Coordinator's Corner

News from MDE - Early Learning Services

Happy New Year - 2017!
A busy fall this year as Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge ended on December 31. With it came new projects and deliverables, like early learning standards. In addition to Race to the Top related news, below are some helpful updates from your colleagues in early learning at MDE. See the MDE Contacts tab if you need to reach us. See the Old News tab for the Fall 2016 updates.

MDE-ORG (make sure your contact information is correct)
Email is our official method of communicating with you. If you are the coordinator or official contact for an early childhood program, please make sure your contact information is listed in MDE-ORG. Go to the Data-Submissions-to-MDE page for more information, or this page on the MDE website
It is important that your contact information is here because the ELS Directory will not be available in the future.

Early Childhood Family Education

  • Hopefully you are collecting information for your Community Needs Assessment (CNA). This is a yearly requirement, and a critical piece of your programming (hard to imagine planning and implementing family programs and services without understanding the needs of children and families in your community). The depth or thoroughness of your CNA will probably be different each year (it is flexible enough to support districts tailoring it to their needs/goals). Looks for ways to make this a part of your early childhood programs, district, or community effort. More information and resources are on the ECFE-Needs-Assessment page.
  • This fall we conducted a Parenting Education Curricula survey. Great response rate as 256 out of 329 ECFE programs were represented! Thank you for your help completing and distributing it. Click Here for survey results. The results give us lots to talk about, including the need for more professional development opportunities for parenting educators.

Early Childhood Screening
Training toolkit: “Developmental and Social-Emotional Screening and Referral” slides/notes may be adapted for your program needs:

ECS Video for Parents:
ECS training Video for districts on Outreach Strategies ( also ~March 2017: Program Administration Video):

Developmental instruments approved tools for 2016-2017:
Batelle-(BDI-2), Bayley III, Brigance II (will not be approved after 7/1/17), Brigance III, Dial-4, ESI-R, MPSI-R

Social emotional approved for 2016-2017:
ASQ:SE-2, PSC, ASQ:SE (will not be approved after 7/1/17)

Early Learning Scholarships - Pathway II
The Early Learning Scholarships Pathway II application for FY18 and FY19 is now available. Applications are due to MDE by 4:00PM Wednesday, February 15.

School districts and charter schools with Four Star Parent Aware Rated early learning programs received notice of available funding for FY18 and FY19 on January 12, 2017.
Applications must be submitted through the electronic application survey emailed to the district’s School Readiness contact and Charter School Director by 4:00PM Wednesday, February 15, 2017. The next application period will not be available until FY2020.

Questions should be submitted to nsu.nm.etats|IIyawhtaP.EDM#nsu.nm.etats|IIyawhtaP.EDM by February 7, 2017. Answers to questions will be posted weekly on the Pathway II Resources webpage during the application period. A recorded webinar will be made available with the Question and Answer document.

Eligibility to receive Pathway II scholarships requires a program to have and maintain a Four Star Parent Aware rating.

Early Learning Standards
Revised Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards (ECIPs)
The complete revision of the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards (ECIPs) are now available on the MDE website. Please see the attached for more information. Please share this with anyone who will have an interest in the Early Learning Indicators of Progress.
Click Here or

Family Engagement Professional Learning Modules
A new professional learning tool is now available for districts. There are still some editing to do to the modules, but they are ready for districts to use.
Go to the Family Engagement page on the parenting education wiki.

Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Administrators
Hopefully you are engaged with your Regional Networking Group on our 2016-17 project. We really need your real-world experience to help generate competencies. When complete, this will be a valuable tool for coordinators (it will help with professional development, planning, recognition of complexity of the role of coordinators, etc.). More information on the project is also on the regional networking group page.

Legislative Updates

New Reference Guides for Getting Student Names Right
Getting a student’s name right is the first step in welcoming him or her to school. For students whose home language is not English, properly recording their information can be more difficult for school personnel who are not familiar with different naming conventions.
A new set of reference guides from Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Northwest can help. The Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students With Non-English Names guides provide districts with guidance for entering students’ names in school, district, and state databases.
Incorrectly entering student names can mean that the same student is listed in different ways in various databases and can lead to incomplete records. Students who are eligible for services (for example, English learner support) can end up being unidentified or overlooked.
The printer-friendly guides include easy-to-follow tips and guidelines for registering students with home languages of Cantonese, Punjabi-Muslim, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. For each home language, the guides provide information on the typical number of given names or family names, the order of the names, and where the names might fit into common database fields.
In addition to facilitating accurate data entry, these guides can help front office staff and registrars greet and address parents and other family members in a culturally responsive and respectful way.

Parent Aware
In December 2016, all public schools and Head Start programs received a Parent Aware Indicator Change email. The new Parent Aware indicators will not go into effect until July 1, 2017. All public school districts that have ratings that expire from now until August 30, 2017 will be due to MDE and re-rated by the end of June. You will receive a Parent Aware re-rating email notification from MDE with instructions, due date and application materials. You may also find Parent Aware application materials by clicking here. As a public school district, you are not required to have a Develop account for your rating. If you have questions about a Parent Aware Rating or Develop, please contact Jessica Mattson, Parent Aware Coordinator at su.nm.etats|nosttam.acisseJ#su.nm.etats|nosttam.acisseJ or 651-582-8744.

Professional Learning Opportunities
Coherence: A Conversation with Michael Fullan February 14 from 3:00 to 4:30
Click Here for more information and to register

PreK-3 Principal Leadership Series - Cohort 3
Two groups: Twin Cities and Fergus Falls, starts on February 28.
School Readiness coordinators often attend on Days 1 and 5. Tremendous feedback from early childhood folks who have participated. Register with a principal!
Go to the MESPA website to register, or click here for Twin Cities group or click here for Fergus group.
More information about PreK-3 and the website for the series is on the MN PreK-3rd Grade website.

School Readiness
The School Readiness Program Plan is no longer required. Instead, similar requirements were added to World's Best Workforce. More information on how to include this in your World's Best Workforce plan are forthcoming. In the meantime, see this page of the MDE website:

You will find this document, World’s Best Workforce Goal #1: All Children Ready for School Writing Goals and Strategies to be helpful. Please note the agreed upon expectations of school readiness, designed to highlight children’s right to enter kindergarten:

  • Child is at least five years of age by September 1 of the child’s enrollment year (Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.20).
  • Child has received early childhood screening (Minnesota Statutes, section121A.17).
  • Child has received medically acceptable immunizations (Minnesota Statutes, section121A.15).

Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten
The Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program application period for 2017-18 is now open. All applications are due by 4:00PM on Monday, January 30, 2017.

Currently funded district and charter schools meeting statutory requirements are being asked to renew their applications for ongoing funding. All other district and charter school programs are encouraged to complete new program applications should additional funding become available during this legislative session. Currently funded districts or charter schools wishing to add additional hours, “seats”, classrooms or sites, will need to complete a new worksheet for those requests. Additional information about the application process is available on the voluntary pre-K webpage.