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May-June 2014

Volume 66, No. 6

From a 5-day Week to a 4-day Week and Back Educational Adequacy: Bridging the Gap Between Visionary Outcomes and Funding Little Johnny Is Now Little Jessica: Transgender Students and Restroom Accommodation Issues in Minnesota Schools

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MAY 2014

2 ���������������� Phase IV Training 15–16 �������� MSBA Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting 22 �������������� Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Meeting 26 �������������� Memorial Day (no meetings)

Divisions 4 5 6 32 35


STRAIGHT TALK Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA Executive Director P RESIDENT’S COLUMN Walter Hautala, MSBA President VENDOR DIRECTORY Pierre Productions & Promotions, Inc.  SK MSBA A Katie Klanderud, MSBA Board Development Director

JUNE 2014 12 �������������� MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting

J ul Y 2 0 1 4 4 ���������������� Independence Day

A u g ust 2 0 1 4 3 ���������������� MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 3 ���������������� MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting 3 ���������������� MSBA Summer Seminar Early Bird Workshops 4 ���������������� MSBA Summer Seminar 4 ���������������� MSBA Phase I & II Combination 4 ���������������� MSBA Charter Training 4 ���������������� Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Meeting 12 �������������� Primary Election Day (no meetings or activities 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.)

Articles 8 12 16

22 26

From a 5-day week to a 4-day week   and back Patrick Tepoorten and Deb Henton Educational adequacy: Bridging the gap between visionary outcomes and funding Aaron Ruhland Little Johnny is Now Little Jessica: Transgender Students and Restroom Accommodation Issues in Minnesota Schools Timothy A. Sullivan

Our Journey with 1:1 Tammy Berg-Beniak, Taylor Bauman, Patrick Smith and Josh Westphal WHY WE PLAY – it’s more than just winning  Jody Redman

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

Alissa Schoon

C O N T E N T S M a y / J u ne 2 0 1 4     V O L U M E 6 6 , N U M B E R 6


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Officers President: Walter Hautala, Mesabi East President-Elect: Kevin Donovan, Mahtomedi 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: George Kimball, White Bear Lake Area District 7: Melissa Sauser, Farmington District 8: Carla Bates, Minneapolis District 9: Karen Kirschner, Mora District 10: Michael Domin, Crosby-Ironton District 11: Tim Riordan, Virginia District 12: Ann Long Voelkner, Bemidji Area District 13: Deborah Pauly, Jordan Staff Kirk Schneidawind: Executive Director Kelly Martell: Executive Assistant John Sylvester: Deputy Executive Director Tiffany Rodning: Deputy Executive Director Greg Abbott: Director of Communications Denise Dittrich: Associate Director of Governmental Relations Denise Drill: Director of Financial/MSBAIT Services Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor: Associate Director of Management Services Sandy Gundlach: Director of School Board Services Barb Hoffman: Administrative Assistant to Governmental Relations/Finance/Meeting Coordinator Sue Honetschlager: Administrative Assistant to Management, Legal and Policy Services/MSBAIT Donn Jenson: Director of Technology Bill Kautt: Associate Director of Management Services Grace Keliher: Director of Governmental Relations Katie Klanderud: Director of Board Development Gary Lee: Associate Director of Management Services Bruce Lombard: Associate Director of Communications Bob Lowe: Director of Management Services Cathy Miller: Director of Legal and Policy Services Sue Munsterman: Administrative Assistant to Board Development/Communications Sandi Ostermann: Administrative Assistant to Association Services and Finance/Receptionist Tim Roberts: Production Room Manager The MSBA Journal (USPS 352-220) is published bimonthly by the Minnesota School Boards Association, 1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, Minnesota 56082. Telephone 507-934-2450. Call MSBA office for subscription rates. (Opinions expressed in the Journal are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent MSBA policy.)

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

The impact of social media

Volunteer group boosts literacy

“Some people think schools go too far and I get that. But we want to make kids aware that their actions outside school can be detrimental.”

“The earlier we can get to a child the better they are ultimately performing on the third-grade proficiency test and that every child has the skills to learn to read if we can get to them early enough.”

Minnewaska Area Superintendent Greg Schmidt, reacting to his district agreeing to pay $70,000 in damages in March in case against ACLU and student over Facebook incident (Minnewaska Area admitted no liability in the settlement).

Budget woes “Having to deal with more budget reductions so soon after a successful levy is disheartening for all of us. But, the levy wasn’t going to fix our problem—we could not ask for enough money.” Stillwater Area Superintendent Corey Lunn, on his district facing budget cuts despite passing a recent $11 million levy renewal and $5.2 million levy increase.

A new proposal “This allows the local district to keep 30 percent of the state aid and any compensatory or operating levy funds.” Fairmont Area Superintendent Joe Brown, on his district’s Secondary Student Tuition Policy. (The proposal offered a deal to surrounding districts: send their secondary grades to Fairmont, but keep 30 percent of the state aid, as well as any local levies.)

Revenue equity “It was an oversight. It really wasn’t anything intentional. Now we just need to fix it.” Montevideo Superintendent Luther Heller, on the Legislature expanding location equity revenue to all school districts in the state (midsize districts had been left out in the 2013 legislation).

ServeMinnesota CEO Audrey Suker, regarding a new federal study finding higher literacy rates among Minnesota students who were tutored by AmeriCorps volunteers. (ServeMinnesota oversees the Minnesota Reading Corps.)

There and back again “I have recommended the return to the five-day week, personally, since last July. Four years ago, I had public hearings with the community. We had three public hearings at that time, and last year, again, we had three public hearings. Throughout the course of those conversations, we told our public that if the Legislature improved funding, we would go back to a five-day week. I believe I made a promise to the community that I have to uphold.” North Branch Area Superintendent Deb Henton on her district returning to a five-day school week.

Honoring a school board legend “Thank you, dear, you’re the best Bloomingtonite there is.” Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead during a ceremony recognizing Arlene Bush, who served 32 years on the Bloomington School Board.

SFtraight T alk ollow through is always the hardest part of setting goals


In education, there always seems to be a new initiative, new goals that need to be set, and much time spent forming plans and setting goals. Learning organizations are focused on continuous improvement. As the school year comes to a close, it’s important to remember the hardest thing to do when setting goals— following through. Now is the time as a board to review the goals you set for the district and for the superintendent. Did you get there? Are you making progress? Or did some goals not happen at all?

Kirk Schneidawind MSBA Executive Director

In education, excuses don’t cut it when trying to make sure all students achieve. You have to monitor where you are in reaching each goal and celebrate the goals you met and discuss the goals you missed to hopefully find ways the district can do better.

