School Board Review

President’s Perspective: Some of the most important things in schools cannot be measured

by C. Patrick Woods KASB President Topeka USD 501 Greetings fellow board members. I trust that you are all enjoying a well-deserved Spring respite from what has been a bruising winter. Spring flowers are in bloom and Kansas school kids can again enjoy outside recess. As I write to you today, our districts are in the midst of testing season. This is no doubt a time of great importance for schools and the institution of public education in general. Though its prominence in our decision-making processes is often maligned in the public discourse, we all acknowledge that testing has its place. In order to [...]

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April issue of School Board Review focuses on upcoming school board elections, safety drill

This year is an election year for school board members and the April issue of School Board Review includes a four-page, pull-out section dedicated to people who want to run for their local board. The section includes information on what school board members do, why the positions are so important for the success of Kansas students and how to file to run for office. Also in the April issue is a special report on a recent crisis drill conducted by Auburn-Washburn USD 437. We hope the story, which illustrates the collaboration between school and emergency responders, helps districts that are contemplating [...]

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New administration tries to reverse increases in neglect, abuse, foster care

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Systems charged with keeping Kansas children safe from neglect and abuse have essentially been neglected and abused at the state level, according to incoming state officials. In hearings before various committees, officials are unpacking failures over the past several years that have led to what is being described as multiple crises in foster care, child welfare and mental health, especially among young Kansans. Gov. Laura Kelly’s new administration says the problems have arisen because of imprudent policies and revenue shortfalls and they touch every community and school district in Kansas. Laura Howard, the new secretary of the Kansas Department [...]

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Equity must be embedded in schools

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org Kansas school board members joined 500 leaders from across the nation at the fourth annual NSBA Equity Symposium on January 26 in Washington, DC. President-Elect Shannon Kimball (USD 497 Lawrence), was a first-time attendee. Past President/Legislative Committee Chair Dayna Miller (Basehor-Linwood USD 458), former President Rod Stewart (Washington County USD 108) and NSBA Western Region Vice President Frank Henderson (Seaman USD 345) have each attended three of the annual symposia. “The face of our schools is changing,” NSBA CEO Tom Gentzel said in his opening remarks. “There’s much work to be done, but the one thing we can [...]

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Summit focuses on success, inspiration

By Leah Fliter, Lfliter@kasb.org KASB and USA-Kansas first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit February 4-5 was a rousing success, participants said. The Summit, which was held in Manhattan, was designed to inspire and energize female board of education members and school administrators for greater impact in their roles as Kansas education leaders. USA-Kansas Past President and Augusta High School Principal Donna Zerr welcomed the attendees, who represented school districts from across Kansas. “Worry less about the glass slipper fitting and more about shattering the glass ceiling,” Zerr urged her colleagues. Keynote speaker Denise Mills, Founder and Chief Mindset Officer of the Leader Fuel Center in [...]

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Speak UP! Tell your story

A familiar buzz word these days – well, actually a buzz phrase – is ‘tell your story.’ But because we don't know where or how to start, it is easy to just move on to the next thing on our crowded 'to do' list and wait for someone to call us and ask a specific question. If there was ever a time to speak up, it's now! News media, politicos, bloggers and tweeters, to name a few, are busy speaking on your behalf. There are 286 school districts in Kansas. That means there are 286 sides to the school funding story. [...]

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Holecek new KASB Region 7 vice president

Darin Holecek Ellsworth USD 527 Region 7 How long have you been a school board member? More than 10 years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I wanted to become more educated on how the school system operates, be involved in public service, and most importantly be involved in local youth and their opportunities for a successful future. What do you do outside of being a board member? For 22 years, employed with the Kansas Department of Corrections; Pheasants Forever (promoting youth and the outdoors); local USBC Bowling Association Manager; hunt; fish; sporting events; concerts; kids and family activities. What experience do [...]

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Cole new KASB Region 3 vice president

Kevin ColeLabette County USD 506KASB Region 3 Vice President How long have you been a school board member? Three years and two years as Vice President of USD 506. I also serve as a three-year board member and two-year Vice President of the SEK Interlocal. Why did you decide to become a board member? My wife, her mother and father are lifelong educators. I appreciated their commitment to impacting lives positively in their daily interactions. All educators change and mold the lives of the students they teach. Educators need advocates for the work they perform and I wanted to be a leader [...]

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Annual PR program has three key parts

By G. Kent Stewart, School Admin Prof. Emeritus, KSU, bcsgks1@cox.net This series on district level public relations activities concludes with this issue of School Board Review. It has surely been my pleasure to share with you during the past year. In the most recent issue, we looked briefly at one proven model for evaluating the PR program. It’s now time to write your district PR activities for the coming year. That is, put the plan on paper. Since district level PR activities may occur all year, the annual plan can be based on a July through June fiscal year or the [...]

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KASB projects slight enrollment decline

by Ted Carter, tcarter@kasb.org KASB’s annual enrollment projection indicates enrollment numbers will gradually decline from 499,034 in 2018-19 to 490,383 in 2023-24, which is a 1.7 percent decline in overall enrollment. The following table shows the total numbers for each year and the percent change from the previous year: KASB’s estimate does not take into consideration things such as commercial and residential development or other factors that could influence increases or decreases in student enrollment within public school districts. A ratio is calculated between county-level live birth rates and first grade enrollment within each district seven years later across the most recent [...]

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