HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS A group of high school students and Youthprise, supported by youth organizations and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, sued the state of Minnesota for high school students who lost wages after January 27, 2020, due to the pandemic. On December 1, 2020, the MN Court of Appeals ruled in favor of students. The DEADLINE for Applications is December 25, 2020. PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES Learn more here Step by Step Application Guide Here. MACS LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS The legislative proposals of the Association annually deal with a full spectrum of issues – school funding, school facilities, autonomy, and accountability. Today, we want to share a few proposals that have been part of the Association’s legislative agenda. MARKET NEED & DEMAND STUDY One of the components of the Association’s legislative agenda during the last session was a proposal which would institute a Market Need & Demand Study as a prerequisite component of an application for a charter. The legislative proposal defines the elements which a Market Need & Demand Study would need to include. The goal of the Market Need & Demand Study is to reduce the number of schools (now about 50%) that are approved but never open, or close within the first year because there really was not a market for the school or its program. Our hope is that MDE will also include this proposal in the Department’s 2021 Legislation. CHARTER SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR TRAINING & EDUCATION While the Association has from the beginning opposed, and continues to oppose, requiring the licensing of charter school administrators, we do support that all charter school administrators need ongoing education and training. The Association’s legislative proposals regarding the education and training charter school administrators include: Establishing a requirement that every charter school administrator have at minimum a four-year degree from an accredited institution Redefining the job qualification areas currently in law Clarifying that all school administrators must have a professional development plan Defining competency-based education/training for administrators Requiring licensed administrators new to charters to take training on chartering issues CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROVISIONS The Association has been working with the MN Board of School Administrators over the last year on legislative language regarding conflict-of-interest issues involving licensed charter school administrators. The legislative proposal’s goal is to address issues that are the basis of Code of Ethics complaints filed against licensed and about non-licensed charter school administrators with the Board of School Administrators. While the MN Board of School Administrators does not have jurisdiction over non-licensed administrators in charter schools, the MACS Board is examining the issue given the number of complaints filed with the Board of School Administrators. If the charter school community does not address the issue of Ethics of non-licensed administrators, it would not be surprising if others move to do so. COALITIONS TEACHERS OF COLOR COALITION MACS is a member of the Teachers of Color Coalition which has legislation to increase access and funding for programs that aim to increase the number of teachers of color and American Indian teachers in public schools. As an Association committed to addressing Equity and Equitable Educational Opportunities, we will be calling on schools at the appropriate time to contact legislators to enact the legislation. SCHOOL BUS SAFETY COALITION MACS is a member of a new School Bus Safety Coalition which has legislation to require cameras on the exterior of school buses to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by vehicles passing school buses when the bus has the stop arm out. The cameras would be paid for from the fines paid by violators (over 5,700) during the last five years. The minimum fine is $500. MDE SAFE LEARNING MODEL DASHBOARD as of 12/7/2020 80% of Charters in Distance Learning Model 9% of Charters in Combination Model 5% of Charters in Hybrid Model 5% of Charters Doing In-person Model MN LEGISLATURE - 2021 EDUCATION COMMITTEE CHAIRS SENATE Senator Roger Chamberlain, Lino Lakes will be the Chair of the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee. He is replacing Senator Carla Nelson who will become Chair of the Tax Committee. HOUSE Representative Ruth Richardson, Mendota Heights will be the Chair of the House Education Policy Committee. She is replacing Rep. Youakim who will become Chair of Property Taxes. Rep. Jim Davnie, Minneapolis will continue to serve as Chair of the House Education Finance Committee. MACS STATEMENT ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ON EDUCATION In November, the MACS Board of Directors approved the Association’s Statement on the Constitutional Amendment on Education that has been proposed by the President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Neil Kashkari and retired Justice Alan Page. The Statement states that while we support making a quality education a constitutional right, it outlines our concerns about the proposed language, our hope that the legislature will address those concerns if it considers the amendment, and the Association’s commitment to be engaged in the conversation about the amendment. Read the Statement MDE – OPPORTUNITIES TO COMMENT GENDER IDENTITY DATA COLLECTION AND REPORTING MDE is revising data collection systems to allow public school districts and charter schools greater flexibility in reporting students’ gender identity, including the option to designate a gender other than male or female. Comments on the implementation of the collection and reporting will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 13, 2020. Learn more on the Gender Identity Data Collection and Reporting RULE 3525.2810 – DEVELOPMENT OF INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM PLAN (IEP) MDE has proposed some language changes in the current rule regarding the development of IEPs. Comments on the proposal will be accepted until 4:30 PM on Thursday, December 24th. Learn more here SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS: FIRST DRAFT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT The Social Studies Academic Standards are being reviewed and revised by a committee of 44 members including K-12 teachers, administrators, college faculty, informal educators, and community members. The first draft of the revised standards is now available for public comment. Comments will be accepted until Monday, January 4, 2021. Learn more on the Social Studies web page. PELSB – Guidance on Student Teachers as Substitutes The Professional Educator Licensing & Standards Board (PELSB) has issued a document entitled “Student Teachers Serving as Substitutes FAQ’s”
Due to staff shortages related to COVID illnesses, school day care will be closed through the end of December. Sorry for any inconvenience.
