The MSBA Leader Newsletter: March 2024

The MSBA Leader Newsletter: March 2024

Skip to one of the sections listed below:

  • The Weekly Advocate (Read about the MSBA/MASA Joint Day at the Capitol, the Government Relations Dashboard, and the Friday Chat Room.)
  • MSBA Workshops (Read about the Building a High-Performance School Board Team Workshop, the Representing Your Community Through Policy and Engagement Workshop, and the MSBA Officers’ Workshop in St. Cloud.)
  • MSBA Webinars (Learn about “The Budget: School Leader Panel Discussion” webinar coming March 21, watch recording of “Alphabet Soup: ULA, ESST, and Other FAQs” webinar, and join MSBA for Coffee & Conversation and Board Chair Chat meetings.)
  • MSBAIT Matters (Read “K-12 cybersecurity threats and attacks persist” by Marsh McLennan Agency and “School safety committee triage tips for addressing slips, trips, and falls” by RAS Companies)
  • Other Workshops and Events (Learn about PELSB information sessions, BoardBook informational webinars, and the National School Safety Symposium in Duluth.)

The Weekly Advocate

Show your support for public education at the MSBA/MASA Joint Day at the Capitol on March 18 in St. Paul!

Join your school board and superintendent colleagues on Monday, March 18, for the 2024 MSBA/MASA Joint Day at the Capitol. Members from MSBA and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) will gather in St. Paul to network, hear from some of Minnesota’s education policy and finance decision-makers, and meet with their local legislators to advocate for public education.

What: MSBA/MASA Joint Day at the Capitol

When: 9 a.m. Monday, March 18, 2024

Where: Radisson Hotel St. Paul Downtown, 161 St. Anthony Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103

If you plan to attend, please schedule meetings in advance with your local legislators.

Check out the MSBA Government Relations Dashboard to stay informed on latest education news from St. Paul

The MSBA Government Relations Dashboard is an MSBA-members only feature where you will find important information relevant to the 2024 legislative session. The Dashboard includes:

  • The 2024 MSBA Legislative Platform
  • Bill introductions
  • Talking points in key issues
  • Information about Minnesota House and Senate education committees
  • And much more!

Please click here to access the Dashboard (members will be prompted to log in).

Join MSBA for the Friday Chat Room on Friday, March 8!

The Friday Chat Room — which one school board member called the “fastest half hour of the week” — offers MSBA members the opportunity to have an informal discussion with MSBA’s Government Relations team (Denise Dittrich and Kim Lewis) from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. each Friday during the legislative session. Denise and Kim will provide a legislative update, field members’ questions, and let you know what’s happening at the state Capitol in St. Paul.

Next session: The next Friday Chat Room will set for 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 8

Zoom information: MSBA members, look for an email reminder on Thursday, March 7. Visit the MSBA website to view the upcoming meeting schedule.

MSBA Leader eBites

Minnesota Department of Education’s Data Center — check it out!

By Tiffany Gustin, MSBA Associate Director of Management and Insurance Trust Services

The Minnesota Department of Education’s website has a great source of information, its Data Center, which can be found at

The Data Center includes the Minnesota Report Card. The Minnesota Report Card allows you to search for a school or a district and access a wide variety of information pertaining to students and student achievement.

The Data Center also includes a link to Data Reports and Analytics, which provides reports on district operations. Specific to school finance, the Minnesota Funding Reports (MFR) area provides “state, district, school and program level funding information.” Users can search by school district; report date, category, or name; and fiscal year.

The Data Center provides school board members, school staff, and community members access to a wealth of information.

Twins Game on June 15: Discounted Tickets Available for Local Government Officials

School board members: Join other local government officials at Target Field

Join your colleagues to watch the Minnesota Twins face the Oakland Athletics at 1:10 p.m. Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Target Field. All locally elected government officials and their administrative staff will be celebrated to appreciate the leadership they provide for their Minnesota communities. Come out for a fun Saturday afternoon at Target Field to thank you for building stronger communities and a stronger Minnesota.

Each purchase of a ticket enters you in for a chance to win select giveaway items, including: autographed baseball/bat, Twins-themed winter beanie(s), and Twins-themed bobblehead(s). The seats are blocked off for this group specifically, located in the Infield Box section down the first baseline at a discounted rate.

MSBA Student School Board Member Scholarship

MSBA will award three $3,000 scholarships to student school board members; encourage your student representatives to apply by mid-March

Do you have a senior high school student serving on your school board as a student representative? If so, please encourage them to apply for the Robert E. Meeks MSBA Student School Board Member Scholarship. This year, MSBA will award $3,000 scholarships to three Minnesota students.

Application deadline: The scholarship application deadline is Saturday, March 16, 2024 (by mail) OR noon Monday, March 18, 2024 (via email).

