PO Box 5085, Jersey Shore, PA 17740
  (570) 398-4652
            

PA FBLA Statements on Coronavirus Impacts/Preparation

Published April 2, 2020 — SLC Alert #80 — ACTION NEEDED — Competitive Events Not Resolved Through SLC Scoring

Not Every Chapter Will Have Received SLC Alert #80

Dear FBLA Advisers

ACTION NEEDED – This will be the WuFoo form link:  https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/pnqt6l402s6axf/

In my last SLC Alert, I indicated that we were moving to “Option 2” related to the competitive events programs.  The following were identified as not being able to be resolved through RLC scoring, and there would need to be student involvement in order to resolve these events.  This was my announcement:

Events Unable to be Ranked Through RLC Scoring:

These events are unable to be ranked through RLC scoring:  (1) Broadcast Journalism, (2) Business Ethics, (3) Client Service, (4) Emerging Business Issues, (5) Future Business Leader, (6) Graphic Design, (7) Impromptu Speaking, (8) Introduction to Business Presentation, (9) Introduction to Public Speaking, (10) Job Interview, (11) Public Speaking, (12) Publication Design, (13) Sales Presentation, (14) Social Media Campaign.  If  advisers have students who had qualified for the SLC in these events (and not everyone does), only those specific advisers will be receiving a separate email either today or tomorrow about the students in those events and how the students may participate virtually (if your school will permit them to do so).  There will be no need for anyone to come together or come to school.

I know you and your school systems have much bigger issues to deal with at the moment, and it is not my intention to try and make this anyone’s priority over the day-to-day challenges you are facing with the indefinite school closures and distance learning that you must deliver.  However, we would like to give these students the opportunity to finish and achieve, if possible.  We all know the opportunity to participate is a school-system decision, and there could be school systems AND FBLA advisers who do not want their students to participate.  That is understood, but we need to ask so that we can move forward and recognize students for their achievements as best they can.

Here is what I am asking you to do no later than Friday, April 17, no later than 11:59 pm.  If you are able to return this prior to that day, great; we can begin planning based on those we receive.

The Rules of Engagement

  1. We are not asking any teacher or student to come to any school building.
  2. We are not asking any students to come together in anyone’s home that would violate any stay-at-home orders or social distancing guidelines.  In fact, we are making it clear that students are not to do that.
  3. Students would be able to work from the comfort and safety of their home.
  4. Everything will be done virtually via Zoom or GoToMeeting or other package that would enable a presentation to be recorded and/or conducted live.  PA FBLA will use its own GoToMeeting and Zoom packages, if necessary.
  5. While we would certainly like it if advisers could provide us with some basic assistance in the process (such as timing, serving as a point of contact for information, sharing with students, etc.), we are under no expectation that advisers are obligated to participate in the process.  Would it help?  Yes.  Will we do it without you, if necessary, with school-system permission?  Yes. Do we need you get the basic answers back to us so we can proceed?  Yes.
  6. It is our intent to be able to announce Top 10 award winners in these events by May 15 so that any interested students could participate in an “in-person NLC” or “Virtual NLC.”  We have professionals who are very willing to serve as judges throughout this process to get us to that point.
  7. If advisers are permitted, they are certainly welcome to work with and prep their students remotely.  That includes observing a student’s speech; providing feedback; timing it; facilitating its recording, if necessary, from a remote location.  If advisers are not permitted to do so or choose not to do so, then we respect that.
  8. It is understood that any videos that need to be recorded and uploaded are not judged based on the video quality.  That needs to be understood by everyone.  Zoom and GoToMeeting will enable us to facilitate groups being online simultaneously and record it for judging in case you are wondering how that can be accomplished.
  9. Once we know who will and will not be participating, Derek Selleck, Competitive Events Coordinator, will be in touch with everyone and will coordinate the activities.  This process will play out over an extended period of time until we are comfortable that Top 10 finalists will be able to be announced no later than May 15.
  10. If there is no response from the advisers, we will move on and not include your students.  Out of courtesy, if the adviser could at least respond to the WuFoo survey whether the school will or will not participate.
  11. The timeframe for all this to happen will be during the weeks of April 20, April 27, and May 4.
  12. If your students are going to participate, they can set about practicing their presentations where they can (with or without your assistance).
  13. Where there will need to be an upload for a recorded video, there will be a Wufoo form to identify participants and the URL. Remember, the video will need to be “unlisted,” and instructions will be provided how to upload a video as “unlisted” to YouTube.   When a video is “unlisted,” no one can search for it or access it without the URL.
  14. The following events will ultimately have videos “unlisted” videos uploaded to YouTube:  (1) Broadcast Journalism, (2) Business Ethics, (3) Emerging Business Issues, (4) Graphic Design, (5) Introduction to Business Presentation, (6) Introduction to Public Speaking, (7) Public Speaking, (8) Publication Design, (9) Sales Presentation, and (10) Social Media Campaign.
  15. The following events will require live interactivity through GoToMeeting or Zoom:  (1) Client Service, (2) Future Business Leader, (3) Impromptu Speaking, and (4) Job Interview.

