, led the teams through a planning process that included both professional reflection and identifying possible strategies to address work challenges professionals experience as they provide services to children and families. 
  • Dr. Lillian Duran, University of Oregon, presented information on supporting young children with hearing loss who are also dual language learners.
There are Regional EHDI Team members in every region of Minnesota. The state-level EHDI Leadership team includes Kathy Anderson, Statewide EHDI Specialist - MN Low Incidence Projects, Mary Cashman-Bakken, State Specialist Deaf/Hard of Hearing - MDE, and Kara Tempel, Part C Coordinator - MDE. We are all eager to assist fellow educators and district leadership to learn more about EHDI!   
For more information, contact Kathy Anderson
Watch for summer Metro ECSU professional development opportunities in the May edition of edNews!
Metro ECSU, 2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 101, Arden Hills, MN 55112, United States
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