Professional Personnel

State Board approves wide-ranging policies on dyslexia

The State Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved policies aimed at improving the identification of students with dyslexia, providing them with better services and increasing teacher training. The wide-ranging measures follow more than 18 months of discussion by educators, advocates, psychologists and other stakeholders and will require more funding, although a specific amount wasn’t cited. Board member Jim Porter, who had led a task force on dyslexia, said the policies are needed and represent compromises. “This is a nationwide movement and we are slow to come to the table,” Porter said. Cynthia Hadicke, an education program consultant for the Kansas State...

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More superintendent searches than usual

The school year hasn’t even reached the Thanksgiving break and KASB is already conducting a dozen school district superintendent searches in Kansas. “At this point in the year there seems to be a little bit higher number this year than in past years,” said Dr. Brian Jordan, who is deputy executive director of KASB Leadership Services. Jordan said many superintendents —just as in the ranks of teachers — are nearing retirement age. In addition, he said with the recent increases in school funding, some superintendents feel the time is right to step down — satisfied they can leave the district in...

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Women’s Leadership Summit to feature Smarsh and Fagan

The Kansas Association of School Boards and United School Administrators-Kansas 2nd Annual Women’s Leadership Summit will feature award-winning author Sarah Smarsh and Dr. Helen Fagan, CEO and Founder of the Global Leadership Group.   The Summit, March 24-25, 2020 at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center in Manhattan, will offer female school board members and school administrators opportunities to learn and network about timely topics including recognizing and overcoming bias, managing leadership transitions, balancing work and healthy lifestyles, and self-confident communication. Speakers and panelists will include state-level and local female leaders from across Kansas.  “We’re excited to build on the success...

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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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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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Effective supervisor workshop focuses on communication, hiring and legal issues

Close to 60 directors, supervisors and administrators gathered Thursday in Topeka for the first of two “Becoming an Effective Supervisor: Director’s Workshops.” A repeat of this workshop is scheduled for Wed. Oct. 16 in Garden City.  The 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. meeting focused on leadership, communication, hiring, evaluation and legal issues for classified and support personnel. Attendees learned about building trust, conducting difficult conversations, hiring the best candidate and becoming the leaders for change and improvement.  Gary Sechrist, KASB leadership services field specialist, led the group in discussions on effective communication and conducting difficult conversations with employees. His recommendations include...

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Upcoming KASB Leadership workshops

Upcoming KASB Leadership Services workshops this week focus on school redesign aimed at improving student success and supervisor skills. On Wed. Oct. 9 in Topeka, Drs. Brian Jordan and Doug Moeckel will conduct a workshop on redesigning schools to align with the state’s accreditation system. Jordan is deputy director of KASB and Moeckel is a leadership services field specialist. The Leading the Change Effort and Connecting to KESA workshop focuses on helping schools pursue continuous improvement. The Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) is the state’s K-12 accrediting model, and local boards of education play a critical role in KESA, from...

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October issue of KASB School Board Review is available

Articles on education equity, the effect of social media on our students, the school bond environment, KASB’s upcoming annual conference and more are featured in the October issue of School Board Review, which is available online here. This month’s publication includes the final installment of KASB Associate Executive Director of Advocacy and Communications Mark Tallman’s analysis of equity in student success. KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about how young people today face challenges their parents didn’t — namely that their exploits are recorded forever in the digital world. KASB’s Rob Gilligan, government relations specialist, analyzes opportunities to reinvest in school...

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Percentage of students who say they have been bullied at school has decreased slightly

A survey of Kansas students shows incidents of bullying at school have slightly decreased, but more students feel unsafe at school while officials said the state would benefit by a more comprehensive survey method. The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying on Wednesday received updated results from the Kansas Communities That Care student survey. The survey is taken on a volunteer basis by students in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades and tracks use of harmful substances and anti-social behaviors. In 2018, 30.7 percent of sixth-graders said they were bullied at school at least once. That dropped to 28.6 percent in...

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