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March-April 2013

Volume 65, No. 5

The Landscape of Minnesota School Board Members Minnesota’s New Accountability System DNR Plan to Focus on Maximizing Revenue for Public Education

Leadership Conference Scrapbook Pages 24–25

School district Employee Healthcare Costs Save 14%

2        MSBA Journal

MARCH 2013

10 �����������Daylight Saving Time Begins 12 �����������Township Election Day (no meetings or activities 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.) 21 �����������Joint Legislative Conference, St. Paul

APRIL 2013

Divisions 4 5 6 28 31


STRAIGHT TALK Bob Meeks, MSBA Executive Director P RESIDENT’S COLUMN Walter Hautala, MSBA President VENDOR DIRECTORY Pierre Productions & Promotions, Inc.  SK MSBA A Greg Abbott, Communications Director, Minnesota School Boards Association

Articles 8 16 18 22 24

THE LANDSCAPE OF MINNESOTA   SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS Candace Raskin, Anne Weyandt, Roberta Thatcher, and Barbara Wilson MINNESOTA’S NEW ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM Stephanie Graff


7–8 ���������MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 8 �������������MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting 13–15 �����NSBA Convention (San Diego, CA) 19 �����������MSBA Phase III Orientation, Bemidji 20 �����������MSBA Phase III Orientation, St. Cloud 23 �����������MSBA Phase III Orientation, Brooklyn Park 25 �����������MSBA Phase III Orientation, Mankato

MAY 2013 1–3 ���������MASBO Annual Conference 16 �����������Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Meeting 16–17 �����MSBA Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting 27 �����������Memorial Day (no meetings)

JUNE 2013 13 �����������MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting



The MSBA Journal thanks the students of Minnetonka Public School District for sharing their art in this issue. March/April 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 Bob Meeks: Executive Director Barbara Lynn: Executive Assistant/Director of Board Operations Kirk Schneidawind: Deputy Executive Director John Sylvester: Deputy Executive Director Tiffany Rodning: Deputy Executive Director Greg Abbott: Director of Communications Denise 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: Computer and Information Systems Manager Bill Kautt: Associate Director of Management Services Grace Keliher: Director of Governmental Relations Katie Klanderud: Director of Board Development Gary Lee: Associate Director of Management Services Bruce Lombard: Associate Director of Communications Bob Lowe: Director of Management Services Kelly Martell: Director of Technology Cathy Miller: Director of Legal and Policy Services 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.

School safety “We all know you can’t stop somebody who really wants to do something bad, but we can delay them or slow them down to give us more time to react. Hopefully, this money will be a total waste and we never have to use this to keep someone out.” Jeff Powers, Dassel-Cokato Superintendent, regarding a proposal to tighten access to school buildings

“(Security) is a community issue. Security is an ongoing conversation, one we’ve been having for years, but right now it’s of very high interest. We’ve been getting calls ever since the (Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting) incident in Connecticut.” Jay Haugen, Farmington Area Superintendent

“When events such as (the) mass shootings in Connecticut happen, people are obviously concerned about it, but it’s one of my concerns all the time, every single day.” Aaron Fischer, Esko Superintendent

School calendar “We know that no calendar will meet the needs of every individual, but we are unified in our commitment to looking at what is educationally best for all of our students.” Ric Dressen, Edina Superintendent, on his school board pursuing a pre-Labor Day start

School wins Local Government Innovation Award grant “Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, you get to be part of something that has the potential to be a game changer, and that’s what (Irondale High School’s Early College program) is. This program has the potential to change the future trajectories of the lives of students who may not have thought college was even a possibility for them.” Jon Tynjala, Mounds View School Board Chair, accepting a $25,000 Local Government Innovation Awards grant on behalf of his district on January 16

Class ranking system “Ranking is contradictory of where we’re going in education. College and career readiness for each student is our goal.” Kevin Enerson, Le Sueur-Henderson High School Principal, on a proposal to end the school’s class ranking system by 2014–15

Flexible Learning Year “I think there are pros and cons, but there are more pros than cons. I really like the semester break and the natural breaks that align with PSEO and down the road, it’s going to match up with the (local university’s) schedule. And instead of just judging test results, it’s also helped our teachers network with other teachers. There’s lots of positives there.” Jeff Chapman, Marshall School Board Chair, as his board approved an extension of its Flexible Learning Year program for another three years

Straight T alk T

them to understand the roles and duties of a school board member. Two of those most time-consuming and important roles are setting the budget and driving increases in student achievement.

raining is important at a local AND state level


Sometimes the best thing your association can do for local school boards is to make sure we tell local legislators about the challenges schools face.

This year, your Minnesota School Boards Association paired up with cities, counties and townships to offer a Legislative Boot Camp for freshman legislators. It’s a chance to get to meet them, tell them our story and go over the 2013 Legislative Agenda that members set at our Delegate Assembly.

Bob Meeks MSBA Executive Director

A board member’s job is important because people are trusting you with two things they hold most dear: their children and their pocketbook.

Because schools are so people-dependent, funding is always a main concern. We made sure that incoming legislators know that investing in students is a smart investment for the state’s future. We talked about the need for increased funding, equitable funding and reducing the special education subsidy. We also talked about the challenges schools face in the future to keep up with technology, and targeting voluntary all-day kindergarten to decrease achievement gaps.

