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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

Upcoming MESPA Professional Development

Save the Date for MESPA Institute 2022

MESPA will return to an in-person conference for Institute 2022! Click here to read about our new venue and stay up to date as we make announcements. Institute will take place February 2-4, 2022. Mark your calendars, registration opens soon!

School Law Seminars

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 Minnesota!

Click the dates below to learn more and register:

Mahnomen - Tuesday, October 26

Proctor - Friday, October 29

Twin Cities - Thursday, November 4

$150 for full day workshop PLUS 5 CEUs!

Leading for Cultural & Linguistic Diversity during Challenging Times - Recordings

This training was provided by Dr. Amy Young for MESPA members on November 17.

MESPA members can access the recording here!

Contact mespa@mespa.net to receive the access codes and Google folder.

Dr. Amy Young is currently the EL Specialist for School Support at the Minnesota Department of Education and works with schools all over the state to develop effective programming for multilingual learners. Previously, she has been an Elementary Principal, Director of Teaching and Learning, EL Coordinator, and has taught at the UMN and NYU.

An hour with Angelina Castagno:

The Price of Nice Recording

Dr. Angelina Castagno presented her keynote The Price of Nice: How (Minnesota) Niceness Reinforces Educational Inequity as a part of our 2020 Leadership Conference in September.

Members can access the recorded video for FREE at mespa.net/priceofnice

MESPA Division Meetings

Did you know that your MESPA division offers professional development and networking opportunities? Many even award CEUs! Find your MESPA division page linked here for upcoming division meetings! 

Note: The 2021-22 meeting schedule is coordinated in late September by your division and will be released in October. Contact your Division President for more information!

P.S.: Check out the Retired Principals of MESPA page for additional meetings, most are free!

MESPA Advocate Blog

Visit our blog to read incredible pieces written by MESPA members, crafted for MESPA members. New articles are published monthly!

Interested in writing a blog post? Email mespa@mespa.net!

MESPA PrincipalCast

Tune in any time to our podcast, featuring local and national leaders in school leadership! Visit our podcast page or search for "MESPA PrincipalCast" in Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play to listen and subscribe!

Early Career Principals Workshop

Collaborate ● Problem-Solve ● Network

November 9 | $95 | Twin Cities

Join MESPA and a design team of five MESPA members for an empowering day of learning and collaboration at MESPA's 4th annual workshop designed BY early career principals, FOR early career principals!

This workshop is a place for newer principals to ask questions and problem solve in a collaborative environment. Participants will leave feeling supported and equipped with tangible resources to continue the work at hand. You'll get a chance to ask those tough "What do I do when..." or "How should I go about..." questions in a safe, supportive, and confidential space.

Click here to learn more and register!

Responsibility-Centered Discipline:

Becoming a Master of Challenging Moments

The training that will help change the discipline paradigm in your school.

Part 1: October 28 | $100 | Virtual | 5.5 CEUs

Part 2: December 10 | $125 | Twin Cities | 5.5 CEUs

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. Attend Part 1 to get the basics; pair it with Part 2 to go deeper!

Share with your staff! Teachers, paras, and specialists can attend at the same rate: $100 for Part 1; $125 for Part 2.

Resilience for Educators recordings:
Stress Management Techniques

MESPA members:
Click here to access the recordings!

Contact mespa@mespa.net to receive the access codes and handouts!

Part 1: An Integrative Paradigm for Emotional Health

Part 2: Emotional Management Techniques for Tough Situations

Dr. Heidi Kopacek is a licensed psychologist who practices a holistic approach to emotional health. Her integrative mind-body-spirit therapy focuses on soothing and healing the body, challenging the fear of the mind, and helping her client’s live in a way that wakes up their deeper sense of joy and purpose in life. Dr. Kopacek is a registered yoga instructor who teaches both restorative and vinyasa yoga practices. She is author of the book Soothe: Your Mind Body Spirit Guide for Dealing with Crappy Emotions.

Acknowledging the Role of Implicit Bias: recorded trainings

The MN Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services, along with the Minnesota Children's Cabinet, Metropolitan State University, and MESPA, invite you watch the FREE live recordings of 3 full-day trainings and 1-hour webinars recorded December 2019! 

