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March-April 2016

Volume 68, No. 5

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MSBA Communication Survey Results Adapting to a Post-textbook World What’s next for the Every Student Succeeds Act?


in you


Midst 95th

Annual Leadership Conference Scrapbook Page 20-21

M arch 2 0 1 6

Divisions 4 5 6 20 36

 UOTES OF NOTE Q MSBA Staff STRAIGHT TALK Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA Executive Director

A p ril 2 0 1 6

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN Kevin Donovan, MSBA President

2 ���������������� MSBA Phase III Orientation, St. Cloud 5 ���������������� MSBA Phase III Orientation, St. Peter 14 �������������� MSBA Phase III Orientation, Minneapolis 15 �������������� MSBA Phase IV Orientation, Minneapolis 17–18 �������� MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 18 �������������� MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting 21 �������������� MSBA Phase IV Orientation, St. Cloud

2016 Leadership Conference Scrapbook MSBA Staff VENDOR DIRECTORY Pierre Productions & Promotions, Inc.

Articles 8 12 16 22 26

1 ���������������� Precinct Caucus Day (no meetings or activities after 6 p.m.) 5 ���������������� MSBA Charter School Board Training, St. Peter 8 ���������������� Legislative Session Begins 8 ���������������� Township Election Day (if applicable – no meetings or activities 6–8 p.m.) 10 �������������� BoardBook Webinar 13 �������������� Daylight Saving Time Begins

MSBA Communication Survey Results Greg Abbott Adapting to a Post-textbook World Jon Voss

May 2016 4–6 ������������ MASBO Annual Conference 19–20 �������� MSBA Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting 25 �������������� Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Meeting 30 �������������� Memorial Day (no meetings)

What’s next for the Every Student Succeeds Act? Del Stover P-Card Program: First-rate rebate Bruce Lombard MSBA Board Director Spotlight: Kathy Green Bruce Lombard

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

Genesis Mireles

March/April 2016    3

C O N T E N T S M a r c h / A p r i l 2 0 1 6    V O L U M E 6 8 , N U M B E R 5


Officers President: Kevin Donovan, Mahtomedi President-Elect: Kathy Green, Austin District Directors District 1: Heidi Jones, Red Wing District 2: Linda Leiding, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial District 3: Linden Olson, Worthington District 4: Betsy Anderson, Hopkins District 5: Suzy Guthmueller, Centennial District 6: George Kimball, White Bear Lake Area District 7: Melissa Sauser, Farmington District 8: Carla Bates, Minneapolis District 9: Kirby Ekstrom, North Branch Area District 10: Michael Domin, Crosby-Ironton District 11: John Berklich, Hibbing District 12: Ann Long Voelkner, Bemidji Area District 13: Deborah Pauly, Jordan Staff Kirk Schneidawind: Executive Director Kelly Martell: Executive Assistant Tiffany Rodning: Deputy Executive Director Greg Abbott: Director of Communications Denise Dittrich: Associate Director of Government 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 Government 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 Government Relations Katie Klanderud: Director of Board Development Gary Lee: Director of Management Services Bruce Lombard: Associate Director of Communications Cathy Miller: Director of Legal and Policy Services Sue Munsterman: Administrative Assistant to Board Development/Communications Jeff Olson: Membership Services 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.)

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Quotes of Note captures some of the more interesting statements MSBA staff have read in local, state and national publications.

Every Student Succeeds Act (Note: The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in December 2015. ESSA reauthorizes the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), replacing the No Child Left Behind Act.)

“The new law will replace a ‘one-size-fitsall’ model with accountability for student achievement placed at the state level. Student achievement is still at the center of this law, but it now opens flexibility for states to direct resources to help improve outcomes for all students.” MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind

“(The Every Student Succeeds Act) builds on the reforms that have helped us make so much progress already, holding to high standards for teaching and learning, empowering states and school districts to develop their own strategies for improvement, dedicating our resources to our most vulnerable children.” President Barack Obama

“After years of delay, Congress is finally… replacing No Child Left Behind with a new law that will reduce the federal role, restore local control, and empower parents. Those are precisely the kind of reforms parents, teachers, and state and local education leaders deserve, and I am grateful for all of the hard work of our House and Senate colleagues for helping to make these reforms a reality.” U.S. Rep. John Kline (Minnesota), Chair of the U.S. Education and the Workforce Committee

“The National School Boards Association (NSBA) applauds lawmakers for restoring local governance and working with our public education stakeholders to end the prescriptive requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act – strengthening the ability of states and local school board members to act in the best interests of students, parents, and local communities.” NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel

“Among the biggest victories in this bill is ensuring that states have more flexibility. The one-size-fits-all approach to fixing failing schools wasn’t working, and this bill will help address that. And I am proud that so many of the provisions I authored are included in this bill – things like strengthening STEM education, expanding student mental health services, increasing access to accelerated learning courses that help high school students earn college credit, and improving the recruitment and preparation of quality school principals.” U.S. Sen. Al Franken (Minnesota), member of the U.S. Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

“The Every Student Succeeds Act closes the door on policies that shamed and blamed schools and teachers, and ushers in new era of real accountability for Minnesota and the nation. It allows us the flexibility to take what is working in our state and make it better, while still offering real support and assistance to the schools and students who need it most. This long-overdue bill allows Minnesota to move forward and continue the work of improving our educational system at every level, for every student and for every teacher.” Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius

Local control “I think that for education, the state needs to provide the resources that you need to provide the best possible education for young people. We need to let you use the resources the way you need to use them for your particular school district. Your needs and your problems all take a different twist.” Minnesota Sen. Bill Weber

Sans substitutes “Arbitrarily getting a babysitter just because that’s what we have always done makes no sense whatsoever.” Chanhassen High School Principal Tim Dorway, on his school being among the first in the state to attempt letting students learn on their own – rather than hiring substitute teachers

S traight Talk C :

alming the storm finding solutions to the teacher shortage problem study shows that 3,504 teachers are teaching without the proper license – that is 6 percent of the teaching force.


Kirk Schneidawind MSBA Executive Director

A “perfect storm” continues its devastating path across Minnesota’s public school system. Minnesota is experiencing a teacher shortage throughout the state – and a growing shortage across most licensure areas. Our school districts are seeing a sharp decline in the number of applicants for open teaching positions. One school district recently shared that they used to receive hundreds of applications for elementary school vacancies, but recently received only 11 applications for five openings. Why are teachers leaving the teaching profession nationwide? According to the Washington Post, “reasons include low pay, insufficient classroom resources, and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines that they feel they have no flexibility and too little authentic instructional time.” Additionally, in Minnesota, our state’s complex licensure system continues to make the process difficult for prospective new teachers. The number of new licenses awarded during the last five years has decreased by 7 percent; and if you go back to 2004, it is an even larger decrease in the number of students completing the licensure process – we are experiencing a 10 percent attrition rate. Lastly, one

A “Teacher Shortage Letter” from the U.S. Department of Education identified 28 shortage areas, largely made up of special education licensed teachers – this is the student population where there is a growing need. The other shortage areas are related to science and math – precisely the areas that our state needs to excel in order to contribute to a strong Minnesota economy and compete nationally. We also need to address the supply of substitute teachers. Hiring the most effective and dedicated teachers is one of the school board’s most important duties. A highly effective teacher is the No. 1 indicator of academic progress for students. Research shows students actually lose ground from underperforming teachers, sometimes needing two years or more to make up for lost learning. If we do not have an adequate pool of effective candidates, student performance will suffer. In 2014, the MSBA Delegate Assembly passed a resolution urging the Minnesota Legislature “to provide school board members more flexibility in hiring and retaining high-quality teachers.” I traveled the state during last fall’s MSBA Advocacy Tour and heard your concerns: that Minnesota’s teacher licensure process has become overcomplicated and messy, and prevents good teachers from reaching the classroom. You told us this shortage is affecting you all – in all areas of instruction, from art to career and tech to business classes to foreign languages to special education. Because part of MSBA’s mission is to strengthen public education, we are making a stronger attempt to resolve the teacher shortage issue this year. In MSBA’s 2016 Legislative Priorities, we are calling on the Minnesota

