2017 MREA Annual Conference

Future Ready Students

How do we ensure we’re developing future-ready students?

This is the focus of the 2017 MREA Annual Conference Nov. 12-14. Save the dates on your calendar and gather your team. Members save when registering groups of three or more. Learn more and register.

Sunday, Nov. 12

5:00 PM

Conference Check-in

Location: Main Lobby

5:30 PM

Light Dinner Buffet

Location: Poolside

6:15 PM

Conference Connections Kickoff

Location: Poolside

7:00 PM

Early-Bird Workshops

Monday, Nov. 13

7:00 AM

Breakfast Buffet

Location: Main Dining Room

8:15 AM

Welcome & Opening Keynote Speaker

Location: Event Centre

10:05 AM

Breakout Session I

 

11:10 AM

Breakout Session II

 

12:00 PM

Lunch

Location: Main Dining Room

1:30 PM

Breakout Session III

 

3:00 PM

Mindstorm

Location: Poolside

4:30 PM

Legislative Lessons & Social Hour: What’s Next for Rural Schools?

Location: Lakeshore 1-4

6:00 PM

Awards Banquet

Location: Main Dining Room

7:30 PM

Dessert & Conversation

Location: Lakeshore 1-4

Tuesday, Nov. 14

7:30 AM

Breakfast Buffet

Location: Event Centre

7:30 AM

Gallery Walk

Location: Event Centre

9:30 AM

Closing Speaker

Location: Event Centre

10:30 AM

MREA Annual Business Meeting

Location: Event Centre

11:00 AM

Prizes & Send-off

Location: Event Centre

Every Student Needs A Why to Try

Transforming America’s K-12 Schools

Motivational speaker, author and educator John Baylor will open the conference. In addition to helping students, Baylor is on a mission to help schools. His recent book, Reaching Higher: The Simple Strategy to Transform America’s K-12 Schools, shows schools how to affect change in school culture to improve motivation. View a video preview.

Soft Skills + Tech Skills = Real Life Learning

Creating Future Ready Students

Craig Cegielski will share both practical and personal experience. He attended technical education classes in high school while working at the local machine and fabrication shop. He later earned a Technology Education degree and was honored as National Rural Teacher of the Year for starting a high school student manufacturing company that teaches soft and technical skills.

Legislative Lessons

What’s Next for Rural Schools?

Sam Walseth has logged 17 legislative sessions lobbying at the Minnesota State Capitol and leading successful coalitions to improve equity in educational opportunities for rural students. He will provide an insider’s perspective on the 2017 legislative activities and share what’s next for rural schools.

Student Career and College Planning

Minnesota Jobs: Data-Driven Decisions

Luke Greiner

Early Bird

The tight job market of today requires the most effective utilization of labor possible. Educating the workforce is paramount and the complex dynamic of correctly matching education to employment is critical. Every student is important and the costs of misalignment will be increasingly shared by students and employers. Regardless of education level, students can find financial and employment success. Are you using the tools to find opportunities and guide students to success?

Career Expos Engage and Inform Students about Careers

Tom Hoff, Mary Mortier

Breakout 1

Students make career and college decisions based on sound information and personal experiences, but many are not aware of the tremendous career and educational opportunities in their community or region. The Southwest Minnesota Career Expo serves 2,000 high school students annually to help them learn directly from employers in the region about the career opportunities that await them. Students play game shows, tour colleges, and engage in hands-on activities at career exhibit booths. The expo events are delivered by a partnership between a service cooperative, community and technical college, local university, DEED, local chambers of commerce, and more.

College and Career Readiness for ALL Students

Chip Rankin, Julie Sweitzer

Breakout 1

Today school leaders must prepare all students for both high school graduation and to obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate. Students need support with academics, career exploration, understanding postsecondary options, social emotional skill development and financing college. When students understand the connections from the classroom to their future, they are more engaged in school, able to make sound educational decisions and regulate their behavior in ways that promote academic success. Hear how Pequot Lakes implemented a comprehensive program called Ramp-Up to Readiness. Explore data and resources to help your develop your district’s college and career readiness strategy.

Get Ready: Preparing Students for the Future

Nina Englund, Sheila Nelsen-Amado, Marcio Thompson

Breakout 1

Get Ready is a college and career readiness program administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Serving populations traditionally underrepresented in college, the program provides tools and experiences that will aid students, schools, and families in their pursuit of postsecondary education and employment readiness. This session will include an overview of the curriculum and robust programming options for the implementation of college access programming. Our approach to college and career readiness emphasizes the importance of helping students set and achieve their postsecondary goals, while helping schools and community organizations make structural shifts that support students’ college and career aspirations.

