Wisconsin School News - May 2014

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May 2014  |  Volume 68 Number 10 T H E O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E W I S C O N S I N A S S O C I AT I O N O F S C H O O L B O A R D S, I N C.

John H. Ashley Executive Editor

Sheri Krause Director of Communications

Shelby Anderson Editor n REGIONAL OFFICES n 122 W. Washington Avenue Madison, WI 53703 Phone: 608-257-2622 Fax: 608-257-8386 132 W. Main Street Winneconne, WI 54986 Phone: 920-582-4443 Fax: 920-582-9951 n ADVERTISING n 608-556-9009 • tmccarthy@wasb.org ELEVA-STRUM HIGH SCHOOL IS ONE OF MANY SCHOOLS OFFERING EXPANDED TECH ED OPPORTUNITIES, page 4

n WASB OFFICERS n

John H. Ashley Executive Director

Mike Blecha Green Bay, Region 3 President

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Leading the Way Shelby Anderson

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Wisconsin school districts are providing new opportunities for students in career and technical education

Wanda Owens Barneveld, Region 9 1st Vice President

Financial Assessment Roger Price & David Carlson Take the temperature of your district’s finance by examining underlying fiscal forces

Stu Olson Shell Lake, Region 1 2nd Vice President

Nancy Thompson Waterloo, Region 12 Immediate Past President n WASB BOARD OF DIRECTORS n Capt. Terry McCloskey, USN Retired Three Lakes, Region 2 Bill Yingst, Sr. Durand, Region 4

Alice Marquardt Rio, Region 10 Colin Butler Kettle Moraine, Region 11

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Four Questions for School Boards

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Linda J. Dawson & Randy Quinn

Shelby Anderson Janesville school leaders focused on opening new world and opportunities to students

Good governance is a choice. Consider asking these questions from two governance consultants to firm up your board’s work

D E P A R T M E N T S

Building Bridges

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C O L U M N S

Patrick Sherman

Rick Eloranta Owen-Withee, Region 5

Genoa City J2/Lake Geneva, Region 13

Florence Hyatt Onalaska, Region 6

Terrence Falk Milwaukee, Region 14

3 Viewpoint — The Foundation for Successful Schools

Elizabeth Hayes Fond du Lac, Region 7

Ron Frea Pewaukee, Region 15

20 Communication for Leadership — Communicating About Our Schools

Steve Klessig Brillion, Region 8 Wisconsin School News (USPS 688-560) is published 10 issues per year by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards Inc., 122 W. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703. Contents © 2014 Wisconsin Association of School Boards Inc. Subscriptions are available to nonmembers for $40 per year. Periodicals postage is paid at Madison, Wis. The views expressed in Wisconsin School News are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent WASB policies or positions. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Wisconsin School News, 122 W. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703.

2 News Briefs

22 WASB Insurance — Developing Facility Use Agreements 24 Association News — Summer Leadership Institute 26 Legislative Update — Recapping the 2013-14 Legislative Session 28 Legal Comment — Extracurricular Activities and Rules Concerning Appearance 32 Service Associate Q&A — Kevin Hickman of JP Cullen Cover photo courtesy of Gardner Business Media and Modern Machine Shop magazine.


NEWS BRIEFS

Four Administrators Selected as Principals of the Year State Superintendent Tony Evers and Association of Wisconsin School Administrators Executive Director Jim Lynch announced the four administrators named 2014 Wisconsin Principals of the Year:

• Associate Principal of the Year — Lisa L. Rettler, Asa Clark Middle School, Pewaukee School District;

WKCE Results

• Elementary Principal of the Year — Jessica J. Johnson,

Slight Overall Improvement, Achievement Gap Remains

• Middle Level Principal of the Year — Richard L. Appel,

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cores from the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE) given last fall indicate small gains in math and reading among the state’s students. Overall, 48.6 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in math and 36.6 percent in reading. According to the Department of Public Instruction, this marks a 1.8 percent improvement in math proficiency from five years ago and a 1.1 percent increase for reading. Despite slight improvements in the percentage of students achieving at proficient or advanced levels in math and reading, large achievement gaps remain among Wisconsin students. To address this challenging problem, State Superintendent Tony Evers appointed teachers and principals from schools around the state that have shown success in closing the gap between low- and high-achieving students to a new task force. “The educators on my Promoting Excellence for All Task Force are from public, charter, and choice schools that are moving the needle on student achievement,” Evers said. “We want them to tell us what works in their schools and help us apply these strategies in classrooms across the state.” This is the last school year the WKCE will be administered. Next year, students will take online, adaptive tests through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. N

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Dodgeland Elementary School, Juneau, Dodgeland School District; Chilton Middle School, Chilton School District; and

• High School Principal of the Year — Asta Sepetys, Wisconsin Heights Middle/High School, Mazomanie, Wisconsin Heights School District. Nominations for the Principal of the Year program come from fellow administrators, school board members, teachers, students, or parents. Criteria for being chosen to represent the state’s school principals and assistant or associate principals include a commitment to personal excellence; collaborative leadership; personalization; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and being an established and respected member of the community. N

STATISTIC OF THE MONTH

10% Decrease in milk consumption in schools that ban chocolate milk. Source: Cornell University Food and Brand Lab

Young Entrepreneur Program Fosters Creativity

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he 2014 Young Entrepreneur program recognized students from the Fort Atkinson, Arrowhead Union and Eau Claire school districts for developing unique entrepreneurial ventures. Carter Drake, a junior at Fort Atkinson High School, earned top honors for developing and running his own landscaping business — Dreamscape Landscaping. Larson Seaver, a junior at Arrowhead Union High School, was recognized for his company Seaver Media, which produces commercials for area businesses. Students at Delong Middle School in Eau Claire were also honored for their venture, Prime Products, which designs and produces ceramic products by students after school. The business started in 2000 with a $50 grant to educate students interested in art and business. Each year, Prime Products donates thousands of dollars to local charities. N


VIEWPOINT

Jo h n H . A s h l e y

The Foundation for Successful Schools

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chool leadership is not easy work. Our state is faced with its share of challenges inside and outside of the classroom. In April, more than 30 school districts went to referendum, either to exceed revenue limits or to issue debt for school building projects. We were pleased that most of these referendums passed, but it was also a reminder of how many public school districts are struggling under our state’s school finance system. With the increased role of school referendums in our public schools, we’re running a series of related articles in the Wisconsin School News. These articles are not your typical referendum articles. Rather, WASB consultants are taking an in-depth look at critical district operations such as comprehensive financial and facility assessments in order to help school board members fully understand their financial situations and realize their student achievement goals. This kind of work is important for any school district to complete, not just those considering a referendum. As WASB Consultant and respected retired school administrator Roger Price points out, schools are a community asset and it’s the responsibility of school leaders to conduct an objective assessment and analysis resulting in long-term, fiscally responsible plans. In this issue, Price teams up with another WASB consultant — David

Carlson, who is also a well-respected expert in school finance. They take an in-depth look at school district financial assessments, a crucial process for school leaders to undertake to get an accurate picture of their district’s short- and long-term finances. More importantly, this kind of work puts the board in the driver seat. Having a clearer picture of your district’s finances can take some of the guess work out of decision-making. Understanding your district’s financial state is a major step in moving the board, district leadership, and community to a shared understanding of how best to educate its students. A district can empower itself by completing and maintaining or updating a financial assessment. We will include at least two more special articles on deeper issues related to school referendums in upcoming issues of the Wisconsin School News. Future articles include a look at facility assessments, and another will feature advice from referendum professionals. Preparing for a referendum is a long, multi-step process. In addition to the nitty-gritty work of monitoring your district’s finances and facility needs, one of the best things districts can do to prepare for a referendum is communicate with your community. Communication professionals repeatedly tell us that school leaders need to increase our communication efforts. On page 20,

Sarah Heck and Kevin Hickman of the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association explain the value of an investment in communications. As I mentioned, leading a school district is not easy work but I want to remind new school board members of the many resources available through the WASB to help school leaders. The WASB serves public school districts in Wisconsin by advocating on your behalf in Madison, providing policy and legal services and information among a host of other services. If you need more information about how to conduct a financial or facility assessment — or want help completing one, don’t hesitate to contact the WASB. Please visit us at wasb.org, email us at info@wasb.org or call us at 877-705-4422. I’d like to close by welcoming our new school board members. Last month, I travelled around the state and met with many of our newest members at the WASB’s New Board Member Gatherings. These informal meetings acquainted newly elected school board members with the basics of school board governance and introduced them to some of their colleagues in their WASB region. Serving on your local school board comes with tremendous responsibility but there is no more rewarding public service than leading a school district and educating our children. Welcome! n

Serving on your local school board comes with tremendous responsibility but there is no more rewarding public service.

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average age of a high-skilled manufacturing worker in the U.S. is 56 years old. By 2020, it is estimated that the U.S. will face a shortage of nearly a million high-skilled manufacturing workers.

Leading the Way Wisconsin school districts are providing new opportunities for students in career and technical education

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chool districts in Wisconsin interviewed for this article report that their local businesses are already seeing an aging workforce nearing retirement without enough young talent ready to take their places. As a result, these school districts are stepping up and offering more classes and opportunities in engineering, construction, and manufacturing fields. Here is a look at their programs.

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Renewed focus on CTE

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Beloit Memorial High School About two years ago, school leaders at Beloit Memorial High School decided to reinvest in the school’s technology education program. An advisory committee was formed and evaluated the school’s equipment and machinery and found most of it outdated.

