Conference Handouts

Thank you for attending the 2016 ISFIS Conference!

Click on the session title below to download the presentation.

Breakout Session 1 Handouts:

Larry Sigel (ISFIS)
From spending authority to property tax rates, find out how the Iowa finance formula operates in one fast paced session. Covering where the funds come from and allowable expenditures from each fund, you’ll have an overview that will serve as a solid base of understanding Iowa school finance. If you are new to Iowa school finance, this is a must have breakout session for you. The PowerPoint presentation for this session can be used in your district to explain school finance to your board, administration or public. (SBO Credit Track)
Brett Nitzschke, School Attorney (Lynch Dallas P.C.)

Recent court decisions impacting the ability of board members and administrators to communicate effectively outside of the board meeting, trends in open meetings and public records issues and law changes impacting school board processes will all be part of this critical session to help your school leaders to operate with transparency and stay out of trouble. Brett will also review open records requirements and the authority of the Iowa Public Information Board.

Paul Tarnoff (KPurchase) with Calli Landenberger and Janet Harwig (North Polk CSD)

The entire K12 purchasing process - from research to ordering to payments to audits - lacks effective systems. With so many people involved, each district has adopted its own patchwork procedures. Because of this, we often live with inefficiencies, frustrations and lack of controls. This session will reveal the huge hidden costs of our present systems and explore a range of solutions.

David Gaus (Gaus Systems)

David Gaus, founder of Gaus Systems, developed a Collective Bargaining costing system employed in seven states across the nation. Having now collected tens of thousands of data points, he has gained insights into how employee compensation structures have uniform mathematical components. David will share these uniform compensation components and demonstrate how to map your salary schedules for effective community engagement. 

Breakout Session 2 Handouts:

ACA Today and Tomorrow

Dietrich Drenkow, CEO (Advantage Administrators)

In this session, insurance experts will take a look at the Affordable Care Act impact on school budgets, including many hot topics facing school leaders today and in the future. The presenter will delve into issues of 403b, cash in lieu of benefits, Cadillac Tax and Discrimination and answer questions participants have about implementation of federal requirements.

Communicating about School Finance to the Public: Recruiting Business Voices*

Dr. Tom Narak (SAI), Dr. Tom Lane (AEAs of Iowa), Michael Cyze, Director of School and Community Relations, (Dubuque Community Schools), Cyndi Harmeyer Fisher, Executive Director (EDGE, Powered by the Greater Des Moines Partnership), and Margaret Buckton, Moderator (ISFIS)

Businesses depend on schools to graduate an educated, talented and creative workforce. In economic terms, they are key consumers of what public education produces. Business leaders often have good relationships with local legislators otherwise difficult to reach with pro-education messages. Learn from these experienced school leaders who have been working to engage the business community to advocate for adequate funding for public education. They will tell about their experiences and give your team ideas for recruiting business stakeholders locally who are willing to let legislators know what schools need for students to be successful. (SBO Credit Track)

Long-term Budget and Finance Planning: Modeling to Minimize Guesswork, Maximize Productivity

Matt Gillaspie, Travis Squires, and Tim Oswald (Piper Jaffray)

Piper Jaffray will explain the concepts of long term general fund budget planning and financial projections. Piper and ISFIS have developed together a new projection model to minimize your work in this effort. Matt, Travis and Tim will demonstrate how this model takes the guesswork out of your long term planning. This model is simple to use, allows for input of assumptions, either district-developed or developed by third party (such as enrollment projections). The model gives district leaders and your board easy access throughout the year to multi-year budget projections based on real data, thus fostering better policy-level decision making, in an easy to use, intuitive interface.

Steps to Energy Efficiency, Predictable Payback, and Measurable Savings

Kevin Fiene (I-35 CSD), Jason Prochaska (Sitler’s LED Supplies), and Jon Muller (ISFIS)

The Panel will discuss the educational implications of good lighting, as well as the economics of LEDs, including valuable information on how to make sure you RFP will yield apples-to-apples comparisons. Lastly, Muller will provide some tips for schools considering a Solar project, in light of the recent tax credit extension at the State and Federal level.

