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Member Newsletter
 October 2013
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Admin Services
Special Education
Teaching and Learning
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Greetings!  
 
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! 

 

WEM Outstanding Educator Awards:  Do You Know Outstanding Educators? Nominate them for a WEM Outstanding Educator Award! This awards program recognizes teachers and their important role in helping all students achieve. Honorees are selected in each of these categories: Teacher Achievement, Academic Challenge Coach and Ethics in Education. We have TWO 2013 statewide winners from our region--Marty Brandl from Marshall and Amanda Meyer from Springfield. They will each receive a $15,000 award at an awards brunch on October 19th. To nominate someone for the 2014 awards, which are due December 16th, go to http://synergyexchange.org/Celebrate/WEM.aspx.

 

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:

**Knowledge Bowl Coaches' Clinic

**Spelling Bee

**Children's Author & Illustrator Program

**Creative Writing Contest

**Student Enrichment Sponsors

   

Great American School Spectacular: Win $10,000 for Your School.  Great American, an AESA partner, is sponsoring a chance to win money for one of your schools.  Read more here.

Division of Administrative Services
  

SAM Registration:  

Just a reminder that the SAM registration is to be updated annually.  For some of you, it might have been a year ago that you registered at SAM (SAM is a federal requirement for districts to receive federal payments directly--System for Award Management).  

To find out what your expiration date is:

Log into the SAM website

Update Entity

Complete Registrations

Enter the DUNS #

Entity List:  Click on School Name

Registration Details:  Click on View

You will see the expiration date

 

SERVS:  MDE has re-opened the functionality for requesting draws in SERVS.  They strongly advise districts to check the UFARS/SERVS Budget Comparison Detail to make sure SERVS and UFARS are reconciled for FY 2013.  Districts need to balance forward any unused budgets..  Prior year funds need to be used first before requesting draws on current year funds.  Draws for FY 2014 can be requested once you have incurred the expense, but not before.

 

Special Education:  Districts need to check their Special Education/UFARS Comparison report found on the MDE website under Minnesota Funding Reports.  Errors must be corrected in EDRS or UFARS to make sure you receive all of your funding.  A clean report would show all 0.00 in the difference column.

 

ACA Update:  Many districts have contacted SW/WC Service Cooperative, Region IV, about the possibility of SMART Software creating extracts to help with ACA compliance.  Collectively Regions I - V are working hard to understand how the SMART Software can be enhanced to meet the reporting requirements of ACA.  Two benefit extracts were added to SMART HR back in May to assist districts in getting started with preliminary testing.  The statewide payroll/HR group continues to have discussions about future programming to help our districts comply with the mounting requirements the Affordable Care Act brings with it.  We will keep you in the loop as SMART HR, Aesop/Veritime and TimeClock Puls make software/report changes that will assist our districts with compliance testing.  Please forward any ACA information you receive to Sue Buysse at sue.buysse@swsc.org as it will help regional staff in their analysis phase of programming for future enhancements. 

 

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 by email at helpdesk@swsc.org.

 

Pupil Transportation Data Verification Report:  Transportation directors received a memo from Kelly Wosika of MDE that the 2012-13 transportation verification report has been posted to the MFR system. Directions on how to find the report in MFR were listed in the memo.  This report compares data reported on the Pupil Transportation Annual Report, the Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System (MARSS) data submission as of September 10, 2013 and the Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards (UFARS) data submission as of October 9, 2013. If there are any discrepancies among the data reported on these reports, they will appear in Part VI. Your district must correct any discrepancies. You may do this by resubmitting transportation data, a letter of explanation, resubmitting MARSS and /or making audit entries to your UFARS data. The report should be signed and dated and returned to Kelly by October 25. However, the MARSS data will need to be submitted to MDE by October 22 for direct reporters or by October 18 for districts that submit their files through a region. If UFARS needs to be corrected districts have until December 2nd to enter audit entries and submit a UFARS files to MDE.  Please review your report and make the necessary corrections by the deadlines listed in the memo from Kelly.