No-Cost At-Home COVID-19 Testing For All Minnesotans Minnesota is proud to offer at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for any person who wants to be tested, with or without symptoms, at no cost. This saliva test is just as accurate as the nasal swab test and is available at no cost for every Minnesotan, whether or not you have insurance. With the COVID-19 positivity rate climbing higher than ever before, expanding access to COVID-19 testing to all communities across the state is critical to keeping Minnesotans informed and safe. More information about this partnership with Vault Medical Services is available Minnesota Department of Health’s website, including information on how to order test.
New Testing Site in the Region: Hutchinson National Guard Armory This was just announced today and will be open in the coming weeks. Here is a link to the full press release: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNMDH/bulletins/2ac2ff7
Free Test at Home: Minnesota is proud to offer at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for any person who wants to be tested, with or without symptoms, at no cost. https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/athome.html
The regular school board meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 6:00pm. If the meeting must be conducted via Zoom, a notice will be published on the website and a Remind will be sent.
Emergency Board Meeting: this meeting is by zoom if you would like an invitation and passcode, please call or text Debbie at 320-522-3773. Purpose is to authorize change in status to distance learning related to MDE's COVID instructions.
Emergency School Board meeting, Monday, August 3, at 6:00, to discuss scenarios for re-opening.
The regular school board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 6:00pm. If the meeting must be conducted via Zoom, a notice will be published on the website and a Remind will be sent.
We are looking for local growers who are willing to sell produce to our school in the event we are funded for extended lunch service though the summer! Please contact Dawn Fischer at 507-925-4143 or DFischer@echo.charter.k12.mn.us.
The ECHO Charter school is asking for face mask donations for the upcoming school year. If you are willing to donate, please contact Helen Blue-Redner at 507-925-4143 or HBlue.Redner@echo.charter.k12.mn.us.
