MINNESOTA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
Absolutely FABulous Explaining School Budgets to the Public
Questions and Answers about Flipped Classrooms
Volume 64, No. 5
Te 012 am MS wo BA L To r ead ge k, er t D sh Sc he r ip ra r pb w ea Co oo e nf k C m an w eren or ce k:
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Calendar CONTENTS MARCH/APRIL 2012 VOLUME 64, NUMBER 5
MARCH 2012 11 ...........Daylight Saving Time Begins 13 ...........Township Election Day (no meetings or activities 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.)
Divisions 4 5 6 28 31
QUOTES OF NOTE MSBA Staff
STRAIGHT TALK Bob Meeks, MSBA Executive Director PRESIDENT’S COLUMN Kent Thiesse, MSBA President VENDOR DIRECTORY Pierre Productions & Promotions, Inc. ASK MSBA Greg Abbott, Director of Communications
14 ...........MSBA Phase III Orientation, St. Cloud 15–16 .....MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 16 ...........MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting 19 ...........MSBA Phase III Orientation, North Mankato 21 ...........MSBA Phase IV, St. Cloud 21–23 .....NSBA Convention, Boston, MA 27 ...........MSBA Phase III Orientation, St. Louis Park 28 ...........MSBA Phase IV Orientation, St. Louis Park
M AY 2 0 1 2 2–4 .........MASBO Annual Conference 17–18 .....MSBA Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting 23 ...........Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Meeting 28 ...........Memorial Day (no meetings)
JUNE 2012 14 ...........MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT FLIPPED CLASSROOMS Kristin Daniels,Wayne Feller and Michael Dronen
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS Bruce Lombard
EXPLAINING SCHOOL BUDGETS TO THE PUBLIC Margo Nash
SUPPORTING OUR MILITARY FAMILIES Dr. Charles Kyte
2011 LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE SCRAPBOOK MSBA Staff
The MSBA Journal thanks the students of Richfield Public Schools for sharing their art with us in this issue. COVER ART:
Maryam Ibrahim MARCH/APRIL 2012
OFFICERS President: Kent Thiesse, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial President-Elect: Walter Hautala, Mesabi East DISTRICT DIRECTORS District 1: Kathy Green, Austin District 2: Jodi Sapp, Mankato Area District 3: Linden Olson, Worthington District 4: Betsy Anderson, Hopkins District 5: Marilynn Forsberg, Spring Lake Park District 6: Kevin Donovan, Mahtomedi District 7: Roz Peterson, Lakeville Area District 8: Elona Street-Stewart, St. Paul District 9: Karen Kirschner, Mora District 10: Dana Laine, Frazee-Vergas District 11: Tim Riordan, Virginia District 12: Ann Long Voelkner, Bemidji Area District 13: Deb Pauly, Jordan STAFF Bob Meeks: Executive Director Barbara Lynn: Executive Assistant/Director of Board Operations Kirk Schneidawind: Deputy Executive Director John Sylvester: Deputy Executive Director Tiffany Rodning: Deputy Executive Director Greg Abbott: Director of Communications Denise Drill: Director of Financial/MSBAIT Services Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor: Associate Director of Management Services Sandy Gundlach: Director of School Board Services Donn Jenson: Computer and Information Systems Manager Bill Kautt: Associate Director of Management Services Grace Keliher: Director of Governmental Relations Katie Klanderud: Director of Board Development Gary Lee: Associate Director of Management Services Bruce Lombard: Associate Director of Communications Bob Lowe: Director of Management Services Kelly Martell: Director of Technology Cathy Miller: Director of Legal and Policy Services Erica Nelson: MSBA Advertising The MSBA Journal (USPS 352-220) is published bimonthly by the Minnesota School Boards Association, 1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, Minnesota 56082. Telephone 507-934-2450. Call MSBA office for subscription rates. (Opinions expressed in the Journal are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent MSBA policy.)
Quotes of Note captures some of the more interesting statements MSBA staff have read in local, state and national publications.
Trying Flipped Classrooms
Balancing funding with teacher pay requests
“I hear many parents say it is hard to be supportive at home, as they don’t know the new math. They could learn at home with their kids under this model, if they wanted to.”
“We agree we want to attract the best and brightest teachers. As a school board member, there’s nothing in it for me to try and stick it to our teachers. But the reality is we can’t say ‘thank you’ with money. There is no new money.”
Spring Grove Superintendent Rachel Udstuen
Bemidji Area School Board Member John Pugleasa
Moving to a 4-day school week ”This won’t solve all our financial problems, but it makes the school operate more efficiently and is a step in the right direction instead of reducing electives and creating bigger classes.”
Having mayors run schools
Sleepy Eye Board Member Ron Geiger
“Districts turned over to mayors in other cities have typically been in much worse shape.”
Higher test scores with year-round school
St. Paul School Board Chair Jean O'Connell
“As we look at where our kids came in in August and tested, that was much higher than it had been the previous two years. So, in fact, shortening that summer caused our students to do better in those initial assessments.” Austin Principal Sheila Berger
AN EASY WAY TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE LATEST INFORMATION
With all the issues swirling around education, it can be hard for a school board member or administrative staff to keep up with it all. At MSBA, we try to keep you up to date with our News Clipping Service, which is free to any board member or district administrator.
We also provide you with free access to our Management Services Newsletter, and our Capitol Compass keeps you up to date on legislative issues.
Bob Meeks MSBA Executive Director
This site works in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Education, using a federal grant to provide the most useful Internet sources for users of school, public and academic libraries.
But sometimes, you need a site to get research on a topic—maybe four-day school weeks, learning loss over summer vacations or best practices for closing achievement gaps. While most people run to any source on Google, no matter how unreliable it may be, I turn to my own reliable, non-biased source—the Electronic Library for Minnesota Database. (http://www.elm4you.org/databases/ topics/news) This site works in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Education, using a federal grant to provide the most useful Internet sources for users of school, public and academic libraries.
It has separate newspaper databases for the Minneapolis StarTribune, St. Cloud Times, St. Paul Pioneer Press and Sioux Falls ArgusLeader. But an even better database combines all of the state newspapers with national newspapers in a ProQuest Newsstand Complete search engine with 350 state, national and international newspaper archives and magazines. It also has an interesting Points of View Reference Center that contains the best of opinion and commentary articles from all sides from magazines, newspapers and other information sources. And if your staff is looking for a resource students can use, try the Student Resources in Context search database. It’s easy to use and very comprehensive. It’s a way we stay current on research as our Legislature begins debating many issues. It’s also another way that the state works with our federal government and library system to offer information to people in Minnesota. That kind of cooperation gives everyone a boost.
