MINNESOTA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
Volume 65, No. 2
Closing Minnesota’s Achievement Gap: A State Imperative A Case Study in Successful Reorganization As Some Districts Cut Back on Gifted Programs, SAGE Went Forward
SUMMER SEMINAR Scrapbook page 31
It’s All About Student Achievement!
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VOLUME 65, NUMBER 2
Calendar SEPTEMBER 2012
4 5 6 32 35
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 Gary Lee
CLOSING MINNESOTA’S ACHIEVEMENT GAP: A STATE IMPERATIVE Steven Rosenstone
A CASE STUDY IN SUCCESSFUL REORGANIZATION Dr. Debra Bowers
AS SOME DISTRICTS CUT BACK ON GIFTED PROGRAMS, SAGE WENT FORWARD Pam Winfield
QUALITY RECESS CAN HELP IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS Deb Loy
FARMING AGRICULTURAL LESSONS ACROSS A SCHOOL CURRICULUM Sue Knott
SUMMER SEMMINAR SCRAPBOOK MSBA Staff
OCTOBER 2012 4 .....................MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting 4–5 .................MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 8 .....................Columbus Day Observed (optional holiday) 11–12 .............MN Association of Educational Office Professionals Conference 18–19 .............Education Minnesota Conference
CONTENTS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
3 .....................Labor Day (no meetings) 11 ...................MSBA Fall Area Meetings 12 ...................MSBA Fall Area Meetings 13 ...................MSBA Fall Area Meetings 18 ...................MSBA Fall Area Meetings 19 ...................MSBA Fall Area Meetings 20 ...................MSBA Fall Area Meetings 28 ...................Last day for submitting Legislative Resolutions 30–Oct. 2 .......MASA Fall Conference
N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 2 1–2 .................MASBO Fall Conference 4 .....................Daylight Saving Time Ends 6 .....................Election Day (no meetings or activities 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.) 8 .....................MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 11 ...................Veterans Day (no meetings) 11–17 .............American Education Week 12 ...................Veterans Day Observed (no meetings) 14 ...................Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Annual Meeting 14–15 .............MSBA Pre-Delegate Assembly Meetings 17 ...................MSBA Pre-Delegate Assembly Meetings 22 ...................Thanksgiving Day (no meetings) 23 ...................Optional Holiday
The MSBA Journal thanks the students of Winona Area Public Schools for sharing their art with us in this issue. COVER ART:
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
Quotes of Note captures some of the more interesting statements MSBA staff have read in local, state and national publications.
Reducing the amount of student fundraising for sports “The burden falls on the smaller businesses and the families that maybe aren’t in the premier sports. The focus there is to take the burden off Main Street.” Jim Ellingson, Litchfield School Board Member
Deciding to go out for a levy referendum “I believe people have said to us, ‘Tell us what you need.’ I think our responsibility will be in identifying how the dollars will be used and the impact they will have on St. Paul students.” Elona Street-Stewart, St. Paul Board Vice Chair
Magnet Schools “Right now, we are not able to accommodate all of the people who want to attend our magnets. It is a competitive marketplace. We are at the point where choice is the norm. It is what people are used to. We certainly have seen evidence families do look at what a school district has to offer.” Randy Clegg, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Superintendent
New Bullying Task Force recommendations “We recognize this is a serious issue. But we also have to look at the reality of if we have the manpower to deal with all of the reporting mechanisms that have been talked about at one point or another.” Kelly Smith, Belle Plaine Superintendent
Dealing with aftermath of a flood by asking for state funding help “Our biggest challenge is that the state legislators think if we let one school through, then everyone is going to be knocking down our doors. What they forget is that we went through the flood, and we did not get enough funding to build a new school, and it was a huge Band-Aid and we still have issues from the flood today.” Angela Colbenson, Rushford-Peterson Board Chair
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.)
LATEST POLL SHOWS PEOPLE STILL WANT LOCAL CONTROL OF THEIR SCHOOLS
As “think tanks” continue to parrot uninformed snippets about how local school governance is a “dinosaur” that needs to be replaced, I was encouraged by a recent study in Public Opinion Quarterly that shows the general public wants local control of schools in ever-increasing numbers.
Bob Meeks MSBA Executive Director
We agree with local communities who pick citizens to serve on their local board—the closer you get to local control, the better representation and response you receive.
Although states are legally responsible for public education, the governance system for schools has historically been left in the hands of locally elected school board members. And despite a push for federal control under No Child Left Behind, and some states and mayors trying to seize control of school districts, the public sentiment for running the day-to-day functions of a school remain with local school board members. The most striking survey is a comparison of the Gallup poll from June 2000 to August 2010. Right before the era of NCLB, 46 percent of people thought the federal government should be more involved in education. Eight years into NCLB, that percentage fell to 43 percent. And the percentage of people who said the federal government should be less involved rose from 29 percent to 35 percent.
It’s also why MSBA backs local control of school boards so strongly. We agree with local communities who pick citizens to serve on their local board—the closer you get to local control, the better representation and response you receive. And every time we hear about a mayor, the Legislature or the federal government planning to replace locally elected boards with some alternate appointed system, MSBA will be there fighting for local control. Local control is not, and never will be, a dinosaur. Local control is embedded in our country’s system of democracy. It is a part of our history and our future that will continue to make this country great. For more on the study, pull up the full report in the Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2, from June of 2012.
The same statistics continue to show when people are asked who should play the biggest role in how the public schools are run: 53 percent picked local school boards, 23 percent picked the state and 20 percent picked the federal government. When problems arise in education, the public was also asked who should carry the main responsibility for improving schools. Again, 50 percent wanted local boards to improve schools, compared to 33 percent for state and 13 percent for federal responsibility. The study’s findings show that there are some areas where the public favors state and federal government—such as funding equity and educational standards. The public sees a role for each type of governance, but it is very clear that for “running schools” or “improving schools” they give firm support to the people they elect to the school board. Gabe Weilandt
PRESIDENT’S COLUMN DELEGATE ASSEMBLY PROCESS SETS MSBA POLICIES
As MSBA President, I have frequently been asked: “Where do the MSBA policy positions originate?” The MSBA legislative development process is one of the most “grassroots” processes that exist in local government. All of the current MSBA legislative policies are listed on the “Pink Sheets,” which can be accessed on the MSBA website (www.mnmsba.org) under the “Government Relations” section.
Kent Thiesse MSBA President
School board members are encouraged to get involved in the MSBA resolution process by attending the upcoming Fall Area Meetings, and reviewing the “Pink Sheets” on the MSBA website.
Once the resolutions are received from local school boards and board members, they are reviewed by MSBA Government Relations staff members Grace Kelliher and Kirk Schneidawind. All submitted resolutions are then finalized or approved by the MSBA Board of Directors at their October board meeting, before the resolutions go on to the full Delegate Assembly.