Dr. Rosemarie Allen has served as a leader in early childhood education for nearly 40 years. Her life's work is centered on ensuring children have access to high-quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. 

All recordings, slides, and handouts are at mespa.net/bias!

NAESP Free COVID-19 Focused  Webinars and Recordings

NAESP is offering free webinars and recordings focusing on the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit NAESP's page directly to register and watch past recordings. Thanks to NAESP for this great resource!

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

Full Event List

    • 26 Oct 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Shooting Star Casino, 777 SE Casino Rd, Mahnomen, MN 56557
    Register

    Find out what's new in school law, have your legal questions answered, and gain valuable insight into best practices!

    Legal issues and questions are an everyday occurrence for principals. MESPA provides the legal support elementary and middle level principals need to thrive in their role.


    "I always enjoy this session because Roger understands the role of school administrators. He presents information that is directly related to our jobs and really outlines how it might impact us."
    - Derek Bell, Shakopee Public Schools

    Schedule

    8am-9am       Northern & Western Divisions meeting (all are welcome)

    9am-3pm       Seminar with lunch

    Topics covered:
    New 2021 laws or policy changes that impact YOU, COVID policies, school discipline, critical race theory, and more. This is an open format so please bring your questions and Roger will do his best to address them.

    About Roger Aronson


    Presented by Roger Aronson, MESPA's legislative and legal counsel, this full-day seminar is both relevant and interactive. Aronson is one of the most highly regarded school law experts in the state of MN and will provide you with the insight and knowledge you need to be effective and ethical in your work.


    "Roger does a great job of helping us not only understand the changes in the law or legislation, he also helps us understand the background of the bill that was presented and the reasons behind them. This helps provide us with talking points when working through the legal changes we are expected to address in our schools." - Brian Franklin, Principal, Dassel-Cokato schools

    For more information on Roger and MESPA legal services, please visit our legal page here 

     
    • 28 Oct 2021
    • 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
    • This is a virtual event! It will be held via Zoom!
    Register


    Join us for this VIRTUAL 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. Schools often struggle to achieve lasting change in student behavior because students do not feel responsible for their own actions and, instead, find ways to project the responsibility for their behavior onto others. Often students elect to choose a handy exit off the road to responsibility. This training provides a framework for shifting the burden of ownership back to students -- promoting lasting change and greater learning. RCD provides real skills that school leaders, teachers, and paraprofessionals can start using immediately.

    "I had numerous staff, both veteran and new, say it's the best professional development they've ever received around student behaviors, building relationships, and giving them tools they feel can help keep kids in their classroom more and not have to send them out for help."

    Learning objectives
    During this training, participants will work to:

    • Identify the underlying causes of difficult behaviors in students
    • Implement do's and don'ts to address specific behaviors
    • Integrate key strategies for migrating from an obedience-centered approach to a responsibility-centered approach
    • Develop innovative ways to support positive behavior
    • Apply strategies for preventing the escalation of difficult behavior

    THIS MODEL INTRODUCES A PARADIGM SHIFT!
    The goal is to move away from punitive punishments and time-based consequences and instead to enable your students to take responsibility and create solutions.. together!

    Training format: Virtual in 2021!
    This training will be held via Zoom with interactive lecture, group discussion, as well as breakout sessions. The day will begin with theory-based insights into the paradigm shift of school discipline: a responsibility-centered model in place of a traditional obedience-based model. We will then discuss insights, strategies, and tips for dealing with challenging behaviors rooted in responsibility-centered practice. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to work through examples, practice these new strategies, and discuss ideas for implementation in your building.

    Topics covered include:

    • The difference between responsibility-centered vs. obedience-based models
    • Essentials of a successful learning environment
    • Why many school discipline models fail
    • Alternatives to out-of-school suspensions
    • Strategies for dealing with challenging behaviors
    • Becoming a master of challenging moments with students
    • Developing your own self-regulation skills (and helping your staff do the same!)

    "This was one of the best trainings I have ever attended."
    - Chad Grassel, Assistant Principal at New Heights Elementary, East Grand Forks 

    Who can attend?
    This training is open to all school leaders and school staff at all levels, pre-kindergarten to high school. Teachers and paras will benefit greatly from this training! You do NOT have to be a MESPA member to attend this training!

    Expand your knowledge & attend Part 2!
    We will be holding a Part 2 of this training on Friday, December 10 in-person! Click here to register!

