Page 1


November-December 2013

Volume 66, No. 3


To Reach Your Goals, You Need Vision, Mindset and GRIT Krueger: Reading is the Key Centers for Excellence Give Students a Boost


Grit! January 16–17, 2014


Annual Leadership Conference

School district Employee Healthcare Costs Save 14%

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Divisions 4 5 6 32 35


STRAIGHT TALK Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA Executive Director  ESIDENT’S COLUMN PR Walter Hautala, MSBA President VENDOR DIRECTORY Pierre Productions & Promotions, Inc.  SK MSBA A Cathy Miller, Director of Legal and Policy Services

Articles 8 10 14 18 20 24

To reach your goals, you need vision, mindset and grit Greg Abbott Krueger: Reading is the key Renowned suspense writer to tout impact of literacy at Leadership Conference Bruce Lombard Centers for Excellence help to give student achievement a boost Brenda Cassellius NSBA sets up a National Connection Lisa Bartusek Culture matters  Steve Lamb 2014 MSBA Leadership Conference  MSBA Staff

3 �������������Daylight Saving Time Ends 5 �������������Election Day (no meetings or activities 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.) 7–8 ���������MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 11 �����������Veterans Day (no meetings) 13 �����������Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Annual Meeting 13 �����������MSBA Pre-Delegate Assembly Meetings, Little Falls and Thief River Falls 14 �����������MSBA Pre-Delegate Assembly Meetings, Morton & Proctor 14–15 �����MASBO Fall Conference 16 �����������MSBA Pre-Delegate Assembly Meetings, Rochester & Bloomington 17–23 �����American Education Week 28 �����������Thanksgiving Day (no meetings) 29 �����������Optional holiday

DECEMBER 2013 3 �������������MSBA New Board Member Orientation Phase I, St. Peter 6 �������������MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 6 �������������MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting 6 �������������MSBA New Board Member Orientation Phase I, St. Cloud 6–7 ���������MSBA Delegate Assembly, St. Louis Park 7 �������������MSBA Phase II Orientation, St. Cloud 25 �����������Christmas Day (no meetings)

JANUARY 2014 1 �������������New Year’s Day (no meetings) 6 �������������Terms begin for Newly Elected Members 14 �����������MSBA New Board Member Orientation Phase I, Minneapolis 15 �����������MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 15 �����������MSBA Phase II Orientation, Minneapolis 15 �����������MSBA Charter School Board Training 15 �����������Early Bird Workshops 16–17 �����MSBA Leadership Conference 20 �����������Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday observed (no meetings)

The MSBA Journal thanks the students of Robbinsdale Public Schools for sharing their art in this issue. COVER ART:

Chris Aanerud

CONTENTS November/December 2013    VOLUME 66, NUMBER 3


November/December 2013        3

Officers President: Walter Hautala, Mesabi East Past President: Kent Thiesse, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial NSBA Representative: Jackie Magnuson, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan 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: Missy Lee, Columbia Heights 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: Michael Domin, Crosby-Ironton District 11: Tim Riordan, Virginia District 12: Ann Long Voelkner, Bemidji Area District 13: Deborah Pauly, Jordan Staff Kirk Schneidawind: Executive Director Kelly Martell: Executive Assistant John Sylvester: Deputy Executive Director Tiffany Rodning: Deputy Executive Director Greg Abbott: Director of Communications Denise Dittrich: Associate Director of Governmental Relations Denise Drill: Director of Financial/MSBAIT Services Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor: Associate Director of Management Services Sandy Gundlach: Director of School Board Services Barb Hoffman: Administrative Assistant to Governmental Relations/Finance/Meeting Coordinator Sue Honetschlager: Administrative Assistant to Management, Legal and Policy Services/MSBAIT Donn Jenson: Director of Technology 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 Cathy Miller: Director of Legal and Policy Services Sue Munsterman: Administrative Assistant to Board Development/Communications Sandi Ostermann: Administrative Assistant to Association Services and Finance/Receptionist Tim Roberts: Production Room Manager 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.

Technology “I believe, over time, financially it’s going to work out. We’re talking about a shift in how we do things. We should be getting iPads because we believe it is going to improve education; because we are going to change education.” Milaca School Board Member Todd Quaintance

“Probably the biggest surprise of the technology initiative has been the ‘eagerness’ of staff to continue to move ahead with it. I feared that many teachers would resist such an extreme change in the way we provide instruction to students. I’m amazed at how ‘hungry’ staff members have become for more.” Perham-Dent Superintendent Mitch Anderson

Testing “The goal of having 100 percent of students passing state math and reading tests by 2014 was an admirable goal, but unachievable.” Pine City Director of Curriculum and Instruction Paul Jackson

“It is frustrating that these accountability tests change as much and as often as they do. Our students are held accountable to moving targets.” Richfield Schools Director of Curriculum Kate Trewick

“There are so many other kinds of achievement tests out there. If all the other tests show me the student is on track, I’m not going to put much credence in an abhorrent score.” Bloomington Director of Research, Evaluation and Assessment (and national school data expert) Dave Heistad, on the MCA test

Local Impact of Federal Sequestration Cuts “We have closed nine positions, which is seven teachers—oh, wait a minute, 10 positions—and three paraprofessionals. (Those) cuts will really hurt.” Red Lake School Board Member Roy Nelson

Tribute “Hussein (Samatar) was a passionate leader, a committed public servant, a dedicated collaborator and a valued friend.” Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson on former school board member Hussein Samatar, who passed away in August

On Good Boardsmanship “We may differ…but once it’s done, the board had always got back together. And we support what’s going on and I think that’s what a board should do.” Richfield School Board Member David Lamberger

Literacy “The lack of literacy skills really affects not just being able to pick up a book, but healthcare, financial growth as an educated consumer, voting…without it, you can’t really take the next step in any direction.” Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota’s Charlotte Harris-Hoffstrom

S traight Talk L

atest teacher evaluation mandate needs to be kept simple, outside of Collective Bargaining Agreement


Schools have dealt with a long list of unfunded mandates. The latest one reaching school districts this year deals with teacher evaluation. When Minnesota applied for a waiver from No Child Left Behind, one of the conditions of the waiver was to include a teacher evaluation system.

Kirk Schneidawind MSBA Executive Director

We want our students to have the best teachers. Use the teacher evaluation legislation as an opportunity to help YOUR students achieve.

Efforts last year to delay and/or fund the requirement failed, so school districts need to start the process of developing a teacher evaluation plan now. Several pilot sites are currently sampling all, or parts of, the state’s evaluation model. MSBA and Education Minnesota have teamed up to offer a joint teacher development and evaluation training. Staff from both organizations started the trainings in October and will be continuing them through December. The training’s focus is to keep an eye on efficiency and eliminate duplicated efforts. The training offers hands-on, usable curriculum that can be applied to your efforts to reach agreement on a local plan. Putting the process off and hoping it goes away only makes the issue worse. This requirement can be an opportunity for school boards to have an impact on student achievement through the teacher evaluation plans. Though research is limited on the issue, the Iowa Association of School Board’s Lighthouse Project demonstrates that board policy decisions (including the policies around teacher evaluations) can have a positive impact on student achievement.

