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January 2021

The Henton Headlines: January 28, 2021

January 28, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week…

What I am hearing from MASA members across the state

I am fortunate to regularly attend meetings across the state with MASA members like you.  Our school leaders are caring, competent and resilient. They share stories with each other and with me so that we can continue to support one another, improve practice and our public school system.  I am honored to be invited and to represent the concerns with state leadership that are brought to my attention.

Here are just some of the topics from this week that demonstrate what our school leaders are dealing with on top of the academic needs of their students:

  • Due North
  • Social Studies Standards
  • Governor Walz’s budget proposal
  • Vaccine rollout process
  • Vaccine timeline
  • Vaccine allocations
  • Vaccines available within counties
  • Vaccine website
  • Vaccines and anxiety among staff 
  • Prioritizing staff to receive vaccinations
  • Ed MN sharing of vaccine information ahead of superintendents
  • State guidance to counties on excess vaccines and distribution to schools
  • Travel distance to vaccine sites
  • Communication from the state
  • Plans for bringing all students back to school
  • Compensatory revenue loss
  • Questions around the use of the next round of ESSER funds
  • 30 minute prep period for Distance Learning teachers
  • Enforcement of mask requirement during competitions
  • Quarantine guidance
  • Constitutional Amendment proposal
  • Enrollment decline and loss of funding
  • Days at the Capitol
  • Budget reductions
  • Superintendent contracts

A time to tap because the list of superintendent vacancies has grown by two since last week!

We are confidentially aware of 24 superintendencies open for the 2021-2022 school year. 

If you know of someone who has the experience and skills necessary to become a superintendent, please tap that person/s on the shoulder and share the information found here  The Academy consists of five 2-day sessions (Fridays and Saturdays) and each participant is supported by an experienced superintendent coach.  Additional information has been emailed to you and will be available on the MASA website.  The application deadline is Monday, February 22, 2021.

Leadership Matters

SteeleThoughts (@Danny Steele) tweeted: 

“The most valuable contribution of a teacher might not be found in helping a student excel, but in helping a student work through failure.”

The Henton Headlines: January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week…

Save the date for another conversation with Governor Walz!

MSBA and MASA will co-host another meeting with Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan on January 28 from 5:00-5:30 pm. Communication on Zoom link and the meeting format will be sent very soon.

Scheduling visits to the capitol:

Regional leaders are working with Jeanna Vohnoutka of MASA on scheduling virtual meetings at the capital. If you are a regional leader and need assistance in scheduling please do not hesitate to contact Jeanna!

A time to tap!

We are confidentially aware of 22 superintendencies open for the 2021-2022 school year. That number will certainly grow and MASA is committed to assisting in the development of education professionals to assume those positions.

If you know of someone who has the experience and skills necessary to become a superintendent, please tap that person/s on the shoulder and encourage them to join the MN Aspiring Superintendents' Academy. The Academy consists of five 2-day sessions (Fridays and Saturdays) and each participant is supported by an experienced superintendent coach.  Additional information has been emailed to you and will be available on the MASA website. The application deadline is Monday, February 22, 2021. You can apply online here:

A chance of your secondary principals to network:

The MASSP Virtual Winter Conference is approaching and will be held on January 25-28. Conference information may be found at:

Leadership Matters: 

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Henton Headlines: January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week…

A new podcast for you!

Thanks to Jane Sigford, we now have a new "Views to Voice" podcast! Episode #39 has been posted to the MASA website at:

Have ideas on how to assist the MSHSL with its finances?

Last week the MSHSL announced the formation of a Financial Advisory Committee beginning in 2021.  Here is more information on the committee and the application process:

Financial Advisory Committee Description

Financial Advisory Committee Application/Nomination Form Due Friday, January 22, 2021

Latest round of ESSER funds

On January 12 MDE released estimates for each school district’s share of the latest round of ESSER funds. Here is additional information based on questions I received after sending out an email with the MDE estimates:

  • The allocations are based on Title I formulas. MDE does not have any discretion regarding the formula used by the federal government.
  • Not all LEAs qualify for the funds in this category.  As the bill was just passed in December, MDE is not yet certain on additional pots of money that might be available for Intermediates, Cooperatives and Education Districts. Stay tuned...
  • Eligible uses are the same as the last round of ESSER funding and include three new categories. Watch for additional information to come from MDE.
  • The funds must be expended by September 30, 2023.

Leadership Matters:

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. 

John Quincy Adams 


The Henton Headlines: January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week…

House Select Committee on Racial Justice Report to the Legislature

In this report released on December 22, 2020, the “Select” committee established to address racism and to declare it a public health crisis released the following recommendations for Education that begin on p. 40:

  • Expand and increase state investment for Family Home Visiting and Early Head Start for communities experiencing the greatest educational disparities 
  • Increase subsidies for early childhood care and education, including through the Child Care Assistance Program and Early Learning Scholarships for communities experiencing the greatest educational disparities
  • Increase investment in recruiting, training, retaining, and promoting Teachers of Color and Indigenous Teachers through scholarship and loan forgiveness programs, GrowYour-Own Pathway grants 
  • Implement stipends for mentor teachers and paid student teaching opportunities to address income inequality challenges that create barriers to diversifying our pipeline of future teachers 
  • Increase investments to develop new full-service community schools focused on the districts with the greatest racial disparities
  • Increase funding for youth apprenticeships and work experience 
  • Implement civics and financial literacy requirements for high school students. 
  • Mandate training for teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrators in anti-racist, culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and restorative practices 
  • For districts with the most significant racial disparities, build protections for Teachers of Color and Indigenous teachers to improve retention rates 
  • Fund the hiring of school support professionals in order to meet recommended staff-to student ratios for school counselors, social workers, behavior specialists, psychologists, and nurses 
  • Expand the Full and Equitable Participation in Preschool and Pre-K to students in grades K-2 
  • Institute non-exclusionary discipline practices, including but not limited to: requiring districts to include non-exclusionary discipline policies and practices in their uniform criteria for dismissal, requiring districts to provide alternative educational services if a student is suspended for more than X days, requiring suspended students be able to House Select Committee on Racial Justice: Report to the Legislature 41 complete all assignments and receive full credit for satisfactory completion, and requiring districts complete and implement student readmission plans 
  • Require reporting on pupil withdrawal agreements • Increase access to dual credit and other rigorous courses in high school for all students, not just high-achieving students 
  • Increase access to technical and trade college courses in high school • Provide access to free post-secondary remedial classes 
  • Increases investments in tutoring for college students 
  • Provide tuition-free community college for students with financial needs 
  • Expand financial preparation and financial aid awareness/education high school students and families 
  • Develop emergency funding program for post-secondary students

The GOP members on the Select committee responded to the education recommendations separately which is linked here for you to review. 

Superintendent Bob Jaszczak of Kittson Central interviewed by PBS

The topic of the interview was how Kittson Central was able to remain open all year. Link follows:

Licensure Assignment and Assignment Licensure tables:

If you or your staff are in need of a resource to assist you with understanding which license can fulfill different assignments in your school district, click on the link below and go to “STAR Documents.” Under that heading select “2020-21 Licensure Assignment Table.” This resource is updated annually. It may be especially helpful to you with CTE licensure questions.

School Board Recognition Week

This annual event will be observed from February 22 to February 26, 2021. You may want to consider presenting school board members with certificates, honoring your board in a press release or in a weekly superintendent column.  There are myriad ways to recognize your board members, and they will be grateful if you do!

Guidelines for wearing masks/face coverings 

The MN Department of Health worked with the MSHSL to develop the guidelines found in this link:

Leadership Matters: 

"The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion." - Abraham Lincoln