Attached is a spreadsheet with students from your school who were registered in the 14 different SLC events listed above.  In each spreadsheet, you will ultimately be asked to:

  1. Identify whether the school system will or will not allow the student to participate (or the student may choose not to participate) in the alternate-delivery of the event.   If the school says “no” or the student chooses “no,” that’s fine.  No problem.
    1. There is a column labeled “Participate?”.  Simply answer “yes” or “no” for each student.
    2. Please consult with your administration first.
    3. If the administration agrees, then check with the students and their parents, please.
    4. Make sure you have communicated with everyone.  DON’T ASSUME, please.
    5. Everyone should respond by uploading the spreadsheet via the WuFoo form.
  1. On the spreadsheet, there is a column for student email addresses.  If you see an email address in the last column, it is the information you, as the adviser, provided at the time you entered membership into the membership system.  If there is nothing in the gold area, then you did not provide that information.
    1. We will need you to verify an active student email address (school or personal (personal is preferred because of filters)) in which we can communicate directly with the students about the process. Without that, we are dead in the water when it comes to communicating with your students.
      1. If you make any changes to email addresses that currently exist in your spreadsheet, please change the font on that email address to RED to help us notice the changes.  If it’s a new email address, please change the font to RED.
  1. Once you gather that information, please complete this simple WuFoo form AND upload the completed/corrected spreadsheet and answer the few questions.  The WuFoo form can be found at this link:  https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/pnqt6l402s6axf/

Even before I had a chance to send this out, I have been told by a few school systems that they will not participate in this alternate-delivery competitive events program. They will be no activity involvement, I have been told.  Because we are Option 2 and are using the objective test scores and pre-judged scores in many events resulting in no additional involvement by any student or adviser, I posed this question:  “Are you telling me that I should ignore any Top 10 students from your school who may be in those positions because of that decision to not participate?  I have received “yes” answers to that question to ignore any current Top 10 finishers from those schools because of the prohibition on any student activity involvement.  As a result, plaques will not be shipped to that school or those students.  SO I DON’T ASSUME because your school system chooses not to participate, I will be asking each adviser to answer that same question – should I ignore any Top 10 students in those objective tests and pre-judged events where results will be decided and not identify the students as award winners and not send plaques?  Please make sure you have the correct answer to that question, and please make sure your administration understands that.


Published April 1, 2020 — SLC Alert #79 — INFO ONLY — Alternate-delivery Competitive Events Process (updated information/now using Option #2)

Dear FBLA Adviser

This is an update to my email from March 30, 2020, regarding alternate-delivery competitive events.

Since SLC Alert #75 announcing our alternate plan, Governor Wolf announced the “indefinite closure” of schools.  More and more counties are added to “stay-at-home” status.  The President announced social distancing guidelines extension until April 30.

In addition, I am now aware of at least one school system that has indicated it will not return at all this school year (finishing its school year via distance learning), even if the Governor does permit schools to reopen at some point.

With that said, we are now moving to “Option 2” of the alternate delivery competitive events plan.  This is what that means:

Objective Tests:

We will be using the RLC results to determine the Top 10 awards winners in Pennsylvania.  No further testing will occur at your school; advisers will not need to be involved in anything regarding objective tests. The events in this category are:  (1) Accounting I, (2) Accounting II, (3) Advertising, (4) Agribusiness, (5) Business Calculations, (6) Business Communication, (7) Business Law, (8) Computer Problem Solving, (9) Cyber Security, (10) Economics, (11) Health Care Administration, (12) Insurance & Risk Management, (13) Introduction to Business, (14) Introduction to Business Communication, (15) Introduction to Business Procedures, (16) Introduction to FBLA, (17) Introduction to Financial Math, (18) Introduction to Information Technology, (19) Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure, (20 Journalism, (21) Networking Concepts, (22) Organizational Leadership, (23) Personal Finance, (24) Political Science, (25) Securities & Investments.

Objective/Case Study Events:

We will be using the RLC results to determine the Top 10 award winners in Pennsylvania.  No future testing will occur at your school; advisers will have no role in additional testing.

The events in this category are:  (1) Banking & Financial Systems, (2) Entrepreneurship, (3) Global Business, (4) Help Desk, (5) Hospitality Management, (6) Management Decision Making, (7) Management Information Systems, (8) Marketing, (9) Network Design, (10) Parliamentary Procedure, (11) Sports & Entertainment Management.

SLC Prejudged Projects:

We will determine the Top 10 award winners in Pennsylvania based on the scores of the pre-judged submissions.  Advisers will need to do nothing more regarding these events.

The events in this category are:  (1) 3D Animation, (2) American Enterprise Project, (3) Business Financial Plan, (4) Business Plan, (5) Coding & Programming, (6) Community Service Project, (7) Computer Game & Simulation Programming, (8) Digital Video Production, (9) E-business, (10) Electronic Career Portfolio, (11) Local Chapter Annual Business Report, (12) Mobile Application Development, (13) Partnership with Business Project, (14) Public Service Announcement, (15) Website Design.

Events Unable to be Ranked Through RLC Scoring:

These events are unable to be ranked through RLC scoring:  (1) Broadcast Journalism, (2) Business Ethics, (3) Client Service, (4) Emerging Business Issues, (4) Future Business Leader, (5) Graphic Design, (6) Impromptu Speaking, (7) Introduction to Business Presentation, (8) Introduction to Public Speaking, (9) Job Interview, (10) Public Speaking, (11) Publication Design, (12) Sales Presentation, (13) Social Media Campaign.  If  advisers have students who had qualified for the SLC in these events (and not everyone does), only those specific advisers will be receiving a separate email either today or tomorrow about the students in those events and how the students may participate virtually (if your school will permit them to do so).  There will be no need for anyone to come together or come to school.


Published March 31, 2020 — SLC Alert #78 — INFO ONLY and ACTION NEEDED — PA FBLA and the National Leadership Conference

Dear FBLA Adviser

There is a survey link in this document regarding the NLC.  After you read the document and consult with your school administration when possible, please respond to the survey as this will guide our planning and permit me to share data (no names/no schools attached) with the National Center to help them understand our advisers’ thoughts.  The link to the survey is:  https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/pyxbn2u1a5am8s/

In SLC Alert #77, I shared information from the National Center regarding the current known status of the National Leadership Conference.

