ACNW Authorizer Update — November 2016. 
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Authorizer Update
November 17, 2016

Dear School Leaders and Board Members,
First, we want to thank you for taking the time to read this Authorizer Update, and more importantly we want to thank you for all you do for the students and families of your school.  We are just over a week past the election, and I’m sure you have read many statements from leaders of organizations to stakeholders sharing their reflections on what the results mean or what the campaign says about our country or the great opportunities or challenges ahead. Perhaps you have written or spoken your own to your stakeholders. So, I will not attempt to make another statement here except to say that your work continues to be as important as ever, and collectively we need to be reflective about who our students and families are and how we work with them to achieve our organizations’ missions.  As a former teacher, I understand the ongoing need for resources to help with that, and I encourage you to consider some of the resources we have highlighted below as you explore how to talk with students about the election and our path forward as a country.
The election, of course, did not stop your work at the schools or our work here at ACNW. Last week’s Leaders Retreat provided a great opportunity for us to share and learn together. We were so pleased to bring together over 80 leaders from nearly 30 ACNW-authorized schools. The retreat focused on mission-driven leadership and gave school leaders, board members, and other school staff the opportunity to deepen their understanding of their school’s mission and how their work can advance that mission. We invite all of you to visit the Leaders Retreat website for workshop and session information and materials. We heard much great feedback on the retreat and are hopeful that those of you who attended have actionable strategies to bring back to further your school’s mission.

David Greenberg & the ACNW Charter School Team
ACNW Charter School Division
43 Main Street SE, Suite 507
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414
(612) 331-4181

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Upcoming Dates: 
  • December 15th — WBWF Summary Report due to MDE
See below for additional information
School Spotlight: 

Students from Laura Jeffrey Academy, a middle school in St. Paul, respond to the election. Read more below, and click here to access MPR's piece
In this Authorizer Update:
(Click a heading to go to that section. May not function on mobile version.)
World's Best Workforce Summary Report due December 15th

Under MN Statutes 120B.11, all school districts and charter schools must develop a World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) Annual Report and report summary for each school year. This is a summary of the complete report that you submitted to ACNW and your school community on November 1st, and it should document the WBWF student achievement goals established for the previous school year; the strategies and initiatives that the district engaged in to meet the goals; and the subsequent progress made on those goals by the end of the school year. Districts and charter schools will post their reports on the district website and submit the summary report to MDE.
Click here to access the required template for submission of the 2015-2016 report summary. Districts and charter schools must submit this completed template by December 15, 2016 to

Homeless Children and Youth Data Survey due November 30th

Each year MDE reports data to fulfill requirements of the USDOE Consolidated State Performance Report for each federal Title program. All public school districts and charter schools receiving Title I dollars are required to submit data regarding homeless children and youth, even if no homeless students are identified. The data submitted must be consistent with the data submitted in MARSS and the MARSS WES 51 report, which includes nighttime primary residence and other data. The Homeless Children and Youth Data Survey is due by the end of business on November 30, 2016. It should take approximately 30 minutes to complete and has been sent to all Minnesota school district homeless liaisons. The Title I homeless liaison should submit the data after consulting with the MARSS Coordinator and other personnel as necessary.

Password and login information:



ACNW Online Governance Group 

ACNW is excited to collaborate with its authorized schools on an innovative governance learning opportunity. ACNW will be launching an online governance group for up to 35 participants to learn and share together, with the goal of increasing the capacity of your school boards. We know that governance training is one way to increase your knowledge and skills, but we also know that board members and school leaders need ongoing training, coaching and interaction with peers to maximize their boards’ impact. This group will provide an opportunity for such support. Please see the informational flyer and interest sheet for more information on this great opportunity. Participants must submit the interest form by November 30.

Leaders Retreat website up and running

Thank you to all who attended the annual ACNW Leaders Retreat last weekend! We enjoyed seeing you all there. For those of you unable to attend, or those looking for copies of resources from the sessions offered, please check out the website we put together.

School Spotlight: Laura Jeffrey Academy

This election marked the first time a woman has been a major-party candidate for president of the United States. This was particularly significant for the students of Laura Jeffrey Academy (LJA), a girl-focused 5th-8th grade school in St. Paul authorized by ACNW. Minnesota Public Radio visited LJA to hear what students were thinking the morning after the election. The full story and audio are available on MPR’s website.

Tell Teaching Tolerance about your school environment post election

Social media has been buzzing since the election with stories about how the outcome has been affecting schools. The news is concerning, but it is anecdotal. Teaching Tolerance, a nonpartisan organization with the goal of making schools a welcoming place where all students can learn, is looking to gather solid data to get a picture of the situation. Last spring, the organization surveyed teachers about the impact of the campaign process on students and schools. They are now gathering information about how the outcome is affecting your classroom. To add your voice, fill out their survey. Data will be used to keep the media’s attention on the needs of children and to develop resources to help you rebuild your school community.

Professional Development and Learning Opportunities More training opportunities and events can be found on our website.

Apply for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Cohort Training
Application due January 11 by 2pm
Join over 580 schools around Minnesota by applying to be a part of the next cohort training for School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Schools and districts across Minnesota have found that implementing PBIS contributes to improved academic performance as well as school climate.
Selection for school teams to participate in Cohort 13 (Summer 2017 ‒ Spring 2019) is based on this application process. A strong emphasis will be placed on evidence of a data system that informs behavioral practices; administrative support and participation; and demonstration of staff buy-in. All training dates for each region are included in the application. Regional Implementation Projects will coordinate training and coaching, and support implementation in the northern, southern and metro areas of the state. View additional information and the application on the Minnesota PBIS website
The completed application is due no later than 2pm on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Only electronic submissions will be accepted and should be submitted to Any questions about the application can also be sent to this address.

