2017 Business Conference Session Descriptions


Please notice that sessions are alphabetical by title.  At the end of each session description you will see who the session is designed for.  Please make sure to read all the sessions to make sure you don’t miss one.

(F=Finance, P=Payroll, S=Student, G=General)

Auditing Potpourri

404 THU 3:15 PM 
604 FRI 9:30 AM
Listen to a school district auditor discuss the latest auditing findings and topics.  Topics will include, student activities/MAFA, what is GASB 63, public purpose expenses, grant tracking, use of donations, etc.   Please bring your questions. (F)
Presenters:  Brian Opsahl & Brian Stavenger, Eide Bailly

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

202 THU 11:45 AM
302 THU 2:00 PM
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers minimum wage, overtime, restrictions on the employment of children and recordkeeping requirements. This session will cover new changes, a refresher on who is exempt, and common FLSA compliance issues. (P)
Presenter: Corey Walton, U.S. Department of Labor

FSA & HSA Update

102 THU 10:30 AM
701 FRI 10:45 AM
The winds of change keep blowing! Come and learn what recent changes have occurred with FSA and HSA accounts and how it may impact the employee benefits offered to your employees.  We will also review some of the previous rule changes and some changes to our employee benefit administration service. (P)
Presenter: Bob Wheeler, Region 1

MARSS 2017

205 THU 11:45 AM
305 THU 2:00 PM
What’s New in MARSS for FY 2017 and MARSS Reporting? New MDE website, new Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program and the return of Marilynn Loehr to MDE.  Marilynn will cover all the new topics, edit messages and the common reporting mistakes that district staff make. This session will also allow users to raise questions and share experiences as time allows. (S)
Presenter: Marilynn Loehr, MN Dept of Education

MCCC - 2017

206 THU 11:45 AM
306 THU 2:00 PM
Come learn more about MCCC (Minnesota Common Course Catalog) with Karen Millette.  Karen will be sharing more about the Common Core reporting needs which includes your Early Education students through your seniors.  If time allows Karen will be glad to answer your questions. (S)
Presenter: Karen Millette, MN Department of Education

Navigating MDE’s Website

403 THU 3:15 PM
MDE has updated their web site. Where can you find the UFARS manual, School Business Bulletins, Whatif spreadsheets, turnaround reports, revenue reports, etc.? MDE will present the basic use of their web site including what is available under the Data Reports/Analytics and the School Finance tabs. This is a good session for new users. (S)
Presenter: Sarah Miller, MN Dept. of Education

PC Tips

107 THU 10:30 AM
504 FRI 8:15 AM
This session will cover topics that you will be able to apply to your work and home computing. We will cover topics such as backups and recovery, malware, security, and browser settings just to name a few. (G)
Presenter: Jason Wingenbach, Region 1


301 THU 2:00 PM
501 FRI 8:15 AMWhether it’s your first day on the job, or you’ve been administering benefits for decades, there’s always something new to learn or relearn about PERA reporting. Join us for information on eligibility, reporting process, our Employee Reporting System (ERIS) and more! (P)
Presenter: Luis Argueta, PERA

Revenue Projections

304 THU 2:00 PM
Turn those pupil units into money. This session uses student data, the Levy Limitation & Certification form, and MDE’s new Revenue Projection Model (which includes the WhatIf spreadsheet) to project ‘formula’ revenue. The revenue will be converted into UFARS accounts and incorporated into the Budget Workpapers in SMART Finance. (F)  
Presenter:  Wayne Miller, Region 1

SMART Finance for Beginners

603 FRI 9:30 AM
Are you relatively new to using SMART Finance? This session will review some of the basic functions of SMART Finance. How to build accounts, use UFARS references, what happens when MDE requires new accounts, building reports, navigating Summary screens, use of queries, UFARS Manual Chapter X, etc. Time will also be spent on where to find data on MDE’s web site, use of Region 1’s web site and the services we provide. (F)
Presenters:  Alison Green/Stacy Mead, Region 1

SMART Finance Open Forum

104 THU 10:30 AM
703 FRI 10:45 AM
Let’s get together and talk about SMART Finance. We will share shortcuts, ideas, and what’s new with the latest software release(s). We will also discuss the latest UFARS changes and how to use SMART Finance to verify UFARS reporting. We will demo the new menu look for SMART Finance, the new Budget Publication reports, and the use of class/subclass in Chart of Accounts. Bring your questions to share with the group. (F)
Presenters:  Alison Green/Stacy Mead/Wayne Miller, Region 1

SMART HR - Work SmartHR not Harder

602 FRI 9:30 AM
702 FRI 10:45 AM
This session is designed to give you tips on using SMART HR to help make your payroll processing run more smoothly. There will be something for everyone from beginners to experienced users. (P)
Presenter: Carol Wessman, Region 1

Special Ed Hot Topics

303 THU 2:00 PMMisc topics about special ed will be discussed.  Topics will include how to spend Medical Assistance funds, the EDRS web based conversion process, contracted student placements and other special ed issues that have recently surfaced. (F)
Presenter: Paul Ferrin, MN Department of Education

Special Ed Revenue

103 THU 10:30 AM
203 THU 11:45 AM
This session will concentrate on the new 2017 State Special Education Aid revenue calculation and what can be done to maximize revenue. Components such as Excess Cost and Tuition Billing will be discussed. (F)
Presenter:  Paul Ferrin, MN Dept. of Education

SYNERGY Gradebook Features

405 THU 3:15 PM
505 FRI 8:15 AM
All of the new features and functionality in TeacherVUE and the Gradebook are covered in this session.  Also learn some helpful hints on troubleshooting Grade book and TeacherVUE. (S)
Presenter: Diana Van Raden, Region 1