Because of the cancellation of our SLC and now the indefinite closure of Pennsylvania’s schools, our timelines (and those of the National Center) are fluid.

Here’s what we believe will be the plan:

  1. We will announce the PA FBLA Top 10 award winners in our competitive events by May 15, at the latest (if possible).
  2. We have continued our planning to attend an in-person NLC until we are told there is a change in the NLC format.
  3. PA FBLA currently has 500+ airline seats on reserve to Salt Lake City from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.
  4. National FBLA normally establishes a deadline for me to input all competitors into the national system by the second Friday in May, which this year would be May 8.  Thankfully, the National Center has now changed that deadline until May 22.  Under normal circumstances, there would have been 30 days from the close of our conference on April 8 to this deadline to determine who is committed to participating; paying deposits; submitting any pre-judged materials; and finalizing travel arrangements.  There will be a 7-10 day period of time this year.

In SLC Alert #77, you saw the map of states that either had to cancel their SLCs or are reformatting key SLC events (just as we are).  Out of all those states, only three were able to actually complete a full-fledged SLC.  Knowing that information and the challenges facing the states in conducting alternate-delivery (virtual) competitive events because schools are closed, we believe we have a workable plan to recognize our state award winners and give them an opportunity to compete in an in-person NLC or a virtual NLC, but we will need some input from you (in consultation with your school officials) by completing the following survey.  Having this information will be data that I can share with the National Center to help guide them in their decisions.

NLC Survey Link:  https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/pyxbn2u1a5am8s/

Chapters will need to be able to move quickly to determine if they will be able to participate in an in-person NLC OR a Virtual NLC.  There will be a period of about 7-10 days from time of notification of NLC eligibility to the time of registration to the time of making deposits for travel (if warranted).  With a Virtual NLC, you can expect competitive events to most likely take part in some form at the home school or by pre-recorded videos submitted for judging.

PA FBLA Reimbursement

The PA FBLA Board of Directors will provide some form of reimbursement for competitors who compete at the 2020 National Leadership Conference.  The reimbursement schedule is:

Option 1:
If there is an in-person NLC, PA FBLA will provide the full $200 reimbursement for those who travel to Salt Lake City to compete and complete the requirements for reimbursement by PA FBLA.
OR
Option 2:

If there is a Virtual NLC and competitive events are completed at the home school (or other alternative), PA FBLA will provide no more than 50% of the early-bird registration fee charged by the National Center for participation in a Virtual NLC.

For those who might wish to travel to Salt Lake City in June, these are the projected costs (as we know them today).  The process started with extremely high airfares that have been dropping over time (as you can imagine).  For a point of reference and giving you information to help seek answers about whether your school would permit you and your members to travel to Salt Lake City, June 27-July 3, these would be projected travel costs:


Published March 31, 2020 — SLC Alert #77 — INFO ONLY — The Status of the National Leadership Conference

Whenever a State Leadership Conference comes to a closes, our attention immediately turns to preparation for the National Leadership Conference, which is scheduled to be held June 27-July 3, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Yesterday, the National Center issued the following statement to key state contacts. The statement is intended to reassure states that the National Center understands the severity of this situation and is working toward and in-person OR virtual, online conference.  More about PA FBLA’s participation in the NLC will come in a separate email, SLC Alert #78.

FROM THE NATIONAL CENTER
COVID-19 Updates  

On March 25, 2020, the FBLA-PBL Board of Directors held a special meeting during which we discussed potential action as it relates to NLC. We want you to know that: 

  • The safety of our student members and the volunteer advisers who support them remains our top priority. 
  • Due to contractual obligations, FBLA-PBL is not able to cancel in-person NLC at this time.  
  • We are working together as a team—the Board of Directors, the National Center, and our state advisers—to identify alternatives should there be a need to reformat the conference into an online experience.  
  • Although the decision to cancel the 2020 in-person NLC has not been made, the board approved the following motions: NLC Contingency Planning: The National Center staff has been directed to work with volunteer leaders and state division leaders to adapt and develop an online NLC model for consideration to include competitive events, elections, opening session/rally, and awards recognition.  National Officer Elections: An FBLA-PBL Board Task Force will oversee the 2020 National Officer Elections. This task force will address the potential for elections to be held online should the in-person NLC be canceled. 

The Board of Directors has scheduled a series of meetings over the next few weeks to continuously evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on FBLA-PBL programming including NLC. All decisions regarding NLC will be done in collaboration with our state leaders. 


What does all of this mean?

There is uncertainty about the status of the 2020 NLC.  As the National Center indicates, they have contracts to which they are obligated just as Pennsylvania FBLA had contracts related to hotels, conference facilities, security, transportation, and more.  Until their legal team navigates the many contracts and comes to a conclusion on its financial obligations, it can’t provide a definitive statement at this time.

What we do know is this:
DECA – its NLC has been canceled (scheduled early May)

SkillsUSA – its NLC has been canceled (scheduled June)
TSA — its NLC has been canceled (same time as our conference)


Published March 30, 2020 — SLC Alert #76 — INFO ONLY  — State Officer Elections

Dear FBLA Advisers

For those chapters that were duly registered and paid for the State Leadership Conference, your chapter has an important role in electing the 2020-21 state officer team.  Those chapters will be able to participate in the election regardless of whether the students and teachers return to school or not.