In our first year, we were happy to get nearly 20 freshman legislators or staff involved in our Boot Camp. As in everything we do, we know that knowledge and good information is crucial in making decisions. Our Governmental Relations team is wellrespected. MSBA wants the legislators to know that we are there to give them accurate information, no matter what political party. Just as we commend the new legislators for taking time out of their schedule to attend our Boot Camp training, we are also pleased to commend our 392 new school board members this year who attended our Orientation trainings. In this issue, you’ll find the results of a survey on board members, which was completed by Minnesota State University staff and consultants. Some interesting data on training showed that nine out of 10 board members indicated that MSBA training is effective and helped

Setting a budget is directly linked to how the state funds education. And student achievement can also be tackled more effectively with targeted funding to help close achievement gaps. That’s why working with legislators at the state and federal level is so important. A board member’s job is important because people are trusting you with two things they hold most dear: their children and their pocketbook. So it was gratifying to see that most board members ran for the school board to provide a public service or to stand up for kids. Part of a board member’s public service is to get the required training to become a better board member. And a big part of standing up for kids is talking with your local legislators and being part of your MSBA to let all politicians understand how they can team up with school boards to help improve student achievement. You’ll have a good chance to talk with your local representatives at our Joint Legislative Conference March 21 in St. Paul. Many of our new legislators showed a commitment to learning about schools at our Boot Camp. It’s now up to you to continue to learn together on ways to help students.

Nearly 20 new state legislators (not all pictured above) and two legislative assistants attended the inaugural Legislative Boot Camp held January 29 in St. Paul. The Boot Camp was co-sponsored by MSBA, the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties and the Minnesota Association of Townships. MSBA, LMC, AMC and MAT officials provided an overview of their respective organizations and shared their legislative platforms with the legislators.

March/April 2013        5

President’s Column Working to help children is the best


public service a person can offer The majority of my life has been devoted to working with children. My first job was at a youth camp working as a counselor. It was there that I decided to pursue a degree in education. So I did a tour of Minnesota, grabbing my high school diploma in Biwabik, traveling to Winona State University for a bachelor’s degree, stopping at Duluth for a master’s degree and a sixth-year degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and obtaining a superintendent licensure from St. Cloud State University.

Walter Hautala MSBA President

Any success I ever had as principal was credited to listening to people’s concerns. Who knows better than the people “in the trenches”? Their input helped to make decisions and plans.

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After graduating from college, I returned to the Iron Range to start my career as an elementary education teacher. That experience created an interest in administration. I then pursued the opportunity to become a principal at Mesabi East in my teaching district. Any success I ever had as principal was credited to listening to people’s concerns. Who knows better than the people “in the trenches”? Their input helped to make decisions and plans. When I retired as a school principal, a “yearning” remained that I still be part of the school district. It was my feeling that I still had more to offer and the job wasn’t done. I reflected back on my education, training and experience which would help as a school board director. I ran and was elected. My style of leadership is participative or a democratic style. I prefer to consult with the group members and seek participation by them. I am currently serving a third term on the Mesabi East School Board, and recently completed my second term on the Minnesota School Boards Association. I am impressed with the quality and dedication of school board members throughout the state. Because the Minnesota School Boards Association plays such an important role in the education of Minnesota children, schools and school boards, I decided to run for President-Elect and subsequently President of Minnesota School Boards Association. My campaign slogan was “Hautala: Hard to pronounce, easy to trust.”

I currently serve on several state committees and local board committees – from the Minnesota State High School League Board (representing small schools) to my local negotiations committee. Throughout my time working with students, my proudest achievements revolve around service to children (like the Friend of 4-H Award and the Outstanding Citizenship Award from St. Louis County for dedication and service to children through Camp Esquagama) and training offered by MSBA to make me a better board member (such as the President Award for 300 hours of training). I’m very fortunate to have had a great experience working with children. It is my privilege to serve as the Minnesota School Boards Association’s President. Together we can work to support, promote and enhance the work of public school boards and public education.

A passion for public law

Education Law Group Kennedy & Graven’s Education Law Group represents public school districts and provides responsive, creative, practical and high-quality legal services. Charles E. Long Greg S. Madsen Gloria Blaine Olsen Timothy R. Palmatier Susan E. Torgerson Maggie R. Wallner Stephen J. Bubul Martha N. Ingram Peter G. Mikhail Michael T. Norton Sarah J. Sonsalla James M. Strommen

Education Law Finance and Bond Construction Real Estate and Business

470 U. S. Bank Plaza, 200 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 Phone 612.337.9300 • Fax 612.337.9310 • Toll Free 1.800.788.8201



The Landscape of Minnesota School Board Members


By Candace Raskin, Anne Weyandt, Roberta Thatcher, and Barbara Wilson

In an effort to better understand how school board leadership impacts student learning and success in Minnesota schools, faculty from Minnesota State University, Mankato, working in cooperation with the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA), conducted a research study of school board members across our state. The primary objective of the study was to gain insight into how school board members view their role, responsibilities, and work, comparing the results of this analysis with best practices, as identified in the literature on effective school boards.

School board members were selected for this study because of their potential influence on policies and actions that impact achievement for all students. In a climate of increasing accountability, changing student needs, and declining resources, Minnesota school boards are expected to demonstrate leadership that promotes success for all students and eliminates persistent race- and income-based achievement gaps.

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Research Objectives The seven objectives for this research study emerged from a comprehensive review of literature on effective school boards and the results of a focus group session held with Minnesota school board members in August 2012. These objectives were: • To understand the demographics of current school boards and compare this data with the demographics of the schools they represent. • To identify the reasons why members run for the school board. • To identify the most challenging aspects of school board membership. • To measure the effectiveness of school board member training. • To better understand how school board members define their role. • To understand whether school board members connect their service with their district’s student achievement results. • To evaluate how school board members rate the effectiveness of their governance work.

Methods A quantitative descriptive approach was used to survey all acting school board members in Minnesota. In August 2012, a focus group was conducted with current Minnesota school board members to help develop the survey. In October 2012, an online quantitative survey was sent to all Minnesota school board members with 390 responses (n=390, 19.5 percent), utilizing various statistical methods. All statistical testing was conducted and analyzed at a 95 percent confidence interval.