Another key is to keep the process simple and understandable. Keep the lines of communication open with the staff about the plan. Finally, if districts make certain the teacher evaluation plans support their strategic plans and mission statements, the teacher evaluation process will not only help to improve student achievement, but it will also assist in meeting the requirements of the new World’s Best Workforce legislation – helping to meet two mandates at the same time. Though we may question whether boards would be faced with this process, if not for the federal involvement of NCLB, board members should keep the end game in sight: We want our students to have the best teachers. Use the teacher evaluation legislation as an opportunity to help YOUR students achieve. Hopefully, by seeing the statewide organizations working together on the issue, school districts and their teachers will be encouraged to cooperate.

One key for the plans will be to maintain flexibility. The process will, no doubt, be tweaked and amended as school districts and the state go through the process. That’s why keeping the evaluation process out of your teachers’ Collective Bargaining Agreement is very important. If the parties negotiate the evaluation process into the bargaining agreement, they will have to mutually agree to reopen to make changes. And, if those changes involve compensation, PELRA prohibits them from re-opening.

November/December 2013        5

President’s Column Testing, just like anything we do,


should be done in moderation

Walter Hautala MSBA President

It doesn’t mean a lack of accountability. The accountability is still there for schools to make sure all students achieve.

I remember taking the Iowa Basic Skills test when I was in school. It wasn’t a do-or-die test. It simply gave your teacher an indication of whether you were on track at school or falling behind. And it was one of several tools teachers used to measure if you were achieving at grade level.

What Minnesota—and the rest of the country—finally learned is that one test doesn’t define a student’s abilities. A test is a tool—one of many tools that teachers can use to help students achieve. That’s why it’s heartening to see the Minnesota Department of Education and the nation move away from a one-test-fits-all attitude.

Then, No Child Left Behind came along. Under the guise of accountability, the political push was to test every student in every grade in math and reading every year to attain 100 percent proficiency. The reasoning for starting tests in third grade was solid—kids who were proficient in reading by third grade had a better chance of graduating, did better in school and went on to college.

It doesn’t mean a lack of accountability. The accountability is still there for schools to make sure all students achieve. Measuring that achievement simply means including tests into a mix of performance goals for each student and focusing more on growth than if everyone reached a certain bar at the same time.

But a third-grade reading test turned into a third-grade reading test, and a math test, and a science test thrown in every third year. And right when students started to get the hang of doing the tests, standards were changed three years down the line and a brand-new test was issued. Instead of the testing pendulum falling in the middle, it went way over to the side. There were reading and math tests for students in fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade, eighth grade—it didn’t matter if students were proficient. It was test, test, test. Schools had pep rallies to make sure kids got sleep. Offered free fruit and snacks on testing day to make sure nobody was hungry. And with tests required to be completed on a computer, the testing days filled up most of the month of April for schools as they tried to get each grade level and every student to take both a reading and math test. Instead of instructional time, a chunk of March was turned into test preparation time. In the midst of the frenzy, the state developed a GRAD test that required students to pass in order to graduate.

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Educators are now asking, “Do we need to test students EVERY year in both reading and math—especially if a student is proficient?” or “Could students who are proficient be tested every other year?” Somewhere in the middle, schools will find a balance between the need to test every student every year and the need to use other tools to figure out how to give kids a boost. I’m hoping for an era of moderation: Using testing once again as ONE tool to help local teachers find out which students need help reaching their goals and which students need to be challenged at a higher level.

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November/December 2013        7

Joe Kim

To reach your goals, you need vision, mindset and grit


Scott Burrows had always wanted to play sports. At age 8, he took karate and trained to be a kickboxer. He loved football, playing at Florida State University. At age 19, he was a top-ranked kickboxing champion—his last fight broadcast on ESPN. Then, as a passenger in a single-car accident, his entire life was turned upside-down.

Greg Abbott

The accident left him as a quadrapalegic, facing years of physical therapy with his dream of kickboxing fading. “I still wanted to be a kickboxer. I still thought if I could work at it, I could get back in the ring,” Burrows said. “But over time, you realize it’s not reality, so you have to adapt.”

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Burrows will bring his message of how school boards can set a vision and be willing to adapt to changes with the sheer grit of accomplishing goals. He is the opening keynote speaker for MSBA’s Leadership Conference Jan. 16–17 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. “I had to adapt my goals, but I still worked at achieving those goals,” he said. He became involved in wheelchair sports such as rugby (aka “murder ball” as he calls it). He also retaught himself the game of golf after seven years of therapy. Rugby gave him a sense of participating on a team again—to compete, to lose, to win, to learn how to be coached. And golf gave him a sense of self in an individual sport—like kickboxing. He also went on to form his own company, Global Golf Group, an international firm specializing in golf course development. After the accident, Scott knew he had a choice: he could wallow in self-pity, or he could continue to dream, dig down deep inside and find a new vision of what he wanted to fight for. “I was very lucky,” he said. “I was close to my family and the support was unbelievable.” One item he’ll share with board members is that to reach a difficult goal, don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. His physical therapist helped him to accomplish much as a quadrapalegic. And just as administrators face tough choices, you need someone there to stretch your thinking, to keep you out of the comfort zone. “Sometimes you have to embrace change, overcome adversity. It can be very uncomfortable, but you can’t give up,” he said. For students and others who face setbacks or are struggling, he wants them to create a balance and find a support system—a friend, a teacher, someone. Read books about the mind, and understand what you CAN control and what you can’t control. “We’re all here for a reason, but nothing is handed to you,” he said. “There’s enough there for you to make choices and make the best of it. Change your thinking and change the direction. And if you have the grit, you can conquer anything.” Greg Abbott is the Director of Communications for the Minnesota School Boards Association. You can contact him at

Carlos Garcia

November/December 2013        9

Olivia Hanson

Krueger: Reading is the key Renowned suspense writer to tout impact of literacy at Leadership Conference


The concept that literacy is important to school children is an obvious no-brainer to school board members, superintendents and other education policymakers.

Bruce Lombard

Literacy is the foundation for learning—and for the closing keynote speaker at the 2014 MSBA Leadership Conference, literacy also helped lay the groundwork for his illustrious writing career. Renowned author William Kent Krueger will speak Friday, January 17, during the closing session of the 2014 MSBA Leadership Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Krueger—a St. Paul resident and a former child development researcher at the University of Minnesota—has published 15 novels. His best-selling “Cork O’Connor” mystery series is set in fictional Tamarack County in the Minnesota Northwoods. The saga’s protagonist, Corcoran O’Connor, is the former sheriff of Tamarack County. The latest book in the series, “Tamarack County,” was released in August 2013.

