Member Newsletter
September 2015 
This is the first Member Newsletter for the 2015-16 school year -- and it looks a little different!  SWWC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.  We have grown from a small organization assisting school districts to a much larger agency with specialized divisions serving different groups with a wide variety of services. With this growth, it was time to look at who we are and what we do ... and to be sure that our current logo and materials reflected the agency we have become.  We are very excited about our updated SWWC brand - which includes a new logo, color palette and materials. Our new logo is much more sophisticated and accurately represents the qualities of our organization - strong, modern, relatable and professional. With this logo, our present meets our past as we move into the future. 

Please feel free to share this email with your faculty and staff.  We hope you find the information valuable each month. Have a great 2015-16 school year!
Administrative Updates

Tax Levy Workshop:  The Tax Levy Workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 22nd at 1pm. Tom Melcher will be providing information on this year's updates including the new long term facilities funding.  Attendees should bring their levy information to the workshop. Register at

Minnesota Common Course Catalog for Early Education: MDE has added the Early Education data starting with the 2015-16 school year.  This collection will be district wide for your education entity.  The EE programs MCCC will want your district to collect is:
  • ECFE
  • School Readiness
  • Early Intervention (Birth through Age 2)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
At this time MDE is not collecting Head Start and Early Head Start.  There are webinars available for staff to watch to understand the courses MDE is looking for in this collection and the process. To register, go to  Scroll down to Tools and Support and click on MCCC WebEx Registration Instructions for the steps to register. Further questions can be addressed to  

Is It Time to Add Some Digital Signage to Your Campus? Are you looking to add any new electronic signage or scoreboards to your school?  The Cooperative Purchasing Connection has a great contract that can save you money on Daktronics signs. Your Cooperative Purchasing Connection membership gets you access to at least a 10% discount on most Daktronics catalog items.  This contract has been competitively bid through the AEPA and satisfies Minnesota bid law requirements, so there is no need for you to bid. To receive your discounted pricing, be sure to mention promo code:  CO-OP when you talk to your Daktronics salesperson.If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact 
Education Updates

Monitoring Update:  Training for monitoring file reviews is set for September 29 and 30,2015.  Onsite district site visits by MDE personnel are scheduled for April 18-29, 2016.
Alternative Schools Update -- As of September 11, 2015
North Central Learning Center - 13 students, room for 8-10 students 
Blue Mound Learning Center - 4 students, have room for more students 
Project SEARCH - 5 students, no openings 
Cosmos Learning Center - 33 students - no openings for autism component, there is space in the EBD component 
Red Rock Ridge Learning Center - 62 students, no openings 
Belview Learning Center - -21 students, room for two students in elementary program and two students in middle/high school
Regional Workforce Summit:
We're on the brink of the largest shift in human capital in history! Developing strategies for hiring, retaining, and training the workers who will give businesses a competitive advantage must become the priority. This is a regional workforce summit designed to attract, develop and retain our region's advanced workforce by strengthening industry and education partnerships. Visit for more details and to register! 

Upcoming Student Activities 
More information on these events can be found at 
The Southwest MN Arts Council and the SWWC welcomes Peyton Scott Russell, a graffiti artist from Minneapolis, as the keynote speaker at this year's Conference for Young Artists being held on October 28 at SMSU. Students in grades K-8 will attended three hands-on sessions on a variety of topics related to the visual and performing arts such as; doodle art, drumming, pottery, painting, hip hop dance, nature art, dream catchers, floral design and much more. With a mix of new and old sessions, students are able to expand their imaginations and creativity. Register early by Sep. 29. 

The Regional Spelling Bee is an exciting way to compete as an elementary or middle school student.  Spelling bees helps promote literacy, builds confidence and gives students a goal to work towards. In addition, it improves spelling, aids children in learning concepts, improving comprehension and developing study skills. Register your school today to give students in grades 5-8 a challenge on spelling words. Enroll with Scripps by October 15 AND with SWWC by November 5.  After schools hold a local and district spelling bee, winners are submitted for the Regional Spelling Bee, which will be February 9th in Redwood Falls. These four winning spellers will advance to the Multi-Region State Spelling Bee in Fergus Falls on February 22, 2016 with that winner participating in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.

Encourage the Love of Writing! Do you know students who are talented story tellers or love to read books? Get them involved in the 12th Annual Creative Writing Contest. This contest is open to students in grades 3-12. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to use their imaginations to generate creative fiction and nonfiction stories and poems. Use this as a classroom project or encourage students to enter on their own. Contest rules and guidelines must be followed for a chance to be one of the top three place winners. The top place winners will be invited to an Awards Ceremony in April. The submission deadline is January 15, 2016, so students will have plenty of time over holiday breaks to use their imagination to create incredible writings.

Meet an Author or Illustrator! Encourage your school to meet a true author and/or illustrator during the 2016 Author & Illustrator Program. The SWWC Student Activities Department has lined up two great presenters: Carrie Harman and Blake Hoena. Presenters will walk through their journey of how they create ideas for books and illustrations; explain what it takes to be an author or an illustrator and show the end result; getting kids excited about writing. Register your school to give K-6 elementary students an opportunity to use their imaginations to start creating their own book.

Click on the PD Catalog image
to see all of our
Professional Development Opps
for this fall.

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Our Mission:  We support and enhance the work of our members
by providing programs and services that meet their needs.

Our Core Values:  Service.  Integrity.  Respect.