Research Findings Why school board members run for office We found that most Minnesota school board members run for office to provide a public service and advocate for students. Eighty-five percent of school board members indicated they ran for the school board to provide a public service. Two-thirds reported joining the school board to stand up for students, and 25 percent responded they joined the board to stand up for school staff. Almost half of the school board members reported being influenced by friends and family to join the school board. The reasons Minnesota school board members cite for running for office is consistent with the literature on effective school boards. Several authors suggest that individual members’ reasons for running for the board typically include a history of involvement with the schools as a parent; relationship with school employees; and an interest in positively influencing public education, often with regard to student achievement (Carver, 2009; Jarman, Kimball, & Lorenz, 2009).

Why Minnesota School Board Members Run for Office To provide a public service To stand up for students Family/friends thought I’d be good at it To stand up for school staff Other To fix a specific issue in the district High profile/controversial issue Political aspirations For compensation

85% 65% 42% 26% 16% 13% 8% 3% 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%

Training The literature addressing school board effectiveness (as well as the overall performance of high-performing non-profit boards generally) emphasizes the importance of board member orientation, mentoring and ongoing training, and professional development as the critical elements of successful board activity, including decision-making, community and legislative outreach, and individual member engagement in core functions (Anderson & Snyder, 1980; Eadie, 2009, 2012; Zorn, 2008). We were interested in examining whether school board training in Minnesota aligned with these criteria.

Minnesota school board members indicated a strong need for new board members to attend board-level training. The survey showed 85 percent of the respondents feel that new board members need mandatory training, while one-half indicate that annual training for all board members should be mandatory. Eight percent of board members reported that school board training was not needed. Nine out of 10 board members indicated that MSBA training is effective, with 89 percent reporting that this training helped them understand the roles and duties of a school board member and 88 percent reporting that it helped them become better board members. Although Minnesota school board members feel MSBA trainings are effective and important to being quality school board members, the survey results tend to indicate that after high attendance at initial training sessions, overall participation in more advanced sessions is low to modest. Further analysis is needed to explain this discrepancy. Challenges Driving student achievement and dealing with laws and mandates are the top two challenges school board members face. Managing controversial issues, setting the district budget, and developing a long-term vision are also cited as among the top challenges faced by school boards. Less than one-fourth of board members reported being presented with student achievement data monthly, with one-third receiving this data every 6 to 12 months. March/April 2013        9

School board members’ engagement with student achievement data is an area of effective school board practice many Minnesota districts should explore further. The practical approach taken by the National School Boards Association and other groups supports the findings in the literature, suggesting that a focused strategy to build school boards’ capacity for effective leadership around student achievement topics could increase the boards’ impact and effectiveness, as well as result in tangible improvements in school performance and student learning overall (Black, 2007; Reeves, 2010; Hess et al., 2010).

Frequency School Board Members are Presented Student Achievement Data 60.0% 49%

50.0% 40.0% 30.0%

28% 23%

20.0% 10.0% 1% 0.0% Every Month

Every 2–3 Every 6–12 Months Months


Most important and most time-consuming. When responding to questions related to the most important work of the school board, Minnesota school board members feel setting a school district budget is the most important role of the board. While driving student achievement is the most challenging aspect of school board work, it is not considered as important as setting a budget. School boards spend the remainder of their time adopting policy, despite the fact that the member survey results suggest that communicating with the community and maintaining an effective relationship with superintendents are seen as more important tasks. Maintaining the board’s focus on student achievement is a typical challenge, and is not unique to Minnesota. Given the breadth of school board governance activities, it is often difficult to find room on meeting agendas or plan activities to engage busy board members in a sustained exploration of strategies that can improve students’ success in school (Cabico & Harrison, 2009; Carver, 2009). Student diversity and school board demographics

Tate Hentz

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Like other states across the nation, Minnesota and its public schools are experiencing a change in student demographics. Minnesota school board members’ ability to recognize and support the achievement of the students represented by the

Special Populations as a Percent of Public School Enrollment, 1997-98 to 2011-12 40% 35%


35.5% 30%

30.9% 28.3%





25.0% 22.8%


19.8% 17.1%





1 –1 10


–1 09 20

–0 08 20


7 06



Limited English













4 03


3 20




Free + Reduced




1 20



0 20



9 19

–9 98 19
























Special Educ

Source Minnesota Department of Education, 2012 changing demographics of their schools emerged in the findings as another area for discussion. Our study found that the demographics of school board members do not reflect the demographics of students currently enrolled in Minnesota’s public schools.


98% Caucasian 2% Non-Caucasian

Comparing this student data with the data collected in our survey demonstrates the discrepancy between student demographics and the profile of individuals who are currently serving as school board members across the state. In an era defined by continued federal and state interest in school accountability and improved student achievement, school boards and superintendents frequently must reassess and realign the governance-level emphasis on student learning and outcomes measurement (Alsbury, 2008).


3% high school education 23% some college/2-year degree 43% 4-year college 30% graduate school degree


65% employed 14% retired 12% part-time employment 7% homemaker 2% unemployed


8% under $50,000 20% $50,000 – $75,000 72% $75,000 – $150,000+

It is also important to note that this work by school boards and district leaders must address the fact that Minnesota has one of the highest achievement gaps in the nation between black and white students

Demographics of Minnesota School Board Members

March/April 2013        11

(Minnesota Minority Education Partnership, 2012; U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Although 94 percent of Minnesota school board members report discussing student achievement at board meetings in the last six months, only 37 percent report discussing racial diversity. The survey data also indicates school board members tend to overestimate student achievement in their district, with only 16 percent of respondents identifying their district as scoring below the state average. Given these findings, it is critical for Minnesota school board members to examine whether there are current practices that create biases against nonCaucasian students or students of poverty within their districts.

Conclusions Our study reviewed a substantial body of research that explored the work of school boards (Campbell & Greene, 1994; Ranson, Arnott, McKeown, Martin, & Smith, 2005). The study results align with many of the constructs evident in Minnesota school board membership: members run to perform a public service; MSBA school board training is effective and highly valued; focusing on student achievement is the greatest challenge faced by board members; Minnesota’s changing student demographics are not reflected in school board membership; conversations around student data and racial equity are limited; and school board members overestimate the achievement of the students in their schools. Based on these findings, we recommend the following actions.