Legislature to pass a comprehensive “Teacher Shortage Act” that would include short-term and long-term strategies to attract high school and college students into the teaching profession and increase the number of teacher candidates licensed in Minnesota. We’d also like to see efforts made to help attract out-of-state licensed teachers to Minnesota. MSBA has identified several potential solutions that we will introduce in a bill during the 2016 legislative session: • Broadening the scope of licensure for “hard-to-fill” areas such as science and special education. • Providing a streamlined and cost-effective pathway for paraprofessionals to become licensed teachers. • Attracting qualified teachers by expanding the MSBA-initiated loan forgiveness program or other incentives. • Provide financial incentives for students who commit to teaching in “hard-to-fill” degrees such as computer science, chemistry and business. • Provide flexibility in teacher starting salary and pay scale for “hard-to-fill” positions (e.g., chemistry or special education). • Provide flexibility in allowing licensed teachers to teach outside their license authority as long as they can pass the appropriate test or attain a certain level on their performance review. • Providing a grant program that would allow local school boards to identify the needs and opportunities in their communities that would promote a pathway for teachers and paraprofessionals into the public schools. • Helping our school districts find or hire teachers from a more diverse pool of applicants. This will not be a quick fix. School board members must be persistent, engage in partnership with higher education, and have a long-term view of enhancing the pathways for teacher licensure. We can’t ignore this issue. Our students are depending on us to step forward to get highly effective teachers in the classroom. March/April 2016    5

President’s Column

Are we adequately preparing our students for the future?


Kevin Donovan MSBA President

We need to have the vision, courage and foresight to bring our school districts to the forefront of educational reform in this new and exciting era.

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“Unleashing the Heroes in Your Midst” was the theme of the 2016 MSBA Leadership Conference. The feedback on the conference has been very positive and congratulatory. We had wonderful keynote speakers and many fantastic group sessions. The bands from Princeton and Austin along with the ROTC color guard from North Branch Area High School really showcased the talented and passionate students from across Minnesota. We even had a bit of fun with the conference “Heroes” theme, setting up a selfie picture booth and providing capes, masks and a shield for local school boards to show their true colors.

Our keynote speakers challenged us with many thoughts and ideas and put school boards and district administrations squarely in the crossroads of educational reform and change for the 21st century. James Bearden told us: “In order to deal effectively with the challenges that impact district success, board members, administrators, faculty, and staff must be willing to look for, find, consider, and try alternatives to the status quo.” Yong Zhao shared his core belief that we need to end common, homogenous and standardized educational experiences for our students. After I came down from the postconference excitement, I decided to take a little deeper dive into the work of Yong Zhao. With a little help from the ultimate entrepreneur, Jeff Bezos, and Amazon, I downloaded Zhao’s “Catching Up or Leading the Way” (2009). The underlying theme of the book is summarized in this passage: “I realized that what China wants is what America is eager to throw away – an education that respects individual talents, supports divergent thinking, tolerates deviation, and encourages creativity; a system in which the government does not dictate what students learn or how teachers teach; and culture does not rank or

judge the success of a school, a teacher or a child based on only test scores in a few subjects determined by the government.” It’s Zhao’s assertion that schools must work to cultivate a diversity of talents and global competence to cope with a world that has been significantly altered by globalization and technology. To illustrate some of the points that Zhao shared with the MSBA conference audience, he asked everyone to stand and sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I must say we have some wonderful school board singers! The metaphor by using the Rudolph story illustrates the conformity of education in our schools. The point Zhao makes is that all human beings are unique and diverse. Cognitively, physically, emotionally, we are all different. When students come to the classroom they are unique, have different interests, different passions, different strengths and weaknesses, and they are very curious about everything. Zhao believes schools teach to the average, a homogeneous process, so our students can fit into employment. “Machines are increasingly taking all of the routine and repetitive jobs that traditional education prepared students for,” Zhao said. He added that “if we continue to educate students as we have done so far with skills and knowledge that can be replaced by machines, our children are going to have a very difficult time in the future.” As we contemplate and begin to engage with the recently re-authorized NCLB – the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – we need to ask if we are creating and designing a world class model of student engagement and success for all of our students. I believe that we need a great deal of input from all the key stakeholders to fashion a solution that truly measures kids for who they are – inquisitive, creative, and unique individuals. We need to engage with higher education institutions

and business communities to ensure a meaningful, rewarding and successful future for all of our students. Your MSBA will help facilitate and convene the conversations, but we really do need leadership and innovative ideas from all Minnesota school districts. We are the heroes in our communities. We need to have the vision, courage and foresight to bring our school districts to the forefront of educational reform in this new and exciting era. Every day we should be asking the question: Are we engaging, challenging and inspiring our students to be ready for a future of entrepreneurship and job creation in a very different way from the post-industrial model of today?

MSBA President Kevin Donovan and two of his Mahtomedi School Board colleagues – Lucy Payne (left) and Julie McGraw – showed off their “school board super powers” during the 2016 MSBA Leadership Conference in January.


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Communication Survey Results MSBA Communications Survey lets members tell us how they’d like to stay in touch


MSBA has a long history of using evaluations to listen to what our members want from our training, financial services and communications. In 2006, we did an extensive 120-plus-question survey on all topics of what our association offers.

Greg Abbott

But as our membership continues to turn over and the average length of a board member’s service on a board has shrunk to about 9.5 years, we realize that we have to update our survey results every two terms for new board members coming in. Instead of doing another huge survey, our association decided to keep the surveys short – five minutes or less – with no more than 30 questions on a specific topic. This year, it was specific to MSBA communications and publications. From Monday, September 28 to Monday, October 19, 2015, we sent our survey to all superintendents, board members and other administrators (2,414 total members). To those members without email or those whose emails bounced back, we sent a printed copy of the survey by postal mail.

“The With the help of MP&G Marketing, our Boardcaster is goal was to get a 20 percent return, a great source of with a high of 30 percent. By the information, and I end of the survey, we had a 28.75 have read it regularly percent response rate with nearly 700 responses. over the 19 years that I have been We broke our results down into six categories: Readership, Content, Delivery in Minnesota.” Method, Frequency, Password & Website Ease of Use, and Social Media.

