Iowa Superintendents Finance & Leadership Consortium (ISFLC) December Conference

December 14–15, 2022
Day 1—Dec. 14:
7 a.m.–5 p.m.; Day 2—Dec. 15: 6:45 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
NEW LOCATION! FFA Enrichment Center, Ankeny

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The ISFLC December Conference is the first of two conferences offered in the winter as part of the ISFLC program. Both of these conferences are developed for current and aspiring superintendents, as well as school business officials. All session tracks are led by Iowa experts with skills and expertise in identified criteria areas. Please note that aspiring superintendents must first complete Dollars & Sense: Fundamentals of School Finance (Track 1) as the initial program of study. After completing this session, aspiring superintendents may register for any of the remaining session tracks. Check out the intensive session tracks offered this December—we're sure one of the seven tracks will pique your interest.

New this year! You're invited to join us for a pre-conference complimentary dinner at District 36, 6:30–8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13. This is a unique opportunity to connect with colleagues before the learning begins. Be sure to check the complimentary dinner option, along with your session track of choice, during the registration process. 

Intensive Sessions (Tracks)

Dollars & Sense: Fundamentals of School Finance (Track 1)

Iowa school finance is complex, but doesn't have to be frustrating or complicated for those new to the profession. Seasoned superintendents and school business officials will cover the basic concepts and regulations of our school funding system.

Whether you're new, or simply wish to revisit the fundamentals, this intensive session is for you! Participants will leave with an understanding of basic vocabulary to effectively communicate key budget and finance information with staff and the community. You will dig into the purpose of various district funding resources that impact the annual budget, including the general fund, miscellaneous income, the cash reserve levy, and the Aid and Levy Worksheet.

Plus, we'll spend time on the relationship between the unspent balance to the cash balance and the undesignated/ unreserved balance. If these school finance terms are overwhelming to you, join experts from Pocahontas, Van Meter and Alburnett Schools for this multi-day deep dive into all things school finance.

Financial Tools for Schools: Advanced Considerations for a Healthy Budget (Track 2)

A healthy and sound budget is critical to any district's financial future. How do you know if your budget is truly healthy? School finance experts from Fort Dodge Schools, IASB and UNI will take participants on a journey to discover the vast array of issues that can impact your budgets and funding sources. 

Participants will leave this intensive multi-day session with the knowledge required to use these key components to determine your district's financial position: the financial solvency ratio, unspent balance, cash balance, enrollment, assets, liabilities, total revenues, assessed valuation, and state foundation aid. Additionally, we will place restricted, committed, assigned, unassigned fund balances, and supplemental levies under the microscope as you put together the pieces of the puzzle that make up a healthy school district budget.

While mastering these key elements are the main objective over the two days, considerable time will also be spent on the building blocks to a strong superintendent-board-school business official relationship. That relationship, combined with sound fiscal management and a healthy budget, will result in success for your district.

Leadership Evaluation: Practices & Processes for Pursuing What's Possible (Track 4)


All school administrators must complete an approved evaluator training course in order to renew your professional license. This session, taught by Mary Sult, Director of the UNI Institute of Educational Leadership, and Carol Montz, UNI Field Supervisor, is eligible for that renewal credit. 

Over the two days, participants will engage in extensive discussion, reflection, and classroom simulations as we explore critical elements of an effective educator evaluation system. Using the Iowa Standards for School Leaders (ISSL), which were implemented in July 2021, you will engage in dialogue and reflect around current practices and potential areas of growth. Participants will spend time focused on the four pillars of practice, research and application of effective leadership behaviors, coaching skills, and models of administrative evaluation processes. 

Join Mary and Carol as you pursue practices and processes for what's possible as an effective educator evaluator. Superintendents, principals, and other educational leaders will benefit from this session and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to supervise and conduct the evaluation process in PK-12 schools and AEAs.

The Anatomy of Collective Bargaining: Finances, Strategies & Respect (Track 7)


Collective bargaining in Iowa is overseen by the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA) and the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). As the public employer, districts are required by law, outlined in Chapter 20, to undergo the process of negotiations with employees.  These collective bargaining rights and the duties of employers and public employees can be complex.

