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September District Leader Newsletter
September District Leader Newsletter

Dear District Leader,

Welcome aboard or welcome back! We're so grateful that you've decided to dedicate your time to district leadership and we're here to support you along the way.
The district leader newsletter is a monthly publication designed to bring you tips for district management, reminders for upcoming deadlines, and a first look at rule or process changes. Check out the first installment of the school year below! 

Your District Info 

To find information about your district, including all schools (active and inactive) thata have been districted there, new member counts, degree counts, and more, log in to your NSDA Account and visit the District Info tab in the left bar. Chairs can download contact information for district advisors by choosing the Export CSV option at the top right of the Schools in the [District Name] district list on that page (see example below).

District Levels for 2019-2020

District levels, which determine the base number of qualifiers per event per district assuming participation standards are met, are now set for the 2019-2020 district tournament series based on streamlined criteria shared with chairs earlier this year. To view your district level, log in to your NSDA Account and select District Info from the left side menu. Please note that event entries can still play a role in increasing qualifiers at the tournament.

District Appointment Option  

Each NSDA district committee has the option to appoint a sixth member to advance representation in any underrepresented areas. There are many possibilities to consider when evaluating an appointment, including:
  • individual demographics (including but not limited to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc.);
  • the individual's school/organization demographics (school setting, size, socioeconomic status, etc.); and
  • the individual's potential contribution to the committee (e.g., if the committee is all teachers, inviting other expertise or viewpoints like a local administrator, a fundraising expert, a financial expert to serve as treasurer, or a communications professional to help out with committee tasks).
Each committee may discuss the addition of an appointed representative and vote on the recommendation. This appointment can happen at any time, and that individual will serve a term simultaneous with the current committee (their term will end with the rest of the committee, regardless of when appointed). The district chair may submit an individual who receives a majority vote of the elected committee to the NSDA using this form, briefly explaining how that individual makes the committee more representative of its district.

First Look at the 2019-2020 Unified Manual and Pilot District Qualification Manual 

You can now view this year's release of the Unified Manual. Be sure to check out the new Public Forum pilot rules on page 24, term limits for members of the Board of Directors on page 19, and changes to district qualification levels on page 63.
District tournament dates are due October 30 for tournaments occuring in 2019 and November 30 for tournaments in 2020. As your committee meets to determine dates for your district tournament, don't forget to discuss whether you will use the pilot qualification rules in debate, speech, or Congress! View this year's Pilot District Qualification Manual here. Don't miss the new options to run a round robin or double elimination bracket for your debate qualifier or the ability to break more students in speech! Read an overview of the rationale behind the pilot methods here
This information will be shared with all coaches in Tuesday's coach newsletter. 

Connecting with New Coaches 

This year, district chairs will receive an email from the national office connecting them with new program advisors. After piloting the practice in several states last year, we aim to expand to every district and create this connection within a week of the new advisor officially joining the NSDA. 
While in some cases these folks may have already been coaching locally, they are for the most part new to all they can do with an NSDA membership. By connecting them directly with you, we aim to onboard them more effectively and make them comfortable reaching out with questions. 

Fall Board Meeting Agenda 

You can read the agenda for the NSDA Board of Directors meeting on September 20 here. Please feel free to email any comments or questions to Feedback will be compiled and presented to the Board for consideration. Meeting minutes will be published in the November/December issue of Rostrum

Mission Moment 

What you do as coaches and district leaders helps us build a diverse community committed to empowering students through competitive speech and debate. Check out a reminder from 2019 NSDA National Student of the Year Joanna Bai. On behalf of Joanna and thousands like her across the country, thank you! 
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