8    MSBA Journal

Readership & Content: Our members are happy with our publications

The Boardcaster had the best readership, with 96.7 percent of respondents saying they read at least one issue and 48.2 percent saying they read EVERY issue. The favorites were education news, information about upcoming training and information about MSBA conferences and events. When asked what could be added to the monthly newsletter, respondents said more Minnesota Department of Education news (64 percent) and more federal education news (48 percent). So you may have noticed that starting in January, the Boardcaster has a state and national page added to carry important news about state and federal education issues. Close behind in readership is the Journal magazine, with 93 percent of members reading at least one issue and 64.3 percent of board members saying they read EVERY issue. A majority liked articles on school

Starting with our December 2015 issue, MSBA has taken off the password protection needed to read the newsletter. And we hope the name of “Management Services” doesn’t mean it’s not for board members. Information in the newsletter is important for board members to read, as well as district staff. Relying on your superintendent to inform you of information is simply passing off your responsibility to be a well-informed board member. Remember that only 56 percent of superintendents read every issue. So how could they “pass along” information to board members if almost half don’t read every issue? Now that it is available without any password, MSBA hopes breaking that barrier encourages more board members to read the information. MSBA’s News Clipping Service was started in 2002 and has grown rapidly to nearly 2,000 subscribers. This is a service members have to opt in to receiving. But we can tell from our website hits that it is by far the most popular communication vehicle we offer, averaging more than 27,000 hits per month. With a list of links to K–12 education news from across the state, it’s a way members can keep in touch with what is going on, see districts that are succeeding and also see what NOT to do when a district program or board action goes sideways. Again, there is a major split with “The Management readership between Services Newsletter superintendents and Christina Meza is a terrific resource board members. For board issues, education trends and hot topics in education. superintendents, 53.3 for board members As for what people want to add to the Journal, about 57 percent say they look at it and superintendents. percent wanted a Legal Update page or more articles to help EVERY DAY, compared to In my experience, understand policy and how court challenges affect schools. just 27.4 percent of board however, I’m not sure Another 50 percent of readers want the “Ask MSBA” column members. It is daunting to many school board back. They liked having a common question answered with subscribe to something that members read it.” the best practice for dealing with sticky situations. The Journal comes to your email box will be adding the “Ask MSBA” column back to the magazine five days a week. In fact 43.7 in July and is also working on a format to add a Policy/Legal percent of board members page in the future. say they don’t subscribe. The main reasons were time and “the superintendent will For our Management Services Newsletter, 87.7 percent of tell me if there is anything important.” Again, this deferral of respondents said they read at least one issue, but there was responsibility to be informed falls to the superintendent. a major split on readership between superintendents and board members. Only 3 percent of superintendents said Some takeaways from the readership survey include: People like they never read the newsletter, while 16 percent of board the communications and publications we have; members who members say they don’t read it. Only 29.5 percent of board want information don’t want password barriers keeping them members say they read every issue, compared to 56.4 percent from reading the information; and some members pass their of superintendents. There were three main reasons members responsibility to be informed off to the superintendent. As our said they didn’t read the newsletter: (1) the password trainers say in our Phase I Board Orientation Workshop: Being protection on the document, followed by comments that a board member is hard work and takes time and effort. We (2) “the superintendent will let me know if there is anything know that. And the students in your district – along with your important” and (3) some who said “I didn’t know it existed.” fellow board members – expect you to be informed about K–12 issues so your board can be high-achieving.

March/April 2016    9

Communication survey Results

get the magazine electronically, so we will now be sending out this publication to those members with a link to the electronic publication. The delivery question was something we specifically wanted in our new survey. In 2006, nearly 40 percent of members wanted information by postal mail. The percentage has dropped to 30 percent, and as time goes on and Internet access improves throughout the state, we may see the demand for postal mail drop even further. But until then, we will continue to offer both options.


Members want the information in a format they can best use If MSBA learned something from the survey, it was: “Just because electronic delivery of all publications is available doesn’t mean everybody wants all publications electronically.”

MSBA learned that the emergence of email, Twitter and Facebook doesn’t replace paper newsletters or magazines. It gives members a choice about how they want to read the information. Some things – like the News Clipping Service – have to be electronic because there is no way to send the information through postal mail to people. But for our Boardcaster and Management Services Newsletter, we found 29.5 percent of board members still want the Boardcaster sent to them by postal mail. Another 26.1 percent of board members want the Management Services Newsletter sent to them by postal mail. For our new members in 2016, we gave them the choice on how they want “News their information and MSBA will Clippings are be sending both newsletters a very powerful by postal mail for those who want it. We can’t afford to source of information leave behind 30 percent for me. I have gained of our members who may so much knowledge not have the best Internet of what is going on connection or broadband to outside of our get everything electronically.


When we say we support, promote and strengthen the work of school boards, that includes giving you the choice on how you receive information.

For the Journal, 67.8 percent of board members still want the publication in print and sent through the mail. However, we saw that 30 percent would rather

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Frequency of communications: We’re sending just the right amount of emails, mailings

MSBA never wants to be the association that sends so many emails that your eyes gloss over just seeing something from us show up in the mailbox.

“I used to read the newsletters more often when we received them in paper form in the mail.”

MSBA staff this year made a conscious effort to combine Legislative alerts into our News Clipping Service. Staff also turned the Boardcaster from a twice-monthly publication to a monthly publication, with any additional items surfacing later in the month included in the Management Services Newsletter. By doing those combinations, we cut down on email overload. And our survey found that 91 percent of our membership agree that what we send by email is just right. Another 94 percent also like that we don’t overload them with too many Legislative Action Alerts. Basically, we want our members to feel comfortable with what they receive. That’s why ANY of our publications can be an opt-out by simply sending an email to us or calling the office.

Social Media:

Members are fine with Facebook and Twitter and don’t want to expand in other social media areas

Yes, MSBA does have a Facebook page ( mnmsba). And we are on Twitter ( And we do have a YouTube channel ( mnmsbavideo). About one-third of our membership didn’t know that. In fact, only 16.8 percent of respondents said they had “liked” MSBA’s Facebook page and only 14.7 percent say they follow MSBA on Twitter.

Website Usability and Password Protection:

Members really don’t like passwords

When asked if MSBA should “I don’t add more social media – such as LinkedIn or Instagram – 81.6 tweet. I just percent of members said DON’T creak.” add anything more. So for now, we’ll stick to our Facebook page and Twitter account, and see what social media might click with members the next time we do a survey.

More than half of responding board members (53 percent) wanted the password off the Management Services Newsletter. Another 36 percent of board members say they never use MSBA’s website because MSBA wants to thank all the they don’t know their password. “I can usually superintendents, board members With the password gone from the find material and staff who participated in our newsletter, staff is reviewing all that gives me more survey. We continue to respond sections of the website to see knowledge, which to our members and have already where we can make more pages comes in handy when implemented most of the changes public. There will still be a need YOU have asked for. Watch for I get asked questions to protect the MSBA Service another short, 30-question survey Manual and the MSBA Policy Service from community from us this September on the topic Manual for our members only. But members in our of MSBA Training. As in all aspects of in the future, we may open up more district.” our association, we value your input. pages to make the website easier to navigate. For board members, they Greg Abbott is the Director of Communications liked the Policy for the Minnesota School Boards Association. To section, Legislative reach him about this article, email him at gabbott@ “I believe News and upcoming MSBA only Training information. Superintendents most used the News sends out Action Alerts Clipping Service page and the MSBA Service Manual page. One good result if it is really of the survey is that most people important.” thought all the information they needed was on the website. Not a single item suggested to be added had more than 3 percent saying they wanted something added. However, the overall usability received a 6.1 out of 10 for the website. Most of the reasons given for those ranking it low was because too much was password-protected.

March/April 2016    11

Intermediate District 287 received a 2015 Local Government Innovation Award in December for the Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum (MPCC). The award was accepted by (from left to right) Jon Fila, MPCC Course Facilitator/Writer for Intermediate District 287; Jessica Wiley, MPCC Project Manager for Intermediate District 287; and Marc Johnson, Executive Director for the East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative (ECMECC).