It’s like the New Year’s resolution to lose weight. You set your goals and come up with a plan, but somewhere along the way the office treats are too good to pass by and the weather gets nasty, giving you an easy excuse to skip workouts. It’s the follow-through. For board members, MSBA can help you with a few “follow-through” items. We have a list of policies that should be reviewed each year. We also have superintendent evaluation forms that can help you set goals and come back with the follow-through at the end of the evaluation period. The board itself can also do a School Board Evaluation, where you rank the effectiveness of your own board. MSBA will compile the information and come out to your district to review it with you. In education, excuses don’t cut it when trying to make sure all students achieve. You have to monitor where you are in reaching each goal and celebrate the goals you met and discuss the goals you missed to hopefully find ways the district can do better.

We have also made some changes on the Government Relations front. Instead of dialing into the Lobby Line to get a prerecorded message, Grace and Denise are now offering a Monday conference call where you can have a discussion about what happened in the Legislature and find out about issues coming up during the next week. Denise supplements the legislative information with a legislative blog to keep board members updated. MSBA also has a goal of offering more information through social media. Our Facebook® and Twitter® followers have grown as we’ve been offering more news and opinions on education issues. Once June comes around, we’ll sit down and do the hard part—follow-through on whether the new website really is encouraging more people to visit; whether we’re reaching more board members through social media while keeping the traditional communication vehicles, like the Boardcaster and Management Services Newsletter, available for members. Follow-through is hard, but essential if you want your district to move forward. It’s part of the cycle of improvement all boards face. Just as with trying to get in better shape, follow-through takes sweat and effort and commitment. And to my “shape-up” goal, you can add willpower. Walking by the break room without grabbing a donut is not easy to do.

At MSBA, we’ve also set some goals for the year. As we move forward building your next generation association, one of our main goals was to update our website and make it more user-friendly.

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President’s Column Who’s not walking across the stage?


Graduation is my favorite time of year. I see all the students walk across the stage to get their diplomas after years of work, readying themselves for the workplace or some type of higher education.

Walter Hautala MSBA President

We need EVERYONE to feel valued in our schools and know that someone cares about them.

But it also makes me think of those students who don’t walk across the stage. As a board member, I see that it should also make the district think about who those students are and why they are not graduating with their peers. Almost 80 percent of students graduate. For the other 20 percent, I think school boards should have a frank discussion on what we can do to increase the number of students with a diploma. An article in the American School Board Journal (September 2013) was very enlightening. When students were asked about why they dropped out or weren’t able to graduate, a survey showed that those students didn’t feel like valued members of the school community. As in any organization, there has to be a personal link to each student. Most often, it’s a teacher: Someone who cares if they are absent from school, knows their names, asks if they are doing OK. It could be a student counselor, a principal, someone from school staff. But those links need to be made. A few years ago, MSBA had a session about connecting with students. One activity was to take a ball of yarn and toss it around the circle to people you wanted to connect with. After one time around, the “net” tried to catch balloons that floated down. But because there were so many gaps in the connections, some balloons fell to the floor. After another two or three rounds, there were so many connections to every person in the circle that the “net” was able to catch every balloon.

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Those connections should be the same connections we need with EVERY student. And the more school boards realize this, the more districts will be pushed to change the climate so everyone has multiple connections and reasons to come to school. It’s easy to say, “It’s the counselor’s job.” But it isn’t their job alone. We know that those connections need to be made from the counselor, the custodian, the superintendent and school board members. Give students a reason to stay on and finish—even if they’re not the academic stars. Find out what they need—maybe it’s daycare. Maybe they feel a need to take care of an ailing parent. In many schools, sports keeps students motivated. But there are many other extracurricular activities that could keep students involved. Tell students about what you have to offer—over and over in as many different languages as you have in the school. Let them follow their interests, and if your school can’t offer a class they want, find a way they can take it online or participate in a College in the School class. So as the school year comes to a close, celebrate those students who are succeeding, but take a moment to see what more you can do as a board and as a district to connect with those students who aren’t walking across the stage. We need EVERYONE to feel valued in our schools and know that someone cares about them.

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From a 5-Day Week to a 4-Day Week and Back A promise kept


The four-day week started as one of those “crazy ideas” you get at a conference. In this case, it was an MSBA conference in Duluth a few years back.

Patrick Tepoorten and Deb Henton 8        MSBA Journal

Four years ago, North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) remained right at the bottom in state funding. Eight attempts to pass an operating levy and reduce the opportunity gap had failed. Every budget season stakeholders were urging the school district to think creatively to keep dollars in the classroom. The school district had already slashed administration, was considering closing a building, joined Schools for Energy Efficiency, moved to tiered bus routes, increased walking distances; anything that could be done to save money.

It wasn’t enough. Cuts totaling in the millions of dollars were an annual event the district faced—beloved teachers laid off, activities no longer available, and increasing frustration with the state of affairs in the community. Added pressure was applied by neighboring school districts that did not have the same funding issues. With no relief in sight and students leaving the school district for better opportunities elsewhere, the four-day week didn’t sound so crazy anymore. In fact, it sounded like just the thing to weather the storm.

Four-day week background Four-day weeks are not a new idea. There are many districts that use a four-day week, both in Minnesota and across the nation. There are just as many reasons for a four-day week. Some districts in Minnesota use the extra day for professional development. Others, like North Branch Area, use the schedule to save money. Four-day weeks save primarily by eliminating a day of busing. There are also savings, though less significant, in keeping some buildings closed on the off day (energy and custodial), and less need for substitutes (staff can use Mondays for appointments). In all, North Branch Area Public Schools saved in excess of $250,000 a year in a fourday week. It has been said before that the savings were not significant enough to warrant such a drastic solution. To district administration though, having an additional $250,000 to budget was a gift.

Implementing a four-day week Before a school district can enjoy the benefits of a four-day week, it has to be approved by the Minnesota Department of Education. Seeking that approval starts with three public meetings. They would turn out to be the most well-attended meetings anyone could remember in a long time. Hundreds of people came to learn about the schedule and express concern. The meetings were often tense, with strong opinions on both sides of the issue. At one of those meetings, an attendee walked to the front of the room, took the microphone from Superintendent Henton, and started his own meeting. The refrain was familiar—“give us one more chance to pass a levy.” It is a statement the district heard every time something people valued was cut from the school district.

There was no more time for levies, unfortunately. With a community insisting the school district “live within its means” and “do more with less,” the message was anything but ambiguous. The school district got through the three public meetings and things were starting to settle down. That’s when the story went national.

