MINNESOTA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
Climate Change from the Inside Out Win Over Your Upset Constituents
Achieving Graduation for All Minnesota Youth
Volume 64, No. 3
Te 1st am Ann wo ual L To r ead k e Ja ge nu th , D rsh ar e i y r re p C 12 w o -1 e a 3, C m nf e 20 a 12 n w ren or ce k:
CONTENTS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 VOLUME 64, NUMBER 3
Calendar N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 1
Divisions 4 5 6 28 31
QUOTES OF NOTE MSBA Staff
STRAIGHT TALK Bob Meeks, MSBA Executive Director PRESIDENT’S COLUMN Kent Thiesse, MSBA President VENDOR DIRECTORY Sue Munsterman, MSBA Advertising ASK MSBA Bob Lowe, MSBA Director of Management Services
ACHIEVING GRADUATION FOR ALL MINNESOTA YOUTH: A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Cammy Lehr and Sally Wherry
CLIMATE CHANGE FROM THE INSIDE OUT Bruce Lombard
WIN OVER YOUR UPSET CONSTITUENTS Linda Johnson
MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH YOUR BOARD TEAM Steve Gilliland
2012 MSBA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE MSBA Staff
2–3 .........MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 6 .............Daylight Saving Time Ends 8 .............Election Day (no meetings or activities 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.) 11 ...........Veterans Day (no meetings) 13–19 .....American Education Week 16–17 .....MSBA Pre-Delegate Assembly Meetings 16 ...........Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Meeting 17–18 .....MASBO Fall Conference 19 ...........MSBA Pre-Delegate Assembly Meetings 24 ...........Thanksgiving Day (no meetings) 25 ...........Optional Holiday
DECEMBER 2011 2 .............MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 2–3 .........MSBA Delegate Assembly Meeting 6 .............MSBA New Board Member – Phase I Orientation, St. Peter 9 .............MSBA New Board Member – Phase I Orientation, St. Cloud 10 ...........MSBA Phase II Orientation, St. Cloud 25 ...........Christmas Day (no meetings) 26 ...........Christmas Day Observed (no school or meetings)
J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 1 .............New Year’s Day (no meetings) 2 .............New Year’s Day Observed (no school or meetings) 2 .............Terms Begin for Newly Elected Board Members 10 ...........MSBA New Board Member Orientation – Phase I, Minneapolis 11 ...........MSBA Phase II Orientation, Minneapolis 11 ...........Early Bird Workshops 11 ...........Charter School Training 11 ...........MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 12–13 .....MSBA Leadership Conference 13 ...........MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 16 ...........Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday Observed (no meetings)
The MSBA Journal thanks the students of East Central School District for sharing their art with us in this issue. COVER ART:
Mickenzy Nelson NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011
OFFICERS President: Kent Thiesse, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Past President: 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: Marilynn Forsberg, Spring Lake Park District 6: Kevin Donovan, Mahtomedi District 7: Roz Peterson, Lakeville Area District 8: Elona Street-Stewart, St. Paul District 9: Karen Kirschner, Mora District 10: Dana Laine, Frazee-Vergas District 11: Walter Hautala, Mesabi East District 12: Ann Long Voelkner, Bemidji Area District 13: Deb Pauly, Jordan STAFF Bob Meeks: Executive Director Barbara Lynn: Executive Assistant/Director of Board Operations John Sylvester: Deputy Executive Director Tiffany Rodning: Deputy Executive Director Greg Abbott: Director of Communications Denise Drill: Director of Financial/MSBAIT Services Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor: Associate Director of Management Services Sandy Gundlach: Director of School Board Services Donn Jenson: Director of Information and 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 Kelly Martell: Director of Technology Cathy Miller: Director of Legal and Policy Services Sue Munsterman: MSBA Advertising Kirk Schneidawind: Associate Director of Governmental Relations Mike Torkelson: Elections/Management Services Specialist 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.
Paying back the shift (or not)
Legislators trying to influence local levy referendums
“You balanced the budget on the backs of kids. The Minnesota Miracle is dead and buried. We are out here just trying to survive.”
“It is startling to see politicians intruding into local decisions in districts they do not represent. Those decisions historically have been, and should be, made by the taxpayers in those communities.”
Willmar Area Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard
Increased testing in schools “My concern is that we take a tremendous amount of teacher and administrator time to devote to testing and then trying to fix the system. It’s like trying to decide what kind of medicine to take based on your fingerprint. So much time is wasted testing.” Wabasso Superintendent Ted Suss
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius
Using early education to close the achievement gap “Of the strategies we’ve tried to do to close the achievement gap . . . I’ve seen the most hope from this program. It’s a stronger, firmer foundation for kids to be successful in school.” Washburn Elementary Principal Jon Millerhagen, Bloomington Public Schools
Changes in NCLB “I’d rather see a growth-model test, where you actually measure where a kid’s at at the beginning of the year, and measure where he’s at at the end of the year, to see if he’s attaining growth over the course of the year. I think that’s a truer measure of whether or not kids are actually learning.” Edgerton Public Schools Superintendent Roger Graff
WHEN YOU NEED HELP AS A BOARD MEMBER, MSBA IS JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY
Each year we welcome a new group of school board members into the Minnesota School Boards Association. They may have a long history of volunteering at schools or the local PTA, or have a desire to make schools the best they can be for their kids. They have made a commitment to making their school and board the best it can be. That’s why we make a commitment to help new board members in their new role.
Bob Meeks MSBA Executive Director
Your work as a school board member is important. Dysfunctional school boards can stall student achievement. Your students – and the future of this country – depend on your board working as a team with your superintendent to advance student achievement.
Every year we provide the state-mandated training required for board members. It’s part of our Phase Orientation sessions that cover finance, employment, school law and much more. We try to make it easy for you to attend by offering sessions in various parts of the state and as part of our showcase event: The Leadership Conference.
superintendent to advance student achievement. That’s why we offer trainings, answer your questions, and provide you with resources such as The Journal for informative articles, The Boardcaster to keep you up to date on board events, and the News Clipping Service to keep you connected with what others in the state are doing in education. Our only goal as an Association is to support, promote and enhance the work of public school boards and public education. We take this goal very seriously and encourage you, as a member, to take advantage of our services to help you learn the ropes in your new role as a school board member. We truly believe that this is YOUR MSBA, and if you ever need help, we’re just a phone call away.
MSBA is the only school boards association in the nation to offer a two-day Leadership Conference in January that is FREE of charge. You can hear speakers and Department of Education officials, get questions answered by our staff and attend some of more than 100 different workshops January 12–13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We want to make sure that you get off to a good start as a board member. That’s why learning the ropes about your role as a board member and getting to network with other board members is so important. It’s also why we make our staff available to help you Monday–Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Just call us at 1-800-3244459 if you ever have a question. We’ll get you an answer, and will work to help you succeed on your board. Your work as a school board member is important. Dysfunctional school boards can stall student achievement. Your students – and the future of this country – depend on your board working as a team with your
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PRESIDENT’S COLUMN I
GOT ELECTED TO THE SCHOOL BOARD . . . NOW WHAT?
Every January, public school districts across Minnesota welcome new school board members. Many times MSBA staff or veteran school board members are asked: “What advice do you have for newly elected school board members?”
Following are some tips for new school board members (and existing board members) to consider in becoming effective board members:
Kent Thiesse MSBA President
Most likely you ran for the school board because you care about kids and you want to improve the educational opportunities in your local school district. Don’t lose your passion for kids and education!
1. Be prepared for board meetings. Nothing beats preparation . . . do your homework! Read and review the board packets prior to the board meeting, including the agenda, addendums and support materials. If you have questions or need clarifications, contact the superintendent, or appropriate administrative staff, ahead of time. This usually saves time and is more efficient than raising all the questions at the board table. If there is a plan to amend a recommended motion, or to add an agenda item, alert the superintendent and board chair prior to the meeting, so they can be prepared. Leaders can handle adjustments and variations, but nobody likes to be publicly surprised or embarrassed.