Recommendations Training: Review district policies and practices for school board member training (cf. MSBA/ MASA Model Policy 212).

Joy Autio

Student achievement: Increase the frequency of informed conversations around student achievement, and use data and professional development strategies to build board capacity to engage in conversation and planning on student achievement topics. Equity: Evaluate practices and policies for their impact on diverse student and family populations and ensure that board members understand the makeup of all student and family groups within their district and the current achievement levels of those students.

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Candace Raskin is a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato at Edina; Anne Weyandt, J.D., Doctoral Assistantship at Minnesota State University, Mankato at Edina; Roberta Thatcher works for Supervalu as Manager of Customer Strategy and Experience; and Barbara Wilson is assistant professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato at Edina.

References Alsbury, T. L. (2008). School board member and superintendent turnover and the influence on student achievement: An application of the dissatisfaction theory. Leadership & Policy in Schools, 7(2), 202-229. doi: 10.1080/15700760701748428 Anderson, R. H., & Snyder, K. J. (1980). Leadership training for the school board members: One approach. Education, 100(3), 227.

Your AdvocAte to ensure project success

Black, S. (2007). Leadership and learning. American School Board Journal, 194(9), 56–59. Cabico, J., & Harrison, E. E. (2009). Getting on board: How to make school boards represent students. Kennedy School Review, 9, 19–24. Campbell, D. W., & Greene, D. (1994). Defining the leadership role of school boards in the 21st century. Phi Delta Kappan, 75(5), 391.

core services

Carver, J. (2009). Is student achievement the test of school board governance? Board Leadership, 2009(104), 1–8.

n project consulting n construction Management

Creswell, J., & Clark, V. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

n Facility planning

Danzberger, J. P., & Usdan, M. D. (1994). Local education governance. Phi Delta Kappan, 75(5), 366.

n community & stakeholder engagement programs

Darden, E. C. (2007). Responsibility and obligation. American School Board Journal, 194(8), 42–43.

n project Facilitation

Eadie, D. (2009). Developing your board. American School Board Journal, 196(7), 40–41.

n Financing & costing Assistance

Hess, F. M., Meeks, O., Fordham, T. B., & National School Boards Association (2010). School boards circa 2010: Governance in the accountability era.

n programming

Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (2012). State of students of color and American Indian student report: executive summary. Mintrom, M. (2009). Promoting local democracy in education: Challenges and prospects. Educational Policy, 23(2), 329–354. Ranson, S., Arnott, M., McKeown, P., Martin, J., & Smith, P. (2005). The participation of volunteer citizens in school governance. Educational Review, 57(3), 357–371. doi: 10.1080/00131910500149457 Reeves, D. (2010). The board’s role in innovation. American School Board Journal, 197(1), 30–32. U.S. Department of Education (2009). Achievement gaps: how black and white students in public schools perform in mathematics and reading on the national assessment of educational progress; statistical analysis report. Zorn, R. L. (2008). Educating new board members. American School Board Journal, 195(8), 26–27.

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

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Creating Spaces for Yo u n g M i n d s t o G row

Minnesota’s New Accountability System

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Multiple Measurement Rating and More Stephanie Graff

Measurements Rating (MMR) given to all schools in the state on an annual basis.


The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) has governed education policy for more than a decade and has been the primary driver behind federal resources for schools to provide all children with a quality education. Its provisions were aimed at achieving a well-intentioned, but unrealistic, goal of 100 percent of students demonstrating proficiency on standardized tests by 2014. NCLB considered only one measurement, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), to define academic success and placed requirements on schools to direct resources toward strategies or initiatives that did not lead to improved student outcomes nor close prevalent achievement gaps. Because NCLB provided a one-size-fits-all approach for states and school districts, Minnesota was pleased to learn in fall 2011 that the U.S. Department of Education intended to offer states flexibility from prescriptive provisions of the law. With the support of stakeholders, the state developed a comprehensive waiver proposal outlining Minnesota’s plan for adopting college- and career-ready standards, implementing a differentiated support system, and ensuring effective instruction and leadership focused on a new goal: reduce the state’s achievement gaps by 50 percent in six years. Upon approval of the state’s NCLB flexibility waiver, Minnesota transitioned to a fairer, more effective accountability system that is built around multiple measurements, includes incentives for high performance, directly focuses on closing achievement gaps, and provides the needed support for locally developed school improvement plans. At the center of the new accountability system is the Multiple

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The MMR consists of four domains, each worth 25 points: (1) proficiency, (2) student growth, (3) achievement gap reduction, and, for secondary schools, (4) graduation rates. Most elementary and middle schools have 75 points possible, and most high schools have 100 points possible. The MMR is generated by adding up the points a school earned in each domain and dividing that number by the total points possible, resulting in a 0–100 percentage for all schools. Student proficiency is the first domain in the MMR. The proficiency domain considers all subgroups with at least 20 students and determines whether the subgroup meets established proficiency targets. Subgroups in a school include five ethnicities, special education students, students in poverty and English learners. Based on the size of the subgroups, with larger subgroups weighing more heavily, schools earn a portion of the 25 points in the domain based on the percentage of subgroups meeting the proficiency targets. Next, schools with at least 20 students have a growth domain in the MMR. This domain measures the ability of schools to get students to exceed expected growth based on the student’s last assessment score. Each student receives an individual growth score which informs the school whether or not the student met or exceeded predicted growth from the previous assessment, and the school growth score is an average of all student growth scores. Schools receive a percentage of the 25 growth domain points based on the level of growth among students. The achievement gap reduction domain is the third MMR domain, measuring the ability of schools to get high levels of growth from lower-performing subgroups. For the first time, the state has an accountability measurement tied directly to reducing gaps in