Surviving the limelight What had been primarily a local issue was suddenly receiving coverage from The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Washington Post and others. There was no shortage of “experts” out there to tell the district that “what kids need is more school time…not less.” (That is a common misconception. Students in North Branch’s four-day week did not lose instructional time. In fact, in many cases students made small gains in instructional time.) It was very instructive listening to people with little to no experience with the schedule talk about it. Daycare costs would skyrocket for families. Crime, drug use and teen pregnancy would all rise. Students would receive less school. Students in a four-day week would be denied a five-day work ethic. There were more…many more. The frying pan had been hot, so it should not have come as a surprise that the fire was even hotter.

Riding it out to approval For weeks, maybe months, the prospect of a four-day week was all anyone was talking about. The idea had been proposed as a solution for North Branch Area from a variety of sources including staff, community members, and school board members. District administration takes great pride in following up with community ideas if feasible, and years of study showing savings and potential outcomes by Superintendent Henton and others revealed that a four-day week was, indeed, feasible. All that remained was school board approval. It was anything but a foregone conclusion. The passion in the community was at an unprecedented high. The four-day week is not one of those issues people feel wishywashy about. You either love the idea or you hate it. Either way, there was no shortage of input from the community pertaining to the four-day week. It had become so overwhelming that, as the Thursday evening school board meeting approached, at which time approval of a four-day week would be considered, school district administration had no idea what to expect. May/June 2014        9

From a 5-day week to a 4-day week and back

Sure enough, that night the school board found itself locked 2-2 on the decision with one vote remaining. (The district has a six-member school board but had a vacancy at the time of the vote.) Superintendent Henton and staff had spent a good part of the afternoon creating talking points around the decision “just in case.” They were needed.

Academically, were someone to look at North Branch Area achievement data while on a fourday week, they would find little to no evidence the schedule compromises learning. While the district was on the schedule, its elementary school became a Celebration School two years ago, and then a Reward School just this past year. In fact, there were many positive indicators in achievement data.

It took a good 10 minutes of talking about the four-day week and the advantages it would bring to North Branch, but Superintendent Henton managed to secure the tie-breaking vote in favor of a four-day week by highlighting additional teacher cuts necessary to maintain a five-day schedule. And, just like that, North Branch Area became the largest district in the state of Minnesota on a fourday week.

It is important to note the school district does not attribute achievement gains to the four-day week. There are far too many factors involved to make that claim; but the district could certainly lay claim to the idea that statements about falling achievement in a four-day week are false.

A long, strange trip At the end of this school year it will have been four years since the four-day week was implemented at NBAPS. Along the way there were many lessons to be learned—some good, some not so good. Crime, teen pregnancy, drug use: these things did not rise according to the data from the school district and law enforcement. Daycare costs did not skyrocket for everyone. Some did see increases in daycare costs, but just as many or more realized savings because the longer school day negated the need for before- and after-school child care. The longer days made for more teacher/student contact time that was appreciated by many students and teachers. The longer days were an issue for families, primarily at the younger grades. The district went to great pains during the four years to correct issues that arose around the schedule, but there isn’t much to be done about the length of the day without a time machine. That is not to suggest the students didn’t like the longer days. Administration polled students multiple times annually for three years, and kids at all grade levels were overwhelmingly supportive of the schedule. Teacher support consistently favored the four-day week, as did parents for the most part.

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The long kiss goodbye The writing on the wall was in the school district’s Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) application for another three years, submitted last year. The approval letter informed Superintendent Henton that four-day week districts would be given a one-year approval, but were being “strongly encouraged” to go back to five days. Our district could have reapplied, but for a couple of hurdles. The energy level for holding another three public meetings for the second year in a row was not high, and the “overwhelming” public support MDE wanted the school district to demonstrate was not there. Recent polls had indicated that the community supported the four-day week by a slim majority, not enough for the district to claim a community mandate. Another diminishing prospect was the will of district staff to keep “fighting the good fight.” It became almost impossible to keep up with the misinformation and even outlandish statements made about the four-day week. At one point, anti-four-day week elements appointed to a city Economic Development Authority wanted to study just how badly the four-day week affected growth in the community. Of course, building starts had already tanked prior to the implementation of a four-day week; the district was located in an area high in foreclosures, fuel was around $4 a gallon, community support for the district—as evidenced by eight failed levies—was low, taxes in Chisago County are very high, and surrounding areas had levies in place and opportunities our schools could not afford. Somehow though, the four-day week became the scapegoat for no growth.

The Legislature and school board make an easy decision Last year’s omnibus bill was a game-changer for our district. There was much in the way of new funding for the school district if the school board would approve the levy authority. The school board did indeed approve the levy authority and North Branch Area found itself in a position to avoid cutting budgets for the first time since 2003–04. It also put the district in a position to make good on the promise to reinstate a five-day week if funding improved.

A bizarro footnote “I know I wrote to you when the school district was considering a four-day week and I was not supportive. I would like you to know that the four-day week has worked out very well for my family and I would urge you to consider keeping it.” No, that is not a direct quote. It is an amalgam of many comments the school district received when Superintendent Henton recommended it return to five days. North Branch Area received many such messages from the community and staff. It seemed like everywhere one went there was someone with a new-found enthusiasm for the four-day week. Could a groundswell of support for the four-day week have changed the recommendation? Perhaps. However, proposing a schedule that looks just like school districts across the world is not something that gets people to an open mic. Proposing a schedule that does NOT look like the rest of the world; that gets people to an open mic, and some of them even physically take the mic! In short, people are generally concerned about radical departures from the norm. Returning to a five-day week is not radical.

Cities on a four-day week was going to put a big spotlight on school funding at the state level. Governor Dayton even mentioned four-day weeks while he was on the campaign trail. Bipartisanship was created as members of both political parties seemed to agree it was not a good solution. Staff at our district are experts at lobbying; it became a way of life to be lobbying the state to correct funding inequities starting in about 2004. Superintendent Henton addressed Schools for Equity in Education in 2009, likening North Branch to a hockey team down by three, short-handed, and with only a few minutes on the clock. In the last decade there have been events, rallies, trips to the Capitol, letters to governors, legislative action committees, calls to action, conference calls, etc. North Branch Area left no stone unturned in encouraging the state to address inequitable funding, with very little return. It took about three years of the four-day week for the state to pass the recent omnibus bill. Our district still remains among the lowest-funded districts in the state, but the new funding effectively wiped out the deficit for next year. The district is adding new staff and programs, as well as reinstating clubs and activities lost to previous cuts. District schools are being recognized by the state for achievement gains. Was the four-day week successful at North Branch Area? Indeed. Patrick Tepoorten is the community relations coordinator and Deb Henton is the superintendent for North Branch Area Public Schools. You can contact Patrick or Deb at and

