President's Perspective

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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President’s Perspective: Let’s stop hurrying up to wait and become the change we want to be

By Lori Blake KASB President The last five months have been a roller coaster as we all got in line to see how COVID-19 would impact our lives. Just like at the amusement park, our entire society has hurried in anxious anticipation to wait for the next hill or corner turned to change our course of action. You’ve all heard that expression that epitomizes the experience we are living today. We hurry up to make a deadline and wait for the response and more data to inform detours and necessary course corrections. It’s tiresome and not going to change any time...

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August School Board Review focuses on the difficult decisions that education leaders must make

As schools reopen, the August issue of School Board Review focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic and the tough decisions local school boards have been making on when and how to start school. In her President’s Perspective column, KASB President Lori Blake urges education leaders to use this unprecedented time “to ensure the voices who need to be heard are amplified.” As education leaders navigate change, KASB Executive Director John Heim encourages them to do their due diligence. “This is not a time for echo chambers, Facebook research, or YouTube solutions. It is a time to be inquisitive and not dogmatic, to...

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KASB President’s Perspective: Let’s walk kindly together as we respond to today’s traumas

As I start this journey as your President of KASB, our country is thrashing about into a mosh pit filled with frenzied citizens. Some are waving their hands peacefully in union with humankind to express solidarity and others are raging with fists pumped ready to fight anyone that gets in their way; filled with anger that cannot be calmed with reason, a mass of humanity, thrown together without a common song. The melody of these voices crying out for justice, peace and equality bring me great sadness and stir my soul into action. I feel compelled to move away...

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June School Board Review: Racism, COVID-19, Student Rights and More

The issues affecting our world are front and center in our classrooms — racism, COVID-19 and the rights of transgender students. The June issue of School Board Review covers all these issues and more.  SBR includes an in-depth look at educational attainment levels by race and courageous conversations started by the Kansas Equity Series. It also chronicles the unprecedented work by education leaders going into reopening schools, follows all the moving pieces on the federal level for K-12 funding assistance and a look into the challenges that transgender students often face.  Newly installed KASB President Lori Blake writes about what it will take on a...

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KASB President’s Perspective: Let grace, compassion, patience lead the way

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 The 2019-2020 school year has ended—whew! The last nine weeks of the school year seemed to last for an entire calendar year all by itself. We have navigated such extraordinary change and anxiety in such a short period of time, not to mention the loss of beloved experiences and traditions for our staff and students. I especially missed honoring our graduating classes this year; my district plans a graduation celebration at each of our high schools in mid-July, conditions permitting, but it will look very different than such past ceremonies. The burning question on my mind,...

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KASB President’s Perspective: Addressing a different kind of emergency

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 I have so many thoughts about “what now,” but for the moment I want to acknowledge the loss and sadness that many of us feel about the decision to close school facilities in Kansas. As the mother of three children, I am concerned about their health and future. As a local board member, I am part of our district leadership team working our way through these challenging times. And as president of KASB, I understand the need to provide leadership and vision while taking care of local and personal concerns. First, our top concern is the...

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April issue of School Board Review focuses on pandemic and school closings

This month’s School Board Review focuses on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Kansas public schools. Because of the pandemic, the issue will only be available online at this time and can be accessed here. The issue reviews developments over the past few weeks that have led to the unprecedented closure of schools and the rollout of stay-at-home continuous learning. The April edition also includes details about federal and state responses to the health crisis that continues to worsen. In addition, SBR covers the numerous tasks and policy and legal changes facing local school boards associated with COVID-19, including paying...

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KASB President’s Perspective: First things first: Kids can’t learn if they’re not socially & emotionally ready

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 In early February, representatives of school counselors and mental health professionals from across Kansas testified in Topeka before the House Education Committee on the mental health challenges that students and staff are dealing with in our classrooms. One of the presenters to that committee shared that they were working with a second-grade teacher who had four students attempt suicide this school year. Four students. Second grade. A single school year. Stop reading now, and sit with that for a while . . . When educators and public school advocates talk about the changing and deepening crises...

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March issue of School Board Review available now

The March issue of School Board Review is full of news about what is happening in education from Washington, D.C. to Topeka and throughout Kansas. Here is a link to the publication and a hard copy should be arriving for school board members and administrators in the mail soon. Federal K-12 issues are previewed with insights from NSBA Executive Director Thomas Gentzel and new polling information about the public’s view of public schools. Meanwhile, KASB Advocacy/Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter provides coverage of KASB attendees recent trip to the NSBA Advocacy Institute in D.C. in which Kansas board members met with Kansas’ congressional...

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