According to our bylaws, the state officer team must be elected by the local chapter voting delegates.  Instead of an in-person election, the annual meeting/election will be held virtually using the following process:

  1. Each chapter will be entitled to a maximum of two voting delegates in the election.  The chapter adviser will need to be actively involved in working with and selecting the two students who will serve as the local chapter voting delegates.  If there was only one paid registered member attending the SLC, the chapter is only entitled to one voting delegate.
  2. There are candidates seeking one of the following state offices:  (1) President, (2) First Vice President, (3) Secretary, (4) Treasurer, (5) Reporter, and (6) three Vice Presidents and Large.  The voting delegates will select the members who will serve as the 2020-21 state officers.
  3. There are also members seeking Pennsylvania’s endorsement to apply for and campaign for national office.  Pennsylvania is only permitted to submit one candidate to the National Office, and there are multiple candidates seeking that endorsement. The voting delegates have that responsibility to make that selection.
  4. The local chapter adviser will be the point of contact for the local chapter voting delegates and will need to share/communicate the delegates’ responsibilities, which will ultimately involve casting their votes through an online voting system.  The adviser does not need to provide the names of the local chapter voting delegates; the adviser only needs to serve as the point of contact, share information, provide the credentials, and follow-up that the delegates have cast their ballots.
  5. The local chapter adviser will be the one to receive the online voting credentials by email from the state office, and the adviser will need to share those with the students selected as voting delegates.  There will be specific dates when voting will be open for the students to logon and cast their votes.  The credentials the advisers receive will be “one-time only” logins.
  6. The state office will create an election area on the main page of the PA FBLA website for local chapter advisers and voting delegates to access to review the candidates’ materials and speeches.
  7. The state officer and national officer candidates have been notified that they have the following obligations regarding the election process:
    1. The officer candidates will be required to record a video of their 2-minute campaign speech.  The candidate will provide the state office with the URL of the video as it will not be accessible to the general public without the URL.
    2. The officer candidates will provide one piece of campaign literature (no more than two sides) that will be posted for review as part of the candidate’s election profile.
    3. The candidates will also respond to questions from members across the state in a virtual Q&A which will be posted with their election profile.
    4. There will be no campaigning or outreach by any candidates regarding this election.  The only information permitted is what is listed above; otherwise, the candidates will face disqualification.
    5. There will be NO SOCIAL MEDIA usage/campaigning allowed related to these campaigns; otherwise, the candidates will face disqualification.
  8. In addition to voting, members from across the state will be able to submit questions to the state office to present to candidates for written responses.  Once questions are received, 10-15 questions maximum will be screened and selected by the state office for presentation to the candidates.  All candidates will have a 2-hour period of time on a specific date in which they must be available to complete the questions without outside assistance.  It will be those written responses that will be provided to the voting delegates for review.  The link for submission of member questions is:  https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/pzxqcg50auvyad/.
  9. The timeline of events will be:
  10. The candidates are working on their materials now.
  11. Now through April 20, 2020, no later than 11:59 pm:  members may submit questions to the state office for consideration/screening and submission to the candidates for their responses.
  12. April 28-May 3, 2020:  campaign materials/speeches will be posted on the main page of the website.
  13. April 28-30, 2020:  voting delegate credentials will be emailed to local chapter advisers of FBLA chapters duly registered and paid for the State Leadership Conference.
  14. May 4-5, 2020:  online voting will be open to voting delegates.
  15. Voting will open on May 4 at 7:00 am.  When voting closes on May 5, at 8:00 pm, it will be a plurality of the votes cast that will determine who will be elected to each office or who will receive Pennsylvania’s endorsement to run for National Office.

Published March 30, 2020 — SLC Alert #75

Dear FBLA Advisers

THIS EMAIL IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY; NO ACTION IS REQUIRED ON THIS SPECIFIC EMAIL.
ACTION WILL BE NEEDED LATER THIS WEEK.

On Thursday night, March 26, the PA FBLA Board of Directors approved an alternate-delivery competitive events plan.
The plan is attached.

The plan identifies two options:

Option 1:  All schools with FBLA chapters reopen (this means ALL, not some) by a pre-determined date identified by PA FBLA (which tentatively stands as May 8)

Option 2:  All or some schools remain closed for the remainder of the academic year

We are all aware that the President announcement social distancing guidelines are to remain in effect until April 30.  The impact on schools’ return remains to be seen.

The plan identifies the following categories of events which have specific delivery procedures under Option 1 or Option 2.

  1. Objective Tests
  2. Objective/Case Study Events
  3. Prepared Speaking Events
  4. Impromptu Speaking
  5. Client Service
  6. Job Interview
  7. Future Business Leader
  8. SLC Pre-judged Events

When we learn that one or more schools with FBLA chapters will remain closed through May 8 or longer, we will automatically convert to Option 2.  Remember, we are all back to school by May 8 to go with Option 1.

Later this week, FBLA advisers will receive a spreadsheet of their SLC registration as of the time of cancellation.  Advisers will be asked to identify the following for each student:

Yes = student will continue to participate in the alternate-delivery competitive events program.
No =  student will not continue in the alternate-delivery competitive events program.

Expectations/Stipulations

  1. The spreadsheet will need to be returned to Bruce Boncal by Friday, April 17, with “yes or no” answers after the spreadsheet is distributed.
  2. The adviser needs to confirm with his/her local school adminstrators that his/her chapter will be permitted to particiapte in the alternate-delivery competitive events program.  A signature form will be sent for the local school administrator to sign indicating approval/disapproval.  Remember, the response also triggers the amount of registration reimbursement that will be received.  There will be a separate form that will require the principal’s and the adviser’s signature that will accompany the spreadsheet.
  3. We have tentatively set a May 8 date for all schools to return to implement Option 1.  Otherwise, Option 2 will be used.
  4. As I indicated in a previous email, please make sure you have all the necessary approvals; DON’T ASSUME, especially with parents.
  5. The FBLA adviser must be the point of contact for your students and your parents.  If any of them email me or call me, I will refer them back to you, the FBLA adviser.
  6. As I indicated in SLC Alert #74, I will not negotiate with parents to allow their children to compete outside your wishes and your school’s wishes.
  7. No new students will be permitted to be added to the competitive events roster other than those already registered for the SLC at the time of cancellation.
  8. Schools that were not previously registered for the SLC will not be able to register for the alternate-delivery competitive events program.

