Member Newsletter
November 2015 
Click the cover image at right to read the Fall 2015 Issue of The Review!   It is full of good stories about things happening in our member school districts!  
Final Deadline is November 24th!  The 24th Annual Conference for Young Writers for students in grades 3-8 on January 6, 2016. This year's keynote speaker, Ryan Jacobson, was born in Redwood Falls and grew up in Pipestone. He has been an author for more than 10 years and he prides himself on writing high-interest books for all ages. He has high energy and is a lot of fun; your students will love him. Encourage students to write about fiction, fantasy, truth, personal adventures, poetry, building characters and much more. There is more to writing than just a piece of paper and a pen, come and learn inspiring ways to write about monsters, like a cowboy, how to hook an audience or write a comic book, write like a reporter and more. See the brochure, sessions and registration sheet at 
Name the Doubles! If you have been at SWWC recently, you may have noticed
a robot rolling down the hall towards you or even coming into a room to meet with you. We have been very busy test driving the two recently purchased Double Robotics telepresence robots. In addition, one of them made an appearance and greeted our Board of Directors at their October meeting. We have temporarily nicknamed them Sheldon and Leonard after the Big Bang Theory characters, but it is time for them to get their "forever" names. We would like you to help us name our Doubles. Submit your ideas for names for the two Double Robotics telepresence robots owned by SWWC. You could win one week of free use of one of the robots for your school. To submit your entry, email Entries are due November 20, 2015. Two winners will be announced on November 23, 2015. For more information about Double Robotics, visit  or contact Shareen or
Administrative Updates

ACA Coordinator:  We have some exciting things happening here at SWWC that we would like to share with you.  On October 19th Sue Skramstad moved into a new role of ACA Coordinator.  She is a 17 year employee of SWWC working with school districts training and supporting HR and payroll.  Our school districts will continue to receive full support and training for the SMART Systems Benefits/ACA Module from her.  Sue will be extending support to cities, counties and other governmental agencies as ACA grows and changes.  Feel free to call on Sue with your ACA questions, for help completing the 1094/1095 forms or to request one-on-one training. You can contact Sue at or 507-537-2276.
Recommissioning is Back! As the economy has improved more building owners look to invest in energy efficiency.
Building owners and operators are increasingly in need of a method to improve building performance. When staff is bogged down addressing occupant complaints and fixing urgent mechanical failures they cannot devote their time to the proactive tasks that allow a building to run smoothly. Recommissioning is a systematic method of analyzing the building mechanical systems and controls to resolve ongoing problems and to improve energy efficiency.  Pat Weir from IEA, Inc (507-345-8818) can assist you with understanding the benefits of recommission and utility rebates. IEA is included on the Excel Energy's Recommissioning Trade Partner Directory listing providers who have successfully completed and submitted a study.
Save the Dates for Upcoming Conferences!
March 13-14 -- This is IT2 2016 Technology Conference in Redwood Falls
April 13 -- Annual School Business Staff Conference in Marshall

Click the image at right to learn more about a Chemical Hygiene and Green Chemistry Workshop we are offering in January!
Education Updates
Project SEARCH Wins MREA Award!  Project SEARCH - Avera Transition High School received 2nd Place Honorable Mention for MREA's 2015 Profiles of Excellence Awards. Cliff Carmody accepted the award at the MREA Annual Conference Dinner and Awards Banquet on Monday, November 16th. Learn more about Project SEARCH by watching this short video. 

Take a Peek Inside the Career Expo!
The 2015 Southwest Minnesota Workforce Council Career Expo was held on September 29th and 30th at the college campuses of Southwest Minnesota State University-Marshall and Minnesota West-Worthington. The event intends to provide valuable career and education information to high school students, plus highlighted regional businesses and the type of jobs they provide in our communities.  During the two expo events we served 1,831 students from 36 schools. Watch the very short video below to learn more!
Career Expo 2015 

PBIS:  Are you considering PBIS in your schools? Join us on December 1st from 9:30am - 11:30am in Marshall.  Applications for Cohort 12 PBIS Implementation Schools will be coming out in October!  This information session will be held for schools who are interested in applying for Cohort 12 PBIS Implementation Grant.  This information session will include an overview of PBIS, the parameters of the grant,including school expectations and grant expectations, and assistance in filling out the grant application.  If you are interested in attending please contact Dawn at  If you have any questions regarding PBIS, please contact Bob at  
Upcoming Student Activities  Find more info on these events at  
Encourage the Love of Writing! Do you know students who are talented story tellers or love to read books? Get them involved in the 12th Annual Creative Writing Contest. This contest is open to students in grades 3-12. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to use their imaginations to generate creative fiction and nonfiction stories and poems. Use this as a classroom project or encourage students to enter on their own. Contest rules and guidelines must be followed for a chance to be one of the top three place winners. The top place winners will be invited to an Awards Ceremony in April. The submission deadline is January 15, 2016, so students will have plenty of time over holiday breaks to use their imagination to create incredible writings.  
Breakthrough Coach Training!  Willmar Public Schools is offering Breakthrough Coach Training on February 16 & 17, 2016 at the Willmar Conference Center.
Save the Dates for Upcoming Conferences!
  • 2016 Behavior Conference: Meeting the Challenge
    • February 22 in Brookings, SD
    • February 23 in Redwood Falls 
  • Annual School Law Seminar, April 7th in Marshall
  • Administrative Professionals Day Workshop, April 27th in Marshall
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Our Mission:  We support and enhance the work of our members
by providing programs and services that meet their needs.

Our Core Values:  Service.  Integrity.  Respect.