Session Descriptions -

2018 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

504 FRI 8:15 AM

Listen to a school district auditor discuss the latest auditing findings and topics.  Topics will include audit findings, GASB 68, public purpose expenses, grant tracking, use of donations and how to prepare for an audit.  Please bring your questions. (F) 

Presenters:  Brian Opsahl, Brady, Martz & Assoc, & Brian Stavenger, Eide Bailly

Accounting for Student Activities

404 THU 3:15 PM

This session is dedicated to accounting for Student Activities. Under board control, not under board control, appropriate expenditures, proper procedures, etc. will be discussed. Bring your questions. (F)  

Presenter:  Brian Stavenger, Eide Bailly

Customizing SYNERGY

406 THU 3:15 PM

This is an advanced class for the person in charge of SYNERGY in your district.  Learn how to customize screens, change labels, add additional tabs and grids, and how to add user defined fields. (S) 

Presenter: Diana Van Raden, Region 1

Cyber Security

109 THU 10.30 AM
602 FRI 9:30 AM

Managing your Cyber Security risk – why an effective risk management strategy is about more than technology!  Learn People, Process and Technology strategies for reducing your risk. (G) 

Presenter: Jon Ault, Eide Bailly

Identity Theft- What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself

207 THU 11:45 AM
307 THU 2:00 PM
704 FRI 10:45 AM

What is identity theft? Who are the victims? Learn about the common ways identity theft occurs, and most importantly, how to protect yourself.(G) 

Presenters: LeeAnn Staffne, Alerus Retail Market & Private Segment Relationship Manager 
Chris Brusseau, Alerus Treasury Management Specialist II 

Long Term Facilities Maintenance Update 

304 THU 2:00 PM
603 FRI 9:30 AM

Are you confused about Long Term Facilities Maintenance requirements? An overview of the LTFM application process, legal expenses, bonding, and UFARS coding will be discussed. LTFM expenditure options for the new VPK will also be discussed. New requirements for FY18 will be presented. (F)

Presenter: Sarah Miller, MDE

MARSS Overview for Administrators

107 THU 10:30 AM

MARSS Overview for Administrators with the goal of informing & reaching the Business Office, Transportation, Spec Ed, or the Superintendent to highlight the importance of reporting MARSS data accurately in regard to financial calculations and the many programs that utilize this data. Topics will include State aid and levy calculations, what calculations come from MARSS Fall data and MARSS EOY data. We will also touch on MARSS and EDRS as well as cover reports to be utilized as tools to confirm data accuracy. (S) 

Presenter: Dawnyell Senger, Region 1

MARSS – 2018

205 THU 11:45 AM
305 THU 2:00 PM

What’s New in MARSS Reporting for FY 2018? 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 Department of Education

MCCC – 2018

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.


301 THU 2:00 PM
601 FRI 9:30 AM

Employer workshops offer you an opportunity to learn or review information on PERA's membership eligibility and reporting process. Additionally, we focus on key features of our Employee Reporting System (ERIS), legislative updates, and pertinent employer topics. (P) 

Presenter: Luis Argueta, Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)

Requisitions and Express Ordering

407 THU 3:15 PM

Region 1 recently added new functions to SMARTeR that allows creating, routing, and approval of requisitions through SMARTeR. This new process allows account code restriction and requisition notification to the originator. How to shop using the online vendor Express will also be demonstrated. (F)  

Presenter:  Melissa Matson, Lake Country Service Coop & Region 1 Finance Staff

Revenue Projections

203 THU 11:45 AM

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 eResources

302 THU 2:00 PM
502 FRI 8:15 AM

SMART eR is a web based product that employees can access for a variety of functions, including viewing their payroll information, online requisitions, purchase orders, transportation and more. SMART eR is customizable by district. Attend this session to learn more about all the features in SMART eR and how it can help your district move to a more paperless office. (F, P) 

Presenter: Mara Watterud, Region 1 & Wayne Miller, Stacy Mead, or Alison Green, Region 1

SMART Finance Open Forum

103 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 latest features including the new requisition process.  Bring your questions to share with the group. (F)

Presenters:  Alison Green, Stacy Mead, Wayne Miller, Region 1

SMARTHR- Agency Reporting

102 THU 10:30 AM
701 FRI 10:45 AM

We’ll review the reporting functions found in the Agency Reporting group. We will cover how the windows work and things to watch for with unemployment reporting, retirement agency reporting, TSA compliance and more.  (P) 

Presenter: Carol Wessman, Region 1

SMARTHR- Payoffs

402 THU 3:15 PM

If you are a new payroll user or want a refresher on payoffs you will want to attend this session. We will review the - who, what when, where and why of payoffs in detail.  (P) 

Presenter: Carol Wessman, Region 1

SMARTHR- Personnel

202 THU 11:45 AM

Want to keep track of additional information on your employees? This session will review what’s available in the Personnel module of SMART HR.  (P) 

Presenter: Carol Wessman, Region 1

Special Ed Hot Topics

403 THU 3:15 PM
503 FRI 8:15 AM

Back by popular demand, listen to the director of the Midwest Spec Ed Coop discuss various topics about special education. Review of the State Special Education Comprehensive Aid Report and discussion of Special Education Medical Assistance will be included. (F)

