Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 7:57 AM
Minnesota State High School League
Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis
League Office, Brooklyn Center and via digital platform
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
- Board President Bonnie Spohn Schmaltz called the meeting to order
- Board member and president-elect Blaine Novak introduced the video reflection
- The meeting agenda was approved as presented by roll call vote
- The board meeting minutes from June 1, 2020 were approved by roll call vote
- League Lobbyist Roger Aronson reported the State Legislature convened for a second special session on July 13
- A provision in a proposed tax bill supports a one-time provision to apply up to $500,000 of MSHSL Foundation to be used to offset losses due to COVID-19 for League operations
Legal Counsel Report
- Legal Counsel Kevin Beck reported there is one pending case. A hearing date to dismiss is scheduled for July 24. A decision is expected within 90 days.
Executive Director’s Report
- Executive Director Erich Martens welcomed incoming Board Members Gary Revenig, activities director at Monticello High School, Regions 7-8AA and James Smokrovich, East Ridge High School principal (MASSP). Tracy Area activities director Bill Tauer (Regions 3-4A), Rockford’s Dawn Engebretson (Girls Sports Representative) and St. Paul’s Ceil McDonald (Speech) were introduced at the June 1 meeting.
- Yielded the floor to staff members to provide updates on social media initiatives and the NFHS Summer Meeting
- Shared an update on the League being a part of the Youth Sports Roundtable led by Minnesota Commissioner Tarek Tomes
- Thanked Heather Mueller, the Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, for her strong communications role with the League during discussions and planning on returning to learning and participation.
- Shared information related to participation in board meetings with MASA, MSBA and MASSP
- Provided an update on conversations with venue partners as the League considers what state tournament events might look like
- Recognized the Principals Advisory Committee that has completed two years of service. The group will continue to meet four times annually and will be an advisory part of the Activity Advisory Process.
- The League office is used daily by about half of the staff while the others work remotely. The focus remains on safety and following protocols with temperature checks, mask usage and physical distancing.
- Thanked League staff for their work in establishing the LEAD network and growing this critical aspect in communicating with member schools.
Executive Committee Report
- Approved the personnel actions to discontinue the positions of receptionist and graphic designer
- Discussed employee agreements and potential recommendations for board of director’s discussion. Current agreements stay in place until new agreements are ratified.
- The committee reviewed the financial position of the League, the conversation during the Board workshop and discussed the challenges ahead facing the MSHSL and member schools.
- School Space Media is preparing a rate-fee proposal for the live streaming of state tournament events.
- The committee reviewed a request for an independent review of a fair hearing held at the local level. After reviewing the fair hearing, the committee denied the request for the independent review.
- The committee discussed surveying member schools regarding the challenges and needs of member schools. Information may be sought regarding the communication and leadership provided by the League and ways the MSHSL can provide additional services.
- The board of directors approved by roll call vote the Executive Committee report as presented
Action Items (Roll call votes were used on all Action Items because of virtual meeting protocol)
- 9A: Pre-Participation Physical Forms
The board of directors approved by roll call vote a recommendation from the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the Eligibility Committee to grant the extension of pre-participation physical clearances that expired after March 13, 2020. The clearance extends to the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year.
- 9B: Community Media Systems
The board of directors approved by roll call vote a recommendation to allow Community Media Systems the opportunity to provide live, audio-only streaming of League events at the section and state tournament levels to be used over the social media platforms and websites. Community Media Systems will be required to pay an annual registration fee and would not be assessed any additional rights feed unless they desired to provide live video as well. Community Media Systems is the identifier for local, non-profit cable television stations, including public television outlets and school designated media systems.
- 10A: Return to Participation
The board of directors approved by roll call vote the moving of this Discussion Item to an Action Item
The board of directors approved by roll call vote the creation of a Return to Participation Task Force to create potential models based on the Return to Learn models that are expected to be announced the week of July 27 by the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.
- 10B: 2020-2021 Preliminary Budget
The board of directors approved by roll call vote the moving of this Discussion item to an Action item
The board of directors approved by roll call vote the creation of a Finance Task Force that includes members of the League’s Finance Committee and representation from throughout Minnesota to prepare feasible and sustainable financial models for the League due to the unique challenges presented by COVID-19.
- 10C: Music Advisory Committee Recommendation
The League’s Music Advisory Committee is recommending the League move to online adjudicating courses through the NFHS Learning Center. Because the League is a member of the NFHS, there is no fee for applicants to take the online adjudication courses. This will be an Action Item at the August 4 board of directors meeting.
- 10D: Uniform Modification and Special Recognition
The League has prepared updated language and information regarding approved special recognition options for member schools. These would be shared with both schools and officials to provide clarity and assist member schools.
Eligibility Committee (conducted by virtual platform on July 8, 2020)
- The board of directors approved by roll call vote the committee meeting minutes
Audit/Finance Committee (conducted by virtual platform on July 13, 2020)
- The board of directors approved by roll call vote the financial statements from May and June
- The board of directors approved by roll call vote a committee recommendation that allows the 16 Administrative Regions to carry more than the board policy allowed 20 percent of operational expenses in the fund balance due to expected funding challenges in the 2020-2021 school year.
Marketing and Communications Committee (conducted by virtual platform on July 13, 2020)
- The committee recommended an Action Item for the August 4 meeting that will address moving to an all-digital format for souvenir state tournament programs
- League staff provided a technology update that features a Phase 1 launch of the public, front-facing website the week of July 27
- The board of directors approved by roll call vote a partnership with Select Sports America in a five-year agreement that will provide soccer balls, apparel and other related equipment
Education and Leadership Committee (conducted by virtual platform on July 13, 2020)
- League Staff provided updates on the LEAD Network, InSideOut Initiative, Coaches Education Requirement and the MNHCC
- The Officiating Recruitment Forum on June 23 had 110 participants
- New board member orientation meeting, via virtual platform, July 21, 9 a.m.
- Workshop: August 3, time and location, TBA
- Next board meeting: August 4, via digital platform, 9 a.m.
- Recognition for departing board members: Dr. Joel Boyd, Governors’ Appointee; Rob Carpentier, Regions 3-4A; Kris DeClerk-Thompson, MASSP; Eric Lehtola, Regions 7-8AA; Jill Johnson, Girls Sports Representative; Bonnie Spohn Schmaltz, Speech.