Hello Helen, I am the project manager for the Highway 67 failure between Granite Falls and Echo. MnDOT closed Hwy 67 near the Upper Sioux Agency State Park in spring 2019 due to a large slope failure. We have been monitoring the movement and analyzing what would be required to correct the failure; we have determined that due to cost and impacts that it is not feasible to repair the roadway in place. MnDOT is recommending permanently closing Hwy 67 and rerouting on other State Highway and County Road (see attached fact sheet). I recognize that this may impact operations at Echo Charter Shool, particularly with bussing students. Can you please pass along this information to those who would be impacted and let me know if there are any questions or concerns. If needed, we can set up a meeting for me to discuss the project in more detail. We are currently working with surrounding local governments, and over the next few weeks we’ll begin public engagement. Thank you Cody Brand, P.E. Soils Engineer | District 8 Cell Phone (320) 979-4720 Minnesota Department of Transportation 2505 Transportation Road Willmar, MN 56201
News from the State of Minnesota! Make a Plan, Minnesota Updated June 8, 2020 As Minnesota perseveres through the COVID-19 public health crisis, we know that more people will become sick and require hospitalization. We need families to be prepared. In other states, countries, and communities in Minnesota, there have been parents who have become too ill with COVID-19 to care for their children for short periods of time. These circumstances present a need to identify alternate caregivers who can step in to help care for children – who have likely been exposed to the virus. Unfortunately, this virus doesn’t always leave time for people to make plans. We’re urging all Minnesotans who are responsible for the care of a child to make a plan now for alternate short term care for their children in the event parents or guardians become ill. To support families in this process, we’ve developed Make a Plan, Minnesota. Make a Plan, Minnesota helps guide families through a process to identify possible caregivers, gather vital family and child information, and share their plan with others. A fillable form is included to help families gather information that an alternate caregiver might need to know while caring for their children. It’s never too early to make a plan. Before the emergency is upon a family, we urge families to talk now with their support networks about who will be able to step in and help provide care for their children or other supports, such as dropping off meals or checking in with the children daily if a parent is quarantined at home. Make a Plan Minnesota! Plan. Prepare. Share. Make a Plan Minnesota: Emergency Family Planning and Information Kit
Families who qualify for Free/Reduced Meals—read this important message from the State of Minnesota! Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) The Minnesota Department of Human Services is now offering additional funds for the families of children ages 5 to 18 who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. This new program, called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), will provide $325 per child that families can use to purchase nutritious food for their household. Families with children who received free or reduced-price meals at school, and who were between the ages of 5 and 18 on Sept. 1, 2019, may qualify. Benefits are available to two groups: • Families receiving Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on March 18, 2020. Benefits for these families were issued automatically and appeared on their EBT balance on May 30, 2020. • Families receiving free or reduced-price school meals, but not SNAP or MFIP benefits. These families need to fill out a short application for a P-EBT card. Families can apply between June 8, 2020, and June 30, 2020. If approved, families will receive a P-EBT card in the mail, which will arrive with the funds preloaded.
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! ECHO Charter School graduation will be Friday, July 24,2020 at 7pm. More details to follow at a later date!
Thursday, May 14 there will be a regularly scheduled board meeting at 6pm on Zoom due to COVID-19 Pandemic. We will start with a working session at 5pm related to 2020/21 planning. If you are interested in attending send a message to this account, Debbie Eakes or text me at 320-522-3773 for the link and password.
We need fun pictures of what you have been doing during this Covid-19 quarantine time. We would like to capture this bizarre time and put it in our school yearbook. Please send your pictures to Echoyearbook1@gmail.com and we’ll take care of the rest. Thank you very much, Haylea, Maddie and the Yearbook class
A password has been added to tonight's zoom board meeting to prevent ZoomBombing. If you would like to attend, text me and I will provide you with it. 320-522-3773
Deborah Eakes is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: Echo Charter School Board April Meeting Time: Apr 9, 2020 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/798728417 Meeting ID: 798 728 417 One tap mobile +19292056099,,798728417# US (New York) +13126266799,,798728417# US (Chicago) Dial by your location +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US +1 301 715 8592 US +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) Meeting ID: 798 728 417 Find your local number: https://us04web.zoom.us/u/fcicUbnyd
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the election for the ECHO Charter School Board of Education, originally scheduled for April 30, 2020, will be rescheduled until a later date, TBD. If you are interested in serving on the Board and you would like further information on the process, feel free to contact the school at 507.925.4143, or contact Debbie Eakes, Board Chair.
We are still holding our Blood Mobile on March 30 1pm-7pm. For more information about the steps they are taking, please visit the following link: https://www.redcrossblood.org/…/coronavirus--covid-19--and-…
Please look in the documents under students and parents miscellaneous folder for an offer from Arvig on internet for students during this COVID-19 time.
ECHO Charter School has made the decision to cancel our Puffin sales for this school year. Any questions please call the school 507-925-4143
ECHO Charter School will convene at the usual time on Monday, 3/16 with an early out at 1:00pm following lunch, Students will take all necessary learning material home with them at this time. School will be closed Tuesday, 3/17- 3/27. There will be NO distant learning until 3/30
School Board Meeting Wednesday, February 19,2020 at 6pm.
