Subject: March 2017 - News from Metro ECSU

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March 2017 Vol. 24, No. 3

Metro ECSU offers three Spring Kickoff network meetings in April and May
Metro ECSU's Spring Kickoff Series will highlight services that will launch in the spring of 2017 and have a continuation into the 2017-18 school year. Attend these sessions to increase awareness for your systems and your professional growth while planning for next school year!

1.) Kickoff to English Language Learner (ELL) Network for ELL Program Coordinators
Date and Time: April 27, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to noon
Location: Metro ECSU
Cost: Free to Metro ECSU members; $25 for non-members
Network Leader: Martina Wagner

Are you in charge of oversight of EL programming, are you grappling with program models, assessment, language intake, teacher evaluation, and other pressing programming decisions related to ELL? Join this network of EL program coordinators to meet, greet, and extend networking and working relationships. This session will take a look at ESSA impact on programming and develop themes and must haves for subsequent sessions. This session is a prequel to the 2017-18 school year network where you can share your ideas and insights from and to your district. Register

2.) Kickoff to English Language Learner (ELL) Teachers and Support Staff Network
Date and Time: April 27, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Metro ECSU
Cost: Free to Metro ECSU members; $25 for non-members
Network Leader: Martina Wagner

Are you an EL specialist currently in the classroom looking for innovative ideas, strategies, curricula, and just options to brainstorm and network with other EL specialists? Here’s your chance! This session is a prequel to the 2017-18 school year network where you can share your ideas and insights from and to your classroom. We invite you to join our Spring Kickoff session to introduce and outline the session series of networks for you. Don’t miss this session…you’ll walk away with new connections and strategies to use in your EL class immediately and identify themes and must haves for subsequent sessions! Register

3.) Kickoff to Homeless Liaison Coordinators Network
Date and Time: May 4, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Metro ECSU
Cost: Free to Metro ECSU members; $25 for non-members
Network Leader: Martina Wagner

Have you been charged with developing and refining your McKinney Vento support systems for homeless youth? The Homeless Liaison Coordinator Network provides supplemental educational supports for those who are supporting and have oversight of students experiencing homeless situations. This network will encourage coordinators to brainstorm and will provide guidance and connections to current practices in Minnesota. Join this network to help homeless children use education to break the cycle of poverty through direct support. At the kickoff meeting, participants will identify themes and must haves for subsequent sessions. This session is a prequel to the 2017-18 school year network.

Mike Schmoker to present a full-day workshop in July; plan to bring a team!
On July 27, Metropolitan Principals' Academy (MPA) is excited to bring Dr. Mike Schmoker (pictured) to the Twin Cities for a full-day workshop. Mike is a highly regarded speaker, former administrator and teacher. He has written six books (including Leading with Focus, and Focus: Elevating the Essential to Radically Improve Student Learning) and dozens of articles for journals, newspapers, and for TIME magazine.

Teamwork time will be built into this workshop, so bring a team!
Learn from Mike and create a plan before you leave.

In this workshop, leaders will learn precisely where schools should focus their precious time and resources to ensure that all students are prepared for the demands of college, careers, and citizenship. They will learn about the three most essential elements of good schooling, and how to implement them with a clear, straightforward model. The three elements are
  • Coherent curriculum
  • Authentic literacy
  • Soundly-structured lessons
Despite their unrivaled power for improving performance in any school, these elements continue to be misunderstood—and grossly under-implemented. Mike believes that they should be our first and highest priority.

This July 27 workshop is the first of four workshops in the MPA Leadership In-Service series for 2017-2018. Members attend for free, so be sure to join or renew your MPA membership before then!

for the workshop.

Limited Spots Available
May 18 at 
Century College
STEMLink, a program of Success Beyond the Classroom, is a hands-on event for fifth and sixth grade students. At STEMLink, students learn about STEM careers by participating in three 60-minute interactive sessions that take place in labs on a college campus.

This year at Century College, Boston Scientific will present a session that challenges students with complex circuitry designs. American Engineering Testing (AET) and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) will offer sessions on engineering and bridge building.

Century College professors from the following departments will be leading sessions: Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Physics, Engineering, Horticulture, Enterprise Computing Technology, Cybersecurity, Virtualization and Forensics, Orthotics & Prosthetics, Manufacturing, ITT, and Engineering CAD Technology.

To register for STEMLink (May 18 at Century College) contact Betsy Narr at 

Cost to participate is $30/student for Metro ECSU members and $45/student for non-members.

The Evolution of the African American Experience series continues this spring
Metropolitan Principals' Academy is offering a Special Learning Opportunity series of workshops presented by Dr. Keith Mayes (pictured), Department of African American History, University of Minnesota.

The Evolution of the African American Experience: Increase Your Cultural Understanding of Your Students began on February 14 with The Slave Trade and the Beginnings of Black America. This workshop included thought-provoking discussion.

