• expertease
    As part of our strategic plan to deliver a multi-tiered system of professional development that meets the individualized learning goals of all members, we have partnered with Infinitec. Many districts have elected district-wide membership with Infinitec. This site provides MASA members access to select ExpertEase video presentations addressing administrative leadership topics by known educators, administrators, and leadership experts. Watch these videos for your personal professional development and engage your staff in discussions surrounding critical topics.

    We’re also pleased to provide five videos which specifically target areas of teacher licensure.

    • Go to www.myinfinitec.org
    • Click Register at top right
    • Enter requested registration information and check
    • I am a member of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators

    After completing registration, locate videos in the Online Classroom, under MASA Leadership.


    Current Titles:

    •  MASA Presents: The One Right Answer Mentality: The Subversive Educator's Guide to Creativity
    presented by Doug Johnson, Director of Technology, Burnsville Eagan Savage School District

    Despite the fact that every set of "21st Century skills" emphasizes creativity, schools leave music and art teachers to worry about it while "real teachers" worry about test scores. This presentation demonstrates why creativity belongs in every content area, that creativity is a genuine vocational skill, and that we as educators need to overcome our fear of creative children. 

    MASA Presents: Passing School Referenda in the “New Normal”
    presented by Don E. Lifto, Ph.D., Consultant, Springsted Incorporated

    Are you planning a referendum campaign? In this presentation, Dr. Lifto combines research, successful practice and knowledge of the current climate, allowing school leaders to elevate their thinking to a more comprehensive and long-range vision of election planning. This presentation features invaluable strategies in preparing for and conducting a school finance election and will be beneficial to school districts planning an initial campaign or to those coming back for another try after a lost election.

    MASA Presents: Why Good Referendums Fail
    presented by Arif Quraishi,
    President and Managing Partner, FJJ/ONE

    Over the last 20 years, the strategy and approach to passing school district referenda has changed drastically. With the use of social media including Twitter, Facebook and multiple online blogs along with consultants hired by Vote No groups, the chance of failing school referendums has increased. Even with well thought out communication by the district administration and an active Vote Yes group, there is no guarantee of passing even a good referendum. Apathy among voters has also increased making it harder to get them to vote. This presentation will look at key mistakes made that lead to referenda failure and will provide strategies and approaches to significantly increase the chances of passing referenda.

    MASA Presents: Community Education in Minnesota
    presented by Wendy Webster, Director of Community Services, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District

    Education is a lifelong process. Community education supports learning using the resources of public schools by the wider community. This presentation will provide a comprehensive introduction to community education, its leadership, goals, funding and basis in public schooling. 

    MASA Presents: Social Media for School Leaders

    presented by Bill Adams. Superintendent, Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Public Schools

    "If you don't tell your district's story, someone else will," is a phrase that is heard frequently today. Social media like Twitter, Instagram, Remind and others are important ways for us to get our message to stakeholders. Twitter is a great way to continue your professional learning by connecting with teachers, administrators and leaders of schools all around the globe. In this presentation, you will learn how social media can enhance your leadership practice.


    MASA Presents: Exploring the Link Between the Amount of Sleep Teens Get and Their School Performance, Emotions, and At-Risk Behaviors
    presented by Kyla Wahlstrom, Ph.D., Education Consultant

    Learning, memory and school performance are related to sleep, as are emotions and depression, obesity and substance abuse, high-risk behaviors, car crashes and caffeine use. The U of MN's Center for Applied Research & Educational Improvement (CAREI) and the U of MN's Sleep Medicine Clinic recently hosted a first-ever national conference focused on all those issues confronting our teenagers today - and how those aspects of teen life are impacted by the amount of sleep that teens get. This 4 part series reflects the big messages from the conference and discusses how this information might be useful for secondary teachers and parents.


    MASA Presents: Shared Accountability for the Success of All English Learners
    presented by Michelle Benegas, Ph.D. Asst. Professor Hamline University & President MinneTESOL, Minnesota

    65,000 English learners are educated throughout the state of MN. This discussion is framed around national policy information from Department of Ed and Department of Justice (Dear Colleague letter) and MN state policy (LEAPS Act). Features of coherent and effective EL programs are described.