Online Objective Tests

  1. If Option 1 is activated, all events utilizing online objective tests must be tested at the home school, at the same time, during a window identified by PA FBLA (May 12-13).  The FBLA local chapter adviser will receive the passcodes for the announced online objective test window, which will be May 12-13, and is responsible for the plan which will ensure adequate test supervision while the students are taking the tests.  All students from the chapter must take the online objective tests during one of those days, AND students taking the same test must take the test at the same time.
  2. If Option 2 is activated, all events utilizing online objective tests will use the scores from the objective tests taken during the Region Leadership Conference.  The Top 10 winners in each of the objective tests will be based on the test score rankings from all regions across Pennsylvania (we currently have that data). Only students participating in the alternate-delivery competitive events program will be ranked and will only receive plaques.  The student must be listed as “yes” on the spreadsheet that the adviser returns in order for the student to be ranked in the Top 10 and receive a plaque.  If the student is not on the roster, there will be no ranking and no plaque.

Prepared Speaking Events/SLC Pre-judged Events

  1. If Option 1 is activated, all events identified as “prepared speaking events” and “SLC pre-judged events,” would submit non-edited videos of presentatons/speeches.  Additional guidance will come from Derek Selleck, Competitive Events Coordinator.  There will be a WuFoo form to submit with the URL of the video, which would be uploaded to YouTube and marked as “unlisted.”
  2. If Option 2 is activated, the students in the “prepared speaking events” would still submit a video, but a proctor would not be necessary.
  3. If Option 2 is activated, the students in the SLC pre-judged events would not record any presentation.  The final ranking would be determined by the scores on the pre-judged submissions.
  4. Students must be prepared to submit the WuFoo form with the URL of their unlisted video no later than April 22.

Impromptu Speaking, Client Service, Job Interview, and Future Business Leader

  1. There is no Option 1 or Option 2 for these events.  Please refer to the attachment regarding the procedure that will be used for these four events.  These events can be done from school, or home, if the student has Internet and video capabilities.

PA FBLA will award plaques for 1st through 10th place winners in each event based on results from Option 1 or Option 2, depending on which option is used.  The Top 4 in each event will qualify for the National Leadership Conference.

For Clarification
Events Classified as Objective Tests
students in these events take test individually and separately on different computers; no collaboration

  1. Accounting I
  2. Accounting II
  3. Advertising
  4. Agribusiness
  5. Business Calculations
  6. Business Communication
  7. Business Law
  8. Computer Problem Solving
  9. Cyber Security
  10. Economics
  11. Health Care Administration
  12. Insurance & Risk Management
  13. Introduction to Business
  14. Introduction to Business Communication
  15. Introduction to Busienss Procedures
  16. Introduction to FBLA
  17. Introduction to Financial Math
  18. Introduction to Information Technology
  19. Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure
  20. Journalism
  21. Networking Concepts
  22. Organizational Leadership
  23. Personal Finance
  24. Political Science
  25. Securities & Investments

For Clarification
Events Classified as Objective Test/Case Study Events
students in these events take test individually and separately on separate computers; no collaboration/students are not permitted to work together

  1. Help Desk
  2. Parliamentary Procedure

students in these events take test together on one computer, not separate computers
students collaborate together on answering the test

  1. Banking & Financial Systems
  2. Entrepreneurship
  3. Global Business
  4. Help Desk
  5. Hospitality Management
  6. Management Decision Making
  7. Management Information Systems
  8. Marketing
  9. Network Design
  10. Parliamentary Procedure
  11. Sports & Entertainment Management

Published March 30, 2020

Dear FBLA Advisers

THIS IS INFORMATION ONLY; ADVISERS NEED NOT TAKE ANY ADDITIONAL ACTION FOR REFUNDS.

On Thursday night, March 26, the PA FBLA Board of Directors took action to establish the following refund schedule.

Please make sure you carefully read ALL information in this document regarding the policies and procedures that will occur.  It will take a period of time to write and distribute the hundreds of checks necessary.

We all know the uncertainty regarding the return to school.  We do know that teachers are scheduled to return to school on April 7 and 8 for preparation; students are scheduled to return on April 9 (or a date established by the local school system).  We also know those dates are up for review by the Governor based on conditions between now and then.  If schools are continued to be closed beyond April 7 for an extended period of time (even through the rest of the school year), the procedures may be altered.

We are also aware that the President extended social-distancing guidelines to April 30 on Sunday.  How that will impact schools remains to be seen.

This will be the schedule of refund checks/distribution:

Lodging refund checks (will be returned first)
Special fund checks (Hersheypark, Breakfast to Go, etc.)
Registration checks (after it is determined who will and who will not participate in the “alternate-delivery” competitive events program)

A check for each fund will be written to the FBLA chapter/school to the adviser’s attention.  It will be the adviser’s responsibility to make sure it is deposited and refunds issued to the school system AND/OR parent if parents paid the chapter.

As part of the process, there may be ACTION NEEDED by advisers to verify their Statement of Account.

