Local Boards

Dyslexia recommendations before State Board of Education

A wide range of recommendations are before the State Board of Education to address students with dyslexia. “We are already doing a lot of good things; we just have to be more strategic,” State Board Chairwoman Kathy Busch said. Several other board members said the proposed changes are substantial, will require more work for educators and additional funding but are necessary. “We have to catch kids before they fail,” Board member Jim Porter said. The recommendations were recently outlined by Cindy Hadicke, who is an education program consultant at the Kansas State Department of Education and chaired a committee that evaluated the work...

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Magna Awards nomination period closes Oct. 31

The deadline for school districts to submit nominations for NSBA’s 2020 Magna Awards is quickly approaching. The nominations period closes Oct. 31. For more information on how to apply, go to Magna Awards Frequently Asked Questions. The 2020 awards program will focus on equity in education. It will recognize district programs that remove barriers to achievement for vulnerable or underserved children. A grand prize and five winners will be awarded in each enrollment category: under 5,000 enrollment; 5,000-20,000 enrollment; and over 20,000 enrollment. Three grand prize winners will showcase their winning programs at a special Master Class session during NSBA’s 2020 annual conference,...

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State has numerous initiatives aimed at helping student mental health

State officials are working on several fronts to address the mental health needs of Kansas students. More than 1,700 students received help last year through the school Mental Health Intervention Program. Most of those students showed improvements in attendance, behavior and academics, Diane Gjerstad, who has been helping with implementation of the program, told the School Mental Health Advisory Council on Thursday. The program initially included nine school districts in partnership with Community Mental Health Centers. But it has since been expanded with a second year of funding from the Legislature to 180 schools in 32 districts. The council also received an update...

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KASB Employee Benefit Solutions program grows

The ranks of KASB’s Employee Benefit Solutions customers continue to grow, as three additional districts prepare to entrust their employee benefits with the organization.   Andover USD 385, Concordia USD 333 and Lyndon USD 421 are the newest customers of EBS.   Employee Benefit Solutions, which is offered by KASB Risk Management, is a technology-based service that improves management of both employer sponsored benefits and voluntary benefits. EBS streamlines the annual job of selecting benefits.  KASB for decades has offered districts workers’ compensation, property casualty and student accident insurance. With the recent addition of Employee Benefit Solutions, KASB Assistant Executive Director of Risk Management...

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Kansas teacher vacancies increase 27 percent over last fall

Teacher vacancies in Kansas increased by 27 percent over this time last year, according to figures given Tuesday to the State Board of Education. There were 815 vacancies reported currently, compared with 642 last fall. There were 550 last spring. The largest number of vacancies have been in special education — 186 this year and 158 last fall, followed by elementary — 115 this year and 113 last fall. Science, English Language Arts and math round out the top five groups of vacancies. Teaching licenses for new Kansas graduates and out-of-state applicants has steadily decreased over the past six years. In 2014,...

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KASB BOLD session set for Topeka on Thursday and Friday

The first meeting of this year’s KASB BOLD class will convene this week and cover sessions on school board relationships, building leadership teams and problem solving. The Thursday-Friday meeting will be held at KASB’s headquarters in Topeka and feature talks from KASB executive staff and former KASB presidents Frank Henderson Jr., a member of the Seaman USD 345 board and NSBA board, and Patrick Woods, a member of the Topeka USD 501 board. In its third year, the Business Operations Leadership Development (BOLD) program includes six training sessions developed by KASB leadership staff, KASB business partners and experts from across the...

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School districts should be on alert for email-paycheck scam

School districts should be on alert about cyber-scammers using email to get a district employee’s paycheck. The fraudulent email usually says the employee has changed banks and needs to have their paycheck re-routed. The problem is, the money is sent to a fake account. School districts are urged to have processes in place to ward off such attacks. This would include personal verification by contacting the employee before authorizing such a payroll change. Districts that are victimized by such a scam should check with their property and casualty insurance carrier to see if such a loss is covered.

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50 years ago, Kansans set up the State Board of Education

In the early days of the Kansas State Board of Education, board members raced to get up to speed on public education issues and were quickly immersed in the politics of the day, according to news articles and minutes of board meetings from the late 1960s. This year represents the 50th anniversary of the board’s existence.   On Nov. 8, 1966, Kansas voters approved a constitutional amendment on education that essentially modernized the state’s education system into what we know today.   The change created an elected State Board of Education, instead of one appointed by the governor, and replaced the Kansas State...

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KASB workshop designed to help teachers, administrators make all students feel welcome

Craig Wilford, with KASB Leadership Services, is on a mission to help schools make all students feel welcome and worthy.  Wilford is leading a KASB workshop on “Developing Cultural Proficiency” that will be held  Wed. Oct. 30 in Topeka. Here is a link for more information.   Developing cultural proficiency in schools is about enabling teachers and staff to look at the school experience through the eyes of those who may be different than they are.  “To put it into a nutshell, it’s really about respecting and recognizing individual students and their differences, making every student valuable and worthy within your school building,”...

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State Board of Education combines busy agenda with 50th anniversary

At this month’s State Board of Education meeting, the board will observe its 50th anniversary with a history lesson and reception while also conducting business as it has for the past half-century — meeting, discussing and making decisions on a broad range of education policy issues. The State Board meets Tuesday and Wednesday; here is a link to the agenda. Mary Madden, museum and education division director for the Kansas State Historical Society, will present a summary of the State Board’s origins. Following her presentation, there will be a reception to celebrate the anniversary and citizen leadership in public education. The first...

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