Month: October 2015 (1)

4 Tips for a Successful MDE Review + Comment Submission!

In August, we wrote a primer post about the Minnesota Department of Education’s Review & Comment process. This post is a follow-up that post, with our tips for a successful Review + Comment submission! Are you ready?!   1. Include an Introduction The Introduction section of the Review & Comment should begin with the Cover Letter, a required piece of the submission. However, it shouldn’t stop there.  Successful submissions include additional information in the intro, such as: Key contacts on the project District Vision District Mission District Values Statement Keep the introduction to 5-6 pages max., including the cover letter. Place the Table of Contents at the end of the Introduction section to ensure that the Commissioner notices the additional information.   2. Include Supporting Documentation in the Appendices Much of the information submitted in the Review & Comment is a summary of more detailed research and reports created behind the scenes by the District, Architect, Bonding company, or other entities working with the District to plan the project. Including these details in the appendices lessens the likelihood of an unfavorable review due to the Commissioner needing more information after reading through the basic R&C submission. Appendices may include: Site plan, floor plans Space program Construction project budget Bond terms from financing agent District budget/long-range budget projection model School Board meeting minutes when Board approvals were made regarding the project Traffic studies Student demographic studies   3. Financing – Be Specific and Clear The most essential component of the Review & Comment is the Project Financing. Districts must be very clear in specifying the source of financing the project. The layout of project scope, cost, and financing must be very clear and concise so that all parties can follow each and every dollar. This is true as a  public school going through […]