Tools of the Trade: A Data-Driven Adventure to Help Guide Students! (Part 1 of 2)

Luke Greiner

Breakout 1

This hands-on session will explore numerous labor market tools available at DEED for discovering what occupations are in demand, how much they pay locally, what the future holds, and how to asses college programs. Students and parents need accurate and correct information to make the best career and educational decisions. Are you utilizing the right tools to effectively guide students to successful careers? This interactive session requires participants to bring laptops or tablets to access online data tools.

RC3 – The Best Kept Secret

Carrie Bendix, Craig Nathan

Breakout 1

Workforce Development services can help your school to prepare students for the workforce, create experiential career exploration activities beyond the classroom, facilitate career planning with your regions current labor market information, college planning, connect with local businesses to build job shadows and internship opportunities, and gain work experience.  New legislation has created Rural Career Counseling Coordination (RC3) for Greater Minnesota.  Come and learn more about the tools, resources and collaborative models available to assist with career and college readiness activities, work based learning, addressing local workforce needs and other activities related to the World’s Best Workforce legislation.

Great Jobs Without A Four-Year Degree

Katherine Kersten

Breakout 2

The session will focus on Center of the American Experiment’s exciting new project: “Great Jobs Without A Four-Year Degree: What It Means for Students, Parents and Employers” and explore the troubling paradox that while Minnesota employers struggle to find skilled workers, young people lack the marketable skills to succeed in the 21st century workforce. Society’s strong cultural bias towards a four-year college degree mistakenly views alternative paths as second-best. Learn about the remarkable opportunities and financial rewards that alternative paths can provide, the special strengths rural students bring to the job market, and rural communities’ stake in providing students who wish to stay in the community with the skills they need to do so.

Moving Away from Class Rank – Does Rank tell the Whole Story?

Kim Kaukl

Breakout 2

Because class rank is misinterpreted, it can negatively impact students and taint the school atmosphere. Class rank fosters student behaviors that educators view as counterproductive: Avoidance of challenging classes that impact GPA/Rank. Excessive competition. An unwillingness to take an intellectual and academic risk. Increased pressure from students/parents to inflate/change grades. Without reporting rank, colleges are forced to review other factors such as: rigor of the student’s curriculum, student’s activities, test scores and accomplishments. Learn why class rank is outdated and walk away with an outline of a model that encourages academic rigor.

The 411 on Personal Learning Plans

Beth Barsness, April Schnell

Breakout 2

Personal Learning Plans (PLP) legislation, enacted in 2012, requires Minnesota high school students to have a ‘life plan’ that includes academic scheduling, career exploration, career and employment-related skills, community partnerships, college access, knowledge about all forms of postsecondary training, and experiential learning opportunities. Learn how schools and districts are implementing this legislation and some resources Minnesota Department of Education can provide to schools. Get answers to questions around PLPs, legislative language, and an PLP implementation example from Worthington High School.

Tools of the Trade: A Data-Driven Adventure to Help Guide Students (Part 2 of 2)

Luke Greiner

Breakout 2

This hands-on session will explore numerous labor market tools available at DEED for discovering what occupations are in demand, how much they pay locally, what the future holds, and how to asses college programs. Students and parents need accurate and correct information to make the best career and educational decisions. Are you utilizing the right tools to effectively guide students to successful careers? This interactive session requires participants to bring laptops or tablets to access online data tools.

Come Along for a SLEDS Ride: Data from K-12 to College & Career

Sarah Brown, Danielle Dupuis, Lisa Gregoire, Megan Peterson

Breakout 3

This hands-on session will explore numerous labor market tools available at DEED for discovering what occupations are in demand, how much they pay locally, what the future holds, and how to asses college programs. Students and parents need accurate and correct information to make the best career and educational decisions. Are you utilizing the right tools to effectively guide students to successful careers? This interactive session requires participants to bring laptops or tablets to access online data tools.

Supporting Students on the Path to Graduation and Beyond!

Cammy Lehr, Noam Wiggs

Breakout 3

This session will review GradMinnesota’s seven key recommendations to better engage and support students on the path to high school graduation and postsecondary success. Learn about statewide opportunities for young people to be decision-makers as part of the Minnesota Youth Council, the AmeriCorps MN Alliance With Youth Promise Fellow program providing mentors to work with young people in grades 6-10 throughout Minnesota, and take a virtual tour of GradMinnesota’s resource library that includes access to technical assistance, youth perspectives and research on increasing high school graduation and success of young people.