2. Focus on the “big picture.” Many times newly elected school board members, as well as existing board members, have issues or programs in the local school district that are “near and dear” to their hearts. Sometimes it is easy to become so focused on those items that we lose our focus on the goals and strategic plan for the school district as a whole. Board members must be careful not to attempt to micromanage the day-today administrative and operational
activities within the school buildings, and need to keep the focus on the district strategies for curriculum, staffing, finance, facilities, etc. board members are often contacted by parents and citizens regarding concerns about programs and personnel in the school district. It is important to refer these individuals to the correct resource people within the school system to address their concerns, rather than to be a representative on their behalf regarding the concerns. 3. Respect information confidentiality. As school board members we need to realize that many times we may be exposed to personnel and other information that is to be treated as “confidential.” Board members need to be very sensitive and cautious regarding discussions of school personnel items and other sensitive school district issues in public settings, or with family members. In addition to potentially putting your family, other board members, or school officials in a difficult situation, you could be creating a legal challenge for your school district, by becoming too careless with confidential information. School board members should not be an information source for the “rumor mill” about sensitive issues in the local school district. The “bottom line” of being an effective local school board member is to enjoy yourself! Most likely you ran for the school board because you care about kids and you want to improve the education opportunities in your local school district. Don’t lose your passion for kids and education!
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Achieving Graduation for All Minnesota Youth: A Collaborative Effort
The intent of this journey is not just to raise Cammy Lehr graduation and Sally Wherry rates, but to engage children and youth in school and learning, thus ensuring they graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully meet the challenges life brings. Minnesota has the knowledge it needs to attain and sustain this goal; one that aims for all Minnesota students to graduate from high school ready for postsecondary school, college and careers. 8
A critical focus of the Dayton administration’s Seven-Point Plan for Achieving Excellence in Education is to close the achievement gap, which is reflected in our graduation rates. Using the Minnesota Four-Year graduation cohort rate, Minnesota’s (2009–2010) high school graduation rate was 75.9 percent (see http://education.state.mn.us/ReportCard2005/index.do). Although this is unacceptably low, it masks even more critical graduation rates for various student groups:
• American Indian • Hispanic • Black • Limited English Proficient • Special Education • Free or Reduced-Price Lunch
45.3% 49.2% 46.9% 49.2% 53.5% 56.1%
Clearly, Minnesota’s graduation rates reflect intolerable gaps, similar to trends highlighted in the achievement gap. Research suggests that there is not one best solution to addressing the dropout problem, but it is agreed that the bottom line in dropout prevention is to engage students in school and in learning. This begins with providing relevant and rigorous instruction that creates a cultural and contextual connection with students, building positive relationships and establishing a welcoming school climate. Additional supports to engage students and promote school completion identified by the
National Dropout Prevention Center include strategies such as mentoring, service learning, family engagement, schoolcommunity collaboration and tutoring (see http://ndpcweb.clemson.edu/effective-strategies).
General MDE Initiatives to Support Graduation The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has developed multiple strategies and key initiatives to close the achievement gap and ensure all Minnesota students are college- and career-ready. For example, to support the goal that all children enter kindergarten ready to learn as well as reading proficiently by third grade, MDE has recently developed a Comprehensive B-12 Literacy Plan. This initiative builds upon the college- and career-ready literacy expectations for 21st-century learners and works to ensure a seamless delivery system for B-12 literacy instruction. MDE is also developing an implementation plan for aligning and fully implementing the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards and the 2010 Minnesota Academic Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) K-12 (which include the Common Core State Standards), as well as the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards. Additionally, MDE is implementing several middle and high school-related initiatives, including a College Access Challenge Grant that provides training to counselors, the Career and Technical Education initiative that provides support and assistance to high school students, helping them gain academic and technical skills, and Systematic High School and Middle-Level School Redesign, a multi-year initiative developed to assist high school and middle-level school redesign by providing research-based information and resources.
State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All In January 2010, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) selected Minnesota as one of six states to receive $50,000 to plan and develop state dropout prevention and recovery policies through the State Strategies to Achieve Graduation for All initiative. This grant builds on much of the work that has already been started in Minnesota – including foundational work of the MDE’s Dropout Prevention, Retention and Graduation Initiative (2005-2010), Alternative Schools and Choice Options, College and Career Readiness Policy Institute, the Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS) and more. The grant from the NGA Center also allowed for the creation of a state leadership team, with representatives from education, community organizations, higher education, and government agencies. A five-year plan to address issues to improve the graduation rate and facilitate postsecondary success for all students in Minnesota was developed. Priorities include focusing on these actions:
• Closing the Gap: Collaborating to effectively increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates for all students, and especially for student groups with dropout rates greater than the state average. MDE sponsored a Graduation for All Conference earlier this year that highlighted this issue and featured several programs that are effectively supporting students at greater risk of not graduating. For example, the TORCH program in Northfield, Minnesota, specifically targets improving the graduation and postsecondary participation rates of Latino students, low-income students, and youth who would be first-generation college attendees. Since TORCH’s inception, the graduation rate for Latino students in Northfield has increased from 36 percent to nearly 90 percent, and many of these students have plans to attend postsecondary education institutions (http://northfieldtorch.org/about/). • Data-Driven Decision Making: Using data to provide effective supports to students who are disengaging from school and learning. MDE is exploring the development of a cohesive data system, utilizing consistent indicators across the state and local levels, to identify student progress toward graduation as well as identify students who may require additional supports to complete school successfully. The system would (a) provide a screening tool to identify students early on (e.g., beginning in middle school) who may be off-track for graduation from high school and college and career readiness; and (b) facilitate student success by using the data to match appropriate supports to student needs. These supports would include systemic responses as well as individual supports. • Recovery and Re-Engagement: Developing and implementing effective programs to identify and encourage youth who have already dropped out of school to reenter school and complete secondary NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011
Achieving Graduation for All Minnesota Youth: A Collaborative Effort
education. Minnesota Four-Year cohort data from 2009–2010 alone shows that 3,539 students dropped out of school, and nearly 4,000 students were categorized as status unknown. These are the youth who must be targeted through re-entry programs, to re-engage them in working toward school completion. Not only will re-engagement efforts increase their likelihood of graduating with a diploma, but research suggests it also will increase their chances for healthy development in relation to school, work, and community involvement. MDE staff are working to support projects that re-engage students and provide alternative options for completing school. Current efforts include a project driven by District 287, a consortium of 12 west metro school districts. District 287 has convened county commissioners and school superintendents to improve the county’s overall high school graduation rate. The focus is on implementing best practices that re-engage and provide successful experiences for students attending in Area Learning Centers. • Individualized Student Planning for the Future: Providing effective and accessible programming and resources for schools, families and students to facilitate high school completion and postsecondary success. Working with students through connecting interests, coursework and future plans, whether two- or four-year college or a career, can greatly increase student engagement, by enhancing their understanding of the relevance of their education. ACT’s College and Career Readiness System (EXPLORE and PLAN) funding was renewed during the 2011 legislative session allowing districts to be reimbursed for student exams. MDE offers technical assistance to administrators and counselors to utilize the ACT student data for academic and career planning. • Collaboration: Working Together: Embedding Minnesota’s goal of graduation for all and action steps into any child- or youth-focused program or initiative. MDE has worked with many representatives from education, community organizations, businesses, parent organizations and government agencies to build partnerships and facilitate communication across various stakeholders invested in addressing the problem of dropout. MDE has developed a listserv of active participants from summits, workshops, initiatives and forums that can be used to disseminate information, create a united message and work toward a common goal. A recent collaboration resulted in a grant awarded to Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. (TPT) administered by the National Center of Media Engagement (NCME). TPT will produce and disseminate multimedia content for youth by youth highlighting causes, ramifications, and solutions to prevent and re-engage youth who drop out.