Adapting to a post-textbook Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative world Curriculum wins statewide innovation award


Jon Voss

Note: In December 2015, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota selected Intermediate District 287 to receive a 2015 Local Government Innovation Award for the Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum (MPCC). The MPCC is among 24 diverse projects recognized for showing creativity and innovation in redesigning how they do business. In 2012, the future seemed both clear and imminent to Minnesota curriculum directors: Students will increasingly use more and more personal media that consistently connect them to information. But the educational texts for these

12    MSBA Journal

digital devices, aligned to the expected Minnesota standards, were not available. School district leaders examining their capacity to write their own digital curriculum quickly found they had insufficient skill and personnel to address the content, technology and training issues related to constructing and successfully implementing digital curriculum. And vendor-provided materials were and continue to be expensive and unresponsive to local needs. With multiple districts moving to be a part of a post-textbook world, a radically different approach was necessary. There was talk about the need to collaborate on digital

Other Local Government Innovation Award Winners Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District: The Kandiyohi County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO)

Local Government Innovation Awards curriculum, but no clear vision of how to make a practical and well-managed start. The breakthrough came when several early adopters proposed an organizational structure that provided sufficient seed money and project oversight. With confidence in this structure, district leaders were open to join a collaborative rather than attempt this work alone. This was the birth of the Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum (MPCC). The MPCC consortium was formed as a grassroots effort to provide all Minnesota teachers with access to highquality, easily adaptable digital materials aligned to Minnesota standards. MPCC leaders communicated the economic, academic and instructional benefits of working together to state educators. Trusted partners already known in curriculum and technology circles painted a detailed picture of how curriculum for grades 3–12 in four core subject areas would be (1) designed to meet Minnesota standards, (2) more interactive than traditional textbooks, and (3) able to be modified for local purposes with local technology – all for the cost of just one textbook adoption. Districts joined the partnership at a cost of $1 per student. Individuals representing the partnership made multiple presentations across the state and answered school district stakeholders’ questions – 205 school districts joined the partnership from 2013 to 2015. The MPCC organizational structure includes a course creation and certification process that seeks to leverage talent and interest across districts, and assure high-quality

The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, New London-Spicer and Willmar school districts collaborated to offer 20 students from these schools to learn from local business owners about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. The class will visit 50 to 60 businesses and have up to 40 guest speakers throughout the year. The goal of CEO is to help students view the local area as a place of opportunity and give them the skills and confidence to help move the area forward. Crookston School District: Closing the Achievement Gap Highland Elementary School partnered with the United Way of Crookston to provide an afterschool reading program to all children in grades 2–5. With a United4Learning grant, students can receive 120 minutes of instruction in reading three days a week for 12 weeks. More than 100 students were offered free busing to help promote the afterschool reading program. Rockford Area School District: Growing Young Stewards – A School and Community Partnership Rockford Middle School’s Center for Environmental Studies has created an extensive outdoor learning campus where students can engage in hands-on learning experiences that are steeped in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The spaces include a school forest, two rain gardens, two outdoor classrooms, a grape grove, raised garden beds, a natural playscape and a straw bale garden. Wayzata School District: Mobile MakerSpace Two schools collaborated to invest in a fleet of Mobile MakerSpace carts to instill an ethos of innovation that permeates each building’s culture. Students need exposure and hands-on opportunities to experiment with cutting-edge tools so they are empowered to be inventors, engineers and artists. By collaborating with another school, the district cut costs in half and impacted more students. White Bear Lake Area School District: Courses that Count – Partnering to Reduce Remedial Coursework Working with Century College to offer dual enrollment courses at White Bear Lake Area High School, students can enter college without the need to take remedial courses. This year, 145 students enrolled in new math and reading courses. By earning a C or better in the course, Century enters the student into the statewide data system as meeting requirements to enter a college credit-earning math or reading course. No longer will students need to take an Accuplacer exam or worry about having to take remedial courses after graduation.

March/April 2016    13

Adapting to a post-textbook world

curriculum and training support. It also creates opportunities through a variety of committees and input sessions for partners to influence MPCC design, resulting in a flexible organization that responds to changing needs. Over the past two years, MPCC leaders worked with the 205 partner districts to recruit teacher writers, course facilitators and course reviewers to create digital materials. To date, 70 teacher writers from 41 different districts across the state have participated on a writing team for math, science, English language arts or social studies. Each attended a writers’ workshop before beginning their work, giving the project leadership an opportunity to confirm the expectations for aligning to standards, content rigor, addressing cultural relevance and response, and technical design requirements. More than 100 teachers and course facilitators attended writers’ workshops during 2013 and 2014. Also, there is an application pool of 150 teachers who are interested in writing digital courses in the future. During the last school year, 86 teachers attended implementation workshops. In summer 2015, seven days of workshops for learning effective ways to implement digital curriculum took place across the state. Approximately 30 high-quality courses have been developed, reviewed and piloted, with another 10 courses expected by the end of this school year. The courses include an array of effective instructional strategies to address student learning abilities and styles, and provide a variety of authentic learning assessments. Furthermore, all content must be available digitally, be usable on multiple platforms, and conform to fair use standards, making the content available at little further cost to the user.

there was only one secondary biology teacher in the district. One teacher stated that he felt “less alone” by being part of a network. An additional network has been formed this winter to continue the process. The impact of MPCC work goes beyond simply providing digital courses. Course development has been further enhanced by collaboration with other agencies dedicated to student learning. Resources are being incorporated from the Minnesota Humanities Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Wolf Center and Cultural Jambalaya. These materials provide students with a much wider range of learning experiences. This collective effort is likely the largest collaboration that has ever occurred among Minnesota school districts, and considering ongoing funding shortages in education, this is a sustainable model that will benefit all Minnesota school districts. In December 2015, the project received a Local Government Innovation Award from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. View the award video at The project is past the initial development phase, and the MPCC has planned for enhanced sustainability, proposing a tiered membership structure to differentiate inaugural members from new members, all while upholding the bedrock value of making digital curriculum open to all Minnesota schools. More information can found at Jon Voss is the Director of Teaching and Learning for Intermediate District 287. To comment on the article, you can reach Jon at

Supported by a grant from the state teachers union, from March 1 through June 30, 2015, Teacher Implementation Networks were created. The networks included 20 teachers using one of six identified MPCC courses. Each of the networks was mentored by a teacher involved in the creation of the course. A mentor workshop delivered in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Learning Technologies Media Lab focused on creating online communities through Google®, and facilitating video conferenced networking sessions. Teachers found the network support to be invaluable, especially outstate, where

Juan Resendez

14    MSBA Journal

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March/April 2016    29

What’s Next for the Every Student Succeeds Act? “Now the implementation guidance has to be developed – and school board members need to be a part of that process.”

16    MSBA Journal

Hannah Pallansch


Del Stover

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, signed into law in December, was a significant legislative victory for school boards nationwide. The new law – the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – reaffirms the importance of local school governance and pushes back against federal intrusion into school administration. Now NSBA is gearing up for what comes next – ensuring that school boards have a voice in the writing of federal regulations that will interpret the new law’s provisions and their impact on school districts. “We’ve got a new law that’s better – historic for school boards – but we’re only halfway there,” says Michael Zola, NSBA’s associate executive director

narrow list of federally approved interventions to help their underperforming schools. Over the long term, however, the most significant victory for school boards is ESSA’s inclusion of language that supports local governance, and addresses key concerns voiced by NSBA and state school boards associations that the federal government was overreaching in its dictates to local schools. Over the years, NSBA has argued repeatedly with federal officials that school boards need fewer prescriptive mandates and more flexibility to do their jobs – and local leaders need a greater voice in the development of federal regulations that dictate how school districts operate. Jenny Maldonado

for federal advocacy and public policy. “Now the implementation guidance has to be developed – and school board members need to be a part of that process.” This is an exciting time for the school board community. “We are rightly celebrating the end of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), with its prescriptive and punitive approach to forcing changes in public education through federal-level policies, incentives, and sanctions,” says NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “In its place, ESSA ushers in a new era that empowers states and local school districts to play a lead role in ensuring a high-quality public education for all students.” Gone is NCLB’s mandate that schools show “adequate yearly progress” (AYP). Although states still will be required to test students and disaggregate data by student subgroups, ESSA grants states greater flexibility to create their own accountability goals and measures, in consultation with school districts and other stakeholders. States also must identify low-performing schools, although they will have greater flexibility in determining the interventions used to improve the schools’ performance. No longer will school districts suffer NCLB-defined sanctions or be limited to a

