Safety and Security

With higher revenue forecast, legislators review budget issues

Following last Friday’s release of new official revenue estimates, leaders of the Legislature’s budget committees yesterday received a briefing on issues they will face in the 2019 session.  The new estimates project the state general fund will take in $300 million more than expected in the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, and result in an ending balance of over $900 million or 12.6 percent.  However, commitments the Legislature has already made could whittle the ending balance down to $308 million dollar by 2021, with expenditures exceeding revenues by the same amount. In addition, state agencies have submitted requests for [...]

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Man who survived suicide attempt will speak about suicide prevention

A man who survived a 2000 suicide attempt after jumping from the Golden Gate bridge will be in Topeka to share his story and try to help people prevent deaths by suicide.  Kevin Hines will be speaking at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, 214 S.E. 8th Ave. The event is free and open to the public.  The “Suicide: Talk about it. Save a life,” initiative is sponsored by Family Service and Guidance Center and all five Shawnee County public school districts, Hayden High School and the Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition. The presentation by Hines is underwritten [...]

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School leaders focus on physical, mental safety of students

During its statewide regional tour this fall, KASB and USA-Kansas conducted in-depth discussions with school leaders on the physical safety, mental well-being and educational success of students.  What school leaders said is that all three of these topics are strongly connected to one another and require continued work and improvement.  The 10 meetings, which drew more than 300 school leaders from more than 100 school districts, allowed board members and educators to gather insights from each other, take those ideas back to their home communities and provide feedback that can help guide state policymakers in their partnership with local districts.  Working from [...]

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Board relations, technology management focus of first session for 2019 KASB BOLD

The opening session of the 18 newly selected KASB BOLD (Business Operations Leadership Development) class members met Oct. 24 and 25 in Lawrence, focusing on board leadership and technology management.   The first afternoon began with an overview of the seven two-day meetings that will run over the next nine months. A panel of current and former school board members joined the group to share the board’s perspective on working with the district leadership team. The panel included Dayna Miller, KASB past-president and board member in Basehor Linwood USD 458, Rod Stewart, Washington USD 108 board member and past-president of KASB, and former [...]

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SBR: Relationships, Relationships, Relationships The new three ‘Rs’ to keep students safe

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org There’s a new three `Rs’ in school – relationships, relationships, relationships. That’s what Kansas education leaders say is needed to make their students safer as fears increase with each school shooting. In meetings across the state in September and October, hundreds of school board members and school administrators discussed what they are doing and what more they need to do to ensure that students can function and learn in a safe environment. In addition to “hardening” facilities, educators are trying to reach all children and make them feel welcome and important. “Districts all over the state are grappling with this [...]

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SBR: Task force works on suicide prevention

By Rob Gilligan, rgilligan@kasb.org In June, The Tower Mental Health Foundation and Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced the formation of a joint task force to survey efforts under way in Kansas to reduce the incidence of youth suicide and recommend by year’s end further steps that could be taken. The attorney general asked the task force to focus on three specific tasks and to produce a report by the end of the year. Those areas are: Surveying ongoing local and state efforts to combat youth suicide through the State of Kansas. Reviewing the Safe2Tell phone application and similar methods aimed at increasing communication [...]

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Anti-Bullying Week is Oct. 8-14

October 8-14 has been designated by the State Board of Education as Anti-Bullying Week. School officials across Kansas are observing the week as an opportunity to create awareness and address the harm of bullying. The Kansas State Department of Education has numerous resources available here that can be used to help prevent bullying and make schools friendly and safe places.

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SBR: KOMA: Maintaining confidentiality of executive session

BY KASB Legal legal@kasb.org The Kansas Open Meetings Act permits boards of education to enter executive session for closed discussions on narrowly defined topics. Each exception to the open meeting requirement is intended to protect a privacy interest or the rights of an individual or business entity that might be harmed if the matter were discussed in public, or to protect the public interest in the matter being discussed. Board members and anyone invited to participate must keep all information concerning the discussions in executive session confidential. Below are the matters often discussed in closed session by school board: Matters concerning non-elected personnel [...]

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Are nine crisis drills too many? That and other issues to be discussed during Fall Regional meetings

Did Kansas go overboard in requiring nine crisis drills during this school year?  School leaders will have the opportunity to discuss this question and other safety and security issues during the upcoming KASB/USA-Kansas Fall Regional meetings. Here is a link to more information on those events.  On the issue of crisis drills, no other state requires as many as Kansas, with Montana coming closest with eight “disaster drills,” according to a report done by the Kansas Legislative Research Department.  And in Kansas, the whole school must participate in the crisis drills, according to guidance from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.  “The [...]

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Schools increasing focus on teenage suicide

Throughout Kansas, public schools are increasing focus and awareness on teenage suicide. This week, the six school districts in Johnson County joined together for a community awareness campaign to try to strengthen the support system for youth. Teen death by suicide in Johnson County has nearly doubled during the first six months of this year, officials said. “We feel strongly that by mobilizing necessary resources, disseminating information, generating support and fostering cooperation across public and private sectors in the community, we can influence the conversation and de-stigmatize the issue,” said Gardner-Edgerton USD 231 Superintendent Pam Stranathan. More information on the campaign can [...]

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