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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis
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Minnesota State High School League
Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis
Brooklyn Center, MN
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018


• Meeting was called to order by Board President Bonnie Spohn Schmaltz
• Reflection provided by Board Member Eric Lehtola
• Pledge of Allegiance
• Kristi Vesall, MSHSL Office Manager, was honored for her 33 years of service to the League. She is currently the longest-serving staff member and will retire on Dec. 31, 2018.
• Two video presentations were shared: Governor-Elect Tim Walz on 45TV during the Prep Bowl, and an NFHS feature on Title IX pioneer Dorothy McIntyre.
• Meeting agenda was approved.
• Board meeting minutes from Oct. 4, 2018 were approved.
• League Lobbyist Roger Aronson provided a post-election review and update.
• The sales tax exemption, and the desire to remove the “sunset” from the legislation for the MSHSL Foundation, was shared.
• Aronson reported on the number of changes in the legislature and anticipates a strong year of learning at the Capitol.
• Legal Counsel Joe Kelly provided updates on four cases.
• Executive Director Erich Martens reminded staff and Board Members of the expectations of standard professional protocol.
• Announced that board vice president Craig Anderson was inducted into the Minnesota High School Coaches Association hall of fame. Anderson retired in 2016 after coaching baseball for 40 years, including the last 39 at Pine Island. He ended his career with a 521-378 record.
• Commended all support and executive staff for their great work in running our State Tournaments this past fall. Shared information in national publications as it relates to MSHSL activities.
• Announced that Chad Stoskopf has been named the new Region Secretary in Section 7A commencing July 1, 2019.
• Announced the first Principals’ Advisory meeting was held at the League Office. The group is interested in growing their role with the League and the board.
• Approved August workshop dates and location through 2021.
• Approved a waiver for member schools competing in girls’ lacrosse to schedule one additional game beyond the limit against Rogers High School.
• Tabled a decision on a case of two former Coon Rapids co-head wrestling coaches for further review of testimony.
• Approved personnel updates and changes presented by the Executive Director.
• For one year, approved the use of music judges from bordering states who have obtained the appropriate association certification for the 2018-19 school year.
• The Executive Committee report was approved by voice vote.
Classification/Tournament Format

• Approved the adjustments in Board Policy regarding classification formats for two, three and four classes. Also lowered the minimum required number of competing schools from 288 to 192, to allow the opportunity for more activities to change to a three-class format.
Classification Appeals
• Approved proposed language found in “Class Competition D5h1.1” in the MSHSL’s Handbook to include: “or, MSHSL enrollment for grades 9-12 is within 10 percent of the classification cut-off number for the class to which the school is appealing.”
Conference Placement of Member Schools

• Approved the recommendation of the Conference Placement Committee, which placed Buffalo High School and St. Michael-Albertville High School in the Lake Conference beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
State Wrestling Tournament Seeding Criteria Adjustment
• Approved a change to individual seeding criteria for the state wrestling tournament. The last of eight seeding criteria was changed from “winning percentage” to “state place winners from two years prior.”

Class AAAAAA Football
• Approved a motion that assigned the scheduling of District Football for 28 Class 6A football teams back to the activities administrators of those 28 schools. This action is in line with the responsibility assigned to all districts in the state.
Representative Assembly Amendments

The following proposed amendments have been sent to the administrative regions across the state. If a majority of the regions approve the amendments, they will be presented to the Representative Assembly on May 13, 2019 (tentative date):
• An expanded definition of divorce: Bylaw 111.1.B.iv
• Expanding participation availability for international students beyond one year at junior varsity level or lower: Bylaw 111.2.B-C.
• Changes to the application of one-year varsity ineligibility. Bylaw 111.1.C.
• Adding limitations to Bylaws 203, 207, and 208 allowing students in adapted athletics to compete more than 12 semesters.
• Adapted Athletics age eligibility expanded: Bylaw 110
• Adding boys’ volleyball as an activity
• Adding girls’ wrestling as an activity
Music Advisory Committee Recommendation
• Information was shared on the definition of accompaniment performed by a student. A proposal for clarification will be presented as an Action Item at the Feb. 12, 2019 meeting.
Membership Dues and Activity Registration Fees
• Assistant Director Rich Matter shared a chart with a history of membership fees. There has not been an increase for the past 12 years, while the costs to the League have been rising steadily and more programs have been approved.
Golf Tournament Advancement Policy Reading
• The board heard the first reading of a golf rule and policy clarification as it relates to participants’ disqualifications or withdrawals from tournament play. It will be moved to an Action Item at the Feb. 12, 2019 meeting.
Eligibility Committee

• The minutes of the Eligibility Committee were approved as presented.