The “Pink Sheets” guide the MSBA organization in the educational policies that they support, and provide guidance to the MSBA Governmental Relations staff in their lobbying effort at the state Legislature and with state administration.
It a good idea to review the MSBA “Pink Sheets” on the MSBA website before submitting a resolution for consideration. Grace and Kirk on the MSBA staff can also be a valuable resource in drafting the best terminology in potential resolutions.
Most of the legislative policies in the MSBA “Pink Sheets” originated from a resolution submitted by a local school board or board member, or from the elected MSBA Board. Most of these policy recommendations are based on issues or needs that have been identified at the local level, but many times affect numerous school districts across the state. Enacting appropriate legislation, based on the policies adopted by the MSBA Delegate Assembly process, can lead to enhanced educational resources, improvements in student achievement, and better school district management.
Once the submitted resolutions have been reviewed by MSBA staff and the MSBA Board, the resolutions go to the entire MSBA Delegate Assembly. The Delegate Assembly is comprised of 136 local school board members who are elected in 32 areas across the State, plus the 15 school board members who serve on the MSBA Board. Pre-Delegate Assembly meetings for all delegates are held in November, where all resolutions are reviewed in detail by the MSBA staff.
Following are some examples of past MSBA legislative policy positions that originated at the local school district level, were formulated into a policy position, and ultimately resulted in state legislative action that became law in the past couple of years: • “MSBA urges the Legislature to repeal the January 15 penalty for not settling teacher contracts.” • “MSBA urges the Legislature to allow school districts to have more flexibility in assigning staff development funds.” • “MSBA supports amending the Minnesota Teacher Tenure Law to allow public school district boards to suspend, without pay, teachers who have been charged with a felony until a criminal hearing or trial has been held.”
September is the beginning of another round of the MSBA Delegate Assembly process to set policies for the 2013 Legislative Session. Local school boards are encouraged to consider submitting resolutions to be considered as part of the MSBA Delegate Assembly process. These resolutions should be submitted to the MSBA office by late September.
• “MSBA urges the Legislature to maximize revenue from school district state trust fund lands.”
The full Delegate Assembly then meets in early December to vote on resolutions that were submitted. Once approved by the Delegate Assembly, the resolutions then become part of the MSBA “Pink Sheets,” which will help guide future MSBA policy decisions and lobbying efforts. School board members are encouraged to get involved in the MSBA resolution process by attending the upcoming Fall Area Meetings, and reviewing the “Pink Sheets” on the MSBA website. If issues or needs are identified, local school boards should consider submitting resolutions by late September for consideration in 2012. School board members should also consider having their name submitted for nomination as a delegate for the 2013 MSBA Delegate Assembly. Become part of the most grassroots policy development process.
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Closing Minnesotaâ€™s Achievement Gap: A State Imperative
M Bailey Ewing
Minnesota prides itself on being an education state, and Minnesotans list education as one of their top priorities. There is, indeed, much to be proud of: we consistently are No. 1 in the nation in ACT college test scores and in other measures of academic achievement. But what those aggregate scores donâ€™t reveal is that when we look more closely at almost any measure, Minnesotaâ€™s students of color and those from low-income families are among the lowest academic achievers in the nation. This is not just a metro-area phenomenon; this achievement gap exists in communities across our state. For example, eighth-graders in Minnesota rank second overall in math tests for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Only Massachusetts ranks higher. But if we shift the comparison to Latino students,
Minnesota’s eighth-grade Latinos rank 23rd nationally in math. Minnesota’s African-American fourth-graders rank 31st in reading. Here’s another painful point: in 2010, more than 80 percent of white Minnesota students graduated on time from high school, while less than 50 percent of black and Hispanic students graduated on time. This kind of disparity also exists in higher education. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, for example, have about a 12-point gap between students of color and white students in timely completion of degrees.
Why should we care about the achievement gap? The need for closing the achievement gap has never been greater. Minnesota is facing a significant shortage of workers with the education needed for the jobs of the future. By 2018, 70 percent of all jobs in Minnesota will require some postsecondary education; 85 percent of the new jobs created between now and 2018 will require some postsecondary education with over half of those jobs requiring a certificate or associate degree, not a baccalaureate degree. Put differently, to compete in the global, knowledge economy, more Minnesotans need higher levels of education than ever before. We need a more robust pipeline of increasingly skilled workers, and innovative and creative thinkers who can solve problems, are on the leading edge of knowledge creation, and can bring those solutions to market. Minnesota businesses also need a diverse workforce to work globally across geographic and cultural boundaries. If we don’t develop the workforce that is needed for Minnesota to be competitive, Minnesota will be in great jeopardy.
In a climatologically challenged state with modest population growth, we cannot afford for many young people from our state’s fastest-growing populations— people from communities of color and families of modest financial means—to be left behind. Students from all walks of life—young and old, rich and poor, black and white, immigrants and fourth-generation Minnesotans—must all
succeed in education. All students must graduate high school on time, be prepared for postsecondary education, and pursue the certificates and degrees that will lead to the careers they need to fill critical, well-paying jobs and lead happy, productive lives. Minnesota cannot afford to leave anyone behind. It is a state economic imperative that we close the achievement gap. Second, going forward, there will be virtually no jobs that will provide a decent standard of living to those who don’t complete some postsecondary education. Failing to close the achievement gap will condemn those left behind to a life of poverty. We cannot allow this to happen. As education leaders, we simply must do a better job preparing more students for careers that will both lift them out of poverty and enable Minnesota to compete in the global economy.
How can Minnesota close the gap? We need to recognize that the gap is pervasive and persistent, and starts at an early age. It is not just an early childhood issue, nor is it just a reading-by-grade-three problem, nor just a high school graduation or a college completion problem. It is all of these, and there is no one solution—no silver bullet—but rather many strategies at many levels that need to be pursued simultaneously. Parents, teachers, schools, communities, employers—all of us need to join together to meet this challenge. The P-20 Partnership, which includes more than 25 key educational organizations including the Minnesota School Boards Association, has begun to address this longstanding issue. Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius and University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler are on board. Others have also signed on, such as the PTA, school superintendents and principals groups, Education Minnesota, the private colleges and schools, legislators and business organizations. Because the P-20 Partnership is so broad, it can focus on transition points that a single group would not be able to affect by itself. Transition points include the transitions from early childhood to kindergarten, elementary to SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
secondary school, high school graduation to college and college completion to employment.