Presenter:  Todd Travis, Midwest Special Education Cooperative

SYNERGY – Elementary Scheduling

606 FRI 9:30 AM

Section linking, copying and moving students from sections, duplicating sections and the class assignment screen are covered in this session. MCCC reporting is also included for the objective based report cards.  (S)

Presenter: Alyssa Purrier, Region 1


505 FRI 8:15 AM

This session is specific to SYNERGY. How does SYNERGY calculate the Attendance and Membership for MARSS? What happens in the extract file automatically? Learn about some new fields on the MARSS tab – how can these fields help you do MARSS reporting?  (S) 

Presenter: Mike Kunde, Region 1


106 THU 10:30 AM
705 FRI 10:45 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. Help you to read the confusing errors you get and things to look for within Synergy. (S) 

Presenter: Mike Kunde, Region 1

SYNERGY – New Features and Functionality

105 THU 10:30 AM
605 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


104 THU 10:30 AM

With the release of SYNERGY 2018, Query has become easier! Learn how to create queries, labels, and reports. Learn the new interface in this session along with some additional new features in query.  (S)

Presenter: Alyssa Purrier, Region 1

SYNERGY & SchoolMessenger

408 THU 3:15 PM
507 FRI 8:15 AM

Are you using all of the capabilities in SchoolMessenger? Learn how to utilize this program in your District. Also, learn some tips and tricks to trouble shoot SchoolMessenger. (S)

Presenter: SchoolMessenger Staff, Region 1 Student Staff

SYNERGY & SchoolPay

208 THU 11:45 AM
607 FRI 9:30 AM

Fees! Fees! Fees!  Come see the integration between SchoolPay and SYNERGY. Use SchoolPay to pay Course Fees – Activity Fees – Library Fees – Yearbook Fees – Misc. Fees – Hot Lunch payments all through ParentVUE. Hear one customer’s perspective on using SYNERGY and the integration of SchoolPay. (S)

Presenter: SchoolPay Staff, Region 1 Student Staff

SYNERGY – Tech Tips

108 THU 10:30 AM
706 FRI 10:45 AM

Who is the person in charge of SYNERGY for your District? This session is for that person. Learn some tips and tricks on how to maintain SYNERGY.  Recurring jobs, task lists, security, public queries and more are covered in this session. (S) 

Presenter: Jason Wingenbach, Region 1

SYNERGY Tips & Tricks: Back to the Basics

405 THU 3:15 PM
506 FRI 8:15 AM

Join us in the annual Tips and Tricks class with an added refresher of those tidbits we introduced when we first trained your district. Do you remember everything we said in training, probably not and that’s okay! Learn all the new tips and tricks that makes SYNERGY more efficient! (S) 

Presenter: Alyssa Purrier, Region 1

SYNERGY – TVUE/Gradebook: New Features and Functionality

308 THU 2:00 PM

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

SYNERGY & Workflows

707 FRI 10:45 AM

Workflows are a useful tool in SYNERGY. They provide step by step directions for a procedure within your school. This session covers how to create these custom workflows for your end users. (S)

Presenter: Diana Van Raden. Region 1

TimeClock Plus

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) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) it is imperative that you have accurate recording of employee’s hours. Attend this session to learn more about how TimeClock Plus can help you track employee hours. (P) 

Presenters: Brandon Corbin, TimeClock Plus & Mara Watterud, Region 1

TimeClock Plus SubSearch

201 THU 11:45 AM

Are you already using TimeClock Plus and looking for help in managing the process of finding substitutes? We’ll cover the newest module SubSearch.  SubSearch is tailored to streamline the process for finding and communicating with substitutes. (P) 

Presenters: Brandon Corbin, TimeClock Plus & Mara Watterud, Region 1

TimeClock Plus Tips & Tricks

702 FRI 10:45 AM

This session will review or remind you of some of the features available in V7. Bring your questions. (P) 

Presenters: Mara Watterud, Region 1


401 THU 3:15 PM

501 FRI 8:15 AM

We will give a general overview of TRA including TRA eligibility. We will review the MyEmployer Portal used to submit payrolls, make EFT payments and how to make payroll corrections if needed. We will also cover how to handle a Leave of Absence and the questions we are asked regarding leaves.  (P) 

Presenters: Margaret Sullivan, Teachers Retirement Association (TRA)
Erica Pinc, Teachers Retirement Association (TRA)

UFARS Review

204 THU 11:45 AM
303 THU 2:00 PM

Learn about the new reporting requirements for 2017-2018. A State Department representative will discuss the latest UFARS changes and requirements in school finance including Long Term Facilities Maintenance, Voluntary Pre-K, School Readiness Plus and the use of MDE’s web site. Bring your UFARS questions with you. (F)

Presenter: Debra Meier, MN Department of Education

Using SMART Finance Budget Workpapers and the Budget Publication Form

604 FRI 9:30 AM

There are many features in the Budget Workpapers that may help make the budget process easier. This class will demonstrate account selection criteria, adding notes, methods of creating a new budget from a previous budget, etc. This class will also demonstrate how to create the Budget Publication Form using SMART Finance and MDE’s web site. (F)

Presenter: Stacy Mead and Alison Green, Region 1