In conclusion It is difficult to see the four-day week as anything but an unqualified success at our schools, especially looking back now. It was implemented well and the school district enjoyed achievement gains along the way. Staff, students, and families adjusted and everyone worked together to make it successful. Even those who didn’t support the decision did their part to make sure it was an effective solution. Older students loved having the extra day to put in additional work hours, do homework or just “chill.” The greatest success North Branch Area enjoyed with the four-day week, though, was outside the district. It became clear having such a large school district so near the Twin

Heather Schnoor

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Educational Adequacy: Bridging the gap between visionary outcomes and funding

Aaron Ruhland


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Educational adequacy is a topic that asks: What do we expect from our schools, at what level, for whom, and at what cost? I came to this topic through my dissertation work at the University of Minnesota, but I was driven by more pragmatic questions about whether policy mandates and funding stagnation were conspiring against our day-to-day work as educators. School districts in Minnesota are doing incredible, transformational work to educate students to higher standards and prepare them for highly competitive post-secondary and work environments. Yet, recent policy seems to emphasize fixing what is going wrong versus establishing a vision; on accountability mandates versus capacity-building efforts; and on narrowly defined outcomes that can be measured by standardized tests.

Brock Huhta

Educational adequacy research seeks to explain the relationships between financial resources, educational processes, and student outcomes. This research has been used in court cases challenging state funding systems across the United States, including Minnesota. In Skeen v. State of Minnesota (1993) the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the state finance system was providing sufficient funding to meet the “uniform, thorough, and efficient” standard in the Minnesota constitution. A more recent study commissioned by P. S. Minnesota determined that 97–99% of Minnesota school districts were not funded at adequate levels (Myers, et al., 2006). Much has changed in the past 20 years, including the processes used to determine funding adequacy. These now include professional judgment and evidence-based approaches along with statistically-based, economic analyses. Professional judgment panels are one method for including knowledgeable stakeholders in the process of establishing outcomes and processes. While these panels are comprised of local leaders, they do not sufficiently account for all local perspectives and they attempt to establish a standard for all school districts in a state.   The emphasis of litigation has also changed. Initial claims based upon equal protection clauses and equitable funding standards have now been replaced with adequacy arguments, which attempt to establish an absolute level where outcomes are deemed to be acceptable. Whether one applies a model that emphasizes economic efficiency or an evidence-based approach emphasizing effective programs, cost estimates can be dramatically different. This dilemma reflects the challenge in constitutional language to be both “thorough” and “efficient.”  

described that schools provide both public and private good, creating technical outputs including an educated citizenry and cultural benefits such as caring for children and conveying cultural values. We should question whether varied and visionary outcomes are sufficiently accounted for in policy making and resource determination, and whether incongruence between state and local policy making and implementation have contributed to a less effective and efficient system overall.

One of the reasons why these aspirational goals and the corresponding educational processes are not included in adequacy analyses is the difficulty in defining and measuring success.

I believe that “thorough” must also include comprehensive and visionary student outcomes. The research on educational adequacy is grounded in legal and economic theory, which tends to validate existing educational outcomes and processes. I found this problematic for a number of reasons. Most troubling was that it excluded local citizens and leaders, narrowed outcomes to standardized tests, and reinforced policies and processes without validating their effectiveness. As a whole, the existing adequacy cases and research lacked an ambitious vision for education and how we might fund that vision. Local school boards, educational leaders, and citizens are well-positioned to identify outcomes and processes that are important to their communities.  Mitchell & Mitchell (2003)

In an analysis of individual school district strategic plans, I found consistent examples of aspirational goals and strategies that were future-oriented and transformational beyond existing educational policy. Examples included allowing students to define and achieve their stated aspirations,  promoting cultural understandings of self and others to become involved members of a global community, and to understand and model the core ethical values that lead to good character.  What could be more important to the future of our society than self-aware, globally involved, and ethical citizens?   One of the reasons why these aspirational goals and the corresponding educational processes are not included in adequacy analyses is the difficulty in defining and measuring success.  Existing adequacy models use standardized test data because it is the most reliable and valid measure of a particular set of content knowledge and skills.  We should also recognize that complex skills such as critical thinking, writing, solving novel problems, using digital tools, and working collaboratively are rarely measured on those same tests.  When funding is linked to performance on those standardized tests, there is a perverse incentive to focus on the less complex skills.  What skills do our children need to be successful in any post-secondary experience and in life?  

A corresponding issue with measurement is how we set standards for success. Adequacy studies typically use state tests aligned with NCLB, which are built to measure grade level proficiency on math, reading, and science content standards.  Those tests are not as good at measuring growth and accurately reflecting student performance for those significantly below or above grade level, and of course, they do not include other academic subjects that many states require by statute.  

May/June 2014        13

Bridging the gap between visionary outcomes and funding

Educational Adequacy:

Additionally, analysis tends to focus on betweenschool variability, recognizing schools that achieve proficiency at the lowest cost, rather than withinschool variability that may be contributing to achievement gaps. This set of measurement issues creates a second set of perverse incentives to overemphasize moving more students over the proficiency bar at the expense of all students, closing the achievement gap, and/or addressing holistic and cross-content skill development. To succeed in contemporary society, our children will need to be proficient across content domains, be adaptable, behave ethically, work collaboratively, and embrace novelty.  A true measure of our professional and moral commitment to ameliorating achievement gaps will be how well all students perform in those domains. What can we do as board members, educational leaders and citizens?  We must continue to critically examine and challenge the effectiveness and efficiency of policy proposals, particularly those that mandate educational process.  According to research, state policy is often driven by policy insiders, reflecting dominant political ideologies, consistent with policy monopolies (such as standards-based accountability), developed by irrational processes.   It is not surprising that incongruence between state policies and local enactment leads to gaps, inefficiencies, and cynicism.  We need to identify where consensus and efficacy data converge and reinforce those policy proposals.

