Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs


Latest News

Here is all the latest news from alternative education!


July 2017

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    Summer Scholars Academy

    I just wanted to share this information with you so that you can share it with your secondary or ABE networks as this is a great opportunity for high school seniors or ABE learners who might qualify for this amazing opportunity! Students need to meet certain developmental scores on Accuplacer in order to participate. This project was created with the support of a private donor but allows students who qualify to participate in increasing their academic skills to hopefully be college-ready by fall.

    The Summer Scholars Academy is happening at these 7 campuses starting this summer! (General info here: http://minnstate.edu/summerscholars/) Each campus link below has a contact person that students can contact to get signed up! Registration starts next week at most campuses.

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    2017 Spring Elympics Results

    National Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy day aimed at elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year. Your participation sends a powerful message across the nation that summers matter and offers an opportunity to showcase how summers can make a difference in the lives of young people. Click here to learn more.

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    Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS) 2017 New Tools and Features

    MCIS for Special Needs (SPED) and MCIS for Adult Basic Education (ABE) has developed several new tools tailored to better meet the needs of students. MCIS for SPED is a more accessible format for students with disabilities. MCIS for ABE is tailored with straight forward language, less density and clear choices for clients to make better career decisions.

    Parchment (Transcript) Send provides students and families the option to send academic transcripts anywhere. MCIS is also partnering with parchment to provide electronic academic transcript transmission services through a link within MCIS. Schools with a parchment send account allows students/families to send and track official academic transcripts to any college or third party destination, worldwide, including scholarship funds, the Common App, NCAA scholarship eligibility and to business or industry entities. There is no cost for a school to set up a parchment send account but does include a fee to the student/families for each transcript sent. Schools do have the option to supplement a parchment license instead of an individual student/family charge for transcripts.

    Personalized Learning Plans (PLP) on the Go is a mobile friendly tool to enhance student PLP’s to record postsecondary and career plans and accomplishments on the spot, such as experiential learning activities. PLP on the Go allows students to access their PLP on mobile devices, share it with their parents and to help schools meet the PLP requirements for all students per Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.125, Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment; PERSONAL LEARNING PLANS.

    To learn more about these items, please contact Dorothy Wolf, MCIS specialist at 651-582-8475 or Beth Haukebo, MCIS specialist at 651-582-8318 or visit the MCIS webpage.

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    2017 MAAP STARS Individual Speech Contest Winner

    Every year one of the highlights of the annual MAAP STARS conference is when the winner of the individual speech contest gives their speech. This year was no exception. Congratulations to all the participants. Here is the 2017 winning speech:
    2017 MAAP STARS Individual Speech Contest Winning Speech.

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    2017 Spring Elympics Results

    The Spring 2017 Elympics were held May 18th, and here are the results. Congratulations to all the teams that participated.
    Spring 2017 Elympics Results.

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    Revised Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) 2.0 English Language Proficiency Score and Additional Criteria

    MDE has published revised ACCESS standards. Here are their latest questions and answers on the topic:
    Frequently Asked Qustions.

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    The Alchemist 2017

    The Alchemist 2017 is now available. Click here for the wonderful contributions of so many of our students. This is also available on the Alchemist web page, along with historical versions of the Alchemist.

    2017 Alchemist

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    MDE Youth Development and Health Promotion Team is seeking qualified Reviewers and Student Group Facilitators for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) Cohort 7 grant competition

    The following document gives the details of a request by MDE to find qualified reviewers and student group facilitators for the 21st Century Learning Centers Cohort 7 grant competition. Please give this item your attention.

    Cohort 7 Review Recruitment Letter

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    Restorative Practices in Schools Trainings Set for June 19-23

    Registration Now Open

    Register now for the Minnesota Department of Education School Safety Technical Assistance Center Restorative Practices in Schools Trainings scheduled for Monday, June 19 to Friday, June 23 at Forest Elementary School, Crystal.

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    New Youth Home Shelter for Downtown Minneapolis

    Check out this great news about a new homeless shelter for youth in downtown Minnepolis

    Downtown Minneapolis is Getting a $17M shelter for homeless youth
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    MDE Application for Grant

    The Minnesota Department of Education is seeking applications from eligible applicants for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program. Funding is available to establish, sustain and expand community learning centers in order to provide students, particularly those who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools, with high quality programs for supporting the whole child, primarily during non-school hours, including before school, after school, evenings, school release days, and summer.

    The details of the grant are in the following document. The application must be received by June 1, 2017.

    MDE Grant for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program
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    Documentary: The Bad Kids

    Located in an impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is one of California's alternative schools for students at risk of dropping out. Every student here has fallen so far behind in credits that they have no hope of earning a diploma at a traditional high school. Black Rock is their last chance. THE BAD KIDS is an observational documentary that chronicles one extraordinary principal's mission to realize the potential of these students whom the system has deemed lost causes. Employing a verité approach during a year at the school, the film follows Principal Vonda Viland as she coaches three at-risk teens--a new father who can't support his family, a young woman grappling with sexual abuse, and an angry young man from an unstable home--through the traumas and obstacles that rob them of their spirit and threaten their goal of a high school diploma.