Working closely with federal lawmakers, NSBA proposed language to ESSA limiting the authority of the U.S. Education Department to impose new mandates and regulations without specific legislation authorizing such rules. NSBA also argued that federal officials should include education leaders in the development of such regulations. These recommendations were incorporated into a tripartisan amendment to ESSA by Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Angus King (I-ME), and John Tester (D-MT). The new law also addresses potential federal overreach through non-regulatory means, such as by “Dear Colleague” letters or informal field advisories that offer an interpretation of federal regulations. The law now requires input from stakeholders, such as school boards, prior to federal officials issuing such guidance. To understand the relevance of this policy shift, school board members need only examine the impact of NCLB on their schools. While NCLB set unrealistic standards for academic improvement, it was the regulations interpreting the law that determined the sanctions placed on low-performing schools and demanded such prescriptive interventions as closing down these schools or firing their principals. President Obama, himself, brought attention to that problem during the signing ceremony for ESSA. “The goals of No Child Left Behind . . . were the right ones,” he said. “But, in practice, it often fell short.”

March/April 2016    17

What’s next for the Every Student Succeeds Act?

In the coming year, the Obama administration will attempt to finalize the regulations needed to implement ESSA – and NSBA will be working to ensure that school boards are part of that development process, Zola says. School boards also must be watchful as the administration seeks to use non-regulatory guidance to affect certain policy outcomes – a process that will test the local governance provision of the new law. “This is really institutional change,” he says. “This is big, and NSBA and state associations should champion and build upon this victory. We need to build upon the law’s promise during the regulatory development phase that’s coming up.” NSBA also will be working to protect the flexibility of school boards to deal with challenges in a way that best meets the needs of their students and community, Zola says. So regulations about the local and state role in testing and accountability measures will be a hot topic of discussion. “Washington is always thinking of one-size-fits-all solutions,” he says. “It never fully understands how things work at the local level. So, while federal officials may have the best of intentions, the reality is, what works in Indiana doesn’t necessarily work in Louisiana. The regulations should capture this reality. They should appreciate the nuances of what’s at work at the local level, and this is where the school board voice can be so valuable in the process.” That’s what makes events in the nation’s capital so significant, he adds. “The school board voice was heard in the legislative process, and the law itself states that school boards are stakeholders for the purpose of the rule-making process. So this is another opportunity for the school board voice to be heard.” How school board members across the nation can add their voice to the process is another effort that NSBA is starting. Already, NSBA and state associations are distributing information about the specifics of ESSA and how its provisions will impact local school leaders. “We’ll continue to share information as we receive it,” Zola says. Del Stover is senior editor of American School Board Journal. You may contact Del at

18    MSBA Journal

Ashley Boehme

Resource Board Mes for School mbers NSBA o ff

ers reso urc help sch ool board es to members understa nd the n ew law a its impa nd ct, all av ailable a http://b t Nu0i. Th can find ere you a primer on what Every Stu the de means fo nt Succeeds Ac t r local s chool bo including ards, a transit ion time and freq table uently a sked qu Other re e s tions. sou summary rces include a of the Ev ery Stud Succeed ent s Act fra mework NSBA’s with commen tary, and toolkit to a media he to your c lp you commun icate it ommunit y.

Nine things to Look for in New Education Law By Denise Dittrich Presently, there remains some degree of uncertainty regarding how the accountability provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will play out in regulation, implementation, and level of federal oversight. As school board members prepare to provide input to rulemaking and realignment of the new law, we must continue to dig deeper and share what we learn about the new law. Here are nine items of interest for school board members: 1. States now have wide discretion in setting goals and measuring these goals. Goals must address proficiency on yearly tests, which may include measures of student growth. These goals must be developed in consultation with stakeholders, which includes school board members. 2. S  tates must identify schools in need of “comprehensive support and improvement.” This means where subgroups of students are struggling, schools performing in the bottom 5 percent of Title I schools or where graduation rates are below 65 percent. Teachers and school staff must come up with a locally developed, evidence-based plan for students and schools that are failing.

States will monitor this effort. If a school fails for more than four years, the state is supposed to step in with their own plan. 3. States will need to flag schools where historically overlooked groups of students such as English language learners, racial minorities and special education students do not perform as well as their peers. 4. States need to test at least 95 percent of students each year – yet states may decide their own testing opt-out laws. 5. Performance-based testing through multiple measures is encouraged. 6. Federal funding may be used to audit testing systems to help eliminate redundant or unnecessary tests. 7. States are allowed to get rid of or change teacher evaluation. 8. Federal definition of a highly qualified teacher and requirements are eliminated. 9. States would have to set aside 7 percent of Title I money for schools to innovate; these could include turnaround schools. There is flexibility in funding for such things as teacher and principal evaluation systems, differential pay for high-need subjects, and mentoring programs. Denise Dittrich is MSBA’s Associate Director of Government Relations. You can contact Denise at

March/April 2016    19


g n i h s a e l the


Annual Leadership Conference Scrapbook

s e o r e H in your

t s d i M Above: MSBA President Kevin Donovan (left) officially introduced MSBA President-Elect Kathy Green to the membership during the Closing Session. Left: (From left to right) Cannon Falls Area student representative Matt Breuer, Superintendent Beth Giese, and board members Robert Siebenaler and Curt Beissel got into the spirt by showing their “super powers” in the conference Selfie Booth.

Right: The 2016 MSBA All-State School Board is comprised of (standing, left to right) James DeVries (Mahnomen), Jason Engbrecht (Faribault), Rick Liljegren (Esko); (sitting, left to right) Ann Bremer (Intermediate District 287 and Westonka), Mary Romansky (Shakopee), Roy Nelson (Red Lake) and Spencer Yohe (Caledonia Area). 20    MSBA Journal

Closing Session Keynote Speaker Yong Zhao wrapped up the 2016 Leadership Conference Friday by discussing how to educate creative and entrepreneurial students.

Opening Session Keynote Speaker Jim Bearden told the membership how they can unleash the heroes in their midst on Thursday.

MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind (left) presented Red Lake School Board Member Roy Nelson with the Arlene Bush Distinguished Board Member Award for amassing more than 1,000 career MSBA training points.

Conference attendees were entertained by the Princeton Jazz I Band during Thursday’s Opening Session and the Austin Jazz Band during Friday’s Closing Session. March/April 2016    21

First-rate rebate The Community Commons serves multiple purposes.

P-Card Program is convenient for paying bills, purchasing goods – while creating an annual revenue stream for school districts


Huy Nguyen

School district officials must purchase a multitude of products each month for their schools, not to mention, pay their bills. Once the money is spent, you may believe it’s gone, right?

Bruce Lombard

22    MSBA Journal

The money is gone only if you are NOT taking advantage of the Minnesota Payment Solutions P-Card Program – which creates an annual revenue stream BACK to school districts for their day-to-day transactions. PFM Financial Services (which has an office in Minneapolis) launched the P-Card Program back in August 2004. Within one year, the program was extended to Minnesota school districts. MSBA co-sponsors the Minnesota Payment Solutions P-Card Program with the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and the Minnesota Association of School Business Officials.

