Instruction & Services

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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Kansas Board of Regents plan could affect high school requirements

The Kansas Board of Regents is scheduled to vote later Wednesday on a proposed change to the criteria for admission into a state university that could allow thousands of more high school graduates to be admissible and affect the pre-college curriculum and graduation requirements at Kansas high schools.  Currently, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Kansas State, Pittsburg State and Wichita State require most entering freshmen to have a minimum ACT composite score of 21 or rank in the top third of their graduating class; and to complete a college prep curriculum of 16 specific units, which includes courses in English,...

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Workshops on school safety, legal training and Fall Regional Roundtables are coming up

Helping students stay safe and healthy and succeed will be a big part of upcoming KASB workshops.  Randy Weseman, assistant executive director for operations and leadership services at KASB, will conduct three sessions on making schools safer: “What Every Board Member Should Know About Safe and Secure Schools.” These meetings are Sept. 10 at McPherson; Sept. 11, Colby and Sept. 12, Olathe. During these sessions, board members will discuss what measures schools are taking and should be taking to keep their schools safe.  Weseman will provide up-to-date research on threat assessments and why schools should focus on opening lines of communication...

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September issue of School Board Review is out; focus on vaping

The September issue of the KASB School Board Review focuses on the alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes by young Kansans and includes articles covering numerous other education issues. The issue, available here online and in the mail to school leaders, also includes columns by KASB President Shannon Kimball and Executive Director John Heim. In addition, Mark Tallman, KASB’s associate executive director of advocacy and communications, provides further analysis of the achievement gap in the second installment of a three-part series. SBR also includes coverage of KASB’s Board of Directors, Legislative Committee and Workers Compensation Committee; KASB Annual Survey data;...

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Wealth of public school data in new KASB Annual Surveys

The KASB Surveys 2018-19 Annual Report, which covers a wide range of data gathered from public school districts, is now available.  Here are links to a new summary report and a KASB Live video on the surveys with KASB Chief Data Officer Ted Carter.  The survey results are available to school districts and other education advocates while district level data is available to KASB members under the member portal. For more information or to ask questions about the data, contact Carter at tcarter@kasb.org.  KASB is one of the only school board associations in the nation that conducts annual data collection from its members and...

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At KASB workshop, national school board advocate reports on funding, special education battles in D.C.

The head of NSBA’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. said Thursday there is bipartisan support in Congress to phase in fully funding special education at the federal level but that education funding in general has been caught in some political tangles. Chip Slaven, the chief advocacy officer for the National School Boards Association, was in Kansas this week, speaking at KASB-held events in Topeka, Dodge City and Salina. A portion of each session was devoted to discussing efforts in Congress to modernize and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). When first enacted in the 1970s, Congress promised to...

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