Breakout Session 3 Handouts:

Larry Sigel (ISFIS)

Whether you are a serious Microsoft Excel user or just use it occasionally you’ll get a bunch of tips, tricks, and productivity advancements in this session. New functions are available with Excel upgrades. Ever wanted to easily color code cells based on a value? Ever needed to merge the contents of two cells or split them apart? From functions to formatting we’ll cover techniques that will make existing tasks easier and show you the possibilities for new ways of doing things. Tame the spreadsheet monster - Larry will show you how to work smarter not harder. (SBO Credit Track)

Nolan Grimm and John Seefeld (Jester Insurance) with Jose McFarland (Specialty Underwriters)

Interested in saving general fund dollars? We understand the low State Supplementary Assistance rates of the last several years have presented challenges with your Unspent Authorized Budget, so learn how this unique program can help you save and grow general fund dollars.

Dave Nagel (Corwin Learning)

Struggling with standards-based teaching, assessment, and grading? Get practical advice from Dave Nagel, author of Effective Grading Practices for Secondary Teachers by Corwin Press. Dave will share grading strategies that help prevent failure, recover credits, and increase success of standards-based/referenced grading. A former science teacher and school administrator, Dave is a national leader in supporting teacher collaboration, instructional coaching, and grading practices. In addition he is a certified trainer in Professor John Hattie’s visible learning.

Dan Culp (Carl Nelson Construction) and Tim Oswald (Piper Jaffray)

Thinking about a construction project? What are the things you need to know before you even start a construction project? This two-part session will focus on the planning steps that should occur well in advance of a capital improvement project. In Part 1, Tim Oswald from Piper Jaffray will cover the financing policies, procedures, and steps that a school should put in place prior to considering a capital improvement project that is debt financed, as well as understanding financing options. In Part 2 of the discussion, Dan Culp from Carl A. Nelson and Company will discuss best practices when it comes to deciding which construction delivery method is best for your facility and the selection of construction and design professionals. 

Breakout Session 4 Handouts

Building a Line-Item Budget: Chart your Course & Track your Progress

Larry Sigel (ISFIS) and Brandon Hansel, CFO (Fort Dodge CSD)

Too often, creating a line-item budget is one of those things that doesn’t move from the “To-Do” list to the “To-Done” list. Brandon Hansel and Larry Sigel will explain both the theory and the practice of building and maintaining a line-item budget for a fiscal year. Too much detail can be disabling, so finding the appropriate level of detail for your district is important. Being able to project the fund balance and Unspent Budget Authority are both critical outcomes of a well-developed line-item budget. This session will show both real world reports and best practice advice. Participants will receive an Excel template for building their own line-item budget.

Iowa's Economy, State Comparisons of Investments, and Achievement: Building Local Advocacy*

Margaret Buckton (ISFIS) and Steve Graham, Executive Director, Business and Finance (Cedar Rapids CSD) 

Margaret Buckton will share information that helps local leaders combat myths of school finance, using graphics, such as maps and charts, and comparison data. Steve Graham, Cedar Rapids, will share what his district has been doing to recruit parents and community members to engage in advocacy. This session will focus on how to communicate to your board, staff and community members about school funding, and how you can empower them to join in the conversation at the state level to advocate for supporting public schools. Given the opportunities of an election year, this is just-in-time information to help school leaders locally inform candidates in both parties and both chambers about the history and priority of education funding. (SBO Credit Track)

Successful Transition to a New Statewide Assessment

Susie Olesen (ISFIS)

With a likely move to the Smarter Balanced Assessment in the 2017-18 school year, it is imperative that your staff and administrators have adequate information related to that assessment to position your school for success. Susie will share information about the nuts and bolts of the assessment and also offer three things you can do to help make the transition successful for your students, your staff, and your school.