A State Imperative
Closing Minnesota’s Achievement Gap:
Given the importance of this issue, we have made tackling the achievement gap the P-20 Partnership’s sole focus for the next several years. We know it will take a sustained commitment by the partners individually and collectively to ensure results. In devising our strategy, the work of Harvard economist and researcher Dr. Ronald Ferguson seemed to hold a great deal of promise, so we invited him to present to the partnership in May. Dr. Ferguson has devoted much of his professional life to understanding and addressing issues of the achievement gap. His most recent book, Toward Excellence with Equity, outlines several approaches that can be the basis for a movement to address the complexity of the achievement gap and how all children in the United States can and must achieve at higher levels of educational attainment. Dr. Ferguson argues that as we address the equity portion of the achievement equation, we also must ensure excellence for all students. He identifies five groups that play a critical role in addressing the problem: parents, teachers (and schools), peers, employers and the community. He pinpoints research-based actions and roles each group can take that are proven to increase student learning and success. Here is a sampling. Parents: Parenting skills and “learning-focused home life” are two key ingredients to getting children off to a good start, according to his research and that of others. Teachers: Methods and routines for team-based review of student work and for observing and refining teaching make a measurable difference in student learning. Peers: Peers are important influencers of students. Research shows that fostering more cooperative learning norms both inside and outside the classroom makes a difference. So do actions that help create a culture in which students believe in success. Employers: Employers have a role in designing and participating in activities that help students learn about careers and the world of work, and in providing real-life opportunities to experience the world of work while in school and in the transition from school to career.
Community: The entire community has a role in providing programmatic supports for families, children and youth as well as places to connect, belong and contribute. In his work, Dr. Ferguson cites concrete examples of actions that have research-proven results in each of these sectors.
What can you do as school board members? • Become familiar with the achievement gaps in your school district and what is being done to address those gaps. • Learn about research-based interventions and approaches that will reduce the gap and help all students excel. Dr. Ferguson’s book would be one place to begin. • Support activities from early childhood through college preparation and readiness in your schools. • Encourage and enable teachers to learn from one another and from the latest research on practices that make a difference in student outcomes. • Make your schools welcoming places where students and families can have a sense of belonging. • Invite other community leaders and employers to join the discussion of the challenges and solutions. • Realize that it takes everyone working together toward the goal of excellence with equity for all Minnesota students. And, above all, stay the course. Be persistent, but also be patient. Together, we can eliminate the achievement gap in Minnesota. It is an imperative that we work together to do so.
Dr. Steven Rosenstone is the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and chairs the Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership. Prior to becoming chancellor in August 2011, Dr. Rosenstone was the University of Minnesota’s vice president for scholarly and cultural affairs and held the McKnight presidential leadership chair.
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PLANNERS / ARCHITECTS / ENGINEERS
A Case Study in Successful Reorganization Dr. Debra Bowers
St. Louis Park Public Schools have been extremely lean in administration, staff and services over the past 10 years due to budget reductions totaling $10 million. Further reductions in state funding were approaching and enrollment had declined. With a depleted fund balance, our K–12 programs were suffering and another round of budget cuts, would only hurt us more!
The only solution for our school district was to close a school. Starting back in the 1980s, St. Louis Park Public Schools had a natural East/West divide in the community with one K–3 and one 4–6 elementary school on each side of the district. The west side had significantly more students receiving free and reduced price meals than the east side. In addition, a Spanish immersion magnet school was created while the district was losing enrollment. Having too much physical capacity was also a financial burden on the school district. When we initially talked about elementary school closings, we heard concerns that it would disturb the sense of community. It is human nature to fear the loss of what we are
comfortable with. However, with the belief that a problem can be an opportunity, we found a way for the school closings to bring the community together while achieving financial benefits and continuing to provide quality education. There were no standard operating procedures or manuals explaining how to go about closing a school. What follows is a description of our journey and change process.
A School Closing Policy To begin, the school board adopted a School Closing Policy to clearly define the process for closing a school. The policy stated the following conditions for when a school closing could occur: replaced by a new building, the building was condemned and ordered closed, or the building has been deemed to be unnecessary or unprofitable to maintain by the district. The policy further states: before a building is closed, a report shall be submitted to the school board for approval. The report must include the following:
• Projection of the number of students in the affected area over the next five years;
were shared at more than 30 different staff meetings and with other internal audiences throughout the district.
• Manner in which the continuation of the educational programs for the affected students will be provided;
In addition to communicating to our internal stakeholders, it was important to present the facts to the entire community. To achieve this end, we conducted several community meetings where the facilities study findings were shared and comments from the community were documented and shared with the school board. We also provided the findings on the website and created a website to collect additional feedback. Televised school board meetings were used to provide updates to the community and provide opportunities for the school board to discuss options to meet the strategic plan results. The school board also conducted informal listening sessions to provide open dialogue about issues and options with the community. It was our collective aim to provide transparency in all parts of the process.
• Proposed date on which the closing will take place; • Projection of additional transportation and other related service; • Existence of any other outstanding financial commitments; • Proposed disposition of the school building; • Financial impact of closing the school building. The policy also required the school board to conduct a public hearing of the necessity and practicability of the proposed closing.
Aligning with the District Strategic Plan Occurring simultaneously with the school closing, the St. Louis Park school board adopted a Revised Strategic Plan which was communitycreated and results-driven. The strategic plan provided alignment with the school closing effort, as one of the specific results approved for immediate action was: “The facilities study is complete and the school board has approved a utilization plan for educational and financial benefits.” The school district hired an architectural firm to determine current capacity for all school buildings and recommend the optimal capacity to accomplish the Abbey Kline strategic plan results. It was important for our internal stakeholders (staff and administrators) to understand our current reality. The architectural firm’s facility plan findings
We created a districtwide Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) to review and discuss options based on the findings from the facility study. Committee members represented all schools in the school district equally. The committee was charged with creating options that would better serve the school district with a focus on the benefits in three areas: finance, education and equity. The FAC created and vetted more than 20 different possible grade configurations. After much discussion and public input, the FAC and the superintendent presented two grade-level configuration options with pros and cons to the school board—the two options were supported by our internal and external stakeholders, who agreed that all existing schools were not needed to provide educational services. The FAC and superintendent also noted that the district would achieve substantial cost savings and create opportunities for improved equity and educational programming by reconfiguring the schools.
A Case Study in
Based on this information, the school board unanimously passed a resolution to reconfigure the school district to create K–5, 6–8 and 9–12 school buildings, and to close a selected elementary school. Additional public input was sought and a public hearing was held. Results from this change were positive and included a net savings of $700,000 annually. Boundaries were redrawn, and the discrepancy between schools of students receiving free and reduced-price meals was reduced significantly. In addition, the Park Spanish Immersion School Entrance Policy was updated to increase the number of students attending who receive free and reduced-price meals in order to provide additional equity throughout the elementary schools. For St. Louis Park Public Schools, the key components to successful school closing included planning ahead, creating an open process and having the community invest in the process. The reconfiguration to transform the school district into K–5 elementary schools, a 6–8 middle school and a 9–12 high school, in addition to the school closing, enhanced educational programming and created better articulation for teaching and learning.
