MAAP Newsletter

Fall 2023

SAVE The date...2024 maap conference

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From the MAAP President

Hello fellow MAAPster!! PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION is a wonderful theme for our 41st Annual MAAP Conference, just three months away. I am looking forward to seeing you all February 7th-9th in Mankato. The early bird registration is open, and don’t forget the discounts for sharing your excellent program practices in a breakout session.

It has been a busy fall in the MAAP world, and I would like to take a moment to thank the many people within MAAP who have worked so hard to make these events happen. MAAP STARS Leadership Conference was another resounding success. So many young learners were energized to bring solid ideas back to their programs for student engagement. This year’s MAAP STARS officers are solid young adults who will be outstanding representatives of students in alternative education. This event could not have happened without the dedicated work of many MAAP STARS advisors and volunteers.

MAAP 101 was another success story this fall. A large group of educators, new to alternative education and those experienced but constantly honing their skills, gathered at Terra Nova School to exchange ideas and learn new things. Again, this event could only have happened with the excellent volunteer support of the Terra Nova staff and MAAP members willing to share their time and knowledge.

These events, our MAAP STARS activities, and our annual conference make alternative education in Minnesota one of the best in the nation. This is not just me boasting, although I boast about MAAP every chance I get. I had the opportunity to attend the National Alternative Education Association’s conference again this year, and the great work you are doing throughout the state was highlighted many times. MAAP was recognized as the oldest continuous state organization dedicated to students and educators in alternative programs. Our conference is the best state-run conference in the nation. MAAP STARS was recognized by the NAEA president as an outstanding student organization and highlighted the Alchemist as a product every state in the nation should strive to produce.

MAAP’s success is, and will continue to be, built on you working every day, striving to meet the needs of our students. You, alternative educators throughout the state, willing to exchange ideas with fellow educators to meet those needs. Keep up the extraordinary work you are doing each and every day, and I look forward to seeing you in Mankato.

MAAP Awards

The Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs (MAAP) has established an awards committee to recognize outstanding achievements in education. Each year, the committee selects a School of the Year and Staff of the Year, two prestigious accolades that honor excellence in alternative education. To ensure a fair and comprehensive selection process, the awards committee actively seeks input and nominations from MAAP schools across the state. The recipients of these esteemed awards will be celebrated and honored at the highly anticipated 2024 State MAAP Conference, highlighting their exceptional contributions to alternative education in Minnesota.

2024 MAAP Award Nomination Form

MAAP Profile of Practice

The Minnesota Association of Alternative Program Educators (MAAP) is providing valuable assistance to schools in their efforts to support students. Each of our schools possesses remarkable qualities that contribute to student success. To foster collaboration and knowledge sharing, we aim to gather information on the programs implemented by MAAP schools. By completing the attached Google form, we can compile an extensive repository for school personnel to explore and enhance their own offerings. Your participation in this survey will enable us to amass a wealth of fantastic programming. Once we have gathered a substantial number of responses, we will establish a platform through which MAAP schools can access and utilize this valuable data to improve their own educational processes. Rest assured, you will have access to the contact information of school leaders or their respective emails, facilitating communication and networking among educators.

MAAP Profile of Practice

FALL MAAP Activities

MAAP 101

MAAP hosted its annual MAAP 101 Conference on Friday, October 27. The event took place on the new campus of Terra Nova, formerly known as Jane Goodall Environmental Science Academy, in Buffalo, MN. Overall, the space worked well and the event was a huge success. The total attendance for MAAP 101 was over 80 and we had a nice mix of new alternative educators, veteran practitioners, administrators, and even a few Terra Nova Students. This is a testament to the fact that we do our best learning in person and reflects our membership's desire to connect in this way. Feedback from attendees indicate they really appreciated learning about the historical background of MAAP and hearing authentic student perspectives. If you attended 101, and enjoyed your experience, we highly recommend registering for the state MAAP Conference in Mankato in February!

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MAAP STARS Fall Leadership Conference

MAAP STARS Fall Leadership Conference was held October 5 & 6 at Lake Beauty Camp in Long Prairie. It’s a beautiful place to hold our Fall Conference and folks traveled even from the southern part of the state to be there. You may want to check it out as a place to take your school/program to. Lake Beauty Camp has much to offer.

The Camp held pre-conference outdoor activities which many schools participated in. We began the leadership conference with Christy Irrgang and Eric Billiet from MDE. They are very interested in hearing from our alternative education students and staff opinions about education choices. They also stayed to listen to the Officer Candidate speeches.

Six officers were elected to be the STARS Leadership Team for this school year. They come from six of the nine MAAP Regions. Those elected are: Jesse Carrillo (Fergus Falls ALC), Karma Freeman (Jennings Community School), Rachael Merten (Austin ALC), Nindaanis Benjamin (Empower Learning Center), Shayauna VanZile (Paladin Career & Tech High School) and ShayLynn Ostlund (Voyageurs Expeditionary School). They have their officer training November 9 & 10 in Roseville.

Breakout sessions were led by motivational speakers Energizer Olson (Carl Olson) and Yo Derek(Derek Emery). The Team Planning Session was led by Liza Kelly and Kristin Tuel. The Camp Staff offered team building activities. Folks left the conference fired up to get their STARS Chapter for SY ‘23-24 off to a good start. The student leaders picked to attend the Fall Conference and their STARS Advisors have the tools and resources to make their Chapter great this year!

The next state-wide MAAP STARS event is Capitol For A Day scheduled for February 21, 2024 in St. Paul. We hope to see many schools and programs in attendance. Our Spring Events Conference will be held April 25 & 26, 2024 in Mankato. The Spring Conference relies on many volunteers so please contact us if you can help us in April.

MAAP STARS Makes A Difference!

Patti Haasch, MAAP STARS Co-chair

Liza Kelly, MAAP STARS Co-chair

Kristin Tuel, MAAP STARS State Advisor

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