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Professional Development

MESPA professional development is designed by members, for members, to meet the needs of today's school leaders. Working with members, MESPA identifies the most relevant and engaging professional development topics each year to ensure MN principals have the training and support they need.

"Institute and MESPA workshops help keep principals informed with high quality professional development... MESPA keeps us connected, provides us with assistance, and supports us with our needs.”

– Jeffrey Lund, Marshall County Central Schools

MESPA PD Snapshot

Below is a snapshot of our upcoming professional development! Scroll down to check the calendar for a full list of our upcoming events.

School Law Seminars

Legal issues are an everyday occurrence for school leaders. Find out what's new in school law, get your legal questions answered, and gain valuable insight to school law best practice! Presented by Roger Aronson, one of the most highly regarded school law experts in MN!

Click the dates below to learn more and register:
Proctor -
Friday, September 20
Rochester -
Friday, September 27
St. Peter - Friday, October 4
St. Cloud - Monday, October 7
Mahnomen -
Tuesday, October 22
Twin Cities -
Friday, November 1

$150 for full day workshop plus 6 CEUs!

Topics covered: New 2019 policy changes that impact YOU, child custody basics, ESSA, school discipline, unrequested leave, bullying, TRA, transgender issues and status, and more!

Responsibility-Centered Discipline: Becoming a Master of Challenging Moments - PART 1

October 4, 2019 – Roseville

Join us for this 1-day training that will help empower you and your students to transform challenging behaviors in your school!

The Responsibility-Centered Discipline (RCD) model was developed to help schools break free from the traditional "obedience model," to train educators and school leaders how to respond to disruptive and spiraling situations, and to empower students to take responsibility for their own actions. Registration is just $150 and is open to all educators. Participants will receive 6 CEUs!

Click here for more info and to register!

NEW!: Expand your knowledge & attend Part 2!
Part 2 of this training (focusing on high intensity situations, role playing, and systemic changes) is scheduled for November 26. Click here to register.

NEW: Responsibility-Centered Discipline - PART 2

November 26, 2019 – Little Canada

Join us for PART 2 of the training to expand your knowledge and sharpen your skills around Responsibility-Centered Discipline!

This is PART 2 of MESPA's RCD training. Attending a Part 1 training is a pre-requisite to this training. The next Responsibility-Centered Discipline Day 1 training is on October 4th and registration is linked here

Part 2 of this training will address...

  • Quick review of Day 1
  • Working with higher intensity (Tier 2 & Tier 3) students
  • Building you personal skills: practicing and role playing
  • Office referrals
  • Addressing the systemic fixes to help your school, teachers, students, and administrators
  • Q & A: What questions do you have since we last met?

Click here for more info and to register!

MESPA School Office Workshop


Just $150 for a principal-secretary team! 

(add additional school office staff for $25!)

November 12, 2019, Twin Cities – click here to register

Want to serve your students, parents, and staff better?

Maintaining a healthy principal/secretary relationship is so important, but as a school principal or secretary, that may seem next to impossible. If you're buried in office work, meetings, emails, and juggling schedules on top of what you really want to be focusing on, we can help! Join us for our NEW MESPA School Office Workshop where you and your secretary will discuss ways to make your school's office more efficient, balanced, and harmonious.

Both principals and secretaries will benefit from this day long training that will help you and your school office team...

  • Run a school office efficiently
  • Develop a scheduling plan and protocol
  • Utilize time in the office better
  • Communicate and problem solve effectively as a team
  • Create a plan for more efficient organization and STAY organized
  • Empower one another and build trust
  • Proactively manage crisis response

MESPA Members: Interested in leading a seminar? Do you have a great idea that other members need to hear? Contact Rachel Dillon, Program Manager (rachel@mespa.net) with your ideas!

Early Career Principals Workshop


Join us for an empowering day of learning and collaboration at MESPA's 3rd annual workshop designed BY early career principals, FOR early career principals!

Monday, October 14 in Arden Hills - $95

All new and early career Elementary and Middle-level principals are encouraged to attend! "Early career" is purposefully left open-ended -- if this workshop description resonates with you at any level of your career, then you are welcome to attend!

This workshop is collaborative, interactive and driven by your needs. We will meet you where you are at. In this workshop, you will work with other early career principals to:

  • Gain access to tangible strategies and tools that have worked for other principals that you can take back to your school to try out TOMORROW.
  • Problem-solve with colleagues using real-world scenarios from your school.
  • Answer your burning questions about best practices with staff, students, family & community, curriculum, and climate/culture.
  • Learn about school law and get your legal questions answered by Roger Aronson, renowned school law expert extraordinaire.
  • Connect with a supportive network of colleagues to contact with questions and meet other early career principals.