10        MSBA Journal

Krueger’s work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and optioned by Hollywood. Krueger attributes his success as a writer to all those wonderful stories he read as a child. To Krueger, the importance of literacy can be summed up in this quote: “Anybody who believes they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” “Literacy is a window to the world,” Krueger added. “Literacy, for so many kids, is the only way they are ever going to travel to another country or to meet another culture or to have the experience of walking in someone else’s shoes. Literacy is important in that it is one certain way that everyone can have access to the world.”

While Krueger doesn’t begrudge digital readers, he himself is old school when it comes to reading. “I don’t own an e-reader of any kind,” he said. “I think you can fall in love with a story on your Kindle or your Nook—but you have a love affair with a book. Reading a book is a sensual experience. It’s got the beauty of the cover, so that face appeals to you. You have the smell of the book when you first open it, the smell that comes from the pages—and when you turn the pages, they kind of whisper to you.” Krueger also noted a personal aspect related to physical books.

Krueger said in his experience as a student, the teachers he loved the most were the ones that read to the class.

“The other thing about real books, when I walk into someone’s home, I make judgments about them based on what books that they have on their shelves,” he said. “You walk into someone’s home and you see a book on their shelf that meant a lot to you and right away there’s a connection. Those kinds of experiences that come from the actual book are significant.”

“In elementary school, I honestly can’t remember learning specific things, but I clearly remember the period of time every day when a teacher would sit us down and read to us— or would sit us down and have us read,” he said. “That was the time of the day that I looked forward to.”

Krueger was raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. After a one-year matriculation at Stanford University, he moved to Colorado to become a writer. Krueger spent nine years in Colorado before moving to Minnesota where he “really discovered home.”

Krueger believes the curriculum of an elementary school should include some time carved out for students to be read to—and for students to read on their own.

Krueger makes his living as a full-time author and lives in St. Paul with the “marvelous woman” he’s been married to for 40 years. Krueger is currently working on his 16th novel.

“That has to be part of the curriculum every day,” he said. “But I’m a storyteller, I’m a writer. If you ask a mathematician that, he might have a different answer.”

For more information, visit Krueger’s official website at

During his upcoming address at the Leadership Conference, Krueger will talk about the book that first made an impact on his life—a Little Golden Book called “The Happy Family.”

Bruce Lombard is MSBA’s Associate Director of Communications. He can be reached at

“I will talk about why that book was so important to me,” Krueger said. “I will talk about the importance of libraries and librarians on our children’s lives. I think that’s important.” While Kreuger values traditional libraries, he doesn’t believe the digitalization of books is necessarily bad for young readers. “We have a generation of children who are growing up quite comfortably with the world coming to them through an electronic device they hold in their hand,” he said. “I think it is not important how they get stories, so much as it is they get the stories. If that’s the way they feel comfortable having stories come to them, I am just fine with that. I just want to make sure they are reading…that they have that experience.”

Bailey Loso

November/December 2013        11

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Centers for Excellence

help to give student achievement a boost


In one of my first conversations with Governor Mark Dayton, we discussed three key changes needed to move Minnesota forward. Knowing that he ran on a “Better Minnesota” framework, I couldn’t think of anything more critical to achieving a better Minnesota than investing in our kids. So I proposed three simple strategies to start and then rounded them out in a more focused 7-Point Plan. This plan has served as our guide, and over the past three years, we have not wavered from it.

Brenda Cassellius

The first of those strategies was to think differently. This meant looking closer and reassessing our current situation, creating urgency and focusing our efforts on those things we know work. It meant finding ways to encourage innovation and creating more local autonomy so superintendents and school boards were given the flexibility to try new things and do what they felt was necessary to improve the outcomes for their students. The second was to change the conversation. This was important because for too long the conversation around education has been stuck in mediocrity and the status quo thinking. Educators have been frustrated by failed attempts at policy change and an increasingly hostile discourse that too often subjects teachers to unjust blaming and shaming.

We needed a jumpstart and a new tone that was hopeful and inspiring. We needed a clear vision that gave teachers and educational leaders a real voice in shaping the future of education. They are the ones closest to the work, and they have the answers. We just need to listen to them and value their contribution to the important work ahead. We needed to shift the conversation and start supporting our teachers while identifying the good work that was happening in schools and spread those practices statewide. 14        MSBA Journal

The third strategy involved securing collective buy-in to build a statewide system of support. Investing significantly in a new support structure that includes our new Regional Centers

of Excellence became our theory of change. If we could get teachers sharing across hallways, schools and districts, we knew we could significantly increase student achievement. This approach was designed to move the agency from one of compliance and monitoring to one of strategic support. We had to become leaders and partners in supporting schools and help our local school districts build capacity right there in their regions. We have done that through our restructuring of the Office of School Support and our development of our statewide Regional Centers of Excellence. And just three years into this administration, we’ve accomplished these goals, even though there is still so much more to do. A major contributor in our ability to refocus our efforts to support students and strengthen our accountability system was receiving a waiver from the failed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law in 2012. With this new waiver we were able to transform an old broken system to one that looked beyond the limited and narrow focus on proficiency; to one that looked at growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates—all of which are broken down by sub-group so the focus is truly on every kid. The Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR) and Focused Rating (FR) allows us to provide schools with a better look into how they are doing and provides schools and teachers with meaningful information to help them refocus their efforts. For the first time, we are also able to celebrate schools that are seeing success while strategically supporting those schools that are struggling. But unlike NCLB, instead of labeling those struggling schools as failures and walking away, we are providing them with unprecedented access to technical assistance, resources, and on-site coaching. Most exciting, this new approach is working.

areas and act as an extension of the Minnesota Department of Education. I’m often asked what the Centers look like. Where are they? Well, they really aren’t places at all in practice. If you were to visit their offices, you’d probably see a lot of empty desks. That’s because the exceptional staff is made up of curriculum specialists who spend almost all of their time out in the field, meeting with teachers, observing lessons and planning right alongside school leaders. This allows them to build trust and relationships that propel action. They often have very honest and tough conversations about barriers and difficulties they are encountering to increase student achievement. The staff works together to offer meaningful input and guidance on strategies to overcome these barriers and to implement new ways for improved results. Most importantly, since they are experts in their fields, and they work with multiple schools, they often share what they have learned in their own practice or from all the great work they see happening at other schools. The result is a sense of community and support across schools. This has never formally existed in Minnesota before. This approach is a complete overhaul in how we support our schools and is getting national attention. The most rewarding aspect of these Centers is hearing from school staff about how helpful the direct support is for them. I recently spoke with one educator who could not believe the way they have been able to transform their efforts to support students. They said this was the most support they’d experienced in their career and were seeing firsthand the positive impacts this direct support has on teacher morale and student achievement. Listening to them reaffirmed that we are on the right path. Previously, Minnesota saw a decade of cuts, a decade of NCLB and a decade of stagnant student growth. Many times, instead of listening to teachers and supporting their professional

