Professional Personnel

LFT class hears from two Gemini districts

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org & Carol Pitts, cpitts@kasb.org During the first session of KASB’s 2019 Leadership for Tomorrow class, class members learned about the diversity of Kansas school districts and ways to make informed, reasonable decisions that will affect student success. As part of a get-to-know-you exercise, the class of 27 board members and administrators from across Kansas lined up from smallest enrollment district to largest; then from smallest to largest district in area and from the district with the lowest poverty rate to the one with the highest rate. The exercise showed the variance in Kansas’ 286 districts. Members also noted [...]

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BOLD class learns ABCs of bond issues

By Scott Rothschild, srothschild@kasb.org Bringing a school bond issue to a successful public vote and then carrying through with the construction projects requires years of planning and expert assistance. That was the message from education, financial, architecture and construction leaders to KASB’s BOLD class of school leaders recently. “There is a lot of time and energy that goes into a bond issue,” said Basehor-Linwood USD 458 Superintendent David Howard, whose rapidly growing district has had two approved bond issues since 2015. Howard said to win voter approval, school districts must enlist the help of community leaders to explain the needs of the district [...]

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KASB making several staffing changes

The KASB Board of Directors recently announced several staff changes that will take effect July 1. Brian Jordan, who is currently head of Leadership Services, will become Deputy Executive Director. Doug Moeckel, the current Deputy Executive Director, will continue as a Leadership Services Field Specialist. Two new staffers are joining KASB. They are Sue Givens, who is currently superintendent of El Dorado USD 490, and Britton Hart, who is the current principal of Emporia High School, Emporia USD 253. Givens will take over as a Field Service Specialist for Leadership Services, replacing Craig Wilford, who is retiring. Hart will join as Director [...]

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Preparing for the worst: Active shooter drill tests response to events we hope will never happen

by Andrea Hartzell, ahartzell@kasb.org 9:37 a.m. a person walked into the front office of Washburn Rural Middle School. Suddenly shots ring out. The shooter had incapacitated the office staff and moved out into the commons area. A blond woman in a gray hoodie - she shouted out a name - looking for someone. She started shooting again; running through the hallways as smoke filled the air and the smell of gunpowder permeated our noses. In one hallway two students were shot, injured and screaming for help. In another, four. Down another hall two, one fatally. Shots continued to ring out. [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. April 2

House and Senate school finance negotiators made little headway Tuesday and then adjourned without setting a time to meet up again.  Sen. Molly Baumgardner, R-Louisburg, and Rep. Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, had a testy exchange when the committee broke for the day.  Williams declined to say when she wanted to meet again nor say when she would let Baumgardner know. That happened after Baumgardner told Williams that the Senate wanted to stick with its SB 142 funding plan — applying the inflation adjustment for the next four years and approved by the full Senate in a 32-8 bipartisan vote.   Williams has pushed for [...]

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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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KASB’s 2019 Leadership for Tomorrow class begins work

The first session of KASB’s 2019 Leadership for Tomorrow class meets this week with visits to Beloit USD 273 and North Ottawa County USD 239. The LFT class of 27 public education leaders from across Kansas will get to know each other, hear from KASB experts on leadership and from Beloit and North Ottawa County school leaders. Both districts have been realigning school operations as part of the “Gemini” portion of the Kansans Can School Redesign Project. The LFT class will meet at Beloit High School on Thursday and Minneapolis High School on Friday. LFT gives board members, superintendents and administrators time [...]

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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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