PRESIDENT’S COLUMN MAKE TRAINING A PRIORITY FOR YOUR ENTIRE BOARD
As we all strive to become better school board members, there is no better way to improve yourself and your board than by attending the various MSBA training seminars and conferences, including the MSBA Leadership Conference.
Kent Thiesse MSBA President
If there is one thing I’d like to urge your board to do, it is to set up a time during your board meeting or work session to ask members what tips, ideas or information they’d like to share from the workshops that they attended.
Most board members try to put all the funds and resources possible into training and education for their teachers in order to enhance student achievement; however, when funds are tight, they end up skimping on any kind of training for themselves as board members. In this complicated world of education, board members need the same training as any other educational group, and now is not the time to cut back on board member education. In tough times, the little you spend on training can net a world of new ideas and create a stronger board. This is why I’m proud to be part of the only state school board association in the U.S. that offers an annual training conference for free.
Getting to the MSBA Leadership Conference is just the first step, as much of the work and idea-sharing from a conference happens when you get back to your district. There is a wide variation in how various school boards approach this. I am amazed to hear how some board members never bring back any information or ideas to share with their boards after the training is done. If there is one thing I’d like to urge your board to do, it is to set up a time during your board meeting or work session to ask members what tips, ideas or information they’d like to share from the workshops that they attended. This not only brings forward some new ideas and information to the board, it also leads to some wonderful discussions on the topic. Every now and then, I’m asked by a board member why there are so many workshops at the Leadership Conference. I’m told: “There’s no way I can get to them all.” My answer has always revolved around these two things:
It’s good to have a wide variety of workshops. Some want to learn Robert’s Rules basics. Some may want to delve into financial issues. Others might want to hear about the process for putting a student on a school board, or innovative classroom ideas. That variety helps draw people to a conference. We know that board members can’t get to all the workshops, which is why we encourage all members of a local school board to attend the conference. A couple weeks before the Leadership Conference, the program is available on MSBA’s home page and the mailed Leadership Conference program/Journal. Before heading up to the conference, many school boards map out which workshops each board member will attend. By sending seven board members to three different workshops each, your board can come back with information on 21 different sessions. Maybe some of your best ideas or best information comes simply from talking to other board members, or going more in-depth with a presenter on a topic you are interested in after the workshop is done. The great thing about the conference this year was that if you wanted to attend more workshops but couldn’t, MSBA is now placing the handouts online for members to download and share. Hopefully, the background and information you gained from the Leadership Conference workshops and the handout materials will lead to further discussions at a board meeting or workshop sometime later in the year. If additional resources are needed on a particular topic, the MSBA staff is wellequipped to assist school districts. You never know . . . if an interesting idea develops in your district because of something gained from this year's conference, we may be asking your district to present at a future Leadership Conference!
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MSBA BOARD MEMBER TRAINING
Phase III Orientation: ‘Building a Better Board’
Phase IV Orientation: ‘Community Engagement’
Strengthen board consensus-building and decision-making skills.
Learn different models of public engagement.
▶ SATURDAY, APRIL 14: St. Cloud
▶ SATURDAY, APRIL 21: St. Cloud
▶ THURSDAY, APRIL 19: North Mankato
▶ SATURDAY, APRIL 28: St. Louis Park
▶ FRIDAY, APRIL 27: St. Louis Park Visit www.mnmsba.org for complete schedule and program information. Register through your district office in the Members Area at www.mnmsba.org. MARCH/APRIL 2012
Questions & Answers about Flipped Classrooms Vivian Ho
Stillwater project may have every school rethinking classroom instruction
The Flipped Math Classroom was a fifth-grade pilot project initiated in the spring of 2011 in the Stillwater Area Public Schools. In this project, six classroom teachers from five different elementary schools “flipped” their classrooms from September 2011 to January 2012. Results from this pilot period were compared with control classrooms from the same school district. The following interview features Kristin Daniels, the comments and reflections of Kristin Daniels and Wayne Feller and Wayne Feller (Technology Integration Specialists) along Michael Dronen with Michael Dronen (District Technology Coordinator). Q: What is a “flipped” classroom? Wayne: The flipped classroom reverses or flips the order in which the teacher presents instruction in the classroom. Traditionally, the classroom is a place where the teacher shares content with the class during the class period. At the end of that 8
time period, students take that content home and do the problem-solving work, then bring it back to the teacher. At some point the next day or night (or maybe next week) the teacher gets around to grading the work. The flipped classroom changes that sequence. Instead, it gives the content to the students before they come to class. Class time is used to focus on working with the content, doing problem-solving, and working with others. The teacher has an expanded role—as a learning professional who has significantly more time to coach in the face-to-face environment. This can mean many different things, but it does not mean that the content is primarily given during the class time itself. We heard about what was happening around the country with flipped classrooms here and there, and we asked ourselves some questions.
