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WASB Connection Podcast

WASB Connection Podcast

A podcast for members of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and others about a wide range of educational issues they consider as elected officials.
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Episode 5: Onboarding New Members

WASB Connection Podcast

Episode 17: A Lesson in Communications That Engage
Elmbrook Schools are in one of the most competitive education markets in the state, so communications that engage and build relationships with employees and families are critical.  The district led a popular State Education Convention session on engagement, and we sat down with Chris Thompson, the district's chief strategy officer, to talk about the ideas, events and approaches that work for them. Learn more about Chris here.
April 30, 2021
Episode 16: The Duties of School Board Officers
Wisconsin school boards generally must select a president, vice president, treasurer and clerk from among their ranks. We talk about what each of these roles entails, including legal requirements and the extra duties enshrined in boards' policies and practices. For those who'd like to go deeper, the WASB will release a Board Officer Training Series this May. Keep an eye on our Online Events page for more.
March 29, 2021
Episode 15: The State of COVID
This episode is a conversation with Louise Wilson, state school nurse and health services consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Instruction. We discuss what we've learned about COVID, vaccine rollout and more. We also discuss plenty of resources to stay informed: COVID-19 activity by region and county COVID-19 statewide summary data COVID-19 Wisconsin cases CDC data tracker CDC guidance on planning vaccination clinics held at satellite locations , temporary clinics or those held on off-site locations  CDC information on variants COVID-19 Information for School Health Services webpage Interim COVID-19 Infection Control and Mitigation Measures for Schools Overview of COVID-19 Training Module PPE Awareness Training for Schools COVID-19 Module PPE Considerations for Schools CDC mitigation toolkit checklist  State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee Video explaining antigen testing versus PCR testing.  Video on math equations of effectiveness of masks 
February 12, 2021
Episode 14: Legislative Update — Vaccines, COVID Relief and More
Given the fast pace of news in Madison and Washington, D.C., this episode will be an update on education news at the state and federal levels. We discuss how the latest COVID-19 relief money is being given to schools, vaccines and more. As always, subscribe to the WASB Legislative Update blog for the latest information. Finally, please consider taking a brief survey to help us improve the podcast.
January 26, 2021
Episode 13: Wisconsin's Teachers of the Year
This episode features conversations with three of Wisconsin's teachers of the year.  Trisha Kilpin, Greendale School District, school social worker. Derrick Meyer, Amery High School, School District of Amery, agriscience and driver’s education teacher. Susan Richardson, Milwaukee German Immersion School, Milwaukee Public Schools, third grade teacher. Learn more about them, and the two other teachers of the year, at the DPI teacher of the year announcement.  We're also including some resources about trauma to accompany the conversation with Trish Kilpin:
December 28, 2020
Episode 12: Preview of the 100th State Education Convention
As a virtual experience, the 100th Wisconsin State Education Convention, to be held Jan. 20-22, will be different from all those that have come before it. We wanted to give attendees an idea of what to expect, so this episode begins with a conversation with WASB Communications Director Sheri Krause. Next, the episode heads into a conversation with Anna Maria Chávez, executive director and CEO of the National School Boards Association and a convention keynote. We spoke about COVID, leadership and her background, as well as some of the following NSBA resources: Increasing Equity and Achievement by Empowering Students Setting a New Course: A Legal Guide to Operating Schools in the Pandemic Era To learn more about the convention and register, go here.
November 30, 2020
Episode 11: Coping With Stress
Stress has always been part of being a board member. But the pandemic is requiring education leaders to make tough decisions that may prompt criticism from their community. This episode is a conversation with WASB consultants Louise Blankenheim and Cheryl Stinski, who are developing a 2021 State Education Convention breakout session on coping with stress. We talk about how stress affects us, how to know when it's a problem and what we can do about it. 
October 22, 2020
Episode 10: Educational Equity
This episode focuses on educational equity. It begins with an overview of the issue from Wisconsin Association of School Boards consultants Louise Blankenheim and Dan Nerad. They also talk about specific ways that boards and districts can create more equitable schools.  Starting at 18:25, we talk to Pa Lee Moua, who is diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Appleton Area School District. We talk about her own story as a refugee and how it affects her ability to communicate with students and community members. To see the equity statement we discuss and read the 15 questions for school boards about equity and racial justice, visit our site: A recording of the July 30 webinar we talk about is here:
September 24, 2020
Episode 9: Conversations With Three Female Superintendents
A number of long-serving female superintendents are retiring. We caught up with three of them to talk about their path to leadership, their lessons learned and how others can follow in their footsteps.  Deb Kerr, School District of Brown Deer Michelle Langenfeld, Green Bay Area Public Schools Pam Yoder,  School District of Belleville