Minnesota, allowing schools to make better decisions on interventions for groups that are contributing to the achievement gap. The growth of subgroups at the school is compared to growth of counterparts at the statewide level, and schools earn a portion of the 25 domain points based on their ability to close the gap. Lastly, secondary schools have a graduation rate domain if the school has at least 40 students in the graduating cohort. Based on new graduation rate federal requirements, each subgroup in the school is measured against a graduation rate target of 90 percent or ability to demonstrate improvements from year to year. The number of domain points received out of the 25 possible points is based on the school’s success in getting subgroups to reach a 90-percent graduation rate or improve graduation rates by a defined percentage from the prior year. In addition to the MMR, schools receive a Focus Rating (FR) based on the achievement and growth of minority subgroups, special education students, students in poverty, and English learners. The FR is aimed at closing the achievement gap, and provides all schools with the data on how well they are contributing to the closure of gaps. Based on the MMR and FR, schools that are served with Title I funds are eligible for one of the following five designations:

• Reward School • Celebration Eligible School • Continuous Improvement School • Focus School • Priority School

Reward schools represent the highest-performing Title I schools in the state based on the MMR, and are acknowledged on an annual basis. These schools receive public recognition and have opportunities to share best practices that have improved student outcomes, to replicate successes in other schools. The next designation is Celebration Eligible, representing schools just below the Reward status in the 60th to 85th percentile on the MMR. Celebration Eligible schools have the chance to submit applications to be acknowledged as a Celebration Michael Walters School. For the 2012–2013 school year, 57 schools received the Celebration School recognition.

Continuous Improvement schools make up the bottom 25 percent of Title I schools based on the MMR. With the support and direction of their districts, they are to develop and Carlos Torelli implement school improvement plans with the goal of improving student outcomes. The FR is used to designate Focus schools, which are identified by falling into the lowest 10 percent of Focus Ratings and contributing most to the achievement gap. Focus schools work directly with the Regional Centers of Excellence to implement focused interventions aimed at improving the achievement of the school’s underperforming subgroups. The schools in the bottom 5 percent on the MMR scores and those receiving federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds are identified as Priority schools. The Regional Centers of Excellence work closely with Priority schools to diagnose root causes of low performance and develop school improvement plans tied to school-wide goals for the implementation of interventions to drastically improve the academic success of students. The federal NCLB law too often overlooked successful schools and failed to comprehensively consider the performance of a school. Minnesota’s new accountability system provides a more holistic look into how a school is performing and aims to provide support to schools in need as well as recognize outstanding success. The NCLB waiver gives Minnesota the flexibility to implement an accountability system that uses multiple measures to set a high bar for student success and better targets support and resources to schools in the most need. With the help of school board members, district and school leaders, teachers and families, Minnesota schools now have a better opportunity to focus resources, employ innovative strategies, and support high-quality instruction to ensure all students receive an excellent education. Stephanie Graff is the Federal Education Policy Liaison for the Minnesota Department of Education. You can reach her at

March/April 2013        17

DNR Plan to focus on maximizing revenue for Public Education


Key decisions made by our founding fathers and the leaders of Minnesota in the mid-1800s continue to have a positive impact on public education in the state. This legacy of supporting education stems from a long-held practice in England to set aside lands for the specific purpose of supporting schools.

When Minnesota was created as a territory in 1849, sections 16 and 36 of every township were reserved for the purpose of being applied to the schools in the territory. By the Enabling Act of February 26, 1857, the U.S. Congress authorized the Territory of Minnesota to form a constitution and state government. The U.S. Congress, by 1870, had granted to Minnesota approximately 8.1 million acres through a series of four federal grants.i

Aaron M. Vande Linde

18        MSBA Journal

By 1900, much of the 8.1 million acres had been sold to support public schools. Today, 2.5 million acres and an additional 1 million acres of mineral rights remain. These 3.5 million acres are commonly referred to as “School Trust Lands.” School Trust Lands represent one of two assets held in trust for public education. The other asset is the investments managed by the State Board of Investment. The revenue generated from land sales, timber revenues and mineral royalties is deposited annually into the Permanent School Fund. The investments are valued at $900 million as of September 30, 2012.ii Mineral royalties and timber sales historically have been the source of revenue for the Permanent School Fund, with mineral royalties accounting for approximately 80 percent of the revenue. Today, additional revenue is generated through utility licenses, easements, state forest campground fees, and the occasional sale of land.

The Minnesota Legislature placed the management of these 3.5 million acres of School Trust Lands with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).iii While the School Trust Lands are open to the public and provide a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, their overriding purpose is to generate revenue for the Permanent School Fund. State law requires that the DNR, as trustee, meet its fiduciary obligation to secure the maximum long-term economic return from these School Trust Lands with sound natural resource conservation and management principles.iv The 2012 Legislature clarified the DNR’s role as trustee. First, the Legislature stated that the DNR was charged with managing the School Trust Lands with undivided loyalty to the Permanent School Fund. Second, the Legislature required that DNR management conflicts be resolved in favor of long-term revenue generation, or the trust compensated. The DNR also is required to compensate the Permanent School Fund when DNR management of natural resources or recreation conflict with revenue potential.v The DNR, now armed with a clear direction as trustee, has undertaken a number of steps to ensure its future management activities will maximize long-term revenue generation. The DNR has issued an internal operating order clarifying its role as trustee for all DNR staff. And, the DNR has signified that it will manage the School Trust Lands as a business, or akin to a real estate investment trust. To that end, the DNR will compensate the Permanent School Fund for all DNR uses that restrict or prohibit revenue generation on School Trust Lands by June 30, 2018. The DNR is completing an inventory of all 2.5 million acres. The inventory will determine the highest and best use for each acre of School Trust Lands. This highest and best-use classification will identify future revenue potential on the School Trust Lands. Future revenue opportunities have a broad range—from the historic revenue generators of timber harvests and mineral royalties to alternative