    General information
    A workbook is included within the cost of registration. 5.5 CEUs will be distributed for this workshop.

    The RCD Model pairs well with Multi-Tiered Systems!
    Programs like PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) and other Multi-Tiered Systems of Support have been implemented in schools across North America in order to increase student achievement. Not only do student discipline issues disrupt the learning environment, but time-based consequences have the unfortunate side effect of removing students who may need the most help from the classroom. A key to success for PBIS, RTI and other MTSS programs is involving all students in the first level of intervention – and RCD is designed to provide consistent and effective disciplinary support at that level. RCD will also support the process as these programs move into more advanced tiers.


    About the presenter
    Author of Roadmap to Responsibility and Give ‘em Five, and founder of the RCD model, Larry Thompson, M.Ed., is often called upon to deliver keynote presentations for state and national education conferences because of his knowledge, humor and passion for assisting today’s students. He has helped thousands of educators and schools throughout North America break away from their traditional discipline models to a model that creates a responsible climate and responsible students. Larry has served in a wide variety of roles in education – from special education teacher to alternative and traditional high school principal. As creator of the Responsibility-Centered Discipline program, Larry understands that systems must be created that can be realistically implemented and sustained. Learn more about Larry at givemfive.com.

    • 29 Oct 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • St. Luke's Sports and Events Center, 704 Kirkus St, Proctor, MN 55810, Community Room
    Register

    Find out what's new in school law, have your legal questions answered, and gain valuable insight into best practices!

    Legal issues and questions are an everyday occurrence for principals. MESPA provides the legal support elementary and middle level principals need to thrive in their role.


    "I always enjoy this session because Roger understands the role of school administrators. He presents information that is directly related to our jobs and really outlines how it might impact us."
    - Derek Bell, Shakopee Public Schools

    Schedule

    8am-9am       Northeast Division meeting (all are welcome)

    9am-3pm       Seminar with lunch

    Topics covered:
    New 2021 laws or policy changes that impact YOU, COVID policies, school discipline, critical race theory, and more. This is an open format so please bring your questions and Roger will do his best to address them.

    About Roger Aronson


    Presented by Roger Aronson, MESPA's legislative and legal counsel, this full-day seminar is both relevant and interactive. Aronson is one of the most highly regarded school law experts in the state of MN and will provide you with the insight and knowledge you need to be effective and ethical in your work.


    "Roger does a great job of helping us not only understand the changes in the law or legislation, he also helps us understand the background of the bill that was presented and the reasons behind them. This helps provide us with talking points when working through the legal changes we are expected to address in our schools." - Brian Franklin, Principal, Dassel-Cokato schools

    For more information on Roger and MESPA legal services, please visit our legal page here 

     
    • 04 Nov 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Bethel Anderson Center, 2 Pine Tree Dr, Arden Hills, MN 55112, Suite 460
    Register

    Find out what's new in school law, have your legal questions answered, and gain valuable insight into best practices!

    Legal issues and questions are an everyday occurrence for principals. MESPA provides the legal support elementary and middle level principals need to thrive in their role.


    "I always enjoy this session because Roger understands the role of school administrators. He presents information that is directly related to our jobs and really outlines how it might impact us."
    - Derek Bell, Shakopee Public Schools

    Schedule

    8am-9am       Metro Area Divisions meeting (all are welcome)

    9am-3pm       Seminar with lunch

    Topics covered:
    New 2021 laws or policy changes that impact YOU, COVID policies, school discipline, critical race theory, and more. This is an open format so please bring your questions and Roger will do his best to address them.

    About Roger Aronson


    Presented by Roger Aronson, MESPA's legislative and legal counsel, this full-day seminar is both relevant and interactive. Aronson is one of the most highly regarded school law experts in the state of MN and will provide you with the insight and knowledge you need to be effective and ethical in your work.


    "Roger does a great job of helping us not only understand the changes in the law or legislation, he also helps us understand the background of the bill that was presented and the reasons behind them. This helps provide us with talking points when working through the legal changes we are expected to address in our schools." - Brian Franklin, Principal, Dassel-Cokato schools

    For more information on Roger and MESPA legal services, please visit our legal page here 

     
    • 09 Nov 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Bethel Anderson Center - 2 Pine Tree Dr, Arden Hills, MN 55112 - ROOM 307 EAST (main floor)
    Register

    Join us for an empowering day of learning and collaboration at MESPA's 4th annual workshop designed BY early career principals, FOR early career principals!