The following workshops are a continuation of the series:
  • The American Revolution and the Contradictions of Freedom, March 22, 2017, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • The Civil War and Black Emancipation, May 8, 2017, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • WW II and the Early Civil Rights Movement, June 29, 2017, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
All workshops will take place at Metro ECSU. Attend one or more -- registration is separate for each day. All educators are welcome.

Registration Information
Classroom Engagement Model promotes full participation of every child in an early childhood classroom setting
The Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities (MNCoE) supports Early Childhood Educators to use evidence-based practices in their classrooms by offering high quality professional development, including training, coaching and using data. The Classroom Engagement Model is one of the three innovations supported by the MNCoE.

The Classroom Engagement Model is a framework for improving engagement and promoting full participation of every child in an early childhood classroom setting. The Classroom Engagement Model is based on the research of Dr. Robin McWilliam on inclusion and the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices. Minnesota was awarded a national grant in 2014 that provided technical assistance for creating the model from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center. The model emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, embedding opportunities to learn and practice their goals in daily routines.
The Classroom Engagement Model is currently being installed in 8 programs across Minnesota: Deer River, Kelliher, Marshall, Eastern Carver County, North St. Paul, Rochester, Elk River and St. Francis. The Model benefits children with disabilities as well as typically developing children and can be implemented in typical education and care settings, inclusion programs and Special Education classrooms.
Programs can inquire about the Classroom Engagement Model by contacting the Professional Development Facilitator assigned to their program:
Metro ECSU offers trainings for bicultural liaisons and for bicultural liaison school/district leaders
Setting Up Systems of Success for Bicultural Liaisons Leadership Session: Moving Beyond Interpretation
Date and Time: May 3, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Metro ECSU
Cost: $125 for Metro ECSU members; $250 for non-members
Participants: Supervisors of District Bicultural Liaisons
Presenter: Martina Wagner

Bicultural liaisons operate as cultural brokers, helping teachers, administrators, and school personnel understand the cultural differences that could interfere with academic success, while simultaneously bridging home and school. Systems of success are essential to the efficiencies of bicultural liaisons. By adapting systems and information to be culturally sensitive to the needs of bilingual students and their families, bicultural liaisons facilitate academic engagement and achievement. If you are a supervisor of bicultural liaisons, join this 1-day session to learn about how to assess your current district needs, refine or reframe your current structure, and walk away with practical tips on how to optimize and support the roles and responsibilities of existing and future bicultural liaisons. Register

Kickoff to Building Capacity of District Level Bicultural Liaisons
Date and Time: May 17, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Metro ECSU
Cost: $125 for Metro ECSU members; $250 for non-members
Participants: Bicultural Liaisons
Presenter: Jacob Law

District-wide bicultural liaisons come from a variety of backgrounds and are inherently connected to academic and linguistic growth for our bilingual students and families. It is therefore essential for these staff to have a complete understanding of educational systems, academic programing, and language learning from a theoretical and practical standpoint. Liaisons need practical skills to navigate an educational program in order to culturally bridge home and school. Cultural liaisons are invited to attend this session to learn how to enhance their effectiveness and increase cultural efficiencies in both school and home. Register
Save the date! CreativeCon will take place two weeks earlier in November 2017
5th-8th grade students are invited

Next fall, SBC's CreativeCon will take place before Thanksgiving -- on November 14, 15, and 16, 2017 at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Students in grades 5-8 are invited to attend. Registration will open this spring.

On their day of attendance, students will expand and apply critical thinking, engage in creative and alternative problem solving, and take part in conversations on where and how creativity, arts, and STEM meet. Students attend three interactive breakout sessions led by professionals from the arts and sciences and will have time to explore the Science Museum.
Don't Cha Know! Minnesota pride (and brain power) on display at the inaugural Statewide Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl Meet
The first (and hopefully, annual!) Statewide 6th-8th grade Knowledge Bowl meet, the "Don’t Cha Know Bowl," was held on January 28 at St. Francis Middle School. It was an awesome day of KB! The meet was close, with some very tough competition. The students’ enthusiasm, smarts, costumes, and energy were impressive. They were supported by some amazingly dedicated coaches!

Awards for the 1st-5th place teams were given, as well as an award for the team with the best attitude (Monarch Award), team that jumped the most rooms during the meet (Walleye), and the best 6th grade team (Honeycrisp). The crème de la crème, however, was the L’ Etoile du Nord Award, given to the school with the three highest scoring teams.

Highlights include a dance competition with the St. Francis mascot, the Fighting Saint, human bobsledding, and human curling. There was a team was dressed as The Glensheen Mansion, in cardboard cut-out style, complete with Mr. Congdon as well as a team dressed as a can of SPAM.

