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November 2020

The Henton Headlines: November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020
Here’s the scoop for the week…

MDE Creates Learning Model Transition Group

In response to a request from AMSD (Association of Metro School Districts) and MASA, MDE has created a new group that will study learning model transitions. For example, the group will consider what data school districts should consider when moving back and forth between models. Superintendents from Regions 1, 3, 5. 7, and 9 have been invited to join the group that will be led by Deputy Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller. Stephanie Graff of MDE and representatives from regional teams, school nurses, and MDH will also serve as members. The AMSD Executive Director Scott Croonquist and I will join the meetings to listen in so that we can assist with communication state-wide.

Here are the superintendent representatives:

  • Jeff Elstad Region 1
  • Sherri Broderius Region 3
  • Laine Larson Region 5
  • Matt Grose Region 7
  • Cory McIntyre Region 9
  • Sandra Lewandowski Region 9
  • Theresa Battle Region 9
  • Jeff Ronnenberg Region 9

Give yourself some grace!

For months you have been giving grace to your staff, your students and communities.  This Thanksgiving, it’s time for you to grant what you have given others-grace. Thank you for all that you do for the children of Minnesota!

Leadership Matters:

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill


The Henton Headlines: November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020
Here’s the scoop for the week…

“If you wanted everyone to like you; then you should have sold ice cream”

Superintendent and Lieutenant Colonel Chip Rankin recently sent a video to his colleagues in the Minnewaska area from his post in the Horn of Africa. He offers his thoughts on leadership and ice cream! While Chip is away, Interim Superintendent Rick Ellingworth has assumed Chip’s position in Minnewaska. Click on this link to watch Chip’s VIDEO.

Chip will not be home for Thanksgiving and is checking his school email. Let’s send Chip our gratitude for his service to our county!

Contracted/private transportation question answered:

According to Daron Korte of MDE, Executive Order 20-94 applies only to special education contracted transportation.  A number of MASA members have asked if their school district needs to continue to pay for contracted transportation even when in a distance learning and/or hybrid model and routes have been reduced.  Daron shared that special education transportation is reimbursed while transportation for general education is formula based. Districts can use their formula dollars to pay their contractors, but are not required to do so unless the contract they negotiated with their contractor requires they do so. 

First Master Class in the books:

Dr. Kaz Nelson led MASA’s first Master Class on November 17. Those who participated learned about why we are all not feeling great and what to do about it! Look for more Master Classes to come-they are free and will provide you with practical and relevant information!

Leadership Matters: 

"Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out."- Stephen R. Covey

The Henton Headlines: November 12, 2020

November 12, 2020
Here’s the scoop for the week…

COVID-19 no cost saliva test information to share with your communities:

The state is now offering free COVID-19 saliva tests to Minnesotans. See this website for more details on how to order:

Have you spent your Coronavirus Relief Funds yet?

The deadline for spending your Coronavirus Relief Funds is December 30, 2020.  If you have not spent 100% of your funds, MDE staff will be contacting you by the end of next week.  

Bills to address declining pupil aid introduced in November 12 Special Session:

Senator Utke introduced--

S.F. No. 4: A bill for an act relating to education finance; directing the commissioner of education to adjust pupil units for certain fiscal year 2021 revenue formulas.

Referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. 

Representative Davnie introduced:

  1. F. 4, A bill for an act relating to education finance; authorizing the use of the prior year's pupil count for the 2020-2021 school year to reflect COVID-19 changes in enrollment; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 126C.05, subdivision 5; Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 11, article 1, section 25, subdivision 2, as amended.

The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Education Finance Division.

Superintendents send letters to Governor Walz and Commissioner Ricker seeking clarity & support:

Anoka County Superintendents wrote a letter to Governor Walz and Commissioner Ricker this past week that spawned similar letters from their colleagues across the metro area. As of this writing, Superintendents in Ramsey County, Washington County and Dakota County sent letters modeled after this letter from the Anoka County Superintendents that was delivered to the Governor’s office on Tuesday, November 10.

Let’s celebrate all of our educators next week-and that includes you!

National Education Week is celebrated November 16-20.  MASA celebrates and thanks each of you for the incredible job you do everyday to provide Minnesota’s children with a high quality education. The importance of what you do cannot be overstated.  

Leadership Matters

As I have transitioned to this position, I have looked for ways to involve our retirees more in our daily work as they have an abundance of wisdom to offer. I recently asked retired Superintendent Jerry Ness to assist with inspirational quotes around leadership. He agreed without hesitation and I am grateful as I know that he continues to research what makes and inspires great leadership.  Here is the first of many quotes to come from Superintendent Ness:

"What a leader learns after he [or she] has learned it all counts the most". ~ John Wooden 

The Henton Headlines: November 5, 2020

November 5, 2020
Here’s the scoop for the week…

A new learning opportunity coming your way!

MASA has heard your need for additional support and will now be offering “Master Classes.”  Please be sure to read about this new opportunity on the front page of this publication that will begin with our first class on Tuesday, November 17, from 9:30-11:00am with Dr. Kaz J. Nelson.

Meeting of the MSHSL/MASA Executive Officers:

  1. Another productive meeting of the MASA & MSHSL Executive Officers and Executive Directors was held on November 3.
  2. Agenda items included an update on the remittance of additional MSHSL fees, MSHSL engagement sessions, the process to secure permanent representation of superintendents on the MSHSL Governing Board, communication, and leading in a pandemic.
  3. The Executive Directors and MASA Treasurer will meet and draft a document outlining a timeline and steps to secure permanent superintendent representation that will be shared with the MSHSL Governing Board and MASA Executive Board of Directors during the month of December. 

Meeting with Governor Walz, Commissioners Ricker and Malcom:

A virtual meeting has been scheduled with Governor Walz on Friday, November 6, from 10:00-11:00am. You should have received an email from MSBA with a link to the meeting. If not, here it is:

Zoom Meeting Link:

Meeting ID: 831 7300 1966

Leadership Matters

"The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them." -John Maxwell