MSBA Workshops

Building a High-Performance School Board Team: Phase III Workshop

The Building a High-Performance School Board Team: Phase III Workshop focuses on the stages of board development, characteristics of a high-performing school board team, navigating board dynamics, small-group interactions with school board video scenarios, and an overview of the MSBA School Board Self-Evaluation tool.

Why attend? Understand and apply common characteristics of a high-performing board.

Virtual session options — Choose one session from Part A and one session from Part B:

  • Part A: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2024
  • Part A: 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 11, 2024
  • Part B: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • Part B: 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 18, 2024

In-person option:

Registration deadlines: March 31, 2024, for virtual sessions and April 12, 2024 for in-person session

Representing Your Community Through Policy and Engagement: Phase IV Workshop

Representing Your Community Through Policy and Engagement: Phase IV Workshop focuses on in-depth discussions and examples of a board member’s role as a policymaker and interactive small-group sessions that walk through an actual community engagement activity. This workshop will also have a segment on working with the media and public forums.

Why attend? Discuss open forums and ways you can make them more productive.

In-person option:

Virtual session options — Choose one session from Part A and one session from Part B:

  • Part A: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2024
  • Part A: 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 25, 2024
  • Part B: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2024
  • Part B: 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 2, 2024

Registration deadlines: April 3, 2024 for the in-person session and April 14, 2024, for the virtual sessions.

Officers’ Workshops for Board Chairs/Vice-Chairs, Clerks and Treasurers

The MSBA Officers’ Workshop is intended for elected board officers, superintendents, staff who support the board, and all interested school board members are encouraged to attend.

Why attend? Learn about school board officers’ responsibilities and basics/fundamentals of laws affecting school boards.

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9, 2024

Where: Holiday Inn & Suites St. Cloud, 75 South 37th Avenue, St. Cloud, MN 56301

Registration deadline: March 6, 2024

MSBA Webinars

Third Thursday Webinar Series

Next webinar: “The Budget: School Leader Panel Discussion”

When: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2024

Synopsis: MSBA staff will partner with members of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) and the Minnesota Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) for a panel discussion on budget-related topics.  Hear from school leaders on their budget processes and timelines, along with challenges and opportunities encountered during the process, including school funding, enrollment, labor agreements and more.

Sponsors: The Third Thursday Webinar Series is sponsored by Ehlers, Eide Bailly, InGensa, Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, Sourcewell, and Widseth.

Watch a recording of previous webinar: “Alphabet Soup: ULA, ESST, and Other FAQs”

MSBA staff presented on a variety of human resources topics during their “Alphabet Soup: ULA, ESST, and Other FAQs” webinar on Thursday, February 15. Hear important reminders, answers to common questions, and where to find useful resources.

Recording: Visit to watch this recording on YouTube.

Coffee & Conversation Meeting

The virtual Coffee & Conversation meetings are led by MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind and MSBA staff. Network with your school board colleagues during this series.

Next session: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 5

School board members, look for an email invitation in your inbox on March 4. Visit the MSBA website to view the upcoming meeting schedule.

Sponsor: The Coffee & Conversation series is sponsored by PFM Asset Management.

Board Chair Chat Meeting

The Board Chair Chat conversations center around the board chair’s roles and responsibilities.

Next session: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 6.

School board chairs, look for an email invitation in your inbox on March 5. Visit the MSBA website to view the upcoming meeting schedule.

MSBAIT Matters

K-12 cybersecurity threats and attacks persist

By Kyllo Consulting

Over the past several years, it seems that K-12 school districts across the U.S. (including Minnesota) have become increasingly cognizant of and responsive to the many cybersecurity threats and attacks associated with education organizations – and, this is generally good news!

Despite this generally good news, however, now is not the time for K-12 school districts to ease off on their vigilance toward or to declare their victory from cybersecurity threat and attack actors. Remember, as IBM describes them more commonly, “hacktivists, nation-state actors, cybercriminals, thrill seekers, insider threat actors and cyberterrorists hackers” essentially never stop their cybersecurity threat and attack activities. Consequently, K-12 school districts must also not stop their cybersecurity defense and protection activities.

Whether these cybersecurity threat and attack actors are malicious or non-malicious, K-12 school districts will likely be well-served (financially, operationally, and reputationally) by continuing to be proactive and alert; ready and equipped; and reflective and resilient with respect to persistent cybersecurity threats and attacks.

School safety committee triage tips for addressing slips, trips, and falls

By RAS Companies
RAS Companies is a Participating Insurer in the MSBAIT Risk Protection Program

Slips, trips, and falls are among the top workers’ compensation and general liability exposures for school districts. Prevention is critical, but deciding where to focus your prevention efforts and budgets can be daunting.