Early College Options and College Affordability

Affordability of College: A Message of Hope

John Baylor

Early Bird

About 40% of college students drop out. About 80% of them blame the high cost of college. Creating more savvy college shoppers would improve these numbers. Join us to learn easy-to-impart strategies for creating savvy, confident college shoppers so all students can enjoy an adulthood launched by a transformational college degree with minimal debt.

Create More 2- and 4-Year College Graduates

John Baylor, Betsy Bahn, Jim Sheehan

Breakout 1

Following his keynote address, John, Betsy and Jim will detail how his company helps schools and families create two- and four-year college graduates with minimal debt through ACT Preparation and college counseling services.  Attendees will learn the formula successfully employed by hundreds of school districts to increase scores, scholarships, and motivation. On To College (formally John Baylor Prep) has partnered with 30 Minnesota high schools and 400 high schools in 22 states to increase ACT scores, academic scholarships, and change the cultures of those schools.

Concurrent Enrollment: Supporting the Current Landscape and Paving the Way for the Future

Jessica Espinosa, Pakou Yang

Breakout 2

Attend this interactive session to learn more about the current landscape of concurrent enrollment across Minnesota. The session will address NACEP accreditation requirements and Minnesota State’s work on faculty qualifications, including discipline coursework options and graduate-level credit for prior learning. Come to learn about the state and system’s work to support concurrent enrollment, to ask questions, and to share your insights. Join in a discussion about how secondary and postsecondary can work collaboratively to pave the way for the future of concurrent enrollment for the state of Minnesota.

How Minnesota Service Cooperatives Are Supporting Concurrent Enrollment

Julie Frame, Jeremy Kovash

Breakout 2

Due to June 2015 clarifications for minimum faculty qualifications from our state’s regional accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, many concurrent enrollment teachers may need to enroll in graduate-level coursework in their discipline. Join us and learn how the Minnesota Service Cooperatives are assisting concurrent enrollment instructors in meeting the requirement for additional coursework.

The ACT Toolkit for Student Success

April Hansen

Breakout 2

ACT provides a wide variety of supports for teachers, administrators, students and parents (most of which are free) that can help students prepare for college and careers after high school. Learn about many of these supports such as counselor toolkits, eBooks, Test Prep and OpenEd resources, webinars, and new information on the ACT score reports.

Early College: Concurrent Enrollment & Agreements for PSEO

Fred Nolan

Breakout 1

Continuing concurrent enrollment past Sept. 1, 2022 will require teachers to be fully credentialed. But, concurrent enrollment is not the only way to have students earn college credits while attending high school. Explore alternatives to concurrent enrollment to provide college courses for students in high school and learn about available programs for credentialing teachers and consider incentives for teachers. Learn about the differences between PSEO by default and PSEO by agreement and how to address the new requirement of access to technology, attendance and student discipline.

High School Faculty College Credentials NOT Required

Judith Anderson

Breakout 3

It’s no news traditional PSEO can negatively affect your district financially. And, losing strong student peers can also have a detrimental effect on your high school climate. Concurrent enrollment had been the answer to keep those strong students in your school building, but new credentialing requirements by the Higher Learning Commission are making it difficult to find and retain qualified high school faculty to teach college courses. What’s a school district to do? What if there was a way to keep ALL of your state allocation while offering college courses in your school without the worry of faculty credentials at a greatly reduced rate over traditional PSEO? THERE IS! Online College in the High School is an award-winning program has been recognized by the Minnesota State Legislature as well as Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. With almost 1500 student enrollment annually, OCHS might be the missing link you need.

How Your Peers Are Increasing ACT Scores

Panel facilitated by John Baylor

Breakout 3

Hear from a panel of Minnesota school administrators on the impact the On To College program (formally John Baylor Prep) has had on the test scores and scholarships of their students, and how the program has helped change the culture of their school toward one of college and career readiness. The panel will discuss specific best practices, talk about their experience with the program, and answer questions.