MDE Dropout Prevention Resources In 2005, MDE received a four-year School Dropout Prevention grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop a comprehensive dropout prevention model for implementation at high school and middle school levels. Seven districts in Minnesota with dropout rates higher than the state average participated in the initiative, piloted materials and provided feedback. Multiple tools and resource materials were developed during the initial grant and more continue to be developed. Products include: • A resource page for youth with videos of youth messages www.expectmoreMNgrad.com • Video illustrating the process: Journey to High School Completion • Monograph on Youth Voices on Graduation and Dropout • Steering Committee Report – Recommendations for Dropout Prevention • Dropout Prevention PowerPoint summarizing key research on dropout prevention • Dropout Prevention Programming Guide – Process Templates and Checklists • Graduation Triangles: Comprehensive Systems of Support from each participating district To access these tools, go to the MDE Web site at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Academic_Excell ence/Implement_Effect_Practic/Dropout_Prevent_R eten_Grad_Init/index.html. The MDE Web site also includes links to other state and national organizations focused on dropout prevention.
Urgency of Addressing the Problem Research suggests each student who does not graduate with a diploma costs Minnesota approximately $260,000 in lost revenue over the course of his or her lifetime (The Alliance for Excellent Education, 2009). The consequences of systemic failure to ensure graduation for all of our youth is significant for society and the youth who leave school early. Young people who do not achieve this milestone are less likely to be employed, earn less over the course of their lifetime, are less likely to pursue postsecondary education and are less likely to be contributing members of their community. By working together and sharing a commitment that all Minnesota youth graduate from high school prepared for successful futures – we can make a difference. Cammy Lehr is Chair of the Minnesota Department of Education Dropout Prevention, Retention, and Graduation Initiative Grant Project.
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (BUT IT’S OK AFTER AGE 16)
DOES THE STATE SEND A CONTRADICTORY MESSAGE BY ALLOWING STUDENTS TO DROP OUT AT AGE 16?
For years the state and the federal government have pushed schools to “leave no child behind.” Countless state and local efforts have tirelessly worked to have 100 percent graduation. The latest state P-20 group is pushing for all students to be college-ready.
But in the midst of the efforts to have 100 percent of all students graduate sits a state law that allows kids to drop out of school at age 16.
Sound hypocritical? Sen. Chuck Wiger thinks so. He’s been the chief author on legislation to raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18. In 2008, it was passed by the Legislature as part of the education omnibus bill, only to be vetoed by the Governor because too many other provisions were in the bill that made the Governor uneasy.
So for years, Minnesota has been stuck in the minority of states with a compulsory age of 16, while spending thousands of dollars on programs to keep students in school.
For many years, MSBA delegates have pushed to raise the compulsory age to 18. So have many other organizations. Why the resistance? Sen. Gen Olson says it’s very clear: It’s not a good use of money, time and effort to force kids to stay in school who don’t want to be there. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (BUT IT’S OK AFTER AGE 16)
“If you’re trying to ball and chain people to be in school, it isn’t an asset for the others attempting to get their work done,” said Olson. She said there are charter schools, alternative learning centers, a GED program and many other ways for students to complete an education rather than mandate that they be in a school that is not meeting their needs. Wiger said those complaints have been refuted since that time, especially in an age where districts now have Alternative Learning Centers or can set up an online learning program for students who need to be at home during the day. And not all dropouts are struggling students, Wiger said. Some may simply be bored. And just as schools advanced to respond to the argument of potential dropouts being “disruptive” to classrooms, a new and more unbelievable argument started to surface: If the state mandated students stay in school until age 18, more money would have to go to K-12 education. “We factor in failure now when we do budget projections,” said Wiger. “Mandating age 18 would increase attendance by 5 percent, which would cost the state more money. That’s now the argument against raising the age.” That’s despite evidence that Wiger can point to about the long-term cost of allowing dropouts. According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, 75 percent of American state prison inmates are high school dropouts. Teen girls in the bottom 20 percent of reading and math are five times more likely to become pregnant and drop out (Alliance for Excellent Education). High school graduates, on average, earn $9,245 more per year than dropouts (Employment Policy Foundation). “It’s hypocritical,” Wiger said. “It is short-sighted for this state to send a signal to students that it’s OK to drop out at age 16. As a dropout, their life is at risk. The state will pay more in providing them social services or pay for their court and prison costs.” Olson said it is never OK to drop out. But the solution isn’t a mandate – it’s hard work and focus on students in early years of life so they are good readers by third grade. “We have to ask if a mandatory age 18 is the best investment of our money,” Olson said. “I want us to focus on getting kids to read by third grade. We’ve had excuses and poor instructional methods. If kids read by third grade, it reduces the numbers of students in special education, reduces the numbers of students with behavioral problems and reduces the chance kids drop out.”
Olson calls a mandatory age 18 a “false silver bullet.” She cites money in Title I and the state’s compensatory fund that is supposed to be used to get students up to par by third grade. “That money has brought us no return at all. That’s why we need to get back to a system of reading, handling vocabulary and comprehension. When it comes right down to it, reading takes practice – some drill and practice is needed in letter recognition, sounds and vocabulary to get it imbedded in students’ brains.” She says if schools get kids to reading proficiency by third grade, the dropout problem goes away. Greg Abbott is the communications director for the Minnesota School Boards Association. You can reach him at email@example.com.
A HISTORY OF COMPULSORY AGE 16 IN MINNESOTA 1885: Minnesota’s compulsory age set at 16. 1988: Legislature passes and Governor signs a bill raising the compulsory age to 18 in 2000. 1997: Legislature and Governor revoke the age 18 law before it goes into effect. 2008: Legislature approves compulsory age of 18; bill vetoed by Governor Pawlenty.
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NEW NSBA PROGRAM SAYS BETTER SURROUNDINGS FOR STUDENTS WILL BOOST ACHIEVEMENT
Sometimes the best advice to counteract bullying comes from students themselves. That’s what National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Anne Bryant took away from a conference with high-octane speakers and 250 education and policy leaders across the nation.
“I was struck by the fact that the 10 students in attendance made more sense than all the adults in the room combined,” Bryant said. “They said in many different ways: ‘We can help solve this. We know when bullying is occurring, we know who the bullies are . . . trust us to come up with solutions.’”
This revelation is the partial genesis of NSBA’s new “Students on Board” project. The purpose of Students on Board is to start a conversation between school board members and students to help improve school climate. NSBA’s Center for Public Education found evidence that “feeling welcomed and connected to school can have a huge impact on student achievement.” 14
Likewise, NSBA’s “The Key Work of School Boards” states: “Students cannot learn in chaos, fear or embarrassment.” If students don’t feel safe and at ease at school, they’ll likely lose focus on course work, skip classes or drop out altogether. There are a variety of factors that can affect school climate, among them school board policy, school safety, bullying and teacher disposition. Bryant said school boards have an essential part to play in improving school climate. “It occurred to me that school board members have a real opportunity, in their leadership roles, to listen to students and figure out whether they have the right policies in place according to what the students’ needs are,” Bryant said. “So we put together a very simple tool kit. It starts by asking the superintendent to invite 10 or 12 of the middle school and high school students for an informal conversation. The students can bring an adult if they want, but it must be off the record. It’s not going to be a school board meeting. We want students to tell us what’s going on in school.”
Bryant continued: “It’s as simple as ‘What is school like for you? Do you feel safe at school? Have you seen or heard about incidents where students were hurt, verbally or physically? Is this common or rare? Do you feel respected by teachers and staff? Do students respect each other at this school? If you were the school board, what would be the one thing you would do to improve the school?’”
CUBE studies “Our Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) has developed pretty telling data that bullying is more apparent than we’d like it to be, although crime in school has decreased,” Bryant said. “We’re getting a handle on this, but it’s still an uncomfortable place to be if you are a student who feels bullied.” CUBE has conducted extensive surveys on school climate for the past seven years. In 2007–2008, approximately 30,000 students nationwide were asked a series of questions discussing school climate. This survey was followed by two other surveys of teachers, administrators and parents. (See www.nsba.org/Board-Leadership/Bullying/School-Climate to view these studies.) “We asked students about such things as ‘Did teachers value them and respect them?’” Bryant said. “We surveyed enough students to be able to measure Hispanic, AfricanAmerican and white students. There were very few differences between girls and boys, but there were some differences between racial minorities and white students, and it was not great news.”