What if it is just a passing phase? What if there isn’t any real substance to it? What if the results are actually worse in a flipped classroom? Mike: But what if it is the future? We designed a pilot phase for our flipped classroom that was defined by a time period that stretched from the beginning of school until the middle of January, and structured it in a way that would allow us to measure its effectiveness compared with control classrooms in the district. The pilot phase would include six different teachers in five different schools. All of our fifth grade teachers use the same mathematics curriculum and we believe this helps the overall design of the pilot and will increase the validity of the pilot data. A little bit more about that is at https://sites.google.com/a/cloud.stillwater.k12. mn.us/flipped-classroom. Kristin: The pilot phase covered the first five units of the fifth-grade math curriculum. We collected some basic survey information from parents in the fall and used an Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory tool with students—that early pilot data will be compared with post pilot data. We are also contrasting student performance in the flipped math classrooms with a similar pilot group—here we are using both unit tests and a summative test—these are identical instruments for both control and flipped classes. Mike: We will be done with the data analysis in February and will be sharing those results with our school board shortly thereafter and the broader community. Q: How did you decide who was going to be in the pilot and who was not? Wayne: We simply asked individual teachers if they wanted to be part of our pilot group. We deliberately recruited one teacher whose technology skills were well below average. A couple of teachers approached us because they wanted to be part of an innovative experience. We also wanted a distribution across our elementary schools. Q: How does this help students of various abilities? Wayne: One of the key purposes of the flipped classroom is to provide more opportunities for differentiated and personalized learning. One of the early values our teachers are seeing in this pilot is additional in-class instructional time—time to differentiate instruction. Kristin: In our pilot classes, we see teachers having more time to provide individual instruction and class learning activities based on student need and ability. It has allowed teachers greater opportunity to think through and strengthen pedagogy, and to go deeper into the curriculum. Wayne: An extension activity in one class had students create an eBook with embedded instructional movies of mathematics problems the students designed themselves. They took the concept of the day (story problems with twodigit multiplication), generated scenarios where one movie laid out the nature of the problem, then they generated another movie to solve the problem. They then made an eBook with several chapters that solved these problems. This
eBook called “Hazelroth Math” (epub format viewable on an ipad or iphone) is available as a free download. This type of activity in the classroom, which allows time for differentiated experiences, offers a ton of possibilities. This is especially true for the teacher who has the imagination to try additional kinds of activities. Q: What role did your superintendent and school board members play? Mike: After the pilot launched, we made a presentation in the first week of school to the school board in a learning session. We shared what was happening, how the project was closely connected to the work of our Teaching and Learning Department, how it was aligned with the broader visioning work being done in the district and what we wanted to do. We exchanged numerous questions and answers and were able to dive deep into the mechanics of the project. Both the superintendent and the board have been great supporters of the pilot. Wayne: They were very enthusiastic about it. We gave a second presentation about three weeks later in a formal public school board meeting. Kristin: We will be formally presenting to the board on how the pilot has gone and will be including the collected student performance data and the parent, teacher and student survey data. Q: Are you tracking which videos the students watch? Do they prefer their own teacher or do they like seeing other teachers in the videos? Do they have preferences? Wayne: Each lesson has just one video prepared by one of the six teachers. The responsibility of the student is to see the video no matter who creates it. They don’t necessarily know which teacher is going to be there until they view the video. They cannot avoid watching a video because they think there is going to be a certain teacher present. The teacher, however, by logging into Moodle™ the next day, knows exactly which students viewed the movie and took the quiz. They have that data. Mike: Which has led to some rich conversations among the pilot teachers as they are able to see both how well their students performed and their colleagues’ students. Kristin: Another part of that question is “what makes a good video?” Our pilot teachers started creating videos last June. With each video they make, they become better and are now producing videos with a wide variety of elements and techniques in each lesson (http://vimeo.com/36022510). Students have been the best source of feedback for this. We actually incorporated an open-ended question in Moodle that we have found to be very informative. For example, students might comment when they like the way a teacher explained a concept, whether it was using interactive software or a video explanation where the students can see real manipulatives or, in one case, a demonstration where the teacher used face-to-face video of his hands to provide the students with an easy way to remember a concept. MARCH/APRIL 2012
Questions & Answers about Flipped Classrooms
Students also liked to see the face of their teacher. Students asked why teachers needed to repeat themselves. “Why repeat yourself? I can rewind you if I need to hear it again!” For the teachers who have made videos recently, there has been a huge jump in quality. Wayne: We have indeed made progress with creation techniques. The first video that anybody makes is very amateurish. Maybe the audio is fuzzy and crackly. Maybe there is too much repetition. There is a learning curve. One needs to be concise, say things clearly, directly, in a short amount of time, and in an engaging way. Perhaps one uses humor, manipulatives, or a variety of other techniques. Our students belong to a generation that is savvy with media. They have grown up with media of all kinds. They have high expectations. The bar is high for expecting a balance between content and entertainment. Mike: The interesting thing is that as our teachers make more and more videos, they get better and better at making them, and not only with improvements in the technical processes of making the video, they get better with the delivery process—teaching using media. Wayne: We are very much encouraged by this process. If we continue this over time in a second year of the cycle or a third year of the cycle, the same teachers who have created these instructional videos will have their own body of expertise and style they can apply in continuously more engaging ways. I think the quality of this kind of instructional technique is only going to improve with time. Q: What do the parents think about this? Wayne: One of the advantages of the flipped math classroom is that it allows parents to see and hear firsthand the way that we are actually teaching math in 2011 as opposed to what it was like when the parents themselves went to school. Quite often it is different. The theory is that parents are in a better position to help their children with math because they can view the same movies that their children view. Parents have been overwhelmingly pleased with this model and have shared that they feel more empowered to help their students. One parent even commented that this is one of the few times they have been able to actually see their child’s teacher as they taught. Q: How did you prepare teachers? Kristin: Last spring, as we looked to the start of the pilot in September, we knew that there were many elements of the flipped classroom that we needed to address with our pilot teachers. As we started making lists, we realized that we had enough to fill multiple days, and ended up creating a four-day summer institute. Each day of the Flipped Institute went from 10
8 a.m. until 3 p.m. There was a lot to learn during this time. There were certain things we wanted the teachers to know, and we had great discussions about a lot of things we did not anticipate. We talked about the tools that the teachers would need for this project. We worked with Moodle™ as a way to organize and deliver content for our flipped math course. Teachers needed to learn quickly how to create screencasting videos to deliver the content. We anticipated that we would be spending a lot of time during the Institute working with the teachers to create and record lessons. At the end of four days, our intention was to have them create at least two or three videos. The learning curve was not just a technical one. Teachers were used to standing in front of a classroom and delivering a lesson live, which turned out to be a lot different than creating an instructional movie with that same content. Our goal was to take the same content that was delivered in 45 minutes and condense it to 10 minutes. As they found out, that was a challenge. In addition, they had to deliver it in a different way because they were not standing in front of students. We spent time with that, but our most important conversations during the Institute focused on how to plan for the classroom experience. When we talk about the flipped classroom, we remind ourselves that it is not about the technology. Technology makes it happen, but it is really about the classroom experience. The teachers understood this right away. What was exciting to us was that the teachers asked from the onset, “What if we want to keep going with this after the pilot phase?” After we started talking about what that classroom would look like, the teachers got more excited about its potential. Q: How are your teachers supported? Wayne: Support for the flipped math classroom in our district comes from three distinct and important sources. First, technology integration specialists provide support and leadership in both direct and indirect ways. Second, the participating teachers themselves support each other through a collaborative journal. Third, an online Moodle course (Transitioning to the Flipped Classroom) provides resources and answers to some common questions. Sections of this Moodle course include classroom activities, creating flipcharts, assessment, managing Moodle quizzes, and creating instructional videos. Mike: I cannot stress enough how important it is to have the support of a technology integration specialist for this kind of disruptive change. It’s the teacherfacing-technology technology integration specialist that can see this change through—they understand the unique nexus of three critical components: technology, pedagogy and content.
