School Board Review

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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Members provide guidance for KASB’s future

In May, KASB sent out a survey to all members asking five open-ended questions related to how we have worked to adapt to the “new normal” since the pandemic began.  One-hundred and thirty-five members responded with ideas and suggestions for how we can improve moving forward.  Here are some things we learned.  Key Takeaways  Many respondents felt the Zoom sessions were the best change to come out of the pandemic.  Many respondents indicated that KASB should:  be sending fewer paper mailings.  be doing more online trainings/events.  be doing more facilitated online discussions.  have more resources available online and/or focus on...

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Policies and protections: Trans students need to feel safe

By Scott Rothschild  srothschild@kasb.org  When Adam was a high school student, he had a teacher who always called him `Miss’ and then his last name.  “I ended up transferring out of his class and not taking AP English,” said Adam, who is now a junior English major at the University of Kansas. Adam said he thought the high school teacher was purposely not recognizing his gender identity.  Kansas public schools were the first in the nation to approve social and emotional learning standards for students, but when it comes to what are often called the most vulnerable students — those who are transitioning...

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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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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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