Learning from the changes While admittedly, not perfect, the changes have had a positive impact on the community. Our enrollment has stabilized and is beginning to grow. We have improved educational programming for students, and we are focused on providing equitable programming for all students. The real lesson was that the true work had just begun with the school closing. We asked our staff to think in new ways and to build new school cultures. We physically moved almost every K–6 teacher in the district. All of the above created new opportunities and challenges. It also created new dialogue in the community as we began the journey of changing our junior high into an effective middle school. I believe that this example demonstrates what school boards and superintendents will continue to grapple with in the future. With limited funding, how do we create better efficiencies while demonstrating continuous improvement for student success? To be successful, entire communities must come together to support change and accomplish productive results. Dr. Debra Bowers is superintendent for St. Louis Park Public Schools. To comment on her article, you can reach her at email@example.com.
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MACKIN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
As Some Districts Cut Back on Gifted Programs, SAGE Went Forward
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools has a long history of providing gifted and talented programming to students, but in recent years, our schools have really started to become noticed for offering new programs even in the face of budget cuts.
SAGE (School for the Advancement of Gifted Education) Academy is one program success story built on a commitment from the school board, administration and teachers, and strong community support. In 2008, following the passage of an operating referendum, gifted services were redesigned to add full-time gifted programming in grades three, four and five. As a result, SAGE Academy opened for the 2009â€“10 school year at the same time that many districts were actively cutting their gifted and talented programs.
Board, parents play a big part in SAGE success Prior Lake-Savage Area School Board members have played a large role in gifted and talented programming, and have been instrumental in encouraging parents within the district to take an active part not only in providing input regarding desired services, but also in working side by side crafting an exemplary educational program. In addition, the Synergy Parent Action Network (SPAN) group, a grassroots Education is not the organization of parents whose purpose filling of a pail, but is to serve as advocates for gifted the lighting of a fire. students, has provided input to district administration and school board â€“ William Butler Yeats members since its formation in the 1990s. SPAN members have worked with district personnel and the school board to provide rigorous educational opportunities to meet the needs of high-ability learners. With the passage of the 2008 levy referendum and support from the school board, district administration, SPAN, staff and the community, the Gifted Academy Task Force was formed and charged with designing a cost-neutral gifted academy. To accomplish this, the funding for SAGE required a reallocation of district funds including the reduction of Synergy services districtwide. The rationale for this change was that the majority of the students targeted to attend SAGE Academy were receiving Synergy services at their neighborhood elementary school prior to their admission into SAGE. With the formation of SAGE Academy, these students are now in classrooms with students of like ability. At the elementary buildings, Synergy services continue to be offered. However, the time and structure of the services has changed.
The Prior Lake-Savage Area School Board continues its commitment to the development of the high-ability learner. They support and fund the annual growth of SAGE Academy. This school-within-a-school is designed to meet the unique needs of the
gifted learners, keep high-ability learners in our school district and attract gifted students from the surrounding area to our unique program. Cultivating our high-ability students, and challenging them to develop their talents and work to reach their potential are expected outcomes of Real change our gifted programming. Parent choice remains a strong hallmark of the district’s gifted and talented programming. The majority of parents whose children qualify for SAGE Academy readily take advantage of the opportunity.
Enrollment has gone up SAGE Academy, located within WestWood Elementary, has seen enrollment steadily increase during its four years of operation:
begins with the simple act of people talking about what they care about. When a community of people discovers that they share a concern, change begins. There is no power equal to a community discovering what they care about.
2009–10 – 73 students 2010–11 – 89 students 2011–12 – 83 students 2012–13 – 100 students
Students from all six elementary schools in Prior Lake-Savage Area Once a student qualifies for SAGE Schools attend SAGE Academy. An admission, that student remains eligible increasing number of open enrolled throughout the elementary school years. students also attend SAGE. In Leaving the neighborhood school to 2009–10, four open-enrolled students attend SAGE Academy is a difficult came to Prior Lake-Savage specifically decision for some families, since their – Margaret Wheatley, because of SAGE Academy. In children are doing well in their current 2012–13, ten open-enrolled students Turning to One Another, 2002 school and have cultivated friendships came to the district for the purpose of and a sense of belonging to their attending SAGE Academy, three neighborhood school. district students who attended private schools returned to the district to attend SAGE Academy, and four siblings of If parents choose to keep their child in the neighborhood SAGE Academy open-enrolled students will attend school rather than attending SAGE, that student is offered WestWood in 2012-13. gifted programming through the Synergy program and the Talent Enrichment Classes in their home school. Future goals for SAGE include a possible expansion to include Synergy is offered at the elementary, middle and high school levels and has been a common practice since 1995. The program offers cluster grouping of gifted and talented students within heterogeneous classrooms. Opportunities for enrichment, curriculum compacting and subject and grade acceleration have also been provided for students, as well as training for cluster teachers and differentiation training for the Prior Lake-Savage Area teachers and staff. For children who make the switch to SAGE Academy, new friendships are developed with others with similar passion for learning and challenge. The change in programming for SAGE students is often an awakening, since these children were used to being the top academic students in their respective classes. They are now learning with others with similar ability and may be challenged to perform at their ability level for the first time in their academic career. Dr. Karen Rogers from the University of St. Thomas, who lives in the Prior Lake-Savage Area School District, worked with the gifted and talented teaching staff and administration, providing her expertise in the development of programming for SAGE Academy as well as the Synergy and TEC programs. Dr. Rogers also assisted our middle school staff and administration in the development of Advanced Programming options for high-ability learners. Vertically aligning gifted services K–12 is a work in progress in Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools.
second grade in the Academy, and increasing the number of students who attend through increased recruitment.
Qualifications All district students are screened during their second-grade year and formal entrance into SAGE Academy and Synergy. The pull-out gifted program in the elementary schools begins in grade three. Qualifications for SAGE Academy include: • A score of 132 or above on a measure of ability such as the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), or the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), or an individual IQ test such as the WISC or Kaufman ABC. The qualifying ability score is two standard deviations above the mean of 100. Students with exceptionally high ability scores, 140 or above, are considered even if achievement scores are below the criteria. • Achievement scores in math or reading on a nationally normed test such as NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in the 95th percentile or above for students entering grades four and five, and scores above 90th percentile for students entering grade three. • Teacher Nomination through the Student Assessment form, a checklist completed by the current classroom teacher and/or gifted specialist. This information is used to provide SAGE Academy staff with an insight into learning style and needs of students. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
As Some Districts Cut Back on Gifted Programs, SAGE Went Forward
â€˘ Student achievement in SAGE Academy is tracked using the typical benchmark tests that are given to all students in Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, including Aimsweb fluency testing, Fountas and Pinnell Assessment in reading, MCA testing in math, reading and science, as well as student growth scores through NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing. MAP testing provides the most useful information for high-ability students, since the MAP test is a computeradaptive test. High-ability elementary students are less likely to reach the ceiling on such a test. A talented and knowledgeable Academy staff uses data from additional sources to design and implement rigorous and challenging curriculum. Teachers set growth targets for SAGE students and work with students and parents to meet these goals.
