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Wisconsin FBLA COVID-19 Messages

This page is dedicated to our Wisconsin FBLA messages and updates regarding events impacted by COVID-19.

 

8/6/2020

The Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board has reviewed and supported the implementation of the fall leadership experience plan.  This plan was shared through an email message that was sent on this date to all middle level and high school advisers in Wisconsin.  Please direct any questions about this plan to fbla@dpi.wi.gov.

7/24/2020

Background: The impact of COVID is forever changing our global society and as we continue into the fall of 2020 we acknowledge the opportunity that this disruptive force provides to accelerate advancements to the many traditional experiences associated specifically with education and our student organizations. Wisconsin FBLA has been notified by facility partners that availability is not viable for the Fall Leadership Labs held in October. Additionally, the facility that was pending to host the Fall Leadership Conference is currently closed to the public and there is no indication that conditions will change supporting the opportunity to host this event for our school-affiliated chapters. Wisconsin has been and will remain committed to being the #1 national leader providing quality local chapter membership experiences that extend beyond the high profile competitive events opportunities as represented by the largest number of chapters who are recognized for the national  FBLA Outstanding Chapter Recognition Award.

 Mission & Strategic Plan: FBLA remains focused on our mission for the 2020-2021 school year. Although the delivery of activities may look and feel different to our members, advisers and partners, we feel that this challenge may in fact provide the opportunity for our leadership and members to reflect upon the educational roots of the organization that defines the national co-curicular membership experience. Everything we are focused upon is grounded in our collaborative mission with you, our local leaders, to:

Inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.

Review of Executive Board Process: Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board and leadership teams have been actively consulting with industry leaders, public health officials, and educational partners since April 2020 specifically regarding our fall leadership experiences that we provide to our local chapters and members. In mid-June, the state officer team completed four days of training with the executive board advisers and generated our program of work. During this training, the State President (Brooke Allemann), her adviser (Pam Tarjeson), Executive Board Leadership Director (Sydney Wilcox), and State Adviser (Dave Thomas) received approval for financial support from the Wisconsin FBLA-PBL Foundation associated with initiatives to support the Program of Work. On July 22, the Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board requested a formal proposal to be presented at the next scheduled meeting on August 5. Extensive support has been directed by Wisconsin FBLA to research, evaluate, fund, and prepare for the implementation of a strategic plan to meet the needs of our local chapter advisers and members. Additionally, Wisconsin FBLA has contracted an Executive Board Leadership Director to assist in the facilitation of these efforts and work closely with the state officer team to effectively fulfill their duties for the 2020-2021 school year.

We assure our partners that Wisconsin FBLA is planning to support membership engagement in the fall and we are optimistic that as we overcome these public health challenges that we are on a path to opening new doors to increased participation both now and into the future.

4/29/2020

WI FBLA:  Important Time Sensitive Updates About NLC - A message was sent to all advisers regarding updates to the National Leadership Conference that are scheduled to be officially announced to membership on Friday, May 1.  Wisconsin FBLA announced to advisers our Support Website for the 2020 Virtual National Leadership Experience.  This webpage has been developed to support student members, parents, advisers and other partners regarding procedures specific to Wisconsin FBLA operations.

4/21/2020

WI FBLA: Action Requested - Virtual National Leadership Conference - A message was sent to all advisers by the State Leadership Conference Planning Directors regarding competitive event opportunities at the 2020 Virtual National Leadership Conference.  Additional SLC refund information was provided to clarify the status of refunds.

 

4/17/2020

State Election of Officers & Other National Events Update (Adviser Message): As the national office sends an update about their process for national activities, it syncs up with our scheduled update to Wisconsin advisers today about state election of officer activities.

With the national email communication to you and your members that competitive events will be available for the national virtual conference, we are aware that this may be of interest to you for additional information. We will continue to monitor national information as we attempt to better understand our state's role to collaborate with local advisers in the potential rostering of members in competitive events. I will share additional information about the process and procedures when additional details from the national office become available. We appreciate your support and understanding that any action taken by Wisconsin FBLA to associate members with competitive events would require pre-authorization by school/district administration, parent and faculty adviser. We are not able to take any action or respond further on the competitive event opportunities until more information is disclosed by the national office.