MASA website, which explains in more detail the history and processes used to determine educational adequacy. Although these processes are complex and varied, they ultimately are about how we define success and the resources necessary to attain it. These are topics that school board members and educational leaders address on a daily basis. Within or outside the context of educational adequacy, our ability to lead local and state consensus around visionary outcomes and processes is crucial to the future success of our students and our society. Aaron Ruhland is the Director of Learning and Accountability for Orono Schools. You can contact him at Sources: Minnevate! (2014) Mitchell, D. E. & Mitchell, R. E. (2003). The political economy of education policy: The case of class size reduction. Peabody Journal of Education, 79 (3). Myers, J., Silverstein, J., & Rose, D. (2006). Estimating the cost of an adequate education in Minnesota. Denver, CO: Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates, Inc.   Ruhland, A. (2013, October). Educational Adequacy: What do we expect from our schools, at what level, for whom, and at what cost? Richard Green Scholar Presentation. MASA Fall Conference, Duluth MN. Skeen v. State of Minnesota (1993)

We also need to engage our communities in a dialogue about visionary outcomes and processes, and develop commitment and trust regarding the imperative to educate all students to high levels. The Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) is currently engaged in a process called Minnevate! designed to facilitate those meaningful community conversations. The Minnevate! process involves regional meetings where community leaders dialogue about a vision for our students and our schools. Local leader and citizen participation in the Minnevate! sessions is critical to co-creating the vision and relationships needed to reach aspirational goals for our students. I believe that conversations about funding adequacy need to start with a full accounting of the contributions that schools make to society and the holistic outcomes we want for our students. The full paper and presentation I did for the fall MASA conference is available on the Morgan Olson

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Little Johnny

is now Little Jessica: Transgender Students and Restroom Accommodation Issues in Minnesota Schools Mason Putikka


As society changes, so does the law. As the law changes, school districts must also change or face potential liability. One emerging societal issue that has received a great deal of attention in recent years is transgender individuals’ right to access public facilities. This issue has the potential of having far-reaching impacts upon school districts, particularly with regard to transgender students’ use of restrooms and locker rooms in public schools.

Timothy A. Sullivan

The central focus in this area is the difference between an individual’s “sex” and “gender.” It is therefore important to understand the terminology associated with this area of the law. The term “sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define males and females. The term “gender,” on the other hand, refers to the socially-constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. For most people, their gender aligns with their sex. However, this is not the case with an individual who is “transgender.” The term “transgender” describes persons whose gender is different from that traditionally associated with their sex. A “transgender male” is an individual born female, but who identifies as a man. Similarly, a “transgender female” is an individual born male, but who identifies as a woman. A person can be transgender regardless of whether the individual has taken any steps to alter, change, or reassign his or her sex to match the identified gender.

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School districts face numerous issues in regard to transgender students. This is particularly true if the student is in the process of transitioning from one gender to another, or if the student transitioned during the summer and is beginning a new school year with a new gender identity. One of the more contentious issues in this context involves restrooms and locker rooms. More specifically, does a transgender student have the right to use the bathroom of choice? The Maine Supreme Court recently addressed this issue in a high-profile case involving 15-year-old transgender female student, “Susan Doe.” Doe v. Regional School Unit 26,—A.2d—, 2014 WL 325906 (Me., Jan. 30, 2014). Susan was born male, but began identifying as female during third grade. Her school adopted an educational plan to address her gender identity issues when she entered fifth grade, the point at which students in her school began using communal bathrooms separated by sex. The plan provided that Susan would use the girls’ bathroom. It also, however, designated a unisex bathroom for Susan to use in the event that her use of the girls’ room created any concerns. Two incidents occurred during Susan’s fifth-grade year that caused the school to terminate Susan’s use of the girls’ bathroom and require her to use the unisex, single stall staff bathroom instead. Those incidents involved a male student following Susan into the bathroom and claiming that he was entitled to use the girls’ bathroom as well. The male student claimed he was acting on instructions from “his grandfather,” who strongly opposed the school’s decision to allow Susan to use the girls’ room. Susan and her parents filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission, claiming that the district violated state antidiscrimination statutes by requiring Susan to use a unisex bathroom instead of the girls’ restroom. The Commission agreed, and Susan filed a lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination in education and in a place of public accommodation on the basis of her sexual orientation. The district court granted the school summary judgment, but the Maine Supreme Court reversed. The Maine Supreme Court held that the school’s decision to ban Susan from the girls’ bathroom, based upon complaints and disagreement by members of the public rather than a change in Susan’s gender status, constituted discrimination under Maine law. Susan’s family, her therapists, and the school itself had previously determined that Susan should be able to use the girls’ bathroom because she identified as a girl. The court held that Susan was treated differently from other students solely because of her status as a transgender girl, which constituted illegal discrimination. While this case is not binding in Minnesota, it is the most recent and highly publicized decision on this topic, and has been closely watched by advocacy groups. The Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics. Relevant to transgender

Ashley Savela

students, the MHRA defines the protected class of sexual orientation as including “having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one’s biological maleness or femaleness.” (M.S. 03, subd. 44.) Courts have interpreted this to mean that the antidiscrimination provisions of the MHRA apply to transgender individuals. Goins v. West Corp., 635 N.W.2d 717 (Minn. 2001); Cruzan v. Special Sch. Dist. No. 1, 294 F.3d 981 (8th Cir. 2002). Accordingly, it is clear that transgender students are afforded certain protections under the MHRA. What is far from clear is whether a Minnesota court would reach the same conclusion as the Maine Supreme Court, even under identical facts. While no Minnesota case has squarely addressed the issue of accommodating a transgender student’s choice of restroom in a public school, the MHRA and court decisions interpreting the MHRA in other contexts provide at least some indication that the opposite result would be reached under Minnesota law. The MHRA expressly provides an exception to the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex in the context of places of public accommodation, providing that such a prohibition “shall not apply to such facilities as restrooms, locker rooms, and other similar places.” Minn.

May/June 2014        17

Little Johnny

is now Little Jessica:

Stat. § 363A.24, subd. 1. This simply means that the Minnesota Legislature has determined that it is not unlawful sex discrimination for places of public accommodation to offer separate facilities for men and women, even though men and women are technically being treated differently solely on the basis of their sex. The Minnesota Supreme Court has judicially expanded this restroom-designation exception. In Goins v. West Corp., the Court held that, “where financially feasible, the traditional and acceptable practice in the employment setting is to provide restroom facilities that reflect the cultural preference for restroom designation based on biological gender.” 635 N.W.2d at 723. Goins involved a transgender female employee who wanted to use the women’s restroom at her place of employment. The employee filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation after her employer determined it would be more appropriate for her to use a single-occupancy restroom. The Court dismissed the case, holding that the MHRA “neither requires nor prohibits” restroom designation according to either sex or gender. Id. In other words, employers are free to designate bathroom use by either sex or gender without violating the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Goins provides support for a legal argument that the restroom-designation exception should also apply in the context of public educational institutions. However, it is important to remember that this is an emerging and unsettled area of the law. Numerous states are addressing these issues legislatively. In fact, there is legislation currently pending at the federal level which seeks to make transgender status a protected class under federal antidiscrimination statutes. While it is unlikely that any

