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July 2021

The Henton Headlines: July 29, 2021

July 29, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week

Do we have to do contact tracing in 2021-2022?

If you are like me, when I read the latest MDE/MDH guidance, I was left wondering. MDE clarified the answer:  conducting contact tracing is strongly recommended, yet is a district decision. 


MASA member receives national award!

At their Summer Leadership Conference, the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) awarded Southwest West Central Service Cooperative Executive Director Cliff Carmody with the 2021 Peter C. Young Award in recognition of his service to educational service agencies. Congratulations Cliff!


Excellent additional resources on racial equity and Critical Race Theory, CRT:

See links below links to racial equity and Critical Race Theory information shared by the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development:

Partnership for the Future of Learning

FrameWorks Institute 

FrameWorks Racial Equity in Education 

*Also recommended to take the time to read this one-page document, if nothing else, the last paragraph on CRT written by the outgoing Executive Director of the Council of Great City Schools-so very well said.

Leadership Matters:

“Leadership is for those who love the public good and are endowed and trained to administer it.” - Thornton Wilder

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The Henton Headlines: July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week

Early bird registration now open for AASA’s National Education Conference:

AASA members received an email this week allowing them to register for the February 17-19 conference in Nashville. The link is for AASA members only and may be accessed here

Emergency connectivity fund:

As part of the American Rescue Plan, $7.1 billion was allocated for school districts to apply for funding to better connect their students and staff at home. The application window closes on August 13, 2021. If you are a member of AASA, you received an email from AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech on July 20 providing additional information. Here is also a link for more information on the application process

AASA needs your help!

Help bring the ARP dollars to life! AASA’s advocacy team needs your assistance in helping Congress understand and see what these dollars mean to your district, how they are being used, and what a difference they make as it relates to your work to open schools, support students, and address learning recovery. Take a few minutes today to complete this brief survey.

Leadership Matters:

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." - Albert Einstein

Continue reading "The Henton Headlines: July 22, 2021" »

The Henton Headlines: July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week

Online Learning Guidance:

MDE hopes to release information for school districts considering offering online learning as an option for the 2021-2022 school year today, July 15. School districts will not be required to offer online learning. The guidance that will be released is for those school districts who want to provide an online learning option for students and are not approved online learning providers.

Will school districts have to do another “Safe Learning Plan” for 2021-2022?

According to Commissioner Mueller, the answer is no. Governor Walz’s Executive Orders have ended and school districts are not required to submit learning plans to MDE for the next school year.

Watch for guidance to come by the end of July from MDH/MDE regarding health recommendations.

Federal Advocacy Conference:

This past week, MASA’s AASA Governing Board Representatives, John Cselovszki, Dan Bittman, David Law, and Craig Oftedahl attended the annual July AASA Federal Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C. I joined them in meetings with the legislative assistants of Minnesota’s two senators and eight representatives. A meeting was also held with staff from the U.S. Department of Education. 

We advocated for increased funding for child nutrition and to include reauthorization of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs as part of reconciliation, funding for schools to improve their school facilities, IDEA full funding, increase in internet access for all students, and much more. 

We believe the legislative assistants were supportive and that they will share this information with the senators and representatives.  We expressed our desire to meet in person with the senators and representatives upon a return visit during the upcoming school year.  

Leadership Matters:

“Sincere enthusiasm is one of the most transformational attributes of leaders.” - Kate Danella

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The Henton Headlines: July 8, 2021

July 8, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week

Office of the Legislative Auditor request:

I have been asked to share the following information with you along with the opportunity to provide input:

“The Office of the Legislative Auditor is conducting an evaluation of the Minnesota Department of Education’s role in addressing the achievement gap.  OLA has established an internet site for people to give us input on this year’s evaluation projects, including the achievement-gap evaluation. Here is the link

Example of Equity Policy work:

The link below was shared with me by MASA/MASE member and Southern Plains Education Cooperative Director Sarah Mittelstadt. The information in the link along with responses in the Frequently Asked Questions section might be helpful if you are getting questions about your school district’s equity work. Thank you, Sarah!

Leadership Matters:

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go!" - a leader says "Let's go!" - E.M. Kelly

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The Henton Headlines: July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week

Synopsis of MASA Board of Directors Retreat

The Board of Directors met on June 24 and 25 in person at the Marriott Northwest. The meeting included a presentation on leadership by Joe Cavanaugh, Founder and CEO of Youth Frontiers, and an update on MASA equity work provided by members of the MASA Equity and Excellence in Education (Triple E) Steering Committee, Katie Pekel Principal in Residence at the U of M and Sebastian Witherspoon Executive Director of Equity Alliance. 

The Board of Directors worked on draft belief statements to be included in the next continuous improvement plan and unanimously passed an equity statement, and two definitions around equity and race equity. Those will be provided to members as the continuous improvement plan process continues to move forward.  

Finally, the Board of Directors conducted an evaluation of me. I am happy to report that I will continue to be the MASA Executive Director and today already marks the beginning of my second year! I am so honored to support the staff and members of MASA.

Know someone who has lost his/her COVID-19 vaccination information?

Here is a helpful link:

AASA Critical Race Theory Resources:

Leadership Matters:

“The true measure of a man isn't how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges” - Dr. Martin Luther King


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