On the topic of the State Election of Officers, in brief, I appreciate all the feedback our state organization received from the survey that was distributed previously to advisers. The Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board in collaboration with the Wisconsin FBLA Election Committee on Wednesday, April 15 provided full approval to proceed with elections. Your feedback was critical to our efforts to take into consideration the many layers of this conversation that focused on the well-being of our student members and advisers while attempting to the best of our ability address the essential election activities that are annually associated with the governance of our non-profit organization. Any feedback about the election process should be directed by email to fbla@dpi.wi.gov as I will forward communications to the Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board for their consideration. The Wisconsin FBLA Election Committee under the authority of the Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board reserves the right to authorize further modifications to election rules/procedures, interrupt the process of election activities and/or not validate election results as their authority governing Wisconsin FBLA under the best interests of this non-profit organization affiliated with FBLA-PBL.

The opportunity to participate in Wisconsin FBLA state election activities should be considered as optional under your discretion as local faculty adviser in accordance with your local school activity policies. We acknowledge that our local chapters have and will always continue to reserve the right to participate with any FBLA related activities. For your potential reference with voting delegates, please review the procedures below as shared on behalf of the Wisconsin FBLA Election Committee:

Greetings Advisers,

The Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board recently approved a new set of guidelines for 2020-2021 Elections. These guidelines were drafted by a committee set forth by the Executive Board, and approved by the Executive Board at the April 15, 2020 meeting. General procedures as well as your responsibilities (highlighted in yellow) in implementing this process are below.

  • Voting will occur virtually and asynchronously May 8-13, with the possibility of a second round May 14-15.

  • A message will be sent by the state office per our management system records to the primary Advisers with a form that will allow you to request access to the election ballot. The form will be sent between May 1 and May 8 after all candidate information has been posted on the homepage of our website. Your submission of the form requesting access to the ballot will effectively represent registering (at no cost) your chapter to participate in our virtual business of conducting elections in association with our 2020 State Leadership Conference. The number of requested ballots will be used to determine a quorum. No other State Leadership Conference related business is currently scheduled.

  • Advisers must distribute the voting ballot to up to two voting delegates along with basic voting procedures. All Wisconsin FBLA Chapters are eligible to participate in this election regardless of if you were previously registered to attend the in-person State Leadership Conference. Voting delegates do NOT need to be a student who was previously registered for SLC; however, they are expected to be a paid rostered member of your chapter. An adviser may submit the ballot on behalf of your voting delegates to provide flexibility regarding how members may communicate their voting selections.

  • Ballots and campaign materials (speech/brochure) will be delivered to advisers to forward to voting delegates on or before May 8, 2020, and will be due for submission by 4 PM on Wednesday, May 13 (first round). If needed to reach majority on positions that have more than two candidates, then a second round ballot is scheduled to be forwarded to advisers prior to 8 AM on Thursday, May 14 and may be submitted by 4 PM on Friday, May 15 or until such a sufficient amount of time has been provided by the state office to reach a majority.

  • Elections are currently anticipated on the ballot for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Reporter and endorsement of applicants for national officer positions.

  • The executive board has suspended rules of this election with the expressed consent of candidates due to special circumstances to permit a candidate with the lowest vote total from being dropped from the ballot after one round of voting. The quorum count of registered voting delegates for majority election will remain consistent between round 1 and round 2; however, a local chapter adviser may distribute the ballot to alternative voting delegates in round 2 as needed to fulfill your eligible number of voting delegates.

  • Procedures will require advisers to forward a chapter ballot number (given by email at the time of ballot distribution) that will be used to verify ballots, and if a given chapter would submit more than 2 ballots, only the first two voting delegate submissions will be counted.

  • Round 1 election results may be posted on the Wisconsin FBLA homepage or be emailed to advisers. Final Results will be announced Monday, May 18, 2020 at https://dpi.wi.gov/fbla and emailed to advisers.