    Workshop content

    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 your leaders and a cohort of 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.
    • Connect with a supportive network of colleagues to contact with questions and meet other early career principals.
    • Receive access to a Google folder filled with resources from experienced principals.
    • Have fun! Play games, meet other early career principals, and more!

    NEW: This year the Early Career Principals Workshop will offer monthly Zoom check-ins with the cohort to offer support and community for the entire school year! Dates for Zoom check-ins will be chosen at the Nov. 9 workshop— they will be voluntary and FREE to attend!

    Workshop goals
    This workshop is a place for newer principals to ask questions and problem solve in a collaborative environment. Participants will leave feeling supported and equipped with tangible resources to continue the work at hand. You'll get a chance to ask those tough "What do I do when..." or "How should I go about..." questions in a safe, supportive, and confidential space.

    Who can attend?
    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!

    Our 4th annual workshop is designed to be different than the others. Repeat attendees are welcome!

    Our Team:

    This workshop is member-led! We have a fabulous group of principals who are working to design this workshop to meet your needs:

    • Principal Toni Baartman @ToniJoStamer from Hill and Brown Elementary Schools, Pipestone Area Schools (5 years as principal)
    • Principal Bret Domstrand @BretDom from Lake Marion Elementary, Lakeville Schools (7 years as principal)
    • Principal Ashley Farrington @FarringtonEdu from Birchview Elementary, Wayzata Public Schools (Second year principal)
    • Principal Staci Souhan @RCSouhan from Turtle Lake Elementary, Mounds View Schools (3 years as principal)
    • Principal Tami Staloch-Schultz @TSS196 from Westview Elementary in Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan (10 years as principal)
    • MESPA Executive Director Jon Millerhagen @MESPAexec.
    • 10 Dec 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Quora Education Center - 70 County Road B2 W, Little Canada, MN 55117 - CONFERENCE ROOMS A+B
    Register


    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. Register for a virtual Part 1 training:

    Part 2 of this training will address...

    • Quick review of Day 1
    • Working with higher intensity (Tier 2 & Tier 3) students
    • Building your 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?

      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. Schools often struggle to achieve lasting change in student behavior because students do not feel responsible for their own actions and, instead, find ways to project the responsibility for their behavior onto others. Often students elect to choose a handy exit off the road to responsibility. This training provides a framework for shifting the burden of ownership back to students -- promoting lasting change and greater learning. RCD provides real skills that school leaders, teachers, and paraprofessionals can start using immediately.

      THIS MODEL INTRODUCES A PARADIGM SHIFT!
      The goal is to move away from punitive punishments and time-based consequences and instead to enable your students to take responsibility and create solutions.. together!


      Who can attend?
      This training is open to all school leaders and educators at all school levels, pre-kindergarten to high school. It is recommended that you have attended one of our Part 1 trainings before you attend Part 2! 

        The RCD Model pairs well with Multi-Tiered Systems!
        Programs like PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) and other Multi-Tiered Systems of Support have been implemented in schools across North America in order to increase student achievement. Not only do student discipline issues disrupt the learning environment, but time-based consequences have the unfortunate side effect of removing students who may need the most help from the classroom. A key to success for PBIS, RTI and other MTSS programs is involving all students in the first level of intervention – and RCD is designed to provide consistent and effective disciplinary support at that level. RCD will also support the process as these programs move into more advanced tiers.


        About the presenter
        Author of Roadmap to Responsibility and Give ‘em Five, and founder of the RCD model, Larry Thompson, M.Ed., is often called upon to deliver keynote presentations for state and national education conferences because of his knowledge, humor and passion for assisting today’s students. He has helped thousands of educators and schools throughout North America break away from their traditional discipline models to a model that creates a responsible climate and responsible students. Larry has served in a wide variety of roles in education – from special education teacher to alternative and traditional high school principal. As creator of the Responsibility-Centered Discipline program, Larry understands that systems must be created that can be realistically implemented and sustained. Learn more about Larry at givemfive.com.

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

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      Roseville, Minnesota, 55113
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