Wisconsin School News

At the same time, the school hired a new educator, Ryan Rewey, to lead the school’s career and technical education program. “When I came here, the room was pretty much bare,” Rewey said of the school’s manufacturing lab. But Rewey was excited to begin rebuilding the school’s career and technology education program. In fact, this is one of the reasons why Rewey took the job at the School District of Beloit. “The superintendent and school board had made a decision to invest in this program,” Rewey said. Beloit Memorial High School Principal Thomas Johnson said local business partners have made it clear

| Shelby Anderson that engineering and skilled manufacturing jobs are in need of workers. “These are the trades that our business partners are telling us we should be focusing on,” Johnson said. “We need to be responsive to their educational needs.” With the help of local manufacturers, the district invested in new equipment — the same equipment that is used in the working world. “The goal is to give students real world experiences,” Rewey said. “Our students are using what people are using out in the industry today.” These include tools and machinery like industry-grade welding equipment, and computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining equipment. Partnerships have been essential to the rebuilding of the technology and engineering


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program at Beloit Memorial High School. In addition to having stateof-the-art facilities in the school, students can also attend Blackhawk Technical College and earn credit while still in high school. Rewey is also working on a partnership with Madison College so his students can have the opportunity to take construction classes through the college while still in high school. The Advisory Committee has built a number of partnerships and connections with local and statelevel manufacturers. These partnerships have provided opportunities for students, ranging from field trips at a local manufacturer to working in the industry field while still in high school. About 20 of Rewey’s students are participating in the district’s youth apprenticeship program, which has benefitted from the partnerships with local businesses. For example, two students are working for Scot Forge, which is a smaller manufacturer in Clinton that specializes in custom jobs and offers excellent benefits to employees including profit sharing. “These two young gentlemen are seeing opportunities they didn’t before,” Rewey said. Overall, Rewey said his mission is to provide his students with the classes, experiences, and opportunities so they can move on and be successful. “The goal of education is to make sure students are ready for whatever they want to do after high school.” N

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Cardinal Manufacturing

Eleva-Strum High School One of the challenges school districts face when trying to build and maintain a successful career and technical education program is the cost of the equipment needed to support such a program. CNC machines, large scale routers, and industry-grade welding equipment are very expensive. Craig Cegielski, manufacturing and engineering teacher at Eleva-Strum High School, sought a model that would empower the district rather than burden it. About seven years ago, Cegielski started a manufacturing business located in the school’s technology education

department. Since then, he and his student employees have been building the business, purchasing and upgrading to new equipment as they earn income. The business — Cardinal Manufacturing — brings in revenue for the district and gives students the experience of working in a business setting while still in high school. Students interested in working for Cardinal Manufacturing apply and go through an interview process. Like jobs in the real world, skills are required for positions at Cardinal Manufacturing. Students can’t apply until their junior year and, depending on the position they

Cardinal Manufacturing operates like a normal business.

Students all have their roles within the company — welder, other manufacturing tasks, and marketing.

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are seeking, are required to take classes such as metal working, welding, and machining before applying. Cardinal Manufacturing operates like a normal business. Students all have their roles within the company, this includes not only welders and other manufacturing tasks but also marketing duties.

“We’re trying to get students real-life job skills,” Cegielski said. Cegielski wants his students to learn how to operate in a business setting. This includes learning not only the technical skills but also the soft skills like communicating, working as a team with co-workers, and handling yourself professionally or as Cegielski said, not using your cell phone at work. The manufacturing business model is gaining interest. Cegielski said he has had about 50 school districts inquire or visit. These include districts from as far away as Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. “I think you’re going to see a lot of schools going this route,” Cegielski said. Business is booming. Cardinal Manufacturing has a backlog of orders. As a custom job shop, Cardinal Manufacturing fields orders from all over western Wisconsin. Each job order varies. They have done everything from repairing farm parts to making custom machine parts. Cardinal Manufacturing has been successful, but Cegielski and his student employees are working to continue to improve their facility and upgrade their equipments. “We’re looking into building a conference room and maybe some office space,” Cegielski said. “We have lots of goals and hope to grow the program. This is just a start.” N

PREPARING STUDENTS to be Adaptable and Innovative

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areer and technical education programs at our high schools are facing a challenging time. While data and reports indicate that there will be rewarding skilled manufacturing jobs available in the future, the question is what will those jobs entail? What skills will people in the construction, engineering, and manufacturing fields need to be successful? Most likely, students graduating today will need to be able to learn new skills. This is a challenge that isn’t lost upon Wisconsin educators. “It is crucial to provide students with opportunities that allow them to think critically,” said Ryan Rewey, career and technical education director for the School District of Beloit. “We must challenge them to hone their problem-solving skills.” As educational leaders like Dr. Tony Wagner point out, students need to learn how to fail, and more importantly, learn from those experiences. “It’s important to have students come up with solutions to problems, and if they fail, it’s part of the process to finding the successful solution,” Rewey said. “Even though we can’t necessarily pinpoint what future jobs may entail, we can certainty help shape the thought process which will better prepare them to be able to meet the challenges of our continuously changing technological world we live in.” N

Photo courtesy of Gardner Business Media and Modern Machine Shop magazine.

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ACE Academy

Kimberly High School As the technology education teacher and coordinator of the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Academy at Kimberly High School, Steve Masanz wants his students to know about all of the careers available to them in the construction industry. “There are pre-conceived ideas about what a career in construction involves, but there are more than 200 career choices in the field,” Masanz said. “Those careers are in high demand and offer a good future for students to consider.” Masanz lists a number of related,

good-paying, high-skilled careers that are facing worker shortages: construction management, glazer, architects, and, among others, electricians. The mission of the ACE Academy is to expose students to these career options and give them the skills, while still in high school, to take the next step toward a career. Students interested in the Academy enroll when they are sophomores. This school year, the ACE Academy welcomed its first class of 24 students. Students take classes in construction, electricity, and mechanical design. Students also take special English and math classes that are

designed to advance students’ knowledge and understanding of construction and engineering concepts through a math and English lens. To create these specialized classes, Masanz collaborates with a math and English teacher to build a class geared towards ACE Academy students. “For example, math problems might involve measurements for a project they are working on in their architectural design class or their English assignment could involve reading and making meaning from technical manuals,” Masanz said. The ACE Academy got its start when the Associated General Con-

At Kimberly High School, the mission of the ACE Academy is

to expose students to career options and give them the skills to take the next step toward a career.

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tractors (AGC) of Wisconsin, a non-profit devoted toward advancing the construction industry in Wisconsin, contacted Masanz about starting a construction academy. At the time, Masanz was working in a nearby school district and there wasn’t interest to start an academy. When Masanz got the job at Kimberly High School, there was support from administration to start an academy at the school. “Having the support of all forms of administration was key to getting started,” Masanz said. After a year of planning and then a year of organizing, the ACE Academy welcomed its first class of 24 students. Masanz attended all of the freshman orientations where students signed up for classes. He encouraged students to try the ACE Academy. “I wanted to make sure all of our incoming students knew this wasn’t just for males, females do all of these careers too,” Masanz said. “This program is for all students.”

While Masanz said he wasn’t targeting any particular group of students, six female students are in the ACE Academy. Kimberly High School Principal Mike Rietveld said one reason why he signed onto the ACE Academy was because he had heard from businesses searching for skilled workers. “As a school, we were hearing from local business leaders about the

real-world demands for knowledge and skills in construction and the trades,” Rietveld said. “ACE Academy is structured around a comprehensive program to bridge our school work to what students will be doing after they graduate, whether it’s joining the workforce or pursuing further education.” n Anderson is editor of Wisconsin School News.

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Four Questions For School Boards

Good governance is a choice. Consider asking these questions from two governance consultants to firm up your board’s work

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oes your board find itself so caught up with day-to-day issues that you can’t see beyond the current crisis? That’s precisely when you should stop the machinery and figure out just what keeps you from dealing with true board work and from providing effective leadership.

Here are a few questions for school boards to ponder — and some possible solutions for you to consider. QUESTION 1: Why do boards do what they do? Some school boards do things without considering why. We have observed boards spending time approving the payment of bills, mostly for goods or services that already have been purchased or delivered, and sometimes even after the bills themselves have been paid. Why? We also have seen board meetings taken over by dominant outside

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| Linda J. Dawson & Randy Quinn

Wisconsin School News

groups and individuals to pursue their own agendas. They prevent the board from doing its work and add hours to the crowded personal schedules of individual members. Why? We’ve observed board members showing up for meetings with no real understanding or knowledge of why certain items are on the agenda, or what the board is expected to do with them. Why? And finally, we have seen board members trying valiantly to make sense of staff reports on topics that have little or no relevance to the board’s main job: governing the district. Why?

Our answer: The board has not taken responsibility for its own agenda. Boards have become accustomed to dealing with whatever their agendas ask them to consider, whether it makes sense to them or not. Typically, the responsibility for developing agendas falls on the superintendent’s shoulders, along with some input from the board president. If this is your board’s routine, you are not deciding what your job is and how you should do it; you are doing the job the superintendent has decided you should do.


All boards have their customs and habits, but some of them just don’t make sense.

We do not mean to criticize the superintendent, who probably is doing his or her best to design an agenda that reflects what the board wants. But the result of this method is that the board has deferred the determination and execution of its job to its chief employee, making itself captive to an administrative agenda. Our solution: Create an annual calendar of board work. Outline in advance the issues you believe the board should spend meeting time on during the next 12 months. Expect the calendar to drive the development of monthly or semi-monthly agendas. You won’t become entangled in the continuing challenge to put together monthly meeting agendas if you have created an annual work plan. Be diligent in deciding what other matters to place on the agenda as it is finalized. A well-defined purpose should exist for every item the board is being asked to consider. Board members should leave every meeting believing their time was well spent. Another solution: Tie every item on the agenda to an existing governing policy. If there is no relevant policy, the issue may not be the responsibility of the board. If every item on the agenda is based on board governing policy, the conversation is framed up and placed in context for meaningful board-level discussion. QUESTION 2: Why do boards do what they do the way they do it? All boards have their customs and habits, but some of them just don’t make sense. These customs include board presidents routinely recognizing each individual member for comments on every item on the agenda. If an agenda has 10 items for the board to discuss, and if every member of a

seven-member board feels obliged to speak on each one of them for three minutes, the time required would be 3.5 hours. Why? Frequently, we see boards being held captive by one of their own members who has free rein to consume unlimited time by demanding extraordinary attention for their own personal gratification. Members are at the mercy of one who marches to a very different drummer. The majority go home angry and frustrated while the dominant member goes home satisfied and sleeps very well. Why? Our answer: Decide what you want your governing culture to be and institute the rules necessary to achieve it. Nothing prevents boards from imposing whatever type of discipline they choose to help get their work done effectively and efficiently. Other public bodies do this, including Congress, provincial governments, state legislatures, and city and county governing bodies. Yet school boards, for whatever reason, sometimes allow themselves to be dominated by behaviors that other public bodies would never tolerate. If a board permits these customs, practices, and unhelpful behaviors to sidetrack and prohibit it from getting meaningful work done, it has only itself to blame. Our solution: Back away from your current concept of how your board operates and ask a few questions: If we were meeting here as the very first board ever seated to govern this district, how would we choose to organize ourselves to get our work done? How would we build an agenda for our meetings? What rules would we impose on ourselves?

How would we self-discipline poor practices or behaviors? Would your answers result in a board that looks the same as your board now looks? QUESTION 3: What is your job as a board and as a member? Boards carefully define the superintendent’s job when they negotiate a contract, and they expect the superintendent to communicate clear job expectations for every employee. But who decides what the board’s job is? The superintendent? We aren’t necessarily talking here about the legal duties assigned to school boards by states. Rather, consider the real jobs school boards create for themselves that transcend their legal responsibilities. During all of our combined 60 years of working with school boards, one constant has been our challenge to help boards define their jobs. Role definition generally has been a seat-of-the-pants decision, depending on the crisis of the moment. Our answer: Boards must deliberately craft their own job description and performance expectations. You and your colleagues must decide: What do you expect of your board and how will you do your job? What is the relationship and clear accountability you will establish with your superintendent? As school boards recognize the wisdom of adopting more formal governance operating systems, they also adopt the understanding that their own job is not merely an extension of the superintendent’s job. Their job is entirely different. The superintendent’s job is to lead, manage, and execute while the board’s job is to lead, direct, and govern. They are fundamentally

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different, but complementary, roles. Our solution: Sit down as a board, perhaps with professional coaching, and thoughtfully and clearly define your job. Some job-related questions include:

b Is it the board’s job to deter-

mine the vision and expected student outcomes for the district? Or does the board hire a superintendent to develop a vision?

b Should the board deliberate and approve the superintendent’s “how to” strategies? Or should the board decide “what” the district is expected to achieve, and then hold the professionals accountable for making it happen?

b Who decides the non-negotiable

standards for all district operations and determines successful performance?