In the Minnesota Payment Solutions P-Card Program, the “P” stands for “procurement.” The program not only puts the power of savings in the hands of school districts, but also creates valuable revenue in the form of an annual rebate. The P-Card Program provides secure procurement cards that simplify district purchasing and bill paying. Members may earn a rebate based on purchasing volume when the district spends $50,000 or more during the program year (September 1 to August 31). P-Cards will streamline your purchasing process and save you time. They provide more spending controls to mitigate risk, and free MasterCard MasterCoverage employee misuse insurance. In addition, there is zero liability for lost or stolen card information. The Payment Solutions P-Card program was specially designed to empower your school district, entity or organization to execute a P-Card initiative with ease and confidence. If a school district has five or more cards through the program, the district carries $100,000 in misuse insurance per cardholder. “The district may not even have a credit card holder with a credit line that high, but they would be covered if they had five or more cards,” said Kelly Smaldone, Senior Managing Consultant for PFM Financial Services. “If they had two to four cards, they’d have $25,000 in misuse insurance per cardholder. If they have one card they have no misuse insurance.” “The main purpose of the P-Card Program is to make it an easy and secure way for school districts to pay their bills for all their goods and services,” Smaldone said. “It is a more secure way than by paying by check, and districts have the ability to earn rebates.” Smaldone added that school districts reap the benefit of getting paid back on the money they had to spend anyway. “This is money districts are all spending to pay their bills or order their goods and services – and instead of getting zero back when they pay by check, which actually costs them money, they will receive a rebate as long as they spend $50,000 or more during the program year,” she said. “Depending where their annual spend volume falls on the rebate schedule, in some cases it can be a significant amount of money.”

Christina Meza

School district officials can obtain as many credit cards as they need. The district’s credit card administrator can put a cap on each P-Card in order to limit how much each cardholder can spend – per day, per week, per month or per year. In addition, they can block certain merchant category codes.

March/April 2016    23

First-rate rebate

Along with offering traditional credit cards, the program also offers department cards, budget cards and “ghost card” accounts, which allocates a virtual card number to a specific vendor. “Let’s say a school district had an Office Depot account, they could set up one virtual card number for Office Depot,” Smaldone said. “All the district’s different departments could charge against this card and be able to order whatever they are authorized to purchase and it would go against this one virtual card number.” School districts’ appointed program administrators can also restrict what gets purchased by their staff members’ cards – such as liquor store purchases or gambling, for instance. “Also, cash advances are blocked on the program right out of the gate. With that said, the district’s card program administrator does have the ability to unblock the cash advance feature. But typically, everyone keeps that blocked,” Smaldone said. There are no fees associated with the P-Card Program – unless districts unblock the cash advance feature.

What makes the Payment Solutions P-Card Program better than the rest? Here are some differentiating factors: • T  he P-Card program does not incorporate calculations, such as large-ticket transaction size, average transaction size, file turn days, average large ticket transaction size, average spend per card, minimum spend per card, or other qualifiers which may have a negative impact upon the entity’s rebate with competitor programs. Most banks (not PFM) offer either a reduced rebate rate on largeticket items or, in some cases, none at all. (Visa’s large ticket could be any transaction over $6,980 and MasterCard’s large ticket begins at $7,255.) • P  -Card rebates are solely based on annual spend volume with no exclusions, and PFM encourages entities to pay all of their largeand small-ticket transactions using the card, as this will dramatically increase spend volume and subsequent rebate earned. Rebates are based on the cumulative net transaction volume for a 12-month period (September 1 – August 31), less credits, cash, and fraud write-offs. • P  -Card rebates begin at $50,000 in annual spend volume back to dollar one, and are progressive. Other bank program thresholds to start earning a rebate are $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 in spend volume. • P  -Card personnel continually work as an extension of the entity’s staff, providing the highest level of training and technical assistance to help clients grow their programs. “These are items districts have to purchase anyway,” Smaldone said. “Instead of costing school districts money to pay for these goods and services, they use a card program – which is more secure and convenient – and they get money back at the end of the year. It’s a continuous annual revenue stream.” Visit or contact MSBA’s Tiffany Rodning at 800-324-4459 for more information about the Minnesota Payment Solutions P-Card Program. Bruce Lombard is MSBA’s Associate Director of Communications. You can reach him at blombard@

Anna Serano

24    MSBA Journal


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Austin School Board member is your new president-elect

By Bruce Lombard


Austin School Board member Kathy Green was officially introduced to the MSBA membership as MSBA’s president-elect during the 2016 Leadership Conference in January. Green has served on the MSBA Board of Directors since 2010. Prior to her ascension to president-elect, Green represented MSBA Director District 1, which covers the southeastern part of the state. Green also serves as a trustee on the MSBA Insurance Trust (MSBAIT). Green took time out to tell us what she hopes to accomplish when she takes over as MSBA president, how her work as an involved parent prepared her for being on the school board, and her biggest perk as a school board member. MSBA: First of all, congratulations on being named MSBA’s president-elect. What does this title mean to you? KATHY: I’m honored. I like the idea of leading an organization whose purpose is students and student achievement and to bolster the work of public school boards. I truly am excited to get to work. The MSBA Board of Directors are very hard-working people. I look forward to

26    MSBA Journal

continuing to work with them and the MSBA staff. I have so much admiration for the work of the MSBA staff and the dedication they put forth for the school districts. MSBA: What do you hope to accomplish when you become MSBA president in 2017? KATHY: I would like to improve the line of communication between school board members and our organization. I would also like to improve the lines of communication with legislators in order to put together legislation that will truly enhance the work of our school boards and the work we do for our kids. Also, I look forward to working with the strategic planning MSBA is doing. Another thing that will occur during my tenure is the implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. We see it now on paper, but over the course of the next couple of years, we’ll see what it actually looks like in practice. I am sure that will be a big focus for the MSBA Board of Directors.

MSBA President-Elect Kathy Green (second from the left) has served on the Austin School Board since 2000. Green was elected to the MSBA Board of Directors for Director District 1 (representing southeast Minnesota) in 2010. She is also a trustee on the MSBA Insurance Trust (MSBAIT).

MSBA: What made you run for your local school board originally? KATHY: I had been very active in the Austin community and our school district prior to running for school board. I had served on the Parent-Teacher Council for the schools my children attended. After three failed bond referendum attempts to renovate Austin schools, I stepped in and served as chair of a referendum committee. I knew that if we didn’t get the needs of our facilities addressed, my kids would be going to schools that were desperately in need of costly repairs. Classrooms were in need of upgrades – everything from room size to technology. I worked very hard to communicate our district’s need for a successful outcome. After being deeply involved in the referendum process, I realized how important the work of our school board was. I was first elected in November 1999 and started on the Austin School Board in 2000 with my five children in the school district. I felt a desire to serve and really felt I could make a positive impact. I was drawn to run for school board by being an involved parent and seeing the needs in our schools. The passage of the referendum was an affirmation that I had been putting my efforts in the right direction. To know that research, effort and change take time, my decision to run for our local school board was an easy one. The best time to get involved is now to affect the future.

