“Accredit Memo“ – News from MNSAA
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.
2020-21 Annual Dues – Due September 15th
Invoices were sent via email to school principals in early July. Contact Director Mueller if yours is lost. All schools were assessed a flat rate of $200 + $2.22 per student based on last year’s closing enrollment as reported to MNSAA. Optional preschool accreditation, late fees, and renewal (or new) application fees apply.
Accreditation Certificates – Back to School Packets in the mail
Watch for a large white envelope to arrive at your school from MNSAA. It contains your school’s accreditation certificates and other pertinent information that will support your work with MNSAA this year.
MNSAA Annual Conference – Postponed to Spring 2021
While it was necessary for MNSAA to cancel the conference scheduled in early November, we anticipate a Spring 2021 conference and will announce details as soon as we are able.
2020 Basic Information Report – Due October 15, 2020
2020 BIR Template: Download this protected Word document to complete your 2020 Basic Information Report and email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Schools using Google Docs should request an “unprotected” version of this document from our Executive Director. Find complete instructions here.
MNSAA annually seeks a Basic Information Report from schools that advises us of your student enrollment, compliance with health and safety, and gathers information about school administration. Schools traditionally use the same enrollment count they report to the State, but if enrollment is stable before October 1st, file your report ahead of time and amend as needed later.
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.
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.
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)
Dual Accreditation – Options to Partner with Cognia 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 Cognia (formerly AdvancEd).
Contact Director Mueller for more information.