energy capabilities, carbon sequestration, and real property transactions. The DNR will also prepare two strategic business plans— a 10-year plan and a 25-year plan. These business plans will instruct the DNR’s management over the foreseeable future to maximize revenue potential. The business plans also will address the DNR’s operating costs. The business plans will develop new land management strategies in an effort to reduce costs. It is the DNR’s belief that the fastest way to increase net revenue is to reduce its operating costs. To demonstrate its commitment to maximizing long-term revenue generation, the DNR has unilaterally obligated itself to provide quarterly financial reports to its Senior Management Team and an annual financial report to the Commissioner of Education. The DNR, with its renewed focus as trustee, pledges to: (1) compensate the Permanent School Fund for natural resource or recreation values; (2) maximize net receipts by controlling operating costs; and (3) seek new revenue opportunities on School Trust Lands. This new focus on management will continue to provide revenue to the Permanent School Fund so that increased interest and dividends can provide the additional funding in perpetuity for Minnesota’s public education system. In state fiscal year 2012, School Trust Lands produced net revenue of $34 million, including $26 million from iron ore and taconite royalties and leases. The fund’s interest and dividends are distributed to public schools biannually. On average, the fund provides K–12 schools with about $23 million each year—about 0.3 percent of Minnesota public schools’ annual budget of $8.5 billion. Since fiscal year 2010, Minnesota’s public schools received nearly $95 million in additional funding from the Permanent School To learn more, please visit aboutdnr/school_lands/index.html. Aaron M. Vande Linde is a School Trust Land Administrator. You can contact him at i. 1857 Enabling Act; 1860 Swamp Act; 1866 Internal Improvement grant; 1870 Indemnity School land grant. ii. Funds%20Under%20Management%20 Performance.html last visited by author January 28, 2013, at 3:20 p.m. iii. Minnesota Statutes, section 84.027, subd. 18 (2012). iv. Minnesota Statutes, section 127A.31 (2012). v. Minnesota Statutes, section 84.027 subd. 18 (2012). vi. MDEAnalytics/Data.jsp last visited by author January 28, 2013, at 3:20 p.m.

March/April 2013        19

Identify and M easure Exposure to Risks Bu

llis Insurance developed ARP to unde rstand and ide ntify the critical fac ets of many organization s. We evalu ate operations, human reso urces, safety, risk management programs, an d training initiatives.

Monitor and Evaluate Effectiveness

Over time, as each organiz ation evolves and changes, AR P continues to monitor the ongoing effec tiven the risk mana ess of gement initiative str ategies.

Assess and De velop Strategies to Mitigate Risk

Because we have an indepth knowled ge about ma ny organization s, businesse s and industries, AR P explores a wide range of str ategies aimed at minimizin g the overall cost of risks .

Implement Pr ograms and Strategie s

During the im plementation stage, we cre ate individua lly tailored prog rams and str ategies designed to protect our client’s assets most effectively wh ile minimizing ov erall costs an d maximizing the attractivene ss of the clients risk profile to the insurance ma rketplace.

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STAR computer-adaptive assessments are popular with Minnesota educators because they are highly rated for screening and progress monitoring by the National Center on Response to Intervention. Now, STAR Enterprise assessments provide instant access to information-packed reports that graphically show if your students are on the pathway to proficiency for the Minnesota MCAII. Let’s create success stories together.

d. For guidance

not reflecte after that date are es in the state test resources. in June 2012. Chang was last updated Reports under STAR STAR to the MCAII eting Performance Research linking change, see Interpr when state tests interpreting data

20        MSBA Journal

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Early College at Irondale High School wins state Local Government Innovation award


By Greg Abbott and Mounds View School District

“We did not do this for the attention that we have received. But it is, nonetheless, an affirmation of the work that has been done so far. And for that, we are grateful.” 22        MSBA Journal

Irondale High School was named the grand prize winner of a $25,000 grant awarded by the Local Government Innovation Awards. In winning the award, Irondale’s Early College program was selected the top local government innovation in the state, from a field of 111 entries submitted by cities, counties and school districts throughout Minnesota. At the award ceremony January 16, School Board Chair Jon Tynjala thanked the awards organizers and the voters on behalf of Mounds View Public Schools.

“Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, you get to be part of something that has the potential to be a game changer. And that’s what Early College is. This program has the potential to change the future trajectories of the lives of students who may not have thought college was even a possibility for them,” said Tynjala.

“We did not do this for the attention that we have received,” he added. “But it is, nonetheless, an affirmation of the work that has been done so far. And for that, we are grateful.” Supt. Dan Hoverman said Irondale is the first school in the state to offer a comprehensive early college program allowing students in

the academic middle the opportunity to earn a free twoyear associate degree. In the first year of implementation, Irondale has more than doubled the number of high school students participating in college-level, credit-earning courses. These students are on track to earn a two-year degree for free, which can create a significant savings in college tuition. With this innovative model as a guide, Mounds View High School is preparing to launch a similar program next fall.

the program helps children by stocking food in their backpacks so children can avoid hunger over the weekend. Greg Abbott is communications director for the Minnesota School Boards Association. You can reach him at

Other award winners included: The Truancy Work Group St. Louis County Schools and the Family Service Collaborative teamed up for its Truancy Work Group. The group is a formal partnership consisting of people and agencies working together to provide early intervention services to children and families in northern St. Louis County. The area includes over 5,500 square miles and addresses absenteeism in schools early, keeping kids in school and out of the court system. Independent School District and Charter School Collaboration A partnership between Forest Lake Area Schools and Lakes International Language Academy allowed collaboration on several projects benefitting students from both schools. The charter school offered a language immersion program, and several teachers and administrators from Forest Lake Area Schools were among those who founded the school. Because of this, there has always been a very fundamental connection between the charter school and school district, with a relationship that continues to benefit students.

Mounds View officials accept the Local Government Innovation Award. From left to right: Board chair Jon Tynjala, Superintendent Dan Hoverman; and Irondale High School Principal Scott Gengler.