    MASA Presents: Understanding and Meeting the Learning Needs of EL Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)
    presented by Jill A. Watson, Ph.D., Principal, Watson Educational Consulting and Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Hamline University

    This presentation provides an overview of EL and SLIFE population, service and legislation. It addresses the learning needs of SLIFE in K-12.

    MASA Presents: Bilingual and Multilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificates
    presented by Ursula Lentz, MDE World Language and English Learner Specialist  

    This presentation covers the World Language Proficiency Certificate Legislation, seals and certificates, and elective standards, college credit and the ACTFL Proficiency levels and assessment options for schools. 

    MASA Presents: Using Data and Implementation Frameworks to Improve Instruction and Instructional Systems to Better Support the English Language Development and Academic Success of English Learners
    presented by Michael Bowlus, MDE English Learner and Refugee Education Specialist, MDE

    This video reviews state and federal laws regarding the use of EL data, requirements for staff development, accountability, content standards and staff capacity, the ACCESS test of English language development, the data analysis process, and an overview of the implementation frameworks.

    MASA Presents: English Learners and Special Education
    Renae Ouillette, Executive Director of Special Education and Student Services, Lakeville Area Public Schools 

    This presentation covers terms & acronyms used to describe English learners and students receiving special education services, common themes around language development and acquisition, the stages of acculturation, the stages of second-language acquisition, when to refer ELs for special education, when to be cautious about referring students and questions to consider. 

    MASA Presents: What MN Administrators Should Know about English Learners (ELs) and EL Program Requirements
    presented by Michael Bowlus, MDE EL Education Specialist and Area Director, Minnesota

    This video provides basic terminology regarding English Learner students and programs, diversity, demographics, federal and state laws, program requirements, funding and staffing, and the MN ELD Standards framework.

    MASA Presents: Understanding & Implementing the MN English Language Development (WIDA ELD) Standards Framework
    presented by Michael Bowlus, MDE EL Education Specialist and Area Director, Minnesota

    This video provides an introduction to the MN English Learner standards by discussing implementation teams, the Wida Consortium, the relationship between the MN content area standards and the ELD standards, as well as considerations and tools for implementation.



    MASA Presents: School Crisis Communication
    presented by Nancy Lageson, Gina Wieler & Randy Johnson,
    Minnesota School Safety Center

    Good communication plans are imperative in a crisis. This video provides communication strategies & techniques as they relate to response in school emergencies.

    • MASA Presents: Creating New Education Futures in the Knowmad Society
    presented by John Moravec, Ph.D. Theorist and practitioner on the future of learning and the future of work Minnesota

    John Moravec asks the questions, what are we educating for? What grounded reasons do we have for the current configurations of education? What new structures and approaches can meet the needs of 21st century learners?

    • MASA Presents: Branding Your Organization - How Do Your Internal & External Audiences Perceive You?
    presented by Kathy Guthrie, Ties Marketing Director, St. Paul, Minnesota

    Strong brands include visual icons or logos, differentiation from other districts, identification of values and characteristics, and creating a strong customer experience. This video discusses a process for districts to use to attract and engage families through branding.

    • MASA Presents: Communicating with Your School Boards
    presented by Nan Records, Special Education Director, Sherburne Northern Wright Special Education Cooperative, Minnesota

    Nan advocates for the role special education directors should take in communicating with their school boards and/or governing boards as part of their jobs. She presents why this is important, hot topics to address and offers suggestions for ways to promote good communicating relationships.

    • MASA Presents: Communication for Education Leaders
    presented by Olivia Gault, Communications Consultant, Minnesota

    "As a leader in education, you are in advertising. You have a lot of ideas to share with people and to convince them of the ideas." Olivia addresses how you keep and create a positive buzz in your communications to different audiences. She discusses the ABCs of Communication, the use of jargon, crisis communications, and different methods of communication including social media.

    • MASA Presents: Communication with Diverse Audiences
    presented by Jackie Johnston, S.ED., Director of Community Education & Extended Learning for Eastern Carver County, Minnesota

    Our schools are becoming increasingly diverse. This presentation addresses why it matters what district leaders say and do when communicating across cultures. It identifies cultural differences of styles in expression and communication and ways to increase success in communicating with students & families who use different languages & communication idioms than you.