Experts from UNI and Forest City and Central Springs Schools are here to help you master all facets of collective bargaining, comply with law, and face challenges armed with knowledge and expertise. During the multi-day session, participants will review the basics of negotiations, discover what to look for in your district's finances, the master contract, and employee handbook, and learn how insurance impacts your negotiations strategies. 

By the end of day two, you'll be prepared for an informed, organized and successful bargaining season—with outcomes that benefit both the employer and employee.

Apply Balance to Budgets: Integrate Work, Mind, Body & Soul for a Quality Life Fit (Track 15)

A work-life balance seems like a buzzword, a pipe dream that will never become reality. But what if we told you that it's by abandoning this idea of work-life balance and shifting your thinking to integrate a leadership-life fit, you can bring more joy and satisfaction to your life? This session, geared toward school business officials and superintendents, will introduce a new paradigm for thinking about work-life balance. 

Education leaders who develop and practice a more wholistic approach to work and life are more likely to succeed within your organization. Experts from SAI and Western Dubuque Schools will share tools and strategies to maximize your energy and time for greater efficiency and effectiveness. 

Over the two days, you will identify your 'big rocks' and purposes, create an action plan to support a quality leadership-life fit, and experience a variety of tools and strategies to help you achieve your goals. Ultimately you will leave with a shift in your thinking around work-life balance and have the skills necessary to adopt a new leadership-life fit.

Flexing Your Monetary Muscles: Budget Projections & Reductions (Track 33)

Budget projections and budget reductions—few phrases spark as much angst and fear as these due to the unique challenges and constantly changing issues that impact school budgets. Each fiscal year brings new challenges, but that doesn't mean the budget process needs to be challenging. As new laws and programs are established, your budget should be flexible enough to adapt accordingly. 

Join budget experts from Pella, Newell-Fonda, Albert-City-Truesdale, and West Des Moines Schools to expand your knowledge and skills in this important area. You will dig into the school budget review process, learn how to create a capital asset plan, and deepen your understanding of school finance law. Additionally, participants will learn how to create a dashboard of monthly financial planning that reflects your district's needs as you communicate fiscal details to your board.

This session promises a safe environment, with plenty of networking time with your colleagues from across the state. When you leave, you will be ready to confidently share budget projections and communicate budget reductions to your key stakeholders.

The Reality of Student & Staff Mental Health: Beyond Awareness, Achieving Action (Track 42)

The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but school districts across the state are just beginning to see the effects on student and staff mental health. In this post-pandemic 'new normal', how do we support the wellbeing of students, staff and families, while also taking care of our own personal self-care needs? 

Mental health experts from Keystone AEA and Clayton Ridge Schools will spend multiple days covering strategies to assess and recognize this new normal, increase awareness of available supports, and learn best practices around both emotional and physical safety. Participants will take time to create an action plan to support a positive school climate for both students and staff, and review crisis planning documents to take home to your crisis teams. 

Through interactive exercises, we will identify and collaborate on strategies around school safety in the traditional classroom format (old normal) and in today's format (new normal).  Together, we will learn strategies to effectively support your school community, create a positive school culture, and move beyond awareness to achieving action on mental health.


Registration Details

Fee: $350 per person. Includes training materials, continental breakfast and lunch each day. A cancellation fee of $115 per attendee will be assessed for cancellations received within seven business days of the conference or for those who fail to attend without notice.

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All tracks are eligible for Superintendent License Renewal Credit through the School Administrators of Iowa. Tracks 1, 2, 7, 15, 31, 33, and 42 will carry School Business Official Authorization.

Lodging: A special group rate at the Residence Inn Des Moines Ankeny is available for conference attendees. Click to the 'Book Now' button below to see available lodging.

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Ask Me icon For more information regarding UNI Graduate Credit, email Janelle Finke at UNI. For all other ISFLC-related questions, please contact Tiffany Rudd

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