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KASB announces Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative

To develop a deeper understanding and network of education advocates in Kansas, KASB is excited to announce the Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative (AATI) for the 2019-2020 school year.  “With the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in support of the four-year school finance plan adopted by the Kansas Legislature, advocacy and support for education becomes more critical than ever,” said KASB governmental relations specialist Rob Gilligan. “The focus of our efforts will now be less on securing additional funding than on keeping the long-term financial commitments in place and ensuring that we communicate effectively the progress that continues to be made...

KASB Focus: Restorative practice: Is it a game changer in improving school climate?

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org  Continuing concerns about how Kansas students’ social and emotional health, bullying and other behavioral challenges affect learning have prompted educational leaders to explore new ways to influence school climate. “Restorative practice” is one such strategy.  Restorative practice, also known as restorative justice, works to keep students in school while addressing problem behavior and its impact on the school community. Students are held accountable for their behavior, but educators are trained to look for the root causes of the behavior and respond accordingly.  For example, a student witnesses a fight between her parents just before she leaves for school. Upset...

KASB Live: Special Report on 2020 Census

School officials are being urged to get involved in the Census to ensure Kansas receives its fair share of federal dollars, including education funds, through an accurate count.   Wendi Stark, Census Outreach Manager for the League of Kansas Municipalities, and Rob Gilligan, KASB Government Relations Specialist, spoke recently about the upcoming Census on a special report of KASB Live. Here is a link to the video and here is a link to a PowerPoint presentation containing Census information. KASB has created a Census page on its website here and in the coming weeks, KASB will hold a series of regional...

Building secretaries go to law school at KASB workshops

New KASB workshops in Topeka and Dodge City this week helped school building staff better understand the numerous and sometimes-difficult legal topics they encounter.  School Law for Building Secretaries and Administrative Assistants was offered in Topeka and Dodge City to 90 building staffers from across Kansas. High demand prompted the scheduling of a second Topeka session.  “School secretaries and office staff encounter legal issues every day,” said KASB Attorney Ashley Rohleder. “They handle student records, deal with the ramifications of custody disputes, and are often the first to know about issues like tardiness, abuse and neglect. The School Law for Building...

Afterschool reading programs help students make reading gains, new study says

Children attending afterschool reading programs were more likely to achieve early reading proficiency, according to a new study commissioned by Reading Roadmap. The study analyzed 9,000 elementary students across 58 different schools over the 2017-18 academic year. Using school-administered reading assessments, the study compared progress toward reading benchmark among elementary-age children that attended school-based afterschool programs with those who did not. The study found children attending afterschool reading interventions were 26 percent more likely to reach benchmark than their non-attending peers. According to the study’s author, Mustafa Yilmaz, “The effect of the relationship was equivalent to a 1.7 percent greater chance...

Task force hears numerous ideas to reduce bullying in schools

Focusing on restorative justice, social and emotional health of students and early childhood learning were some of the ideas touted Tuesday to address bullying behavior. Educators and others discussed ways to reduce bullying at the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying, which met in Garden City at Horace Good Middle School. “We’re starting to come together,” said Rick Ginsberg, task force co-chair and dean of the School of Education at Kansas University. The group, charged with making recommendations to the State Board of Education in December, will next meet Aug. 5 in Salina. Several young people from McPherson wrote the task force...

U.S. Department of Education announces new grant applications for school climate program

Kansas schools working on improving school climate, please take note: the U.S. Department of Education has invited applications for the School Climate Transformation Grant Program. School districts may seek funding for implementing a multi-tiered system of support for improving school climate. The department will prioritize support for certain communities that will benefit from implementation of this system, including rural communities, Tribal communities, and Local Education Agencies that are in Qualified Opportunity Zones. This discretionary grant program has a total of $40 million in estimated available funds, contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of applications. Applications are due by July...

Derby USD 260 shares 2018 bond election path to success during final KASB BOLD class session

The  path followed by Derby USD 260 to the successful passage of a $114 million bond issue was shared during the closing session for this year’s KASB BOLD class last Friday.  This was the sixth and final session for the 2019 KASB BOLD Class which met June 13 and 14 in Derby.  BOLD, Business Operations Leadership Development, focuses on enhancing skills and knowledge around the following topics: building and facilities master planning; technology planning; finance strategies and planning; procurement processes; school security; risk management; and human resource management. The class includes administrators from KASB members across the state.  Derby’s school bond election...

KASB Statement on Kansas Supreme Court’s Gannon decision

Today is an historic day in Kansas public school education history. Today’s decision by the Kansas Supreme Court to uphold SB 16 will provide funding certainty for our public schools while also helping ensure the state’s multiyear commitment becomes reality. KASB applauds Gov. Laura Kelly, legislators, the State Board of Education and education advocates who have supported Kansas schools throughout this litigation and school districts that fought tirelessly for the level of K-12 commitment required by the Kansas Constitution. Kansas schools already are redesigning their operations to focus on early education, social-emotional growth, careers and civic engagement and Kansas academic standards are...

Kansas Supreme Court upholds school finance law; retains jurisdiction

The Kansas Supreme Court today said the Kansas Legislature had “substantially complied” with its order to add an inflation adjustment to the multi-year funding plan approved last year. But the court said it will retain jurisdiction over the Gannon case to ensure the Legislature complies with that plan.  The 2018 Legislature adopted a plan to increase foundational state aid per pupil over a five-year phase-in period designed to restore funding to the 2009 level, adjusted for inflation. In response the court found that method acceptable to provide constitutionally suitable funding but ruled that the Legislature needed to provide additional funding...

Kansas teens urged to share thoughts on how to stop bullying

Kansas students are being asked to share their thoughts on bullying as the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying Prevention prepares for its second meeting on Tuesday in Garden City. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Horace Good Middle School, 1412 N. Main St. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and there will be a public comment session offered at each regional site meeting. The meetings will include presentations on bullying and bullying statistics and data. Public input can be submitted in writing or presented verbally. Written comments, which will be read during the...

BOLD class discusses risk management profiles, health insurance market transparency

The sixth and final session for the 2019 KASB BOLD class got underway Thursday, hosted by Derby USD 265. BOLD, Business Operations Leadership Development, focuses on enhancing skills and knowledge around the following topics: building and facilities master planning; technology planning; finance strategies and planning; procurement processes; school security; risk management; and human resource management. The class includes administrators from KASB members across the state.