507 FRI 8:15 AM
We will take you through the setup for the reporting of your courses, your staff and your students.  We will go over the State Extract report interface and the options available to you. (S)
Presenter: Mike Kunde, Region 1


406 THU 3:15 PM
506 FRI 8:15 AM
This session will demonstrate the LessonVue and LMS system in SYNERGY. The LMS pages allow for the custom creation of content-based web pages for information and analysis. This session also covers the ability to share LMS pages for administrators, department heads, teachers, parents and students. (S)
Presenter: Alyssa Purrier, Region 1

SYNERGY - Mass Scheduling

606 FRI 9:30 AM
This session will review the setup and process for using Mass Scheduling included the setup for Online Course Registration.  This will include school scheduling options, creating multiple option sets, running reports and finalizing schedules. (S)
Presenter: Mike Kunde, Region 1

SYNERGY - New Features

105 THU 10:30 AM
607 FRI 9:30 AM
This class outlines all the new features and the new functionality you can expect in SYNERGY updates. (S)
Presenter: Cheryl Solum, Region 1

SYNERGY - Online Enrollment

605 FRI 9:30 AM
Online Registration is now available in SYNERGY.  More than just registrations and updating student information, online registration can also provide electronic document submission options and custom district defined input screens. (S)
Presenter: Diana Van Raden, Region 1

SYNERGY - Staff Users & Security

706 FRI 10:45 AM
This session is an overview of Staff, Users, User Groups and basic security.  The person or persons who are in charge of building staff and users should attend this session. (S)
Presenter: Cheryl Solum, Region 1

SYNERGY - Student Groups

407 THU 3:15 PM
Take Student Groups to the next level with this session.  Use Student groups to track eligibility, required forms, physical dates, awards and much more. (S)
Presenter: Cheryl Solum, Region 1

SYNERGY - Surveys & Acknowledgements

307 THU 2:00 PM
Did you know that SYNERGY has the ability to get feedback from teachers, parents, students or anyone else in your District?  This session demonstrates the basic setup, the distribution of a survey, and how to review the results.  Acknowledgements in ParentVUE will also be covered. (S)
Presenter: Mike Kunde, Region 1

SYNERGY - Tips & Tricks

106 THU 10:30 AM
705 FRI 10:45 AM
Join us in the annual Tips & Tricks class!  Each year our staff come up with new tips and tricks to help make your job more efficient in SYNERGY.  Always fast paced and fun! (S)
Presenter: Diana Van Raden, Region 1

TimeClock Plus 101

101 THU 10:30 AM
The accurate recording of Time and Attendance has become absolutely essential.  Between the requirements of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Labor’s Final Rule, and the pending Executive Order regarding time off accruals, the workload associated with regulatory compliance alone has become overwhelming.  Attend this session to learn more about the gains in productivity and accuracy that automation will provide, independent research on the payroll savings, and the risk inherent in an employee reported process for time capture. (P)
Presenters: Brandon Corbin, TimeClock Plus, Carol Wessman, Region 1 & Mara Watterud, Region 1

TimeClock Plus 201

201 THU 11:45 AM
Are you already using TimeClock Plus and want to maximize its impact?  We’ll cover how to give you hours back in your week by effectively using widgets, reporting, automation, communication, and exception reporting.  We’ll also take a look at a recently released enhancement called SubSearch, which is tailored to streamline the process for finding and communicating with substitutes. (P)
Presenters: Brandon Corbin, TimeClock Plus, Carol Wessman, Region 1 & Mara Watterud, Region 1


401 THU 3:15 PM
601 FRI 9:30 AM
TRA will cover the secure MyEmployer web site used to submit payroll information, make e-payments, and submit leave of absence information. We’ll also cover common payroll reporting and TRA membership eligibility issues and discuss potential legislation for 2017-18 school year. Our goal is to simplify the TRA reporting requirements and minimize the amount of your time spent on dealing with reporting issues. Come with your questions and suggestions. (P)
Presenters: Robert Johnson, Teachers Retirement Association & Margaret Sullivan, Teachers Retirement Association

UFARS Review

204 THU 11:45 AM
503 FRI 8:15 AM
Learn about the new reporting requirements for 2016-2017.  A State Department representative will discuss the latest UFARS changes and requirements in school finance including Long Term Facilities Maintenance, Voluntary Pre-K, the new UFARS chapter on Student Activities, etc. Bring your UFARS questions with you. (F)
Presenter: Sarah Miller, MN Department of Education

Unemployment-UI Basics for School Employees

402 THU 3:15 PM
502 FRI 8:15 AM
This session will review the unemployment law and reporting basics as they apply specifically to school districts; who gets reported, who qualifies for unemployment and how to comply with requests from unemployment regarding terminated employees. A brief overview of the UI online reporting system will also be presented. (P)
Presenters: Gary Johnson, MN Dept of Employment & Economic Development & Wayne Johnson, MN Dept of Employment & Economic Development

Windows 10-Tips and Tricks

207 THU 11:45 AM
704 FRI 10:45 AM
Windows 10, Microsoft’s back-to-basics re-embracing of the PC, is brimming with upgrades, handy new features, and all the tricks that come along with new goodies.  We will look at some of these new features and offer tips and tricks on how to unlock this new OS’s powerful functionality and mold the experience into the shape you see fit, including a spate of fresh finds from August’s massive Anniversary Update! (G)
Presenter: Joe Ramsey, Region 1