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     Back to School 2014-15
Welcome Back to School!  This is the first Member Newsletter for the 2014-15 school year.   Be watching for it each month--it is usually sent  mid-month.  To receive it directly in your inbox, "join our mailing list" -  info is at the bottom of the newsletter.

Gathering of Champions:  Thank you to the following schools for nominating some of their students to take part in the Gathering of Champions, held each August at the Mall of America.  
Windom         Marshall       Lester Prairie       Worthington       MCC      Cedar Mountain    YME      Eden Valley-Watkins
Learn how to nominate your students--visit Synergy and Leadership Exchange.

Arts in the Schools Grants:  The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council will be holding three workshops in the region (Marshall on Sept 4, Adrian on Sept 8, and New London on Sept 9) to talk about this grant program, which is open to public schools in the eighteen counties of the SMAC service region.  The program intent is to provide funds to advance arts education in schools through artist, teacher, and community partnerships and to support the arts as essential to education and daily life. 
Call the SMAC office at 800-622-5284 or email at 


Two Recent SW/WC SC Publications:  Take a couple minutes to look through them--just click on the picture!   
Administrative Programs & Services
Annual Health Conference:  The SW/WC Service Cooperative's Annual Health Conference is scheduled for Thursday, September 11th, beginning at 9:15am with registration at the Redwood Area Community Center - please see agenda.  The meeting will begin at 9:30am and conclude approximately at 3pm.  This conference is open to all Wellness Coordinators and/or Committee members.  To be eligible for funding for your site-based wellness programs, someone from your organization should plan on attending this conference.  The deadline to register is September 5th.  To register, please click here
Cooperative Purchasing News:  Have you checked out The Cooperative Purchasing Connection's new online marketplace, the Express?   The Express makes ordering and price comparisons from our partnered vendors simple for our members, all from a single location!  Go to to sign up for the Express.  Please contact for more info.

New Cooperative Purchasing Staff Member: 
We are delighted to announce that Christine Schmitt will be joining our Cooperative Purchasing Team as of September 1, 2014. In addition to her current Management Assistance program responsibilities, Christine will be assisting members with Cooperative Purchasing. Don't be surprised if the topic of Cooperative purchasing comes up during her regular member visits.

Getting Ready for ACA Reporting
How can SMART Systems help you? The new enhancement in SMART Systems will help you accumulate hours worked by month for ACA purposes. SMART Systems will also assist you in accumulating hours on payrolls you've already created.  We will be using information stored in the payroll history tables to build this information.  You will be able to go back several months to create the hours for months you will be testing on.  Some of the hours will be actual hours from timecards or timesheets and some of the hours will be calculated using one of the equivalency methods.   SMART Systems will have a reports in the initial release of ACA to help you determine if you are a large employer.  Other reports will help you track your employees through the Measurement, Administrative and Stability periods.  Read the full article here--it is full of information to help you with ACA Reporting!  


New Minimum Wage Law:  Under Minnesota's new minimum wage law, the Minnesota minimum wage went up on August 1, 2014, and will again on August 1, 2015, and again on August 1, 2016.  School districts are covered by federal wage law.  To read more about this, click here

Educational Programs & Services
Upcoming Trainings: There are a LOT of trainings in the coming months to take advantage of!  Communities of Practice (relating to teacher evaluation and development implementation), Bridging the Link Between Early Childhood Education and Kindergarten Readiness, World's Best Workforce, IEP Writing, CPI Trainings, and so much more!  Visit for the full listing, or browse through our Fall Professional Development Catalog!

Math and Science Teacher Partnership--There is Still Time to Register!  Take advantage of Math or Science workshops & professional development for elementary teachers K-6 through a federal and state grant.  Participating Elementary Teachers are eligible to receive a $450 stipend for completing workshop expectations.  Minnesota Continuing Education Units in Curriculum and Technology are available.  Visit for all the details.  Don't miss out!
2013-14 SW/WC Student Enrichment Highlights
Click above to watch the 2013-14 Student Enrichment Highlights Video
2014-15 Student Enrichment
Activity Dates

Mark your calendars and be a part of  

next year's highlight video!


  Career Expo - Worthington - Sept 23  

  Career Expo - Marshall - Sept 24   

  Conference for Young Artists - Oct 29

  Conference for Young Writers - January 7

  Culinary Skills Challenge - March 31  

  Science and Nature Conference - May 13


Southwest Prairie Regional Center of Excellence 

Upcoming Trainings:  The SW Prairie Regional Center of Excellence is proud to offer these trainings during the 2014-15 school year:

  • Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment Toolkit (PSST)
  • Dropout Prevention Toolkit:  MEIRS
  • Planning for Students' Success Student Learning Goals Workshop Series

Stay up to date with RCE new and events at  

Our Core Values:  Service.  Integrity.  Respect.
We support and enhance the work of our members
by providing programs and services that meet their needs.