18        MSBA Journal

federal legislation will pass in the near future, such a statute would likely supersede state law requirements and could alter the analysis set forth above. Until the courts or the legislature provide further guidance, the safest approach is to handle these issues carefully and consistently, paying close attention to the particular needs of the student requesting accommodation. Open communication with the student and the parents is crucial, as a school district cannot determine whether it is obligated to provide any particular accommodation until it knows what is being requested. A school district should ensure that it puts forth its best efforts to communicate, and responds to the concerns of the parent and student. To support the school district’s actions, it is crucial that the district also develop and maintain a complete record of issues raised, the district’s responses, and any other relevant actions or information. It may be helpful to follow up all conversations in writing. If any issue becomes contested, a full and complete record will help avoid baseless allegations or a “he said, she said” situation. Timothy A. Sullivan is an attorney at Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. To reach him, you can e-mail

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May/June 2014        19




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May/June 2014        21

Our Journey with 1:1 Pine Island upgrades technology, levels playing field for its students


Tammy Berg-Beniak, Taylor Bauman, Patrick Smith and Josh Westphal

Many districts are currently considering a 1:1 initiative. This isn’t a decision made in a day, it is a journey a district takes to decide on the right device that fits into the culture of their school. This journey will take many forms depending on the district. Last year Pine Island—a K–12 school in southeastern Minnesota—decided to begin this journey; in the end we beefed up our infrastructure, reallocated existing technology, and provided all 9–12 students with a Windows® 8 tablet. Here is our story.

In 2011, Pine Island realized the need to bring the school up to date in regard to its technology. The school infrastructure was out of date, there was no existing Wi-Fi, we still maintained our own e-mail server and we were very traditional in terms of computer labs and laptop carts. Understanding the times were changing, we looked to what other schools were doing to connect their students and level the playing field for their learners. At the time, there was a tablet solution many were implementing. A department in the high school got the ball rolling by using their textbook dollars to purchase two iPad® carts to pilot a device. This is where the journey began. At the end of the year, the pilot was evaluated and it was determined that it wasn’t the right device for us. Because of the pilot, we had a better idea of what we wanted to get out of our device—the pilot was an essential piece in our journey. The next step was to put a plan in place to determine what device we would be handing to our students at the start of the 2013–2014 school year. We began by forming a technology team that involved a variety

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Maya Lake

of stakeholders, not just administrators and teachers but parents, board members, community stakeholders and technology experts. We wanted to be as transparent to our public as possible and hear the voices of our community in our decision. We began by carefully crafting an overhaul of our infrastructure, an infrastructure that could be managed by two people, our Technology Director and his one tech. To begin, we updated network switches, installed a 10GbE fiber backbone and virtualized all of the file servers. Step 2 involved installing a new wireless network with 95 Meraki access points. This also included a new cloud-based Meraki security appliance and content filtering. The next stage involved extensive research and visits to other schools—not just 1:1 schools but BYOD (bring your own device) schools, and schools that used both Apple® and Microsoft® platforms. We were hoping that these visits would help the technology team focus on choosing a specific device that would meet the needs of our students and staff. Our first stop was to a BYOD school that had been 1:1 for a number of years; another was in their first year of a 1:1; yet another was using the Microsoft solution with great success. We were able to gather knowledge from each of these visits that helped to create an outline (see Figure 1, next page) of our district’s technology needs and wants. As all options were still on the table, we started ordering and testing many different devices and filling in and narrowing down our decision based on the capability of the different devices. This helped us focus less on the device, and more on how the device would meet our needs as a district. In the end we decided on a Windows 8 tablet, the Lenovo Tab2. As shown in Figure 1, this device is very capable of content production and had features such as the USB, keyboard, battery life and good price point. We reallocated our existing technology as well. We moved all iPad carts to the elementary school, gave all K–6 teachers an iPad, purchased laptop carts for our middle school and gave the above device to all 9–12 teachers and staff. This eliminated some of our computer labs, therefore giving us some much-needed space. Most importantly, it leveled the playing field for all of our students. Now that we had the devices, we had to train both students and staff to use them to their potential. It was important to have initial training, as well as ongoing training throughout the current year. We started out the year with student and staff traditional training sessions, focusing May/June 2014        23

Our Journey with 1:1

on things such as Windows 8 and basic device operation. This same training was given to our iPad users. One teacher was also put on special assignment to help with technology integration. Ongoing trainings for staff consisted of calendardetermined staff development days with a technology focus, and giving all staff a technology day to meet with tech integration to work on individual needs. Ongoing student trainings consisted of small group trainings and tips of the week on the school news. Technology support is available before, during and after school to help them with their individual needs. Because of the student benefits, district benefits, and community benefits, all schools should consider a 1:1 journey of their own. This initiative and leveling the playing field for all students can have a profound impact on the learner of today and prepare him/her for the future. At Pine Island, this new way of teaching is catching on. Even though the program is only one year old, it has been embraced by our district, teachers and students. We also understand the journey is not over…and probably never will be. Tammy Berg-Beniak is the superintendent of Pine Island School District; Taylor Bauman is the technology director at Pine Island School District; Patrick Smith is the technology integrationist at Pine Island School District; and Josh Westphal is a teacher at Pine Island High School. To comment on this article, you can reach Tammy at

Allie Haverinen

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Designing for the Possibilities May/June 2014        25

it’s more than just winning


Why do we play? For many in our sports culture there is only one answer to this question—we play to WIN. I am going to suggest that there is some value in this answer.

Jody Redman

• Do we play so a high school student can develop physical skills, score 1000 points, and get a college scholarship—YES. • Do we play so a team can win a conference title—YES. • Do we play so high school students can have the experience of getting to and winning a state championship—YES. But these reasons are not enough. The students participating in our programs need and deserve more. As important as our culture makes winning, scholarships and awards, these types of achievements don’t sustain a student’s life and they don’t develop their human potential. Why do we play? We play to give students MORE. When we are intentional, the MORE leads to the development of important life skills such as: • being responsible; • striving for excellence; • learning from mistakes and failure; • helping others succeed; • overcoming adversity; and • being a contributing member of a team. MORE—how do we intentionally provide students with more than physical development and become intentional about their growth as human beings? In the book InSideOut Coaching, Joe Ehrmann poses four questions that provide us with a pathway to becoming an intentional coach.

26        MSBA Journal

Why do I coach?

As coaches, our role in education-based athletics is to establish a clear coaching purpose. The purpose of the high school sports experience—Why We Play—is often only defined by the outcome. Many of us sit with our team at the beginning of the season to set goals. Most often these goals are only skill- and performance-based with absolutely no discussion or time spent on the students’ growth as human beings. They include reaching certain physical benchmarks within an aspect of a sport; winning a conference title; or getting to and ultimately winning a state championship. Goals are important because they give us direction—they give us a destination. They also can get in the way of our purpose. When we don’t clearly define and understand our purpose, our highest goal—winning—becomes our purpose and we will do anything to achieve it. It is our responsibility to understand the difference between a GOAL and a PURPOSE. In education-based athletics, the coach’s purpose is the human growth and development of every student on the team.