Kelliher Health and Resource Center

MCFS provides custom technology solutions to meet your school’s needs and budget.

The Kelliher Health and Resource Center Committee worked with the community and school district to recognize the need for programs to support families socially, culturally and physically. Kelliher is an isolated area that needs accessible medical, social, cultural and academic resources in a high-poverty county. The committee worked to establish a community center to meet many of those residents’ needs.

Schools are being forced to cut teachers, transportation and curriculum – and cannot afford to provide students with access to much-needed technology.

MCFS saves schools and educationalbased nonprofits money in their technology purchases – organizations can purchase customized equipment, complete with educational software for one-third the price of buying new.

Educational organizations have a variety of makes and models of computers – making it difficult to support and expensive to replace.

MCFS provides organizations with computers of the same make and model. Systems are customized for each organization’s needs and include educational software, tech support and a three-year warranty.

Our future depends on the well-being of our children and the planet. Schools must educate new generations of citizens with the skills to solve the environmental problems we face.

Working with MCFS allows schools to teach through example. Reusing one computer saves 7,719 kilowatts of energy, 30 lbs. of hazardous waste, 77 lbs. of solid waste, 1,333 lbs. of CO2 from being emitted and prevents 17.5 gallons of water and 32 tons of air from being polluted.

Staples-Motley Teacher Residence Program Staples-Motley Schools and Minnesota State University, Moorhead, have created a program that is producing some of the best-trained elementary reading teachers in the world at a reduced cost to taxpayers and teachers. Elementary teaching graduates are placed in a primary grade classroom with no more than 10-12 students for two years, acting as “resident teachers” in the school. The program also provides children the additional benefit of a small class size learning experience. Robbinsdale Weekend KidPack Initiative KidPack is a collaborative effort to fight hunger in the Robbinsdale Area School District, which covers seven communities. Hunger contributes to poor academic performance and disruptive behavior in the classroom. Knowing that food shelves can’t fight hunger alone,

Stretch your technology dollars and give more students access to technology.





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March/April 2013        23


Top: Speaker David Horsager educated MSBA’s membership on the importance of trust during a pair of conference keynote addresses. Left: The Benson High School Concert Band (under the direction of Brock Duncan) entertained the crowd during the first day of the Leadership Conference. Bottom left: The Jordan High School Singers (under the direction of Brian Ohnsorg) surprised conference-goers with a rendition of “Over the Rainbow”—flash mob-style— outside the main auditorium prior to their general session performance during Day 2 of the Leadership Conference. Bottom right: A large number of vendors, such as the Telin Transportation Group, showed off their wares for MSBA’s membership in the Minneapolis Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

24        MSBA Journal


Top left: The 2013 MSBA All-State School Board was honored during the conference Recognition Luncheon. This year’s All-State Board is composed of (clockwise from top left): Linda Johnson (Robbinsdale Area), Kirby Ekstrom (North Branch Area), Charles Funk (Sebeka), Sherry Safratowich (Park Rapids Area), Jeannette Kester (East Central) and Ann Hendricks (Mankato Area). Top right: Walter Hautala (left) of Mesabi East took over as MSBA President from Kent Thiesse (Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial). Left: The Washington Technology Magnet School presented the flags during the national anthem prior to Thursday’s general session.

Above: MSBA Executive Director Bob Meeks acknowledges the audience after receiving a tribute from outgoing MSBA President Kent Thiesse. This will mark the final MSBA Leadership Conference appearance for Meeks, who is retiring in June after nearly 40 years of service to MSBA and public education.

Left: Friday’s round table session again proved to be a big draw for conference attendees.

March/April 2013        25

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26        MSBA Journal!/ taherfood4life

Learning is a journey, not a destination. For close to 30 years, we’ve provided schools and libraries with a wealth of educational resources ranging from databases and audio/video materials to millions of printed books.

And as the landscape of learning evolves toward a digital world, we have turned a page right along with the industry by offering a burgeoning collection of eBooks and digital resources, all accessible online and through our MackinVIA app. Continue your journey at


March/April 2013        27

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., 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 Rd., 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. (Judith Hoskens) 201 Main Street SE, Suite 325 Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-379-3400, Fax 612-379-4400 DLR Group (Jennifer Anderson-Tuttle) 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. (Rick Lucio) 1750 Commerce Court White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-748-4386, Fax 651-748-9370

28        MSBA Journal

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

TSP Architects & Engineers (Troy Miller) 18707 Old Excelsior Blvd. Minneapolis, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928

Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. (Kevin J. Rupp) 730 2nd Ave. S., Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038

INSPEC, INC. (Fred King) 5801 Duluth St. Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-546-3434, Fax 763-546-8669

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

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

Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd. (Edward J. Kodet, Jr.) 15 Groveland Terrace Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-377-2737, Fax 612-377-1331 Larson Engineering, Inc. (Michael Murphy) 3524 Labore Road White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-481-9120, Fax 651-481-9201 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

Athletic Sports Floors/Surfacing MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Attorneys Kennedy & Graven Chartered 200 South Sixth Street, Suite 470 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310

Paulsen Architects (Bryan Paulsen) 209 South 2nd Street, Suite 201 Mankato, MN 56001 507-388-9811, Fax 507-388-1751

Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A. (Thomas S. Deans) 1155 Centre Pointe Dr., Suite 10 Mendota Heights, MN 55120 651-222-2811, Fax 651-225-0600

Perkins + Will (Steven Miller) 84 10th Street S., Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-851-5000, Fax 612-851-5001

Pemberton Law Firm (Kristi Hastings) 110 N. Mill Street Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950

Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. (John Huenink) PO Box 158 Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 Metz Construction Management & Consulting Services (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 (Linda Mitchell) 615 Olof Hanson Dr. Faribault, MN 55021 507-384-6602, Fax 507-332-5528 Renaissance Learning PO Box 8036 Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495 800-338-4204, Fax 877-280-7642