Audit/Finance Committee
• Approved the September 2018 financial statement
• Approved the October 2018 financial statement
• Approved the annual request from Section 4A for $40,000 to support operating costs.
Marketing and Communications Committee
• Staff provided an update on the Print Contract bid process.
• Staff provided an update on the Radio Partnership
• Staff provided an updated on annual sponsorship agreements
• Staff provided updates on the 75/25 celebration seasons for boys and girls hockey.
• Staff shared information on a proposed pictorial yearbook that will be published annually.
• Staff provided updates on a state tournament-related food drive
Education and Leadership Committee
• Shared updates on Continuing Education Requirement 2020
• Shared an update on the AD Cohort
• Shared a review of Board Education Policies
• Discussed the recommendation for Activities Directors to complete the Minnesota Head Coaches Course. This is an AD Advisory recommendation.
• Shared updates on the officiating programs.
• The League Office will be closed from the afternoon of Dec. 21, 2018, through Jan. 1, 2019.
• Next meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

Transfer Eligibility Review
General Information for Students and Parents

The MSHSL understands that varsity eligibility is important to you. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding transfer eligibility. The information contained herein is not a bylaw or policy and is intended only to provide an overview of the transfer eligibility process. For the most current version of Bylaw 111 and MSHSL policies, please visit www.mshsl.org. Before transferring schools, please review the following so that you will understand the transfer’s impact on your varsity eligibility.

1.What is a transfer?

A transfer student is a student who discontinues enrollment and attendance in any high school, public or non-public, and enrolls in any other high school in Minnesota, or outside of Minnesota. Essentially, a transfer occurs anytime a student’s school of record changes. A transfer is considered complete when the student attends class or participates with an athletic program at the new school. This includes home schools, charter schools, and online schools.
2.If I transfer to a new high school, will I be eligible for varsity competition?

If you transfer to a new high school, you will be eligible for varsity athletic competition if:
1.You are enrolling in 9th grade for the first time;
2.Your entire family moves to a new residence in a different attendance area;
3.Your residence is changed pursuant to a court order;
4.Your parents are divorced and you move from one parent to another.
(This option may be used just one time after you enroll in 9th grade); or
5.You and your family have moved to Minnesota from another state or country.
If none of the above apply, you will be ineligible (for one calendar year from the date of the transfer) from participating in interscholastic varsity athletic competition. You will, however, be eligible to participate in varsity tryouts, practices, scrimmages, jamborees, etc., and non-varsity (JV, B-squad, etc.) competitions. You will not be eligible for varsity competition.
3.What happens if none of the five provisions above apply and I am determined ineligible?

If none of the five provisions set forth above apply and you are determined ineligible, you can request that the MSHSL review the determination of ineligibility. There are seven circumstances with which you can request a review:
1.You are transferred to a new high school within the same school district;
2.A change in family circumstances such as adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent.
3.A substantial negative change in your family’s economic status. For example, if one or both parent(s) loses their job or other means of income.
4.School student Bullying or Harassment as identified in Minnesota State Statutes 121A.03 and 121A.031.
5.Administrative error. For example, the receiving school misapplied MSHSL bylaws or policies.
6.You have completed a licensed program for chemical dependency or mental illness (provided all other eligibility rules are followed) and the receiving school will better serve the student’s needs.
The principals and activities directors from both the sending and receiving school agree that varsity competition eligibility should be considered.
4.How do I request a Transfer Eligibility Review?

When you enrolled at your new school [receiving school] and indicated an interest in participating in athletics, the school compiled information and submitted a student transfer report to the MSHSL. The transfer report contains general information on your previous school(s) and the reason for your transfer. Based on this information, the receiving school makes aninitial eligibility determination. That determination is sent to the MSHSL for review to ensure compliance with MSHSL bylaws and policies.

If you are determined ineligible, you can request further review by the MSHSL. Visit with the athletic director at the Receiving School and request a Transfer Eligibility Review. The athletic director will submit the request and supporting documentation to the League for review.

All denied Transfer Eligibility Review requests for varsity competition eligibility will be reviewed by the MSHSL Board of Directors Eligibility Committee for further review or referral to an Independent Reviewer. Ultimately, the final decisions on eligibility will be made by the MSHSL Board of Directors.
5.What types of information and documentation should I provide in support of my request for a Transfer Eligibility Review?