QUESTION 4: How do you evaluate your superintendent? Many boards struggle with superintendent evaluation. Some years ago, we wrote an article on superintendent evaluation. It was based on our experiences with boards dealing with this issue. We have worked with boards that rated their superintendents on superficial elements such as their choice of automobile or where they lived. Others dinged their superintendents for out-of-district professional travel. One superintendent, incredibly, was faulted for spending too much time dealing with underperforming students. Our answer: Superintendents need to know and understand their boards’ expectations. They are entitled to clear information on what they are accountable for before any evaluation is made. Otherwise, there are no standards against which the evaluation will be relevant. Make the district’s performance and the superintendent’s performance the same. That’s a different

concept from the norm, we understand, but let’s step back and think this one through. We believe the superintendent is hired to do two things: to ensure that students learn to the standard the board defines; and to make sure that the district meets the board’s standards of operation in all functional areas. If that is a comfortable concept, then two crucial steps must be taken to make it work: 1. The board must deliberately define its expected student achievement outcomes and agree on the metrics that are acceptable for monitoring reasonable performance progress; and 2. The board must define the standards for all operational areas of the district and agree on the monitoring measures and resulting data that prove whether the district is meeting those standards. If these two steps are taken in advance — with the participation and support of the superintendent — both student performance and the district’s

‘It’s an Important Job’ | Long-time school board member reflects on 45 years of service In April, Phil Markgren, a school board member in the Spooner School District, attended his last school board meeting. He had served on the Spooner school board for 45 years. At the Spooner High School graduation ceremony this spring, Markgren will perform his last official duty as a school board member when he hands out diplomas. Among those receiving their diploma will be his granddaughter.

Q. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in your time on the school board member? “When I got on the school board, there was no teachers’ union, it was just getting started. Of course, that grew and grew and we had to contend with it. It really seems weird now that we basically have no teachers’ union. We’ve always treated our teachers well and we still do, but it seems strange that they don’t really have the hammer that they used to have.”

Q. What makes a good school board? “The most important thing you can do is let the people in your district do their job. Board members, for the most part, are not educators. We’re there to represent the public. Once the board does its job of hiring the right people, you just

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need to let them go and do it. It makes it easier on the board too. We don’t second guess or micromanage.”

Q. What have you learned from your time on the board? “It’s made me more tolerant and made me realize there are two sides to every story. I’ve learned you better listen to both sides otherwise you can look foolish if you don’t.”

Q. What did you get out of serving on the school board? “People say ‘why do you want a thankless job like that?’ But I don’t think it’s thankless. You get to watch these kids come up all the way through elementary school through high school and turn into good people. It is an important job.”

Q. Do you have advice for new school board members? “You can’t have an agenda. It’s a board and you’ve got to try and get along and hash things out among yourselves. If you’ve got an axe to grind or your own agenda, it just doesn’t work. That also keeps other people from considering to run for the school board if they see the board is fighting all the time.” N


Annual BOARD PROCESS Review The WASB and School Perceptions can help boards set a course for district success

operational performance are formatively monitored throughout the year. At the end of the annual monitoring cycle, the superintendent is credited with the summative judgments of the board, based on agreed upon data points. In this way, the district’s performance becomes the superintendent’s performance, and the latter now becomes meaningful. | Make a choice We believe that, if boards have the vision and the will, they can elevate their governance performance to levels they rarely even dream of. They merely need to exercise the choice that is theirs to govern better, more effectively, and more powerfully. We consider the linkage between the boardroom and the classroom to be critical to the overall success of the districts for which boards are responsible. All of us have seen the results of boards that are truly outstanding, that

As highlighted in this article, school board members face complex issues and unique governance roles. The Annual Board Process Review, a tool offered jointly from the WASB and School Perceptions, can help school boards understand where they agree and where they do not. The Annual Board Process Review is an in-depth, online poll that school board members take individually. Board members are exposed to a comprehensive array of governance areas to evaluate. After all board members complete the review, a report is provided to the district. The WASB can help districts form a plan based on its data. For more information, on the Annual Board Process Review, visit wasb.org. Select “Governance” and then “Services.” Or contact Barry Forbes, WASB associate executive director and staff counsel, at 608-512-1707 or bforbes@wasb.org.

have led the charge for improvement, and that are setting the standard of governance excellence and district performance for others to follow. We also have observed the consequences when boards have set a different kind of example. Those boards have allowed a lack of role clarity, focus, self-discipline, or preoccupation with management to break down morale, trust, and progress. Both kinds of boards made con-

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scious choices. In fact, not making a choice in itself is a choice. n Linda J. Dawson and Randy Quinn are founding partners of AGI: Aspen Group International (aspen@aspengroup.org), a consulting firm specializing in leadership development for governing boards of public and nonprofit organizations. Reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal, July/August 2013. Copyright 2013 National School Boards Association. All rights reserved.

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SPECIAL SERIES ON SCHOOL REFERENDUMS

FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT Take the temperature of your district’s finance by examining underlying fiscal forces

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he goal of a school district master plan is to provide the district with long-term, fiscally responsible plans that focus upon the achievement of the district’s student education goals. Therefore, a thorough and honest review of the district’s current financial state is crucial. This kind of evaluation is rarely possible during time-sensitive budget deliberations. The financial assessment should strive for comprehensiveness and sophistication, seeking to take the temperature of a district’s finances by examining underlying fiscal forces. The assessment should assist a public body to better understand the nature of its revenues and expenditures, as well as its long-term and current budget solvency. It should also examine the district’s cash position and how revenues and expenditures influence service levels.

| PART 1: Understanding the

Current Financial State The data available and collected in a financial assessment is used to assess underlying financial forces with regard to four types of solvency. [A] Financial solvency is defined as the ability to generate enough revenues over a normal budgetary period to meet expenditures and not incur deficits. A financial assessment should include a full documentation of internal and external factors that affect the district’s finances.

These factors include:

The WASB Can Help!

Revenues … Operating Revenues, Local Tax Revenues, and Intergovernmental Revenue (such as Open Enrollment, and Cooperative Agreements): b Enrollment (history and projections) b Revenue limit authority (per member) General and categorical b state aid (past, current and future eligibility; trends and per member) b Mill rate (history) b Fees (per member) b Shared cost (per member) b Levy (per member) b Open enrollment (trends) Expenditures … Operating Expenditures, Employees, and Fringe Benefits: b General fund expenses (per member) b Other funds expenses b Cost per member by major categories b Staffing levels (ratios) b Average salaries (adjusted by years of service) b Staff workload b Fringe benefit cost per employee [B] Long-range solvency examines the future costs of current fiscal decisions. b Accumulated unpaid vacation, sick pay, and other benefits b Retiree insurance obligations b Long-term debt (principal and interest payment schedule) b Pension liability (funded and unfunded)

| Roger Price & David Carlson

[C] Service-level solvency is the ability to provide services at the level and quality that are required for the welfare of the community and that its citizens desire. b Capital improvements (history and plans) b Technology infrastructure b Repairs and maintenance (history and plans) [D] Cash solvency refers to the ability to pay bills and meet payroll. b Liquidity (cash flow) b Equity (point in time) b Fund balance policies b Credit rating b Audit findings

The assessment will draw on a broad range of material to assess the district’s fiscal health including: existing demographic (enrollment) data and projections; operational budget and levy projections; capital improvement plan; technology improvement plan; maintenance investment plan; analysis of debt; and, identified and articulated roles of legal (bond counsel) and financial advisors. In addition, major data sources available include a school district’s financial records and documents, such as its annual financial report and the annual budget; other financial records of the district; fiscal and enrollment data; as well as more general information reported to and available on the Department of Public Instruction website; reports produced by the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau and Legislative Fiscal Bureau K-12

Completing a financial assessment is an involved process with many moving parts. Consultants from the WASB’s Organizational Consulting Services can help districts complete in-depth financial assessments along with a host of other services. For more information, visit wasb.org or contact Louis Birchbauer at 414-218-2805 or lbirchbauer@wasb.org.

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Spe c ia l S e r ie s finances during the past decade; the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance; and, a variety of secondary sources and organizational websites. Evaluating a district’s financial condition is a complex process. Not only are there a large number of factors to evaluate, but many of them are also difficult to isolate and quantify. For example, Fund 10 balance is only one piece of the district’s assets and liabilities picture. A perceived healthy Fund 10 balance may mask an onerous pension liability obligation. Relationships between the factors add to the complexity. Some are more important than others, but often this cannot be determined until all the factors have been assembled — no single piece of information is conclusive. | PART 2: Building Trust in

Your Community Around Financial Issues

b Require the auditor to meet with

the board to both celebrate successes and understand challenges. b Demystify the black box of school finance. Assure that every major project b has a communications plan. b Have an open book policy on school finances. b Hold finance workshops for the community. b Link expenditures to programs for kids. Use current technology to make b available the district’s financial information. b Create a plan to communicate with key stakeholders.

Look for upcoming articles on: Facility Assessments Advice from Referendum Professionals

b Have a plan to “listen back” to

your community; the community understands that it will not always be accommodated, but expects to be listened to. b Hold regular listening/learning and brainstorming sessions beyond the routine and usual business of a board meeting. b Understand that public relations is part of the board’s business. b Maintain a strategic or longrange plan developed with transparent involvement of all of the stakeholders. b Hire staff who can communicate effectively with the board and the community.

When considering the prospect of building trust, in particular around the finances of the district, remember — it’s hard to turn on, but easy to turn off, and it’s not what you do, but how you do it. n Roger Price and David Carlson are Organizational Consultants with the WASB. Both have over 35 years of experience in public education.

P L A N N I N G with Strategic Thinking It’s a district’s obligation to its school community to conduct an objective assessment and analysis of what you know about your district. This includes the full understanding of educational trends, student performance data and the current state of the district’s program structure, finances, and facilities. It’s also imperative to have a clear understanding of what you believe, and most importantly, having a clear ear to what your community believes are their expectations.