Q: What were the technical considerations or obstacles? Kristin: We had some trouble initially with video streaming issues and with families not being able to watch the video. We have made adjustments by uploading the movies directly to Moodle™, and we are providing a Vimeo® option as well. We surveyed students at the beginning of the year regarding their access to Internet. To compensate for students with inadequate Internet access or other limited access at home, we create DVDs for them. We also have iPod touches® as an alternative that students can check out. Out of 130 students we have about 17 who are currently using DVDs. Q: What was the cost of this pilot program? Mike: The pilot provided a standard rate of pay for the six teachers for the four days they each spent training during the summer. Beyond that, as we had much of the technology systems needed already in place, the cost was essentially just that of four days per teacher. Moving forward, we are designing several exciting ways to streamline that training and reduce costs. Wayne: Although there is an upfront cost with training and a few materials, the cost of sustaining the flipped math classroom is no different than the cost of a traditional classroom. Even with budget cuts, the cost for maintaining a flipped classroom is not a decisive factor. Q: What happens if a substitute teacher comes into the classroom, either short-term or long-term? Wayne: In a traditional classroom, a substitute teacher experiences the situation of being responsible for teaching the content even if he/she is unfamiliar with that content or the process for content delivery. In the flipped math classroom, the short-term substitute is not responsible for content delivery in the usual sense. The students are already in a rhythm where they have responsibilities for solving problems or participating in classroom activities. The substitute role, like the role of the classroom teacher, is to be a guide for individual students or small groups of students. A long-term substitute might need some training from a technology integration specialist or might need to take an online “Transitioning to a Flipped Classroom” course. The long-term substitute needs to know how to access quiz results or create some instructional videos if there are still videos that need to be created. During the pilot phase, we had a long-term substitute teacher that successfully stepped into the classroom teaching role halfway through the project and maintained the flipped math classroom without undue stress. Q: What about students who don’t do their “home” work? If I’m not teaching content during the class time, where do they get the content? Wayne: Whether a classroom is traditional or flipped, the work a student does in a home environment is part of that student’s overall educational process. We try to improve each student’s educational progress by encouraging them to devote time for education both at school and at home. In either the traditional classroom or the flipped classroom,
the student who does not do their problem-solving written work is at a disadvantage in learning the information. In the flipped math classroom, this student needs to get the content no matter what method is used, even if this means watching an instructional video during the first part of a classroom session. The classroom teacher ensures that the student receives this content whether by going to a computer lab to view the movie, viewing it with an iPod touch and headphones, or some other method. Q: Is the flipped classroom going to simply be “one more thing?” Wayne: This type of question usually comes from a veteran teacher or administrator who has seen various initiatives come and go over time. In the very busy professional lives of classroom teachers, time is invaluable. Wasting time on initiatives that have little long-lasting value should be avoided by all of us. Is the flipped classroom such an initiative? Our participating pilot teachers believe otherwise. Through their experiences these past few months, they have recognized that a significant pedagogical shift has resulted, and they want to continue riding the wave. Kristin Daniels and Wayne Feller are Technology Integration Specialists and Michael Dronen is the District Technology Coordinator for Stillwater Public Schools. MARCH/APRIL 2012
Absolutely FABulous Mahtomedi School District is world’s only K–12 institution to house cutting-edge Fabrication Laboratory
“A place where you can build almost anything.”
That’s the tagline for the digital Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab) that opened in late 2011 at the Mahtomedi School District. Fab Labs—the brainchild of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor—provide access to manufacturing technology for students, business and inventors. By using the lab’s state-of-the-art technology, users can take concepts from their mind and make them reality. Andrea Backen The Mahtomedi Fab Lab is outfitted with first-rate equipment: two Epilog laser cutters, four 3D printers, two Roland Modela Mini-Mills (used to meld circuits and circuit boards), a vinyl cutter, a ShopBot and more. The ShopBot enables users to utilize a computer program to design and sketch objects they want to manufacture. For example, Mahtomedi students have already been able to create their own chairs. Students transfer their computer designs into the ShopBot, which will precisely cut out the chair parts.
According to the district Website, Fab Labs can be used by all students to apply what they have learned in practically any class. For example, art students can design and build sculptures, chemistry students can program and print 3D models of molecules, and math students can design and use lasers to create geometric shapes. Also, Fab Labs engage students with the realworld data, tools and concepts they will likely encounter in college, on the job and in real life.
Scan this QR Code to view the Mahtomedi School District’s Fab Lab Website.
Mary George, Mahtomedi’s Community Education Manager and Engineering Program Coordinator, said that all Fab Labs use the same equipment and software, which allows lab to trade and share information and files globally. The Mahtomedi Fab Lab also has a Polycom unit that makes it possible for the students to communicate with users in other Fab Labs worldwide. Mahtomedi’s facility is presently the only one housed in a K–12 setting—in the world. (There are 42 Fab Labs across the globe and just two in Minnesota.) Locally, George said the Fab Lab is garnering a lot of attention from the community—and officials in neighboring school districts.
But more importantly, what do the students think? George references a sports film for that answer: “It’s been like ‘Field of Dreams’—build it and they will come.” George said the students are loving the in-high-demand Fab Lab. “The students are very engaged and excited; they come in during lunch and after school,” she said. George noted that one Friday after school—a time when your average students would be getting as far away from school as possible—there were 12 students working in the Fab Lab. George said students often bring in their friends from outside school districts to show off the lab. Thus far, only one college-level course is offered at the high school. Most of the students in the course have taken to it “like fish to water,” says George. “The students come in, put on their lab coats and act like they’ve been doing this half their life.” The Fab Lab software is difficult, which requires the students to learn rapidly through teamwork. “It’s more about time management,” said Tierney Putman, Mahtomedi’s Fab Lab teacher/supervisor. “You have to have a mature outlook on your time. You are given a certain time to solve a problem and you have to do it as a team. Some kids struggle with time management.” All students have to take a safety course before they work in the lab. Students are required to wear ear and eye protection for certain tasks like soldering circuits.
Mahtomedi students are utilizing software to design threedimensional objects.
LAB-orious origins The Mahtomedi School Board laid the early groundwork for the eventual Fab Lab-friendly atmosphere when they decided their school system should be engineering-focused and approved the district’s engineering program (along with a director of engineering position) in 2007.
“The lasers are intoxicating to watch,” George said. “There were a couple of small fires, which (the students) found highly amusing. They are learning what it means to be safe and responsible.”
The next step came in fall 2009 when the district’s residents passed a bond referendum that allowed for renovating the high school.
Along with the high school course, there’s also an evening class for community members. “The community members that come in during the evening are also engaged. They come early and stay late,” George said.
“We noticed our science and engineering departments were lacking and we needed to improve them,” George said. “We were looking into what a STEM lab looked like. How could we build a space that teachers could use for engineering applications?”
Mahtomedi School Board member Kevin Donovan is one of those engaged community member-students. “Having taken a series of community education classes on ‘How to Build Almost Anything,’ I know firsthand how challenging this course work is,” Donovan said.
George accompanied some district officials and the school’s architects to a state-of-the-art STEM lab in Illinois. But George wasn’t impressed. “I saw the same old thing. I saw nothing new,” she said.