You should provide a written explanation and documentation supporting your request for review. This is your opportunity to support your request for eligibility so please submit whatever relevant documentation/information you have. Below are common types of documentation the MSHSL looks for under each of the seven review options:
1. Internal district policies (for transfers in districts with multiple high schools)
  • The district policy or policies that precipitated the transfer
  • Correspondence from the school district describing the circumstances of the transfer
    2. Adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent
  • Adoption Decree, death certifi cate, CHIPS order
    3. Substantial negative change in the economic status
  • The MSHSL typically considers three years of tax returns showing a negative change in the Adjusted Gross Income.
  • You are encouraged to submit any other documentation showing a negative change in economic status. For example, employer notification indicating the recent loss of income or loss of employment, disability determinations from a medical professional or government agency that indicate a reduction in the ability to be employed.
  • NOTE: Discretionary spending decisions will generally not be considered to be a negative change in economic status.
    4. School Bullying/Harassment
  • Documentation that a complaint was made under the district policy prior to the transfer
  • A report from the sending school that it has investigated and determined a case of bullying or harassment pursuant to Minnesota Statute 121A.03 and 121A.031.
  • Any other documentation of bullying or harassment at the sending school
    5. Administrative Error
  • Documentation from a school administrator explaining the error or errors made in the initial eligibility determination.
    6. Completion of a licensed program for treatment of alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or emotional disturbance provided all other eligibility rules are followed.
  • Documentation from the director of the treatment facility/provider showing completion of a licensed program by the student
  • Documentation to show the receiving school provides specific aftercare for the student.
    7. School Administrators request for review
  • The administrators from both schools agree varsity competition eligibility should be considered for the student. This Transfer Eligibility Review provision is applicable only for students who transfer from one MSHSL member school to another MSHSL member school.
  • The written request from the administrators at both the receiving school and sending school should include all documents they believe support eligibility.
  • This provision requires certifi cation from both schools confirming no recruitment or inappropriate contact has occured.
    Read More

    Great Kate: ‘She’s Just Like Any Other Teenager’
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 12/13/2018 6:01:25 PM

    WESTBROOK – Kate Jorgenson stood a couple steps behind the three-point line and she was ready when the basketball came to her. She took aim at the basket, fired quickly and the ball hit nothing but net as fans of the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Chargers cheered. It was a remarkable shot by a remarkable athlete.

    I first wrote about Kate when she was a ninth-grader on her school’s golf team. She’s now a 16-year-old junior, and the fact that her left arm was amputated above the elbow after an ATV accident in 2013 has never slowed her down.

    “She’s just like any other teenager,” Chargers coach Adam Kletscher said before Westbrook-Walnut Grove dropped a 45-42 decision to the Adrian Dragons in a Red Rock Conference game Tuesday night. “She likes to joke around, she likes to have fun.”

    Tuesday was a long day for Kate. She was awake at 4:45 a.m. and on a school bus bound for the state Capitol in St. Paul – three hours away from her home in southwest Minnesota -- by 6:15 with other American Government students who are involved in a program called “We the People.” They toured the Capitol, made a We the People presentation to a panel of judges as part of the program’s competitive process, then headed back home in the afternoon.

    Kate played the first half of that evening’s B squad game and came off the bench throughout the varsity game. “I’m tired,” she said with a smile afterwards.

    Her parents, Nikki and Jim, watched the games from the stands. Nikki teaches fifth grade in the district and Jim runs the family farm two miles outside of Westbrook. They, like everyone else, love their daughter’s positive attitude and are amazed by what she continues to accomplish.

    “The only thing she gave up was playing the violin,” Jim said, adding that Kate continues to practice the piano and perform at recitals. She plays volleyball in the fall, golfs in the spring, is a lifeguard and certified swimming instructor.

    When she came off the bench in Tuesday’s varsity game for the first time, four minutes in, she wiped the soles of both shoes with her right hand and went to work. On defense she was positioned in the lane, displaying quick footwork in the Chargers’ zone, blocking out would-be rebounders and inbounding the ball after Adrian scored.

    She brought the ball upcourt at one point, passing to point guard Grace Woelber once she reached the center line.

    Imagine trying to catch the ball, shoot the ball or rebound the ball with one hand. It’s not an easy proposition.

    Asked if he does anything differently in coaching a player who doesn’t have two hands, Kletscher said, “Right away I wondered, I debated but then I said no. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently. She’s a normal teenage girl on my basketball team. You might talk with her about how to curl a rebound or things like that. I’ll tell her, ‘Keep your arm straight up’ (to avoid fouls) and you’re doing the same things for every other girl on the team, too.”

    Kate said, “It’s really hard for me to catch the ball in the post and go for a layup, so I usually try to stay on the outside and shoot my outside shot. I can just like feel it when I let it go. I’ve spent a lot of time catching the ball and releasing it.”

    In Kate’s first basketball season after the accident, Jim coached her sixth-grade team. At one of the first practices he asked for volunteers to dribble the ball upcourt. Everyone was quiet until Kate said, “I’ll do it.” That was an early example of her fearlessness.

    In the wake of Kate’s accident, people in Westbrook, Walnut Grove and surrounding communities rallied around her and her family. A 2014 benefit concert in Westbrook was a great success, which inspired the Jorgenson family to create the Keeping Up The Kourage Foundation. The foundation awards college scholarships to youth from the area who have faced medial challenges and also assists families with medical expenses.

    Kate headed home Tuesday night looking forward to some much-needed sleep. But the next day – like most days -- would be another busy one, starting when she drove 43 miles to Marshall early in the morning. She’s interested in becoming an anesthesiologist, and she had an appointment to job-shadow someone in that profession, beginning at 7 a.m.

    Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

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