Parents who were reluctant to leave their home school become very strong advocates for SAGE Academy and for the additional opportunities a gifted school provides for their children.
Much of the credit for the success of the Academy goes to the talented teachers in SAGE. All of the teaching staff have advanced training in teaching gifted learners and find such joy in teaching this group of Wasting the students. potential of a gifted
mind is reckless for a society in desperate need of creativity and inventiveness. â€“ Carl Rogers
Student and parent response to SAGE Academy has been incredibly positive. While the initial change to a new school is often difficult for students who were happy in their neighborhood school, SAGE students find kindred spirits in their SAGE classmates and quickly develop relationships that are deep and rewarding.
At the conclusion of the school year, a SAGE Academy parent wrote, â€œOur daughter grew in ways we didnâ€™t think possible in a single school yearâ€” academically, socially, emotionally and, most importantly, in self-confidence and in the belief that she could do anything to which she put her mind.â€?
While there is still work to be done, our gifted programming can be viewed as an ongoing success story for our students. It is also a testament to the creative thinking of parents, teachers, the school board and administrators to expand programming at the same time budgets are shrinking. Pam Winfield is principal at WestWood Elementary and SAGE Academy. You can comment on this article by e-mailing Pam at email@example.com.
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CAN HELP IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS
School board members wanting to make a difference in improving student outcomes may want to pay special attention to the growing body of research on the impact of physical activity on student learning and behavior.
Numerous recent studies and reports have linked increases in physical activity to better academic and behavioral outcomes. *1
Advances in neuroscience are documenting the positive impact of exercise on brain function in real time using high-tech imaging. “The exercise itself doesn’t make you smarter, but it puts the brains of the learners in the optimal position for them to learn,” says Dr. John Ratey of Harvard Medical School and author of Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Education and the Brain. *2 The explosion of this research and the nation’s growing obesity epidemic influenced passage of the
“Healthy Kids Bill” by the 2010 Minnesota Legislature which contained several measures to increase the physical activity levels of students in Minnesota schools. Development of “quality recess guidelines” by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) was among the bill’s provisions. Why focus on recess when schools and school boards have so many other pressing priorities? Don’t students have more important things to do than play? The answers will either surprise you or confirm what your parents and grandparents knew: “All work and no play make Jack a dull (and often naughty) boy.” The educational and child development research has been documenting for decades that play is an essential way that children learn and is important for healthy brain development. New learnings on the impact of exercise on brain function also indicate the need to keep active.
So why are schools cutting recess? It is only the recent push to improve test scores that has decreased or eliminated recess and its opportunity for play in many schools. The evidence suggests this trend is counterproductive for student success. In fact, a recent report by Mathematica suggests recess “may offer one of the most powerful opportunities to strengthen schools, foster healthy child development and boost learning.” *3 Can recess really be a key to transform school climate, improve learning and behavior, and make schools a healthier, happier place? The April 2012 report by Mathematica Policy Research for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation identified the following positive impacts when a quality, organized recess was implemented in elementary schools: • Less bullying • Better behavior and readiness for class learning • More time for teaching • Safer schools • Satisfied teachers What are the components of a quality recess? Fun, safe and active play isn’t a given and doesn’t happen automatically. Simply giving kids time outside isn’t providing a quality recess. In fact, in many schools that do still offer recess, playground staff are inadequately trained, and recess time lacks the intentional planning needed to support active students and often leads to increased behavior problems. Quality Recess Guidelines, to be released by the Minnesota Department of Education this coming fall, synthesizes best practices in recess policies and programs. The Guidelines identify key elements to a quality recess program and provide a step-by-step “how to” for implementing a successful recess. Below are some highlights from MDE’s upcoming Quality Recess Guidelines: Provide at least a 20-minute recess every day for all students, preferrably before lunch and outdoors. Twenty minutes per day is a minimum requirement for elementary students. Having recess before the lunch period has many added benefits, as does having children play outside. Teach positive playground expectations. Students come from diverse cultures and backgrounds and often don’t know what acceptable behavior on the playground is. They also need to be taught playground games. It is much easier to teach and reinforce positive behaviors on the playground than to deal with misunderstanding and behavior problems. The classroom teacher and the physical education teacher both have key responsibilities for teaching these expectations. Create universal participation by offering multiple activities at every recess. Students need a variety of opportunities to be active on the playground because one activity won’t appeal to and engage all students. High-energy kids will like more active games while quieter, more socially-oriented students can be encouraged to follow a walking trail while they talk. Map the playground to designate different areas of play. Mapping the playground helps ensure that all kids have a
safe place to play and that high-energy games don’t dominate. Provide group equipment to increase participation and to decrease congestion on play strucures. Popular equipment includes jump ropes, hula hoops, and playground balls, all of which students can use independently. Provide group games, led and supervised by adults, to actively engage students and help build social skills. By providing a fun and inclusive “game of the day” each recess, the focus stays on fun, being active, inclusion and enjoyment, not competition and winning. Provide adequate staff training for recess. Playground staff need training in active supervision techniques, including moving, scanning, positive interactions and quick redirects of problem behaviors. These techniques help staff to be proactive, positive and effective recess supervisors, keep kids safe and prevent bullying and other problem behaviors. Principals, classroom teachers, physical education teachers, behavior support staff, and other school staff also have important roles that require professional development for a safe and quality recess. What role do school policy makers have in assuring their schools can reap the potential benefits from recess? School policy makers are key to creating good policies that support active schools. Creating a healthy school environment requires examining this topic from a number of different policy perspectives. First, recess needs to be recognized as one part of a district’s role in supporting students’ physical, social and emotional health through policies and practices that intentionally and sytematically address the education and development of the whole child. School-wide assessment tools have been developed to assist schools in coordinating and implementing best practices that integrate learning and health, and these tools are available through the National School Board Association and its partners. Integrating health and fitness goals into the school improvement plan is an effective practice to assure healthy policies are put into practice and not just put on the shelf. Second, quality recess should be a component of an overall school plan that acknowledges the student/school benefits of physical activity and embeds opportunities to be active throughout the school day. It turns out that physical activity and recess are fun and good for students, too. The compelling research on physical activity’s benefits to academic outcomes is leading many school districts to develop district-wide plans to provide physical activity at several times during the school day, with quality physical education classes as the backbone. Keeping students active to support learning also includes before-school programs, classroom physical activity breaks, recess and after-school programs. National education organizations have created resources to support school policy makers in the development of these comprehensive school physical activity plans to support physical activity at every grade level. *4 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