Brianna Nims

Why do I coach the way I do?

To understand why we coach the way we do, we have to look at our coaching philosophy. Are we transactional or transformational? Joe Ehrmann defines a transactional coach as one who uses players as a tool to meet personal needs for validation, status, and identity. He defines a transformational coach as a person who is other-centered, who uses his/her power and platform to nurture and transform players. Our coaching philosophy was born from our personal experiences with those who coached us and from those with whom we have coached. Good or bad, transformational or transactional, it is what we know. To understand why we coach the way we do, we must journey inside of ourselves and examine whom we are emulating and why. We must ask the question: Are we damaging our students or promoting their human growth and development? We must look at our own narrative and then clearly define our coaching purpose.

How does it feel to be coached by me?

Our role as coaches in education-based athletics is to understand how it feels to be coached by us. Do we provide a safe place for students to really show up as themselves—a place of belonging? Do our actions promote growth or limit it? One of the most important things a coach can do for students is to create a safe place where connection and belonging occurs, and mistakes and failure are welcomed and expected. Failure is a significant part of what we want students to experience in our program. We want students to fail, as that is the only way they will experience something new. When a student fails or makes a mistake and the coach screams, yells and belittles the student, he or she will respond by staying tucked safely inside the comfort zone and do only what is known, will not take risks, and will not put him or herself in a place where growth can occur. If we want students to stretch themselves, we must create a safe and trust-filled environment. May/June 2014        27

it’s more than just winning

Why We Play

Bailee Haman

How do I define success?

Our role as coaches in education-based athletics is to define success by more than the outcome on the scoreboard. We plan, we prepare, and we play to win; but it is not our purpose. We provide students with the opportunity to be challenged, to develop and to grow through their participation on a team. This involvement is the place where the potential for growth lives, but only if we are aware of our purpose and are intentional, and only if we define success by more than the outcome on the scoreboard.

Becoming Intentional

We have to define our purpose. We have to focus on more than surface level outcomes. We have to shine the light brightly on the real reasons WHY WE PLAY—to grow the students who participate. We have to become coaches who are intentionally developing the students’ potential and providing them with skills that will sustain them for a lifetime. Why We Play? We play to give students MORE. We play to develop the human potential of the students who participate. Begin your journey by reading InSideOut Coaching by Joe Ehrmann, and then join the WHY WE PLAY conversation on twitter@mshsl_ coaches. Jody Redman is an associate director for the Minnesota State High School League. You can reach her at

28        MSBA Journal



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MSBA’s Vendor Directory

MSBA’s Vendor Directory helps connect school districts with the products and services they need. The directory is always at your fingertips. You’ll find it printed in the back of every Journal magazine as well as on the MSBA Website at Most listings in the Web version of this directory include a link so you can head instantly to a Website or e-mail address. The directory includes everything you need to know to contact a company quickly—phone numbers, fax numbers and addresses— in an easy-to-read format. If you have a service or product you would like included in this directory, please contact Sue Munsterman at 507-934-2450 or Architects/Engineers/Facility Planners Architects Rego + Youngquist, inc. (Paul Youngquist) 7601 Wayzata Blvd., Ste. #200 St. Louis Park, MN 55426 952-544-8941, Fax 952-544-0585 Arvig 888-992-7844 ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers (Paul Erickson) 8501 Golden Valley Road, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55427 763-545-3731, Fax 763-525-3289 Clark Engineering Corporation (Douglas Fell) 621 Lilac Drive North Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-545-9196, Fax 763-541-0056 Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. (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 GLTArchitects (Evan Larson) 808 Courthouse Square St. Cloud, MN 56303 320-252-3740, Fax 320-255-0683 Hallberg Engineering, Inc. (Richard Lucio) 1750 Commerce Court White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-748-1100, Fax 651-748-9370

32        MSBA Journal

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

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

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

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

MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Nexus Solutions (Mike David) 11188 Zealand Avenue North Champlin, MN 55316 612-747-1003, Fax 763-201-8410 Paulsen Architects now part of I&S Group (Bryan Paulsen) 115 East Hickory Street, Suite 300 Mankato, MN 56001 507-387-6651, Fax 507-387-3581 TSP Architects and Engineers (Troy Miller) 18707 Old Excelsior Blvd. Minnetonka, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928 Wendel (Jim Wilson) 111 Washington Avenue North; Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55401 612-332-1401, Fax 612-332-1405 Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-316-3618, Fax 218-829-2517

Midwest Tennis & Track (Brian Launderville) 22 South Main Street Denison, IA 51442 712-263-3554, Fax 712-263-5110 MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Attorneys Booth & Lavorato LLC (Laura Tubbs Booth) 10520 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 200 Minnetonka, MN 55305 763-253-4155, Fax 763-253-4160 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Neil Simmons) 470 U.S. Bank Plaza, 200 S. 6th St. Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 Knutson, Flynn & Deans (Thomas S. Deans) 1155 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 10 Mendota Heights, MN 55120 651-222-2811, Fax 651-225-0600 Pemberton Law (Mike Rengel) 110 N. Mill Street Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950

Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. (Joseph J. Langel) 730 2nd Ave S., Ste. 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038 Construction Management & Consulting Services ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 Knutson Construction (Todd Vigil) 7515 Wayzata Boulevard Minneapolis, MN 55426 612-600-4464.M or 763-525-3085.D Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (John Huenink) 8625 Rendova Street NE Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 Metz Construction Management & Consulting, Inc. (Deb Metz) 20759 Eastway Road Richmond, MN 56368 612-236-8665 MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Stahl Construction (Josh Schultz) 5755 Wayzata Blvd. St. Louis Park, MN 55416 952-931-9300, Fax 952-931-9941 Educational Programs/Services Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind (Brad Harper) 615 Olof Hanson Drive Faribault, MN 55021 507-384-6602, Fax 507-332-5528 The Minnesota Service Cooperatives (Jeremy Kovash) 1001 East Mount Faith Avenue Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-739-3273, Fax 218-739-2459

Electrical Engineers/AV Systems Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-316-3618, Fax 218-829-2517 Energy Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. (Lyle C. Schumann) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N. Plymouth, MN 55447 763-585-5148, Fax 763-566-2208

MSBA-Sponsored PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Ave Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573; 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax 720-208-9852 PFM Asset Management, LLC MSDLAF+ (Donn Hanson) 45 South 7th Street, Suite 2800 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-371-3720, Fax 612-338-7264

Facilities Maintenance & Supplies Clark Engineering Corporation (Douglas Fell) 621 Lilac Drive North Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-545-9196, Fax 763-541-0056

Fire & Security Arvig 888-992-7844

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

Fitness Equipment 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment (Shon Hartman) 7585 Equitable Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-240-4512, Fax 952-544-5053

