ESSA Update - October 27, 2016

ESSA Masthead

October 27, 2016

Virtual Stakeholder Meeting: Wednesday, November 2 at 6 p.m.

If you haven’t been able to attend any of the regional meetings, please join us on Wednesday, November 2 at 6 p.m. for a virtual stakeholder meeting. Everyone is welcome to tune in to this meeting, which will follow the same format as the regional meetings did, with an introduction to ESSA followed by time for you to ask questions or make comments about the act. No need to RSVP, just join us at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Regional Meetings wrap up next week

So far, over 250 people have attended regional meetings in Duluth, Bemidji, Marshall, Rochester and St. Cloud. Thank you to those of you who have been able to come talk with us about ESSA! Our next ESSA Update newsletter will include information about the themes that come up at each of these meetings.

There is one more in-person meeting next week in Burnsville, in addition to the web meeting mentioned above. For more information, visit the Stakeholder Meetings page of the MDE website, then register to attend the Burnsville meeting or join us on Wednesday for the virtual meeting.

Report: focus groups

The Minnesota Department of Education convened educators, students, parents and community partners to participate in focus group meetings in October to gather input on two specific topics, well-rounded education and meaningful family engagement.

We heard from participants that there is the need for school flexibility in providing a well-rounded education. Schools should focus on student strengths and that multiple ethnic and cultural backgrounds should be reflected in curriculum and extracurricular activities.

When meeting the specific needs of English Learners and children and youth with disabilities, we were advised to encourage districts and schools to balance those needs against students’ access to enrichment activities such as performing arts.

Finally, we heard that family engagement is important, and is everyone’s job at a school. Family engagement has great potential to empower parents and build relationships with communities.

Letter to Parents

As some of the biggest stakeholders in the Every Student Succeeds Act, it is critical that parents are engaged in the process of creating our state plan. Commissioner Cassellius penned a letter to parents with a brief introduction to the new act as well as information on how to get involved. Read the letter.

#ESSAOutreachMN on Twitter

Our calendar has been full of stakeholder engagement the past few months. We love that the important conversations we are having are expanded on social media. Be sure to tune in to the #ESSAOutreachMN hashtag and follow the Minnesota Department of Education on Twitter: @MnDeptEd. Here's some of the recent chatter:

".@BCassellius: "We need to be using formative assessments...that's just good teaching and learning!" #ESSAOutreachMN" -@mrogholt

"PE & Health = well-rounded education for all. #ESSAOutreachMN #MNSHAPE" -@norm1818

"#ESSAOutreachMN Where does social emotional learning lie within a well rounded education? Intentional teaching is needed." -@amberlserfling