Instruction & Services

KASB BOLD session set for Topeka on Thursday and Friday

The first meeting of this year’s KASB BOLD class will convene this week and cover sessions on school board relationships, building leadership teams and problem solving. The Thursday-Friday meeting will be held at KASB’s headquarters in Topeka and feature talks from KASB executive staff and former KASB presidents Frank Henderson Jr., a member of the Seaman USD 345 board and NSBA board, and Patrick Woods, a member of the Topeka USD 501 board. In its third year, the Business Operations Leadership Development (BOLD) program includes six training sessions developed by KASB leadership staff, KASB business partners and experts from across the...

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State Board of Education combines busy agenda with 50th anniversary

At this month’s State Board of Education meeting, the board will observe its 50th anniversary with a history lesson and reception while also conducting business as it has for the past half-century — meeting, discussing and making decisions on a broad range of education policy issues. The State Board meets Tuesday and Wednesday; here is a link to the agenda. Mary Madden, museum and education division director for the Kansas State Historical Society, will present a summary of the State Board’s origins. Following her presentation, there will be a reception to celebrate the anniversary and citizen leadership in public education. The first...

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Key points on education: New resources plus redesigned schools equal student success, supporting a stronger Kansas

KASB is often asked to share key points about education issues. With school board and other local elections this fall and the 2020 Legislative session three months away, here are some ideas to consider for sharing.  The big question school leaders are going to have to answer is: What are you (school districts) doing with the billion-plus dollars you got from the Legislature? That’s the estimated total increase in base aid, local option budget funding and special education from 2017 to 2023, when the response to the Gannon lawsuit is fully implemented. And, it doesn’t include increased funding for KPERS,...

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High-quality, affordable early childhood programs needed in Kansas

In a conference room full of childcare providers, parents, political leaders and state agency officials, a Wichita businessman had the clearest message.  “This is a crisis,” said business leader and philanthropist Barry Downing. “To compete in a global economy, we need more students to get more education and parents to be able to work. That means we need to increase quality and access of early learning, because we are way behind.”  Downing, a panelist at Gov. Laura Kelly’s Symposium on Early Childhood on Monday in Wichita, launched a highly regarded program called The Opportunity Project in 2003, providing funding for high...

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Lakin, Garden City show LFT class programs that lead to student success

By Leah Fliter, Lfliter@kasb.org “If you believe in it, it will happen” was the overarching theme of KASB’s Leadership for Tomorrow trip to Lakin and Garden City. Although the school districts are markedly different in size and student demographics, their belief in the mission of serving students is the same. Leadership for Tomorrow offers school board members and school administrators the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Kansas public school system and increase their leadership skills. Over the course of five two-day visits, the LFT class travels across the state to observe and discuss issues and opportunities in...

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October issue of KASB School Board Review is available

Articles on education equity, the effect of social media on our students, the school bond environment, KASB’s upcoming annual conference and more are featured in the October issue of School Board Review, which is available online here. This month’s publication includes the final installment of KASB Associate Executive Director of Advocacy and Communications Mark Tallman’s analysis of equity in student success. KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about how young people today face challenges their parents didn’t — namely that their exploits are recorded forever in the digital world. KASB’s Rob Gilligan, government relations specialist, analyzes opportunities to reinvest in school...

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Percentage of students who say they have been bullied at school has decreased slightly

A survey of Kansas students shows incidents of bullying at school have slightly decreased, but more students feel unsafe at school while officials said the state would benefit by a more comprehensive survey method. The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying on Wednesday received updated results from the Kansas Communities That Care student survey. The survey is taken on a volunteer basis by students in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades and tracks use of harmful substances and anti-social behaviors. In 2018, 30.7 percent of sixth-graders said they were bullied at school at least once. That dropped to 28.6 percent in...

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Fall Regional Roundtables, legal training workshops this week

In regional roundtable discussions and legal workshops, KASB staff will be on the road this week meeting with education leaders across Kansas to work on issues that will promote student success.  The Fall Regional Roundtable meetings will be held in Stafford on Tuesday; Garden City and Topeka, Wednesday; Colby and Olathe, Thursday; McPherson and Greenbush, Tue. Oct. 1 and Beloit and Haysville, Wed. Oct. 2. Meetings are from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, go to this link.   Meanwhile, the KASB Legal/Policy Services staff will be providing training on student rights and civil rights issues.   The events, which run from...

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State Board considering using ACT as required high school assessment, drop current tests

The Kansas State Board of Education may vote as early as next month to make the ACT a required statewide test for all high school juniors, replacing the current Kansas-developed math, language arts and science tests at 10th grade.  Commissioner Randy Watson has been presenting the proposal to education groups around the state, including the Council of Superintendents meeting in September. He and State Board members are seeking comments from education leaders. Here are some key points about the concept.  What is being considered?  For accountability purposes, the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, like the previous No Child Left Behind Act, requires...

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Kansas Board of Regents approves changes to qualified admissions

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved removing the class rank requirement from the criteria to enter a state university and replacing it with a grade point average (GPA) requirement.  Regents staff said GPA was a more reliable predictor of college readiness than class rank and the current system was confusing and hard to manage.  The move could allow thousands of more high school graduates to be admissible to state universities and affect the pre-college curriculum and graduation requirements at Kansas high schools.   For years, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Kansas State, Pittsburg State and Wichita State required most entering freshmen...

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