Professional Personnel

KASB Legislative Committee recommends priorities for school districts

The Kansas Association of School Boards Legislative Committee has proposed a set of state and local priorities for 2021. The proposals will be finalized by the KASB Delegate Assembly, which is scheduled to meet virtually on Jan. 21.  School leaders are encouraged to review these proposals with their local boards of education. Each KASB member school board has a voting delegate at the assembly, which will discuss and consider any amendments before approving the documents.  Local boards may also use these recommendations as a guide for determining their own priorities for the upcoming legislative session and input to state and federal...

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KDOL sets up website to help stop fraudulent unemployment compensation claims

The Kansas Department of Labor on Wednesday announced an enhanced effort to stop identity theft which is being used to collect fraudulent unemployment compensation. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudulent unemployment claims made by stealing the personal information of people who have not lost their jobs has been on the rise. This has affected private businesses and government, including school districts. In response, KDOL created the www.ReportFraud.ks.gov website. The site serves as a one-stop shop for any person who suspects she or he may have been a victim of identity theft. Once a suspected identity theft claim is reported on the site,...

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Starting Anew: Wabaunsee USD 329 reopening promotes safe onsite learning but ready to pivot if necessary

The Wabaunsee USD 329 school district is situated in the Flint Hills just west of Topeka.   The rural district of about 450 students has been relatively lightly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its five schools were able to open as planned in mid-August with nearly all children attending in person. Look beyond the pastoral setting and the smiles of students on the playground, though, and you’ll find USD 329’s reopening was the result of months of intense planning by Board of Education members, administrators, teachers and staff to respond to the continuing uncertainties presented by the pandemic while...

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KASB Legislative Committee approves draft of state policy positions

KASB’s Legislative Committee has approved a first draft of proposed state legislative policy positions for 2021. KASB members will discuss the positions and provide feedback at Regional Roundtables on September 30, October 7 and October 14. The final document, which will guide KASB advocacy efforts in the 2021 Kansas legislative session, will be approved by the KASB Delegate Assembly in January 2021.  The proposed state policy positions primarily focus on how to support K-12 public schools as they continue to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Positions include supporting safe operations in schools in all learning modes; increasing...

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KASB moves annual convention to online because of pandemic

The KASB Board of Directors on Saturday approved holding its 2020 Annual Convention online instead of in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual convention will be held from Wed. Dec. 2 through Fri. Dec. 4. Traditionally, the KASB convention is the largest gathering of elected school board members and district leaders in Kansas. Because of the spreading virus and social distance guidelines, KASB leadership decided several months ago to start planning for an online convention. “Hopefully it results in more engagement for our membership, I’m excited to see how this works,” said KASB President Lori Blake, a member of the Southeast...

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Kansas Education Commissioner Watson receives USA-Kansas award

Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson has been named the recipient of the 2020 United School Administrators of Kansas Outstanding Service Award. The award, presented to Watson on Friday by USA-Kansas Executive Director G.A. Buie, is the highest recognition the organization bestows upon an individual member and is given to one who has provided exceptional contributions to the profession and their organization and exhibits exemplary leadership to education in Kansas. Watson has been the state’s chief education officer since 2015 and before that served as a superintendent and assistant superintendent of McPherson USD 418 for 22 years. He began his education...

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KASB offers Board Leadership Training On-Demand to help districts

KASB is offering a new service to school board members to help navigate the changing world of public education during this unprecedented time, which requires finding new ways to help students succeed and operate schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Board Leadership Training On-Demand is a series of training modules that includes videos on building strong, efficient district leadership teams, worksheets tied to specific topics and virtual forums in which education leaders can share information and discuss timely issues. Board Leadership Training On-Demand will culminate with live question and answer sessions via zoom with KASB Leadership staff on Aug. 28 and...

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Reopening school guidance released by KSDE

State education officials Tuesday released their guidance to help start the new school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the leaders emphasized that local districts with local input will decide how their schools will reopen. The “Navigating Change 2020” draft guidance was released to the State Board of Education, which is scheduled to vote on it Wednesday. Here is a link to the document. Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson acknowledged a wide variance of public opinion existed on how schools should re-start, along with much anxiety as the start of school approaches in mid-August as COVID-19 cases have been on the...

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Training for Evaluation of Principals and Teachers scheduled

KASB will offer it annual Training for Evaluation of Principals and Teachers in July. The first session will be held July 23 in Wichita and the second one on July 28 in Dodge City. For more information and to register, go to this link. This training is geared toward principals and teachers who are seeking best practices with the evaluation process to drive professional growth. The morning session will focus on evidence and artifacts seen throughout the evaluation. The afternoon will discuss the evaluation timeline and process. Team trainings can be scheduled for individual districts if needed.

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KASB School Law Workshop set for July 21

The KASB School Law Workshop 2020 will be held both on-site and online on Tue. July 21. The workshop for school attorneys, administrators and board member will cover numerous topics, including the legal implications of school closures during health emergencies, negotiations, board policy updates, IDEA and the relationship between the law and technology in schools. The workshop will be offered onsite at KASB in Topeka (includes lunch) and simulcast via Zoom for those who register to attend the hosted virtual session. A KASB staff member will facilitate the virtual session, which could be limited on the number of participants to accommodate...

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