SLC Lodging Refund Policies:
100% Full Refund (for payments received at the state office)

  1. SLC Lodging
  2. SLC Registration for Advisers/Guests/Chaperones
  3. SLC Registration Fees for students scheduled to attend the SLC in a non-competitive role:  example, member at large, region officer, special video contests, voting delegates
  4. SLC Commuter Fees
  5. SLC Breakfast-to-Go Fees
  6. SLC Hersheypark Ticket Fees
  7. SLC Disney on Ice Ticket Fees
  8. SLC Shirt Order Fee
  9. SLC Optional Meal Purchase Fees

100% Full Refund (for special groups)

  1. SLC Exhibitor Fees
  2. SLC Guest Lodging Fees
  3. Other Miscellaneous Fees
  4. Parent Awards Program Ticket Fees (to be returned directly to the parents unless paid by the school system)

Students Competing/Not Competing in the Alternate-delivery Competitive Events System
Later this week, advisers will receive a copy of the SLC Registration as an email attachment.  It will be:  ACTION NEEDED.

Look for additional details what advisers will need to do (it will be time sensitive).

Although I am getting ahead of myself regarding the competitive events (which will come in SLC Alert #75), students who were registered to compete in an “official” competitive event at the SLC will have two options of reimbursement.  I understand that advisers will need to have time to confer with school administration, students, and parents regarding continued participation.  Ultimately, the FBLA adviser will need to identify whether the student will participate or will not participate in the alternate-delivery competitive events system after appropriate discussion in order to determine the level of reimbursement for each student.

$55 Registration Reimbursement (for students) OR
$75 Registration Reimbursement (for students)

A $55 registration fee per student reimbursement will be provided for all students who were officially registered for the SLC AND were scheduled to compete in one of the competitive events (the list is below).  Based on information provided by advisers after consulting with local school administrators and parents, the adviser will be asked to identify “yes or no” for each student for continued participation.  If the answer is “yes” to continued participation, then there will be a $55 registration fee reimbursement.  If the answer is “no” to continued participation in an alternate-delivery competitive events program after being officially registered for the SLC in one of the competitive events listed below, then there will be a $75 registration refund for the student.

PA FBLA’s goal is to return as much money as possible to the local schools/FBLA chapters.  However, there are costs that PA FBLA has incurred that it must cover that is paid by the registration fee. These are costs that are not recoverable or contracted services that have been rendered and paid for.  Examples of those costs include: (1) RLC online testing, (2) State-only events judging, (3) SLC online testing, (4) test writers, (5) judges, (6) SLC-specific software, such as online judging, app, (7) conference supplies, (8) plaques/awards/recognition, (9) and more.  The $85 registration fee does support multiple operational expenses throughout the year.

IMPORTANT:  When the adviser returns the spreadsheet to me with the “yes or no” to continued participation, that is your commitment; that is what will determine registration fee reimbursement.  Please be certain that your answers are correct as no changes to the reimbursement level will be made after advisers have returned the spreadsheet.

Remember:

  1. Information on the alternate-delivery competitive events process will be released either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning in an ACTION NEEDED email.  Wait for this email to consider the decision-making process.  DO NOT assume everyone agrees to participate.  You will be asked to verify that you have consulted with local school administrators/parents.  DO NOT ASSUME!
  2. The actual spreadsheet with your SLC registration will come to advisers on Thursday and Friday.  Stay tuned.

IF
If ALL Schools Are Closed the Rest of the Year
OR
If Only Some Schools Reopen (and others don’t)
AND
There is NO Alternate-delivery Competitive Events Program,
THEN
all students who were scheduled to participate or dropped out will receive the full $85 registration refund.

Let me emphasize this:  the continued decision to participate in an alternate-delivery competitive events systems is a decision of the local school system and the FBLA advisers.  If the FBLA advisers and local school system say “no,” it is “no.” Period.  I will not negotiate with parents who are asking to allow their child to continue to participate if the school system and/or the adviser says “no.”  If there is an alternate-delivery system, the adviser and an independent proctor will need to be involved.  More on that later.  Again, please be certain that what you return to me is accurate when ACTION IS NEEDED.

Hopefully, you can understand why the registration fees will be returned last until we have a full understanding how we will move forward with the alternate-delivery competitive events process.

“Official” Competitive Events List – “yes or no”
Eligible for $55 refund for yes / $75 for no

  1. 3D Animation
  2. Accounting I
  3. Accounting II
  4. Advertising
  5. Agribusiness
  6. American Enterprise Project
  7. Banking & Financial Systems
  8. Broadcast Journalism
  9. Business Calculations
  10. Business Communication
  11. Business Ethics
  12. Business Financial Plan
  13. Business Law
  14. Business Plan
  15. Client Service
  16. Coding & Programming
  17. Community Service Project
  18. Computer Applications
  19. Computer Game & Simulation Programming
  20. Computer Problem Solving
  21. Cyber Security
  22. Database Design and Applications
  23. Digital Video Production
  24. E-business
  25. Economics
  26. Electronic Career Portfolio
  27. Emerging Business Issues
  28. Entrepreneurship
  29. Future Business Leader
  30. Global Business
  31. Graphic Design
  32. Healthcare Administration
  33. Help Desk
  34. Hospitality Management
  35. Impromptu Speaking
  36. Insurance & Risk Management
  37. Introduction to Business
  38. Introduction to Business Communication
  39. Introduction to Business Presentation
  40. Introduction to Business Procedures
  41. Introduction to FBLA
  42. Introduction to Financial Math
  43. Introduction to Information Technology
  44. Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure
  45. Introduction to Public Speaking
  46. Job Interview
  47. Journalism
  48. Local Chapter Annual Business Report
  49. Management Decision Making
  50. Management Information Systems
  51. Marketing
  52. Mobile Application Development
  53. Network Design
  54. Networking Concepts
  55. Organizational Leadership
  56. Parliamentary Procedure
  57. Partnership with Business
  58. Personal Finance
  59. Political Science
  60. Public Service Announcement
  61. Public Speaking
  62. Publication Design
  63. Sales Presentation
  64. Securities & Investments
  65. Social Media Campaign
  66. Sports & Entertainment Management
  67. Spreadsheet Applications
  68. Website Design
  69. Word Processing

Published March 29, 2020

Dear FBLA Advisers

Hello everyone!  You’ve been on our PA FBLA minds a lot during these last few weeks, and we hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time in our lives.  Knowing that many of you are active with your students via “distance learning” activities, it’s time to look ahead (as best as we can).  This week, March 30-April 3, should have been the final countdown and final preparations to our 69th annual State Leadership Conference, and we were so looking forward to seeing 5000+ FBLA members and advisers from across Pennsylvania, and then . . . . coronavirus became part of our everyday vocabulary.

