Notes & Updates

/Notes & Updates
Notes & Updates2020-04-16T11:34:47-05:00

Accredit MemoNews from MNSAA

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Please know that we are thinking of you with tremendous sensitivity for all you are doing to support learners and families right now, along with the personal challenges many of you are possibly facing, too. Wishing safety and health for you, your families, and the communities you serve.

2020 Annual Progress Report Resources – Now Available!

Use the following resources linked below your use filing your school’s 2020 Annual Progress Report to MNSAA:

Be sure to reach out for support as needed.

2020-21 Dues & Fees Announcement–  Note Change in Structure

Your MNSAA Board of Directors works hard to ensure that our services are provided at an affordable cost to every Minnesota nonpublic school who desires accreditation with local and ongoing over site and support. At a recent Board Retreat, an analysis of our income avenues and expenses resulted in a change in our dues structure as noted below. Your board finds the new process outlined below is equitable and fair while meeting our budgeted needs without over charging our schools. Plan now for payment after July 1, 2020 for the next academic year.

  • All schools will be assessed a flat rate of $200 + $2.22 per student

Optional preschool accreditation, late fees, and renewal (or new) application fees apply.

Check here for the full 2020-21 Dues & Fees Structure

Mid-Cycle Preschool Accreditation–  Now Open!

The MNSAA Board of Directors has now opened the opportunity for schools to add preschool accreditation to their existing accredited program before the planned expiration date. Interested schools need to have preschools operated as a part of their existing academic program and not provided by an outside or for-profit source. Preschools must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to apply.

The following will apply to interested schools:

  • Completion of MNSAA’s “Adding Preschool to Existing Accreditation” focused self-study. This is a twenty (20) question narrative report that requires onsite supporting evidence. When completed, it needs to be submitted to the MNSAA office and becomes the school’s formal application to add preschool to an existing accreditation.
  • Provide a copy of the preschool’s DHS license, a copy of the written report from the most recent DHS onsite visit, and a copy of the school’s response to DHS.
  • Payment of a “Preschool Application Fee” in the flat rate of $250. Schools will additionally be expected to reimbursement travel expenses for team member(s) and provide hospitality while onsite.
  • Prepare to host a 2-6 hour “Preschool Focused Onsite Visit” comprised of one or more MNSAA leaders. During this visit, preschool instruction will be observed, staff will be interviewed, and onsite evidence will be reviewed.
  • Following the focused onsite visit, the team will prepare a Preschool Focused Report for the Board of Directors to review to make an accreditation decision.

After receiving the preschool focused self-study, along with a cover letter advising of the school’s intent to apply for mid-cycle preschool accreditation and payment of the application fee, the MNSAA Director will work with the school and onsite team to discern an agreeable day and time for the focused visit.

The MNSAA Board of Directors will take action on preschool accreditation in May, July, September, December, and March annually. Accreditation decisions will be reported to the school shortly after a decision has been made. Schools may be required to complete follow-up actions.

Join us at Shakopee Area Catholic School on Friday, November 13, 2020 for the 2020 MNSAA Conference.

We are delighted that our SACS friends invited us back again this year. The school is accessible from many routes, has ample parking space, is great for exhibitors, and best of all – the team has the heart to share their time and space to make sure the 2020 MNSAA Conference is a huge success!

Annual Report to Stakeholders – Meeting MNSAA Requirements

4.07     ANNUAL REPORT TO STAKEHOLDERS: The school annually provides a state-of-the-school report to stakeholders that at a minimum communicates progress on strategic initiatives and plans for future improvement. A quality state-of-the-school report will include assessment results, use of financial resources and enrollment trends.

Now is a good time to start thinking about your Annual State-of-the-School Report to Stakeholders. MNSAA would expect it to include information such as: successes and progress toward achieving strategic initiatives; plans for future school improvement, enrollment, finances, and assessment results. Contact MNSAA or your mentor for good ideas.

Preventing and Responding to Allergies – Supporting Health Requirements

Standard 3.07 – Supporting Health Requirements*

MNSAA schools are required to obtain documentation of any known allergy from students’ parent or legal guardian or the source of medical care. If a learner has a known allergy, the school must maintain current information about the allergy in the student’s record and develop an individual care plan. The plan must include but not be limited to a description of the allergy, specific triggers, avoidance techniques, symptoms of an allergic reaction, and procedures for responding to an allergic reaction, including medication, dosages, and a doctor’s contact information.