    Documentary: The Bad Kids
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    MAAP STARS Updates

    Check out the latest information on MAAP STARS at the MAAP STARS Facebook Page

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    2017 Get Out of the Classroom Conference

    Go to the Northwest Passage High School Field Studies Conference website and learn about their 2017 Get Out of the Classroom Conference. Their keynote speaker is Ann Bancroft. Here's the link to their website: Field Studies Conference

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    2017 MAAP STARS Spring Conference

    Request for Judges

    A key to a successful conferences is the quality and quantity of our judges. Please consider voluntering for this important job. It is a great way to get introduced to MAAP STARS and the wonderful work it does.

    Here is a link to the Google Doc that you can complete can complete to become a judge:

    MAAP STARS Judges Application

    Here is a PDF version of the application form that can be completed an returned to Heather Fjelstad.

    PDF Version of MAAP STARS Judges Application

    Finally, here is a template for a letter that can be used to invite people to become judges.

    MAAP STARS Judges Invitation Template

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    2016 Alchemist!!!

    The 2016 Alchemist is now done. Click below to see the excellent art and stories that our students have created this year.

    2016 Alchemist
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    2017 MAAP Legislative Platform

    Please find this year's MAAP 2017 Legislative Platform. If you have any comments, please email Steve Allen. We work hard to accomplish the goals of this platform in the 2017 legislative session.

    2017 MAAP Legislative Platform
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    Ivan Sands Experience Youth Build 2017

    Here is some more detail about Ivan Sands' students participating in the Youth Build 2017

    Youth Build 2017
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    Video Prepared by Jane Goodall Environmental Science Acamedy

    Please check out this wonderful video prepared by the Jane Goodall Environmental Science Academy.

    5 Minutes of Gold
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    Sacred Circle Returning to the State Conference

    It is an honor to be able to return to the Annual MAAP State Conference and bring the Sacred Circle to our great learning community. This year in Circle we will have the privilege of having students from three school sites joining us. We will have students from Henderson New Country Elementary School, Henderson New Country Senior High students from the Faribault Area Leaning Center! These students have participated in Circles in their schools and are extremely skilled in the Circle process. Again, this year, there will be a gallery option for people to observe Circle as their schedule allows. The Circle question for this year is: What Really Matters? I am looking forward to seeing you in February,

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    Conference Hotel Rooms

    We have reached out to the managers of the Hilton Garden Inn and Mankato City Center Hotels and asked them to extend their deadline for special rates for our up-coming conference. Please reserve your hotel rooms as soon as possible. They have extended our special conference rates to January 18, 2017. Both hotels are connected to the Verizon Center by skywalks. You can find the conference information posted on our website and I've pasted the links to the hotels below.
    Hilton Garden Inn
    Mankato City Center Hotel
    Note that the group code for the Mankato City Center hotel is MAAP.

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    Free Stuff

    The University of Minnesota ReUse Program collects surplus office furniture, supplies, equipment and parts from throughout the Twin Cities Campus and makes them available to University departments or individuals for purchase. Some of the services the Reuse program performs are as follows ...

    • RELIEVES 250 University buildings of unwanted materials, fixtures and supplies.
    • REDISTRIBUTES furniture & equipment valued at over $200,000 to U of M departments each year.
    • RESELLS a never-ending variety of items to the general public each Thursday. RECYCLES unwanted steel, aluminum, wood, cardboard & paper.
    • REDUCES campus construction waste that would otherwise end up at the landfill.

    Check out their website for details.

    University of Minnesota Reuse Program

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    MAAP Facebook Page

    Check out the new MAAP Facebook page. It's a great place to see the latest activities of MAAP schools. (Click on the image to the left.)

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    Alchemist Deadline

    Please note the new deadline for Alchemist articles. The new deadline is February 10, 2017. Writings, art work, prose, etc. should be submitted to Deb Nelson at alchemisteditor@gmail.com.

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    The People vs. The School System

    Here is a link to a video that highlights the need for school reform.
    "everybody is a genius"

    The People vs. The School System

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    Unbroken Brain

    Here is a link to an interesting article and video on teenagers and drug use. A sin or a learning disorder?
    "There’s traditionally been two ways of seeing addiction. Either it’s a sin and you’re a horrible bad person and you are just choosing to be a hedonist, or it’s a chronic progressive disease. "

    Unbroken Brain

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    Excellent Piece on Emotional-Social Learning

    Here is a link to an excellent article that appeared recently on Minnesota Public radio about Emotional-Social Learning. We hope you enjoy it.

    MPR Article on Social-Emoltional Leaning

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    NPR's Interactive App Exploring Mental Health in Public Schools

    Please take a moment to check out NPR's interactive app exploring mental health in public schools.

    NPR Interactive App Exploring Mental Helath in Public Schools

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    The Attorney General filed two motions on August 5th with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Both of the motions deal with asking the Appeals Court to review the Case based on the State’s argument that Judge Robiner erred in several of her rulings and that the Case should have been dismissed. Here is a link with more details on the decision:

    Judge Makes Rulings in the Desegration/Segration Lawsuit

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    Below is the link to an excellent article that was sent to us by Senator David Bly. We thought it was so good, we wanted to share it with all of you.

    A Thousand Rivers: What the Modern World Has Forgotten about Children and Learning