Promoting Individual Success and Rural Community Development

Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities: How Rural Communities Can Retain Their Young Adults

Cindi Koll, Lee Westrum, Students from Wadena-Deer Creek Schools

Breakout 1

Central Minnesota CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) is a collaborative effort available to juniors and seniors from Staples-Motley High School, Wadena-Deer Creek High School, and Verndale High School. CEO gives students the opportunity to work side by side with successful business people from the community. This program is non-traditional in that class meets at a different area business each quarter of the school year and students learn about entrepreneurship firsthand from successful local entrepreneurs. Once students get their feet under them they develop a class business and then they plan and start their own personal business. CEO’s ultimate goal is to strengthen local communities by keeping talented and hard-working young people at home, making the economy stronger and creating more opportunities for people to make a living and live in rural Minnesota.

Filling Minnesota’s Skilled Worker Shortage

Joe Brown

Breakout 1

The current teacher shortage will soon be overtaken by an even more serious shortage of skilled workers in Minnesota.  Now is the time to maintain and expand vocational programs for students during the traditional school day, on Saturdays and in the summer months. Fairmont Area Schools has expanded its vocational programs by implementing an Agriculture Academy, Welding Academy, and Construction Trades Academy. It also maintains its FACS and Small Engines Programs through innovative and creative funding and community collaboration with area manufacturing companies.

Free Range Collaboration — Organic Experiences in Learning

Chad Duwenhoegger, Rick Sansted

Breakout 2

Alexandria Area High School’s Academy model has provided students with great opportunities to engage in the community.  Those connections to the community provide students the opportunity to demonstrate 21st century skills including collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity.  Through local and national partnerships, students in Alexandria are able to access local business to confirm (or not) their passion connected to a variety of career options.

A Homegrown Workforce: Expanding Awareness of Rural Career Pathways

Dawnette Cigrand, Ann Langworthy

Breakout 3

School counselors play an integral role in nurturing students’ interests and talents and preparing students to be future ready. Through this work, school counselors recognize the opportunities and barriers students in rural schools face. To reduce these barriers, presenters will discuss current post-secondary options and share creative strategies that expand students’ awareness of career pathways leading to employment in rural Minnesota. This session would be helpful to school administrators, school board members, and student support personnel.

Building Rural CTE Programs Requires Cooperation

Tom Hoff, Gail Polejewski

Breakout 3

Rural Minnesota school districts and communities are facing some tough challenges. Regional businesses are desperate for skilled workers; our schools (once rich) career and technical education (CTE) programs have dwindled, and hiring a high school teacher CTE in a small rural community is nearly impossible. These factors have a negative impact on college CTE programs and our regional economy. The GOOD NEWS… we have developed a collaborative CTE model where clusters of high schools are pooling students to support the types of CTE courses they could not offer on their own. This session will discuss the process used to encourage schools to share resources and how classes were offered in ways that helped to overcome scheduling, financial, and distance barriers.

Minnesota Finances 101

Property Taxes: Levy Certification to Individual Tax Statements

Shelby McQuay, Jodie Zesbaugh

Breakout 1

Minnesota has one of the most complex property tax systems in the nation. Explaining it at a public meeting, understanding it as a School Board member, or talking to an individual taxpayer can be daunting. This session will provide a foundation for understanding this complex system including an overview of values and tax bases, the impact of various taxing decisions on property owners and school district revenues, and the computation of school taxes for individual property owners.

TRA: Addressing Pension Underfunding

John Wicklund

Breakout 2

Lower investment performance. Retirees living longer. Fierce competition for state government funding.  All these factors are placing strain on the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) and pension systems around the country.  Come understand what happened in the 2017 legislation and what may be proposed for 2018.

Why Good Referenda Fail

Arif Quraishi

Breakout 2

Over the last 20 years, the strategy and approach to passing school district referenda has changed drastically.  With the use of social media including Twitter, Facebook, and multiple online blogs along with consultants hired by Vote No groups the chance of failing school referendums has increased.  Even well thought out communication by the district administration and active Vote Yes group, there is no guarantee of passing even a good referendum.  Apathy among voters has also increased making it harder to get them to the vote.  This presentation will look at key mistakes made that lead to referenda failure and will provide strategies and approaches significantly increase the chances of passing referenda.

School Finance 101

Terri Yetter

Breakout 3

Over the last 20 years, the strategy and approach to passing school district referenda has changed drastically.  With the use of social media including Twitter, Facebook, and multiple online blogs along with consultants hired by Vote No groups the chance of failing school referendums has increased.  Even well thought out communication by the district administration and active Vote Yes group, there is no guarantee of passing even a good referendum.  Apathy among voters has also increased making it harder to get them to the vote.  This presentation will look at key mistakes made that lead to referenda failure and will provide strategies and approaches significantly increase the chances of passing referenda.

