SWWC LogoSW/WC Service Cooperative
Member Newsletter
 September 2013
In This Issue
Admin Services
Risk Management
Special Education
Teaching and Learning
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G.R.O.W. Program (Giving Recognition for Outstanding Work):  The SW/WC SC has started a new program to recognize our employees for their outstanding work throughout the year.  Our employees can be nominated by co-workers, supervisors, and our members.  Click here for more information on how to nominate a SC staff member for the great work they are doing! 


Student Enrichment Opportunities: We have some incredible enrichment opportunities available to students in southwest and west central Minnesota.  We want to help students "Find Their Passion in Life" by providing affordable enrichment activities that would not be available to students in our region without our services and the support of our partners and sponsors.  In 2012-13, we had a record setting year with 31,614 participants!   Each year our activities bring over 6,000 students to college campuses, challenge them to develop and demonstrate academic and 21st century skills, and allow them the opportunity to develop interests in areas they might never have considered.   Click here to see important details on the following activities--

**Marketing Items - Postcards and Flyers

**Meeting for Knowledge Bowl Coaches

**Knowledge Bowl Coaches' Clinic

**Conference for Young Artists

**Spelling Bee

**Children's Author & Illustrator Program

**Creative Writing Contest

**Student Enrichment Sponsors

Division of Administrative Services


Excel Training:  SW/WC SC hosted an Excel training for our membership.  We had 16 in attendance from cities, counties, schools and hospitals.  The training reviewed techniques needed to further analyze data built in Excel 2010 including pivot tables, graphs, charts and writing a macro.  We reviewed Excel basics, formula and functions.  The first round of training was a success and participants liked having a hands-on session in the training lab so they could try what was being shown to them.  Thanks goes out to Dion Caron and Sue Buysse, our two employee volunteers, who agreed to share their knowledge with the membership and to Chris Schmitt for her assistance during the hands-on portion of the training.  


Schoology Enterprise Consortium PurchaseIf your school is looking at implementing the Schoology Enterprise version to support your 1 to1 or blended learning initiatives, we have a great opportunity for you! SW/WC SC has been approved to offer a Schoology Consortium purchase program for our member school districts. As a part of the consortium purchase, SW/WC SC will be able to aggregate the shared enrollment of all schools that enroll in Schoology as though our cooperative were a single school district. On top of that Schoology is offering steep discounts on the setup fee for schools setup through SW/WC SC.   Schoology has also begun work on integrating with the TSIS student management system, once fully complete, the integration will automatically synchronize student enrollments from TSIS into courses in Schoology, and in phase 2 full integration with the Schoology Grade Book to the TSIS Grade Book and SchoolView applications will take place. We look forward to the opportunities this will bring for users of the TSIS system.


And don't forget about our Schoology trainings available through our Technology Integration Program! These trainings are offered periodically on our Professional Development calendar and can also be offered in your school district.  For more information contact Josh Sumption - josh.sumption@swsc.org or 507-537-2265


Technical Support Helpdesk:  If you're looking for technical support from SW/WC SC, it is important to utilize our helpdesk so we can support you as efficiently as possible. The SW/WC SC Technology Support Helpdesk is staffed from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, except for holidays observed by the SC.  You can reach the helpdesk by phone at 507-537-2260 and Email: helpdesk@swsc.org


Technology Leadership Workshop Dates for 2013-14: 

The dates have been set for our annual Technology Leadership Workshops for Technology Directors, Coordinators and Integrationists. Registration for each event will be announced once the agenda is finalized.  Mark your calendar for October 10th, December 10th, February 6th, April 22nd and June 17th. 

And don't forget the date for This is IT2 2014, our annual technology conference, which will be on March 14 with the Pre-Conference on March 13.


Edmentum Lunch and LearnSW/WC SC's Cooperative Purchasing Program together with Edmentum will be offering a Lunch and Learn opportunity.  Join the team from Edmentum to find out how Edmentum's effective and proven solutions: Plato Courseware and Study Island are helping educators enhance teaching and learning in their K-12 classrooms.  This event will take place on September 27th beginning with lunch at 11:00 a.m. (courtesy of Edmentum) and ending at 1:00 p.m.   This is a free event.   Online registration is available here.  If you have any questions, please contact Shareen.Neumann@swsc.org.


Food and Kitchen Supplies BidSW/WC SC, along with seven other service cooperatives in the state, will be conducting a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Food and Kitchen Supplies during the coming school year.   As statewide food bids continue to gain strength throughout the country, service cooperatives have a proven track record of saving districts time and money while providing choice in food options and meeting USDA purchasing guidelines on behalf of members.  An e-mail will be going out to our members with an Excel™ spreadsheet entitled Top 50 Food Items. We are asking that the food service manager at our member schools complete the form and email it back to us no later than October 1, 2013. Even if your district does not plan to participate in this program, we would appreciate your response as this information will be invaluable to us as we build our RFP documents.  Please contact Shareen.Neumann@swsc.org if you have questions, or need additional information.


Health and Safety Timeline:  It is a busy time of year as one year is closed out and the next school year begins.  Here are some important upcoming dates regarding Health and Safety.  If you have any questions or need assistance verifying any information please contact Christine Schmitt at 507-537-2262 or christine.schmitt@swsc.orgA link to the H&S website can be found here.

**September 20, 2013 is the last day the capital dataset is updated for levy limit calculations, to allow these to be certified to the county auditor.  Please ensure changes or updates are posted to the H&S website prior to this date.

**November 1, 2013 is the last day to submit closeout documentation in support of PPAs or PPLs/PPBs (provisional approvals). Failure to obtain project approval by this date will change the project status to a NMI, resulting in a reduction of the certified levy from the proposed levy.