How Students on Board works There’s no “official” way to conduct a Students on Board program. Below are some guidelines and questions NSBA has produced for school officials to adapt to the needs of their district.
a school publication. NSBA officials are requesting all student reflections be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as well. • Encourage as many students as possible to get involved in Pearson Foundation’s Million Voices survey at www.millionvoice.org. Key questions • Before beginning, ask if it’s OK to take notes. Have one board member open the meeting by stating your purpose. Keep it short, just two or three minutes. If you’re introducing the meeting, you might cover: • Who you are. • Why this meeting is important. • Why it could lead to something else. • Why the meeting is important to you personally. (A personal story about the topic might break the ice.)
After that introduction, you might ask the students the following questions:
• Ask your superintendent to select students in whatever manner best suits your district. Ask for the group to be a true cross-section of your school’s culture, involvement and interests. • Invite six to 10 students so that everyone can easily participate in the conversation. • If possible, instead of the entire school board, have students meet with just two or three board members. • Have students invite another caring adult (e.g., a teacher, coach or adult they know) to come along with them. • Conduct the meeting in a comfortable location selected by the students. • Schedule the meeting to run 60 to 90 minutes. • Ask students to write up their reflections on the conversation afterward, and ask for at least one student to volunteer to share those reflections. They could be read at a board meeting or a student assembly, or published in
• Tell us who you are: name, grade and one interesting thing about yourself. • What is school like for you? • Do you feel safe at school? Have you seen or heard about incidents where students were hurt, verbally or physically? Is this common or rare? • Do you feel respected by teachers and staff? Can you give us some examples? Do students respect each other at this school? What are some examples? • If you were the school board, what would be the one thing you would do to improve the school? (Even if you haven’t taken notes for the rest of the meeting, ask for permission to do so at this point and during the final question.) • Ask for any closing comments or advice the students would like to give. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011
After the meeting Before you end the meeting, be sure to let the students know what actions you will take as a result of their information. If at all possible, send participants some tangible evidence of those actions in order to honor the trust theyâ€™ve shown by talking honestly with you. Think about extending the conversation through the Million Voices Survey (www.millionvoice.org) and other activities. Other helpful resources are available at www.nsba.org/studentsonboard.
Stemming the tide Bryant stressed that Students on Board isnâ€™t mandatory, only encouraged. â€œThe program is all voluntary,â€? she said. â€œIt undoes the benefit of having the conversation if it is anything but voluntary. And it undoes the benefit if anyone is required to submit follow-up. But we do invite followup from school board members to us, and school board members will invite follow-up from the students.â€? Bryant said school board members are responsible for the climates in their schools.
â€œWhen students feel unsafe, they tend to skip school or drop out,â€? she said. â€œHow can there be good student achievement when the students arenâ€™t there?â€? And again, school board members can get assistance on that responsibility by reaching out to their students. In the words of NSBA President and school board member Mary Broderick: â€œIf we are to stem the tide in student bullying, it will not be because of mandates from above, but rather because local school board members have drawn out studentsâ€™ voices, creating conditions for them to analyze root causes and generate solutions that work.â€? Bruce Lombard is the Associate Director of Communications at the Minnesota School Boards Association. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Links www.nsba.org/studentsonboard www.nsba.org/Board-Leadership/Bullying/SchoolClimate www.millionvoice.org
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Take T ake an inter interactive active tour at rrenlearn.com/lp/18945 enlearn.com/lp/18945
WIN OVER YOUR UPSET CONSTITUENTS “DEALING WITH ANGRY CUSTOMERS SOMETIMES REQUIRES THE SKILLS OF A DIPLOMAT, THE PATIENCE OF A SAINT, AND THE PROBLEMSOLVING ABILITY OF A DETECTIVE.” FROM “HOW TO HANDLE TOUGH CUSTOMERS” BY DARTNELL CORPORATION
In a perfect world, upset constituents would air their complaints in a straightforward, unemotional email which could be researched and resolved with one response. But in the real world, frustrated constituents will be the most likely to find you at the mall, or at the gym, or at a restaurant while you’re enjoying your anniversary dinner. As school board members, we don’t always get to choose when their concerns are raised, but we can greatly control how the complaint is addressed and resolved. Whether justified or not, an upset constituent typically wants something they currently are not getting. Interestingly, how the complaint is handled typically makes a bigger impact than the complaint itself. You have the power to make these interactions positive, productive
and memorable, or negative, maddening and . . . just as memorable. Good news! You don't have to feel powerless when confronted by an irate constituent. You can arm yourself with the insights, skills and confidence to defuse the situation, gain their trust and channel their energy into cooperative, constructive problem solving.
1. Compose Yourself When your constituents are at their worst, you need to be at your best. The first goal is to maintain your composure and set a positive tone for the conversation. As school board members, one of our toughest jobs is to listen with an open mind when
someone is yelling. When you hear, “You misled the taxpayers of this community with your latest poor mouth plea. I’m going to make sure you’re not re-elected!” it’s hard not to get angry and defensive. Anger is your worst enemy. Get angry, and you lose your self-control and ability to reason, and become powerless to help. In reality, an upset constituent is calling for help. Try to ignore the aggressive way the message is delivered and simply listen. Experts say people make assessments of others within the first four seconds of meeting. Facial expressions, body language and tone of voice broadcast your feelings and attitude. Your choice of words can be bruising or soothing. Take a moment and mentally set the tone you want for the conversation. If you are seen as closed-minded, inattentive or incompetent, you’ll become the enemy -- someone they need to go around, over or through to get what they want. On the other hand, you can become an ally when you appear approachable, concerned and competent. Communication with upset constituents is a lot like a court of law -- anything you say can, and probably will, be used against you. It’s critical to maintain your composure and send messages that calm rather than inflame. You can’t control the crazy things someone might say or do, but you can always control your response.
2. Calm Your Constituent Author Tom Huberty says, “An irate customer is telling you, ‘Pay attention to me because I RATE.’” Constituents need to feel heard and validated before they’re ready to listen to your solutions. Here’s how to get past the fury and get to the fixing: 1) Listen to the story Regardless of how trivial the issue seems, it is clearly important to your constituent and deserves your full attention. Tune in and listen carefully to the call for help. Arm yourself with this information: a) What happened? b) How do they feel about it? c) What do they need now? Best advice: keep your mind open and your mouth shut. By interrupting while they are telling their story, you’re sending one of two signals: either you don’t care about what they’re saying, or what you have to say is more important. Neither will help to defuse the situation. The goal in listening is not to agree or disagree – it’s simply to understand. 2) Show you understand Now that you’ve heard their story, you can begin creating rapport and building trust. Thank them for bringing their problem to your attention and giving you the opportunity to do something about it. Extend sincere apologies for their inconvenience, show empathy and verify that you understand. A few words, such as “As I understand it . . . ” and “I can see how . . . ,” go a long way to defuse constituents. 3) Demonstrate your commitment to help Make it clear that you’re an ally, not an enemy. Phrases like, “So, what do you expect me to do about it?” alienate your listener. “Let’s see what we can work out together” shows you are willing and able to help.
3. Focus on the Fix Now it’s time to channel their energy into constructive problem solving. Many times someone can get stuck repeating their horror stories. You need to consciously get them involved in creating win/win solutions. A fabulous solution to the wrong problem won’t help your constituents and can make matters worse. Phrase your questions in a way that encourages your constituents to talk openly about the situation. Avoid defensive statements such as, “That’s impossible! I’ve never heard of anything like that.” This belittles their concerns and makes you the enemy. A better way to get the facts is, “Would you please walk me through what happened step by step?” Once you have all the facts, work together to find a realistic solution that meets their needs. Use the TLC approach – Think Like a Constituent. Put yourself in your constituent’s shoes – what would you want to see happen? If what they’re asking for is the right course of action, great – do it! If not, try to offer acceptable alternatives and let them know what you can do for them. When “No” is the right answer, show that you understand, care and have tried your best for them – this will please most of the people, most of the time. Once you have agreed on a solution, outline what each person will do next. You certainly don’t want to risk any misunderstandings. Keep the promises you make, and don’t let an irate constituent bully you into making promises you can’t keep.