Inclusive processes around listening, accumulating data/information and communicating lead to collaborative strategic thinking. This information then assists in forming a comprehensive master plan for the future. The results are long term — fiscally responsible planning for educational, operational, financial, and facilities in the future. Only then can the district move forward together with shared goals and objectives that assure excellence in education and that all students achieve success. N

Needs Assessment

PLANNING

Vision

Strategic Thinking

Community Expectations

What you believe

MASTER PLAN

Understanding your district’s financial state is a major step in moving the board, district leadership, and community to a shared understanding and commitment to best educate its children. Understanding how the community perceives the district is also important. This is particularly the case in numerous districts where revenue limit authority is no longer the issue, it is what the local taxpayer can afford to provide. Long before the question of whether or not to go to referendum for operations or facilities is considered, significant effort is necessary to build a positive working relationship and hopefully trust throughout the school community. Community trust is built on how the community feels ITS money is being used. What you say and what you do must match. What you know about the current and prospective state of the district’s finances must be shared. This effort builds on the belief that intelligent people, given enough time and information, will reach the same conclusion. As board members there are a number of best practice steps/ actions/efforts that can assist in building trust in the community:

This is the second in a series of special articles addressing issues related to school referendums, which play a crucial role for Wisconsin school districts.

Educational Trends Student Performance Data Programming, Curriculum, Instruction Facilities Assessment Financial Assessment

What you know

ACTIONS

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Building Bridges Janesville school leaders focused on opening new world and opportunities to students

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district-wide effort in the Janesville School District is connecting students in Janesville to students across the globe. Since January, students in the district have been participating in a world-wide project with the goal of building bridges between schools all over the world and in their own community. The district is running the Bridges Conference, which challenges students and educators to build bridges — figuratively and literally — between people and knowledge. This is not your typical conference. It takes place over the course of about seven months — beginning in January and ending with a festival in July. The conference

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builds a global education community and includes participating schools from the U.S., China, Finland, Singapore and other countries. The Janesville School District website explains the basis of the project: “Its origin derives from within our inter-connectedness as people … we feel it’s essential to collaborate as an education collective to do studies about bridges and thus promote mutual understanding and communication between and among people (such as family members, educators, students, neighbors, and other education stakeholders) in this way we can provide improvement of educational policies, strategies, and practices.”

| Shelby Anderson Karen Schulte, superintendent of the Janesville School District, said participating in the conference is about providing students another opportunity to engage in international education. “We want students here in Janesville to have a world-class education,” she said. The conference aims to promote further communication and mutual appreciation among schools around the world as well as in the wider community. This means that projects within the Bridges Conference can work to connect students to students globally or it can be connecting students to community members.


BRIDGES PROJECTS in Janesville How are we going to make these learning experiences last longer?

How can we go beyond that ‘normal’ school project? — Craig Bergum, teacher, Edison Craig Bergum, a teacher at Janesville’s Edison Middle School, says he has been impressed with the projects that have come out of the Bridges Conference. One project built bridges between Janesville middle school students and veterans. Students at Edison Middle School wrote letters to veterans thanking them for their service. This is where most school projects would end but projects in the Bridges Conference challenge teachers to take the learning a step farther. A veteran was invited to the classroom and talked to the students about what he had experienced. Bergum said it was a very powerful moment for the students and the veteran. After hearing the veteran’s first-hand account, students were challenged to write another letter to their veteran. Bergum said the first letters students wrote had been only a couple paragraphs but after hearing the veteran speak, the letters became two pages. Teacher Krista Twist said the activity not only connected her students to veterans but also allowed her to teach through a different lens. “It fits right in with the lessons I was teaching,” Twist said. “I was able to connect this very easily to how to write a letter, the structure of how to write that letter, and the components within the letter.” One student was compelled to write a letter to a grandparent who was a veteran. Bergum said the student didn’t know the grandparent all that well and received a long, thoughtful response. “It gave her a way to talk to her grandfather,” Bergum said. “These

are the kinds of things that can come out of building these bridges.” Students at Kennedy Elementary School connected visual and performing arts with science and social studies concepts. A visiting artist helped students communicate and explore these subject areas through art and a residency with a dance professor from the University of Wisconsin exposed students to interpretative dance. The project culminated in a performance by all of the elementary students as they performed their curriculum in a dance. “We embraced the idea that I think Bridges represents, which is pulling together the creativity and the innovation of our students,” said Leah Hellendbrand, a teacher at Kennedy Elementary School. Another project is connecting high school students to engineers — a robotics team is being mentored by engineers from the community. A project at a middle school connects students to senior citizens. Many of these projects were already taking place in the district’s schools but Bergum said the Bridges Conference challenged students and educators to take these projects a step further. “We’re looking at how are we going to make these learning experiences last longer? How can we go beyond that ‘normal’ school project?” Multiple subject areas are engaged in these projects and, most importantly, they will be shared with students around the world via a website and also during a special festival. “Artifacts from these projects will be put together — whether they’re

Here is a quick look at some of the projects taking place in Janesville as part of the Bridges Global Education Community Conference. WATER DANCE | Kennedy Elementary School hosted an artist-in-residence/ dance educator. Karen McShaneHellenbrand, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dance Department, integrated academic and dance standards throughout an extensive dance residency. Water served as a thematic ‘umbrella’ for the residency, bridging arts, academics, and environmental advocacy. The residency culminated in an all-school performance, which demonstrated students’ curricular understanding through the art form of dance. TALENT SHOW | Students from Harrison, Roosevelt, and Madison Elementary Schools put on a talent show at the Janesville Performing Arts Center that focused on how language can build bridges between cultures. K-5 BRIDGES ART PROJECT | Students at Harrison Elementary School took part in a multi-grade project. Students in kindergarten through second-grade painted a large mural depicting a bridge and students in third through fifth grades wrote about obstacles that they have encountered and overcome. This project will be on display at the Janesville Performing Arts Center during the Bridges Art Festival in July. ORAL HISTORY PROJECT | Fifth-grade students at Harrison Elementary School collected and archived the oral history of the families in an attempt to bridge generational differences and examine social expectations. The project is part of a larger effort to collect an oral history of Harrison Elementary School. LETTER WRITING | Students at Edison Middle School wrote letters to veterans thanking them for their service. A veteran was also welcomed into the school and he talked to the students about his experiences. ROBOTICS TEAM | The robotics team at Janesville Parker High School reached out to engineers in the community to provide them with mentors and to see how their skills can be used in real-world careers. N

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Building Bridges films, pictures, stories, construction of bridge models — these will all be portrayed in a culminating activity this summer,” Schulte said. That activity is the Bridges Conference festival in July. At the festival, the student projects will be shared with other students and educators from around the world through the universal language of the arts. The festival coincides with the district’s Summer International Education Institute, which will provide international learning opportunities to students in the district. Students and their families will also have the opportunity to host an international student for three weeks during the Summer International Education Institute. Global learning won’t end in Janesville when the Bridges Conference is completed this summer. The Bridges is part of a larger effort being undertaken at the district to

connect Janesville students to people and knowledge all over the world. Schulte said she challenges her educators and administrators to think of new ways to engage students in real-world, relevant learning. “I tell staff to be risk takers,” Schulte said. “It’s ok if they fail, I just ask that they learn from it.” One example of this kind of teaching is an experience recently had by students at Janesville Craig High School. Through the work of their teacher, journalism students at the high school teleconferenced with a journalist in Ukraine during the massive protests that rocked the country. Schulte said the students were powerfully affected by talking with the Ukrainian journalist. “That is something that these kids will never forget,” Schulte said. Kevin Leavy, public information specialist for the district, said an important aspect of the Bridges

Conference and the other international learning opportunities in the district is that they are available to all students. “We’re bringing all of this to our students in their classrooms,” Leavy said. “We trying to make it that much easier for international learning because it’s in their building.” In another instance, a middle school teacher connected with an anthropologist in Switzerland. The anthropologist spoke to 100 sixthgrade students via teleconferencing about his work, which included examining mummies. Schulte said the students were completely engaged, “You could have heard a pin drop.” “We have this ability in this day and age to connect anywhere,” Schulte said. “We are going to be sure that our students in Janesville aren’t left out.” Anderson is editor of Wisconsin School News.

REPRESENTING SCHOOL DISTRICTS THROUGHOUT WISCONSIN Renae Waterman Aldana Joel S. Aziere Andrew J. Bezouska Clifford B. Buelow Robert H. Buikema Sarrie L. Devore Matthew J. Flanary Suzanne M. Glisch Mary L. Hubacher

Lindsey A. Kraig Alana M. Leffler Susan M. Love Mark L. Olson Nancy L. Pirkey Gary M. Ruesch Brett D. Schnepper Daniel G. Vliet

With a talented team of attorneys who have decades of combined experience, we offer unrivaled legal services whether you need guidance on general school law matters, help navigating recent changes to collective bargaining laws, assistance with special education issues, solutions to employment problems, aid with employee benefits programs, defense in litigation or any of the legal issues you face. 20855 Watertown Road • Suite 200 • Waukesha, WI 53186 T: 262-364-0300 • F: 262-364-0320 • www.buelowvetter.com

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Learn more at www.buelowvetter.com


Stepping up

to give back to our communities.

UnitedHealthcare is supporting and educating children in Wisconsin by: • Educating children from Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee on how to be more active and make better snack choices. • Working with the Hunger Task Force to introduce children to new fruits and vegetables. • Supporting LIVE54218’s Farm to School Program providing fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and school gardening opportunities to eight school districts in Brown County.

See how UnitedHealthcare is stepping up to help schools in Wisconsin at uhctogether.com/schoolsinWI.

©2014 United HealthCare Services, Inc. Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through a UnitedHealthcare company. UHCWI683243-000


C O M M U N I C AT I O N FOR LEADERSHIP

S a r a h H e c k & K e v i n H i c k ma n

Communicating About Our Schools Why it’s important that we drive the conversation

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n times of change or crisis, the media often drives the conversation around public education. People in our communities want complete and accurate information about our schools and will use the media sources they trust most. Today, trusted media includes social media — yes, Facebook and Twitter are considered trusted sources as are traditional news outlets, which may or may not provide information that is complete and/or accurate. News and information about local schools and education is followed by 58 percent of American adults, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. The demographic groups that most follow local news about education include parents of minor children, women, adults between the ages of 30-49, and households earning $30,000$50,000. The internet and newspa-

pers are the two most relied upon sources for information about local schools. Those who turn to the newspaper are more likely to be 40 or older and longtime residents of the community. Those who rely on the internet are more likely to be parents of minor children, women, Latinos, and college graduates. As school districts, we need to be the number one trusted source for information about our schools! Building trust within our communities is most successful when school board members make commitments to effectively communicate and then follow through on those commitments. With regard to school board communications, consensus creates clarity. Lack of consensus creates confusion. News media outlets will naturally attempt to fill in the “gaps” when there is confusion and often try to tell our stories from their vantage points.