This month we released our third round of MMR and FR scores. We saw that 27 schools previously identified as Priority and Focus schools—schools that were labeled underperforming and who had the largest achievement gaps in the state—had not only seen tremendous growth, but qualified to shed those designations. Even more exciting, 78 percent of all priority schools improved their MMR and 71 percent of all focus schools improved the Focus Rating, with over a third of those improving by more than 20 points. This is remarkable, and a clear testament that when we work together and create the conditions for teachers and students to be successful—and support them along the way—change can happen quickly. After reading the many news articles and visiting schools, I know that a key contributor to the schools’ success was and continues to be the incredible work of our dedicated staff at the Regional Centers of Excellence. Our staff work out of three regional Greater Minnesota

Joshlynn Borreson

November/December 2013        15

Centers for Excellence help to give student achievement a boost

development, we too often turned our backs and made their jobs harder due to the lack of adequate resources needed to meet the increased expectations and demands we were now placing on them. For too long we did not listen closely enough to our teachers and school leaders about what they really needed. That is changing. The core principal that guides the work of our Regional Centers is grounded in listening and building trusting relationships with real Minnesota teachers and school leaders. Talking with them, not at them. We’ve had such early success with our Centers that this past legislative session we proposed expanding them from three to nine. Thanks to Governor Dayton and the Legislature, we were provided our first state funded dollars to support the centers—$2 million in additional funding—allowing us to expand from three to six centers. I know that if we keep hearing from teachers that this is supportive to their work, and we continue to see growth in student achievement, we can eventually meet our goal of establishing nine Regional Centers throughout Minnesota and provide support to more schools who request it. The current reality is that not every school has the opportunity to work with a Regional Center. But that doesn’t mean the same model can’t be replicated in other ways. As school board members, many of you have worked to turn around your underperforming schools and have opened your doors to new ideas and strategies. You have held yourselves to a higher standard, making sure every single student is treated as your own. I commend you for that. You are the unsung heroes. But, as you know, Minnesota still has more work to do to ensure all our kids have the same access and opportunity. You have the authority and power to work with your superintendent and place an unrelenting value on every child’s success. You can request lists of at-risk students and demand they get the help they need. You hold the capacity to flex your resource allocation to those students who need it most. They should get the best teachers and supports required so they can be successful. You can demand a plan and monitor that plan regularly and publically account for your progress. After 25 years at this, I know that success breeds success and that when students learn and achieve their best, nothing feels better.

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Brenda Cassellius is the Minnesota Commissioner of Education, and can be reached at 16        MSBA Journal

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November/December 2013        13

Melanie Potter

NSBA sets up a National Connection


Minnesota school boards will have access to enhanced national services this year, through a partnership between MSBA and the National School Boards Association.

Lisa Bartusek

In early October, the MSBA Board of Directors endorsed changes being made by the National School Boards Association to the long-standing National Affiliate program, which has engaged more than 1,600 school districts nationally, including several in Minnesota. First, the program is getting a new name: National Connection, to reflect the important partnership between school districts, their state school boards associations, and NSBA, working together to share best practices across the country. Participating school districts will receive a package of new resources designed to help school boards and district leaders stay on the leading edge of American public education.

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The new resources include: • Federal Insider: This resource includes federal policy analysis and reports on major actions of Congress and federal agencies, as well as implementation guidance that can save your district time and money in complying with mandates. In addition, participating school districts will receive details of federal legal cases that will impact the way your district operates, as well as regular updates on school law issues across the country. • The Public Engagement Toolkit: This resource includes practical tools boards and district leaders can use to build public understanding and engagement around major educational issues, to help create the public and community support for the local district and for American public education.

Karla Zarzua

• The School Board Leadership Resource Center and CPE Briefing Room: These two resources provide national school improvement research, best practices and examples from high-performing school systems, along with expert guidance that can help school boards set a course for improving student achievement and district excellence. • Meet the Experts: Some of the nation’s leading thinkers and experts on public education are scheduled in monthly webinars, providing a 24/7 method for school boards across the country to hear from nationally recognized speakers.

Lariza Estrada

• Money-Saving Resources such as a guide to the latest education grants and funding opportunities, as well as discounts on other NSBA publications and Annual Conference registration fees. • Plus timely reports that can help you understand national trends and issues related to public education leadership through NSBA’s award-winning magazine, American School Board Journal and weekly e-newsletter, School Board News This Week. “It’s important for school boards to take a state and national view and have the latest information on public education issues. Participating districts help support NSBA as a strong national voice on behalf of public education and local governance,” said Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA executive director. To learn more or to enroll, contact MSBA’s national associate for the National School Boards Association, Laurie Hart,, (847) 831-5380.

Naomi Egger

November/December 2013        19

Culture matters

Conference Early Bird presenter to discuss correlation between positive school culture and student performance


Mykle Diekman

“Achieving Higher Student Performance” is a goal espoused by virtually every school district in the country and is the title of an upcoming pre-Leadership Conference Early Bird workshop. Steve Lamb, board development specialist for the Oregon School Boards Association, believes that school district culture is a huge—and largely untapped—resource for improvement.

Steve Lamb

In his new book, “The Advantage,” Patrick Lencioni observes, “... the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are.” The research is clear—this is also true of school districts. “Districts with a positive culture achieve outcomes that are strikingly better,” Lamb said. “Students achieve more, the staff performs better, parents are happier, and communities love their schools. Unfortunately, most boards don’t even know what their culture is, let alone consciously attend to it. “Another complication for schools is the fact that boards must factor more than one culture,” Lamb continued. “There is the culture of the staff, the culture of the students, and the culture of the community. When there is alignment, the results can be amazing.” The studies this session will highlight include: • An Iowa study which identified five key board roles and found that what school boards do and how they do it profoundly impacts student achievement. • A Kentucky study which found a strong correlation between culture scores and state assessment results (confirmed by a similar finding in a Florida study). • An Illinois study which found that schools with high trust levels were three times as likely to achieve positive student outcomes. According to the Iowa Lighthouse Study, a key board role is “building collective will.” This is arguably one of the board’s most difficult tasks. It’s not enough to set a goal or an expectation; there must also be a shared enthusiasm for making it a reality.

20        MSBA Journal






in the nation*




Learn about what should be included in your school environmental health plan, so your school does not contribute to this statistic:





















*U.S. Government Accounting Office. School Facilities: America’s Schools Report Differing Conditions. June 1996










Minnesota Schools’ Indoor Air Quailty ranked




Participants in this session will: • Understand how the board fosters or inhibits progress toward improved student achievement. • Consider the eight steps of change from vision to results. • Understand how trust impacts commitment to innovation and change. • Discuss common board scenarios and their resolution.