The entire Mahtomedi community and officials from several other school districts were invited to a Fab Lab open house held last November. The event was packed, with a long line streaming out the door. “We really wanted our community to see it and thank them for their support,” George said. Each piece of equipment was manned by a Mahtomedi student, who would explain and demonstrate for curious community members. The students put a local touch on the event by handing out key fobs they produced in the lab with “Made in Mahtomedi” inscribed on them. Dr. Sherry Lassiter, MIT’s Global Fab Lab manager, paid the site a visit in the fall. “What an honor for her to come down and see what we’re doing,” George said.
However, George soon became impressed with something else she discovered in a news article—something much closer to home. George read about the Fab Lab facility at nearby Century College in White Bear Lake. Putman, one of Century’s lab assistants at that time, had won an award at the Minnesota State Fair for an “instant shelter” she’d produced at Century’s Fab Lab for Hurricane Katrina victims. The shelter could be put together in two days by two people with rubber mallets. “I went to see it and it was amazing,” George said. “I was intrigued that something of that importance could be built by college kids. I thought this was cutting-edge, 21st-century technology . . . I think this is where we should go with our district.” MARCH/APRIL 2012
Mahtomedi’s administration and architects also became impressed with what George saw. “So we decided to rethink how we were going to redesign that space,” George said. “I did a lot of research on what a Fab Lab is.”
George called on the best minds for guidance. Locally, she went to Putman and Fab Lab Director Dr. Scott Simenson at Century College. Nationally, she contacted officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The school board gave the green light to the plans developed by the architects and endorsed the Fab Lab concept. Simonsen fleshed out the Fab Lab’s design. MIT provided equipment and curriculum. The district had the good fortune of hiring Putman away from Century to teach classes. The end result: a unique, cutting-edge facility led by a qualified instructor for Mahtomedi’s students and community. “We provide our students with a very robust and rigorous curriculum,” said Donovan. “The Fab Lab helps make all the course work relevant. Our students have a leg up on their peers when they get to college, having already experienced a hands-on collaborative environment and using state-of-the-art equipment. Our students get to experience the engineering design loop, from research and development to engineering and technical implementation.” Because the voters who supported the 2009 bond paid for the Fab Lab’s infrastructure, George kept the community involved from the beginning, even forming a Fab Lab Design Committee comprised of several area artists and engineers. “The community totally embraced the Fab Lab,” she said. George’s grant writing and community support helped cover equipment, supplies and computers.
A grant proposal to Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation led to a $70,000 windfall in less than 10 minutes at the foundation’s fundraising gala. A second Georgepenned grant application to 3M generated an additional $109,000. 3M’s Education Board even met with the district’s engineering and science teachers to discuss the vision of the Fab Lab.
FAB-ulous future George said the district is in the process of expanding course offerings and deciding what other curriculum to use. The district plans on sending one of its science teachers to the Fab Academy to be trained in order to offer its students more course sections. Putman was a graduate of the Fab Academy, taught by Dr. Neil Gershenfel (professor and director of MIT’s Center of Bits and Atoms)—the same professor referenced earlier, who founded the Fab Lab concept. Third graders started using some of the Fab Lab tools in a limited “Flex Lab” capacity. Middle schoolers are already using the Fab Lab for their Gateway to Technology engineering classes. Mahtomedi officials are considering an online program that students from other districts could take (giving them access to the lab twice a week). George said that would only be done after determining the needs of their own students first. George said she wasn’t surprised that there were no other K–12 Fab Labs. “It’s a very difficult concept to translate into a K–12 system,” she said. “Our engineering program had provided a perfect pathway to it.” George said that finance and staff development/training are the biggest obstacles for school districts looking to construct a Fab Lab of their own. “I think you will see Fab Lab will become common in high schools,” George said, saying that Mahtomedi is “working out the wrinkles” for the school districts that follow in their path. “In a few years, it won’t be such a big deal.”
Mahtomedi students are already mastering their Fab Lab’s laser cutters, producing such items as this key pad. 14
Related link: The Fab Lab on KARE 11 http://www.kare11.com /news/article/946556/16/ Mahtomedis-Fab-Lab-bringsworld-class-engineering-tostudents
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EXPLAINING SCHOOL BUDGETS TO THE PUBLIC
As a board member, superintendent, business manager or staff person, school finance and the resulting district financial position can often be very complex to explain to the general public, particularly as we are highly regulated by state and federal mandates. So here are four examples of common questions and responses to those questions: Why does the school have a budget problem when my taxes went up and they are receiving more money?
A property ownerâ€™s taxes may go up or down for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are changes in value of the property, changes in values of other properties in the surrounding area, special assessment for street improvements, school district referendums, and legislative changes to tax formulas.
The majority of school district taxes can only be increased through voter approval of an operating, capital or bond referendum. Other ways a district may increase or decrease school taxes are facility or program project/funding approval from the state (e.g., Health and Safety, or Integration aid programs), enrollment changes, and state formula changes as determined by the state legislature. If a district doesn’t have an increase in any of the areas above, a property owner’s school taxes may still go up even if their property value stays the same or goes down. The majority of the basic formulas for determining the various school funding formulas are enrollment based. As a result, school revenues increase and decrease with changes in enrollment. Some school revenues are 100 percent funded by the state while others are funded by a combination of state and local taxes, again determined by the state. Even if enrollment stays the same or decreases, the distribution of funding between local tax levy and state aid may change, which may increase taxes. The chart below shows that if state aid goes up, taxes go down with total state-authorized revenue to the district staying the same. Why do schools say they “cut” their budgets when expenditures increased from the prior year? The business sector often uses the term “cut” in expenditures to mean a decrease in spending from the previous year. In education the term “cut” can be a decrease in spending from the previous year or a decrease in projected growth. A cut that is made with expenses still increasing from the prior year could instead be termed a cost containment, budget adjustment, or realignment of projected growth of the budget. Basically, the budget isn’t allowed to grow at the projected rate but does increase over the prior year. Please see the chart at right. MARCH/APRIL 2012
There are cases when a district does “cut” as defined by the business sector, but would still see a growth in total expenditures from the prior year; for example:
EXPLAINING SCHOOL BUDGETS TO THE PUBLIC
• Districts with rapid enrollment growth receive increased funding for the growth and need to add staff to meet student needs, resulting in overall expenditures growth from the prior year while cutting in other areas.