The Minnesota Service Cooperatives (Jeremy Kovash) 1001 East Mouth Faith Avenue Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-739-3273, Fax 218-739-2459 Energy Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. (Larry Schmidt) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N. Plymouth, MN 55447 763-585-5148, Fax 763-566-2208

MSBA-Sponsored P-Card (Procurement Card) Program P-Card Program 800-891-7910/314-878-5000 Fax 314-878-5333 MSBA-Sponsored (Jim Sheehan, Ann Thomas) Sheehan: 952-435-0990 Thomas: 952-435-0955

Facilities Maintenance & Supplies Marsden Bldg Maintenance, LLC (Diane Lewis) 1717 University Ave. W. St. Paul, MN 55104 651-523-6756, Fax 651-523-6678

PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Avenue Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573, 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax: 720-208-9852

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

PFM Asset Management, LLC MSDLAF+ (Donn Hanson) 45 South 7th Street, Suite 2800 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-371-3720, Fax 612-338-7264

MSBA-Sponsored Administration and Compliance Service (A&C Service) Administration and Compliance Service (Paige McNeal, Educators Benefit Consultants, LLC) 888-507-6053/763-552-6053 Fax 763-552-6055 MSBA-Sponsored MNTAAB (MN Tax and Aid Anticipation Borrowing Program) MNTAAB (Patty Heminover, Springsted, Inc.) 800-236-3033/651-223-3058 Fax 651-268-5058

Fitness Equipment 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment (Mike Adrian) 7585 Equitable Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-224-1210, 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 Lunchtime Solutions, Inc. (Deni Ferlick) 717 N. Derby Lane North Sioux City, SD 57049 605-235-0939, Fax 605-235-0942

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 Janitorial Contract Services Marsden Bldg Maintenance, LLC (Diane Lewis) 1717 University Ave. W. St. Paul, MN 55104 651-523-6756, Fax 651-523-6678 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 Software Systems PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Avenue Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573, 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax: 720-208-9852

Technology PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Avenue 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 East Avenue Collinsville, OK 74021 866-574-9970, Fax 918-205-5009 Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) 116 East Oakwood Drive 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 (Jamie Romfo) 14990 Industry Avenue Becker, MN 55308 866-287-7278, 763-262-3328 Fax 763-262-3332

March/April 2013        29

Advertisers Architects Rego + Youngquist, inc. .................................. Page 21 ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers.......................... Page 15 Bullis Insurance Agency – Assured Risk Protection...Page 20


International Center for Leadership in Education ........ Page 15

2009, 2010 & 2012 Best Print Publication

Kennedy & Graven, Chartered .......................................... Page 7 Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A............................................ Page 21 Mackin Educational Resources......................................... Page 27 Metz Construction Management & Consulting, Inc....... Page 13 Minnesota Computers for Schools .................................. Page 23 MSBAIT.............................................................................. Page 32 MSDLAF+............................................................................. Page 7 PreferredOne....................................................................... Page 2 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. ...................................... Page 14 Rennaissance Learning..................................................... Page 20 Taher, Inc........................................................................... Page 26

by the Minnesota School Public Relations Association Cited for “Comprehensive Coverage” “Impressive Student Artwork” Brought to you by YOUR MSBA

Widseth Smith Nolting...................................................... Page 30

Inspired Architecture for K-12 Education


hether you are contemplating a new facility, considering plans for expansion, or simply rethinking existing space, our architects will help you realize your vision. n From small renovations to multi-million dollar facilities, we will work alongside you throughout the design process, maintaining open communication, providing clarity, and coordinating your project’s activities from concept through construction. n We thoughtfully balance form, function, and creativity, while adhering to your budget and timeline. Let’s discuss your next project.

The $11 million Pillager secondary school addition, designed by WSN, was completed in December 2012.

Contact Kevin Donnay, AIA

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30        MSBA Journal


p Filling a vacancy the right way


Q: One of our board members will be moving to a new job later this year, so he gave his resignation to the board at our February meeting. It would take effect August 30. Should we go ahead and appoint someone to take over right away so we can still have a full board in August?

Greg Abbott, Communications Director, Minnesota School Boards Association

With higher mobility among board members, there will probably be at least ONE time during your tenure that the board will be faced with having to fill a vacancy.

A: It is good that your board member had the courtesy to give you a resignation date in writing so far in advance. But the vacancy to your board occurs on that board member’s last day of service, not when that board member turns in a letter of resignation. Therefore, you cannot fill a position in advance because no vacancy will occur until August. (It would also violate Attorney General opinions that say an outgoing member cannot vote on his or her successor). There ARE some things you could do: you could declare the seat vacant as of August 30, and could even set up an application process for people to apply for the position. But filling the spot must wait until AFTER the board member’s last day of service. Q: In late January, one of our board members resigned. Because we have elections in odd years and there are more than 2 years left on the term, we were told we needed to have a special election in 2013. We have always been a split board, but now with that person gone, we get much more accomplished. Can we just leave that spot vacant until the election?

In November 1960, Little Falls asked for thenAttorney General Walter Mondale to issue an opinion on the statute. His terse reply: “This statute clearly expresses the intent of the Legislature that when a vacancy occurs on a school board, it shall be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the board… We see nothing ambiguous about this statute.” So, in no uncertain terms, if you have an open seat, you must fill it as soon as possible. Q: We had an opening on our board because of a resignation, and our board asked for applications. We received 12 applications, and we don’t know how to narrow them down. Can we just do a secret ballot to see who the top few applicants would be? A: No. There is no exception under the Open Meeting Law to allow any type of secret ballots. If ballots are used, they must be read in the open with the name of the board member and the applicant that the board member voted for. Choosing applicants to fill a board position must be done in the open, with the public knowing whom each board member voted to support.

A: Board governance relies on having citizens represent the community. The law states that if a vacancy occurs, the position must be filled by appointment until the next election cycle.

March/April 2013        31




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MSBA Journal: March-April 2013  

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MSBA Journal: March-April 2013  

The March-April Journal magazine