QUALITY RECESS CAN HELP IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS
Third, a good policy prohibits using physical activity as a punishment. Schools wouldn’t assign math problems as a punishment and then expect students to learn and do well with math. Schools want to help students develop a lifelong interest in being healthy and active, not extinguish the interest. Asking a student to run laps or do pushups for an infraction of the rules is not an effective classroom management practice, and more helpful strategies should be used. Fourth, while withholding recess is a common practice in elementary schools, the research suggests that schools have a policy that prohibits withholding recess as a punishment or to finish class work. The exception would be to allow it only when safety is a concern. All kids need to move, and withholding physical activity may make problem behavior even worse. Those students having behavioral issues who would most likely benefit from the physical activity are often those who get the least opportunity during the school day. At schools where recess is withheld as a punishment, it is usually a student who has difficulty following directions, staying on task, or interacting appropriately with peers or the staff person who restricted recess time. Withholding recess keeps these students from experiencing the calming and renewing effects of active play. Further, research shows that overweight students lag behind their more physically fit peers in executive function, including behavioral inhibition. This may contribute to the higher rate of behavior incidences for overweight students. There are many alternatives to withholding recess that teachers using good classroom management techniques can utilize. Fifth, a policy scheduling recess before the lunch period has benefits for student behavior, student eating patterns, less food waste and better transitions back to class lessons. While it may not work in every school setting, most schools find the benefits are well worth the switch. Ideally, the school’s curriculum and instruction teaches students how their bodies and brains work together, how learning occurs in the brain and the ways in which physical activity helps the brain grow and enhance learning. These instructional opportunities can cross many content areas including science, reading, health education, math and physical education. 24
The exciting news on physical activity and recess is that it’s not just for kids! Getting moving is important to adults as well as students. Fortune 500 companies have embraced the findings on physical activity and brain function and launched “recess breaks” and other physical activity opportunities for employees to boost productivity and creativity, and improve the corporate bottom line. Schools can follow this lead by making physical activity a part of every school day for students and staff alike. Creating a school environment that encourages and supports all students and all staff to be active will go a long way toward improving academic outcomes, school climate, productivity and behavior. Deb Loy is a school health specialist and safe and healthy learners coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education. Sources:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010.
http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/ health_and_academics/pdf/pa-pe_paper.pdf Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.” MMWR 2011:60:5. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr6005.pdf 2. Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Education and the Brain. John J. Ratey. Little, Brown and Co. 2008 3. “Evaluation of Playworks: Findings from a Randomized Experiment.” April 17, 2012. Susanne James-Burdumy, Ph.D, Mathematica Policy Research for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 4. ASCD’s “Whole Child Initiative.” http://www.wholechildeducation.org/blog/yoursummer-pd-aligning-health-and-education “A Fit Body Means a Fit Mind.” http://www.edutopia.org/exercise-fitness-brainbenefits-learning NSBA: http://www.nsba.org/Board-Leadership /SchoolHealth/obesity-and-schools/Physical-ActivityPhysical-Education-and-RecessNASPE: http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/ publications/teachingTools/cspa.cfm
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Lessons Across a School Curriculum
“School campuses going back to the garden” St. Paul Pioneer Press “‘Local foods’ a $4.8 billion business, USDA reports” USA Today
Sue Knott, Education Specialist for the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program
Students from Eagle View Elementary (Pequot Lakes, MN) dig in to a school garden project.
These headlines illustrate the state and nationwide interest in finding the source of our food. The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program (MAITC) is working to use this surge of excitement, centered on the food, land and people that allow for our survival, as an opportunity to increase student enthusiasm, achievement and future success! MAITC is a program based within the Minnesota Department of Agriculture with the mission of “promoting understanding and awareness of the importance of agriculture.” MAITC has a 26-year history of providing free resources and training to teachers and students. These resources are designed to allow elementary, middle school, and secondary educators in the areas of health/nutrition, language arts, math, science, and social studies to increase their comfort level with agricultural topics, and also integrate agricultural content into instruction to meet academic standards.
educators to help students see connections to what they are learning with other experiences and real-life examples. “The part is always embedded in a whole, the fact is always embedded in multiple contexts, and a subject is always related to many other issues and subjects.” An example of using agriculture as a context to assist students in learning can be easily illustrated by Laurel Avery’s fourth-grade class at Anderson Elementary School in Bayport, Minnesota. A basic writing assignment blossomed into the adoption of the Honeycrisp apple as Minnesota’s state fruit by the Minnesota Legislature. The students used the apple, developed at the University of Minnesota, to learn about plant production and breeding and the legislative process, and also to hone their persuasive speaking and writing skills. Academic standards in science, social studies and language arts were met while allowing these students to gain knowledge on agricultural production. Healthy lifestyle link Apples aren’t the only agricultural crop boosting students’ achievement. A huge increase in the number of school gardens has allowed students to participate in the food growing process, apply classroom information and also improve their diet. A summary of the National Gardening Association grant evaluations from 253 teachers across the country confirmed that their school gardens improved their students’ environmental attitudes, self-confidence, school attitude and leadership skills. (National Gardening Association, 2009) Contextualized learning – agriculture is the vehicle!
In 2004, the University of California’s journal California Agriculture, included information on a study of gardenbased education conducted in the Davis California Joint Unified School District. This program “sought to promote the development of lifelong healthy eating habits in children and to create a school environment that made connections among the school garden, cafeteria and classroom and link them to local agriculture.” Researchers observed that students participating in the program learned healthy eating habits, and the environmentally based learning resulted in higher student grades and better test scores. (National Science Teachers Association 2007)
Anyone involved in education is most likely well versed on the many demands on teachers’ time and talents. State- and district-wide curriculum requirements, required academic standards, and standardized testing all create a school year schedule without much flexibility. MAITC Director Al Withers acknowledges this: “We’re not wanting teachers to stop everything and teach agriculture. We want to help them use agriculture as a tool for learning geography, history, science, the environment and reading. We’re really all about integration and using agriculture as a vehicle for learning for real life.”