Trauma: Foundations and Applications for Trauma Responsive Schools

Trauma is the root cause of many of the most challenging behaviors schools deal with every day. This highly interactive training will prepare principals and school staff to effectively serve and understand this population. 

Register for one of two workshops:

Thursday, October 24 in Little Canada

Friday, November 15 in Little Canada

Bring your team for the member rate ($125)!

This workshop will progress from the foundational knowledge of trauma to practical applications for effective trauma-responsive practices in schools to assist students affected by trauma.

In this training, attendees will:

  • Develop an understanding of neurological and psychological development 
  • Learn how to create effective learning environments that support the needs of traumatized children
  • Come away with tools and strategies to immediately apply to their buildings in order to achieve continuous improvement and accountability

MESPA Institute 2020

Join more than 400 of your principal colleagues for 3 incredible days of collaborating, innovating, and networking!

Save the date: February 5-7, 2020

The 2020 Keynote Speaker schedule has been released! Visit mespa.net/Institute for more details.

Symposium of Women Education Leaders 2019

November 14, 2019


Bethel University - Brushaber Commons

Keynote Speaker: SHAWN JUDGE (The Speaker's Edge)

Current, former, and aspiring women educational leaders are invited to learn, share, network, plan, and reflect together!

Click here for more info and to register!

Division Meetings

Did you know that your MESPA division offers professional development and networking opportunities? Check out your MESPA division page linked here for current meetings. 

The 2019-20 meeting schedule is coordinated in late September by your division. Contact your Division President for more information!

Professional Development and Learning Resources

Free Professional Resources From Crayola
As part of its Champion Creatively Alive Children Grant program with NAESP, Crayola hosts free professional arts-themed resources for educators. The complete program covers: Art Builds 21st Century Skills, Creativity Connects Us, Advocacy, and Creative Leadership workshops and videos and guides. Along with a supplemental introductory leadership guide, additional resources help you facilitate workshops and arts-infused education advocacy meetings--everything you need from PowerPoint presentations to flyers, handouts and evaluation forms. These resources will help transform your school culture, and infuse arts across your curriculum. Click here to access these resources now.

Code.org Workshops
Code.org is offering free 1-day workshops to prepare educators and content-area teachers to introduce computer science basics in a format that's fun and accessible to k-5 learners. The workshop will cover content for all three courses and teachers will receive the supplies they need to teach the course- at no cost. These workshops will be led by experienced Code.org K-5 Facilitators in over 60 cities across the United States. Visit their website to find a workshop near you.

Partners in Learning
The Microsoft Innovative Schools Program helps district and school leaders embrace innovation and implement technology effectively to support teaching and learning. Through this program school leaders can explore the possibilities, collaborate with other leaders and create a vision for the future of your school community.

Educating K-12 English Language Learners with Disabilities
The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota released a publication titled Impact: Feature issue on Education K-12 English Language Learners with Disabilities, which offers information on how to effectively educate English-language learners with disabilities and measure their progress.

Green Strides - Webinar Series 
This webinar series, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools initiative, features experts from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal programs. Topics include fitness, solar energy, life in space, and more.

Implementing Common Core Standards in Math - Webinar Series 
This free webinar series and online professional learning community, sponsored by ETA/Cuisenaire, provides advice and support regarding the national math curriculum. The program provides free webinars, live chats, lesson plans and online discussions to assist teachers in connecting and collaborating with others in the same grade level.

Global Learning for Educators - Webinar Series
The Asia Society is providing a free, year-long webinar series, Global Learning for Educators, designed to help educators prepare students for college and the interconnected world beyond. Topics include project-based global learning, preparing your school for global learning initiatives, and more.

RTI in Early Childhood Settings - Webcast
“Implementing Response to Intervention in Early Childhood Settings: National, State, and Program Perspectives,” an 80-minute webcast from the RTI Action Network, features a panel of nationally recognized researchers and dynamic RTI implementers on RTI’s role RTI in early childhood. This unique blend of multiple perspectives targets matching high-quality instruction and interventions to meet learning needs during the early childhood years.

Be sure to check out MESPA's resources page for other free resources and grants!

MESPA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

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Roseville, Minnesota, 55113
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