4. Follow Up Pat yourself on the back for what you did well. Even if the interaction didn’t go as well as you wanted, there is always something you did right – you made good eye contact, listened without interrupting or developed a creative solution. If the situation was genuinely a big deal, go the extra mile and call to see if it’s been corrected. Complaints provide valuable information -- when people are upset they tend to be brutally honest. Use this feedback to help identify opportunities for you and your school district to improve.
Congratulations, You’ve Won Over Your Upset Constituent! Everyone benefits when difficult situations are handled effectively. Constituents are satisfied and impressed with you and your school district. The school district creates loyalty by showing that they’re responsive and willing to go the extra mile. You enjoy the personal satisfaction of turning an irate constituent into a fan. And then you can get back to enjoying your anniversary dinner. Would you like to enhance your skills, learn new techniques, and gain confidence in handling upset constituents? Join Robbinsdale Board Member Linda Johnson as we have fun exploring Win Over Your Upset Constituents at the Leadership Conference Early Bird on January 11, 2012. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011
Making a difference with your board team
Purpose, passion and pride are great assets for educators 20
As a school board member, you must embody the positive ideas of your school districtâ€™s vision. You must constantly remind yourself of how important your role is and the impact it has in improving achievement for students. Purpose is the essential ingredient to motivation and the ultimate path to making a difference. It is easier said than done, but your role has to be a mission, a calling, a joy, something that you wouldnâ€™t trade for anything. It is crucial that you strive for greater
heights for your students and yourself. You are the students’ guide, the standard, the pacesetter. Not just for education, but for their education. You must be able to take the frustrations, the roadblocks, the disappointments and the endless stress, and still want to come to work each day determined to make a difference. The most desirable characteristic of a person working within a school system is an ability to view problems as opportunities and setbacks as temporary inconveniences. Passion is what allows you to overcome challenges and disregard people who try to extend their misfortunes and negative outlook to you. Love what you do and never forget why you do it. Don’t let anyone, or anything, take away your passion for making a difference! Without passion there is no connection. The emotional connections established among teachers, staff and the student is the basis of much of a student’s success in school. Passion is what should fuel you every day! When you think of the people who made the biggest difference in your life, the people you admire the most, you probably describe them with adjectives such as “caring,” “encouraging,” “inspirational” and “challenging.” It is interesting
that these same adjectives are always used to describe people who take pride in what they do. School board members must develop a consensus regarding their mission, vision, values and goals. Why you exist, what you hope to become, your behavior and the pride you take to create the kind of schools you hope to become are the essence of what defines you. Pride is about you and your expectations. It is about looking into each student’s eyes and being filled with a desire to help every student fulfill his or her potential. It is about realizing the importance of your role and taking pride in everything you do! Steve Gilliland will be a keynote speaker at MSBA’s 2012 Leadership Conference in January. Gilliland is one of the most in-demand and top-rated speakers in North America. More than 2 million people have heard him speak, with his audiences crossing more than 29 different industries. Steve has the distinction of having spoken in all 50 states and in 15 countries. In addition to his brilliant speaking career, Steve is an accomplished author. His book Enjoy The Ride™ has been on the publisher’s best-seller list for five consecutive years. He was named Author of the Year in 2010. Visit www.stevegilliland.com for more information.
Teamwork, Dreamwork: Together we Can
As school funding enters a new normal, it may be time for schools to look at their goals and dreams for the students coming in the doors. Decisions on how to work as a team to gain efficiency and follow through on those dreams are also a priority. MSBAâ€™s 91st Annual Leadership Conference is full of information and inspiration to help school leaders focus on how to improve as a team and to provide the best education your board can offer to students. Whether it is learning through workshops, gathering inspiration from the keynote speakers or finding new ideas from connecting with other board members around the state, you will come away with the knowledge and motivation to show that your district has the Teamwork and Dreamwork to succeed.
keynote Speakers 91st Annual Leadership Conference
earl rickman III,
Immediate Past President of the National School Boards Association Thursday, Jan. 12
Teamwork, Dreamwork: Together We Can Realizing in recent years that curriculum, technology, and accountability measures have drastically changed the job of school board members, Earl wants boards to create an environment on the local, state, and national levels that supports policies to provide the necessary resources to strengthen public education and put our children first.
Steve Gilliland Friday, Jan. 13
Making a Difference
January 12-13, 2012 Minneapolis Convention Center
The essentials of making a difference are Purpose, Passion and Pride. As a master storyteller, Steve Gilliland takes you on an eyeopening journey that will uncover your hidden abilities, unleash your inner energy and share the key to accomplishing your goals. You will hear a wealth of new ideas, workable tactics and useful tools that, when put into practice, will make a considerable impact in your professional and personal life. Long after Steveâ€™s final words, you will be buzzing with excitement and motivated to make a difference.
Pre-conference Training Sessions Phase I: New Board Member Orientation
YOUR ADVOCATE TO ENSURE PROJECT SUCCESS
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10 Help new board members hit the ground running with this session. Phase I covers the role of the school board, the role of the superintendent, and common scenarios facing new board members.
Phase II: Mandatory Training 8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 Presented by MSBA staff and state experts. Phase II includes the financial training school boards are required to have by state law. The session also covers core topics such as the budget, school financing, local levies, policies, significant laws affecting school boards, collective bargaining and personnel issues.
evening early Birds Win Over Your Upset Constituents Presenter: Linda Johnson, Director of Linda Johnson Seminars
Project Services Q Management Q Owner Representation QFacility Assessments (5 & 10 year plans) Q New Construction QAdditions & Remodels QMechanical Upgrades QEstimating QProject Consulting QHealth & Safety QEnergy Projects QContract Reviews
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 Minneapolis Convention Center Upset constituents can make or break your day and your school district’s reputation. Learn techniques to defuse your constituents’ anger, gain their trust and then channel their energy into cooperative, constructive problem solving. Whether you’re on the phone or in person, effectively communicating when emotions are running high enables both you and your constituent to walk away feeling good about the conversation.
MANAGEMENT PLANNING CONSULTING NEGOTIATIONS
Can They Really Wear That to School? Presenter: Cathy Miller, MSBA, Director of Policy and Legal Services; with a panel of judges from Johnson & Condon, P.A.; Kennedy & Graven, Chartered; Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A.; and Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 Minneapolis Convention Center Come to the first-of-its-kind MSBA style show! School board members will view examples of student fashion and tee-shirt messages representing a variety of themed categories. Those attending the session will be asked to answer the question, “Can students really wear that to school?” as they consider the school law and policy implications of difficult student attire decisions made by school administrators on a daily basis. This session is not for the faint of heart and may include some content not appropriate for children.
