ACNW Authorizer Update — October 2016. 
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Authorizer Update
October 20, 2016

Dear School Leaders and Board Members,
Happy Fall! Fall in MN means shorter days, beautiful colors outdoors, and for those of us in the charter school world, Annual Report time. The Charter School Annual Report and World’s Best Workforce Report is a statutory requirement for all charter schools in Minnesota, but perhaps more importantly, it can be a great tool for reflecting on the successes and challenges of the previous year.
ACNW uses this document to gather information on your school’s performance over the previous year to inform school evaluation and the authorizer annual report we submit to MDE and our stakeholders. By this time, you should be putting the finishing touches on the report, if it is not already complete. Be sure that your board of directors reviews and approves the report, that it is submitted to ACNW and that it is posted to the school’s website and shared with your stakeholders by November 1, 2016. Let us know if you have any questions!
A quick note that the ACNW Authorizing staff will be out of the office October 24-29 to attend the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) conference in Atlanta, GA. As such the office will be closed for the week.

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 1 - Annual Reports Due to ACNW
  • November 11 &12 – ACNW Leaders Retreat
See below for additional information
Congratulations to ACNW-authorized schools Crosslake Community School and Noble Academy for receiving federal Charter School Program grants!

See below for more information.
In this Authorizer Update:
(Click a heading to go to that section. May not function on mobile version.)
Registration now open for the 2016 Charter School Leaders Retreat!

This year’s Leaders Retreat (November 11 &12) will emphasize mission-informed leadership and governance. Sessions will be rooted in the statutory purposes of charter schools, which are designed to promote innovation and quality academic outcomes for all students. Click here to see a draft agenda! 

As a reminder, you are required to send representation from your school to this event per your charter contract. As in the past, we ask that each school send a member of its leadership team and at least one board member. (The EE coordinator is not expected to attend.) The ACNW Charter School Division will cover expenses for up to two attendees. Each additional attendee is $100.00 per person. Please submit your registration materials by Friday, October 28th. Registration packets were sent by email, and can also be accessed through our website.
The dates of the Leaders Retreat are Friday, November 11 to Saturday, November 12 at the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone.

ACNW releases statement of income and expenditures

The annual statement of income and expenditures for the Audubon Center of the North Woods is viewable now on our website

Open bidding requirement for Audubon Center visits

ACNW is a residential environmental learning center (RELC). ACNW authorized schools may choose to take students to the RELC as a part of their academic and environmental education programming; however, any such contract or purchase of service is completely separate from the charter contract. MN Statutes 124E.10, Subd. 2 outlines requirements related to this process. 

MN Statutes 124E.10, Subd. 2: Limits on charter school agreements. (a) A school must disclose to the commissioner any potential contract, lease, or purchase of service from an authorizer. The contract, lease, or purchase must be accepted through an open bidding process and be separate from the charter contract. The school must document the open bidding process. An authorizer must not enter into a contract to provide management and financial services to a school it authorizes, unless the school documents receiving at least two competitive bids.
(b) An authorizer must not condition granting or renewing a charter on:
(1) the charter school being required to contract, lease, or purchase services from the authorizer; or
(2) the bargaining unit status of school employees.

ACNW authorized schools receive Charter School Program grants

Minnesota's federal Charter School Program (CSP) grant aims to increase the number of high-quality charter schools in the state. Crosslake Community School and Noble Academy were two of six recipients of the grant during the spring round of competition. Crosslake Community School received the grant for implementation of a significant expansion, and Noble Academy received the grant for planning of a replication. ACNW extends our congratulations to both of these schools for their hard work! For more information on the CSP grant, visit MDE's website. 

ACNW staff to attend 2016 NACSA Leadership Conference

ACNW Charter School Division staff will be in Atlanta next week attending the 2016 Leadership Conference hosted by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). We hope that the information we take away from this event will help improve our work with you toward ensuring that Minnesota students receive a high-quality education. Click here for more information on the conference and the sessions our team will be attending. 

Professional Development Opportunities
  • Overcoming Racism 2017: Equity-Oriented Leadership Institute (application required by October 31)  
  • Helping More High School Students Earn Free College Credit: November 5
  • Board Roles and Responsibilities: November 8 
More training opportunities and events can be found on our website.

Overcoming Racism 2017: Equity-Oriented Leadership Institute
Application due October 31
Minnesota's Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative invites you and your leadership team to participate in the upcoming Equity-Oriented Leadership Institute for leaders in both K-12 and higher education. Please see the flyer for details. Applications are due October 31, 2016. 

Board Roles and Responsibilities
November 8 from 12pm to 1pm
This webinar, hosted by the Nonprofits Assistance Fund, explores different types of boards. Discussion includes what good governance looks like and the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit boards, plus the five questions that guide the work of a board. Register here. 

Helping More High School Students Earn Free College Credit
Saturday, November 5 from 10am to 2pm at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul
Looking to learn more about dual credit programs and increase participation in these programs at your school? Join the Center for School Change, Minnesota Rural Education Association and partners to gather more information and to develop a plan to ensure more students, especially low income students and students of color, have access to these opportunities. Registration is required and lunch will be provided. 

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

Teacher Technology Grants
Applications open October 1, 2016 through January 12, 2017
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. 

"How Will You...End Littering?" Video Contest
Due November 7, 2016
High school students can compete for a trip to Washington, D.C., and other prizes by entering the “How Will You…End Littering?” video contest sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, Foodservice Packaging Institute and the Wrigley Company Foundation. The contest asks students to share ideas about how to end littering by educating and motivating people to dispose of their trash. Two students will be selected, one from grades 9-10 and another from grades 11-12, for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Submissions due by November 7. Click here to learn more.


A 2016 Teaching Tolerance survey of teachers found the rhetoric of this fall’s presidential campaign is causing fear and anxiety for students of color, immigrants and Muslim students, as well as making it difficult to effectively teach about civic engagement and political campaigns. Teaching Tolerance has put together a collection of materials on countering bias, civil activities, and respectful debate and discourse, among other relevant topics. Check it out here

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.

The Minnesota Department of Education has put together a school climate resource section on their website. Resources address topics including cyberbullying, discipline and restorative practices. Check it out here. 

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.

Fiery fall foliage at the Audubon Center.
Copyright © 2016 Audubon Center of the North Woods Charter School Division, All rights reserved.

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