Culture matters

• Explore strategies for the board’s role in shaping the district’s culture. “I promise this won’t be a talking-head presentation. There will be videos, group discussion, and a small group exercise in addition to the continual back-and-forth discussion,” Lamb said. “I also promise we will not use a ‘trust-fall’ experience where someone falls into the waiting arms of other participants. Trust is contextual. The fact that I might trust you to catch me during a workshop has no bearing on how much I might trust your district governance competence. Instead, we’ll look at the board’s role and review the nine actions the board can take to shape their culture along with the five actions to build and monitor district trust levels.”

Annabelle Larson

We have always accepted that boards behaving badly can have a negative influence on district performance. National research indicates that boards can have a huge positive impact, as well. Let this session inspire your board to create a culture of practical accomplishment! Steve Lamb is the Board Development Specialist for the Oregon School Boards Association, and can be reached at



health care alliance

Join the hundreds of Minnesota school districts, cities and counties that have joined forces to provide affordable and high quality health coverage to their employees. Contact your Minnesota Service Cooperative, agent or Blue Cross sales representative to learn more about this powerful health care alliance.

Lakes Country Service Cooperative (Fergus Falls) (218) 739-3273 ~

Northeast Service Cooperative (Mountain Iron) (218) 741-0750 ~

Northwest Service Cooperative (Thief River Falls) (218) 681-0900 ~

Resource Training & Solutions (St. Cloud) (320) 255-3236 ~

South Central Service Cooperative (North Mankato) (507) 389-5109 ~

Southeast Service Cooperative (Rochester) (507) 281-6673 ~

Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative (Marshall) (507) 537-2240 ~


November/December 2013        23




Keynote Speakers Scott Burrows Thursday, January 16

Vision, Mindset, GRIT! A former standout college athlete who experienced a life-changing car accident at age 19, inspirational speaker Scott Burrows employs his paralysis as a visual metaphor. He encourages his audiences to stand up to their challenges—regardless of circumstances—and achieve their absolute best using the same three dynamic principles that helped him reach his own goals: Vision, Mindset and Grit. Scott’s message of hope and success has transformed audiences around the world.


Scott Burrows is an author, businessman, athlete and motivational speaker. He played college football at Florida State University, and was a top-ranked kickboxing champion with matches broadcast on ESPN. After graduating from college, he became a top producer in the financial and insurance industry, qualifying for Million Dollar Round Table, before forming his own company, Global Golf Group, a successful international firm specializing in golf course development. His recent book, “Vision, Mindset, GRIT!” was published in December 2012.

William Kent Krueger

93rd Annual Leadership Conference January 16–17, 2014 Minneapolis Convention Center Successful boards are usually boards that work together as a team with a common vision of what they want their school to be and what outstanding students can achieve. MSBA’s 93rd Annual Leadership Conference has nearly 100 workshops, Skills Sessions, Round Table mini-sessions and motivational keynote speakers to find new ideas and connect with other board members around the state. You will come away with the knowledge and desire to focus on the board team’s vision, maintain that mindset during difficulties and show the grit to accomplish goals for your students.

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Friday, January 17

Giving Kids Literacy – A Window to the World New York Times best-selling author, William Kent Krueger, will discuss the importance of literacy. “Anybody who believes they have only one life to live, must not know how to read a book,” Krueger said. “Literacy is a window to the world. Literacy, for so many kids, is the only way they are ever going to travel to another country or to meet another culture or to have the experience of walking in someone else’s shoes.” Krueger will single out the book that had the biggest impact on his young life—“The Happy Family” from the classic Little Golden Books series. Krueger, a resident of St. Paul, has published 15 novels. His “Cork O’Connor” mystery series is set in fictional Tamarack County in the Minnesota Northwoods. Krueger’s work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award and the Friends of American Writers Prize. He attributes his success as a writer to the wonderful stories he read as a child.

Pre-conference Training Sessions Phase I: New Board Member Orientation

Achieving Higher Student Performance by Building a Board EVERYONE TRUSTS 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 15 Minneapolis Convention Center Tuition: $75; walk-ins add $10

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 14 Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis Tuition is $75. Walk-ins add $10.

Presenter: Steve Lamb, Board Development Specialist, Oregon School Boards Association

Help new board members hit the ground running with this session. Phase I covers the role of the school board, the role of the superintendent, and common scenarios facing new board members.

Steve Lamb has provided executive search services and board training for OSBA since 2006. He previously served as Team Leader for the Rural Community School Partnerships Program funded by The Ford Family Foundation at Willamette Education Service District. Steve earned his bachelor’s degree in psychological studies from Western Oregon University and his MBA from Marylhurst University. With 37 years of program management and community engagement, he has helped groups set goals and build the will to achieve them. Organizations with a positive climate, he believes, achieve outcomes that are strikingly better than those achieved by organizations which lack a positive climate.

Phase II: Mandatory Training

8:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 15 Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis Tuition is $130. Walk-ins add $20. Presented by MSBA staff and state experts. Phase II includes the financial training school boards are required to have by state law. The session covers core topics such as the budget, school financing, local levies, policies, significant laws affecting school boards, collective bargaining and personnel issues.

Evening Early Birds Student Expulsion and Staff Discipline – It Takes Grit! 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 15 Minneapolis Convention Center Tuition: $75; walk-ins add $10

Presenters: Jill E. Coyle, Attorney for Rosemount-Apple ValleyEagan Public Schools; Nik Lightfoot, Director of Administrative Services, Hopkins Public Schools; and Margaret J. Westin, General Counsel, Osseo Area Public Schools Expelling a student and disciplining a staff member can be two of the most difficult decisions made by school board members. Three in-district attorneys will present the policies and processes leading up to the superintendent’s recommendation to the school board regarding employee or student discipline, including a mock expulsion hearing. Find out what information you should receive to support your decision at the board table.