• Districts that receive increased funding in a special category for a program/project could increase expenditures as well as increase revenues. Considering the many variables that impact a district’s budget, it is important to contact the district’s business official for detailed information regarding questions you may have regarding changes in the district’s budget. How does the shift in state aid payments affect the district? Throughout a school year and after, the state collects data from the district to make sure that each district is accurately paid their amount of state aid entitlement. The example in the chart below shows that in the past the district received 90 percent of the state aid entitlement in the current school year and 10 percent the following school year. Over the last 5 years, the state aid entitlement payment has been changed to 60 percent in the current year and 40 percent the following year. This has resulted in
increased cash flow borrowing costs by schools to pay payroll and vendors—costs that cannot be shifted. In the example provided in the chart below, this has resulted in almost a $20 million cash flow shift over five years. Once the shift is implemented, the combination of the current year payment and the prior year payment is close to the overall entitlement; however, a greater percentage of the annual cash received is for the prior year. A personal example of the cash flow shift would be if an individual or employee paycheck included payment for work in the current year of 60 percent of their contract and payment for work in the prior year of 40 percent of their prior year contract. The shift to an individual or employee from a 90/10 percent ratio may result in the personal need to borrow money for fixed expenses. Why maintain fund balance? Sound fiscal management which results in a reasonable and responsible fund balance has a longterm positive impact on the success of students. It validates fiscal credibility with various reporting constituencies. It is important to the establishment of a good credit rating for the District, and it is necessary for unknown situations such as these: • Irregular payments of state and local revenues • State aid proration, metering of payments, tax shift, and state shutdown
• Mandated but not funded programs • Higher utility costs and/or other fixed costs • Startup costs for new buildings • Greater than expected inflation • Changes in enrollment and state funding The board can ensure appropriate fund balance levels thru board policy. The new GASB 54 requirements allow boards to set a minimum fund balance level. Many districts consult with their auditors, review similar district policies and refer to their long-range financial plan in determining their minimum fund balance level. The board may also “commit” fund balance for a specific purpose and subsequently remove or change it by a majority vote of the school board. Examples of board commitments in this area may be an additional percent to be used for one of these: • cash flow due to the tax shift and/or aid payment shift • capital improvements for deferred maintenance in buildings • specialized grant funding received and spent over multiple years The board may also “assign” fund balances or delegate the assigning of fund balances to the superintendent or a designee to be used for specific purposes when appropriate. An example of an assigned fund balance may be site carryover dollars. An appropriation of an existing fund balance to eliminate a projected budgetary deficit in the subsequent year’s budget, in an amount no greater than the projected excess of expected expenditures over expected revenues, satisfies the criteria to be classified as an assignment of fund balance. These are just a few common questions of many that are received from our general public. Information is readily available from your business office to be able to respond to questions from stakeholders. Additional resources for financial information are the district’s auditors, other district comparisons, Minnesota Association of School Business Officials and the Minnesota Department of Education. Margo M. Nash, RSBO, is Director of Business Services for Edina Public Schools and the president-elect for the Minnesota Association of School Business Officials. Dylan
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This information does not represent an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any fund or other security. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in any of the Fund's series. This and other information about the Fund's series is available in the Fund's current Information Statement, which should be read carefully before investing. A copy of the Fund's Information Statement may be obtained by calling 1-888-4MSDLAF or is available on the Fund's website at www.msdlaf.org. While the MSDLAF+ Liquid Class and MAX Class seek to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share and the MSDLAF+ TERM series seeks to achieve a net asset value of $1.00 per share at its stated maturity, it is possible to lose money investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Shares of the Fund are distributed by PFM Fund Distributors, Inc., member Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (www.finra.org) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) (www.sipc.org). PFM Fund Distributors, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PFM Asset Management LLC.
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SUPPORTING OUR MILITARY FAMILIES
Dr. Charles Kyte
While many families struggle in these difficult times, one group of families carries an even larger burden. These are the families of our men and women serving in the military. As we know all too well, this small percentage of individuals and their families have seen disruption in their lives over the past 10 years, and this disruption is likely to continue. We, as education leaders, should do our part to help make their lives just a little bit easier.
Recently a coalition of organizations and associations came together from across Minnesota to strategize about ways to help support the families and children of those in military service. Led by Frannie Franken, spouse of Senator Al Franken, and former U.S. Congressman Jim Ramstad, this group engaged in a collaborative effort to plan how to provide more support.
I was proud to see the involvement of many of the education associations standing together with civic and business groups from across the state. Every city and town in Minnesota has seen the effects of military deployments. In addition to the young men and women enlisting in the active military forces, we have thousands of Reservists and National Guard troops who have been called to active duty. Many of them have seen more than a single deployment.
Many of those in military service are in marital relationships and many have schoolage children. Think about the effect on the whole family as they deal with awaiting announcements about deployments, the actual deployment of a parent, the familyâ€™s adjustment to one parent and often the loss of income. And most of all, they worry about safety and the return of the serving member. Often the return of the military parent is even more confusing for the children than the actual deployment. They have to navigate a returning parent, the rebuilding of a marital and parental relationship, worries about jobs and after-deployment stresses that affect the whole family. We as educators must care for every child, and there is no shortage of challenges in caring about students and families these days. Yet it is imperative that educators become aware of the challenges of our military families and go a little extra distance to help them make it through the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies these military experiences. So what can we do? As school board members and superintendents, you can create policy that encourages staff to keep the children of Indigo military members under extra care. You can, within the guidelines of data privacy, let your principals and teachers know which families some extra funding that they can provide to the are affected. You can reach out to other community schools which can be used to help fund extra agencies and groups and ask them to be partners opportunities and fees that are required for with you in your efforts. Superintendents especially participation. These connections not only can help can use opportunities to speak to community groups the children, but also build goodwill with the to ask them for support for these families. veteransâ€™ organizations. Principals can have a list of the children of military Caring happens in little ways. As an educator, you are families available so they and counselors can check in a person of influence in your community, and your with them frequently. If there are groups of affected caring can result in a child (or children) having a children, creating support groups helps them to better chance to grow and learn successfully. I ask share their challenges. When children of military you to take a step forward and engage yourself in families act out, be ready to recognize that their helping your school system help our military families home situations may play a role in their behaviors. and their children. Together we can build a better Be especially watchful for bullying and insensitive America. remarks from other children. Dr. Charles Kyte is the former Executive Director of the All schools can enlist the support of veteransâ€™ Minnesota Association of School Administrators. organizations in their communities. These organizations are always supportive, and often have MARCH/APRIL 2012
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Take an interactive tour at renlearn.com/lp/18947 MARCH/APRIL 2012
91ST ANNUAL LEADERSHIP MINNESOTA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
Volume 64, No. 4
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91st Annual Leadership Conference • Phase I, January 10 – Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis • Phase II, January 11 – Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis • Evening Early Birds, January 11 – Minneapolis Convention Center
#(,#*Minneapolis Convention Center
Above Left: Friday’s keynote speaker Steve Gilliland left a room full of education leaders inspired with his “Making a Difference” talk. Above Right: Thursday’s keynote, NSBA Past President Earl Rickman III, engaged the audience with his distinctive oratorial stylings.
Above: The Braham Concert Band opened Thursday’s general session with a variety of songs. Right: The Harding High Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets displayed the colors during the national anthem prior to Thursday’s session.
