School Board Review

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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School boards turn to Zoom for hiring

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Hiring a school superintendent is arguably the most important decision a local school board will make. The superintendent is the CEO of the district, implements the board’s policies and often serves as a leader in the community. Now imagine filling that position without the benefit of having in-person interactions with the candidates for the job. That’s what school boards have been experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic as boards and job candidates comply with social distancing and quarantine restrictions. “I would much prefer to shake their hand and look them in the eye and talk with them,” said Dan Patterson, president...

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KASB new annual surveys now open

by Ted Carter, tcarter@kasb.org Earlier this month, KASB made available a new method for submitting the annual survey data we ask our member districts to provide. Previously this information had been collected via an external website requiring a separate login access code. Now these surveys have been added to the KASB Member Portal so that anyone with Account Administrator rights can update the information for his or her district. However, the location isn’t the only thing that has changed. Here are some other features that members might be excited about: Number of surveys reduced from 10 to 6 Previously KASB asks districts to...

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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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Be a smart information consumer

by Ted Carter, tcarter@kasb.org There is a lot of information out there about COVID-19 in general, how it impacts schools, and how schools should respond. And unfortunately, not all of it is accurate or complete. Here are a few tips and suggestions on navigating through all of it. Information sources One thing that has become much more important over the past several years is the consideration of where the information is coming from. Social media and the internet in general have made it much easier for anyone with a computer, tablet, or phone to present themselves as a credible news source. In...

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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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Secrets to a successful school closure

By G. Kent Stewart School closure is a very sad event for everyone involved. At worst, a closure decision is divisive, leaving wounds that take years to heal. Carefully orchestrated, it can be accomplished with the blessings of the community. There are three secrets to a successful school closure decision: First, a fact book is assembled that contains a lot of information about the school in question; Second, the fact book is presented without comment or recommendation to the community; and Third, the school board practices good boardsmanship throughout the whole process. Needed information More information is needed than some board members believe...

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School help needed in 2020 Census count

The 2020 Census invitations soon will begin hitting mailboxes across our country and online response will open. Ensuring each Kansan counts holds significance for everyone in Kansas—but especially Kansas schools as the 2020 Census counts affect federal funding for many education programs, like school breakfast and lunch programs. These counts affect federal funding for the next 10 years for Kansas schools, communities, and our state. Let’s ensure that #EachKansanCounts. Early childhood Ensuring that our youngest Kansans, those aged 0 to 5, are counted with their families is essential when it comes to federal early childhood program funding. An estimated 10 percent of...

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