Financing available through

Jill E. Coyle

Nik Lightfoot

Margaret J. Westin November/December 2013        25

Our Distinguished Group of 2013 Conference Exhibitors 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment Fitness equipment 4.0 School Services School bus transportation Aim Electronics/Daktronics, Inc. Electronic scoreboard/message displays, logo tables and chairs, and mats A.T. Group, LLC Employee benefits Ameresco Energy services American Student Transportation School bus contractor Anderson-Johnson Associates, Inc. Landscape architecture, civil engineering, site planning API Supply Lifts Aerial work platforms Architects Rego + Youngquist, inc. Architectural planning, design, and management of educational facilities

Baseman Floors, Inc. Wood athletic flooring, synthetic flooring, refinishing wood flooring

Donlar Construction Construction management, general contracting and design/build services

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN Health insurance

DSGW Architects Architecture

BoardBook BoardBook provides the flexibility of iPads, laptops, or printed agenda packets for board meetings

EAPC Architects Engineers Full-service architecture and engineering

Bossardt Corporation, A Wenck Company Construction management services Bullis Insurance Agency Property, Liability and Workers’ Compensation Central States Terrazzo Association Terrazzo flooring CESA 10 Energy management services for K-12 schools Chartwells School Dining Services Food service management

Education Minnesota ESI Financial Services Financial services and tax-qualified administration and compliance services Educators Benefit Consultants TPA handling flex accounts, HRA, HSA, COBRA, and 403(b)/457(b) administration and compliance Ehlers Independent public financial advisory services Eide Bailly, LLP Audit and health care reform Empirehouse, Inc. Energy-efficient windows, heavy-duty entrance doors, glass and metal railing systems, decorative glass, and egress consultation services

Ardent Lighting Group High-quality sports lighting and playground structures

Clark Engineering Corporation Engineering, surveying, laser scanning, and more

Arvig Security, business phone systems

ConEdison Solutions Energy efficiency

EPS - Electrical Production Services Electrical contractor - building access control security systems

ASVAB Career Exploration Program ASVAB Career Exploration

Contegrity Group Incorporated Construction management services

FieldTurf Artificial turf

Athletic Performance Solutions Athletic flooring

Cosney Corporation Casework, seating, bleachers, lab casework

Fisher Tracks, Inc. All-weather track surfaces

ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers Specialize in K-12 school planning, architecture, engineering, technology, interior design, and site development

Dashir Management Services, Inc. Building and grounds management

Flagship Recreation Playground equipment

DLR Group Architecture, engineering, planning, interiors, commissioning and facility asset management evaluations

FLR Sanders Gymnasium/Sport floors

A’viands Food & Services Management Food service management 26        MSBA Journal

Four Seasons Energy Efficient Roofing, Inc. Roofing/solar

General Energy Brokerage & Consulting, Inc. Energy project brokerage and consulting services Gordon Bernard Company School calendars, handbooks, registration books, spiral-bound planners Groves Academy Non-profit community outreach Haldeman-Homme, Inc. Casework, bleachers, lockers, wood floors, science and tech. equip., computer and library furniture, athletic equip., auditorium chairs and seating, PLTW, 3-D printers, and laser engravers Hallberg Engineering, Inc. Mechanical/electrical consulting engineering

HealthPartners Medical and dental insurance

ICS Consulting, Inc. Planning and construction consulting services

Herc-U-Lift, Inc. Personnel lifts, scissor lifts, material handling equipment, forklifts

IEA, Inc. Environmental, health and safety

Hiller Commercial Floors Commercial floor covering Hoglund Bus Co, Inc. International school buses, parts, and service Horizon Equipment, LLC Cooking and refrigeration repair service I & S Group Facilities planning, feasibility studies, master planning, energy analysis, facility needs assessments, indoor air quality improvements, facility analysis

Infinite Campus Student information system Innovative Modular Solutions Modular buildings Innovative Office Solutions School supplies, equipment and furniture, janitorial supplies INSPEC, Inc. Architectural/engineering services Intereum Furnishings, architectural products and installation services

This $11 million Pillager secondary school addition, designed by WSN, was completed in December 2012. [ VIDEO ]

Learn more about this project at:

What can we do for your district?

| Architecture Engineering Surveying Environmental

Alexandria | Baxter | Bemidji | Crookston | East Grand Forks | Grand Forks | Red Wing | Rochester

November/December 2013        27

Our Distinguished Group of 2013 Conference Exhibitors John Baylor Test Prep & ACT & SAT test prep Johnson Controls, Inc. Indoor air quality - environmental K12 Inc. Virtual school programs Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc. Mechanical and electrical engineering, commissioning KDV CPA services Kennedy & Graven, Chartered Legal services Kiefer Specialty Flooring, Inc. Athletic/commercial flooring and artificial turf Know the Truth Substance abuse prevention program in Minnesota schools Knutson Construction Services Construction services Kraus-Anderson Construction Company Professional construction management services, referendum assistance, and facilities planning and management Lakeshore Learning Materials Educational materials LHB Architecture and engineering LifeSpan of Minnesota, Inc. Children’s mental health services LifeTrack Services Graduate survey programs, athletic surveys Lightspeed Technologies, Inc. Classroom audio technology 28        MSBA Journal

Continued from page 27

Long Lake Conservation Center Environmental education Lunchtime Solutions, Inc. Food service management Marsden Services, LLC Facility maintenance and janitorial McDonald’s c/o Keller Grayson Communications Quick service restaurant; education and brand trust information McKinstry Energy efficiency, management and savings

Minnesota School Nutrition Association Educational/training Minnesota Service Cooperatives Minnesota Service Cooperatives Minnesota State High School League MSHSL/MSBA olympics Minnesota State Industries ADA interior signage and exterior signage Minnesota State Patrol - Office of Pupil Transportation Safety School bus safety, student transportation information

Metz Construction Management & Consulting, Inc. Construction management, facility planning, project consulting, owner’s representation, facility assessments and project facilitation

MLA Architects, Inc. Architectural/educational planning

Midwest Tennis & Track Co. Athletic track and tennis court surfacing

MN Department of Health School environmental health resources

Minnesota Alliance With Youth Dropout prevention initiative, Grad Minnesota information and youth council updates

MN FCCLA Student leadership development

Minnesota Army National Guard Minnesota Army National Guard, ASVAB program, You Can school programs

MN Ag Education Leadership Council/ MN Ag in the Classroom Education materials and grant information

Multivista Construction photo documentation Musco Sports Lighting Sports field lighting

Minnesota Association of School Business Officials Providing education, training and services to staff that serve in school business management

Musser Environmental Consulting, Inc. Health and safety consulting

Minnesota Central School Bus Contract student transportation services

National School Boards Association Association

Minnesota Department of Education Division of School Finance

Nexus Solutions, LLC Facility consulting services

National Insurance Services Group insurance benefits - MSBAIT Life/ LTD plans

North Central Bus & Equipment School buses

North Central Insulation Providing the Sprayed Foam Roofing System for over 33 years, benefitting owners with lower maintenance and energy costs Northland Securities, Inc. Northland Securities is a diversified financial securities firm recognized as a financial advisor and underwriter of taxexempt and taxable debt issues NPCG, LLC Playground equipment and surfacing O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl P.A. Attorneys Otter Tail Power Company Utility

Palmer Bus Service Student transportation

PreferredOne Health benefits administration

Paulsen Architects now a part of I & S Group Architecture, engineering, interiors, planning and landscape architecture, and sustainable design

