Marshall Adult Education


May 27, 2005


1.  Summer Plans - Since summer is now (?) with us, please remember to let us know what your plans are for summer programming with your class.  If you will be taking time off, let the office know so we can advise any prospective students.
2.  May Student Data - Attendance, Intakes and CASAS assessments - should be to the office no later than noon on June 2nd.
3.  Consortium Staff Mtg - Our next consortium staff meeting will be on June 8th.  It will be day-long retreat at Shetek Lutheran Bible Camp - similar to the retreat day we held a couple of years ago. As of now we will be having Celeste Mazur and Diane Pecoraro visiting at this meeting.  RSVP's should be back to Barb by June 2nd.
4.  Assessment Guidelines for 2005-06 Programming Year.  - There are a couple of changes that we will be implementing into the Assessment Guidelines for the programming year that started May 1, 2005.
    *  First, EVERYONE (other than workbased learners - computer & job club)  must be assessed using the CASAS tool.  We can no longer assign levels to participants using the GED Practice Test.  (Once the student has a CASAS appraisal & pretest, you can use the GED Practice Test to determine how well someone might do on the Official GED Test.  However, you do not turn any of that info to Barb)
    *  Appraisals & Pretests should be given within the first 6 hours the student attends class.
    *  Post tests should be administered following 45-60 hours of instruction.  However, if someone attends, for less hours than that & you know they are leaving, POST TEST THEM!
    *  Students will be exited from the program on a quarterly basis.  TURN IN EXITS ONLY WHEN I ASK FOR THEM.
5.  The state is now requiring that 60% of participants be pre & posted tested.  The data for 2004-05 shows that we had 274 participants; 194 (71%) were pre-tested; 75 (27%) were post tested.  We are doing good on pre-testing students; but really need to put more effort into the post testing.
    At our Summer Retreat, Pat will be giving out individual data concerning these areas for your students.
6.  The morning class at the courthouse (government Center) went to see the "Out of Africa" Exhibit by Doug Dybstter at the MAFAC.Doug lived in Tanzania for many years and in New Guinea for two years.  Abdullahi Noor met us there and explained the many artifacts from Tanzania, Papua /New Guinea and Africa.  Check out our pictures and then take some time to go see the exhibit!  -Vickie
7.  An anti-racism workshop is scheduled for June 24th and 25th in Brooklyn Park.  Read about the workshop here:

8.  Here's an interesting article on state exit exams.  Click on the link below  -Barry Shaffer{EACEC41F-FF77-44BE-B68C-8339F3A35B32}&Type=B_BASIC


9.  From Barry Schaffer:  Please review Diane Pecoraro’s grant reader solicitation message (click on the link below). We are in need of additional reviewer’s to help us with the process of reviewing and selecting EL/Civics grants for FY 2006. These grants feature content that address learners English language and civics content/participation needs. Typically, these are very interesting grants to review and discuss. The grant RFP is at:  

My office will pay mileage, meals and lodging expenses for anyone driving in from over 50 miles from Roseville. Sorry, no stipends or substitute pay is offered. Please contact Diane Pecoraro if you’re interested. Thanks.

10.  Barry Shaffer has sent the MDE-ABE staff roster.
Click on the link below.
11.  A new set of Reading Skills for Today's Adults has been posted (Set 5).  Check it out here.
12.  The 2005 GED graduation ceremony took place on May 17.   It was a very proud time for GED students and their teachers.  You can check out the program and reception here:
13.  The non-confidential job postings that Job Service shares with us are posted on the ABE Website each week.  Check them out here.
14.  From the Trivia Department:  Listen to internet radio.  Open up your Windows Media Player.  Click on Radio.  You'll see a large list of internet radio stations.  Pick one and listen.  You can also search for a station.  Click in the Radio Search bar and type in  Click Go.  Then click on the link.  That's my favorite!

15.  Thought for the week:  We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  -Winston Churchill

16.  TECH TIP:  Taskbar Tips


The Taskbar resides at the bottom of the screen.  It consists of 4 sections:  The Start Menu, the Quick Launch buttons, the Active Applications, and the Start-up items.


1.      You can Auto-Hide the Taskbar so that it is not visible all the time.  This is a neat option if you want to maximize your screen space.  Right-click on the Taskbar and click on Properties.  Select Auto Hide the taskbar.  Click Apply (or OK).  Your Taskbar will be hidden until you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen – then it will reappear.  Cool!


2.      You can Lock the Taskbar.  This is a good idea because sometimes you might inadvertently move the taskbar or move parts of the Taskbar.  Then, it’s a pain to get it back the way it was.  So just lock it!  Right-Click on the Taskbar and click on Lock the Taskbar.


3.      You can group or un-group similar items.  For example, if you have five Word files open, and you group them, all those Word files will be grouped into one button in the taskbar.  To group or ungroup taskbar items, right-click on the taskbar and click on Properties.  Then select (or de-select the box next to Group similar taskbar buttons.  I personally prefer to not have similar items grouped.  It makes it easier and quicker to go from one file to another.


4.      You can quickly show the desktopRight-click on the Taskbar and select Show Desktop.  All your windows will immediately minimize.  Very nice if you want to get to something on your desktop very quickly.


5.      You can tile all the windows horizontally or vertically.  This is really nice if you are working on 2 or more files at the same time.  For example, if you are editing 2 Word files simultaneously – right-click on the Taskbar, select either Tile Windows Horizontally or Tile Windows Vertically.  You will see both Word files side by side (either horizontally or vertically).


6.      Likewise, you can cascade all the windows.  Right-click and select Cascade windows.  All active windows will be cascaded so that you can quickly switch from one to another


7.      You can add Toolbars to your Taskbar.  This is nice if you want to add special items to your taskbar – like your favorite links (links in the Links Bar), and an Address Bar for accessing the internet (just type in the internet address, like  Right-Click on the Taskbar and select Toolbars.  Then select the toolbar you want to add.  Now the problem with this is that you will use up valuable taskbar space for this new toolbar.  So what I do is after I add the toolbar to the Taskbar, I move the toolbar onto the desktop.  Just place your mouse over the dots on the left side of the added toolbar, click and drag it to the desktop.  Now you have the toolbar on the desktop instead of in the Taskbar.  Once it’s on the desktop, you can resize it and drag it anywhere you want it.  Also, notice that you can add a “new toolbar” – that is, you can add any folder on your hard drive to the Taskbar for easy access to that folder.


8.      You can hide inactive icons in your Startup icons (the right side of the Taskbar.  This is a great option that helps you save space in the Taskbar.  Only those icons that are currently active are shown in the Startup icons section.  In my Startup icons section, I right now have 3 icons showing out of the 9 icons available – that saves a lot of space.  Right-click on the taskbar and click on Properties.  Click on the box next to Hide Inactive Icons. 


9.      You can use the Taskbar to go to the Task Manager.  Right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager.  The Task Manager is used for several purposes, but the main purpose it is used for is that if you have an application that has frozen, you go to the Task Manager, click on Applications and click on the application that is frozen, and then click on End Task at the bottom.  You will instantly force the frozen application to quit.  Note:  you can also get to the Task Manager by pressing Alt-Ctrl- Delete.  In case you forget that keyboard combination, use the Taskbar to get there.


10. The last tip - You can learn more about the Taskbar and specifically, the Quick Launch bar at this Tech Tip.  I have an interesting take on how to set up your computer to take advantage of various Toolbars Read it here.

Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046


E-Mail:Marshall Adult Education