MSBA: How can school board members make the biggest impact on their districts and their students? KATHY: School board members can make the biggest impact by being informed, talking with their stakeholders and the community, and being involved with school activities so they can see the personality and temperament in their school district. I think when board members see and understand a need, they are able to advocate for that need. I see a lot of community pride in education, I see that statewide. It’s encouraging that when you hear people talk about education in their own communities, they light up. Minnesota has been known for having pride in its public education system. We have a rich and proud tradition of education. MSBA: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a school board member? KATHY: The students are the most rewarding part about being a board member. My favorite night of the entire year is graduation. I see the students walk across the stage every year and I say to myself “this is why I’m here.” For me, graduation night is a perk of being a school board member. I see students whose lives are being changed and

March/April 2016    27

enhanced. The students are being jettisoned from 12th grade into the rest of their lives. We, as school board members, have a role in what that looks like for them. School board members get to be a part of developing students – and that’s pretty powerful.

MSBA Board Director


MSBA: Is there one thing you don’t like about being on a school board? KATHY: No. There are avenues that are challenging and there are times that are uncomfortable, but it’s part of the job. If there is an issue that arises, I tend to look at things from: “What’s the solution? How can we come out of this with an opportunity?” I never leave a challenge thinking I’m defeated. I like to encounter challenges with the mindset of: “How can we come out on top with this as a positive?” When there’s a challenge that’s met with success, then it’s a day well spent . . . it’s an effort well given. The positives of serving on the school board are continual. I can’t harp on the negatives – they haven’t been that relevant. MSBA: What advice do you have for new school board members? KATHY: New school board members should spend their first year learning and experiencing. They should ask questions, lots of questions. When that second year rolls around, that’s when they can dig in and start working. They should get as much information and seek out as many references as they can. They should become aware of the resources MSBA has to offer. They should spend their early days as a school board member learning about what it means to be a school board member. Go from there and use your resources and your talents to advocate for students. Being a school board member is constant growth. Even with as long as I’ve been on the school board, I am still learning. Just like we tell our kids: “Don’t stop learning.” As a school board member, I would give them the same advice. Keep learning and keep growing during your tenure on your board.

28    MSBA Journal

MSBA: What do you like best about being on the MSBA Board of Directors? KATHY: First, I enjoy the camaraderie with the other MSBA Board Directors. We’re able to share experiences from our districts. We’re able to bounce ideas off each other and share approaches to different concerns our districts have. Being on the MSBA Board puts us in touch with what is happening legislatively – at both the state and federal level. A huge part of my passion lies in public policy. Being part of the MSBA Board has been a huge positive for me. When you work on a board that functions so well like the MSBA Board, it’s a pleasure. I also enjoy working with a competent, passionate staff at MSBA. The staff stays current and is proactive when putting together programs that are relevant to school board members. The staff is a tremendous, trusted resource. MSBA: Why is MSBA so important for school board members? KATHY: Any school board member needs resources. MSBA is truly a first call if you need information regarding policy, legislation or any other topic. A call to MSBA will either give you the answer or get you the answer. For school board members, that is a huge resource that they can look to and depend on. Even prior to joining the MSBA Board of Directors, MSBA was an important resource for me. If I had a question that I thought was beyond our district, I knew I could get help from a professional who had a deep experience in whatever topic I was asking about. MSBA can help guide school board members in the right direction. Bruce Lombard is MSBA’s Associate Director of Communications. You may contact him at blombard@

Kathy Green

Green with her family during the holidays.

Family: Peter (husband of 38 years, dentist); five sons and three daughters-in-law (Fred brews beer and Irene is an actress living in Vermont; Nate is an IT specialist and Devon is a social worker living in Winona; Luke teaches at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and Kristen is a pharmacist living in Sartell; Spencer is a CPA living in Marshall; and Jerome is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin); and a West Highland Terrier named Eskie Moe. High school: South High School (Minneapolis) Favorite movie or TV show: “Person of Interest” Favorite book: “Go, Dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman. This was the first book I read cover to cover and was the first time I realized I could read. I remember that moment. I was 6. Favorite music: Country music, Garth Brooks. Favorite Minnesota food: My mother-in-law’s family meals.

Green has made several trips to Washington, D.C., to talk to politicians like Minnesota Senator Al Franken to advocate for public education at the federal level.

One person in history I would like to meet: Thomas Jefferson. He had a passion and concern for public education. He set a tone for supportive governance. Fun fact: I am a champion quilter. I won my first purple ribbon by finishing a quilt my greatgrandmother had started in 1928.

March/April 2016    29


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Contact David Maroney


From the Northwoods to the Southern Prairie Proudly serving Minnesota schools for over a quarter of a century.

Focusing on all areas of School Law • Labor Negotiations & Employment Law • School Business Affairs • Special Education • Student Discipline • Construction & Land Acquisition • Investigations • Data Privacy & Open Meeting Law • Discrimination/Harassment Charges


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A Law Firm Dedicated to Your Needs 730 Second Avenue South, Suite 300 Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402 Phone: (612) 339-0060 | Fax: (612) 339-0038

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 Erica Nelson at 763-497-1778 or 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 ATS&R Planners/Architects/ Engineers (Paul W. Erickson) 8501 Golden Valley Road, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55427 763-545-3731, Fax 763-525-3289 Clark Engineering Corporation (Tanya Pierce) 621 Lilac Drive N Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-545-9196, Fax 763-541-0056 Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. (Judith Hoskens) 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 EAPC Architects Engineers  (Sean Sugden) 539 Bielenberg Drive, Suite 115 St. Paul, MN 55125 763-225-5050, Fax 651-702-2646 Hallberg Engineering, Inc. (Richard Lucio) 1750 Commerce Court White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-748-1100, Fax 651-748-9370 InGensa, Inc. (Jacqui Coleman) 18215 45th Avenue N, Suite C Plymouth, MN 55446 952-222-3550, Fax 952-222-9980 I+S Group (ISG) (Rod Schumacher) 115 E Hickory Street, Suite 300 Mankato, MN 56001 507-387-6651, Fax 507-387-3583

36    MSBA Journal

Johnson Controls, Inc. (Kathleen Donovan) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N Plymouth, MN 55447 612-554-5160, Fax 763-566-2208 Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd. (Ed Kodet) 15 Groveland Terrace Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-377-2737, Fax 612-377-1331 Larson Engineering, Inc. (Matt Woodruff) 3524 Labore Road White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-481-9120, Fax 651-481-9201 MLA Architects (Mark Lenz) 12 Long Lake Road, Suite 17 St. Paul, MN 55115 651-770-4442, Fax 651-770-1997 Nexus Solutions (Michael David) 11188 Zealand Avenue N Champlin, MN 55316 763-201-8400, Fax 763-201-8410 TSP Architects and Engineers (Gary Sabart) 18707 Old Excelsior Boulevard Minnetonka, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928 Unesco, Inc. (Kevin McGauley) 584 Woodland Drive Mahtomedi, MN 55115 952-486-7854, Fax 952-487-9389 Wendel (Jim Wilson) 111 Washington Avenue N, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55401 612-332-1401 Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-829-5117, Fax 218-829-2517

Wold Architects and Engineers (Vaughn Dierks) 305 St. Peter Street St. Paul, MN 55102 651-227-7773, Fax 651-223-5646 Athletic Facilities I+S Group (ISG) (Rod Schumacher) 115 E Hickory Street, Suite 300 Mankato, MN 56001 507-387-6651, Fax 507-387-3583 Athletic Sports Floors/Surfacing Fisher Tracks, Inc. (Jordan Fisher) 1192 235th Street Boone, IA 50036 515-432-3191, Fax 515-432-3193 Attorneys Booth Law Group LLC (Laura Tubbs Booth) 10520 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 200 Minnetonka, MN 55305 763-253-4155, Fax 763-253-4160 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Maggie R. Wallner) 470 US Bank Plaza, 200 S 6th Street 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 Firm (Michael T. Rengel) 110 N Mill Street Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. 730 2nd Avenue S, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038 Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, P.A. 527 Marquette Avenue S, Suite 1200 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-436-4300, Fax 612-436-4340

