Instruction & Services

KASB conference concludes with officers elected, legislative report approved

Delegates at the 102nd annual KASB Conference on Sunday elected officers and approved a legislative report that will guide KASB advocacy efforts for 2020.  The actions, along with inspiring words from Chad Foster, who overcame blindness as a young man, concluded the conference in which more than 500 education leaders from across Kansas, met, learned, shared and discussed major education issues facing Kansas during more than 40 breakout sessions, workshops, school visits and a vendor show.  In addition, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson; Tim Hodges, director of research at Gallup polling; KASB President Shannon Kimball, Lawrence USD 497, and KASB Executive...

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State Board approves wide-ranging policies on dyslexia

The State Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved policies aimed at improving the identification of students with dyslexia, providing them with better services and increasing teacher training. The wide-ranging measures follow more than 18 months of discussion by educators, advocates, psychologists and other stakeholders and will require more funding, although a specific amount wasn’t cited. Board member Jim Porter, who had led a task force on dyslexia, said the policies are needed and represent compromises. “This is a nationwide movement and we are slow to come to the table,” Porter said. Cynthia Hadicke, an education program consultant for the Kansas State...

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Awards for 2019 KASB / KanSPRA Publications Contest Announced

The annual KanSPRA/KASB Publications Contest wraps up with 54 awards in ten categories for communications projects submitted by participating districts. “This is our 28th year for the awards, and the level of competition really increased this year with more submissions and higher quality work across each category,” said Carol Pitts, KASB assistant executive director for marketing and public relations. “We also changed the timing of the awards to more closely align with the school year, and presented the awards during the KanSPRA Annual Conference last week. That gave us a chance to celebrate those who do the important work, day...

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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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