Here is the table of the timeline for the Election Process:

Date

Actions

Before April 17

Email to officer candidates explaining the election process and requesting election materials. All materials are due by May 1, 2020 4:00 PM.

April 17

Email to advisers explaining election process. Adviser action items:

  • Request chapter ballots via form submission (made available after candidate information and materials has been posted)

  • Appoint voting delegates and inform them of voting procedures. Voting delegates do NOT need to be a student who was registered for SLC.

May 1

All officer candidate submissions (verification forms supporting consent to modified election rules, audio speech with printed script, and brochure PDF) due to State Office

Deadline for questions and concerns regarding election process to be sent to Executive Board (fbla@dpi.wi.gov).

May 8

On or before this date voting opens with the advisers requesting ballot access and forwarding of the election ballot to voting delegates. Delegates will need chapter ballot number from adviser to complete form.

Parliamentarian Test Available providing a 100-question, 60-minute, not proctored, open note assessment administered through an online testing site or equivalent digital format.

May 13

1st round Voting Closes (4 PM)

Parliamentarian Test Complete (Thursday and Friday may be used if technical issues; permission will be needed)

May 14

2nd round Voting Opens (if needed)

Notify all advisers who requested ballot access that a second ballot is available for distribution to voting delegates. Delegates will again need chapter ballot number from adviser to complete form.

May 15

2nd round Voting Closes or upon the determination of sufficient additional time to reach majority for all elected positions (if needed)

No later than May 18

Election results announced at https://dpi.wi.gov/fbla and emailed to advisers. 

4/3/2020

Local Chapter Activities:  As many schools begin and continue providing alternative instructional programming, a few local chapters and members have been featured in local news stories.  Although Wisconsin FBLA or our officers may recognize these local success stories and may share information about some of these local endeavors, Wisconsin FBLA needs to emphasize that faculty advisers should be sure to verify any activities your members are indirectly or directly associated with as representatives of your local chapter be in accordance with all public health advisories and your local school district policies.  We appreciate your support as you continue your personal and professional commitment to public health, safety and well-being in your communities. 

SLC Election Updates:  The 2019-2020 Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board will continue to govern our organization until such a time that we are able to elect and install the 2020-2021 Executive Board.  The current Executive Board moved forward this week with the establishment of a five-person adviser led election committee that is tasked with monitoring the current conditions and will propose when appropriate to the current Executive Board recommended procedures to convene a State Leadership Conference with the focus on conducting our official business of electing and installing officers according to our state bylaws.  Upon approval of procedures by the full Executive Board, we will promptly follow up with all chapter faculty advisers to clarify arrangements for voting delegates and any student members pursuing national officer application endorsement, elected state officer positions, and testing accommodations for the state parliamentarian position.  If you have a candidate, then you should have received an email on Thursday.  Please contact fbla@dpi.wi.gov if you and your candidate did not receive the email.  Until the executive board is able to clarify our next steps, I am limited in my ability to provide additional information and continue to emphasize that campaigning is not permitted at this time as previously communicated.  

We will also continue to monitor national correspondence and I will continue to participate in weekly briefings with national office staff as they continue to evaluate their options.  National updates may be viewed online at https://www.fbla-pbl.org/ as they similarly have recently implemented an election task force to monitor procedures for national officer elections and authorized the process of contingency planning for conference activities.  

Today's Awards:  Check out https://dpi.wi.gov/fbla/recognition/2020 for information about our Regional Membership Recognition Awards and our two recipients of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation's Lorraine Missling Scholarship.  

3/30/2020

The Wisconsin FBLA video message last week to members and advisers promoted the idea of recognizing businesses in your local community that are stepping forward with innovation and models of public support during these challenging times.

With support provided by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce through their affiliate Foundation that focuses on educational program outreach such as annual business world programs, a student essay contest has been developed for your consideration. Check out today's news release for more information online at https://www.wmc.org/news/press-releases/wmc-foundation-announces-essay-contest-for-students-who-highlight-local-businesses-helping-their-communities-during-covid-19/. We look forward to hearing from our future business leaders about the success stories they recognize in our Wisconsin communities.