Pro-Tec Design Physical security

Perpich Center for Arts Education State agency - education

R. A. Morton and Associates Construction management and prereferendum services

PFM Asset Management LLC MSDLAF+ MSDLAF+/PFM Asset Management, LLC Piper Jaffray & Co. School district cash flow program PMA Financial Network Inc. Financial investment and advisory services

Public Financial Management, Inc. Financial advisory services

Renaissance Learning Educational software and hardware for schools Riverport Insurance Company Insurance Roof Spec, Inc. Building envelope engineers

November/December 2013        29

Our Distinguished Group of 2013 Conference Exhibitors

Continued from page 29

Scholastic Equipment Co., LLC Furniture and equipment for education

Sports Technology Sports field lighting

School Specialty School supplies, equipment and furniture

Springsted, Inc. Provides independent financial advisory and consulting services to school districts

Seating & Athletic Facility Enterprises, LLC Indoor and outdoor seating (new and renovations); e.g., telescopic bleachers, grandstands, portable bleachers

Teachscape Teachscape observation training, teacher evaluation, and professional learning systems improve teacher practice and student achievement

Staples Advantage Scholastic furniture, supplies and facilities

Tectum, Inc. Acoustical wall and ceiling panels; structural and acoustical roof decks

Student Assurance Services, Inc. Student accident insurance

SGN/Wendel Architects Architecture, engineering, interior design, planning

Telin Transportation Group Bus sales

Taher, Inc. Food service management

Skyward Inc. Skyward student, budgetary and human resources administrative software exclusively for K–12 school districts

Teachers On Call TOC 24/7, featuring Aesop technology... customized, streamlined substitute staffing service for Pre-K–12 public, private, and charter schools

The Center for Efficient School Operations Consulting services to school districts in the areas of facilities, health and safety, and transportation TIES Education Technology Education technology

School Lunch Management Services

We Will Serve Fresh Wholesome Food to Your Students

tel.952-945-0505 • s a l e s @ t a h e r . c o m

30        MSBA Journal

We Will Train Your Staff

We Will Improve Your Financial Results

Ask US what it’s all about! w w w. t a h e r. co m TaherFacebook taherfood4life

Tremco Incorporated Roofing products/weather proofing services TSP Architects and Engineers Educational planning, architectural and engineering services University Funding Professionals ACT prep, Financial Aid planning and training workshops Vaaler Insurance Insurance and risk management specialists

Your AdvocAte to ensure project success

core services n project consulting n construction Management

VS - America, Inc. Classroom furniture/dynamic, flexible solutions

n Facility planning

W. L. Hall Company Windows, skylights, lockers, fire doors, bleachers and auditorium seating

n community & stakeholder engagement programs n project Facilitation n Financing & costing Assistance

Webber Recreational Design, Inc. Park and playground equipment

n programming

Widseth Smith Nolting Architecture, engineering, land surveying, and environmental services, with seven offices serving school districts throughout Minnesota Winkelman Building Corp. Construction management services

plAnninG consultinG MAnAGeMent process

Wold Architects & Engineers Architectural and engineering services

From early programming assistance through implementation, call MetZ for all your educational project needs.

David Schoff

612.236.8665 twin cities Metro • Greater Minnesota

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 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 Architects/Engineers/Facility Planners Architects Rego + Youngquist, inc. (Paul Youngquist) 7601 Wayzata Blvd., Ste. #200 St. Louis Park, MN 55426 952-544-8941, Fax 952-544-0585 ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers (Paul Erickson) 8501 Golden Valley Road, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55427 763-545-3731, Fax 763-525-3289 Clark Engineering Corporation (Douglas Fell) 621 Lilac Drive North Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-545-9196, Fax 763-541-0056 Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. (Gary Prest) 201 Main Street SE Suite 325 Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-379-3400, Fax 612-379-4400 DLR Group (Christopher Gibbs) 520 Nicollet Mall, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-977-3500, Fax 612-977-3600 GLTArchitects (Evan Larson) 808 Courthouse Square St. Cloud, MN 56303 320-252-3740, Fax 320-255-0683 Hallberg Engineering, Inc. (Richard Lucio) 1750 Commerce Court White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-748-1100, Fax 651-748-9370

32        MSBA Journal

ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866

Wold Architects and Engineers (Vaughn Dierks) 305 St. Peter Street St. Paul, MN 55102 651-227-7773, Fax 651-223-5646

Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd. (Edward Kodet) 15 Groveland Terrace Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-377-2737, Fax 612-377-1331

Athletic Sports Floors/Surfacing Fisher Tracks, Inc. (Jordan Fisher) 1192 235th Street Boone, IA 50036 515-432-3191, Fax 515-432-3193

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 Paulsen Architects now a part of I & S Group (Bryan Paulsen) 115 East Hickory Street, Suite 300 Mankato, MN 56001 507-387-6651, Fax 507-387-3581 TSP Architects and Engineers (Troy Miller) 18707 Old Excelsior Blvd. Minnetonka, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928 Wendel (Jim Wilson) 111 Washington Avenue North; Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55401 612-332-1401, Fax 612-332-1405 Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-316-3618, Fax 218-829-2517

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 Attorneys Booth & Lavorato LLC (Laura Tubbs Booth) 10520 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 200 Minnetonka, MN 55305 763-253-4155, Fax 763-253-4160 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Neil Simmons) 470 U.S. Bank Plaza, 200 S. 6th St. Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 Knutson, Flynn & Deans (Thomas S. Deans) 1155 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 10 Mendota Heights, MN 55120 651-222-2811, Fax 651-225-0600

Pemberton Law (Mike Rengel) 110 N. Mill Street Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. (Joseph J. Langel) 730 2nd Ave S., Ste. 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038 Construction Management & Consulting Services ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (John Huenink) 8625 Rendova Street NE Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 Metz Construction Management & Consulting, Inc. (Deb Metz) 20759 Eastway Road Richmond, MN 56368 612-236-8665 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 Educational Programs/Services Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind (Brad Harper) 615 Olof Hanson Drive Faribault, MN 55021 507-384-6602, Fax 507-332-5528

The Minnesota Service Cooperatives (Jeremy Kovash) 1001 East Mount Faith Avenue Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-739-3273, Fax 218-739-2459 Electrical Engineers/AV Systems Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-316-3618, Fax 218-829-2517 Energy Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. (Lyle C. Schumann) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N. Plymouth, MN 55447 763-585-5148, Fax 763-566-2208 Financial Management Ehlers (Joel Sutter) 3060 Centre Pointe Drive Roseville, MN 55113 651-697-8514, Fax 651-697-8555 MSBA-Sponsored Administration and Compliance Service (A&C Service) Administration and Compliance Service (Paige McNeal, Educators Benefit Consultants, LLC) 888-507-6053 or 763-552-6053 Fax 763-552-6055 MSBA-Sponsored MNTAAB (Minnesota Tax and Aid Anticipation Borrowing)Program MNTAAB (Patty Heminover, Springsted, Inc.) 800-236-3033 or 651-223-3058 Fax 651-268-5058 MSBA-Sponsored P-Card (Procurement Card) Program P-Card Program 800-891-7910 or 314-878-5000 Fax 314-878-5333