Commissioning ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 3890 Pheasant Ridge Drive NE, Suite 180 Blaine, MN 55449 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 Nexus Solutions (Michael David) 11188 Zealand Avenue N Champlin, MN 55316 763-201-8400, Fax 763-201-8410 Construction Management & Consulting Services Donlar Construction Company (Jon Kainz) 550 Shoreview Park Road Shoreview, MN 55126 651-227-0631, Fax 651-227-0132 ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 3890 Pheasant Ridge Drive NE, Suite 180 Blaine, MN 55449 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 Johnson Controls, Inc. (Kathleen Donovan) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N Plymouth, MN 55447 612-554-5160, Fax 763-566-2208 Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (John Huenink) PO Box 158 Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 Nexus Solutions (Michael David) 11188 Zealand Avenue N Champlin, MN 55316 763-201-8400, Fax 763-201-8410 Stahl Construction (Josh Schultz) 5755 Wayzata Boulevard St. Louis Park, MN 55416 952-931-9300, Fax 952-931-9941 T.F. Powers Construction Co. 910 6th Avenue N, PO Box 2088 Fargo, ND 58102 701-293-1312, Fax 701-293-7426 Unesco, Inc. (Kevin McGauley) 584 Woodland Drive Mahtomedi, MN 55115 952-486-7854, Fax 952-487-9389 Wenck Construction, Inc. (Andy Hoffmann) 7500 Olson Memorial Hwy Suite 300 Golden Valley, MN 55427 952-837-3304

Educational Programs/Services

Financial Management

Floor Coverings

Security/Communications Systems

Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (Caroline Olstad) 1600 University Avenue W, Suite 300 St. Paul, MN 55104 800-779-0777 ext 2310 Fax 651-287-2325

Ehlers (Joel Sutter) 3060 Centre Pointe Drive Roseville, MN 55113 651-697-8514, Fax 651-697-8555

Hiller Commercial Floors (Dave Bahr) 2909 S Broadway Rochester, MN 55904 507-254-6858 or 888-724-1766 Fax 507-288-8877

Arvig  888-992-7844

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 218-829-5117, Fax 218-829-2517 Energy Solutions Ameresco, Inc. (Kent Wolf) 9855 West 78th Street, Suite 310 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 612-804-6274, Fax 952-942-5421 Arvig  888-992-7844 ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 3890 Pheasant Ridge Drive NE, Suite 180 Blaine, MN 55449 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 Johnson Controls, Inc. (Kathleen Donovan) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N Plymouth, MN 55447 612-554-5160, Fax 763-566-2208 Nexus Solutions (Michael David) 11188 Zealand Avenue N Champlin, MN 55316 763-201-8400, Fax 763-201-8410 Unesco, Inc. (Kevin McGauley) 584 Woodland Drive Mahtomedi, MN 55115 952-486-7854, Fax 952-487-9389

Eide Bailly LLP (Ross Manson) Fargo, ND; Minneapolis, Mankato, MN 855-220-8634, Fax 507-386-6268 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 (Patty Heminover, Springsted, Inc.) 800-236-3033 or 651-223-3058 Fax 651-268-5058 MSBA-Sponsored P-Card (Procurement Card) Program 800-891-7910 or 314-878-5000 Fax 314-878-5333 MSBA-Sponsored PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 12835 E. Arapahoe Road, Tower II, Suite 500 Centennial, CO 80112 303-779-6573 or 855-210-8232 X 130 MSBA-Sponsored (Todd Netzke, Ann Thomas) Netzke: 507-254-6215 Thomas: 612-598-0930 PFM Asset Management, LLC MSDLAF+ (Donn Hanson) 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 2710 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 952-224-1240, Fax 952-906-6905

Food Service Products & Services Taher, Inc. (Erin Marissa) 5570 Smetana Drive Minnetonka, MN 55343 952-945-0505, Fax 952-945-0444 Health Insurance PreferredOne (Mike Thielen) 6105 Golden Hills Drive Golden Valley, MN 55416 763-847-3549, Fax 763-847-4010 Insurance Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust (MSBAIT) (Denise Drill, Gary Lee) 1900 West Jefferson Avenue St. Peter, MN 56082-3015 800-324-4459, Fax 507-931-1515 Riverport Insurance Company (Dave Kyllo) 222 South Ninth Street, Suite 1300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-766-3227, Fax 612-766-3397 Labor Relations Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Maggie R. Wallner) 470 US Bank Plaza, 200 S 6th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. 730 2nd Avenue S, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038 Public Finance Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Maggie R. Wallner) 470 US Bank Plaza, 200 S 6th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. 730 2nd Avenue S, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038

Software Systems MSBA-Sponsored PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 12835 E. Arapahoe Road, Tower II, Suite 500 Centennial, CO 80112 303-779-6573 or 855-210-8232 X 130 Technology Arvig  888-992-7844 Technology Education Precioustatus (Julie Gilbert Newrai) 275 Market Square, Suite 519 Minneapolis, MN 55405 888-959-8982 Transportation Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) PO Box 249 Monticello, MN 55362 800-866-3105, Fax 763-295-4992 Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (Shelly Jonas) 10606 Hemlock Street 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 (Dave Mohr) 16290 Kenrick Loop Lakeville, MN 55044 612-850-6348, Fax 952-435-9066 Wireless Communications Arvig  888-992-7844

March/April 2016    37

Advertisers Architects Rego + Youngquist, inc....................................... Page 33 ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers............................. Page 34 Booth Law Group LLC......................................................... Page 31 Chartwells K–12 School Dining Services............................. Page 38 EAPC Architects Engineers.................................................. Page 30 Eide Bailly LLP...................................................................... Page 38 Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota...................................... Page 33 Foster, Jacobs & Johnson, Inc.............................................. Page 40 Hiller Commercial Floors.................................................... Page 31 ISG (I+S Group)................................................................... Page 15 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered ........................................... Page 15 Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A............................................... Page 32 MSBAIT................................................................................. Page 39 National School Boards Association.................................... Page 30 Nexus Solutions.................................................................... Page 34 Pemberton Law..................................................................... Page 38 PFM Asset Management, LLC – MSDLAF+.......................... Page 7 PreferredOne.......................................................................... Page 2 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. ......................................... Page 35 Riverport Insurance Services............................................... Page 32 Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, P.A.................... Page 25 Widseth Smith Nolting......................................................... Page 39

Public School Law Attorneys


Mike T. Rengel

Kristi A. Hastings

Josh M. Heggem

Daniel T. Carlisle

Sarah C. Duffy – 218-736-5493 Fergus Falls – Alexandria – Detroit Lakes – Wadena

Our expertise goes well-beyond traditional audit and tax services to deliver the solutions and resources your school district needs to have a successful future. From strategic planning to human resources consulting and fraud prevention and detection, our experienced professionals can help you feel confident your district is moving in the right direction. Visit our website to learn more. 701-239-8518

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BUDGET FRIENDLY SOLUTIONS FOR K–12 OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE We can help you . . . ` Manage Operations and Maintenance Costs ` Improve Facility Utilization ` Enhance Access, Safety, and Security ` Secure Additional Funding

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Denise Drill

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MSBAIT — addressing the needs of public schools’ risk-management programs since 1972

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Quality Coverage and Service Tailor-Made For School Districts Find out what MSBAIT can do for your school district. Call 800-324-4459 or visit

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MSBA Journal: March-April 2016  

March-April 2016 edition of the Minnesota School Boards Association Journal magazine

MSBA Journal: March-April 2016  

March-April 2016 edition of the Minnesota School Boards Association Journal magazine