Students, Teachers and Learning

Education’s Silent Opponent: Toxic Stress…Changing Everything!

Tanya McCoss-Yerigan

Early Bird

Learn how toxic stress changes the brain and interferes with learning. This session is for every educator, within every discipline at every level. A broad array of toxic stress research will be presented and practical solutions/techniques will be explored. Most importantly, learn how YOU can help change everything.

Making Open Educational Resources Work for You

Jennifer Berkner, Jodee Lund

Early Bird

Examine the power of the Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum (MPCC) and other open educational resources (OERs) to enhance existing curriculum. Districts will identify potential resources and see how MPCC and other OERs can integrate with a variety of learning management systems and support multiple instructional strategies.

Determining Appropriate Interventions with Data and Standards

Maureen Burke

Breakout 1

Is decision making at your school efficient and effective? Are teachers confident when making decisions with screening data? In this session, learn about a systematic process to analyze elementary student screening data. Through the use of a protocol, a process is explored that will guide the selection of appropriate interventions based on student need and standards. This session provides practical tools to support data meetings at your site.

Empower Students to Take Charge of Learning

Katie Melgaard

Breakout 1

One of the skills that students need to develop is how to be in charge of their own learning. It increases student engagement, helps promote life-long learning, and reduces the workload of the teacher. How? Learn about some strategies one teacher has tried as well as discuss other possible strategies. We will focus on specific strategies that do not require a complete overhaul of your current curriculum.

TL21: A 21st Century Learning Environment in Rural MN

Diane Cordes, Miriam Tobola

Breakout 2

Breckenridge Public Schools will discuss how their district has developed a teaching and learning framework encompassing their 21st-century learning initiative consisting of three key components: 1.) Inquiry for grades K-4. 2.) Inspire for grades 5-8.3. Ignite for grades 9-12. Learn about these components focusing on skill development with a gradual release of responsibility, putting to work developed skills where students have voice & choice in learning, empowerment to take charge of and create their own learning.

Equipping Educators for Social Emotional Learning

Sarah Haugen, Tracy Lysne

Breakout 3

How might you be your best for your school? How might you more carefully choose ways to invest your time, strengths, and passions? Explore approaches that aim to uncover, cultivate, and encourage you to intentionally apply your individual strengths, talents, and passions. Through active learning, dialogue, and reflection you will experience ways to both recognize and better leverage the unique gifts you and others bring to the world. Activities from this session focus on the social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies of self-awareness and social awareness, and can be adapted to implement with your students or staff.

Minnesota Teacher Licensure Redefined

Troy Haugen, Jeralyn Jargo

Breakout 3

The teacher shortage is finally becoming headline news, but greater Minnesota has been living the impacts of it for some time already. This hot-button issue is on the mind of every facet of our greater Minnesota schools, and the new system will impact everyone. This session will cover the current state of licensure, the tiered licensure system, and how Career & Technical Education teachers fit in the big system.

Rural School and Community Leadership

Relational Leadership for Educational Leaders

Tammy Berg-Beniak, Arthur Crusoe, Craig Paulson

Breakout 2

Relational leadership for educational leaders is focused on clarity, flexibility, and graciousness. Principals, superintendents, directors of special education, and teachers have the opportunity to display inspirational leadership through the strength of relational guidance rather than positional power in serving their students, parents, colleagues, and community members. Reflect on the importance of relational leadership and explore how to be open to change from diverse others while being true to personal core values.

Rural Pulse 2016: Understanding the Rural Voice and Landscape

Bernadine Joselyn

Breakout 3

A community’s health is made up of many separate but inter-related dimensions. Rural Pulse 2016, a research study commissioned by the Blandin Foundation since 1998 to gain a real-time snapshot of the concerns, perceptions and priorities of rural Minnesota residents, breaks down rural Minnesotans’ perceptions of a healthy community by nine dimensions. Learn about the research and the study’s nine dimensions, including Life-Long Learning, Community Leadership, and Inclusion.

Coaching School Boards to Increase Student Achievement

Mary Cecconi

Breakout 3

The latest studies on school leadership have focused on the role of school boards in improving student outcomes. The research is clear: building capacities within boards of education is critical to realizing student success. A familiarity with the characteristics exhibited by school boards that increase student performance is a first step in employing these practices. How does a board of individual community members become a well-focused decision-making body that can bring about greater achievement of students? Learn what the most effective boards do to improve student outcomes AND the necessary steps required to build this capacity in their own district’s school board.

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