2020 MCEL Sessions

MCEL 2020 Sessions
MCEL was held virtually and will focused on educational training for our member districts. All sessions were recorded and are now being offered as a video option. Registered participants can earn up to 30 hours of continuing education credits if they watch all sessions. This is a level of education that has never been available in the history of MCEL!

Opening Session - Candidates for Governor, US Senate, US Congress and Superintendent of Public Instruction invited to participate

SAM Lessons Learned - Future Focused – SAM Executive Board Panel
Presenters:  SAM/Affiliate Leadership and Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

Join us for an interactive panel discussion as the SAM Executive Board and Presidents of each affiliate association explore lessons learned as districts reopened this fall and focus on the future as administrators continue to navigate these uncharted waters. The discussion will include an overview of resources available to SAM members and members of the education community for Professional Learning and Services, Advocacy and Leadership Involved in Decisions Impacting Education. 


Title IX: Finding Clarity in Complexity

Presenter(s):  Kris Goss, Director of Policy Services/Senior Counsel, Tony Koenig, Director of Legal Services/Senior Counsel, and Andrew Vigeland, Staff Attorney, MTSBA

On August 14, 2020, the Department of Education implemented new rules regarding Title IX. The new rules set out fresh definitions and procedures for districts that experience sexual harassment issues. While the new rules are potentially subject to legal challenge, there is nothing that prevents them from applying to your district. MTSBA Legal Staff will present and discuss new rules for coordinators, confidentiality, reporting and intake forms, investigations, and timelines. Are you ready to handle a case of sexual harassment in your district under these new standards?


Best Practices for Managing District Credit Cards

Presenter(s):  Holly Wallace, Senior Programs Coordinator, Illinois ASBO

If you use p-Cards or any credit cards in your district, this session will be helpful to you. Learn how to protect against fraud, manage your cards and prepare for audits.


Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force & Missing Persons Data Project

Presenter(s): Melissa Schlichting, Deputy Attorney General and Legal Services Division Administrator, Montana Department of Justice

The Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force is the hallmark of collaboration and communication needed to improve response to missing Indigenous persons in Montana. Montana Senate Bill 312 requires the formation of a statewide missing Indigenous persons task force including representatives from each of the state’s eight federally recognized tribes, a representative from the Attorney General’s Office, a representative from the Montana Department of Justice who has expertise in the subject of missing persons, and the Montana Highway Patrol, the U.S. Attorney General’s Office (Montana District), Indian Health Services, and the U.S. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Coordinator for Montana are also represented on the Task Force. The goals of the task force are to identify jurisdictional barriers between federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community agencies and work to identify strategies to improve interagency communication, cooperation, and collaboration to remove jurisdictional barriers and increase reporting and investigation of missing Indigenous persons.

Local, State, and Federal Rural School Issues
Presenter(s):  Dennis Parman, MREA Executive Director

Join us for a current update on local, state, and federal rural school issues. Dennis will bring the most current and pressing rural school issues at all levels of government. Share any news or information you may have. As in past years leading up to a legislative session, there will be an open dialogue on rural school issues as they relate to the upcoming session.

SAM LPLP Lessons Learned - Future Focused - SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program (LPLP) Collegial Learning Networks Lead Providers Panel
Presenter(s):  SAM LPLP Providers 

This session is intended for all SAM members to engage in dialogue through a panel discussion with SAM LPLP Lead Providers of the Collegial Learning Networks focused on COVID Implementation, Social-Emotional Learning, Transformational Learning, and the many topics Providers are encountering while working closely with administrators across the state.  SAM LPLP Providers work with administrators from all class sizes and areas of Montana making this session beneficial to all SAM members.  


MTSBA 2021 Legislative Platform

Presenter(s):  Emily Dean, Director of Advocacy and Jule Walker, Field Services Specialist, MTSBA  

MTSBA's Legislative Platform is prepared for the 2021 legislature!

Though the format of the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session has not yet been determined, it is quickly approaching and MTSBA is committed to our advocacy for public schools. 

The MTSBA membership held the 2020 Annual Meeting on June 11, 2020, and successfully passed the MTSBA 2021 Legislative Session Platform. This platform, in conjunction with the MTSBA DNA document and the MTSBA Principles and Guidelines, will guide our advocacy efforts during the 2021 Legislative Session. Click here to view the 2021 Legislative Platform.

The adopted resolutions note that, “In undertaking its advocacy efforts MTSBA must first devote its efforts to preserving previous progress as reflected in this platform. MTSBA’s second priority will be to pass legislation further enhancing the constitutional guarantees afforded children as outlined in its gap analysis resolution.” In addition to the Gap Analysis resolution aimed to resolve discrepancies between the promise and reality of quality as guaranteed by Article X of the Montana Constitution. Additionally, the adopted resolutions direct action in allowing a limited tuition waiver, use of electronic evidence of traffic offenses, and creating a funding mechanism to expand middle school CTE programs.

