School Board Review

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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Survey feedback & 2020-21 gameplan

This document provides a summary of the responses received from a survey of superintendents, board clerks, deputy clerks, data stewards, and data steward assistants regarding KASB’s annual research surveys, along with a discussion of KASB’s plan for these surveys starting in 2020-21. We received 212 individual responses on a survey sent to approximately 600 KASB member district staff. These included superintendents, assistant superintendents, board clerks, board treasurers, and other district staff involved in submitting and using KASB’s annual survey data. Providing information Respondents were asked how they preferred to provide information to KASB. One hundred seventy-three, or 81.6 percent indicated they preferred...

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Kansas NSBA attendees lobby against vouchers

The National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C. focused on reminding Congress of widespread national support for America’s public schools. The KASB delegation included more than a dozen school board members, superintendents and public school advocates. Entitled “Champion Our Children,” the Institute featured the release of a major national poll of 1,000 likely 2020 voters on attitudes toward public schools. The poll was commissioned by the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC), which is presided over by former KASB President Frank Henderson, who also serves as a NSBA Western Region Director and is a long-time member of...

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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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Registration open for 2nd annual Women’s Leadership Summit in March

By Carol Pitts cpitts@kasb.org Registration is open for the KASB and United School Administrators-Kansas 2020 Women’s Leadership Summit in Manhattan on March 24 and 25. For more information and to register, go here. The second annual summit features award-winning author Sarah Smarsh and Dr. Helen Fagan, CEO and Founder of the Global Leadership Group. Also speaking will be the Honorable Marla J. Luckert, Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court and Melissa Rooker, executive director Kansas Children’s Cabinet. Current female school board members and school administrators will learn and network about timely topics including recognizing and overcoming bias, managing leadership transitions, balancing work and healthy...

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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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February issue of School Board Review is available

Programs for struggling students and funding those programs is the focus of the February issue of School Board Review, which is now available online and will be mailed shortly to school board members and school officials throughout Kansas. Here’s a link to the February issue. At-risk funding has come under scrutiny in the Legislature this session after release of an audit that questioned how funds were being used. State education officials have said the audit failed to grasp the many ways teachers use different strategies to help at-risk students. KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about this complicated issue in his column...

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Being counted in the upcoming 2020 Census makes dollars and sense for communities

By Rob Gilligan, rgilligan@kasb.org The 2020 Census is now less than three months away, and efforts to make sure we have an accurate and complete count are beginning to ramp up. One of the ways education leaders can help is to be champions for this important work and share how critical it is to schools and communities that we work together for a good count on April 1. Here are some great talking points and opportunities to highlight as we move toward spring. Community opportunities Beyond the constitutional requirement for appropriation of seats for the House of Representatives, the Census has become...

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