MSBA-Sponsored (Jim Sheehan, Ann Thomas) Sheehan: 952-435-0990 Thomas: 952-435-0955 MSBA-Sponsored PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Ave Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573; 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax 720-208-9852 PFM Asset Management, LLC MSDLAF+ (Donn Hanson) 45 South 7th Street, Suite 2800 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-371-3720, Fax 612-338-7264 Fire & Security Arvig 888-992-7844 Fitness Equipment 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment (Shon Hartman) 7585 Equitable Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-240-4512, Fax 952-544-5053 Floor Coverings Hiller Commercial Floors (Dave Bahr) 2909 S. Broadway Rochester, MN 55904 507-254-6858 or 888-724-1766 Fax 507-288-8877 Food Service Products & Services Taher, Inc. (Erin Hove) 5570 Smetana Dr. Minnetonka, MN 55343 952-345-2891, Fax 952-945-0444

Health Insurance PreferredOne (Mike Thielen) 6105 Golden Hills Drive Golden Valley, MN 55416 763-847-3549, Fax 763-847-4010 Indoor Air Quality Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit (John Olson) P.O. Box 64975 St. Paul, MN 55164-0975 651-201-4614, Fax 651- 201-4606 schoolenvironments Insurance Bullis Insurance Agency - Assured Risk Protection (Marc Bullis) 407 East Lake Street #201 Wayzata, MN 55391 (952) 449-0089 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 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 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 Security/Communication Systems Arvig 888-992-7844

Software Systems PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Ave Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573; 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax 720-208-9852 Technology PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Ave Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573; 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax 720-208-9852 Transportation American Bus Sales, LLC (Eric Edwards) 12802 N. 103rd E. Ave. Collinsville, OK 74021 866-574-9970, Fax 918-205-5009 Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) 116 E. Oakwood Dr., PO Box 249 Monticello, MN 55362 800-866-3105, Fax 763-295-4992 Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (Shelly Jonas) 10606 Hemlock St. NW Annandale, MN 55302 320-274-8313, Fax 320-274-8027 North Central Bus & Equipment (Sandy Kiehm) 2629 Clearwater Road St. Cloud, MN 56301 320-257-1209, Fax 320-252-3561 Telin Transportation Group (Jamie Romfo) 14990 Industry Ave Becker, MN 55308 866-287-7278 or 763-262-3328, Fax 763-262-3332 Wireless Communications Arvig 888-992-7844 November/December 2013        33

Advertisers ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers.......................... Page 23 Booth & Lavorato LLC...................................................... Page 29 Eide Bailly........................................................................... Page 17 Hoglund Bus Co., Inc........................................................ Page 16 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered .......................................... Page 7 Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A............................................ Page 23 Kraus-Anderson Construction Company......................... Page 12 Mackin Educational Resources......................................... Page 17 Metz Construction Management & Consulting, Inc....... Page 31 Minnesota Department of Health – Indoor Air Unit..... Page 21 MSBAIT.............................................................................. Page 36 MSDLAF+............................................................................. Page 7 PreferredOne....................................................................... Page 2 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. ...................................... Page 13 Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, P.A................. Page 34 Taher, Inc........................................................................... Page 30 The Minnesota Service Cooperatives.............................. Page 22 Telin Transportation Group.............................................. Page 25 Widseth Smith Nolting...................................................... Page 27 Wold Architects & Engineers............................................ Page 12


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p How an chools ay for i ads, Other Tablets, or E-readers?


One of the trends in school districts across the state is to equip their teachers and students with iPads, other electronic tablets, or electronic readers (for simplicity, these technological wonders will hereinafter collectively be referred to as “e-devices”). While this new technology offers exciting opportunities for education, the decision whether to take the digital leap may turn on finances. MSBA wants to make sure legal and good decisions are made by school districts. Q. Can school districts charge a fee to the students who get an e-device?

Cathy Miller, Director of Legal and Policy Services

While this new technology offers exciting opportunities for education, the decision whether to take the digital leap may turn on finances.

A. These new e-devices are so popular for so many reasons that districts may be tempted to charge a fee to each student who gets an e-device. Parents may not complain about the fee because they can see the benefits to their children, but a fee may be illegal anyway. If an e-device is a substitute for one or more textbooks or used for similar purposes, MSBA’s position is that districts cannot charge a fee for the use of the e-device. The statute addressing prohibited fees (M.S. 123B.37) prevents schools from charging for textbooks. While the statute does not specifically include e-devices, if the information formerly obtained from a paper textbook is now obtained from text on an e-device, MSBA does not believe a school district can charge a fee for that content just because the means of delivery has changed. Perhaps a successful argument can be made that a fee for an e-device which delivers textbook content does not violate the letter of the law; however, charging such a fee certainly violates the spirit of this law. Q. Can school districts charge a fee to the students if they get to keep the e-device? A. Even if the students are allowed to keep the e-devices, Minnesota law does not state the school may charge for them. If students have the option to keep “the resultant product” of a program, schools may charge a fee pursuant to M.S. 123B.36, Subd. 1(b)(1). Because an e-device is not “the resultant product” of a class, even if a student is allowed to keep the

e-device, this provision does not allow school districts to charge the students. MSBA does not think school districts can allow students to keep the devices for free either. When school districts dispose of surplus equipment, the best price must be obtained. Q. Can school districts charge students a security fee for the e-device? A. Schools may charge a security deposit for return of an undamaged e-device. This deposit must be refunded when the e-device is returned. Q. Can school districts charge students for insurance on the e-device? A. Schools can offer insurance for a fee to cover repair or replacement of a damaged or lost e-device. However, insurance must be an option rather than a mandate. Parents may choose to take the risk of repair or replacement of the e-device without insurance. Q. Do school boards need to take any steps before instituting a new fee? A. Before any of these new fees are charged for the first time, a hearing is required by M.S. 123B.38 because the fees for security deposits or insurance are fees “not authorized or prohibited” by M.S. 123B.36 and 123B.37, respectively. Q. Can we charge all students a security deposit fee or insurance fee? A. School districts are often required to offer a sliding scale for fees to accommodate families without the ability to pay the fees. The security deposits and insurance fees for e-devices likely would be examined the same way. Public education is available to all resident children, and the constitutional principle is: Public education is paid for by the government (federal, state, and local) not by individual families through tuition or fees.

November/December 2013        35




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MSBA Journal: November-December 2013  

The November-December 2013 issue of the Minnesota School Boards Association Journal magazine

MSBA Journal: November-December 2013  

The November-December 2013 issue of the Minnesota School Boards Association Journal magazine