Subject: Dec 2018 edNews - Opportunities from Metro ECSU

December 2018, Vol. 26, No. 2
edNews is a quarterly publication of the Metropolitan Educational Cooperative Service Unit
Editor: Colleen Feller
2019 Number Talks Series
Metro ECSU presents two January math workshops with presenter, Christy Pettis!
Teaching students how to use symbols, pictures, diagrams, and words to show their mathematical thinking is an important part of teaching mathematics for understanding.
What choices do teachers have when representing different mathematical solution strategies? In these workshops, educators will examine ways to strategically leverage different representations to help students make sense of the mathematical choices they have in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and algebra.
January 17, 2019
Focus on Addition and Subtraction: Planning Number Talks that Support Mental Math

January 24, 2019
Focus on Multiplicative Situations: Planning Number Talks that Support Algebraic Thinking

Christy Pettis is an assistant professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She frequently presents to schools and teachers in the Twin Cities region on the topic of developing number sense in learners of all ages. Having taught at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels, she is particularly interested in common ways that number sense and a love of mathematics may be cultivated in learners from kindergarten to college.
Fifty metro area students to compete for a chance at the Scripps National Spelling Bee!
Metro ECSU is proud to once again bring metro area students the opportunity to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee program! The Third Annual Metro ECSU Spelling Bee will take place March 19, 2019 at the Neighborhood House at Wellstone Center.

At this important educational event, 50 school champions will compete for a chance to represent our area in the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Participation in spelling bees helps students improve their spelling and expand their vocabulary while providing the opportunity to learn new concepts and strengthen students' use of the English language.

Metro ECSU is honored to support this valuable program and our area students in their quest to attend the 2019 National Bee!

Contact Angela Skrade at 612-638-1528 or to learn more.

Registration is available now on
Collaborative Learning: The Equity Series
Resource Training & Solutions and Metro ECSU have partnered with Paul Gorski, founder of the Equity Literacy Institute and EDChange, to bring a Collaborative Learning Equity Series to central Minnesota.
The Collaborative Learning Equity Series presents engaging, interactive workshops for regional educators and city/county leaders. Participants may register for one or all three dates.

December 11, 2018
Immigrant and Refugee Students: An Equity Centered Approach - Led by Seema Pothini, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education
March 18, 2019
Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap

June 12, 2019
Getting Real About Race at School: A Head-on Approach to Racial Equity - Led by Paul Gorski

All three workshops will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Resource Training & Solutions, 127 23rd Street South, Suite 201, Sartell, MN 56377.
Contact Angela Skrade at 612-638-1528 or to learn more.
Metro ECSU welcomes new staff members Kayna Plaisted and Tami Childs
Introducing Kayna Plaisted, a new Professional Development Facilitator at Metro ECSU. Kayna will be working to coordinate efforts of Minnesota Low Incidence Projects such as the Communities of Practice and the Winning Strategies Conference. 
During her time at Northeast Metro 916, where she serviced elementary and middle school students with special needs, Kayna held many roles including classroom teacher, Curriculum Support Specialist, and Instructional Coach. Kayna believes the highlights of her experience come from growing up alongside her siblings with disabilities and working intensively with families outside of the school setting.
After attending 25+ days of intensive training hosted by Drs. Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver, such as MN Literacy Camps and Camp Alec, Kayna is confident that with the right strategies in place, ANY student can become a literate individual.

Contact Kayna at 612-638-1538 or
Dr. Tami Childs has worked with Metro ECSU for the past 12 years as a consultant in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Tami is now working full time at the ECSU as the ASD and OHD (Other Health Disabilities) Statewide Specialist. 

Dr. Childs is a school psychologist, having earned her Ph.D. in Counseling and Educational Psychology from the University of Buffalo in 1998. She has worked as an autism spectrum specialist for 20 years including coordinating autism services in Minneapolis Public Schools for 12 years. 

Dr. Childs has also conducted evaluations, trainings, and coaching sessions across disability areas and throughout the state in private practice. Dr. Childs’ focus is strengthening evidence-based practices for educators. 

Contact Tami at 612-638-1537 or
Career Opportunity!

Metro ECSU/Success Beyond the Classroom Program Assistant Position

The SBC Program Assistant's role is to provide support to SBC Program Coordinators to facilitate the smooth delivery of services to clients. The position offers a wide variety of duties and responsibilities which may include administrative work, database work, attendance at team meetings and student programs, assembly of program materials, procurement of supplies needed, inventory, special projects, and other duties as assigned.

This is a 4 days per week, 12 months per year (80% FTE) position with benefits.

Start date: January 2019
Application deadline: December 12, 2018

Introducing SBC's University of MN intern!
This year Success Beyond the Classrooom (SBC) is happy to be participating in the University of Minnesota’s Community Service Program. We are thrilled to introduce you to our student intern, Ethan Lachinski! Ethan is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and is studying film and art. At his time at the university he is hoping to strengthen his skill in video production.

Through his internship with SBC, Ethan hopes to learn more about non-profit work and to gain insight into the processes behind it. He chose SBC because he participated in SBC’s Knowledge Bowl program while in high school and wanted to continue his involvement in the program. He is also excited to assist with all the other SBC student programs and is looking forward to helping out in any way he can. We are excited to have him on board!
Once again, SBC's STEMLink has sold out!
All four days of our incredibly popular and critical career-immersion program, STEMLink, are full.

At STEMLink, students from across the metro experience hands-on STEM activities in the labs and classrooms at Dunwoody Technical College, Normandale Community College, and Century College this spring.