Congratulations to middle level and high school chapters who are recognized today for the Chapter Membership MarketShare Awards. Additionally, we also recognize members today who won national spots for the LifeSmart competition. This is the first year Wisconsin FBLA has ever made the top rankings in round 1 and round 2 of the LifeSmarts event! Visit https://dpi.wi.gov/fbla/recognition/2020 to view our Wisconsin FBLA award recipients.

Additional winners will be announced daily as we celebrate all the amazing FBLA contributions that made this a special year for our Wisconsin communities.

3/27/2020

We hope you were able to view and possibly share our Wisconsin FBLA Message to Members that premiered yesterday at noon. Throughout the month of April, Wisconsin FBLA will be announcing recipients of our individual and chapter recognitions that are annually part of our State Leadership Conference. Recognition awards will be hyperlinked at the top of this website https://dpi.wi.gov/fbla/recognition/2020 as they are announced. Our first recognition award update was posted on this website earlier today. Note: our award company is working to send us images for awards and we will be replacing text with graphics as available.

We hope that these upcoming announcements give you and your members something to look forward to in April. Wisconsin FBLA will also be promoting announcements on our social media accounts so members can be informed directly.

A quick update on the National Leadership Conference activities based upon a briefing last night with state contacts during a collaborative national webinar. The national office is still bound by contractual obligations at the end of June as national and state emergency declarations have not yet been extended to the end of June. Based upon transitioning timelines, we estimate that an announcement would be anticipated in mid to late April by public health officials that will likely guide Salt Lake City and National FBLA-PBL regarding their next steps. The national board of directors has approved the process of contingency planning for alternative conference considerations and also approved a task force to explore options for national officer elections. Additional information about the national activities will be posted directly on their updates page online at https://www.fbla-pbl.org/covid19/. We appreciate your patience and support as the national office works with their conference partners over the next few weeks.

3/26/2020

As our Wisconsin FBLA advisers approach the dates that were associated with our canceled State Leadership Conference, please consider sharing this message with our student members.  This message was specially prepared for our Wisconsin FBLA members by Patty Hendrickson who has provided years of leadership training along with many keynote messages as part of our annual leadership development programming at our state event.  Beginning over the next few days and continuing throughout the month of April, Wisconsin FBLA will be posting information about the recipients for many of our annual recognition awards.  We look forward to sharing these achievements with you over the next few weeks as we celebrate our 2019-2020 school year highlights.

The following video message will premier at noon on Thursday, March 26:

3/25/2020

Financial information was provided last week to our business office to issue refunds to chapters.  Please be aware that due to limited staffing hours in the office and the large number of business transactions for all six career and technical student organizations, the timeline for checks to arrive in schools was estimated to be in 30 to 60 days.  We will attempt to notify advisers when the checks are returned to your school.  We are planning to make the check payable to your FBLA chapter.  Advisers will need to work with their local administration to determine how funds should be dispersed based upon how you collected money to support your attendance.

The following message was provided by the Madison Convention & Visitor's Bureau:

At this time we’ve canceled all reservations from the MeetingMax system, and the hotels have been alerted to process all of those cancellations on their end. The advisors who made the reservations should have all received an email alerting them that the cancellation has been taken care of, but they can contact us if there are any questions.

Please let me know if there’s anything else we can help with at this time.

Take care.

Amber Wiza | Senior Event Services Manager
22 E. Mifflin St., Suite 200 | Madison, WI 53703
D: 608-441-2639
wiza@visitmadison.com

3/13/2020

(MESSAGE TO ADVISERS)

Dear Wisconsin FBLA Advisers,

Out of an abundance of caution and in consideration of CDC guidelines related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Department of Public Instruction and state officials have determined Wisconsin FBLA must cancel the State Leadership Conference that was scheduled for March 30-31 in Madison.

