KASB Updates

Kelly, school officials urge Kansans to get involved to ensure accurate Census count

Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday announced a statewide initiative to make sure every Kansan is counted in the 2020 U.S. Census so that schools and numerous other entities receive their fair share of federal dollars.  Through an executive order, Kelly formed the Kansas Complete Count Committee, which will work with local groups to get an accurate Census count next year.  “The data collected in the Census informs how the federal government distributes funds to our state — through 55 different federal programs,” Kelly said. “And it’s these funds that help to pay for roads, schools, hospitals, emergency services and much more,” [...]

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KASB BOLD class will be in Topeka this week to learn about deferred maintenance, human resources and more

KASB’s BOLD class this week will explore the nuts and bolts of deferred maintenance of school facilities and human resources, working with school boards and leading through change.  The two-day session will take place on Thursday at Topeka USD 501’s Center for Advance Learning and Careers and on Friday at KASB headquarters.   BOLD, which stands for Business Operations Leadership Development, focuses on enhancing skills and knowledge around the following topics: building and facilities master planning; technology planning; finance strategies and planning; procurement processes; school security; risk management; and human resource management.   The six BOLD sessions held around the state are led by [...]

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KASB Executive Director John Heim honored at KSU

Longtime educator and KASB Executive Director John Heim has been recognized as the 2019 College of Education Distinguished Alumni Fellow at Kansas State University. Prior to accepting the position of executive director of KASB in 2010, Dr. Heim served as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent. He served as school district superintendent in Leoti, El Dorado and Emporia. He taught in Bazine and served as an assistant principal in Lawrence and principal in Brookville. Other teaching experience includes serving as an adjunct professor for Wichita State and Emporia State universities.  In 2009 he was named the Kansas Association of School Administrators [...]

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LFT class hears from two Gemini districts

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org & Carol Pitts, cpitts@kasb.org During the first session of KASB’s 2019 Leadership for Tomorrow class, class members learned about the diversity of Kansas school districts and ways to make informed, reasonable decisions that will affect student success. As part of a get-to-know-you exercise, the class of 27 board members and administrators from across Kansas lined up from smallest enrollment district to largest; then from smallest to largest district in area and from the district with the lowest poverty rate to the one with the highest rate. The exercise showed the variance in Kansas’ 286 districts. Members also noted [...]

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BOLD class learns ABCs of bond issues

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Bringing a school bond issue to a successful public vote and then carrying through with the construction projects requires years of planning and expert assistance. That was the message from education, financial, architecture and construction leaders to KASB’s BOLD class of school leaders recently. “There is a lot of time and energy that goes into a bond issue,” said Basehor-Linwood USD 458 Superintendent David Howard, whose rapidly growing district has had two approved bond issues since 2015. Howard said to win voter approval, school districts must enlist the help of community leaders to explain the needs of the district [...]

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KASB making several staffing changes

The KASB Board of Directors recently announced several staff changes that will take effect July 1. Brian Jordan, who is currently head of Leadership Services, will become Deputy Executive Director. Doug Moeckel, the current Deputy Executive Director, will continue as a Leadership Services Field Specialist. Two new staffers are joining KASB. They are Sue Givens, who is currently superintendent of El Dorado USD 490, and Britton Hart, who is the current principal of Emporia High School, Emporia USD 253. Givens will take over as a Field Service Specialist for Leadership Services, replacing Craig Wilford, who is retiring. Hart will join as Director [...]

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Preparing for the worst: Active shooter drill tests response to events we hope will never happen

by Andrea Hartzell, ahartzell@kasb.org 9:37 a.m. a person walked into the front office of Washburn Rural Middle School. Suddenly shots ring out. The shooter had incapacitated the office staff and moved out into the commons area. A blond woman in a gray hoodie - she shouted out a name - looking for someone. She started shooting again; running through the hallways as smoke filled the air and the smell of gunpowder permeated our noses. In one hallway two students were shot, injured and screaming for help. In another, four. Down another hall two, one fatally. Shots continued to ring out. [...]

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President’s Perspective: Some of the most important things in schools cannot be measured

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow board members. I trust that you are all enjoying a well-deserved Spring respite from what has been a bruising winter. Spring flowers are in bloom and Kansas school kids can again enjoy outside recess. As I write to you today, our districts are in the midst of testing season. This is no doubt a time of great importance for schools and the institution of public education in general. Though its prominence in our decision-making processes is often maligned in the public discourse, we all acknowledge that testing has its place. In order to [...]

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April issue of School Board Review focuses on upcoming school board elections, safety drill

This year is an election year for school board members and the April issue of School Board Review includes a four-page, pull-out section dedicated to people who want to run for their local board. The section includes information on what school board members do, why the positions are so important for the success of Kansas students and how to file to run for office. Also in the April issue is a special report on a recent crisis drill conducted by Auburn-Washburn USD 437. We hope the story, which illustrates the collaboration between school and emergency responders, helps districts that are contemplating [...]

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Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying announced by commissioner

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson on Tuesday announced the formation of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying. Watson said bullying is one of the main issues he hears from parents and educators as he travels around the state visiting schools. “Everywhere I go, parents want to discuss this. There are no easy answers,” Watson said. Twenty-eight percent of students in grades six through 12 say they experience bullying, he said. Watson said bullying now also follows students home because of social media. The task force will be co-chaired by Rick Ginsberg, dean of the University of Kansas School of Education, and James [...]

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