(NOTE: This opportunity is for PBIS training and differs from the other PBIS opportunity listed below in the grants section.)

Smithsonian Water/Ways
November 19, 2016 @ 8:00 am - January 1, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
We are proud to announce that ACNW will host the Smithsonian’s “Museum on Main Street” traveling exhibit Water/Ways from November 19th, 2016, to January 1st, 2017. Four large presentation panels from the Smithsonian, as well as companion exhibits contributed by MN Pollution Control Agency and a storytelling kiosk assembled by the MN Humanities Center, will be on display at the Audubon Center in Sandstone for the duration of the exhibit.
In addition to the physical exhibit, this project invites connections between residents and visitors who celebrate shared heritage and a love of our waterways. The exhibit aims to celebrate our relationship with water and to strengthen community understanding of our regional water resources in a region where water is sometimes taken for granted. The exhibits will highlight personal stories and emphasize our common responsibility for and dependence on the safety of water, now and for future generations. Please see the ACNW website for more information.

Grant Opportunities
A small sampling of the many possibilities that are out there.

Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SW-PBIS)
Applications due November 30, 2016
The Minnesota Department of Education invites applications from Minnesota public school districts, charter schools and education districts who want to implement School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in the school and classroom to increase the use of positive practices in the learning environment and reduce the use of restrictive procedures.
$2,000,000 is available in state funding for this initiative, and individual grant amounts will range depending on the number of school sites where SW-PBIS implementation will begin or continue. A school district, charter school or education district may only submit one application. The applicant must identify each school site where PBIS will be implemented, provide the grade level and indicate whether or not PBIS is currently being implemented.
The estimated grant period is January 25, 2017, through June 30, 2017. An extension of up to one year is expected but contingent upon progress and continued funding. Funds remaining from the initial grant period would be available during an extended period.
Questions are due through email by November 11, 2016, to Eric Kloos. Applications must be received by (not postmarked by) November 30, 2016, 3:30pm. The grant opportunity documents and announcement are available on the Grants Management website.

(NOTE: This grant is for PBIS implementation and differs from the other PBIS opportunity listed above in the PD section.)

Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries School Library Grant
Applications due December 12, 2016
The mission of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, a fund of the George W. Bush Foundation, is to help school libraries encourage and foster a love of reading, support student learning, and make books and reading materials available to students who otherwise would not have access to them.
Grants of up to $7,000 will be awarded to help libraries in schools where 85 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches expand, update, and diversify their book collections. Schools serving PreK through 12th grade in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, all American territories, and Department of Defense schools in other countries are eligible to apply. 
The school library must be a uniquely designated space in which books and other materials are systematically classified, arranged by subject, type, etc., and stored in a location and manner that allows access to all students and adults in the school. Day-to-day oversight and operation of the school library must be carried out by a paid librarian.
For complete program guidelines, an FAQ, and application instructions, see the Laura Bush Foundation website.

CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation Teacher Technology Grants
Applications accepted through January 12, 2016
CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation's Teachers and Technology grants are designed to help fund projects that advance student success through the innovative use of technology. Teachers in public or private PreK-12 schools in CenturyLink's residential service areas are eligible to apply for a Teachers and Technology grant for the 2016-2017 school year.
Applications may be submitted online between October 1, 2016 and January 12, 2017 by visiting


The Zinn Education Project
The Zinn Education Project, coordinated by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change, aims to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. Materials focus on the role of women, people of color, working people and organized social movements in the creation of history. By teaching students that history is shaped by not by a few heroic individuals but by people’s choices and actions, the Project hopes to empower students by teaching that their own choice and actions matter.
Visit their website
for free, downloadable articles and lessons to use in your classrooms.

Teaching Tolerance
After a high-stakes election that used damaging rhetoric, move in a positive direction and empower your students with these resources for ideas and guidance.

The Day After
In this blog, a TT teaching and learning specialist offers some strategies for “hitting the reset button” in the days and weeks following the election.
What to Say to Kids on November 10 and the Days After
Yesterday, you needed to make students feel safe, but safety isn’t enough. Now tell your students the truth, TT Director Maureen Costello advises: Everything is not OK. We have work to do, and we can do it.
Post-Election Activity: “Voting in Your Town”
Have you talked to your students about voter registration and turnout in their communities? Try out this activity to research the data and then promote voter engagement.
Speak Up for Civility
In the weeks following the election, it’s as important as ever to commit to civil discourse—and to remind students to do the same. Two books in Teaching Tolerance’s Perspectives for a Diverse America curriculum can now be taught in both English and Spanish! Due to popular demand, “Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio” and “Papalotzin and the Monarchs: A Bilingual Tale of Breaking Down Walls” are now available in both languages. Visit the Perspectives site to search for these titles or for more information.

Please continue to reach out to your colleagues for resources, learning and sharing. The following link provides contact information for directors and board chairs of all schools authorized by ACNW: ACNW Directors and Board Chairs
Please contact Mike if you have updated contact information or need help using the document.

A reptilian friend enjoys the warm autumn at ACNW.
Copyright © 2016 Audubon Center of the North Woods Charter School Division, All rights reserved.

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