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN Efforts from the WASB and NSBA highlight public education success stories

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he WASB has created the Stand Up for Education campaign to help local school districts spread the word about their students’ successes and how they benefit their communities. This free resource is available at wasb.org — select the “Stand Up for Public Education” button on the lefthand side of the website. Districts are invited to submit their success stories. Additionally, the National School Boards Association (NSBA), in partnership with its state associations, has launched www.standup4publicschools. org, an all-new national campaign to highlight the success of public education. The campaign features advertisements with celebrity advocates and public school graduates to tell their stories of public education. Sal Khan, founder of the not-for-profit Khan Academy, is the campaign’s first celebrity advocate. “Magic” Johnson and Montel Williams will be involved in future messages. The campaign message is simple: “Who I am today began with public education,” and “Today’s public schools are better than ever.” More districts across the state using these types of resources will help spread the message about public education for the benefit of all districts! Check out the campaign at http://standup4publicschools.org/.

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With a solid communications program in place, districts can build the trust, confidence, and support they need to become the best source for reliable information. A communications program that supports and encourages two-way communication allows us to begin building rich relationships that engage the whole community and lead to more ambassadors of public education to help us spread the good news! Every district can improve and enrich their communications efforts. This past year, the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA), Cooperative Educational Services Agency 6 (CESA 6), and Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA) joined forces to survey school districts across Wisconsin about their communication practices and challenges. Districts rated the effectiveness of their current communication practices with several stakeholder groups, including:  STA F F 80% rated it as Great or Good 12% rated it as Fair or Poor  PA RENT S 73% rated it as Great or Good 18% rated it as Fair or Poor  COMMUNIT Y 61% rated it as Great or Good 30% rated it as Fair or Poor

The most obvious takeaway from this question is that school districts need to communicate with parents and community members at least as well as they are communicating with staff. On average, about 20 percent of community members have children in school. Our ability to communicate with and engage the 80 percent without children in school needs to be an important part of our communication strategy to ensure their continued support of public education. Know the value of good commu-


Know the value of good communication and invest in it. nication and invest in it. Many school districts vie for students in the same ways businesses vie for customers. With an emphasis on marketing, branding, and social media, we are looking for ways to differentiate ourselves from other school districts. It’s more important than ever in today’s competitive climate to be different, unique, better! It is out of necessity that school districts have had to become competitive with private schools — and with each other. Investing in communications at the highest level to which your district is able is absolutely necessary to compete in this new arena. Communication is truly an investment, not an expense. It’s time we started tooting our own horns! Unlike schools, businesses capitalize on their successes by commu-

Salman Khan

Founder, Khan academy Khan academy is on a mission to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere

nicating about them through marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media channels. Schools need to begin seeing their accomplishments as talking points for communications to parents and the greater community. The first and most important tool for establishing a good communications program is finding someone to champion it within your district. Whether you hire a school communications professional or service — or tap a staff member with excellent marketing and communication skills to dedicate a few hours per week to communications, your investment in becoming the number one trusted source for information about your schools begins there. According to the Statewide Communications Survey, in districts without a communications professional on staff, the person who most

often takes that role is the district administrator/superintendent (90 percent). While superintendents play a critical role in district communicaNsba National campaign tions, having another person dedicated halfhours page ad to it — even for a few a week to January 20, 2014 start — is necessary to ensure your district’s success in the future. The Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) is another valuable resource available to all Wisconsin school districts. WSPRA is the communications association for Wisconsin school districts offering professional development and expertise in school communications. For more information about WSPRA visit wspra.org. n Sarah Heck is a communications specialist for the Sun Prairie Area School District and WSPRA Vice President. Kevin Hickman is director of business development for JP Cullen and WSPRA President-Elect.

Who I am today began with public education. Great thinGs happen at public schools. Learn more at

www.standup4publicschools.org © NSBA

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WASB INSURANCE

D av i d D e m b a c h

Developing Facility Use Agreements Manage the risk associated with lending school facilities to community groups through facility use agreements

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ike the relationship with your neighbors at home, public schools are deeply intertwined with their communities. Community members often think of the local school as partly theirs – after all, it is public property. Residents access its resources, large green spaces, play structures and athletic fields, and they volunteer and improve it. School districts have fostered this relationship over time, and the buildings serve as both learning and community centers. Groups of all types meet for work and play. What’s the best way to proactively manage the risk associated with lending facilities to the community at large? The answer lies with using facility use agreements.

leased for five years? Care should be taken to ensure that use is allowed on a consistently uniform basis in order to avoid situations in which disapprovals are perceived by the requestors as discriminatory. Prepare for requests that involve potentially controversial groups or topics. There are a myriad of state and federal laws and rulings, (the citation of which is beyond the scope of this article) guiding the process of deciding the purposes for which the facilities can be used. Determine what fee, if any, the users will be charged. Many districts limit the charge to the actual cost of use as determined by the school board.

| The Basics First and foremost, every school district should have a written policy and procedure for allowing outside groups and people to use district facilities. The policy should address the use of facilities by for-profit and non-profit groups, groups of people which are not legal entities, and noncurriculum-related student groups, etc. Your district will likely receive requests for both long- and shortterm time periods. Will the group be meeting every other week for six months, or is a school building being

| Facility Use Agreements Every district should have a facility use agreement template noting the terms and conditions applicable to using a facility by outside groups or persons. Among other things, the facility use agreement specifies what the district expects in the event of damage, what is or is not allowed, who is allowed onto the premises, at what hours, where in the building and what insurance, if any, is required. As Tom Wohlleber, business manager for the Middleton-Cross

Plains Area School District, says “Employing facility use agreements makes my job, as the district’s risk manager, easier.” | Recreational Agreements A Wisconsin statute (§895.523) enacted two years ago, intends to encourage and support public schools’ efforts to make their facilities available to promote indoor and outdoor physical activities. Schools and their employees, etc., receive limited immunity against claims arising out of the recreational use of school facilities, so long as the recreational use is “held pursuant to a recreational agreement.” | Insurance from

Outside Users Theoretically, all outside groups or persons using school facilities should be required to carry liability insurance, provide a certificate of insurance substantiating its existence, and name the school as an additional insured on the user’s general liability policy. According to Crawford Craft, area executive vice president of Arthur J. Gallagher’s Public Entity practice, “A facility use agreement is the most efficient way to transfer risk to the responsible party … and when combined with a certificate of insurance naming the owner as an additional insured, is the single most

Every school district should have a written policy and procedure for allowing outside groups and people to use district facilities.

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useful risk management technique available to facility owners. And the best part — ­ there’s little or no cost to either party.” However, not all outside users of public schools carry general liability insurance; either because they are “just a group of people” coming together and have no legal identity, or they don’t have the financial wherewithal to buy it. All districts wrestle with the practical challenges of requesting outside groups to provide proof of insurance before using school buildings or equipment. “It’s a balancing act between encouraging the community’s use of facilities, the size and nature of the outside group, the risks associated with the proposed use, and knowing that mandating proof of insurance might make the difference between the outside group being able to use, or not use, the facility,” says Wohlleber. Here are some guidelines for

insurance requirement for these groups?

when to require proof of insurance from the outside group:

b Is the group a chapter of a larger organization, such as the Girl or Boy Scouts or the Red Cross? If so, they should be required to provide proof of insurance.

b Does the outside group have

a legal identity? Is it incorporated? Is it a 501(c)(3) recognized organization?

b What are the district’s guidelines for charging a usage fee? Like requiring proof of insurance, some groups are unable to fund the board-determined, at-cost charge. Does the district waive the fee for some groups? If so, does it make sense to waive the insurance requirement for those same groups?

b Is the group affiliated in some

form or fashion with the district, i.e., PTA, booster club, etc.? Does the district waive the

Wisconsin Association of School Boards

| How to Begin Review your district’s current facility use agreement template, policies and procedures. Have they been amended to address recreational agreements? The WASB, in concert with two other organizations, have created an extensive checklist for helping districts with recreational agreement templates, policies and procedures. The document can be found in the online WASB Insurance Plan library at wasb.org under the Insurance Plan tab. For further information, consult the February 2004 issue of The FOCUS, WASB’s subscription policy publication, on “Community Use of School Facilities.” To access this publication, visit wasb.org and select “Policy Publications.” Winterfeldt is area president of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

WASB Employee Opinion Survey

A customizable, online survey administered to your employees The Employee Opinion Survey can collect information about:

Gauge you employees’ opinions... The Employee Opinion Survey collects feedback from your employees on a range of issues related to the operation of your district. Information collected by the employee opinion survey can help guide your work in crafting employee handbooks; building relationships and improving services; and, if used annually, track trends and determine the impact of employee-related initiatives.

• • • •

Demographics • Job satisfaction • Compensation and Benefits • Supervisor Support

Teacher Support Assistance from Human Resources Training and Workplace Safety

The Employee Opinion Survey can collect data on these topics and much more. Each survey is customizable to the district’s needs.

For information about this and other WASB services, visit wasb.org or contact the WASB at 877-705-4422.

WASB.org

(Toll-Free) 877-705-4422 May 2014

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A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S

Lead Your District Summer Leadership Institute will focus on accountability, finance, and governance issues

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he Summer Leadership Institute, taking place August 2 at the Crowne Plaza in Madison, aims to provide school board members with the tools and knowledge to successfully lead your districts and improve board governance. This all-day event provides school leaders with an opportunity to network with colleagues from around the state and get up-to-date information on a range of school leadership issues. The Summer Leadership Institute will have three separate tracks of programming: school finance, accountability, and governance. Board members may select one track to attend or attend sessions in various tracks throughout the day. The School Finance track, planned in partnership with the Wisconsin Association of School

Business Officials, will begin by having attendees participate in the Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools interactive tool that helps participants comprehend the variables, stakeholders and nuances of financing Wisconsin’s public schools. Other in-depth sessions include the school district budget cycle and Wisconsin’s school finance system. The Accountability track features experts from the Department of Public Instruction and the WASB. Sessions will provide an update on the state’s educator effectiveness initiative and discuss implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Other sessions include what school board members need to know about assessments and evaluations, and take a look at school and district accountability. This track will wrap up with a session led by WASB

consultants on effectively interpreting, presenting, and using data. School board members interested in developing leadership strategies to lead your school board or to improve school board governance should attend the Governance track. WASB consultants, who have many years of experience in school leadership positions, will provide insight on important leadership issues and strategies. One session will address how different leadership styles affect the quality and impression of your decision making. Other sessions will examine school board practices and protocols to keep school boards focused on key leadership roles and issues, and communicating and building trust. The WASB Summer Leadership Institute provides school leaders with the information and leadership

The WASB Summer Leadership Institute provides school leaders with the information and leadership strategies to improve the governance and operation of your school district.