**November/December, 2013. Alternative Facilities publication of "notice of intended projects" must be completed "within 20 days of levy certification." Documentation of publication must be maintained for three years after the completion of the project.

**November 2013. Districts should review and reconcile FY 2013 approved project costs and expenditure data reported by the district on UFARS. Staff can use the Minnesota Funding Reports (MFR) posted on the MDE website to review Expenditures by Finance Code.

Division of Risk Management Services


Annual Fall Health Conference for School and CCOGA Groups:  For groups wishing to receiving funding for their site-based wellness programs is scheduled on September 19, 2013 at the Marshall Golf Club - Marshall, MN.  There is no fee to attend the conference; the conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at approximately 3:00 p.m. For more information or to register contact Kari Bailey (kari.bailey@swsc.org or 507-537-2292).


Employer Notice of the ExchangeBy October 1, 2013 every employer is to give notice to all employees a written notice of the exchange.  The DOL has released a model notice and the State of MN has issued their own based on MNSure the State's exchange.  Either notice is ok to provide to your employees.  We have been asked about seasonal, temporary and volunteers on whether they need to be given a notice and the recommendation is that you provide this notice to everyone who has or will receive a W-2.  If you need copies of the notice, please let us know.


ACA UpdateAs all of you know the penalties on employers for not offering affordable insurance to eligible employees has been delayed but it is important that as of now other provisions of the ACA are moving forward.  We held a workshop at the Marshall Golf Club with the MN Service Cooperative attorney, Mark Kinney, going over worksheets to help employers with tracking employee hours.  He also discussed the penalties, when they do take effect, that employers will face if they don't offer affordable coverage to eligible employees.  The guidance around ACA continues to come out and the SC will keep you informed of pertinent information when it becomes known.

Division of Special Education Services  



Sept 26:  School Based SLP 101:  A Successful School Year

Sept 26:  Transition Toolkit for Parents

Sept 27:  TACSEI Training Tier 2

Oct 1:  Special Ed/Regular Ed Together Formative Assessment

Oct 7:  CPI

Oct 11:  TACSEI Training Tier 3

To register, visit www.swsc.org/workshops


North Central Learning Center Program:  Our new program is now open in Willmar.  The NCLC is a Setting IV therapeutic  treatment program for students in grades K-12.  Contact Tish Rops at 507-825-5858 got more information.


Due Process Monitoring has Started!  SW/WC SC staff members will be busy assisting member districts with due process monitoring this year.  Janet Dirksen, Coordinator of Special Education, is taking the lead on this process for the member districts.

Division of Teaching & Learning Services


Project Based Learning Workshop:  On November 19th the SW/WC SC will be hosting an "Introduction to Project-Based Learning" workshop.  This workshop is for administrators, teachers and involved community members to learn more about a well researched teaching strategy that is proven to engage and motivate students, teach 21st Century Skills, build deep content knowledge and raise academic achievement.  This will be the first in a series of workshops on this topic.   The workshop will introduce the basics of Project-Based Learning so teachers can initiate a project-based lesson in their classroom.  Registration is limited to 50 participants and schools are encouraged to have educators register in pairs or small teams.  More information can be found at www.swsc.org/workhops or click here for the informational flyer.  Please share this with teachers, administrators, and curriculum directors in your school district.


SumDog Math ContestThe 1st free online Sumdog Math Contest for k-8 students in southwest and west central Minnesota will be held between 8am on Friday, October 4th and 8pm Thursday, October 10th.  Please share this information with the elementary and middle school teachers in your school.  Last year the four free Sumdog online math contests served 5,133 students from 20+ schools in the region (up from 3,414 participants in 2011-12).  Those students correctly answered about 1.4 MILLION QUESTIONS!  Students take part by playing the free multiplayer math games on the Sumdog website. They only need to play for about an hour in total to get a competitive score.  The SW/WC SC's partnership with SumDog has provided a fun, competitive opportunity for students to get more engaged in math and to improve their skills.  In order to join in the fun, visit: http://www.sumdog.com/en/Contest_invitation/?hc   
If you have any questions or need help getting set up, you can email
jeremy@sumdog.com or call 1-877-978-6364.  
While winning is always fun, please don't forget that the goal of the on-line games are to get students more engaged in math and to improve their skills.  Even if your school does not participate in the contest, please encourage your students to play the games for free. 


Summer Principal Summit:  SW/WC SC hosted its 1st Annual Summer Principal Summit on July 29-30, in partnership with Saint Mary's University of Winona. Approximately 30 administrators attended, ranging from students currently seeking their administration licensure, first year principal, to veteran administrators. Day 1 of the Summit featured Bill Strom, Superintendent of Mountain Lake and adjunct faculty of Saint Mary's, along with Nancy Reistenberg from MDE.  Superintendent Strom presented on Conflict Resolution, while Nancy Reistenberg, a School Climate Specialist, presented on Teaching, Modeling & Re-enforcing Empathy. Day 2 consisted of breakout sessions relevant to the ever demanding principal's role.   Look for upcoming details throughout the year for next year's Principal Summit. We are hoping to build upon this two day professional development and networking opportunity.  If you have any topic or presenter suggestions, please contact Lisa Gregoire at SW/WC SC. 


Tools for Positive Outcomes in Bullying Situations Workshop:  Join us on October 25th for this workshop that will teach techniques and strategies to empower those involved in bullying situations.  These techniques will be beneficial to mental health practitioners, teachers, administrators, school nurses, daycare providers, counselors, & parents.  For more information, visit www.swsc.org/workshops 

Our Core Values:  Service.  Integrity.  Respect.
The SW/WC Service Cooperative is a public agency dedicated to meeting the needs of our members by providing high quality programs through partnership, innovation, leadership and service.