Importance and impact of agriculture
Educational research has also proven that helping students to observe, investigate and apply concepts in their daily lives improves achievement and retention. Experiential learning pioneer John Dewey states in his book Experience and Education, “Perhaps the greatest of all pedagogical fallacies is the notion that a person learns only the particular thing he is studying at the time. Collateral learning in the way of formation of enduring attitudes, of likes and dislikes, may be and often is much more important . . . For these attitudes are fundamentally what count in the future.” Further evidence for providing students with multiple contexts for learning is found in brain-based research by Caine and Caine. In their book, Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain, they ask
Why is agriculture the context that educators and schools should utilize? First of all, less than 2 percent of our citizens are involved in production agriculture, and most people are two or three generations removed from a farm. These statistics have led to a low level of agricultural literacy. Agricultural literacy can be defined as an understanding of agricultural, food and natural resource systems. These systems involve production, processing, domestic and international marketing and consumerism. Increasing agricultural literacy is important so individuals can make informed choices as consumers, and as voters to support or oppose public policies concerning genetically modified organisms, food safety, food security, environmental quality, water supply issues and land use. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
Farming Agricultural Lessons Across a School Curriculum
Natasha Mortenson, president of the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators, states, “Who eats? Everybody eats! You owe it to yourself and your livelihood to know how it gets to your plate. If you eat, you should know how your food got there.” Recognizing the science, engineering, economic principles and intensive labor that goes into producing our food can hugely influence individuals’ attitudes, appreciation, and understanding of agriculture. Second, school board members, school administrators, teachers and parents are all working together to prepare their students for their future. In most cases, we hope that the future includes a successful career. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes the career opportunities in agriculture as extremely promising. The USDA reports: “The agricultural, food, and renewable natural resources sectors of the U.S. economy will generate an estimated 54,400 annual openings for individuals with baccalaureate or higher degrees in food, renewable energy, and environmental specialties between 2010 and 2015.” The agricultural industry includes many of the most scientifically and technologically sophisticated professions in our workforce. Students in all geographic areas (rural and urban) of the United States need to be exposed to the endless possibilities for their future in agriculture, food and natural resources. The next Norman Borlaug, Temple Grandin or George Washington Carver might be sitting in our classrooms right now; the health of our people and environment could depend on what career path he or she chooses to follow. How Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom can help Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom has a variety of free educational materials that utilize our state’s agrarian history and current wealth of agricultural resources to assist teachers in developing their curriculum. Currently more than 40,000 students in more than 700 schools across the state utilize our AgMag and AgMag Jr. publications. The MAITC website is home to additional resources and ready-touse lesson plans and activities. Jennifer Hansen, sixthgrade teacher at Willow Creek Intermediate School in Owatonna, states that the “Agriculture in the Classroom materials are easy and fun to use in the classroom. I am able to easily embed it into my regular lesson, and it naturally meets the Minnesota State Social Studies Standards.” As the MAITC Education Specialist, my mission is to provide professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers to introduce them to both the subject of agriculture, food and natural resources,
and how to use this “real-life” content in classroom instruction to meet required academic standards. I am ready and willing to visit classrooms, participate in district in-service programs, or offer assistance in any other venue to provide hands-on activities, lesson plans and pedagogical tips and techniques with the topic of agriculture as the context. I have had the opportunity to work with several groups of teachers and teacher candidates, and many have offered positive feedback. Jenna Putz, an elementary education major at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, said that the MAITC presentation was “top-notch”: “The presentation did a great job of teaching my fellow classmates and me how simple, important and fun it is to teach agriculture in the classroom.” For further information about the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom program, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/maitc, or contact Sue Knott, Education Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. References and resources Balschweid, M. (2001) “Teaching Biology Using Agriculture as the Context: Perceptions of High School Students.” 28th Annual Agricultural Education Research Conference 2001 Caine, R. N. & Caine, G. (1994) Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Dewey, J. (1938) Experience and Education. New York, NY: Macmillan. Graham, H., Feenstra, G., Evans, Ann M., ZidenbergGherr, S. (2004) “Davis School Program Supports Life-Long Healthy Eating Habits in Children.” University of California California Agriculture Malecki, C., Israel, G., Toro, E. (2004) “Using ‘Ag in the Classroom’ curricula: Teachers’ awareness, attitudes and perceptions of agricultural literacy.” University of Florida Extension Service AEC 370 National Gardening Association http://www.kidsgardening.org/school-gardeningarticles National Science Teachers Association. (2007) “School Gardens Plus Nutrition Lessons Equal Science Literacy.” http://www.agclassroom.org/naitc/research.htm United States Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (2010) “Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Renewable Energy, and the Environment, United States, 2010-2015.” http://www.ag.purdue.edu/usda/employment
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PLANNING CONSULTING MANAGEMENT PROCESS From early programming assistance through implementation, call METZ for all your educational project needs.
612.236.8665 www.metzmanagement.com Twin Cities Metro • Greater Minnesota SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
l isten.D ESIG N.deliver
STUDENT EXPERIENCE THROUGH DESIGN
Jennifer Anderson-Tuttle, LEED AP email@example.com 612/977-3500 - dlrgroup.com
2012 SUMMER SEMINAR SCRAPBOOK ITâ€™S ALL ABOUT STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT!
Keynote Speaker T.C. Roekle urged members to keep their focus on student learning.
Closing Speaker Joe Martin got the crowd fired up, telling them to never quit on accomplishing goals for every student.
Susan Heegard, from the Bush Foundation, talked about teacher preparation and mentoring programs for new teachers.
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius discussed some state initiatives and took questions about state programs.