During this session, MTSBA staff will provide a review of the Legislative Platform development process, the adopted MTSBA 2021 Legislative Platform, and bill drafts developed by MTSBA to meet the goals and priorities of our platform.

Disinfection Technologies and Products for Schools and Public Facilities During the Current COVID-19 Crisis

Presenter(s): Bernie Erickson, Executive Vice President, Facility Solutions Group and Dave Puyear, MCS

This sectional will cover and compare disinfection technologies for both surfaces and air. UV, Bipolar Ionization and copper products, both portable and fixed mounted will be discussed, with the advantages of each being covered. Real-world examples of classrooms and public spaces will be reviewed.


Review of Funding During the Pandemic

Presenter: Denise Williams, Executive Director, MASBO

A review of various funding sources provided to help schools “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus” and “adjust, adapt and provide accommodations for students, parents, educator and schools and their learning environment due to the needs generated by COVID-19 “. Let’s sort it out and make sure you’re on the right track.


Equipment and Supplies That Schools Should Consider During the Current COVID Crisis - A Panel Discussion with National Specialists

Presenter(s): Helen Schleis, School Specialty and Dave Puyear, MCS

This sectional, using a panel of national experts, will provide a review of the very best equipment and supplies that K-12 schools are using across the country to address the current COVID -19 crisis. The panel discussion will focus on four areas: 1. Safe Spaces (Cleaning/Disinfecting) 2. Social Distancing (Furniture) 3. Hybrid Learning (Curriculum) 4. Social/Emotional (Special Needs/Early Childhood)


School Safety: What Every Board Member Should Know

Dan Lee, The Montana Safe Schools Center

School safety is a top priority for board members and school leaders. Moreover, Montana law requires that a school district's board of trustees adopt and periodically review their school district's emergency operations plan. What are the primary elements of a school emergency plan? How can board members support school leaders to ensure their students are as safe as possible? This session will address these questions and more.


The Principal's Role in Insurance

Presenter(s):  Annette Satterly, Harry Cheff, MSGIA Insurance Services

Join the MSGIA staff as they discuss the world of insurance and the many hats worn by the building principal to successfully achieve a safe culture within the building. The staff will walk you through many ways to be better control claims at a building level.

Save Lives with Hope Squad
Presenters:  Tobin Novasio, Lockwood and Dr. Gregory Hudnall, Hope Squad

The Hope Squad program is a school-based suicide prevention program in over 700 Elementary, Middle and High Schools across the U.S. and Canada. Hope Squad members reduce youth suicide through education, training, and peer intervention. Students are not taught to act as counselors, but rather how to be peer advocates, recognize signs of suicide contemplation, and respectfully report any concerns to an adult. The program encourages all students to see the signs, seek help, and save lives.  Lockwood Schools will share their story of implementation in an effort to save student lives across Montana.


COVID-19 Ongoing Challenges

Presenter(s):  Tony Koenig, Director of Legal Services/Senior Counsel, Andrew Vigeland, Staff Attorney, and Kris Goss, Director of Policy Services/Senior Counsel, MTSBA

In this session, the MTSBA legal staff will review the best practices in responding to the challenges Montana’s public schools are facing during the 2020-2021 school year. School leaders will discuss the latest guidance related to health and safety protocols, personnel matters, student instruction and services, open meeting compliance, school events, relationships with county health officials, and financial operations when responding to COVID-19.  This is an opportunity to hear and share the most recent information about effective school governance during the public health emergency.


Crowdfunding Best Practices for K-12 School Business Officials

Presenter(s):  Kirk Smiley, Managing Director, DonorsChoose

Crowdfunding is becoming a viable funding source, filling resource gaps and providing strategic acceleration for academic programs. However, because the practice may be misunderstood, it may result in unexpected liabilities without the proper partners and safeguards in place. Learn how to implement crowdfunding best practices in your schools, get general crowdfunding guidance, find out which crowdfunding sites to trust, and learn how to uphold financial accountability while maintaining control over materials and supplies as well as safety and security of those in your district.

Unemployment 101

Presenter(s):  Theresia LeSueur, Director of MTSUIP

You will gain a greater understanding of unemployment objectives and requirements. This includes the importance of responding for compliance with UI Integrity. The workshop will also cover types of separations and appropriate documentation, life cycle of an unemployment claim and understanding liability. The result is to provide tips to manage your unemployment rate and claims.


Being Prepared for Emergencies in Schools

Presenter(s):  Kristen Maltese, FEMA Region VIII Regional Preparedness Liaison and Daniel Nyquist, FEMA Region VIII Senior Analyst, National Preparedness Division

FEMA Region VIII Staff will present on school preparedness activities including topics such as how to prepare for and respond to the effects of disasters, resources for developing emergency preparedness plans, access to federal relief disaster funding, and engaging youth in preparedness activities.