612.236.8665 www.metzmanagement.com Twin Cities Metro • Greater Minnesota NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011
our Distinguished Group of 2012 Conference exhibitors 4.0 School Services Transportation and grounds maintenance Aâ€™viands Food & Services Management Food service management A. T. Group, LLC Employee benefits Ameresco, Inc. Energy services American Bus Sales School buses Anderson-Johnson Associates, Inc. Landscape architecture, civil engineering, site planning Architects Rego + Youngquist, inc. Architectural planning, design and management of educational facilities Armstrong, Torseth, Skold & Rydeen, Inc. (ATS&R) Specialize in K-12 school planning, architecture, engineering, technology, interior design, and site development Association for Nonsmokers - Minnesota Information about new tobacco products and resources for updating school tobacco use policies ASVAB Career Exploration Program ASVAB Career Exploration Athletic Performance Solutions Athletic flooring Baseman Floors, Inc. Wood athletic flooring, synthetic flooring, refinishing wood flooring Battery Products, Inc. Batteries, flashlights, safety products BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota Health insurance Bond Architects Facility planning Bossardt Corporation Construction management services Bray Associates Architects, Inc. Architecture, engineering and interior design services 24
CEI Engineering Associates Civil engineering, athletic sport complex design, pavement management services
Educators Benefit Consultants Third-party administrator for 403(b) plan compliance, HRA and flex plan administration
Center for Efficient School Operations, The Consulting services to school districts in the areas of facilities, health and safety, and transportation
EdVisions The Hope Survey/EdVisions consulting
Central States Terrazzo Association Terrazzo flooring Chartwells School Dining Services Food service management Clark Engineering Corporation Professional engineering services Collaborative Design Group, Inc. Architectural, interior design, planning, structural engineering and historic preservation services
Ehlers Independent public financial advisory services Empirehouse, Inc. Energy-efficient windows, heavy-duty entrance doors, glass and metal railing systems, decorative glass, and egress consultation services Energy Services Group Facility improvement, ventilation upgrade and energy efficiency consulting and implementation services Fisher Tracks, Inc. All-weather track surfaces
Contegrity Group Incorporated Construction management services
FLR Sanders, Inc. Gymnasium/sport floors
Cosney Corporation Casework, seating
Four Seasons Energy Efficient Roofing, Inc. Energy-efficient roof installers
CTS Group Guaranteed energy-saving facility retrofits Dashir Management Services, Inc. Building and grounds management Design Tree Engineering Engineering DLR Group KKE Architecture, engineering, planning, interiors, commissioning and facility asset management evaluations Donlar Construction Company Construction management, general contracting and design/build services EAPC Architects Engineers Full-service architecture and engineering Education Minnesota ESI Financial Services Financial services and tax-qualified administration and compliance services
Gordon Bernard Company School calendars, handbooks, registration books, spiral-bound planners Haldeman-Homme, Inc./Anderson-Ladd Casework, bleachers, lockers, wood floors, science and tech. equip., computer and library furniture, athletic equip., auditorium chairs and seating Hallberg Engineering, Inc. Mechanical/electrical engineering, Schools for Energy Efficiency program HealthPartners Insurance Healthy Brains for Children Speaking, consultation, training Herc-U-Lift, Inc. Personnel lifts, scissor lifts, material handling equipment, forklifts Hiller Commercial Floors Commercial floor covering
Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. International school buses, parts, and service
INSPEC, INC. Architectural/engineering services
I & S Group Architecture; interior design; structural, mechanical, electrical, civil engineering; land surveying; natural resources mgt.; landscape architecture
Intereum Furnishings, architectural products and installation services
ICS Consulting, Inc. Planning and construction consulting services Innovative Modular Solutions Award-winning new and used modular classrooms and office space for sale or lease Innovative Office Solutions School supplies, equipment and furniture, janitorial supplies
Johnson Controls, Inc. Indoor air environments K2 Logistics Education Services Procurement expense reduction and savings Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc. Mechanical and electrical engineering, commissioning Kennedy & Graven, Chartered Legal services
Kiefer Specialty Flooring, Inc. Athletic flooring, artificial turf, tracks, weight rooms, gymnasiums, ice arenas Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd. Full architectural services, including pre-design, programming, cost estimating, ADA evaluations, interiors, and feasibility studies Kraus-Anderson Construction Company Professional construction management services, referendum assistance, and facilities planning and management services Lance Service, Inc. Casework LHB Architecture and engineering
Conference exhibitors Continued from page 27
Minnesota Service Cooperatives Minnesota Service Cooperatives
LifeSpan of Minnesota, Inc. Childrenâ€™s mental health services
Minnesota State High School League MSHSL/MSBA Olympics
LifeTrack Services, Inc. Graduate follow-up surveys, middle school surveys, and athletic satisfaction surveys
Minnesota State Industries ADA interior signage and exterior signage
PFM Asset Management LLC MSDLAF+ MSDLAF+/Cash and investment services
Lightspeed Technologies, Inc. Classroom audio technology
Minnesota State Retirement System Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP) and MN State Deferred Comp Plan (MNDCP)
Piper Jaffray & Co. School district cash flow program
Lunchtime Solutions, Inc. Food service management
MLA Architects, Inc. Architectural/educational planning
Marsden Services, LLC Janitorial and building maintenance services, window washing, HVAC and security
MN Ag Education Leadership Council/MN Ag in the Classroom Education materials and grant information
McKinstry Consulting, construction, energy and facility services
MSBA Playground Compliance Program Playground equipment and surfacing
Metz Construction Management Construction management, project consulting, owner's representation, claims resolution and facility assessments (5 & 10 year plans) Midwest Tennis & Track Co. Running track and tennis court surfacing Minnesota Association of School Business Officials Providing education, training and services to staff that serve in school business management Minnesota Central School Bus Contract student transportation services Minnesota Department of Education Division of Program Finance Minnesota Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Dynamic youth leadership program materials for schools Minnesota National Guard - State Youth Coordinator Information on the impact of deployment on military youth and how schools can support youth Minnesota School Bus Operators Association School bus contracting Minnesota School Nutrition Association Marketing materials
Musco Sports Lighting Sports field lighting Musser Environmental Consulting, Inc. Health and safety consulting National Insurance Services Group insurance benefits - MSBAIT Life/LTD plans National School Boards Association Align your school district with the National Affiliate Program, your voice in Washington, D.C., and resources for professional development North Central Bus & Equipment School buses North Central Insulation Providing the Sprayed Foam Roofing System for over 33 years, benefitting owners with lower maintenance and energy costs Northland Securities, Inc. Financial advising and bond underwriting Otter Tail Power Co. Utility Palmer Bus Service Student transportation Paulsen Architects Architecture, interior design, engineering, landscape architecture & planning, and sustainable design Peoples Electric Company Electrical contractor
Perkins + Will District-wide master planning, educational planning, architecture, interior design, sustainability
PMA Financial Network, Inc. Financial investment and advisory services PreferredOne Health benefits administration Public Financial Management, Inc. Financial advisory services R. A. Morton and Associates Construction management and prereferendum services Riverport Insurance Company Insurance Roof Spec, Inc. Roof consulting and engineering services Schmitty and Sons School Bus, Inc. Charter/school bus services Scholastic Equipment Company, LLC School furniture, equipment and flooring School Specialty School supplies, furniture and equipment Seating & Athletic Facility Enterprises, LLC Indoor and outdoor seating (new and renovations); e.g., telescopic bleachers, grandstands, portable bleachers SGN/Wendel Architects Architectural school planning and design Siemens Security, fire, automation, mass notification, energy management Skyward, Inc. Skyward student, budgetary and human resources administrative software exclusively for K-12 school districtsâ€”public and private Sports Technology Sports field lighting
Springsted Incorporated Provides independent financial advisory and consulting services to school districts
Tectum, Inc. Acoustical wall and ceiling panels, structural and acoustical roof decks
Staples Advantage Scholastic furniture, supplies and facilities
Telin Transportation Group Bus sales
