Instruction & Services

Legislators seek changes to continuous learning plans

Some legislators on Tuesday indicated they want to make changes to continuous learning plans if the online instruction practice is needed next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The House K-12 Education Budget Committee approved a proposal that would require that continuous learning plans include some “direct contact instruction.” The proposal also sets specific amounts of time that teachers must provide reading, math and English instruction and calls for accountability measures to gauge student progress. Here is a link to the proposal.   The plan, put together by Committee Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, will be sent as a recommendation to the...

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State Board of Education will receive report on how continuous learning is working

The State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive an update on Kansas’ continuous learning plans that went into effect after schools were shut down. The State Board meeting will be conducted through interactive communication because of mass gathering restrictions. The public may listen to and observe the meeting through live streaming at this link. Here is a link to the State Board's agenda and backup materials. Kansas K-12 schools were shut down March 17 through an executive order by Gov. Laura Kelly. Kelly also ordered the Kansas State Department of Education to formulate guidance for school districts to put in...

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Governor praises continuous learning; board members cite challenges

Gov. Laura Kellly recently said Kansas’ ability to shut school buildings and pivot to continuous learning online because of the coronavirus pandemic will make it easier to do so again if necessary. “I think the fact that our schools within a matter of three or four days were able to put together a pretty comprehensive continuous learning program outside of our school buildings will give us the freedom in November if we have to to say, `You know what, we have to get out of the buildings for a while, but then we can re-implement those continuous learning programs,’ ”...

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Governor’s plan: What it means for schools

Kansas schools are still closed, but some possible loosening of restrictions on students being taught in school buildings are included in Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to gradually re-open Kansas during the coronavirus pandemic.  Even so, the issue of how or if schools will re-open on time for the upcoming school year remains in question. In her statewide televised address on Thursday, Kelly said, “We don’t yet know what school will look like in August.”  On March 17, Kelly issued an executive order that closed schools to student instruction until May 29 with the exception of operating a school with fewer than...

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KASB online this week: Board forum, HR Coaching, new property insurance solution

KASB will conduct a virtual forum this week for board members and a session on Human Resources Coaching and Consulting. The Human Resources and Coaching session will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday and is open to those registered for the online learning experience. The program offers pre-recorded videos from KASB attorneys Ashley Rohleder and Sam Blasi, online supplemental materials, follow–up virtual sessions and personal consultations to help district staff navigate the ins and outs of employment law and other legal and personnel issues. The Human Resources coaching video is on the training portal, here. The Human Resources Coaching...

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KASB Action Alert: New bills in Congress for home broadband internet

KASB is urging educational leaders to contact Kansas’ U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives to encourage their support of new federal legislation that would help more Kansas students and schoolchildren nationwide have reliable home internet service.  Nearly-identical bills establishing the Emergency Educational Connections Act of 2020 have been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House to  provide billions of new funding for home internet access repeatedly requested by school leaders nationwide in the wake of school closures mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate bill calls for $4 billion while the House bill appropriates $2 billion. The National...

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Kansans Kelly and Pai discuss homework gap on national forum

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai discussed the “homework gap” Thursday in separate interviews with the Axios media platform. Kelly said the state has made some progress toward improving home broadband internet access, but the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated there is more work to be done. Pai stated he wants to “work with” public educators to provide better internet access for students and urged them to tweet at him or email him with ideas.  Kelly also pledged to “work like the devil” to find ways to continue to fund public schools in Kansas despite pandemic-related revenue...

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KASB dues and lobbying

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA) recently sent all local units of government, including school districts, a survey requesting information about the amount of money spent on membership dues to associations that lobby, or for paying lobbyists.  KASB does engage in lobbying, so members should report the amount they paid to KASB in annual membership dues. We have received questions about how much of KASB dues goes to lobbying activities.  First, lobbying is defined in Kansas state law as promoting or opposing in any manner action or nonaction by (1) the legislature on any legislative matter, (2) any executive...

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Learning across Kansas: PBS, KSDE, local teachers providing class on TV

Kansas students who must stay home because of closed schools due to the coronavirus pandemic will now have another way of continuing their education. Kansas PBS stations, the state education agency and teachers have teamed up to provide educational content on television during the school shutdown. The Learning Across Kansas broadcasts began today (April 20) and will offer 30-minute segments for elementary, middle school and high school students. A complete list of programs on KTWU, KPTS, KCPT and Smoky Hills PBS is available here. The program hosts will be the three co-chairs of the Continuous Learning Task Force, which produced the guidance...

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Call to action on home internet for students

KASB and the National School Boards Action center are urging school board members and other Kansas education leaders to call on Congress to help fix the “homework gap” that makes online learning difficult or impossible for the 70,000 Kansas students without reliable home internet access.   The call to action urges Congress to provide $2 billion in new funding to the ERate program that serves schools and libraries, and to press the Federal Communications Commission to use its authority to allow that funding to pay for home internet access for students. Click on this link to send an email to U.S....

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