The 3 "Ships" = RelationShips, LeaderShip and PartnerShips

Randy Russell, Freeman School District

The 3 “Ships” - RelationShips, LeaderShip, and PartnerShips - will help you improve your relationships, develop your leadership skills and capacity, and assist you in developing more meaningful partnerships for the school board and superintendent. The 3 “Ships” will help you become closer as a team, develop your leadership skills as a team, and strengthen your public-private partnerships with your community.

A Pirate's First Five: On the Open Sea
Presenter(s):  Jon Konen, Corvallis Public Schools, and Travis Niemeyer, Billings Public Schools

In this breakout, Travis and Jon will give the captains' orders (ideas) to keep your ship sailing, to keep the sense of adventure alive, and the responsibility to dig deeply into the captain's gut to keep y'er crew going the right direction during uncertain times. We've left port, we're on a sea we've n'er been, and we will make this an adventure to remember! Join us ya scurvy dogs! 

2020 Healthcare Trends/Being a Smart Shopper

Presenter(s):  DeAnna Anderson and Dawn Sullivan, MUST

2020 Healthcare Trends: This presentation will educate you on what is happening in Healthcare.  We will dive into Wellness in the Workplace, the shift from Fee-For-Service to Value-Based-Care, and what is shaping the future of Healthcare.  We will explore some of the newest trends that people are using to stay on top of their health.

Being a Smart Shopper:  This presentation will answer some of the tough questions you have always wondered about your health care coverage, and good topics to ask about.  For example, Can I use a lower-cost generic?  Generic drugs have the same active ingredients, strength, quality, and safety as their name-brand counterparts, but they can cost hundreds of dollars less.  Advantages of Preventive Health vs. Reactive Treatment – There is evidence that preventive health treatments provide more benefits than any other type of treatment.  Researchers around the world uphold the value of keeping people healthy rather than “curing disease.” Why aren’t there more of these kinds of health programs in the mainstream?


Election Planning Scenarios

Presenter(s):  Lance Melton, Executive Director; Debra Silk, Associate Executive Director, MTSBA

The focus of this session will be on the variety of possible scenarios under which Montana’s public schools will be operating depending upon the November 2020 election results.  There will undoubtedly be changes to both state and federal education policy depending upon the results of this election which will impact funding, operations, COVID-19 directives, etc. 

Best Practices for Planning and Managing School District Budgets

Presenter(s): Denise Williams, Executive Director, MASBO

Great session for new trustees, superintendents and business officials. We’ll review some basic budget concepts and terms, discuss strategies for managing ending fund balance and learn about strategies to optimize your district’s financial resources.


MTDA and EdReady Update: October Update

Presenter(s):  Jason Neiffer, Mike Agostinelli, Ryan Schrenk and Bob Currie, Montana Digital Academy

Members of the MTDA and EdReady Montana team will present updates regarding our program's status as of October 2020, including a program availability update, EdReady's Gaps and Gains project, and updated data regarding MTDA services.

Exploring Your District’s Future Through Recent Montana School Building Projects

Presenter(s):  Jeff Elliott, Superintendent, Three Forks Public Schools, John Fitzgerald, Red Lodge Public Schools, Bridget Ekstrom and Aaron Rudio, D.A. Davidson, and Dan Semmens, Dorsey & Whitney

To date seven Montana School Districts that have presented bond issues to their communities for approval since May have been able to successfully pass the Bonds despite going through the process during an uncertain COVID time.  During this MCEL session through an interactive format, attendees will learn from the recent experience of two of these successful schools and hear the keys to (1) putting together a capital improvement plan for the School District, (2) communicating with the community in passing the Bond issue at a Bond election, (3) issuing the Bonds with favorable financing terms and (4) designing, constructing and managing the projects.


Partners of MCEL -- Lessons Learned - Future Focused
Presenters:  Denise Williams, MASBO Executive Director; Dennis Parman, MREA Executive Director; Lance Melton - MTSBA Executive Director; Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

Join us for an interactive panel discussion as the Executive Directors of the sponsoring organizations of MCEL explore lessons learned from the impact of the pandemic on our schools and focus on the future as our schools continue to navigate these uncharted waters. The discussion will include an overview of resources available as produced through the efforts of the Montana Public Education Center (MT-PEC).

School Health Program - School Administrative Rules: Public & Environmental Health

Presenter(s):  B.J. Biskupiak, Montana DPHHS, and Greg Montgomery, Montana DEQ

In January 2020 the DPHHS Administrative Rules of Montana regarding matters of public health in schools were officially updated to reflect evidence-based public health practices designed to protect the health of students and staff in Montana schools. This presentation reviews the key changes to rules and the steps schools can take to comply with the health-based regulations. Presenters from the Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Department of Environmental Quality will highlight the resources and support available to education leaders. Time will be allotted for questions from audience members.  


Standards-based grading and reporting? No way! Oh, maybe? 

Presenter(s): Jenny Combs, Alliance for Curriculum Enhancement (ACE) and Andrea Meiers, Lockwood Public Schools

Join us to learn about how and why you should be leading and supporting K-12 standards-based classrooms, assessments, grading, and reporting.