President's Perspective

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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KASB President’s Perspective: New year, new voices but no time to relax

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 The start of the new year and the new semester coincides with an opportunity for new (or renewed) resolve and fresh perspectives on the many opportunities and challenges facing our students and our schools. My local board welcomed three new members at our first January board meeting — I am excited to work with them, learn from them, and add their talents, knowledge, and perspectives to our work together. My district stands to benefit greatly from the experiences and perspectives of these new board members. I look forward to seeing where their fresh resolve takes...

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KASB President’s Perspective: KASB completes year in a strong position

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 Welcome to a new year! And welcome to the 2020 legislative session. This month, I want to give you a short update on the work of your KASB board of directors and staff in 2019 and to note a couple of issues to keep an eye on as the legislative session gets underway. If you have visited the KASB website recently, you have seen this header: Leading Success! The Kansas Association of School Boards is proud to support you in your role as a local leader. So what has KASB accomplished in 2019 toward providing that...

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January School Board Review previews legislative session and more

The January edition of School Board Review offers a preview of top education issues for the 2020 legislative session and information on how education leaders can stay on top of developments under the Statehouse dome. The issue is now available online here and is in the mail to members. In addition to news about the session that starts Monday (Jan. 13), SBR covers the election of new KASB officers, an update from KASB President Shannon Kimball about the association’s work and thoughts from KASB Executive Director Dr. John Heim on mixing education and politics. The edition also provides more information on...

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