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strategies to improve the governance and operation of your school district. For more information, visit wasb.org. n Three tracks for school board leadership training: Governance b Effective School Board Practices

b Communication and Trust Building b Leadership Styles Accountability b Common Core State Standards

b Educator Effectiveness b Assessments b Data-Based Decision Making School Finance b Wisconsin’s School Finance System

b School Finance Community Engagement Tool

b School District Budget Cycle

| Upcoming Webinars The WASB hosts a series of webinars throughout the year on legal, policy, and other important school leadership topics. Here is a look at the upcoming webinars from the WASB: Hiring Teachers May 14, 12 – 1 pm Presenter: Bob Butler, Associate Executive Director and Staff Counsel This presentation will inform you about the general hiring process of teachers, including state requirements. It includes information about the purpose of position descriptions, the posting of vacancy notices, application forms, the interview process, and reference checks. You will also learn about state and federal laws as they relate to employment discrimination.

Annual and Special Meetings: Notice, Procedures and Powers June 11, 12 – 1 pm Presenter: Barry Forbes, Associate Executive Director and Staff Counsel

This presentation will review the notice requirements for annual and special meetings, cover meeting agendas and procedures and discuss the division of powers between the annual meeting and the school board in common school districts. Please note: These and all previous webinars are recorded and available on demand. WASB members can purchase any webinar and watch when their schedule allows. Upcoming live and pre-recorded webinars are listed on the WASB Webinars page at wasb.org (select “Meetings & Events” and then “Webinars”).

For more information on upcoming WASB events, visit wasb.org.

| Upcoming Workshop Legal Authority and Duties of Wisconsin School Boards May 13 – CESA 11, Turtle Lake Presenter: Barry Forbes, WASB Associate Executive and Staff Counsel

This workshop will provide school board members with an introduction to the basics of school and government law. Topics covered will include the school board and board member powers and duties, respective roles of the board and district administrator, open meeting law, parliamentary procedures, public records law, conflicts of interest, board member liabilities and more. Dinner is included. For more information or to register, visit wasb.org.

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L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E

Recapping the 2013-14 Legislative Session A look at new laws and school funding picture that resulted from the 2013-14 session

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he curtain has fallen on the 2013-14 legislative session, and lawmaking has ceased until next January when the 2015-16 Legislature will convene. Last month’s column addressed key K-12 education-related legislation that didn’t pass. This column looks at several measures enacted in the waning days of the legislative session. One notable new law repeals the requirement that school boards must hold school for at least 180 days each year. It leaves in place the requirement that schools must schedule and hold a minimum number of hours of direct pupil instruction, as specified by grade level. This new law will also allow districts that offer “year-round” school to create “interim periods” during which pupil instructional minutes will count towards “summer school” membership for aid purposes although not toward the minimum required hours of instruction. (WASB helped write and supported this legislation.) Another new law reflects the Legislature’s concern over school district levies not subject to revenue limits, specifically those for community programs and services under Fund 80. It directs the DPI to pro-

mulgate rules defining “eligible costs” for Fund 80 and provides that only expenditures that are eligible costs under the rules will be excluded from a school district’s revenue limit. It requires each district’s annual audit report to provide information about the district’s Fund 80 expenditures for community programs and services. Based on the audit, the DPI may decrease a school district’s revenue limit in any school year by the amount of the school district’s ineligible Fund 80 expenditures in the previous school year. Any decrease, however, will not affect the base for determining the district’s revenue limit for the following school year. (WASB supported and helped make this law less burdensome.) Other new laws:

b Allow a school district, CESA, or county to receive special education aid for the cost of contracting with private or public agencies for substitute teaching and paraprofessional staffing services (WASB supported);

b Allow non-instrumentality

charter schools to use an equivalency process for teacher and principal evaluations; (WASB supported); and

b Require taxpayer-funded

voucher schools to report data on voucher students to the state student information system by the 2015-16 school year. This new law, in combination with provisions enacted in the state budget act (2013 Wisconsin Act 20), ensures the progress of all taxpayer-funded students in schools in Wisconsin will be included in state accountability report cards by the 2016-17 school year (WASB supported).

| Improved School Funding Recapping the legislative session as a whole, the school funding picture improved although not as much as many districts would like. Per-pupil revenue limits were raised by $75 in 2013-14 and an additional $75 ($150 total) in 2014-15 while general school aids increased by about $88 million in 2013-14 and $182 million in 2014-15. Although categorical aids were generally frozen, a new $5 million per year allotment for high-cost transportation aid was approved to reimburse school districts with perpupil transportation costs in excess of 150 percent of the statewide average.

The school funding picture improved, although not as much as many districts would like.

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Lawmakers also created a new “per-pupil aid,” considered “categorical” because it is received outside the revenue limit. All districts will receive $75 per pupil in 2013-14 and $150 per pupil beginning in 2014-15. This aid is funded on a sum-sufficient basis, so each district is guaranteed this amount (no proration). | Changes to Voucher and

Charter Schools A new statewide voucher program was established, limited to 500 students in 2013-14 and 1,000 students in 2014-15 and thereafter, for students with family incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Per-pupil payments to all voucher schools will increase in 2014-15 to $7,050 for pupils in grades kindergarten through 8 and to $7,856 for pupils in grades 9 through 12. A state income tax deduction for private school tuition was also established. The geographic scope of independent charter schools was expanded to a five-county area surrounding Milwaukee, while per-pupil payments to these schools were increased by $150 a year to $7,925 in 2013-14 and to $8,075 in 201415. The funding source for independent charters remains a first draw on general aids that would otherwise be paid to districts. Beginning in 2015-16, increases in per-pupil payments to both voucher schools and independent charter schools will be set equal to a combination of the increase in perpupil aid and per-pupil revenue limits received by public schools districts. Open enrollment transfer payment amounts will be similarly adjusted. | Funded Mandates State funding was provided for a number of state mandates, including money to cover the costs of: new Next Generation state assessments to replace the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exams (WKCE); teacher and principal evaluations under the

educator effectiveness initiative; reading screening tests for pupils in kindergarten through third-grade; and a new mandate on districts to provide academic and career planning services to all pupils in grades 6-12 beginning in the 2017-18 school year. In addition, lawmakers approved a student information system proposal with reporting requirements that can be reasonably met by multiple vendors, enabling school districts to use their vendor of choice. | Looking Ahead The next Legislature will look quite different come January, as 20 members of the state Assembly and at least five state Senators, at last count, will either not For help in setting up a legislative forum in your district, seek re-election or are seeking contact WASB Director of Government Relations Dan higher office. And voters will Rossmiller at drossmiller@wasb.org or 608-512-1720. have a say in the future service of the remaining 79 Assembly members and 12 senators who are seeking re-election to another term. partnering with boards from neighA number of those retiring are boring districts (or even your CESA), moderate Republicans who have with other units of local government strongly supported public education, or civic organizations, and with and public school leaders will have to news media (your local newspapers, look elsewhere for support in the radio and television stations) to host future. That makes the November a forum. Partnering will give you the election a critical one for public critical mass you need to attract education. candidates and enough voters so All 99 Assembly seats and the 17 candidates will deem appearing at odd-numbered Senate seats will be your forum worthwhile. on the ballot this fall as well as the This shouldn’t be a mysterious governor and other partisan state process or a “gotcha” situation. constitutional officers. Legislators are generalists; they aren’t experts in every subject, and | Get Involved they certainly aren’t all experts on This is a great time for you and your education issues. If you can, provide board to have a candid discussion candidates with a list of the queswith your legislators. After all, if they tions in advance or at least some don’t listen to your concerns when background information on what they are seeking your vote, when will you intend to ask. If you allow the they listen? It is also a great time to audience to ask questions, have them submit questions in writing so a invite all of the legislative candidates moderator can review the questions in your area to a candidate forum, before they are asked. If you partner particularly if an incumbent lawwith the news media, you can often maker isn’t running for his or her find a well-known reporter who will seat, creating a vacancy. be seen as impartial and could serve To make your forum more as your moderator. n attractive to candidates, consider

May 2014

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27


LEGAL COMMENT

B oa r dma n & C l a r k LL P

Extracurricular Activities and Rules Concerning Appearance

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xtracurricular activities are a settled part of school life. Although not part of the academic program, they are vital components in the overall education of students and help maintain student interest in school. Further, as extracurricular activities become a springboard for further education and future careers, students have a heightened interest in these activities and, as a result, often fight to maintain their interest in them. In this respect, students have sometimes challenged the authority of school officials to make rules regarding participation in extracurricular activities, particularly interscholastic athletics, including rules related to personal appearance. As a result, school officials must make every effort to assure that such requirements are in accord with state and federal law. This Legal Comment will review the various principles that apply when school boards implement such rules, particularly as it relates to rules concerning appearance in interscholastic athletics, and will discuss a recent case involving a rule implemented by a basketball coach related to hair length.1

| Regulation Over

Extracurricular Activities Regulation over extracurricular activities depends on the nature of the activity itself. With respect to interscholastic athletics, control is typically vested not only in the school board

and coach, but also in an athletic association or conference. Wisconsin Statute s. 120.13 grants school boards the power to make rules governing student participation in school-sponsored interscholastic sports. Regulation of interscholastic athletic competition, however, has largely been delegated to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), a voluntary membership organization that includes all Wisconsin’s public high schools and many other schools. The WIAA exerts general control over the official school teams in all of the sports that it sponsors. Its board of control has authority to make and interpret rules governing interscholastic athletic competition. Member schools are bound by the WIAA’s rules and may be penalized for violating them. While the WIAA imposes certain minimum requirements for participation in interscholastic competition, a school board may impose even more restrictive obligations on its student-athletes. Furthermore, coaches may impose requirements where they are deemed necessary to the performance of the individual sport. The nature and extent of a coach’s authority is based on a delegation of that authority from the board. | Privilege to Participate Students generally have no right or property interest in participation in extracurricular activities. Participation is generally considered a privilege which may be extended or

withdrawn at a board’s discretion. Where participation is considered a privilege, a board also has discretion to determine rules for participation. Such discretion, however, is not unlimited. Such rules still need to be considered in light of any applicable federal or state constitutions or laws. To this end, a board must be cautious when adopting rules, including avoiding rules that may unlawfully discriminate against students, or that may unlawfully penalize students for engaging in constitutionally protected rights, such as free speech rights. The board’s rules will also typically be reviewed as to whether they are a reasonable exercise of the power and discretion of the board. The rules must be reasonable both in content and in application, and must be designed to advance legitimate educational purposes. Reasonableness is a constantly evolving standard. Earlier cases, for example, recognized the right of schools to limit the activity of married students in order to further a policy of discouraging teenage marriages. However, such rules are likely now questionable based in part on equal protection principles. School officials must remain sensitive not only to developments in state and federal law, but also to the changing community standards. | Grooming and Appearance One area in which schools often impose rules for extracurricular

The Hayden decision is important because it identifies potential limitations on rules related to appearance for students participating in extracurricular activities.

