Thursday, November 11, 2010

Meet and Confer, Workload Survey, Q-Comp, Board Statement

Meet and Confer on Workload:  Our next opportunity to share information with our school board will be at our Meet and Confer on Tuesday, November 30th, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Staff Development Center.  By popular demand, we have chosen the topic of Less with Less: Solutions to Workload Issues.  We invite you to attend and discuss with the school board how we can make our work more manageable.  We have made the case over the years that workload is one of our biggest concerns, and though the message has been heard, the problem remains.  Our next task is to get more concrete on how to solve the problems in light of changing resources and expectations.  We also want to begin a discussion about the challenges facing traveling and itinerant teachers.

Workload Survey: To prepare for Meet & Confer, we need your help to better understand our options in reducing workload.  We’ve developed a 10 question survey to get your ideas for paring down our work.  Answer as many of the questions as you’d like, we just ask that you give us feedback by this coming Friday, November 19th.  We’ll share the results with the school board, administration and all of you.  Visit to tell us what you think.

Q-Comp:  The Minnesota Department of Education sent us a response to our proposal and we met with their representatives to discuss their questions this week.  They had a number of clarifications, but no substantial concerns with the plan’s structure itself.  However, as has happened in all but 2 of the 109 proposals in the history of the program, to answer their questions we will need to submit significant additional information.  As a result, our Representative Assembly (AHEM’s highest governing body made up of representatives from each site) decided to postpone our vote until after we get final approval from the MDE, which will take until the end of the year.  Most likely, we are now looking at a vote in February or March.

Statement to the School Board: On Monday, October 25th, I addressed the school board at the direction of our Representative Assembly on the recent concerns around school climate for our gay and lesbian students.  I urged the board to listen to our students’ concerns and give us the tools to ensure all of our students and staff members feel safe and valued at school.  I based my remarks on recent research done by the Great Lakes Center, a regional research arm of the National Education Center called Safe at School (the report can be found at as a starting point for concrete steps we can take to improve our school climate.  My entire statement can be found at