Instruction & Services

Early childhood advocates present preliminary report

Kansas families face numerous gaps and inequitable access to early childhood services, according to a needs assessment released Friday. “Where you live makes a difference for better or worse for a wide range of services for your family,” said Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. She said “geography” within the state and within local communities was often a major factor in early childhood services. She added, “We are seeing incredible stress placed on families because of the lack of child care.” Through a federal planning grant, the state conducted 53 public meetings across Kansas this spring and summer to...

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Plan floated to replace 10th grade state test with ACT in 11th grade

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson is floating the idea of having all Kansas students take the ACT in 11th grade instead of the state assessments in math and English in 10th grade.  Watson briefed the State Board of Education about the proposal on Tuesday. Several board members had questions about the idea, which has been explored in a number of other states.   Board Chair Kathy Busch asked Watson to provide an update on the issue next month and then possibly bring it to the board in October for some kind of action.  Watson said he would reach out to school superintendents at...

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State and national experts on tap for IDEA workshops

State and national experts on special education advocacy and practice will present at KASB’s IDEA workshops later this month. Click here to register.   The workshops are on Aug. 27 in Topeka; Aug. 28 in Dodge City and Aug. 29 in Salina. Each workshop will feature regional special education experts and KASB General Counsel and Assistant Executive Director of Policy Donna Whiteman. National School Boards Association Chief Advocacy Officer Chip Slaven will join KASB Advocacy staff Leah Fliter and Rob Gilligan and NSBA Western Region Director Frank Henderson of the Seaman USD 345 Board of Education to brief attendees on the...

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KASB hosts session on leading change for school redesign teams

Over 250 educators from the “Apollo” school redesign districts received training in the art and science of leading change this week, led by KASB’s leadership services staff.  The Apollo schools are the fourth group approved by the Kansas State Board of Education for the Kansans Can “Moonshot” redesign program, which began with the Mercury 7 districts in 2017. The purpose of the program is to increase student graduation rates, postsecondary education and preparation for adult life through more individualized education that better engages students.  Redesigning schools to improve student success, particularly for students who continue to struggle in the current system,...

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KASB legal team providing inservice training

As the start of the new school year approaches, KASB attorneys are on the road providing training and resources to help education officials. This week, they are leading inservice sessions on principal training, sexual harassment and racial discrimination laws, discipline procedures, administrative training and bullying. Next week, KASB lawyers will be visiting districts to discuss school law, social media, confidentiality and other “hot” topics. The KASB Legal and Policy Services team can keep you informed on new and emerging legal developments and issues that will arise during the school year. Members of KASB can schedule KASB attorneys to provide training to board...

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August School Board Review with feature on restorative justice is available

The August edition of KASB’s School Board Review features a look at restorative justice, columns by KASB leaders and a profile of KASB’s newest regional board member. The issue is available online here and is already in the mail for those who prefer a print copy. Many school districts are incorporating restorative justice to handle student discipline. KASB Advocacy/Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter takes an-depth look into this method. KASB President Shannon Kimball writes about the oath that school board members take to “faithfully discharge" their duties and KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about the anxiety that some students experience on the...

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KASB Summer Regional Roundtables continue this week in McPherson, Greenbush, Haysville, Topeka and Olathe

Hot education topics ranging from student safety to school redesign are among those being discussed at KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings that continue this week. Meetings will be held Tuesday in McPherson and Greenbush; Wednesday in Haysville and Topeka and Thursday in Olathe. At meetings last week in Stafford, Hiawatha and Colby, school board members and other leaders discussed challenges and opportunities for the upcoming school year. In addition to student safety and redesign, the topics focused on were legislative priorities, the 2020 Census and local issues. For more information and to register online go to www.kasb.org and click on the specific...

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KASB Summer Regionals kick off in Hiawatha, Stafford

School leaders in Stafford and Hiawatha met Wednesday to discuss major education issues and how to improve Kansas public schools as the KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings kicked off. The next meeting is set for Thursday in Colby with meetings scheduled next week in McPherson, Greenbush, Haysville, Topeka and Olathe. Board members and district leaders discussed challenges and opportunities in schools after KASB provided focus topics that included school safety, school redesign, the 2020 Census, upcoming legislative session and local issues. In Hiawatha, board members and superintendents from the Atchison, Hiawatha, Sabetha, Marysville and Washington school districts said they worry that the...

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Hot education topics to be discussed at KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings that start this week

KASB’s Summer Regional Roundtable meetings begin this week and will provide local education leaders an opportunity to interact with their regional counterparts to discuss hot topics affecting public schools. The meetings will be held in Stafford and Hiawatha on Tuesday; Colby on Thursday; McPherson and Girard, Tue. Aug. 6; Haysville and Topeka, Wed. Aug. 7 and Olathe, Thur. Aug. 8. For more information and to register online go to www.kasb.org and click on the specific event location that you want to attend. Meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. and last no longer than three hours. Here is a link to a short...

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National school board leader at KASB workshops to improve federal special education law

KASB’s August workshops on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will offer attendees the chance to work with a national expert on K-12 education.  Chip Slaven is the new Chief Advocacy Officer for the National School Boards Association. Slaven will attend each of the workshops, scheduled for Aug. 27-29 in Topeka, Dodge City and Salina, respectively, to meet KASB members and allies and discuss a nationwide effort to modernize and fully fund the federal special education law.   The campaign, entitled, “It’s Time for a Great IDEA!” is designed to help school board members and others acknowledge the 1975 law’s successes...

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