Eide Bailly LLP (Ross Manson) Fargo, ND; Minneapolis, Mankato, MN 855-220-8634, Fax 507-386-6268

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

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

Food Service Products & Services Taher, Inc. (Erin Hove) 5570 Smetana Dr. Minnetonka, MN 55343 952-345-2891, Fax 952-945-0444

MSBA-Sponsored MNTAAB (Minnesota Tax and Aid Anticipation Borrowing)Program MNTAAB (Patty Heminover, Springsted, Inc.) 800-236-3033 or 651-223-3058 Fax 651-268-5058

Health Insurance PreferredOne (Mike Thielen) 6105 Golden Hills Drive Golden Valley, MN 55416 763-847-3549, Fax 763-847-4010

MSBA-Sponsored P-Card (Procurement Card) Program P-Card Program 800-891-7910 or 314-878-5000 Fax 314-878-5333

Indoor Air Quality Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit (John Olson) P.O. Box 64975 St. Paul, MN 55164-0975 651-201-4614, Fax 651- 201-4606 schoolenvironments

MSBA-Sponsored (Jim Sheehan, Ann Thomas) Sheehan: 952-435-0990 Thomas: 952-435-0955

Insurance Bullis Insurance Agency - Assured Risk Protection (Marc Bullis) 407 East Lake Street #201 Wayzata, MN 55391 (952) 449-0089 Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust (MSBAIT) (Denise Drill, Gary Lee, John Sylvester, Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor) 1900 West Jefferson Avenue St. Peter, MN 56082-3015 800-324-4459, Fax 507-931-1515 Playgrounds MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Roofing Four Seasons Energy Efficient Roofing, Inc. (Darrell Schaapveld) 1410 Quant Ave. N. Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 651-433-2443, Fax 651-433-2834 North Central Insulation (Brett Geboy) PO Box 91 Eau Claire, WI 54702 715-210-4307, Fax 715-835-8830 Security/Communication Systems Arvig 888-992-7844 Software Systems PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Ave Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573; 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax 720-208-9852 Technology Arvig 888-992-7844

PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Ave Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573; 855-210-8232 X 130 Fax 720-208-9852 Technology Education PreciouStatus (Julie Gilbert Newrai) 275 Market Square, Suite 519 Minneapolis, MN 55405 888-959-8982 Transportation American Bus Sales, LLC (Eric Edwards) 12802 N. 103rd E. Ave. Collinsville, OK 74021 866-574-9970, Fax 918-205-5009 Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) 116 E. Oakwood Dr., PO Box 249 Monticello, MN 55362 800-866-3105, Fax 763-295-4992 Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (Shelly Jonas) 10606 Hemlock St. NW Annandale, MN 55302 320-274-8313, Fax 320-274-8027 National Bus Sales (Paul Thompson) 8649 S. Regency Dr. Tulsa, OK 74131 800-475-1439 North Central Bus & Equipment (Sandy Kiehm) 2629 Clearwater Road St. Cloud, MN 56301 320-257-1209, Fax 320-252-3561 Telin Transportation Group (Jamie Romfo) 14990 Industry Ave Becker, MN 55308 866-287-7278 or 763-262-3328, Fax 763-262-3332 Wireless Communications Arvig 888-992-7844

May/June 2014        33

Advertisers ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers.......................... Page 25 Booth & Lavorato LLC...................................................... Page 30 Hiller Commercial Floors................................................. Page 20 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered .......................................... Page 7 Knutson Construction....................................................... Page 29 Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A............................................ Page 20 Metz Construction Management & Consulting, Inc....... Page 15 Minnesota Department of Health – Indoor Air Unit..... Page 21 MSBAIT.............................................................................. Page 36 MSDLAF+............................................................................. Page 7 North Central Bus & Equipment...................................... Page 15 North Central Insulation................................................... Page 30 PreciouStatus...................................................................... Page 25 PreferredOne....................................................................... Page 2 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. ...................................... Page 31 Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, P.A................. Page 34 Scholastic............................................................................ Page 29 Telin Transportation Group.............................................. Page 19


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34        MSBA Journal



opportunities for come right to your board



as opposed to an individual selfassessment. We realize this will present some problems for you when you do the ratings. However, do the best you can to consider how the board operates as a whole and on the average. In other words, one isolated instance where your performance was not particularly brilliant should not justify a low rating. However, a pattern of behavior would merit a high, average, or low rating.

Q. We know that MSBA staff is available for calls and e-mails. But sometimes, we need someone to visit our district to work with the board as a whole. What can you offer?

Katie Klanderud, MSBA Board Development Director

We do offer three in-service opportunities for districts designed to help improve the quality of their school boards. Each is tailored to a district’s unique needs.

A. We do offer three in-service opportunities for districts designed to help improve the quality of their school boards. Each is tailored to a district’s unique needs. Each in-service is scheduled for 2–3 hours. We encourage interested districts to contact Katie Klanderud or Sandy Gundlach for further information and the cost for each in-service. 1. Developing Mutual Expectations Done in a retreat setting, this activity allows board members and administrators to develop ground rules or clear the air concerning the unwritten norms, behavior, responsibilities, etc., they have concerning how they work together as a team. This is an excellent activity for boards who are just beginning to work together, as in a pairing arrangement, or for boards who are undergoing some stress in their relationships. 2. Board Self-Evaluation Areas of Assessment:

• Vision (4 standards)

• Structure (7 standards)

• Accountability (6 standards)

• Advocacy (3 standards)

• Conduct & Ethics (6 standards)

3. Finding the Right Superintendent Need to know how to find a superintendent? MSBA has an in-district workshop to help you learn about the process for conducting a successful superintendent search. The workshop, titled “Hiring the Right Superintendent,” addresses the following topics:

• Whether to use a consultant

• How to work with a consultant

• Setting a time line

• Developing qualifications and selection criteria

• Involving stakeholders and the media

• Dealing with internal candidates

• Legal pitfalls

• Conducting a site visit, and

• Interviewing dos and don’ts

Simply call us at 1-800-324-4459 to schedule one of our in-services!

 he evaluation is intended to be an T evaluation of the effectiveness of your entire board taken as a whole,

May/June 2014        35




1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082-3015

Protection assurance when you need it. The Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust (MSBAIT) endorses companies with a proven record of service.

Property, Inland Marine, and Crime Workers’ Compensation School Leaders’ Legal Liability Automobile

Your MSBAIT contacts

Denise Drill ddrill@

Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor ataylor@

Gary Lee glee@

John Sylvester jsylvester@

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

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

MSBA Journal: May-June 2014  
MSBA Journal: May-June 2014  

The May-June 2014 MSBA Journal magazine