    • MASA Presents: Educational Adequacy: Leading the Dialogue About Educational Process and Outcomes
    presented by Aaron Ruhland, Director of Learning and Accountability, Orono Public Schools, Minnesota

    Aaron begins his presentation with concerns: State funding has not kept pace with inflation and new money is targeted. Additional mandates seem to be more politically oriented than about educational effectiveness. Local citizens and leaders have limited influence on policy decisions that substantially impact work. There are inequities in achievement and available resources and a general sense of incongruence. With these concerns in mind, Aaron discusses the pathways to educational adequacy, how adequacy is determined and measured and the implications of adequacy research. Reflective questions are interspersed throughout.

    • MASA Presents: A Question of Balance... The Art of Contract Negotiations
    presented by Greg Vandal, Retired Superintendent Sauk Rapids Rice School District, Minnesota

    Greg Vandal provides a primer on the Public Employee Labor Relations Act (PERLA), presents contract negotiations from the perspective of courtship or relationship based experiences and discusses two common approaches, traditional bargaining and interest based bargaining.

    • MASA Presents: Change: The Performance Gap and Developing Effective Theories of Action
    presented by Dr. Mark Wolak, President, Board of School Superintendents, Minnesota

    There are many theories in use, which are barriers to change. Those changes will not occur unless we address what’s in the culture in our programs. This video explores the examination of beliefs, assumptions and theories in use and explores building blocks for theories of action.

    • MASA Presents: Student Mental Health: An Essential Guide for School Administrators
    presented by William Dikel, M.D., Independent Consulting Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Minnesota

    Schools are the most common settings where youth who have mental health disorders receive any services. Dr. Dikel presents what administrators need to know about student mental health. He reviews statistics & prevalence of mental health disorders, causes of mental health symptoms, special education categories and mental health disorders, dropout rates, roles & responsibilities of school staff, functional behavioral analyses, youth violence, district mental health plans and crisis interventions.

    • MASA Presents: Research-Based Instructional Strategies in Every Lesson
    presented by Diane Jensen, Instructional Facilitator with Midwest Instructional Leadership Council, Wisconsin

    There are many factors we cannot control in the lives of our students such as poverty, home situations, previous learning experiences, or language background, but there are things we can control: instruction, curriculum and environment. This presentation will ID 10 research-based strategies that should be included in every lesson, identify ways to incorporate strategies into a daily lesson framework, and promote the value and need for frequent guided practice, formative assessments and scaffolding in practice.

    • MASA Presents: Effective Educational Leadership is Not About Power: The Art of Influence
    presented by Bruce Miles, Ed.D., Educational Consultant, Minnesota

    “True leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to.” This session presents applied research, a leadership model and decision making tools to help people go from indecision to decision or confusion to closure. According to Bruce, “When you help groups move along, you gain influence

    • MASA Presents: Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent: Leadership Matters
    presented by Betty Schweizer, Retired Executive Director, TIES, Minnesota

    Effective system-wide use of technology to support student achievement remains an elusive goal for a variety of reasons, ranging from inadequate infrastructure and funding, to uneven community support and educator capacity. Superintendents are keenly aware that disparate deployments of new technologies could divide schools between the have and have-nots. Betty’s presentation reflects on the 5 themes and action steps for technology leadership from the Guidebook: Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent.




    • MASA Presents: The 95/5 Dilemma (Helping communities understand how ALL schools are doing!)
    presented by Gary Amoroso, Executive Director, Minnesota Association of School Administrators

    The 5% of schools that are said to be failing in America are defining the remaining 95%. What does the data really tell us about the 95% of American schools? In reality, NAEP scores in 4th and 8th grade reading and math have never been higher than they are today. In this video, Gary reviews current data to highlight the need to focus on turning around under-performing schools while being proud of what we have accomplished.