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LEGAL COMMENT activities is the area of grooming and appearance, including hair length. Such rules are often grounded upon the rationale that such grooming builds morale, discipline, and team spirit, and are necessary for purposes of performance. Students, however, have not always agreed with this rationale and often cite personal freedom to choose their own appearance. Interestingly, courts have not been uniform in their approach to this issue. The validity of grooming and appearance rules have been litigated with conflicting results. In some cases, grooming and appearance rules are upheld. For example, in one case, a federal district court found no violation of constitutional or statutory rights when a high school student was not allowed to play in a basketball game because he wore his hair in a type of braid called cornrows.2 This style violated the team coach’s grooming policy, and the court said that high school coaches had discretion and authority to impose additional requirements on student athletes. In another case, a federal district court held that a school board regulation requiring male athletes to be neat and clean shaven and to have their hair out of their eyes and trimmed above the ears and collar did not violate the constitutional rights of a student who challenged the rule.3 The rule was found not to be unreasonable based on testimony that long hair could adversely affect the performance of athletes and that enforcement of the regulation was considered a legitimate means of building team morale and discipline. However, some courts refuse to uphold such grooming and appearance rules. In particular, courts will sometimes strike down such rules where the evidence fails to establish any effect upon the performance of athletes or dissension on the team. For example, in one case, a federal district court ruled that, because the right to choose one’s own hair style was a fundamental right, any rule restricting that right must be justified by a compelling governmental interest.4 The school board argued that a student athletic rule restricting

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[continued] hair length was justified because long hair interfered with the athlete’s performance, created dissension on the teams, served the purpose of instilling discipline among team members, and was necessary to insure conformity and uniformity. The court ruled that there was no evidence that long hair affected performance and also found that there was no evidence that long hair created dissension on the team. The court also observed that uniformity and conformity for its own sake did not justify the rule. Thus, it is clear that courts have come to differing results on the validity of rules related to grooming and appearance for extracurricular activities. As a result, school districts must be cautious in developing such rules. Certainly, a recent case, Hayden v. Greensburg Community School Corporation,5 issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit illustrates the point that school districts must be cautious. This case involved a parent’s challenge to a rule on hair length by a boys’ basketball coach. The Seventh Circuit is the federal appeals court that includes Wisconsin in its jurisdiction, so this case is binding on Wisconsin school districts. | Recent Case Denies School

Rule Regarding Hair Length Hayden involved a student, A.H., who was disqualified from playing on the boys’ basketball team because the length of his hair violated a coaches’ policy regarding hair style. The coaches for the boys’ basketball teams at Greensburg High School and Greensburg Junior High School had an unwritten policy that each player’s hair must be cut above the ears, eyebrows, and collar. The coaches’ policy was issued pursuant to the school’s grooming policy that stated: Hair Styles which create problems of health and sanitation obstruct vision, or call undue attention to the athlete are not acceptable. Athletes may not wear haircuts that include insignias, numbers, initials, or extremes in differing lengths. Mohawks are not acceptable, and

hair coloring is not permitted. Each varsity head coach will be responsible for determining acceptable length of hair for a particular sport. Ask a coach before trying out for a particular team if you have a question about hair styles.

No girls’ athletic team was subject to a hair-length policy. After A.H. was disqualified, his parents filed suit in federal district court against the Greensburg Community School Corporation challenging the grooming policy. The parents claimed that the school district (1) violated A.H.’s Fourteenth Amendment due process rights in part because the policy infringed upon his right to wear the hairstyle of his choice; (2) violated A.H.’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause because the policy, as applied to male basketball players only, constituted gender discrimination; and (3) violated A.H.’s rights under Title IX by discriminating against him based on his gender. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled in favor of the school district. First, the court rejected the parents’ due process claims. The court concluded that A.H. did not have any property interest in participating in extracurricular sports, and, to the extent that he had a liberty interest, A.H. could be subject to reasonable regulations. According to the court, the policy was reasonable because it rationally related to the legitimate school interest of advancing an image of clean cut boys and uniformity for sake of team unity. Second, the court rejected the parents’ Equal Protection Clause claim, concluding that A.H. failed to show any evidence that the district discriminated against him based on his membership in the class of male athletes, especially considering, like female athletes, male athletes on other teams were also not subject to the rule. The court also rejected the parents’ Title IX claim for similar reasons. The parents appealed this ruling. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit likewise rejected the due process


claim. On this claim, the court concluded that there was a liberty interest in one’s hair length, and as a result, the school district only needed to demonstrate that the intrusion upon that liberty was rationally related to a legitimate government interest. However, the court stated that it was the plaintiff’s burden (not the district’s) to prove that the policy was arbitrary. In this case, A.H. failed to present any argument on the issue, and as a result, the court dismissed the claim. With respect to the other claims, the court reached a different conclusion than the district court, concluding that the unwritten policy violated both the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX. According to the court, it was irrelevant that male athletes playing other sports were not subject to hair length restrictions. Instead, the relevant fact was that a male athlete wishing to play basketball at the school district was subject to a different requirement than a female athlete in the same position. Further, there was no evidence that female athletes were subject to a grooming policy with comparable, even if not identical, restrictions. As a result, the court found that the policy discriminated against male basketball players and violated both the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX. The court provided significant commentary on the fact that the record alluded to, but did not include, a school policy imposing grooming restrictions on female athletes. Based on the court’s commentary, it appears that the school district could have avoided liability if it had only demonstrated that female athletes were likewise subject to comparable, even if not identical, grooming restrictions. The court pointed to a line of cases holding that sex-differentiated standards consistent with community norms may be permissible to the extent they are part of a comprehensive, evenly-enforced grooming code that imposes comparable burdens on

both males and females alike. In fact, some of those cases upheld workplace hair-length restrictions on male, but not female, employees where the female employees were subject to comparable grooming requirements although not subject to the hair-length restrictions. The Hayden decision is important because it identifies potential limitations on rules related to appearance for students participating in extracurricular activities. However, as mentioned, the Hayden decision was made without a full review of other relevant facts that could have influenced the court to reach a different conclusion. For example, while the school’s hair-length restriction was struck down under the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX, it might not have been if the school had produced evidence that female athletes were subject to comparable although not identical restrictions. Nevertheless, school districts should consider the impact of Hayden on any rules for students participating in extracurricular activities. | Conclusion Based on the above, it is clear that school districts must be cautious in

implementing grooming and appearance rules for students who participate in extracurricular activities. School districts should be prepared to justify any rule with facts that show the need for such a rule, such as the need to build morale or discipline, or a concern over performance or sanitation. Further, any rule-maker that draws an explicit distinction between male and female athletes and imposes a burden on one gender alone should be prepared to supply a legally sufficient justification for the sexbased classification. n | Endnotes 1. For additional information related to

this topic, see Wisconsin School News, “Title IX and Athletics After 35 Years” (February 2008) and WASB Legal Notes “Student Dress Codes” (Fall 2003) and “Athletic Codes of Conduct” (Summer 2001).

2. Hurt v. Boonville R-1 Sch. Dist., Case No. 02-4267-CV-C-SOW (W.D. Mo. 2002). 3. Neuhaus v. Torrey, 310 F. Supp. 192 (N.D. Cal. 1970). 4. Dunham v. Pulsifer, 312 F. Supp. 411 (D. Vt. 1970). 5. 743 F.3d 569 (7th Cir. 2014). This Legal Comment was written by Michael J. Julka and Richard F. Verstegen of Boardman & Clark LLP, WASB Legal Counsel.

Legal Comment is designed to provide authoritative general information, with commentary, as a service to WASB members. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. If required, legal advice regarding this topic should be obtained from district legal counsel.

May 2014

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Q&A

A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S

Service Associate Q&A Kevin Hickman of JP Cullen tackles school district facility issues

Editor’s note: Each issue, we pose questions to a WASB Service Associate to share the good work that these businesses do with Wisconsin public schools.

Q.

When assessing facilities, how should school districts determine whether to build new or to renovate/retrofit a building?

A.

Any decision regarding building new or renovating must be done by evaluating your district’s priorities and then effectively planning through the lens of those priorities. The trend in K-12 is certainly to do the best with what you already have, so many of the districts I work with are evaluating remodeling or additions to their current facilities prior to looking at building new schools. If you will need to go to referendum to fund your construction, it will be critically important to have the right longrange facilities plan, as well as a community and staff engagement plan in place, which will necessarily include a thorough evaluation of facility options.

Q. What are some of the biggest

school facility challenges you see in Wisconsin public schools?

A. As I travel around the state

meeting with different districts, I have heard three consistent challenges that ultimately relate to facilities. The first involves how folks can do more (or enough) with less financial resources. Second, how do districts upgrade their facilities to address the competitive reality they face? Finally, how do districts communicate their facility

challenges in a way that centers on effectively educating students in a 21st century learning environment? Your district may face other challenges, but these three seem to be almost universal for public schools in Wisconsin.

Kevin Hickman is director of business development with JP Cullen.

Q. What are some solutions to these challenges?

A. I would argue your solution lies in having the right communications strategy in place. A communications strategy is driven by data specific to your district regarding how people prefer to receive information, what information sources they trust, and how the district is currently perceived by the community. Being able to utilize key communicator groups, faculty, and other thought leaders in your community should be an advantage to districts facing these challenging issues. Q. How have school facilities changed in the past 20 years?

A. Most districts I work with have

really shifted their focus to addressing functionality; cost drives decision making more than ever. Passing referenda is still the preferred route to fund upgrading facilities. Although having the right plan is more of a determining factor of referenda success than cost, districts pay particular attention to squeezing as much value as possible out of their facilities budgets. The desire for flexible learning environ-

ments and the use of technology have really driven design and construction efforts over the past five years; facilities are built around technology today.

Q. What would your dream school look like? A. Of course my dream school would have students and educators working within an environment that encourages high performance. Even more importantly, and inclusive of the security concerns districts must face, the school would serve as a central gathering place for the community, encouraging dialogue about best practices, performance standards, school finance, and community engagement. This openness to those in the community would foster a sense of ownership by everyone in the district, not just those with school-aged children. n The WASB Service Associates Program includes more than 20 businesses and organizations that have been recognized by the WASB Board of Directors as reputable businesses and partners of public education in Wisconsin. For more information, visit wasb.org and select “Service Associates.”