Our Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board this evening approved a refund of conference event registration and fees. T-shirts orders were shipped earlier this week to schools and payment was sent to our vendor for these delivered items so a refund will initially be withheld for those purchases. Please take a moment to review your package delivery and determine your student preferences at your convenience. You may request a full or partial refund to meet your local needs. At this time, we are requesting any returns to our state office at the address below by June 12 so our organization can process this expense during the current fiscal year.

Wisconsin FBLA
125 South Webster Street
Madison, WI 53703

The decision has also been made to discontinue our efforts to pursue alternative conference or competitive event experiences. No competitive event awards will be presented this year. Although we considered an extensive number of options, we feel that we have exhausted potential arrangements. In the best interest of our chapters and the members that you serve, we feel that this is the best decision at this time.

It is our understanding that hotels booked through high school and middle level Wisconsin FBLA rooming blocks have issued cancellation notices or are in the process of cancelling room reservations. Schools may need to follow up with hotels directly to verify refunds have been issued for any payment previously submitted. High school lodging questions may be directed to Amber Wiza with the Madison Visitor & Convention Bureau at wiza@visitmadison.com or call 608-441-2639. Middle level lodging questions may be directed to by phone to the Holiday Inn Madison West at 608-826-0500. If any reservations arrangements were individually made outside of our official reservation system, then individuals or organizations are still responsible to cancel unauthorized reservations that were not associated with our rooming block.

We are working through our next steps with our leadership teams to support the election of state officer candidates and Wisconsin FBLA members who were interested in running for national office. Additional information will be shared with advisers when decisions and election processes have been determined.

Wisconsin FBLA will continue to work with the Wisconsin FBLA-PBL Foundation to distribute financial incentive checks for recognition program participation. We will recognize and forward these payments at our earliest opportunity.

The National FBLA-PBL organization is evaluating the status of future conference activities that were planned for this summer. Please continue to monitor information posted to their website online at https://www.fbla-pbl.org/. Advisers will receive additional national information directly from FBLA-PBL, Inc. Advisers should verify through your national system login that your records are current with your preferred contact information.

If determined applicable to conduct national competitive events in whatever format determined, Wisconsin FBLA has historically been responsible for rostering members in events. Additional information will be shared with advisers about national programs; however, our current plans are to require local administrative, parent, and adviser approval prior to Wisconsin FBLA’s involvement with approving any student participation. We simply want to make sure that our FBLA student members have the appropriate level of local support for any potential participation even if delivered through alternate methods.

As we move forward, please know that Wisconsin FBLA has made a personal and financial commitment to the values we demonstrate in support of our chapter advisers and membership. We know that our schools are working to continue providing services and support to your community. Please understand that we have taken considerable measures to consult and collaborate with our leadership teams, public officials, public health experts and are appreciative of all the organizations that have guided us to this point. We want to insure you the Wisconsin FBLA will continue in our national mission to “inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.” We value the support that your school and community has provided throughout the year to provide an opportunity for your students to participate in FBLA.

We appreciate your consideration to share with your FBLA community the opportunity through our Wisconsin FBLA-PBL Foundation programs listed online at http://wisconsinfblapblfoundation.org/ for alternative efforts to “support, sustain, and grow” this great career and technical student organization. Three programs are supported by our Foundation including:

We appreciate your consideration and welcome you to contact our Foundation online at http://wisconsinfblapblfoundation.org/contact-us if you have any questions about these programs or other ways that you can provide support.

We look forward to your chapter’s continued involvement with FBLA as we evaluate our opportunities to deliver program opportunities during the remainder of the current school year and into the 2020-2021 school year.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board, State Adviser Dave Thomas

(WEBSITE)
Our Wisconsin Career and Technical Student Organizations (DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, HOSA, SkillsUSA) are working to address public information on the status of the future conference events. We appreciate your patience and support as we conduct our internal review, collaborate with public officials, and coordinate next steps with our conference partners. Each of our national organizations are working to provide support and guidance to our state organizations and may have updates posted directly to their websites about future national events. Our state organizations will be communicating directly with local chapter advisers and will post information on their respective websites. We encourage all Wisconsin schools to follow recommended guidance by public health officials and work with your local school advisers to review policies and procedures as coordinated by your administration.