Above: The United South Central Jazz Singers entertained school leaders before Friday morning’s closing session.
CONFERENCE SCRAPBOOK Left: MSBA Executive Director Bob Meeks congratulates Tri-County School Board member James Sollund on his 40 years of school board service at the Leadership Conference Recognition Luncheon. Right: Spring Lake Park School Board member Marilynn Forsberg was recognized at the luncheon for her 30 years of school board service.
Left: The 2012 All-State School Board was honored at the Leadership Conference Recognition Luncheon. The All-State School Board is comprised of (left to right): Judy Raske (Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City), Rolf Mohwinkel (Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose), Carol Bomben (Eden Prairie) and Candace Ellingworth (Kasson-Mantorville).
Left: MSBA Deputy Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind was announced as MSBA Executive Director Bob Meeksâ€™ successor. Right: Mesabi East School Board member Walter Hautala is MSBAâ€™s new president-elect and will succeed President Kent Thiesse in 2013.
MSBA’s VENDOR DIRECTORY MSBA’s Vendor Directory helps connect school districts with the products and services they need. The directory is always at your fingertips. You’ll find it printed in the back of every Journal magazine as well as on the MSBA Web site at www.mnmsba.org. Most listings in the Web version of this directory include a link so you can head instantly to a Web site or e-mail address. The directory includes everything you need to know to contact a company quickly—phone numbers, fax numbers and addresses—in an easy-to-read format. If you have a service or product you would like included in this directory, please contact Sue Munsterman at 507-934-2450 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Actuary Hildi Incorporated (Jill Urdahl) 11800 Singletree Lane, Suite 305 Minneapolis, MN 55344 952-934--5554, Fax 952-934-3027 www.hildiinc.com email@example.com Appraisal/Capital Assets Hirons & Associates, Inc. (Mark T. Hessel) 225 E. Fairmount Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53217 414-906-1921, Fax 414-906-1932 www.hironsassociates.com firstname.lastname@example.org Architects/Engineers/Facility Planners Architects Rego + Youngquist inc. (Paul Youngquist) 7601 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 200 St. Louis Park, MN 55426 952-544-8941, Fax 952-544-0585 www.aryarch.com email@example.com ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers (Paul W. Erickson) 8501 Golden Valley Rd., Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55427 763-545-3731 Fax 763-525-3289 www.atsr.com firstname.lastname@example.org Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. (Judith Hoskens) 201 Main Street SE, Suite 325 Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-817-8839, Fax 612-379-4400 www.cuningham.com email@example.com DLR Group (Jennifer Anderson-Tuttle) 520 Nicollet Mall, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-977-3500, Fax 612-977-3600 www.dlrgroup.com firstname.lastname@example.org GLTArchitects (Evan Larson) 808 Courthouse Square St. Cloud, MN 56303 320-252-3740, Fax 320-255-0683 www.gltarchitects.com email@example.com
Hallberg Engineering, Inc. (Rick Lucio) 1750 Commerce Court White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-748-4386, Fax 651-748-9370 www.hallbergengineering.com firstname.lastname@example.org ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 www.ics-consult.com email@example.com INSPEC, INC. (Fred King) 5801 Duluth St. Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-546-3434, Fax 763-546-8669 www.inspec.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd. (Edward J. Kodet, Jr.) 15 Groveland Terrace Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-377-2737, Fax 612-377-1331 www.kodet.com email@example.com MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com firstname.lastname@example.org Paulsen Architects (Bryan Paulsen) 209 S. Second Street, Suite 201 Mankato, MN 56001 507-388-9811, Fax 507-388-1751 www.paulsenarchitects.com email@example.com Perkins + Will (Steve Miller) 84 10th Street S., Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-851-5094, Fax 612-851-5001 www.perkinswill.com firstname.lastname@example.org TSP, Inc. (Rick Wessling) 18707 Old Excelsior Blvd. Minneapolis, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928 www.teamtsp.com email@example.com
Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-829-5117, Fax 218-829-2517 www.wsn.us.com firstname.lastname@example.org Wold Architects and Engineers (Scott McQueen) 305 St. Peter Street St. Paul, MN 55102 651-227-7773, Fax 651-223-5646 www.woldae.com email@example.com Athletic Sports Floors/Surfacing Fisher Tracks, Inc. (Jordan Fisher) 1192 235th Street Boone, IA 50036 515-432-3191, Fax 515-432-3193 www.fishertracks.com firstname.lastname@example.org
MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com email@example.com Attorneys Kennedy & Graven Chartered (Neil Simmons) 200 South Sixth Street, Suite 470 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 www.kennedy-graven.com firstname.lastname@example.org Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A. (Thomas S. Deans) 1155 Centre Pointe Dr., Suite 10 Mendota Heights, MN 55120 651-222-2811, Fax 651-225-0600 www.kfdmn.com email@example.com Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kershner, PLLP (Mike Rengel) 110 N. Mill Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950 www.pemlaw.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. (Jay T. Squires) 730 2nd Ave. S., Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038 www.ratwiklaw.com email@example.com
Facilities Maintenance & Supplies Marsden Bldg Maintenance, LLC (Diane Lewis) 1717 University Ave. W. St. Paul, MN 55104 www.marsden.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Construction Mgmt & Consulting Bossardt Corporation (Greg Franzen) 8300 Norman Center Drive, Suite 770 Minneapolis, MN 55437 952-831-5408 or 800-290-0119 Fax 952-831-1268 www.bossardt.com email@example.com ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 www.ics-consult.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. (John Huenink) 8625 Rendova Street NE Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 www.krausanderson.com email@example.com Metz Construction Management, Inc. (Deb Metz) 20759 Eastway Road Richmond, MN 56368 612-236-8665 www.metzmanagement.com firstname.lastname@example.org MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com email@example.com
Financial Management MSBA-Sponsored Administration and Compliance Service (A&C Service) Administration and Compliance Service (Paige McNeal, Educators Benefit Consultants, LLC) 888-507-6053/763-552-6053 Fax 763-552-6055 www.ebcsolutions.com firstname.lastname@example.org MSBA-Sponsored Lease Purchase Program Tax Exempt Lease Purchase Program (Mary Webster, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC) 800-835-2265, ext. 73110 612-667-3110 Fax 612-316-3309 www.mnmsba.org email@example.com MSBA-Sponsored MNTAAB (MN Tax and Aid Anticipation Borrowing Program) MNTAAB (DeeDee Kahring, Springsted, Inc.) 800-236-3033/651-223-3099 Fax 651-223-3002 www.springsted.com firstname.lastname@example.org MSBA-Sponsored P-Card (Procurement Card) Program P-Card Program 800-891-7910/314-878-5000 Fax 314-878-5333 www.powercardpfm.com MSBA-Sponsored SchoolFinances.com SchoolFinances.com (Jim Sheehan, Ann Thomas) Sheehan: 952-435-0990 Thomas: 952-435-0955 www.schoolfinances.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax: 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com email@example.com PFM Asset Management, LLC MSDLAF+ (Donn Hanson) 45 South 7th Street, Suite 2800 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-371-3720, Fax 612-338-7264 www.msdlaf.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational Programs/Services Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind (Linda Mitchell) 615 Olof Hanson Dr. Faribault, MN 55021 800-657-3996/507-384-6602 Fax 507-332-5528 www.msa.state.mn.us email@example.com Renaissance Learning 2911 Peach Street Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 800-338-4204 www.renlearn.com firstname.lastname@example.org Energy Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. (Brent Jones) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N., Suite T Plymouth, MN 55447 763-585-5039, Fax 763-566-2208 www.johnsoncontrols.com email@example.com