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 Website at www.mnmsba.org. Most listings in the Web version of this directory include a link so you can head instantly to a Website 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. 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, Inc. (Judith Hoskens) 201 Main Street SE, Suite 325 Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-379-3400, 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 32
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 Larson Engineering, Inc. (Michael Murphy) 3524 Labore Road White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-481-9120, Fax 651-481-9201 www.larsonengr.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
Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-829-5117, Fax 218-829-2517 www.widsethsmithnolting.com firstname.lastname@example.org Wold Architects and Engineers (Vaughn Dierks) 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 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 Attorneys Kennedy & Graven Chartered 200 South Sixth Street, Suite 470 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 www.kennedy-graven.com email@example.com
Paulsen Architects (Bryan Paulsen) 209 South 2nd Street, Suite 201 Mankato, MN 56001 507-388-9811, Fax 507-388-1751 www.paulsenarchitects.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
Perkins + Will (Steven Miller) 84 10th Street S., Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-851-5000, Fax 612-851-5001 www.perkinswill.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Pemberton Law Firm (Kristi Hastings) 110 N. Mill Street Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950 www.pemlaw.com email@example.com
TSP Architects & Engineers (Troy Miller) 18707 Old Excelsior Blvd. Minneapolis, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928 www.teamtsp.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. (Kevin J. Rupp) 730 2nd Ave. S., Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038 www.ratwiklaw.com email@example.com
Construction Mgmt & Consulting 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) PO Box 158 Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 www.krausanderson.com email@example.com Metz Construction Management & Consulting Services (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 Educational Programs/Services Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind (Linda Mitchell) 615 Olof Hanson Dr. Faribault, MN 55021 507-384-6602, Fax 507-332-5528 www.msa.state.mn.us firstname.lastname@example.org Renaissance Learning PO Box 8036 Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495 800-338-4204, Fax 877-280-7642 www.renlearn.com email@example.com The Minnesota Service Cooperatives (Jeremy Kovash) 1001 East Mouth Faith Avenue Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-739-3273, Fax 218-739-2459 www.lcsc.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. (Larry Schmidt) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N. Plymouth, MN 55447 763-585-5148, Fax 763-566-2208 www.johnsoncontrols.com email@example.com
MSBA-Sponsored SchoolFinances.com SchoolFinances.com (Jim Sheehan, Ann Thomas) Sheehan: 952-435-0990 Thomas: 952-435-0955 www.schoolfinances.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Facilities Maintenance & Supplies Marsden Bldg Maintenance, LLC (Diane Lewis) 1717 University Ave. W. St. Paul, MN 55104 651-523-6756, Fax 651-523-6678 www.marsden.com firstname.lastname@example.org
PaySchools (Debra Maggard) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 866-729-5353 www.payschools.com email@example.com
Financial Management Ehlers (Joel Sutter) 3060 Centre Pointe Drive Roseville, MN 55113 651-697-8514, Fax 651-697-8555 www.ehlers-inc.com firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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
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 email@example.com Fitness Equipment 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment (Mike Adrian) 7585 Equitable Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-224-1210, Fax 952-544-5053 www.2ndwindexercise.com firstname.lastname@example.org Floor Coverings Hiller Commercial Floors (Dave Bahr) 2909 S. Broadway Rochester, MN 55904 507-254-6858 or 888-724-1766, Fax 507-288-8877 www.hillercarpet.com email@example.com Food Service Products & Services Lunchtime Solutions, Inc. (Deni Ferlick) 717 N. Derby Lane North Sioux City, SD 57049 605-235-0939, Fax 605-235-0942 www.lunchtimesolutions.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Janitorial Contract Services Marsden Bldg Maintenance, LLC (Diane Lewis) 1717 University Ave. W. St. Paul, MN 55104 651-523-6756, Fax 651-523-6678 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 Software Systems PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Technology PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com email@example.com Transportation American Bus Sales, LLC (Eric Edwards) 12802 N. 103rd East Avenue Collinsville, OK 74021 866-574-9970, Fax 918-205-5009 www.AmericanBusSales.net firstname.lastname@example.org Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) 116 East Oakwood Drive PO Box 249 Monticello, MN 55362 800-866-3105, Fax 763-295-4992 www.hoglundbus.com email@example.com Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (Shelly Jonas) 10606 Hemlock Street NW Annandale, MN 55302 320-274-8313, Fax 320-274-8027 www.msboa.com firstname.lastname@example.org North Central Bus & Equipment (Sandy Kiehm) 2629 Clearwater Road St. Cloud, MN 56301 320-257-1209, Fax 320-252-3561 www.northcentralinc.com email@example.com Telin Transportation Group (Jamie Romfo) 14990 Industry Avenue Becker, MN 55308 866-287-7278, 763-262-3328 Fax 763-262-3332 www.telingroup.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertisers ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers ..........................Page 11 Cunningham Group Architecture, Inc. ..........................Page 19 DLR Group .......................................................................Page 30 FBG Service Corporation .................................................Page 11 Johnson Controls, Inc. .....................................................Page 30 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered ..........................................Page 7 Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A............................................Page 19 Mackin Educational Resources.........................................Page 15 Marsden Bldg Maintenance LLC .....................................Page 14 Metz Construction Management & Consulting, Inc.......Page 29 MSBAIT..............................................................................Page 36 MSDLAF+ .............................................................................Page 7 National Insurance Services, Inc......................................Page 25 Paulsen Architects .............................................................Page 29 Perkins + Will.....................................................................Page 34 PreferredOne.......................................................................Page 2 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. .......................................Page 21 Rennaissance Learning .....................................................Page 18 Taher, Inc. ..........................................................................Page 20 Widseth Smith Nolting......................................................Page 20
2009, 2010 & 2012 Best Print Publication by the Minnesota School Public Relations Association Cited for “Comprehensive Coverage” “Impressive Student Artwork” Brought to you by YOUR MSBA
NAVIGATING THE PITFALLS OF CAMPAIGN SEASON
Question: Should I support certain candidates for school board? They want me to endorse them. These candidates are much better than the one-issue people running against them.
As an individual, concerned citizen, and/or school district resident, you can support and participate in the election campaign activities as much as the law allows for all citizens. This includes campaigning and/or endorsing a candidate for a board of which you are a member. What is not permitted is the use of your office to persuade others to vote for a candidate.
Gary Lee MSBA Associate Director of Management Services
Board members CAN advocate, campaign, and present their personal views as long as they do so on their personal time and use their personal resources.
For example, if a candidate requests to use your name as a supporter of his/her candidacy on campaign material, you should NOT include your official title of “School Board Member.” Any endorsement should include only your name. And as a best practice, MSBA recommends always keeping your comments positive. If you say negative things about a candidate publicly, and that candidate wins a board seat, you could be facing four long years of fence-mending or dysfunction, instead of a strong board team focused on students.
Question: What can I do as a board member to support our levy (or bond) referendum? As a board member, you can give informational presentations, answer questions presented by the public, and write informational communications that present the facts. As a board member, while using school district resources and/or receiving compensation from the school district, you cannot advocate for a passage or defeat of a referendum. Board members CAN advocate, campaign, and present their personal views as long as they do so on their personal time and use their personal resources. Question: What can I do as a board member if I want to be treasurer or campaign manager for a state political candidate? I also want to write a letter to the editor in support of the candidate. How do I sign it? Again, as individuals, board members are free to participate in the election process, which includes positions within a candidate’s campaign organization or a political party’s organization. In all communications that are classified as “political activity,” you should use only your name and exclude any reference to your position as a board member.
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PAID MANKATO, MN PERMIT NO. 47
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Protection assurance when you need it. The Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance T Trrust (MSBAIT) endorses companies with a proven record of service.
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Your MSBAIT contacts
Denise Drill ddrill@ d drill@ mnm mnmsba.org sba.org
Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor aataylor@ taaylor@ mnmsba.org mnmsba.org
Gar y Lee glee@ glee@ mnmsba.org mnmsba.org
John Sylvester jsylvester@ jsylvester@ mnmsba.org mnmsba.org
Qualityy Coverage and Ser vice Tailor-Made For School Districts Find out what MSBAIT can do fo for your district. Call 800-324-4459 or visit www.msbait.org.
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Published on Aug 29, 2012