August 21, 2020
Episode 8: Introduction to the Title IX Overhaul
Title IX, the federal anti-sex discrimination law, is undergoing major changes that affect virtually every school district in the country. In this episode, we spoke with two WASB attorneys about the changes: Associate Executive Director and Staff Counsel Bob Butler and Staff Counsel Dan Mallin.  To learn more about the Title IX changes, visit our Hot Policy topics page on this subject.   In addition, a recording of our July 8 webinar is available here, and the handout is here.
July 29, 2020
Episode 7: Conversations With Board Members of Color
This episode features interviews with three school board members of color, in order: Marilyn Ruffin of Sun Prairie, Gloria Reyes of Madison and Tricia Zunker of Wausau. To learn more about Sun Prairie’s BEAM Awards, visit its Facebook page. More information about the book Reyes recommends, “We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom,” is available here. The Wausau district’s statement about equity and social justice can be found here. Statements from other districts can be found at the WASB’s Boards Taking Action page. Click on the “Racial Injustice” tab.
June 24, 2020
Episode 6: The New Board Member Experience
New school board members often face a steep learning curve. This episode includes three conversations meant to help new members find their footing.  First, we talk with Bob Butler, WASB associate executive director and staff counsel, about the WASB New School Board Member Handbook. Then we talk with two veteran board members — Gary Vose of Kettle Moraine and Larry Dux of Pewaukee — who give general advice to new members and explain their work as part of the WASB's Peer Mentoring Program. Finally, this page provides a good overview of basic resources for new school board members.
May 27, 2020
Bonus Episode: A Discussion About the Link Between Board Governance and Student Success
This bonus episode comes to us from the Texas Association of School Boards. If you like education podcasts, check out TASB Talks wherever you listen or go to their website.  This episode is a conversation with Paul A. Johnson, a researcher who studies the connection between school boards and student achievement. We're sharing this now as a complement to an article about school board governance in the May issue of Wisconsin School News. Thanks for listening, and we'll be back with a regular episode for new school board members later this month.
April 30, 2020
Episode 5: Onboarding New Members
This episode features an interview with WASB consultant and 43-year education veteran Fran Finco. Learn more about him here. Learn more about the New Board Member Gathering webinars, which will be held the evenings of April 21, 22 and 23: If you miss them live, look for the recording at our webinars page.  Fran also mentioned the New School Board Member Handbook, which can be found here.
April 20, 2020
Episode 4: Teacher retention
Episode 4 of the WASB Connection Podcast focuses on how districts are addressing the teacher shortage by making their districts better places to work.  First, WASB members can learn more about the issue of teacher retention by downloading this presentation, given before last year's Fall Regional Meetings.  We'd also appreciate it if listeners could review our podcast on their favorite app and take the survey. Based on survey feedback, we're including timestamps for different segments so listeners can jump to the area they're interested in.  This month's legislative update begins at 28:25. Our Legislative Update blog can be found here. Listeners who'd like to learn more about how stay interviews work can read this story in Wisconsin School News.
March 2, 2020
Episode 3: The State Education Convention
This episode covers the 99th annual Wisconsin State Education Convention, held Jan. 22-24 in Milwaukee. Photos are now available online, including one of Southern Door County School District student Luke Bousley (featured at 9:23). A photo of Kettle Moraine High School student Peter Kopperud (featured at 10:50) is here.
February 5, 2020
Episode 2: Convention Conversations
This episode features conversations with two Wisconsin State Education Convention speakers.  The first is Dr. David Schuler, the 2018 Illinois and national Superintendent of the Year. We talked about his district's college, career and life readiness program, which will be the subject of a pre-convention workshop. Learn more here. We also spoke with Dr. Yong Zhao, the Thursday keynote speaker, about how we can take a more expansive view of educational outcomes. We also check in with Dan Rossmiller, WASB governmental relations director, to give a brief convention preview of the delegate assembly. We also briefly discuss the Virtual Attendee Access program.   
January 6, 2020
A conversation with 2020 State Education Convention keynote Dr. Scott McLeod
We would like to thank the Texas Association of School Boards, Georgia School Boards Association, Tennessee School Boards Association and the Michigan Association of School Boards for their advice and encouragement as we started this podcast. If you are interested in educational issues, we encourage you to listen to their podcasts, too. Dr. Scott McLeod's 4 Shifts Protocol (a tool intended to facilitate educator conversations about student learning) is available at his website. He also posts regularly at his blog, Dangerously Irrelevant. To learn more about the 2020 State Education Convention, please visit our website. WASB members can read the legal comment Bob Butler referred to here. To learn more about the tour of the Betty Brinn Children's Museum tour Sheri mentioned, click here. In addition, please consider taking a brief, nine-question survey to help us understand who is listening and improve the podcast.
December 2, 2019