DashBoard, Oct. 3, 2018

One of the key indicators of an effective school board is to focus on student achievement. The work that board members do is “all for the kids.” But how are boards making student voice a priority? Are students regularly asked to or welcomed to present to the board on topics they feel are important? What about having a representative serving at the board table?

Most school officials are aware that on June 6, 2017, the Office of Civil Rights declared that it will, essentially, no longer investigate complaints from transgender students as they relate to bathroom accommodation requests. This means that any district that denies the request of a transgender student to be granted access to the restroom or the locker room that corresponds to their gender identity, as opposed to their birth gender, is likely not risking an OCR investigation. However, school boards and administrators should be aware that while this has been OCR policy for more than a year now, the transgender bathroom issue continues to be litigated in both state and federal courts with outcomes that continue to be decidedly in favor of the transgender student plaintiffs.

DashBoard, Oct. 10, 2018

The 2018 Delegate Assembly Handbook, your guide to everything that will happen at this year's meeting, is now available for download.

Access the Handbook here and take time to discuss with your board how you intend to vote on the proposed amendments.

In MASB's continued efforts to be green, hard copies of the handbooks will not be mailed so please download and review the document prior to the meeting on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids during the 2018 MASB Annual Leadership Conference.

If you have any questions, contact MASB staff at 517.327.5900 or [email protected].

As you’ve probably seen, heard and read by now, there is an election coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 6! It’s going to be a long ballot with a number of races in Michigan being decided. New members will make up a majority of the Michigan Senate and more than a third of the Michigan House in January. We will also have a new Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and some new members in Congress. Who those people are depend on us, the registered voters of Michigan.

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with Gretchen Whitmer, Democratic nominee for the 2018 Governor's race, to discuss education views as they relate to her platform. What's her plan to boost K-12 education in Michigan with limited resources to go around?

A child wakes up on his own, brushes his teeth, washes his face and proceeds to clean up a chaotic home filled with empty alcohol bottles and discarded pills before adding the resulting trash bag to a closet filled with many others. He also takes care of his parents, tucking in his seemingly passed out father and filling an ice bag for his abused mother. Flash forward to the child as an adult, waking up with his partner next to him, and starting his morning routine by pulling a bag of trash out of a less-full closet to dispose of outside his home before joining his happy family in the kitchen.

DashBoard, Oct. 17, 2018

The MASB Annual Leadership Conference is fast approaching—is anyone from your district attending?

When the Michigan State School Aid Act was reauthorized in 2016, it included a provision that appropriated $2.5 million for the 2016-2017 school year to reimburse costs incurred by nonpublic schools related to complying with state mandates. Along with other school and education associations, MASB filed a lawsuit to stop the appropriation, claiming that it violated Michigan’s Constitution. The Michigan Court of Claims agreed and issued an order in May 2018 enjoining and restraining the state from distributing any funds to private schools under the statute, identified as MCL 388.1752b. The state of Michigan appealed this decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

In just a couple of weeks, school board members from almost every district in the state will be gathering to represent their district at MASB’s Delegate Assembly. This meeting establishes policy and rules for the Association through resolutions and bylaws. These are used to provide direction to MASB, its officers and committees throughout the year. The annual Delegate Assembly takes place on Thursday evening prior to the official start of MASB’s Annual Leadership Conference.

“Student voice is any expression of any student anywhere about anything relating to schools, learning or the educational experience,” shared Adam Fletcher, Founding Director of SoundOut and keynote speaker at MASB’s Students on Boards Conference last Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Lansing. This definition set the tone for the rest of the day as attendees discussed together the impact of student voice and the options for students on boards, as well as legal considerations.

DashBoard, Oct. 24, 2018

As you are all well aware, Election Day is rapidly approaching. That means an end to the phone calls, political advertisements and mailings! But in your relief, don’t forget the real reason for the day—VOTING! As you head to the polls on Nov. 6, don’t forget that local races and ballot issues will be at the end of your ballot, which could be on the back.

Earlier this year, the 2018 FIRST Robotics World Championship took place in Detroit with 700 teams competing in four divisions. Programs from Kalamazoo and Clarkston were part of the winning alliance with StrykeForce winning back-to-back world championships and Team RUSH winning its first, respectively. Additionally, a program from Bloomfield Hills received the prestigious Chairman’s Award, which recognizes a team that best embodies the values of FIRST robotics.

Does your district have a program that changes lives and impacts students’ futures? For 26 years the SET SEG Foundation and MASB have supported the Education Excellence Awards Program. It supports and promotes innovative programs that directly impact student achievement, community involvement, critical thinking, leadership and social responsibility.

In the most recent MI SoundBoard podcast, Executive Director Don Wotruba sat down with Craig Thiel, Research Director at the Citizens Research Council, to discuss the propositions on the statewide ballot this year. Listen to the full conversation through the following links or read a transcript of the beginning below.

DashBoard, Oct. 31, 2018

A group of physicians stop by a patient room and listen to a presentation from one in the group about the patient’s condition and treatment. They discuss, sometimes examine or talk with the patient, and offer confirmation of the chosen course of treatment or suggestions for other options. Some have posed if this consultative approach can work in other fields, including education. At least one Michigan public school district, Mason Public Schools, believes it can and is already showing measurable results of its success.

It’s that time of year again—the leaves are changing color, pumpkin spice everything fills the shelves, and it’s too early to start thinking about negotiations that will start in the spring, right?