No school Friday, February 14, 2020 or Monday, February 17, 2020. Enjoy your weekend!
ECHO Charter School is closed today. E-Learning Day.
ECHO Charter School will be 2 hours late tomorrow Thursday, February 13, 2020. Buses on plowed roads only.
ECHO School Board meeting scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday, February 12,2020 has been postponed due to school closure.. New date TBA.
ECHO Charter School is closed tomorrow Wednesday, February 12, 2020. It is an E-Learning Day. Instructions for E-Learning day: Go to school website; hit explore; hit teacher pages; do all of the work as designated for your classes.
Trap informational meeting for parents and students in grades 6-12 is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18 at 7pm in the school cafeteria. Hope to see everyone there!
The February School Board meeting has been changed to Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 6pm.
On the days that there is play practice (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday) Rita's bus (Bus 1) will drop off 10 minutes early.
K-12 Parent/Teacher Conferences are Thursday, February 6,2020 from 4pm-7pm.
Spring Picture Day is Tuesday, February 18, 2020.
Next week for School Choice we will be having dress up days! Monday- PJ Day, Tuesday-Decades Day, Wednesday-Western Day, and Thursday-Rockets Day! Hope to see everyone dressing up!
School Spelling Bee Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 2pm in the cafeteria. Everyone is welcome!
ECHO Charter School is 2 hours late today Monday, December 9, 2019. Buses on plowed roads only.
ECHO Charter School is closed tomorrow Wednesday, November 27, 2019. Happy Thanksgiving!
Due to a power issue, our phone service in and out of the building is not working. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Due to the forecasted winter storm for Tuesday, November 26, 2019, the 3-12 field trip to the Cities has been postponed. It will be rescheduled at a later time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school.
Echo Charter School's Veterans Day program will be held on Monday, November 11th at 2:00 pm. There will be student speakers as well as our special guest speaker Dorian Gatchell. It will be held in the school cafeteria, and is open to the public.
Tonight's games against Metro Deaf School is cancelled due to a large amount of their girls being out of school due to sickness. There will be no game or practice tonight. Thank you for your support during the girl's volleyball season!
Little Caesar Pizza Sales Students are now selling Little Caesar Pizzas! Forms are due November 4,2019 and pizza pick up will be November 20.2019. Contact a student to order or if you have questions contact Sara Weiss-Dunphy at 507-925-4143 or SDunphy@echo.charter.k12.mn.us. You can also order online by following the link : http://www.pizzakit.com/fundra...
School Board Elections: Due to lack of candidate filings, the Special Election for ECS School scheduled for Board has been canceled. The Board will now begin soliciting appointments for positions.
Benefit For Tanner Lentz, Graduate of Echo Charter Sunday, Oct 27th, 9am - 1pm Odeon Hall, 204 Main St, Belview Free Will Donation, Pancake Breakfast Silent Auction Raffle For more information, use this link: https://www.echo.charter.k12.mn.us/o/echo/browse/83187
Volunteers needed The fundraising committee is looking for volunteers to help with the Little Caesar's pizza sales. If interested, please contact Sara Dunphy at 507-925-4143 o... Edit gray icon Trash gray icon
The school board meeting set for today, Sept. 12, has been rescheduled to Monday, Sept. 16th
Lions Club diagnostic vision screening on Monday, 9/16
ASVAB will be administered on Nov. 4 for students in grades 10-12. The test will start at 8:30 a.m. If you have any questions, please contact Sara Dunphy at the school.
Volleyball practice for girls in grades 6-12 will start on Monday, August 26 after school
We need students to help out with the Echo parade on August 17 at 4:30 p.m. We need students to walk and also to toss candy. Please call the school at 507-925-4143 to sign up.
Echo Lions Club is having a pork feed on Saturday, August 17. They need servers from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please contact Justin Hoepner at 320-444-0376 for more information. The pork feed will benefit Echo First Responders and Volunteer Fire Department.
The school will be closed to all staff and the public on Friday, August 2 until Monday morning.
