February 12th Edition

The School Leader and Effective Data Use

by WISExplore Team: Jim Lee (CESA 12), Lisa Arneson (CESA 3), Mary Ann Hudziak (CESA 6), Judy Sargent (CESA 7

Using the Wisconsin Framework for Principal Leadership, principal supervisors are encouraged to provide feedback on the evidence that school leaders understand and facilitate cycles of inquiry at the school level (see Figure 1). Internal and external accountability exists and can be a strong lever for improvement.  This includes the ability to facilitate leadership teams that learn and grow together.

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Managing the Use of CBD Oil in Schools

by Attorneys Abby Busler and Robert Burns 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the newest buzzword flying around Wisconsin school districts.  Students, staff and parents are discussing this product and want to know their school district’s perspective on this hot topic.  The topic of CBD often becomes confused with marijuana.  While states surrounding Wisconsin, such as Illinois and Michigan, legalized recreational marijuana use, Wisconsin law has not changed and marijuana continues to be illegal here and federally.  This article focuses on CBD and provides the legal background of a rapidly changing enterprise and provides administrators with practical advice in considering CBD product requests in Wisconsin schools.

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Principals In Action- Redefining the Role

by Mark French, Principal of Gatewood Elementary School in Minnetonka, MN, Ryan Sheehy, Principal of Highlands Elementary School in Concord, CA, Jay Posick, Principal of Merton Intermediate School in Merton, WI.

Back in July of 2017, I was fortunate to present with Mark French (@PrincipalFrench) and Ryan Sheehy (@sheehyrw) about the Twitter hashtag #principalsinaction at the National Principals Conference in Philadelphia.  We not only presented together, we connected with principals from all over the country. It was a game-changing experience and helped us decide to pursue writing a book about being principals in action.

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February 26, 2020

Key Legal Considerations Regarding Student and Staff Speech in an Election Year

by Brian P. Goodman and Michael J. Julka of Boardman Clark LLP

Leading up to the November presidential election, students and staff are likely to engage in the political process to some extent.  Reflecting the country, most school districts are currently polarized with respect to politics.  Many students and staff are passionate about politics, and that passion is likely to impact the school district.  A brief overview of key legal considerations will help building administrators navigate issues involving student and staff speech during the election year.

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Leading for Mental Health and Resilience

by Joe Schroeder, Ph.D., Associate Executive Director, AWSA 

According to a recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2017), over 16% of Wisconsin high school students reported that they considered suicide within the previous thirty days.  Statistically, this means that in Wisconsin as many as 137,600 high school students reported considering suicide that year.  In addition, according to DPI officials, approximately 150,000 Wisconsin students with mental health disorders do not receive treatment.  And, in line with national findings, of the Wisconsin students who do receive treatment, 75% of those can be expected to receive treatment in school only (Burns et. al., 1995; Farmer et.al, 2003; Atkins et. al., 2010).  So regardless of our opinions on this evolving issue, the reality is that schools have become the de facto mental health providers for our youth.  And the needs seem to keep rising.  Finding productive ways for leaders to meet such needs in their schools and communities is at the heart of AWSA’s Mental Health and Resilience (MHR) Academy, which launched earlier this school year.

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10 Ways Principals Can Support Post School Success for Students with IEPs

by Alicia Reinhard, Transition Consultant, WI DPI

Transition planning for students with IEPs begins at age 14 per Wisconsin State Statute 115.787 (2)(g)1. Completing a student’s individualized postsecondary transition plan (PTP) is just the beginning of how school staff support positive post-school outcomes for students who receive special education services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

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FMLA and the ADA – New Workplace Standards

by Julie Lewis, Attorney, Principal, Lewis Law Office, LLC

Employers continue to adapt to court decisions that apply the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the workplace.  School administrators should understand how to comply with current standards for reasonable accommodations, essential job functions and notice of a serious health condition. 

This article reviews recent cases decided by courts in Wisconsin and in the Seventh Circuit on work injuries, work from home, mental health, job assistance and attendance policies as they relate to the FMLA and the ADA. 

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Office of Children’s Mental Health – Healthy Use of Screen Time

The Office of Children’s Mental Health recently released a new 2020 Child Well-Being Fact Sheet in regards to healthy usage of screen time for Wisconsin students, based on results from the Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) as well as the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW). The infographic can be found here. Upcoming topics will include bullying and suicide.