To meet this requirement, schools need to:

  • Ensure that each staff person responsible for carrying out the individual care plan review and follow it.
  • At least once each year or following any changes made to allergy-related information in the student’s record, the individual care plan needs to be updated and the responsible staff person informed.
  • Allergy information to support the students must be available at all times including at the school, when on field trips, or during transportation.
  • Food allergy information must be readily available to a staff person in the area where food is prepared and served to the child.
  • The school must contact the child’s parent or legal guardian as soon as possible in any instance of exposure or allergic reaction that requires medication or medical intervention.
  • The school must call emergency medical services when epinephrine is administered to a student.

While Minnesota Statute 245A.41 applies specifically to Child Care Centers, the MNSAA Board of Directors recently discerned preventing and responding to allergies in all school students is an essential safety requirement that is pertinent for all grades, Preschool-Grade 12. This requirement has now been integrated into our revised standards. Schools will be solicited as to their adherence to this requirement in the October basic information report.

(*As defined by MN Statute 245A.41)

Preschool Accreditation – Option for Accredited Schools

The New Year Brings New Opportunities!

MNSAA is excited to officially announce that our accreditation standards, process and protocols have been approved by the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program! This approval illustrates the rigor and quality that our association requires to meet the status of accreditation. DHS advises us that our requirements for preschool accreditation meet or exceed what is required by DHS programming.

Benefit of a MNSAA accredited Preschool:

  • Affirmation of best practices in early childhood education
  • Higher reimbursement rate from Child Care Assistance Program – up to 15% as an accredited preschool
  • Accelerated Pathway to Four-Star Parent Aware Rating in Minnesota
  • Full inclusion of Preschool Program into K+ school
  • One accrediting agency and one accreditation cycle

Options to accredit your Preschool:

  • This opportunity is available to schools going through accreditation renewal this spring may choose to include their preschool. Our 2019 revised standards are now all inclusive to accommodate schools who want to add preschool accreditation.
  • Mid-cycle addition of Preschool accreditation will begin in July 2020. Schools choosing this option will be required to file an application that includes a $275 fee. (Applications will be available by June 15, 2020.)
  • If your application is approved, you will need to host a focused onsite visit comprised of two team members lasting 2-6 hours to affirm compliance with updated standards.
  • Schools will be responsible to reimburse the focus teams’ transportation expenses.

Requirements to be approved:

  • Meet or exceed the standards and requirements for MNSAA Accreditation
  • Hold and maintain a DHS Childcare Center license
  • Annually, provide your school’s most recent copy of DHS inspection report and your school’s response to the DHS inspection

Contact Director Mueller at or 952.758.5985

To be considered for our pilot study, contact our Executive Director at 952.759.5985 or for more information.


Standard #5.06* – Criminal Background Checks

To meet this legal requirement, criminal history background checks on individuals who are employed in the school need to be completed. After the date of original employment, MNSAA does not
prescribe how frequently they need to be rechecked. Evidence must be provided in personnel records that a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension check has been completed.

(*MN Statutes 123B.03and 122A.18 – Background Checks and Licensing)


Dual Accreditation – Options to Partner with AdvancED or Middle States Association

MNSAA is excited to announce optional dual accreditation opportunities for our member schools. This is an outcome of significant analysis and study by the MNSAA Board of Directors and input from member schools (especially high schools). Partnerships have been formed with Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) and Advanced Education, Inc. (AdvancEd). Recognizing the unique circumstances of each member school, we encourage you to learn more about these opportunities at the 2018 MNSAA Conference on November 2 at Our Lady of Grace School.

Contact Director Mueller for more information.


MNSAA Month-by-Month – Desktop Tool!

Your MNSAA month-by-month handy reference guide was enclosed in your Back to School packet! Did you find it? If not, check this link for the tool you need to keep close at hand to support your good work!! If not, check out our School Resources tab under the Member Schools header.

Check here to learn if you are on track for the year!