Three weeks ago, we said everything was full steam ahead with the SLC.
Four days later, we canceled the SLC for the first time in our organization’s history as conditions changed with lightning speed.
For the last two weeks, the growing changes and challenges we are facing in our everyday lives could be staggering and could be overwhelming (if we let it).

Our routines have completely changed, and there’s much uncertainly about how and when we can move about.  Our focus must be on each and every one of us doing our part keep ourselves healthy – and those around us. In the meantime, there our thousands of students waiting for their education to pick up and move forward.  On top of that, there are periodic questions that come to me directly from students about how they can continue participation in our FBLA activities so we know FBLA is on their minds.

FBLA leaders from states across the nation and the FBLA National Center have had several virtual meetings working together, sharing ideas, and doing our best to layout a plan for moving forward.  For your information, at last count, there were at least 30 FBLA states that canceled their state conferences due to the coronavirus health crisis.  Your PA FBLA Board of Directors has met in virtual meetings multiple times to review, finalize, and approve the plans that I will be sharing with you.

This week, March 30 – April 3, 2020 – there will be multiple emails coming your way about the plan(s).  Each email will focus on a single topic.  If you don’t see it in your inbox, check your junk mail/spam folder.  Everything will also be posted in the following area on the main page of the website, and you can check this location; you can have students check this location (please get them used to checking this location); and you can have parents check this location for information.  I will ask you that you impress upon your students the followingyou, the FBLA adviser, are our main point of contact, and all information will go to you first before it is posted on the FBLA websiteYour students need to reach out to you with questions.  Your students need to know that your local system boards of education and administrators and parents will be the ones that give (or not give) approval for additional FBLA participation this year.  We understand your local school systems have many irons in the fire, and you need to understand that they may not be able to give you all the answers you want to hear.

What I can assure you is this:  it’s our plan to make sure your students and your chapter receive the recognition they deserve for the hard work they did this year.  It will not necessarily be on the April timelines we are used to, but we do know that decisions and participation will continue into mid to later May so everyone’s patience and attention to the ACTION NEEDED emails are essential.  Awards and plaques will ultimately be distributed to Pennsylvania chapters and FBLA members.

We will not be posting official statements via social media; it will be sent by email to advisers AND posted on the website.

I really need you to pay attention to the subject line in your emails.  You will see the subject line prefixed with:

SLC Alert #xx – INFO ONLY — …………………
SLC Alert #xx – ACTION NEEDED — ……………

Each email will build upon the others.  The ACTION NEEDED emails will identify specific things you will need to do to move forward, which will include discussions/approvals advisers will need to have with their school administrators.

Among the topics emails you will receive this week (starting Monday morning and continuing all week, but not necessarily in this order):

SLC Refund Policies/Procedures
There will be INFO ONLY emails and ACTION NEEDED emails.

Alternate-delivery Competitive Events Program
There will be INFO ONLY emails and ACTION NEEDED emails.

Alternate-delivery State Officer Election Process
There will be INFO ONLY emails and ACTION NEEDED emails.

Recognition Programs Information (such as BIG 33, NBHS)

National Leadership Conference Information
There will be INFO ONLY emails and ACTION NEEDED emails.

National Programs Recognition (such as BAA, CSA)

State Project Information

Middle-level Information (coming from Michele Sites)

and more . . . .

 Bruce Boncal and the PA FBLA Management Team
The PA FBLA Board of Directors


Published March 13, 2020

Please take time to carefully read this entire document.

On Thursday night, March 12, the PA FBLA Board of Directors met on a conference call to review the events of the last few days after our initial statement on Monday, March 9.  Events moved rapidly in those three days – at lightning-like speed.  Once colleges/universities started to cancel face-to-face instruction and move to remote instruction, dire predictions about the spread of the coronavirus virus came into clear view.  Phone calls and emails arrived indicating schools were no longer permitting field trips.  Major college and professional sporting events began to be canceled.  At least 25 different schools canceled their reservations from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday with at least another 10 considering the move.  Superintendent input from different sources indicated more were to come as schools announced closures to prepare for deep cleaning and staff preparation for distance learning.

A significant event occurred on Thursday with Governor Wolf’s press conference in which he ordered specific mitigation strategies for Montgomery County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  For the entire Commonwealth, he identified these strategies:

  • The Wolf Administration strongly encourages the suspension of large gatherings, events, conferences of 250 individuals or more.
  • The Wolf Administration discourages individuals from traveling to recreational activities like gyms, movie theaters and shopping malls.
  • The Wolf Administration encourages religious leaders to exercise discretion in order to mitigate the spread of illness.

What’s the end result?  The PA FBLA Board of Directors took action on Thursday night to begin the process of canceling the 2020 State Leadership Conference in Hershey.  We do not expect that the conference will be rescheduled due to the uncertainly of school schedules and the severity of the virus spread.