 

Technology Dates for 13-14:  The dates for our Technology Leadership Workshops (for Technology Directors, Coordinators and Integrationists.) will be 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 begin with Pre-Conference sessions on March 13th and the full conference on March 14th.  Visit www.swsc.org/techconf2014 for more details.

 

Food Bid:  The SW/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.   Timeline for the RFPOver the summer, MSC met with food brokers and distributors to gain insight on what they needed from us to be able to provide low pricing and competitive proposals.  We recently asked our member schools to submit the top 50 items they purchase.  In the near future, schools will be receiving a survey asking them to estimate their FY2015 product usage based on the results of the top 50 items.  We will need this information back by November 11th. These are estimates only and schools will not be bound to purchase their estimated quantities.  We will also need a signed Letter of Commitment from schools wishing to participate in our bid by November 11th.  In order to be part of the bid, schools must make their commitment in advance.  No latecomers will be allowed.  The absolute deadline for the signed commitment will be November 11th  by 4:30 p.m.  If you have any questions about the bid or bid process, please contact Shareen Neumann at 507-537-2279 or Shareen.Neumann@swsc.org.

 

Division of Special Education Services  

 

Upcoming Trainings:

Visual Phonics on October 21

TACSEI Implementation Training on October 25

DCD Networking Workshop on November 8

ECSE Fall Workshop on November 15

 

New Service:  The Division of Special Education is happy to announce a new service.  Kayla DeJong, School Psychologist recently completed her Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Certification Training and is available to provide expertise in the area should you have a team requiring specialized knowledge in this area so as to meet student needs.  If you are interested in purchasing this service, please contact your Director of Special Education.

 

Alternative Programs Update:  The Alternative Programs for SW/WC are at student capacity at this time with the exception of Setting IV EBD Programming in Belview and the ALC in Windom.  Please feel free to continue to make referrals to the programs and once slots become available, students on the waiting lists will be considered. 

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/workshops or click here for the informational flyer.  Please share this with teachers, administrators, and curriculum directors in your school district.

 

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 

 

Statewide Knowledge Bowl Coaches' Clinic:  October 24th in Fergus Falls.  This clinic is for all coaches - both new and experienced!  According to Susan Ward, State KB Coordinator, "This clinic will be a great way to get energized as you start your Knowledge Bowl year and gives you a chance to network with other Knowledge Bowl coaches from throughout the State of Minnesota.  The sessions are designed to provide valuable information to help enhance and grow your program.  You will have the opportunity to get your specific concerns addressed through Q&A time.  Join us for a rewarding and fun day."  Keynote speaker is Ben Lacina, the Teaching and Learning Specialist for K-12 Talent Development at Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools.  He is a huge supporter of academic challenge opportunities, particularly Knowledge Bowl and has coached at the middle school and junior high levels.  Lacina will share how his experience in Knowledge Bowl made a difference in his life and in the lives of the thousands of students he has mentored.  Session presenters are (or have been) Knowledge Bowl coaches.  Don't miss this chance; the last clinic was held seven years ago!  Registration Deadline - October 21.  Log on to www.lcsc.org/workshops to register online.  Please contact your Regional KB Coordinator, Sue Gorecki at sue.gorecki@swsc.org or 507-537-2258 if you have questions.

 

Children's Author & Illustrator Program:  Brochures were sent out earlier with information on the children's Author & Illustrator Program.  This popular residency program for elementary schools features authors and/or illustrators coming to your school.  Presenters are:  Nancy Carlson - author & illustrator; Rich Chrustowski - author & illustrator; and Nancy Loewen - author.  The presenters are scheduled based on geographic location of schools and available dates.   Registration deadlines:  November 5 - Early Bird Deadline; November 12 - Final Deadline.  If you have not already registered, please consider doing so prior to the early bird deadline to save money!  If you have questions, contact Sue Gorecki at sue.gorecki@swsc.org or 507-537-2258.  

 

Junior High Knowledge Bowl (JHKB):  If you'd like to start a JHKB program at your school, contact Sue Gorecki at sue.gorecki@swsc.org or 507-537-2258. Registration Deadlines:  Early Bird Deadline - November 19; Final Deadline - November 26.

 
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.