Look back to move forward: Review your district’s workers’ compensation and liability slip/fall claims from the previous two to three years. Separate claims by specific categories such as snow/ice, liquid/grease spills, falls on stairs, or same level trips.

Examine the injuries in each cause category to look for any trends in employee groups by occupation, specific locations, and times of the day, month, or year. Your workers’ compensation and liability insurers should be able to provide your committee with this level of detail.

Reviewing individual accident descriptions can provide additional valuable insights into the root causes of your slips, trips, or falls such as distracted walking, participation in student games/sports, inadequate walk-off mats at entrances, poorly lit areas, or responding to student elopement or behavior.

Once the committee has identified your district’s unique trends and root slip/fall causes, triaging and planning for appropriate remediation efforts can begin.

Consortium of State School Boards Association (COSSBA)

COSSBA Annual Report, Urban Alliance Webinar Series, and more available for MSBA members

MSBA is a founding member of the Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA), which was formed by a group of state school boards associations in late 2021. MSBA is represented by MSBA President Linda Leiding (Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial) on the COSSBA Board of Directors. MSBA members can access a number of COSSBA-related resources, including:

Other Workshops and Events

Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB): Information Sessions

What: Each month PELSB highlights a licensure topic pertinent to school districts, while also addressing common questions about licensure and permissions, sharing resources, and answering questions from attendees. All information sessions will be recorded and made available on the PELSB webpage.

When: The next PELSB Information Session will be held on 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 7, and will focus on Tier 1 and Tier 2 hiring requirements for the 2024-2025 school year. Districts are welcome to ask questions on other topics during this time.

BoardBook: Informational Webinars

What: BoardBook reduces meeting preparation from hours to minutes. Join BoardBook for a live 45-minute informational webinar to learn how to reduce the time, money, and stress associated with board meeting preparation. BoardBook is an MSBA-endorsed product.

When: The next webinars will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, March 7; 11 a.m. Monday, March 18; and 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 26.

DEED: Employer Reasonable Accommodation Fund online information session

What: The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is offering an online information session about the Employer Reasonable Accommodation Fund (ERAF).

When: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Briefings: A National School Safety Symposium

What: This school safety Symposium will delve into timely topics such as preparedness for any type of crisis, lessons learned from prior incidents, recovery in the aftermath of a crisis, as well as training on the Standard Response Protocol and Standard Reunification Method.

When: Tuesday, April 16, and Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Where: Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

Job Openings

Visit the MSBA Jobs webpage for application information:

Superintendents and Executive Directors

  • Badger — Superintendent/Principal (Deadline: March 31, 2024)
  • District 196 — Superintendent (Deadline: March 25, 2024)
  • Eastern Carver County — Superintendent (Deadline: March 29, 2024)
  • Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial — Superintendent (Deadline: March 8, 2024)
  • Montevideo Superintendent (Deadline: March 8, 2024)
  • New York Mills — Superintendent (Deadline: March 19, 2024)
  • Red Wing — Superintendent (Deadline: March 19, 2024)
  • Robbinsdale Area — Superintendent (Deadline: March 6, 2024)
  • St. Charles — Superintendent (Deadline: March 10, 2024)
  • St. Paul City School — Executive Director (Deadline: March 19, 2024)
  • Warren-Alvarado-Oslo — Superintendent (Deadline: April 2, 2024)
  • Wrenshall — Superintendent Intern (Deadline: March 15, 2024)


  • Minnetonka — Assistant Elementary School Principal (Deadline: March 15, 2024)
  • Wabasso — Principal – Grades 5-12 (Deadline: April 5, 2024)
  • Willmar — Assistant Elementary School Principal (Deadline: Open until filled)

Other Administrators

  • Anoka-Hennepin — Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator (Deadline: March 13, 2024)
  • Edina — Assistant Director of Finance (Deadline: Open until filled)
  • Edina — Assistant Superintendent of School Excellence and Innovation (Deadline: March 7, 2024)
  • Mankato Area — Assistant Director of Nutrition Services (Deadline: March 8, 2024)
  • Mankato Area — Assistant Director of Special Education (Deadline: March 8, 2024)
  • Mankato Area — Director of Facilities and Safety (Deadline: March 20, 2024)
  • Minneapolis Public Schools — Director of Compliance for Records Management (Application deadline: Open until filled)
  • Pipestone Area Schools — Director of Curriculum (Application deadline: Open until filled)

About the Leader Newsletter

The Leader Newsletter is published as a member service by the Minnesota School Boards Association, 1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082. The Leader is edited by Bruce Lombard (, the MSBA Associate Director of Communications.

The contents of this newsletter are provided for informational use only and are not to be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult your attorney.

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