Student Assurance Services, Inc. Student accident and catastrophic insurance
Tierney Brothers, Inc. Projectors, audio/visual - SMART Boards, HP printers and Safari Montage
Sturdisteel Grandstands, bleachers, aluminum seating Taher, Inc. School lunch management and consulting services Teachers On Call Customized, streamlined substitute staffing service for Pre K-12 public & private schools, featuring TOC 24/7, automated technology, powered by Aesop
TIES Education technology TSP, Inc. Educational planning, architectural and engineering services Tutor Doctor Tutoring services, 1-1, in-home USAgain, LLC School fundraising
Virco, Inc. School furniture and equipment VS - America, Inc. Classroom furniture/dynamic, flexible solutions W. L. Hall Company Windows, skylights, lockers, fire doors, bleachers and auditorium seating Wells Concrete Products Architectural and structural precast/prestressed concrete building components Widseth Smith Nolting Architecture, engineering, land surveying, and environmental services, with seven offices serving school districts throughout Minnesota Winkelman Building Corporation Construction management services Wold Architects and Engineers Architectural and engineering services
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 Web site at www.mnmsba.org. Most listings in the Web version of this directory include a link so you can head instantly to a Web site or e-mail address. The directory includes everything you need to know to contact a company quickly—phone numbers, fax numbers and addresses—in an easy-to-read format. If you have a service or product you would like included in this directory, please contact Sue Munsterman at 507-934-2450 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Actuary Hildi Incorporated (Jill Urdahl) 11800 Singletree Lane, Suite 305 Minneapolis, MN 55344 952-934--5554, Fax 952-934-3027 www.hildiinc.com email@example.com Appraisal/Capital Assets Hirons & Associates, Inc. (Mark T. Hessel) 225 E. Fairmount Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53217 414-906-1921, Fax 414-906-1932 www.hironsassociates.com firstname.lastname@example.org Architects/Engineers/Facility Planners Architects Rego + Youngquist inc. (Paul Youngquist) 7601 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 200 St. Louis Park, MN 55426 952-544-8941, Fax 952-544-0585 www.aryarch.com email@example.com ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers (Paul W. Erickson) 8501 Golden Valley Rd., Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55427 763-545-3731 Fax 763-525-3289 www.atsr.com firstname.lastname@example.org Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. (Judith Hoskens) 201 Main Street SE, Suite 325 Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-817-8839, Fax 612-379-4400 www.cuningham.com email@example.com DLR Group KKE (Jennifer Anderson-Tuttle) 520 Nicollet Mall, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-977-3500, Fax 612-977-3600 www.dlrgroup.com firstname.lastname@example.org GLTArchitects (Evan Larson) 808 Courthouse Square St. Cloud, MN 56303 320-252-3740, Fax 320-255-0683 www.gltarchitects.com email@example.com
Hallberg Engineering, Inc. (Rick Lucio) 1750 Commerce Court White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-748-4386, Fax 651-748-9370 www.hallbergengineering.com firstname.lastname@example.org ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 www.ics-consult.com email@example.com INSPEC, INC. (Fred King) 5801 Duluth St. Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-546-3434, Fax 763-546-8669 www.inspec.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd. (Edward J. Kodet, Jr.) 15 Groveland Terrace Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-377-2737, Fax 612-377-1331 www.kodet.com email@example.com MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com firstname.lastname@example.org Paulsen Architects (Bryan Paulsen) 209 S. Second Street, Suite 201 Mankato, MN 56001 507-388-9811, Fax 507-388-1751 www.paulsenarchitects.com email@example.com Perkins + Will (Steve Miller) 84 10th Street S., Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-851-5094, Fax 612-851-5001 www.perkinswill.com firstname.lastname@example.org TSP, Inc. (Rick Wessling) 18707 Old Excelsior Blvd. Minneapolis, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928 www.teamtsp.com email@example.com
Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-829-5117, Fax 218-829-2517 www.wsn.us.com firstname.lastname@example.org Wold Architects and Engineers (Scott McQueen) 305 St. Peter Street St. Paul, MN 55102 651-227-7773, Fax 651-223-5646 www.woldae.com email@example.com Athletic Sports Floors/Surfacing Fisher Tracks, Inc. (Jordan Fisher) 1192 235th Street Boone, IA 50036 515-432-3191, Fax 515-432-3193 www.fishertracks.com firstname.lastname@example.org MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com email@example.com Attorneys Kennedy & Graven Chartered (Neil Simmons) 200 South Sixth Street, Suite 470 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 www.kennedy-graven.com firstname.lastname@example.org Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A. (Thomas S. Deans) 1155 Centre Pointe Dr., Suite 10 Mendota Heights, MN 55120 651-222-2811, Fax 651-225-0600 www.kfdmn.com email@example.com Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kershner, PLLP (Mike Rengel) 110 N. Mill Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950 www.pemlaw.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. (Jay T. Squires) 730 2nd Ave. S., Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038 www.ratwiklaw.com email@example.com Construction Mgmt & Consulting Bossardt Corporation (Greg Franzen) 8300 Norman Center Drive, Suite 770 Minneapolis, MN 55437 952-831-5408 or 800-290-0119 Fax 952-831-1268 www.bossardt.com firstname.lastname@example.org ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 www.ics-consult.com email@example.com Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. (John Huenink) 8625 Rendova Street NE Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 www.krausanderson.com firstname.lastname@example.org Metz Construction Management, Inc. (Deb Metz) 20759 Eastway Road Richmond, MN 56368 612-236-8665 www.metzmanagement.com email@example.com MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com firstname.lastname@example.org Educational Programs/Services Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind (Linda Mitchell) 615 Olof Hanson Dr. Faribault, MN 55021 800-657-3996/507-384-6602 Fax 507-332-5528 www.msa.state.mn.us email@example.com Renaissance Learning 2911 Peach Street Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 800-338-4204 www.renlearn.com firstname.lastname@example.org Energy Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. (Brent Jones) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N., Suite T Plymouth, MN 55447 763-585-5039, Fax 763-566-2208 www.johnsoncontrols.com email@example.com
Financial Management MSBA-Sponsored Administration and Compliance Service (A&C Service) Administration and Compliance Service (Paige McNeal, Educators Benefit Consultants, LLC) 888-507-6053/763-552-6053 Fax 763-552-6055 www.ebcsolutions.com firstname.lastname@example.org MSBA-Sponsored Lease Purchase Program Tax Exempt Lease Purchase Program (Mary Webster, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC) 800-835-2265, ext. 73110 612-667-3110 Fax 612-316-3309 www.mnmsba.org email@example.com MSBA-Sponsored MNTAAB (MN Tax and Aid Anticipation Borrowing Program) MNTAAB (DeeDee Kahring, Springsted, Inc.) 800-236-3033/651-223-3099 Fax 651-223-3002 www.springsted.com firstname.lastname@example.org MSBA-Sponsored P-Card (Procurement Card) Program P-Card Program 800-891-7910/314-878-5000 Fax 314-878-5333 www.powercardpfm.com MSBA-Sponsored SchoolFinances.com SchoolFinances.com (Jim Sheehan, Ann Thomas) Sheehan: 952-435-0990 Thomas: 952-435-0955 www.schoolfinances.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax: 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com email@example.com PFM Asset Management, LLC MSDLAF+ (Donn Hanson) 45 South 7th Street, Suite 2800 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-371-3720, Fax 612-338-7264 www.msdlaf.org firstname.lastname@example.org Floor Coverings Hiller Commercial Floors (Dave Bahr) 2909 S. Broadway Rochester, MN 55904 507-254-6858, Fax 507-288-8877 www.hillercarpet.com email@example.com
Food Service Products & Services Lunchtime Solutions, Inc. (Deni Ferlick) 717 N. Derby Lane North Sioux City, SD 57049 712-251-0427, Fax 605-235-0942 www.lunchtimesolutions.com firstname.lastname@example.org Insurance Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust (MSBAIT) (Denise Drill, Gary Lee, John Sylvester, Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor) 1900 West Jefferson Avenue St. Peter, MN 56082-3015 800-324-4459, Fax 507-931-1515 www.mnmsba.org www.msbait.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Playgrounds MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 www.nssi-usa.com email@example.com Roofing Four Seasons Energy Efficient Roofing, Inc. (Darrell Schaapveld) 1410 Quant Ave. N. Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 651-433-2443, Fax 651-433-2834 www.fseer.com firstname.lastname@example.org School Supplies/Furniture CTB (Kevin Stachowski) 26327 Fallbrook Ave. Wyoming, MN 55092 651-462-3550, Fax 651-462-8806 www.ctbcorp.com email@example.com Software Systems PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com firstname.lastname@example.org
eco-friendly riendly school fundraisers
