ACNW Authorizer Update — March 2017
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Authorizer Update
March 16, 2017
Dear School Leaders and Board Members,
Spring is almost here! This month’s Authorizer Update is short, but contains some key resources. There are two trainings we want to highlight that will be particularly helpful to those of you who are new to your schools or boards, or those of you looking for a refresher. On March 23, the Epicenter team will be presenting a webinar that reviews the basics of the site, including how to fulfill compliance tasks. On March 29, MDE will be hosting a workshop on charter school lease aid and pupil estimating. We hope these will be useful to your schools as you wrap up this school year and plan for the next.  
We are also in the midst of statewide assessment season. Some of your students may have already started taking the MCAs or ACCESS, and if not, they will do so soon. As you know, these assessments are but one tool that helps students, parents, teachers, schools, authorizers and the state as a whole assess student learning and school performance. As your school's authorizer, we are very interested in MCA and ACCESS data, but also in other data that indicates student learning. We know you are supporting your students to do their best on these assessments. As board members you should be sure to review not just standardized test scores, but all data related to student learning in order to evaluate the school's performance in relation to contractual goals and other school-wide goals.
Thank you for all of your hard work so far this school year! We hope that you have a chance to rest and relax over spring break.
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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In this Authorizer Update:
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MCA's will soon earn college credit

Superintendents, charter directors and high school principals: please take note! Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) scores will be used in determining course placement at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities next school year. This means that students could use the reading and math MCA to test out of non-credit-bearing developmental courses, saving them significant money as they work toward their degree.

Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.30 indicates that Minnesota State Colleges and Universities may use high school MCA reading and mathematics scores to assist in determining course enrollment by the 2018–2019 school year.
An analysis has been conducted by Minnesota State to identify the scores to be used.

  • Students who are at or above an identified score are expected to be able to successfully complete credit-bearing coursework without the need for remediation at a two- or four-year college or university, or other credit-bearing postsecondary program. These students must not be required to take a remedial, noncredit course in the corresponding subject area.
  • Student scores below the identified score indicate that the student’s performance is not on track to meet career and college readiness, and additional information is necessary for course enrollment.

For additional information or questions about procedures, score cutoffs and MDE guidance, please contact

Technology equipment available from Academia Cesar Chavez

Academia Cesar Chavez is selling excess technology equipment, including: computers, LCD projectors, printers, PA system speakers, keyboards and other items. The full announcement and a list of inventory is available on their website in the news section. The school will be open for the sale daily through March 30, 2017. Items must be purchased on site (1801 Lacrosse Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55119) by company check, cash or payment order, and all purchases are final. If you have questions regarding the sale or equipment please contact Senior Executive Admin Assistant Jenna Stiegler at or 651-294-4644.

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

Webinar: Epicenter Basic Training
Are you new to using Epicenter or in need of a refresher on the basic functions? If so, the Epicenter Support Team will be hosting an online webinar on Thursday, March 23 from 2­–3pm CDT to provide you with the information to be successful and answer any questions you may have. Topics include: a general overview of the homepage; Compliance Center and how to satisfy compliance tasks; Document Center and generating reports; and overviews of Board Center, Management Center and School Center. Click here to read more information, or register online.

Charter School Lease Aid/Pupil Estimating and Reporting Workshop
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) invites you to participate in an on-site workshop regarding charter school lease aid on Wednesday, March 29 from 9–11am. The workshop will be held at the Minnesota Department of Education, Conference Center A, Room CC-13. Please register here before the registration deadline, Monday, March 27 at 5pm. Handouts and presentation materials will be provided on-site. Email Michelle Carey at to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event. (Note: The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requires advance notice in order to provide the requested accommodation and requires a 48-hour notice to cancel a requested accommodation.)

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

Fender Music Foundation Instrument Grants
The Fender Music Foundation awards instruments and equipment to music programs, including in-school music classes. The organization is currently distributing lightly used or blemished acoustic guitars, electric guitars, acoustic-electric guitars, bass guitars and related equipment. Other musical instruments, including woodwind instruments, brass instruments and keyboards sometimes become available. For full eligibility information and instructions on submitting a proposal, visit the Foundation’s website. Grant proposals are reviewed throughout the year.  

Voya Foundation STEM and Financial Literacy Grants
The Voya Foundation seeks to ensure that youth have the STEM expertise necessary to compete in the 21st century workforce and the financial literacy skills to make smart decisions that lead to a secure retirement. Through its grant program, it funds a range of activities including strategic partnerships aligned with K-8 STEM education and K-12 STEM teacher training, and grade 9-12 financial literacy with a focus on life’s financial milestones. For more information, visit their website and review their grant guidelines. Grant proposals are reviewed throughout the year.  
How to create safe schools for undocumented students
Schools across the country have begun developing policies and resolutions to protect the safety of their undocumented students. Broward County in Florida is one of the most recent to do so, issuing a comprehensive, five-page memo that not only lays out guidelines for federal agents’ access to students and information, but also includes a detailed glossary defining relevant terms. The policy contains instructions for how teachers should navigate student and family immigration status, and mandates that the district must develop a plan to help students whose parents are deported within 30 days of the event. Read more about Broward County’s resolution on Education Week’s website, or click here to view the district’s document.

Did you know immigrant children cannot be denied a U.S. public education?
In June 1982, the Supreme Court issued Plyler v. Doe, a landmark decision holding that states cannot constitutionally deny students a free public education on account of their immigration status. By a 5-4 vote, the Court found that any resources which might be saved from excluding undocumented children from public schools were far outweighed by the harms imposed on society at large from denying them an education. Read more about it in this fact sheet. For more support see the Guide for Educators and School Support Staff working with Immigrant and Refugee Children.
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.
Nothing says spring in Minnesota like
the arrival of more snow!
Copyright © 2017 Audubon Center of the North Woods Charter School Division, All rights reserved.

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