KASB Updates

School Board Leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lara Bors, Garden City USD 457

No one ran for school board thinking they would be helping govern their district through our nation’s worst health crisis in more than a century. Debates over wearing masks, playing football, or even whether and how to open schools have kept school board meetings going late into many nights and filled the email boxes of school board members. During this time, we think it is important for board members to share their experiences with each other and the public so that we all may learn how to face this challenge before us. Lara Bors, is president of the Garden City...

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2020 KASB Convention will feature different delivery but still focus on connections, sharing, solutions

The 2020 KASB Convention will include all the features that make the annual gathering of school leaders special — connections with board members from across Kansas, access to innovative ideas and solutions, and the opportunity to hear from state and national speakers.  However, because of COVID-19, there will be one significant difference from previous years. You can participate in the Dec. 2-4 event from your home or anywhere else with an internet connection since the conference will be held via zoom.  Dubbed “Creating Communities,” the 2020 KASB convention will help school board members hit the refresh button after what has been...

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President’s Perspective: The path forward is to connect

As I write this blog on the eve of the 2020 general election, I am filled with anxiety about the response the election results will evoke from the public. This election has been more divisive than any election I have lived through. The pandemic has erected more silos and thickened the walls to overcome barriers already in place. People are isolated from one another and are yearning for connection. As local leaders elected without partisan lines, we cross the aisles to come together and make decisions for the children in our communities, our future leaders.   In my 12 years of...

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KASB Legislative Committee recommends priorities for school districts

The Kansas Association of School Boards Legislative Committee has proposed a set of state and local priorities for 2021. The proposals will be finalized by the KASB Delegate Assembly, which is scheduled to meet virtually on Jan. 21.  School leaders are encouraged to review these proposals with their local boards of education. Each KASB member school board has a voting delegate at the assembly, which will discuss and consider any amendments before approving the documents.  Local boards may also use these recommendations as a guide for determining their own priorities for the upcoming legislative session and input to state and federal...

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November School Board Review focuses on upcoming annual KASB Convention

During such a roller-coaster year, school board members need some time to reflect and recharge with fellow board members from across the state. That’s what the 2020 KASB Convention aims for and that’s what the November issue of School Board Review is all about. The issue provides details about the virtual convention, which which will be held from Dec. 2-4. Named “Creating Communities,” the annual convention will move the usual breakout sessions, Delegate Assembly meetings, keynote speakers and more to an online platform. But in order to avoid zoom fatigue, many features will be pre-recorded so that you can participate when...

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Starting Anew: For Basehor-Linwood flexibility is key to planning

One recent morning, Basehor-Linwood USD 458 school board President Dayna Miller went to her mailbox and was surprised to see several people in the driveway who wanted to talk with her about reopening school.  She said the conversation was cordial, but Miller said the incident, combined with the deluge of texts and emails she received over the summer, exemplified how the start of this school year has brought out people’s passions like no other issue she has experienced during her 17 years of service on the school board.  “This affects your community, parents and grandparents. This was a big decision and...

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President’s Perspective: Pivoting for the success of each student

By Lori Blake KASB President The buzz word for anyone in any type of leadership role right now is pivot. What exactly does that mean though? Merriam-Webster has 3 definitions as follows:   a pin or shaft on which a mechanical part turns the action of turning around a point  a person or thing that is central or important to someone or something else In farming, there is a pivot in which a giant sprinkler arm is attached to. It is a vital part to growing successful crops in drylands. The pivot provides equal distribution of water to the field...

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Pandemic pivoting: September School Board Review covers how districts have shifted

The September issue of School Board Review reports how district leaders spent the summer analyzing data, meeting with the public and working through unprecedented challenges as schools started a new school year during the current COVID-19 health emergency. KASB President Lori Blake writes about how districts have been forced to pivot time and time again as circumstances change and KASB Executive Director John Heim urges Kansans to allow some grace for education leaders who are dealing with unprecedented change. The issue also introduces Jason Winbolt, vice president of the Springhill USD 230 school board, as the endorsed candidate for KASB president-elect...

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`Women Connecting with Women’ to feature Gov. Kelly

KASB and USA-Kansas continue their leadership programming with a new monthly series entitled “Women Connecting with Women.” The first event will be a noon, September 22 Zoom session with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, who will discuss her experiences as a leader.  The 45-minute “lunch and learn” monthly sessions are designed to help female Board of Education members, Superintendents, building principals and district leaders establish connections with other women leaders to discuss current issues with high-profile female change-agents from across the state. There is no cost to participate but attendees must register in advance on the KASB events page. Look for...

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KASB Legislative Committee approves draft of state policy positions

KASB’s Legislative Committee has approved a first draft of proposed state legislative policy positions for 2021. KASB members will discuss the positions and provide feedback at Regional Roundtables on September 30, October 7 and October 14. The final document, which will guide KASB advocacy efforts in the 2021 Kansas legislative session, will be approved by the KASB Delegate Assembly in January 2021.  The proposed state policy positions primarily focus on how to support K-12 public schools as they continue to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Positions include supporting safe operations in schools in all learning modes; increasing...

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