To learn more about Middle Grades Knowledge Bowl contact Julie Schaal at 612-638-1540.
Sports Journalist, Lea B. Olson, will keynote YAC this spring
SBC's annual May/June Young Authors Conference (YAC) will be held on May 30, 31, June 1 and 2, 2017. Over 3,000 students are registered to attend. May 31 is full, but there are spots still open on the other days. Register

The theme of this year's Young Authors Conference, Mirrors and Doors, offers young writers an inside view of the transformative power of writing. During their time at YAC, students will explore the many ways writing acts as a mirror and a door - by reflecting who we are in a way that validates our story and by channeling us beyond our world into other worlds, cultures, and experiences.

A nationally recognized sports journalist, Lea B. Olsen (pictured), will keynote the conference. Throughout her career in sports broadcasting, Lea has tackled the roles of sideline reporter, sports analyst, pre and post game host and ceremonial emcee. As a writer and producer, Lea has assembled a collection of feature stories on extraordinary athletes at all levels of competition. More recently Lea B. Olsen has parlayed her life-long accomplishments in sports to public speaking with a focus on helping young women find their voice and own their stories. At YAC, Ms. Olsen will encourage our young writers to use their voices as mirrors and doors, highlighting the many opportunities available to writers to bring their stories and the stories of other cultures and people to life.
Forty-seven teams of middle school students brought their amazing ideas and city models to the Minnesota Future City Competition!
For five months (September through January) teams of middle school students, under the guidance of their teacher and a volunteer engineer mentor, imagined, researched, designed and built cities of the future. These students participated in the 17th Annual Minnesota Future City Competition (FCC), which was held on January 21 at Dunwoody College in Minneapolis.

While participating in FCC, students play SimCity
TM to learn about city planning and design, write a research essay about a city-wide sustainability issue, create a project plan, build a scale model of their city, and give a presentation to a panel of engineer judges.

Forty-seven teams
competed at Dunwoody in January.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Rochester won first place and traveled to Washington, DC in February to compete in the National Future City Competition. The team was featured in two different TV interviews! Check out the Minnesota interview and the Washington DC interview

Are you interested in starting Future City at your school in September 2017? Contact Colleen Feller at 612-638-1511 this spring to learn more.
Help Me Grow partners with Minnesota's "Learn the Signs Act Early" initiative for cross-cultural outreach
The Region 11 Interagency Early Intervention Committee (IEIC) is responsible for Help Me Grow (HMG) public awareness and child find efforts in the 7-county metro region for infant and toddler early intervention and preschool special education services. Our goals are to increase knowledge of developmental milestones, to help parents and caregivers know when to refer a child if there are delays, and to provide easy access to make referrals online.

This year we are partnering with Minnesota’s Learn the Signs Act Early (LTSAE) initiative for cross-cultural outreach since there is significant overlap between our goals and outreach activities. Dr. Jennifer Hall-Lande from the University of Minnesota LTSAE provides ongoing training and supervision for our outreach workers in the Hmong, Somali and Spanish communities.

Social media such as Facebook is a primary way we connect with young parents.
We are expanding into Pinterest which research indicates is another platform that young parents use when searching for information on young children.

In August we added developmental information in three languages (Hmong, Somali and Spanish) to

Outreach continues to public libraries, ECFE, early childhood screening, and Head Start programs. This year outreach also focuses on efforts to reach childcare provider associations and organizations who serve as access points of information for childcare providers in centers and in-home. 

Partnering continues with the Minnesota Department of Health to provide a unified message to NICUs on the HMG referral process. County public health nurses in the metro area continue to share HMG resources, conduct outreach activities to clinics and hospitals, and refer families via HMG when there are developmental concerns during home visits. 
Cathy Lyle recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award
Cathy Lyle, Statewide DeafBlind specialist for the Minnesota Low Incidence Project, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award on November 16, 2016. The Members of the Minnesota DeafBlind Association expressed their gratitude for Cathy's many years of service.

Cathy has been a member of the Minnesota Low Incidence Project for the past 14 years. She has been a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing for over 35 years, and has multiple licenses including blind/visual impairments, early childhood special education and elementary education. She also holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education and a certificate of sign language interpreting. She has worked in the area of deafblindness for more than 20 years, in both education and community settings. Her efforts with the Project are focused on staff development, on-site technical assistance, and collaborative efforts with the other state specialists in low incidence disabilities to address such common issues as teacher competencies and mentoring. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Minnesota Model of intervener training.

Cathy is a member of the Advisory Board of caption Max Production which currently holds the OSERS grant for audio description and a member of Minnesota State Services for the Blind (DEED) committee on Transition for students who are DeafBlind.

Metro ECSU Executive Director:
Julie Frame    

Metro ECSU
2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 101
Arden Hills, MN 55112

edNews is a quarterly publication of Metro ECSU.

Colleen Feller,

Metro ECSU, 2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 101, Arden Hills, MN 55112, United States
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