Back to school night will be held on August 22nd 2019 from 4 PM - 7 PM
Tomorrow's board meeting has been changed to Tuesday at 6pm while we wait for year end reports from the CoOp, in its place will be board committee meetings.
The last day of school will be Thursday, May 23. We will be dismissing at 3:45 p.m. Have a great summer! See you next fall.
We will be having our annual Awards Day on Thursday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. Parents/Guardians, families and friends please feel free to join us.
We are having Dakota Day on Monday, May 20. Parents & guardians are invited to attend. Dakota Day will run all day.
Upcoming Events: Pipestone Field Trip 5/16 Track and Field Day 5/17 Dakota Day 5/20 Ditch Cleaning 5/23 Commencement 5/24 at 7:00
Tonight's board meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday due to scheduling conflicts. Contact Debbie Eakes if you have any questions.
ECHO Charter Board Meeting Thursday, May 9 @ 6pm
ECHO Trap team competition Week 1: Tuesday, April 23 @ 5:30pm
Special board meeting. Wednesday, April 24 @8am. Topic: 2019/2020 budget, revised bylaws
School is closed today.
School will be 3 hours late on Friday. Buses on tar roads only.
Thanks to winter storm Wesley, our monthly board meeting will be moved to Monday at 6pm. If you can join us for strategic planning at 5:30, I will provide the dinner.
School will be closed tomorrow.
School will be closing at 9:30 a.m. today.
New After School programs starting Monday! Weight lifting from 7:15-8:15am on Mondays and Wednesdays. Dakota Language 3:45-5:45pm on Mondays and 3-5pm on Wednesdays, High school students can get foreign language credit through PBL by attending. Questions contact Melanie Kurtz
Butter Braid orders are due Tuesday, April 9
We are in the process of applying for the After School/Summer Program grant to continue into next school year. If you could please take the time to complete the following survey we would appreciate it. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H52DWDR Questions? Contact Melanie Kurtz
Annual Parent Meeting, Thursday, April 4, 6:00 p.m.
Important Note: We are monitoring flood conditions in the event we need to alter bus routes due to road closures. If this should happen, we will send out a Remind and post information on the website.
No school on April 18, 19 & 22.
The board meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, March 18 @ 6pm
The board meeting that was scheduled for this evening is postponed due to the expected snow and high winds. New date will be announced soon.
ECHO Charter School is on "soft" lockdown due to a potential custody issue. There is no threat to the students. Classroom learning is business as usual. Please call Helen Blue-Redner with any questions at 507-925-4143
The School Board training for tonight has been postponed. Makeup date TBD.
School will be closing at 1:15 p.m. today.
ECHO Charter Trap Team sign ups are in progress. The deadline is March 11 (no exceptions). If you are interested contact Sandy at firstname.lastname@example.org
MCA testing will be taking place the months of March and April. Take a look at the News section for dates and details.
There will be School Board training/planning meeting on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
There will be an emergency school board meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 27 at 11:00 a.m. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss bridge financing.
School will be closed today.
School 2 hours late tomorrow. Buses on plowed roads only.
School is closed today.
Parent-Teacher Conferences, Tuesday, February 19, from 4-7 p.m.
The February school board will be held on Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m.
School will be 2 hours late tomorrow. Buses on plowed roads only.
School will be closing at 10:30 today.
Due to expected bad weather, conferences have been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 19, 2019, from 4-7.
Busses on plowed roads only.
School will be 2 hours late on Wednesday, February 13.
School will be closed today.
School will be 2 hours late today. Busses on plowed roads only.
We will be having school on Friday, February 15 & Monday, February 18 to account for 2 of our make up days.
School will be closed today.
School will be 3 hours late on Friday, February 8, 2019. Busses on plowed roads only.
School will be closing at noon today, Wednesday, February 6, 2019.
To order apparel from the Echo Store please go to https://stores.apdesignpro.com/echoschool. Orders are due on February 25.
We will have school on Friday, February 8, 2019. This will be 1 of the make up days.
Today, Friday, February 1, is a scheduled Free Friday.
School Choice Week will be from January 22-25. Stay tuned for information on events throughout the week!