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SUPPORTING, PROMOTING AND ADVANCING PUBLIC EDUCATION t the n ents a tio se Studon Conven a c w o Sh cati u d E te oint Sta

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n entio Conv eo V t n id Stude two team of e eking a that n at th B) is se e a video io94th n ds (WAS Vs is oduc Team e at the v ol Boar district to pr ce ti ho an a Sc ntio rm of Milw

Jan. 21-23, 2015

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perfo ation school Associ s from one sessions, and nt isconsin ts, The W talented stude citing even kee. ex e au or mor s some of the ion in Milw nt ht Conve , in 2015 highlig ucation 3, 2015 -23, ntion y 21 State Ed y 21-2 ard Center arbo nuol Januar Ja Conve ic nsin blco puis by scho otehe•r W s place g the d ke ion take n is attendedor Tapin an nt au nts and s, ve de ilw io on at M ation C The Convent rators, educ B will give stuteam will uc Ed e ist AS t e. The Statwn Milwauke ents, admin onsin. The W The studen WASB also nd e least downto rs, superinte ers from Wisc Convention. pment. Th e ui om at membe n stakehold access to th eir own eq ghlights fr io ll educat r adviser fu providing th capture hi a teache onsible for t video team be respts the studen day. and reques Convention events ll will ghlight one fu and hi ng the video inutes ideo -12 –ely seven m ing, and editi video include ral V 7 e s h e at T oxim grad appr produc e to setheethe ge of a gene g, in tin 4 be ts d lik withg: covera tion ould, 201 n. Shoo B woul tudeneoosh sin eratioclnudin conven v. 1e4Conventio The W,AS For S Thneevid N at in Wiscon in coopts, nu ws with produce! th li : am. ardstion sevthen an ald in terv puieblic 5 nts Dead speakers the stundeofntSctehoolcoBo enunce tehalll,Wan , 20y1 nvno isconsin whittatedstude 1-23ou bysociatio variecia hibito al ty of d As sesuebm uary ll2 be pr dl n Center exen tion, an le e op to rk th be d a so , wi wo sin te is e n As ns m ci e on Ja exe of Stat eo fro ion n sepe isc age uc ssio nc ASch is ec . nsi nsco 20. 15 The vidgeeom iois The W foot tiois ex rieTh12 t Ed atnven • otW WEa B pi d at, 20 the15 sin sin Ario co ds. Thea ca unk pr rses. 7- e . exhibiryte20 aio ow ke nt sh ad Wiscon setsssan dn,Awar ddsp ilw ve gr ua in M us on Febr e. Join as bi wille be an in ria du ed in C do we Art Exhi atde ndseeens rolle entry wi crllitebe auke and us stu te nt th thevid Milwite n? How ed ineo school ancefinwi rpretatio nuarB'y sinwebs l e rd e ishntion th ur inte eJaWASs! loca n) llenc ve in acco Th hat is yo rselves? t and? W Con strisicte Exce n sp student layedonon hic desig iodi dith rm g sin ap at ou ol gr in uc in ho ir isc Ed n sc nce sp t (not atio nt of W dents' you hear excelle rk of ar ge: In form thine kstu the tale InC of when do we inspire WASB original wo allen e to re s h as th le ct an Mois w u re ta Ho ! s? Con), create ess t do yo rt t’ hers?as estion ndncae”pr pted 01 or ? Wha. llence in otw The A c ue ll selle t acce2hico ion. Qis no8ASBirewiexceng eir work exce ic S at 51 17 Theu W spcognizicietythinspireMu l mediaat 60 applita an l mreds onllence.” School yo “in ia (digAndeExrsce ia rere , a soSch shoneeoft fo in How do m, ed iso ns by cultu0 ng th el 5 a iri co tio of ng by 1 Sh is sp le t na W “In bi ecialis ess followi e 2 back mns a peop Sp the termds and the of the Proatcion g th owcase See theia oricco atiotion ofrg inform e BOTH tieon usic Sh re aor uncin any medminun .Boar lircm eFo rpretaSc ust do ho.ool Stat d! annual M Anno Using gCyoom App ur te nn@ t um ofwasb hear sb.org top th an tiovinsiyo e e 2015 plio wa be so e tio th n, Th ica at or er at ia ice . on ns St ite nt nd showinAss ap saocLet your voco-spo as ur ve 6-s12 webs Joint at Con etne yo tion. ate curately WASB gradDes at14the ToEd mpl eio SMA) isconsinBOLDn! (W couc Th rm, 20 : nven on the t the form ac ications, r 14 14co rfo enotsrtinant tovepe The W Be tio 20 ortg/ udp , ric bl n form 15aukee. b. ou 14st 20ilw d mbee da . as w nsin stIm y),M Associa Nov di ates, pu twork. gistratio lly. Please fill in in linviete- No on15 , re , fic rs e e ad rti th ar Music ion for Wisco cttio ce be De ar plete 3,ick2020, 2015ard mem 2 (p tronica letters, ed with the le ica edn -2-2 om r ec tit pl C se 21 fo el 21 e. y Ap pe it 1. y ps ar at ed bo itt ry ol st nu ar ou com online subm submit2015 ll be us nd the and -2 - Febr0uascho on- Janu ance gr Taping of the k, 3,rmation wi the form to be Du o00 a copy 0-e2,00 ials from arou artwor perform n Convention ofVide y 21 e infoan Ceofnter y service, send back of the aria copy fic e 1, io a in Januarbmth ing intns to Educat will compris ol business of to: M ec su e •itt deliver Wt.isPrco taped by ke ts au ce ckable an envelope k by Nov. 14men, WI ho en sc en tra a di ud d au rs an Using it. rm in and st Milw artwor k Lane, Hol to ns s fo 2. ed n m tra tra is ag tio ra in prog admin applica refully pack S Meadowlar artwork lost n. 1, music e ca and th WAEA,e29 tionsponsible for cipants by Ja district’s mpetition. n06 co te your ason Mn C,onv nnot be re to all parti Celebra for this year ’s the6. We catters will be sent tio g 63 in ca 54 n w u le tio llo d n audi e E lly fo ApNploty.ificatio cess n Pro se t Stelaect tronica . issio 2015 h JoSuinbmit it ic.org/Shoatwca used for Subm tion. e n9re4cotrding. at wsmamusga thered will be must t thtio /conven

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Showcase Your Students!

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case Show c i s u M r est fo Requ ns vention io ation Con c u d E Audit te Sta the Joint istrict at D r u o Y Showcase

Share your district’s best work to help other districts grow and learn.

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te s ion tions 15 A websi ol lethadeerinformat d audi 3, 20 wasb.org ill e WSM nsin scteho -2ations w nter as ntion. plications any 21 posal at ar ns on th Wiscoac cura ly ve ap nu ndnotificisco ns Ja ioan yoinurCepro ct directiool's storythto le form ucatioionnsC,on etc. All 14. Se it W e k m • b or t e ho tw su Ed sc se fill ou t State publicat tome , 20 auke eas, neilwrm ayar30 Tell yourthPleanu e id Join es, onlinMe tefon beco ededbytoMshth An alcertificat bmeittne SMA, the 94 letters, arkegn use. oneeschool of d/izsue th le a, se inley, W 2014 Pt 29 poerstsmreco Augusno tions at esa McK 22 or va be er ad Th le t In e by 7-a26 adch other. is 25 contac , 60Fa School be mea ess: 8ir se ea g. that addr m , pl ASBool t r or sessions weas fob.in n, learn fro r others. any questions ualmnan Jo onWSch enth king for iaThsm tioe!n@ unity fo Q nve ti ail co ve n We are loo tenveenstatus Comm ent modelsIf you ha m ortiAomnyCo, oreletourlear nendrath syo ge ou ca m 66 er y u ar nd ge ad 35 Se m Ed le e)s ctfro iv t ole. freerlle te Enga 850stat co g Studen ent e ho ansd 60 s es lellad forthsc int8-Sta 5-sc 22 ur sumcc olols(toto Fundin ho ietys to evem scho The Jo 877orni are yoogra 70 44 r strtu Achi School eipo se ip seblwicith n dis tethllethop vattive pr ca forrtipu noha ess.inW w e pe

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PROPOSALS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR: • Sessions

• School Fair • Music Showcase • Art Exhibit • Video Team

Join us

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v i s i t wa s b . o r g / co n v e n t i o n to s u b m i t o n l i n e .

w adersh La n.ho yopluracex Cuc district. uvesintcioS aresinthe atveiontnioanexpesrtsto inshbu Le School Share ucbl ioned on from at on or king? rence in your 0 n CM s pu atic io5 2 at1 ore a diffe r andd educ e uc State Ed oten Facilitie e Ed aremwad chud hets antegies ve 14 t Stratth fo in 20 s , Jo ra ha te st e 30 from eastW an th Da hat ts that May Hum ntn at 14 ssio sea dline ces stories? projec Im a rt 29, 20 pr o Resour ria 14 Proposal Dea ugust hool 15 osal fo rite 27, 20 tion -toAday's sc-2 a propctio,nJuCne 3, 20 otifica are: leiday Submit Se:eFr y e21on the ors arrv aeptancedNrelevant- to ri audiences nu se in ct te Ja dl fa ri ho y Dea esers w embers Our major on C Acc st ance Dviat ew ee. Man ard M electi of high inteforerm l of re ry Committ e hool Bo nean sal S iv o er c Sc tors times pa ct p P pi • fe a so to ro vi ef P ministra t dates and Ad ion Ad ns.monstrates t 1. Is theis ev?aluated by nt days): ric ve hisbi t de • Dist ol FairffiEx al ble both ficials ation Conofthprisespren ojtaectio opos ofal ho ess O ciu are availa Scsin *Bu Each pr int State Educ selece iothnat w ct yo ho at • g Jo ofrdin m-4pm tga eveiden ning?wing: e ask th ine th en 9a re 2015 ider (W – er tm ed n th lo io n. 21 ns Is lear follo foermalat thceintim are co 2. m-2pm sday, Ja ng anndto the in ifi et ec is give teachi Wedne Jan. 22 – 9a idemsp offer? novbe . eration , n? osdalcapr or what it will rly described rmatar r an Consid eaop change Thursday e eclpr fonels io e s th and/ ds are clea ow-torg"einpa es bject to oear tiv su ok D e lo ec ar 3. bj "h etho . hibit will tical ive (la 1. O * Hours ac al utesex and m lid, pr interact 60 minthe tion format ide so the annu with of es: ng and prov display beyond includ enta dience bitbe engagi hiill e pres the ex Space interest r an au pop-up 2. Th 4. Will ta tion w tion or propriate fo 10' arc ac en e es ot d ap • One e pr ader . topic prom esented is esente he d) pr . 3. Th c rs is ge hi to n ra the pr grap inistra solutio discou lution table 5. Willept or so ce? rs and adm skirted 14ept or 0nc • One th,e 2co e conc nferden 27 membe tation. 4. Th olco airs ationneof boar y,icJu pl presen • Two ch scho :orFrldidapa studies). m the e -w fro al " lin t t re d s. D ticeala, ke away , case • Carpe ty upon reques vendor 5. Prac n practices clear "ta d at ci tch" by have a -22 an ales pi • Electri (prove as a "s Jan. 21 submit a embers m ed on r ce us te t OT dien do no days. sin Cen n is N 6. Au Wiscon 23. Please y of these only. entatio at the e pres n n. 1-22 7. Th n.t) on a duled ion r on Ja rm Jan. 2 reatse be sche Cente e intofop uled ns will aukee City for m or le ed io b h ss a sc Se u are ill be e side on Milw vess rele rs yo vendors w the Hilt (See sal un h propo tations wit n Prese

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