    • MASA Presents: Concerns and Challenges of Mental Health in Education
    presented by Jan Ostrom and Wendy Selnes, Brih Design, Minnesota

    There is a consideration that mental illness in children is relatively common. In fact, one in five children and adolescents suffer from mental illness. This video identifies early signs and behaviors that signify mental illness as well as conditions that may contribute to problematic behavior. Intervention considerations including rating scales, environmental arrangements, coping strategies and mindfulness/relaxation skills are presented.

    • MASA Presents: Building a Culture of Instructional Leadership
    presented by Jane Sigford, Education Consultant, Minnesota

    Instructional leaders at all levels keep student learning as the focus. They are responsible for creating a climate that is free of distracters, has clear priorities, high expectations for students and teachers and show a contagious enthusiasm about learning. In this video, Jane describes the roles of all administrators and teachers and provides specific ideas about how to create a culture focused on instruction.

    • MASA Presents: iPad Pedagogy: Using iPads as the Ultimate Tool of Formative Assessment
    presented by Robert Reetz

    Technology in and of itself is not going to increase student achievement or improve instructional practices. Teachers need to integrate the iPad in a way that creates more opportunities to measure student understanding and provide students increased opportunity and access to their curriculum. In this video, Robert applies the four Cs of 21st Century Learning with James Popham's Four Applications of Formative Assessment to address use of the iPad and web based tools to check for immediate understanding, near future instructional adjustments, and to help students make tactical adjustments to their learning.

    • MASA Presents: It's 25% What You Say and 75% How You Say It: How Your Communication Skills Impact Your Success as a Leader
    presented by Renae Ouillette, Lakeville Area Schools, Minnesota

    Some experts estimate that 15% of you financial success comes from your skills and knowledge, while 85% comes from your ability to connect with other people and engender trust and respect. In this video, Renae identifies the 5 keys to good communication, which will help you become a successful leader in your school environment.

    • MASA Presents: Retirement Straight Talk
    presented by Dr. Don Draayer, Retired Superintendent, Minnesota

    Why is retiring so difficult for many people? Why is something so inevitable and predictable also so full of apprehension and anxiety? What can be done to change this transition picture so that retirement becomes a time for glowing and growing? So begins the preface of Dr. Draayer’s book, Retirement Straight Talk, which provides the premise for this video. Dr. Draayer identifies the four main challenges facing retirees, four main activities of retirement, common themes and distinct stages. This video is a must for educators planning for retirement.

    • MASA Presents: RtI - Implementing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports
    presented by Kim Gibbons, St. Croix River Education District, Minnesota

    Response to Intervention is a framework to implement effective practices and is a collaborative effort uniquely designed for each site. RtI asks us to shift from asking, “What about the student is causing the performance discrepancy?” to “What about the instruction, curriculum and environment should be altered so that students will learn and be more successful?” In this video, Kim discusses why there is the need for RtI, how it aligns with other initiatives, the essential components of RtI and interventions at each tier.

    • MASA Presents: The Bird’s Eye View of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports)
    presented by Christina Bemboom, Little Falls Schools, Minnesota

    Creating positive, predictable school environments makes a difference for students in terms of preventing violence and supporting learning. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports can be designed as school-wide systems for student success. In this video, Christina explains the PBIS concept and presents data supporting a reduction in referrals, administrator and instructional time.

    • MASA Presents: Using Data for Decision-Making and Continuous School Improvement - What Every School Leader Should Know
    presented by Amy LaBarre, Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative, Minnesota

    Educational leaders, whose schools demonstrate exceptional results despite uncontrollable challenges believe that we can effectively teach all students, commit to systematic and scientific analysis of outcomes, are willing to confront the “brutal facts” and are willing to abandon “sacred cows” when the evidence doesn’t support them. This video discusses why it’s important to establish critical school improvement frameworks and routines, what frameworks work and the critical components for success.

    • MASA Presents: Current Reading Research: What do School Leaders need to Know?
    presented by Deb Lyons, Monona Grove School District, Monona, Wisconsin

    Teaching Reading is complex work and most kids don’t learn to read “naturally.” In this video, Deb Lyons explores evidence-based reading instructional practices that lead to predictable gains in reading achievement, the essential components of effective instruction, the 5 Big Ideas of Reading and infrastructure that supports a RtI/MTSS framework. Deb included handouts relative to the topics discussed in this video