We realize this is a complete turn from a statement issued just three days earlier when it was “full steam ahead,” but information changed dramatically in those three days.  With careful consideration for the health, safety, and welfare for the SLC conference attendees (and that is our top priority), the Board felt it was necessary to make this decision.  We knew we could offer opportunities for our members to continue participation in competitive events, but it would be a different format on a different time schedule.  More on that will come later in this document.

Our Commitments

We are committed to keeping you informed about events as we know them; keeping you informed about the SLC; and keeping you safe and healthy.  We are committed to providing opportunities for our already SLC registered FBLA members to compete and to lead.

We are committed to refunding as much money as we can to you and your members, but it will take time to sort out financial obligations resulting in the SLC cancellation.  We ask you to be patient while this process begins, and this will most likely continue into May as we conduct negotiations with multiple vendors.  At this point, everything is on hold.  There is no need to fill out any additional refund forms until requested to do so.

If your students participate in the “alternate-delivery” competitive events program, PA FBLA will retain the $85 registration fee.  If your school was already on an “accommodations” plan due to a spring break closure, the fee does not change.

We understand that there are schools closing or getting ready to close shortly as a precaution.  Please, if you can, check your email for details should your school be closed. It will also be posted on the website.  You and your students won’t lose any opportunities.

Here’s an Outline of the “Alternate-Delivery” Competitive Events Plan

A final plan of how we will administer the alternate-delivery competitive events plan (and the timeline) will come to you by Tuesday, March 24, at the latest.  Here’s a sketch of what may happen:

  1. Objective tests will be administered online at your home school (as you did for your RLC).
  2. Certain performance events, such as Public Speaking, will be recorded; posted as “unlisted”; and then judged from the videos posted on YouTube.
  3. Interviews could be conducted via Skype or some other platform.
  4. We have to work out a plan for sequestered events such as Impromptu Speaking, but there are other states who deliver that differently and successfully.

On Thursday, March 12, FBLA leaders from each state across the nation met in conference call to work together and share ideas how we can support each other through these challenges.  You see, this is not unique to Pennsylvania.  There are multiple states across the country who are facing these same decisions as we had to make; there are states that already made the decision or had it made for them.  From the largest state in the Association whose conference was canceled to the smallest state in the Association whose conference was canceled and those in between, it is from each other we will learn and move forward.

On Thursday, March 19, FBLA leaders will meet again in conference call to discuss how each state can administer “alternate-delivery” competitive events to give all students the same opportunities as if they attended the actual SLC.  There are new ideas to be learned, and that’s why I am asking for your patience as we participate in that program before we deliver the “alternate-delivery” plan to you.

Awards will be administered to individuals and teams as we always do (through what we hope will be a virtual awards program), and the Top 4 in each event will earn the right to represent Pennsylvania at this summer’s NLC in Salt Lake City.  The FBLA National Center is adjusting its timelines to give states more time given the challenges each state will face.  The NLC is definitely scheduled, but as we all know conditions will dictate how the National Leadership Conference will be delivered.

State Officer Election Process

This year, your members were to see one of the largest office candidate pools in memory.  An alternate plan for speeches; the ability to interact with candidates; and the election process will be developed, and that topic is one that will be discussed together with other states who already do this.  All candidates will have opportunities to participate.  More to come.

Finally . . .  .

This decision was not an easy one for the management team and members of the Board of Directors, but they realized it is one that had to be made.  This is the first time in 69 years that an SLC had to be canceled, and it will weigh on everyone’s mind for a long time.  It is a decision made with a lot of sadness and a profound feeling of loss of something very important in the lives of our students.

We thank you for your patience as we gear up and plan for a brand new adventure.  Our goal is to do the best possible for you and your members and keep #PennsylaniaProud.

Be safe; stay healthy.  Wash those hands!


Published March 09, 2020

On Sunday night, March 8, the PA FBLA Board of Directors met in conference call to review information that we know (and don’t know).

At this time, we are not planning for any changes in how the SLC moves forward.  It’s full steam ahead with our planning, and we are looking forward to seeing you April 5-8 in Hershey.

With that said, we are in uncharted territory and have not had to deal with any similar type issue during the 68 previous State Leadership Conferences.  We will make any future decisions based on guidance that will come from the Governor’s Office, the PA Department of Education, and the PA Department of Health regarding the coronavirus. The guidance given to school systems at this point includes preventative measures, but it does not mention or suggest that anything be curtailed.  If any specific action needs to occur beyond preventative measures, our PA FBLA Board of Directors will meet to take any necessary action. 

We monitor the following sites:
CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

PA DOH: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

WHO:  https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

At this point to our knowledge, there are six confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania in self-quarantine.  Any talk of cancellation is premature.

Parents and schools always have the option to pull their children at any time within the refund guidelines.  We are currently in the 50% lodging and registration refund period through and including March 22, no later than 11:59 pm.  As we learn of information that may lead to any future decisions, we will communicate that to advisers as soon as we can so that you can communicate with parents. It will then be posted on the PA FBLA website.   I am sure the next two weeks will tell a lot – good or bad.

Refund Policy:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/imgndvvpui2llau/19-20_SLC_Refund_Policy.pdf?dl=0

Refund Application Form:  https://pafbla.wufoo.com/forms/x1ez3taw1yx0s71/

In the meantime, we are bound by the contracts we have signed for hotels, meals, multimedia, and other items that are part of the conference.

Regular information will come from PA FBLA about additional information/preparation. Please refer everyone to the PA FBLA website for “official” statements.

We will get through this, and this too shall pass.

Regional Leadership Conference Registration
Click Here
State Leadership Workshop Registration
Click Here
State Leadership Conference Registration
Click Here
National Leadership Conference Information
Click Here