Out of an abundance of caution and in consideration of CDC guidelines related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Department of Public Instruction has determined Wisconsin FBLA must cancel the State Leadership Conference that was scheduled for March 30-31 in Madison. Our Wisconsin FBLA conference directors and event staff and our Executive Board will be meeting later today to conduct our interval review and begin to coordinate next steps with our conference partners.

We are working with the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau who operated our reservation system to verify that they can complete the efficient mass cancellation of all school lodging reservations and coordinate the full refunds with hotels for any school payments that may have previously been processed. We will share information about the processing of lodging cancellations as soon as details are available. If any reservations arrangements were individually made outside of our official reservation system, then individuals or organizations are still responsible to cancel unauthorized reservations that were not associated with our rooming block.

The Holiday Inn Madison West management has confirmed that all middle level lodging reservations will be canceled with a full refund for any school payments that may have previously been processed.

There is uncertainty at this point on how the organization will proceed with state officer elections, recognition awards, scholarships, and NLC qualifiers. The Wisconsin FBLA Executive Board will determine next steps to carry out the 2019-2020 program year. More information will be communicated as it becomes available. Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging time.

3/12/2020

As we proceed with our Wisconsin FBLA leadership teams regarding our next steps, please know that we do not have a current need for a letter from your administration regarding non-attendance as directed by our Adviser Procedures & Responsibilities form. If you have requested such a letter to be forwarded to Wisconsin FBLA, then please let your administration know that such a letter is no longer necessary so that they can focus all their efforts on supporting your local school district community during these challenging times.

Wisconsin FBLA conference staff and the Executive Board are working to address public information on the status of the State Leadership Conference. We appreciate your patience and support as we conduct our internal review, collaborate with public officials, and coordinate next steps with our conference partners. Our next update is scheduled for the evening of Friday, March 13 after 5 PM.

 

3/11/2020

There have been a few inquiries to our state office and our conference directors about public health and the status of our State Leadership Conference. We posted a message on the SLC website on March 9 and have planned an updated message this week after 5 PM on Friday. I understand that conditions have changed in the state since March 9 and our event staff have a meeting scheduled on Friday to discuss and reassess. We are monitoring this situation on a regular basis and I am reviewing regular briefings and communications from federal, state, county and local staff around protocols. At this time, we are planning to continue with events as scheduled. I anticipate that future updates posted to the SLC website https://dpi.wi.gov/fbla/conferences/slc will be also forward by email to all advisers. It was our intent to share that message with advisers this week in the SLC Adviser Orientation; however, the release of the orientation has been delayed until the week of March 16.

If you are notified by your local school administration that your school travel to the State Leadership Conference has been restricted for any reason, then we request that you follow guidance in the Adviser Procedures and Responsibilities Form and forward the Principal/Administrator written statement to fbla@dpi.wi.gov. Wisconsin FBLA has previously adopted a Weather and Event Policy that addresses transportation and safety conditions. As referenced above, we are planning to provide our next update after 5 PM on Friday this week when we are able to provide additional information.

3/9/2020

To support current concerns and prevent the spread of any potential illness, Wisconsin FBLA requests that judges and students limit contact by not shaking hands as is customarily the practice for competitive event presentations. While this is not the only way to prevent illness and we value individual prevention such as recommended hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, we appreciate your consideration for those concerned about this custom. Advisers should consult local school staff before, during and after our conference if you have concerns about the health of your student(s). As of March 9, the Dane County region is reported to be “low risk” and no current reports of individuals with Coronavirus. Current information about Dane County may be accessed online at https://www.publichealthmdc.com/health-services/partners-providers/resou... or by calling the Madison and Dane County information line at (608) 243-0587. Our next update is scheduled for the evening of Friday, March 13 after 5 PM.