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Sustainability Consulting Paulsen Architects (Bryan Paulsen) 209 S. Second Street, Suite 201 Mankato, MN 56001 507-388-9811, Fax 507-388-1751 www.paulsenarchitects.com email@example.com Technology PaySchools (Patrick Ricci) 6000 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312 281-545-1957, Fax 515-243-4992 www.payschools.com firstname.lastname@example.org Transportation American Bus Sales, LLC (Jason Lustig) 12802 N. 103rd East Avenue Collinsville, OK 74021 866-574-9970, Fax 918-274-9970 www.AmericanBusSales.net email@example.com
Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) 116 East Oakwood Drive PO Box 249 Monticello, MN 55362 763-295-5119, Fax 763-295-4992 www.hoglundbus.com firstname.lastname@example.org Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (Shelly Jonas) 10606 Hemlock Street NW Annandale, MN 55302 320-274-8313, Fax 320-274-8027 www.msboa.com email@example.com North Central Bus & Equipment (Sandy Kiehm) 2629 Clearwater Road South St. Cloud, MN 56301 320-257-1209, Fax 320-252-3561 www.northcentralinc.com firstname.lastname@example.org Telin Transportation Group (Jamie Romfo) 14990 Industry Avenue Becker, MN 55308 866-287-7278, 763-262-3328 Fax 763-262-3332 www.telingroup.com email@example.com
Advertisers ATS&R...........................................................................Page 25 Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. .........................Page 7 Hoglund Bus & Truck Co..............................................Page 5
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company....................Page 27
2009 & 2010 Best Print Publication
Kennedy & Graven, Chartered ...................................Page 17 Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A. .......................................Page 2 Metz Construction Management, Inc.........................Page 23 MSBA PEERNet............................................................Page 32
by the Minnesota School Public Relations Association
MSBAIT...........................................................................Page 2 MSDLAF+ .....................................................................Page 30 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. .................................Page 13 Rennaissance Learning ...............................................Page 16 Telin Transportation Group ..........................................Page 7
Cited for “Comprehensive Coverage” “Impressive Student Artwork”
USAgain, LLC...............................................................Page 29 Widseth Smith Nolting ................................................Page 21
Brought to you by YOUR MSBA
Wold Architects & Engineers ......................................Page 17
Since 1984, the MSDLAF+ Fund has offered competitive investment options to Minnesota schools and related entities. As you proceed through the coming months remember that MSDLAF+ provides:
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This information does not represent an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any fund or other security. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in any of the Fund's series. This and other information about the Fund's series is available in the Fund's current Information Statement, which should be read carefully before investing. A copy of the Fund's Information Statement may be obtained by calling 1-888-4-MSDLAF or is available on the Fund's website at www.msdlaf.org. While the MSDLAF+ Liquid Class and MAX Class seek to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share and the MSDLAF+ TERM series seeks to achieve a net asset value of $1.00 per share at its stated maturity, it is possible to lose money investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Shares of the Fund are distributed by PFM Fund Distributors, Inc., member Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (www.finra.org). PFM Fund Distributors, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PFM Asset Management LLC. Member SIPC.
MEETINGS, COMMUNITY ED, AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST Notwithstanding M.S. 120A.40 or 120A.41 or other law, a school board officer not receiving majority approval to be initially employed or to continue to be employed at a Minnesota Statute (M.S.) 179A.08, Subd. 2. meeting at which all board members are requires a representative or committee of the present must be immediately terminated. public employer to meet with selected That officer has no further rights to representatives from the professional staff at employment while serving as a school board least once every four months, or three times member in the district. per year. When the public employer is represented at meet and confer meetings by Does my district need to employ a licensed the school board, quorum of the school community education director? board, committee of the school board, or Legislation passed during the first Special quorum of a committee of the school board, Session of the 2011 Legislative Session, Chapter the meeting must be a public meeting. The 11, Article 8, now makes it possible for a school public employer shall provide the facilities district with fewer than 6,000 residents, instead and set the time for these conferences to of 2,000 residents, to identify a person with a take place. valid Minnesota superintendent license to serve In accordance with M.S. 179A.07, Subd. 3., as the school districtâ€™s community education meet and confer conferences are intended to director. The change in law also deleted the provide professional employees and public authority for a person with a Minnesota employers with an opportunity to discuss principalâ€™s license to serve as community policies and other matters relating to education director, but did grandfather in employment which are not terms and principals serving as community education conditions of employment. School districts directors as of June 1, 2011. are cautioned not to allow meet and confer Two of my board members have spouses who sessions to become meet and negotiate are members of the teachers bargaining unit. sessions by allowing employees the Can those two board members vote on the opportunity to address terms and conditions ratification of the new teachers Agreement? of employment. M.S. 471.88, Subd. 21. provides that a local Can a school board member be employed by school board may contract with a class of his/her own school district? school district employees such as teachers In accordance with M.S. 123B.195, a school where the spouse of a school board member, board member may be newly employed or who is receiving no special financial or other may continue to be employed by a school benefit that is substantially different from the district as an employee only if there is a benefits being received by the other reasonable expectation at the beginning of members of the class, is a member of the the year or at the time the contract is class of employees contracting with the entered into or extended that the amount school board. A school board that invokes earned by that officer will not exceed $8,000 this exception to the conflict of interest law in a fiscal year. Contracts that are entered must have a majority of disinterested school into or extended that call for a salary of board members vote to approve the contract, more than $8,000 in a fiscal year violate this direct the school board member spouse to law even if the school board member intends abstain from voting to approve the contract, to resign from his/her position on the and publicly set out the essential facts of the school board or as an employee prior to contracts during the meeting where the exceeding the $8,000 maximum salary. contract is approved.
How often must school districts hold meet and confer sessions with professional employees?
By Bob Lowe MSBA Director of Managment Services
Meet and confer conferences are intended to provide professional employees and public employers with an opportunity to discuss policies and other matters relating to employment which are not terms and conditions of employment.
NON-PROFIT ORGN. U.S. POSTAGE
PAID PERMIT NO. 47 MANKATO, MN 56001
1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082-3015 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
MSBAâ€™s PEERNet is your best bet â–ˇ What is PEERNet? â— PEERNetJTUIFPublic Education Employee Relations Network
â–ˇ Why should my school district use PEERNet? â— PEERNetJTBQPXFSGVMPOMJOFUPPMUIBUQSPWJEFTBDPNQSFIFOTJWFEBUBCBTFDPOUBJOJOHNBOBHFNFOUJOGPSNBUJPOJOUIF BSFBTPGadministrative and licensed salaries and related information master agreements BOEgrievance arbitration
â–ˇ How can my district sign up for PEERNet? â— "MM.4#"NFNCFSEJTUSJDUTBVUPNBUJDBMMZCFMPOHUP PEERNet CZWJSUVFPGUIFJSNFNCFSTIJQUP.4#" PEERNet is a great resource for all school districts. PEERNet works best when all districts respond to MSBAâ€™s requests for data. i1&&3/FUJTBHSFBUTFSWJDF*IJHIMZSFDPNNFOEUIBU TDIPPMTVTFJU*VTFJUBMMUIFUJNF1&&3/FUIBTBMMUIF IFMQGVMJOGPSNBUJPO*OFFEQPMJDJFT TBMBSJFT DPOUSBDUT MFHBMBOENPSF8IFO*OFFEUPLOPXXIBUTDIPPMTEP GPSUIJOHTMJLFQFSTPOOFMMFBWF TJDLEBZT FYUSBEVUZ BTTJHONFOUTBOEBIPTUPGPUIFSRVFTUJPOT *DBOMPPL BUUIFJSNBTUFSDPOUSBDUEBUBCBTFGPSBOTXFSTw â€” Bill Strom, Superintendent of Mountain Lake Public Schools
Accessing PEERNet is easy:
Please contact MSBAâ€™s Bill Kautt or Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor at 800-324-4459 with any PEERNet-related questions.
t(PUPwww.mnmsba.orgBOE DMJDLPOUIF.FNCFST"SFBJOUIF VQQFSMFÄ™IBOEDPSOFSPGUIFQBHF t$MJDLPOi-PHPOwBOEFOUFS ZPVSSFRVJSFEOBNFBOEQBTTXPSE JOGPSNBUJPO t$MJDLPOâ€œClick here to access PEERNet.â€?
Published on Nov 1, 2011