Floor Coverings Hiller Commercial Floors (Dave Bahr) 2909 S. Broadway Rochester, MN 55904 507-254-6858, Fax 507-288-8877 www.hillercarpet.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Software Systems PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com email@example.com
Food Service Products & Services Lunchtime Solutions, Inc. (Deni Ferlick) 717 N. Derby Lane North Sioux City, SD 57049 712-251-0427, Fax 605-235-0942 www.lunchtimesolutions.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustainability Consulting Paulsen Architects (Bryan Paulsen) 209 S. Second Street, Suite 201 Mankato, MN 56001 507-388-9811, Fax 507-388-1751 www.paulsenarchitects.com email@example.com
Insurance Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust (MSBAIT) (Denise Drill, Gary Lee, John Sylvester, Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor) 1900 West Jefferson Avenue St. Peter, MN 56082-3015 800-324-4459, Fax 507-931-1515 www.mnmsba.org www.msbait.org firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Technology PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Janitorial Contract Services Marsden Bldg Maintenance, LLC (Diane Lewis) 1717 University Ave. W. St. Paul, MN 55104 www.marsden.com email@example.com Playgrounds MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com firstname.lastname@example.org Roofing Four Seasons Energy Efficient Roofing, Inc. (Darrell Schaapveld) 1410 Quant Ave. N. Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 651-433-2443, Fax 651-433-2834 www.fseer.com email@example.com School Supplies/Furniture CTB (Kevin Stachowski) 26327 Fallbrook Ave. Wyoming, MN 55092 651-462-3550, Fax 651-462-8806 www.ctbcorp.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation American Bus Sales, LLC (Jason Lustig) 12802 N. 103rd East Avenue Collinsville, OK 74021 866-574-9970, Fax 918-274-9970 www.AmericanBusSales.net email@example.com Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) 116 East Oakwood Drive PO Box 249 Monticello, MN 55362 763-295-5119, Fax 763-295-4992 www.hoglundbus.com firstname.lastname@example.org Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (Shelly Jonas) 10606 Hemlock Street NW Annandale, MN 55302 320-274-8313, Fax 320-274-8027 www.msboa.com email@example.com North Central Bus & Equipment (Sandy Kiehm) 2629 Clearwater Road South St. Cloud, MN 56301 320-257-1209, Fax 320-252-3561 www.northcentralinc.com firstname.lastname@example.org Telin Transportation Group (Jamie Romfo) 14990 Industry Avenue Becker, MN 55308 866-287-7278, 763-262-3328 Fax 763-262-3332 www.telingroup.com email@example.com
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A FEW BASIC QUESTIONS ABOUT PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE One of the many things that seem daunting when coming onto a board is trying to figure out Robert’s Rules of Order. With its vast array of main motions, subsidiary motions, and incidental motions, the rules may seem complex. So here are a few of the most common questions we get about Robert’s Rules.
O By Greg Abbott MSBA Director of Communications
The basic reasons for having Robert’s Rules are to allow for common courtesy when board members speak, to give minority views a chance to be heard and to run efficient meetings.
will be for schools, so an item is postponed indefinitely until the state sets its funding amount.
Question: There’s a member on our board who was upset that a motion was approved by a 5–2 vote. Each meeting, he keeps bringing up a motion to rescind or reconsider the decision. Can he keep doing Question: I looked at our version of Robert’s that? Rules we adopted and it talks about standing Answer: Generally, no. But there is a to vote, and how the president doesn’t have a difference between reconsidering a motion vote. Are we doing things incorrectly? and rescinding a past motion. To reconsider Answer: Robert’s Rules were designed for a motion, a member who voted in the large boards (12 members or more). When majority must make the motion and it must looking at the actual book for Parliamentary be done AT THE SAME MEETING. Procedure, school board members should Otherwise, the motion is out of order and follow guidelines for small boards. The rules the meeting moves on. Making a motion to for small boards are much more relaxed. rescind must be done at the meeting Voting can be done by voice vote or raising immediately following approval of the hands—no rising from the chair. The chair motion. Even then, a motion to rescind of a board has every right to and should vote requires that a person notify the chair that it on every motion to come before the board. is being requested to be on the agenda, and And many of the formalities in large board it must show that new information would procedures are relaxed. The basic reasons effect a change in the vote. Robert’s Rules for having Robert’s Rules are to allow for doesn’t like boards to rescind their decisions. common courtesy when board members In some cases (mainly contractual where a speak, to give minority views a chance to be bid has been accepted or a contract heard and to run efficient meetings. As long approved) it can even be illegal and put your as those three tenets are followed, you are board in danger of a civil lawsuit for using Robert’s Rules correctly. breaking a contract. Unless there is new information and that information could Question: I’m really confused about the effect a different outcome, a motion to difference between tabling an item on the rescind should be ruled out of order and the agenda and postponing an item on the board proceeds onward. agenda. Is there really any difference? Question: Sometimes we end up putting an Answer: Yes. To table an item (or technically amendment on an amendment and then a to Lay on the Table) is to postpone vote is called, and I don’t even know what discussion of the item until later during the I’m voting on. Other than abstain, what can same meeting. Postponing an item would be I do? to delay discussion of an item until a later meeting (postpone definitely) or delay Answer: You should not abstain. If you do discussion until the board wants to revisit it not know what the effect of voting “yea” or again, if ever (postpone indefinitely). An “nay” on an amendment will do, simply call example of tabling an item may be delaying “Point of Information.” This motion halts discussion on a budget item until the finance everything until the chair or school official officer can print off background on a certain can inform you exactly how a yea or nay vote expense and get it to the board later in the will impact the amendment so everyone meeting. Postponing may be a budget knows what their vote means. decision that is linked to what state funding
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The Minnesota School Boards Association Journal Magazine for March-April of 2012