Participants attend sessions led by professors and professionals in the STEM fields, giving them a brief day-in-the-life example of what it’s like to be an engineer, car mechanic, dental technician, chemist, math professor, and more. Keep on eye out for registration for this program in the fall of 2019—it is unmissable! 

For more information about attending STEMLink, contact Betsy Narr at 612-638-1536.

Know a STEM professional interested in sharing their passion for their work with young people? We'd love to connect. Contact Colleen Feller at 612-638-1511.
Young Authors Conference 2019
Early Bird registration deadlines coming up!

The 2019 Young Authors Conference (YAC) theme, Expect the Unexpected - Where will Writing Take You?, will challenge young writers to discover the exciting twists and turns that lay before them once they pick up a pencil to write. Students will use the written word to explore unexpected paths and make discoveries about themselves, their capabilities, and the impact they can have on others.

Take advantage of the Early Bird registration rates!

March YAC Early Bird deadline: December 14, 2018
Register for the Young Authors Conference taking place March 22, 2019.

May YAC Early Bird deadline: February 1, 2019.
Register for the Young Authors Conference taking place May 28, 29, 30, or 31, 2019.
March 22, 2019 Keynote: Ibrahim Hirsi

When Ibrahim Hirsi arrived in the U.S. over a decade ago as a refugee, he had one dream: to be a writer.

"When I embarked on the journey to fulfill that dream, however, it turned out that the road was long, lonely, and full of unexpected twists," said Ibrahim Hirsi. "At the 2019 Young Authors Conference, I will talk about how I've become the journalist I am and the exciting places writing has take me -- both emotionally and literally."

Currently, Hirsi is a staff writer at MinnPost, where he covers workforce and immigration issues. Before joining MinnPost, Ibrahim reported for multiple news organizations in New York, Minneapolis, and St. Cloud.

For his reporting in Minnesota, Ibrahim was presented the 2018 MLK Commitment to Service Award at the MLK Day celebration in St. Paul. Ibrahim got his start in journalism at ThreeSixty Journalism, a youth program based at the University of St. Thomas.
May 28-31, 2019 Keynote: Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer and the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (Coffee House Press, 2008) and The Song Poet (Metropolitan Books, 2016). Both non-fiction books were awarded the Minnesota Book Award. In the fall of 2019, Yang will debut her first children's book, A Map Into The World (Carolrhoda Books).

When speaking about The Latehomecomer, Yang said, "My grandmother, a woman who could not read or write, never imagined that she would be the subject of a book."

Yang added, "I grew up in a community that believed we needed doctors and lawyers, not writers, and here I stand: a writer whose work is much needed by the old and the young alike."
About YAC
The Young Authors Conference, which is nearing its 30th anniversary, is an incredible field trip for students in 4th-8th grades. Students attend a keynote and three interactive writing sessions led by local authors and writing professionals. Live music, open mic, and a book fair are also part of the day. Students are encouraged and challenged to become better writers and leave YAC with new writing strategies and a greater passion to write.

To learn more, contact: Colleen Feller: or 612-638-1511.
Metropolitan Education Leaders Network (MELN) opportunities
Heads up! Watch for an invitation to join a partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Metro ECSU, and schools/districts in our region. Tyrone Martinez-Black, from CASEL, presented a workshop at the end of November on Uncovering Frameworks: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Embedded in Content Areas. We are working to build on that event with this partnership opportunity.

Also, MELN (Metropolitan Educators Leaders Network) has two more Leadership In-Service workshops this winter. Caroline Hill and Jim Rickabaugh are compelling speakers you won’t want to miss.
  • Caroline Hill, 2017 iNACOL keynote speaker, will present Transitioning to an Equity Centered Design Approach on January 23, 2019. Learn more and register
  • Jim Rickabaugh will present Nurturing Powerful Learners through Personalized Learning on February 12, 2019. Learn more and register
Photo credit: V. Paul V.
Metro ECSU and Normandale Community College are proud to present the 14th Annual Winning Strategies Conference for paraprofessionals and future teachers. This year’s keynote is Fidgety Fairy Tales, produced by the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health.

Date: January 26, 2019
Location: Normandale Community College (Bloomington)
Cost: $25/person

Fidgety Fairy Tales - The Mental Health Musicals use gentle humor, great music, and compelling performances by talented youth to raise awareness about children’s mental health. The musicals re-imagine familiar fairy tales to raise awareness and reduce the fear and misunderstanding around mental health disorders. The keynote performance includes three stories: The Three Billy Goats Gruff (AD/HD), Little Miss Muffet (meltdowns), and Pinocchio (lying).

Conference participants will also attend three different break-out sessions, many of which are tailored to mental health and related strategies for paraprofessionals and future teachers.

Register for the Winning Strategies Conference!

For more information, contact Kayna Plaisted
Big impact for schools using Express online marketplace
Rudy Martinez, school business manager at Lakes Country Service Cooperative, recently integrated Cooperative Purchasing Connection’s Express with SMARTer financial software in his district. He says it used to take, on average, four to five hours for each teacher to order yearly supplies. With Express online marketplace, that time will be drastically reduced.

Martinez said, “The biggest impact is one of the most valuable commodities, which is time. Teachers can focus their quality time on what matters most, which is developing their curriculum for the students. The peace of mind the teachers are going to get is going to be great. And for me, the accountability piece, actually owning our budgets, making sure we stay on target, it just makes sense to me.”

Find Express online marketplace at and sign in or register for Express.

For more information about Cooperative Purchasing Connection, contact Julie Anderson at
Happy Holidays from Metro ECSU!
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