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ACNW Authorizer Update

November 10, 2015

Dear School Leaders and Board Members,
We are very much looking forward to seeing you at the Leaders Retreat later this week. Over 80 directors, board members, and other school staff from all 34 ACNW authorized schools have registered! We are hoping for a successful conference that provides you with new strategies and initiatives to implement at your school, as well as new connections with other charter school leaders.
We are always hoping that this newsletter reaches all board members as well as staff in leadership roles at all charters schools authorized by ACNW. Please forward to your colleagues and ask them to subscribe if they are not receiving these updates.
Enjoy the last days of fall.

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
  • November 13 & 14 – ACNW Leaders Retreat: See below for additional information.
  • December 1 – WBWF Summary Report due to MDE. See below for additional information.
ACNW FY16 Leaders Retreat

Registration is closed for the ACNW Leaders Retreat which is just days away - Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14 at the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone. In our next Authorizer Update, we will provide a link to a conference website where you will be able to view and download all session materials from this year’s Leaders Retreat.

Here are some additional documents and details to help you prepare for the conference and have a successful experience:
  • Driving directions and map to the Audubon Center of the North Woods. Please note: If you plan to use an online service for directions, we recommend Google Maps – it’s by far the most accurate.
  • Agenda. You will get a final, printed copy of the agenda when you arrive at the Center. There may be slight changes to the speakers or schedule, but the session topics are set.
  • Packing list. This document also includes information about the Center’s alcohol, tobacco, and firearms policies. Additional items you may want to pack include:
    • Computer (laptop or tablet, for use during training);
    • Outdoor clothes (long sleeves, pants, etc.); and
    • Comfortable shoes for walking outside.
In addition, we’ve applied to the Minnesota Board of School Administrators to receive administrative CEUs for the conference. Please let Erin know ahead of time if you’d like to receive admin CEUs for your participation in the conference.
If you have questions, get lost on the road, or encounter an emergency, please call:
  • Audubon Center Front Desk: (320) 245-2648
  • Erin Anderson: (651) 788-3500
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions or concerns prior to the conference.
World's Best Workforce Report

World’s Best Workforce summary reports are due by December 1, 2015 and should be submitted to  All districts and charter schools are required to use the summary template posted on the MDE World’s Best Workforce webpage. The rubric MDE reviewers will use to provide feedback to districts and charter schools and to report progress to the legislature can be found at the bottom of the webpage.

With legislative changes this past session, MDE is now required to report to the legislature the districts and charter schools that do not submit the WBWF summary report as well as the districts and charter schools not making progress toward meeting performance goals. Please make certain that your summary is submitted by the December 1, 2015 deadline.

We have set up an Epicenter task with a due date of December 1, 2015 for the WBWF summary report submission to MDE. Please be sure to submit these on time. We are shooting for 100% on time reporting for all ACNW authorized schools. 

MDE staff will be presenting a session on WBWF at the Leaders Retreat on Friday, November 13. This will provide a great opportunity to pose any questions you may have regarding WBWF.
Board Rosters and Reporting to ACNW

For schools that have charter contracts that were executed after July 1, 2014, the charter contract clearly outlines the school’s responsibility regarding changes in board composition:
Section 6.20. Board Data.  The School agrees to notify ACNW, via an updated board roster, of any resignations or additions to its School Board within ten (10) business days of such change.
To notify ACNW of change in board composition, please do so via Epicenter.
  1. Log into Epicenter. From the home page, select Document Center in the upper right corner.
  2. Select the Upload Submission button from the lower left corner of the screen.
  3. For Entity Type, select Board.
  4. For Submission Type, select Board Roster, which can be found in the Board Member Information section.
  5. Use the Add Files button to attach the revised board roster. A template board roster is attached to the task as a submission resource.
  6. Once the file is attached, select Submit.
Failure to update ACNW of board roster changes is a violation of the charter contract.
Schools that have charter contracts executed prior to July 1, 2014 are also expected to provide ACNW with an updated board roster via Epicenter as outlined above.
Resources Focused on Equity and Justice

Teaching Tolerance is an initiative dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children. They provide free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. Resources include their biannual e-magazine, curriculum kits, and other materials for the classroom. For more information or to access resources for your school, please visit their website.
Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public education through social justice teaching and education activism. Their magazine, books, and other resources promote equity and racial justice in the classroom. They encourage grassroots efforts in schools and communities to enhance the learning and well-being of our children, and to build broad democratic movements for social and environmental justice. Consider reviewing their website and checking out their teaching and professional development materials.
Minnesota Education Equity Partnership is a non-profit organization and a leading voice for race equity in education in Minnesota. Formerly MMEP, MnEEPenvisions a state where all students, regardless of race, have equitable opportunities to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Our ideas may be big and bold, but they can be achieved through collaborative and persistent efforts, and most importantly, a commitment to racial justice in education. Sign up for their listserv and consider attending their conference later this year - Minnesota’s Pathway Forward: Deepening Race Equity in Education - scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2016.
Professional Development and Training Opportunities

Check out ACNW’s Charter School Division website for upcoming opportunities.
Grant Opportunities
A small sampling of the many possibilities that are out there.

Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Accepting School Library Grant Applications
Applications due December 14, 2015
The mission of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries 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 students qualify for free or reduced lunches expand, update, and diversify their book collections. For complete program guidelines, an FAQ, and application instructions, visit the Laura Bush Foundation website.
Captain Planet Foundation Offers Grants for Hands-On Environmental Education Activities
Applications due January 31, 2016
The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to promote and support high-quality educational programs that engage children and youth in active hands-on learning experiences focused on the environment in their schools and communities. Grants are intended to serve as a means of bringing environment-based education to schools and to inspire youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities. The foundation will fund unique and innovative projects that do not precisely match the grant guidelines but otherwise promote the foundation’s mission of hands-on environmental activities. Visit the CPF website for complete program guidelines and the online application form.

“The power is yours!”
EE Mission Match Funds
ACNW is offering up to $500.00 to each authorized school to help achieve your environmental education goals. Funds may be used to buy equipment, provide a match for an EE-related grant, hire a presenter, or pay for a field trip to the Audubon Center or any other EE-based location of your choice.
To apply for these funds:
  1. Download the application from the CSD website. Your project must be pre-approved before you can receive funding.
  2. Complete the application and return to Erin.
Once approved, funds will be released to your school only AFTER an invoice or other proof of payment is received. Our Business Manager is diligent in sending out funds within 5-10 business days. Proof of fund use is a requirement of the Audubon Center audit and funds will not be released without this.
Networking and Sharing

Please continue to reach out to your colleagues for resources, learning, and sharing. We hope you will be able to make some new connections at the Leaders Retreat this weekend. 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.
Learning Opportunities at the Audubon Center

Visit the Audubon Center of the North Woods website to find out more about the learning opportunities, family programs, and other events offered by the Center this fall and winter.
Curious corvid carefully carving creepy Cucurbita.
Flamboyant foliage facing forthcoming freefall.
Copyright © 2015 Audubon Center of the North Woods Charter School Division, All rights reserved.
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