School Board Review

2020 KASB Convention will feature different delivery but still focus on connections, sharing, solutions

The 2020 KASB Convention will include all the features that make the annual gathering of school leaders special — connections with board members from across Kansas, access to innovative ideas and solutions, and the opportunity to hear from state and national speakers.  However, because of COVID-19, there will be one significant difference from previous years. You can participate in the Dec. 2-4 event from your home or anywhere else with an internet connection since the conference will be held via zoom.  Dubbed “Creating Communities,” the 2020 KASB convention will help school board members hit the refresh button after what has been...

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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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November School Board Review focuses on upcoming annual KASB Convention

During such a roller-coaster year, school board members need some time to reflect and recharge with fellow board members from across the state. That’s what the 2020 KASB Convention aims for and that’s what the November issue of School Board Review is all about. The issue provides details about the virtual convention, which which will be held from Dec. 2-4. Named “Creating Communities,” the annual convention will move the usual breakout sessions, Delegate Assembly meetings, keynote speakers and more to an online platform. But in order to avoid zoom fatigue, many features will be pre-recorded so that you can participate when...

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Starting Anew: For Basehor-Linwood flexibility is key to planning

One recent morning, Basehor-Linwood USD 458 school board President Dayna Miller went to her mailbox and was surprised to see several people in the driveway who wanted to talk with her about reopening school.  She said the conversation was cordial, but Miller said the incident, combined with the deluge of texts and emails she received over the summer, exemplified how the start of this school year has brought out people’s passions like no other issue she has experienced during her 17 years of service on the school board.  “This affects your community, parents and grandparents. This was a big decision and...

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President’s Perspective: Pivoting for the success of each student

By Lori Blake KASB President The buzz word for anyone in any type of leadership role right now is pivot. What exactly does that mean though? Merriam-Webster has 3 definitions as follows:   a pin or shaft on which a mechanical part turns the action of turning around a point  a person or thing that is central or important to someone or something else In farming, there is a pivot in which a giant sprinkler arm is attached to. It is a vital part to growing successful crops in drylands. The pivot provides equal distribution of water to the field...

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Pandemic pivoting: September School Board Review covers how districts have shifted

The September issue of School Board Review reports how district leaders spent the summer analyzing data, meeting with the public and working through unprecedented challenges as schools started a new school year during the current COVID-19 health emergency. KASB President Lori Blake writes about how districts have been forced to pivot time and time again as circumstances change and KASB Executive Director John Heim urges Kansans to allow some grace for education leaders who are dealing with unprecedented change. The issue also introduces Jason Winbolt, vice president of the Springhill USD 230 school board, as the endorsed candidate for KASB president-elect...

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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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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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