Safety and Security

New edition of KASB School Board Review is available

The new issue of School Board Review is available and features stories on the emphasis on early childhood services, a call for school board service as the candidate filing deadline nears, a wrap up of the legislative session and a look at what’s on the horizon for educators. The June issue is available here online and will be mailed out early next week. The edition also contains advice for school boards to reflect on what they did the past year to drive student success, a preview of the new task force that will recommend ways to address bullying, analyses of trends [...]

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State Board of Education seeks policies to address increase in students using e-cigarettes

Concerned by the explosive increase in the number of young people using e-cigarettes, the State Board of Education on Tuesday said it will work to help districts enact enhanced policies to make schools tobacco- and vape-free and help students who have become addicted. “I had no idea how serious this problem is,” Board Member Jim McNiece said after a presentation by school and health officials. McNiece and other board members expressed alarm over the increased use by students of the battery-powered e-cigarettes that can deliver high quantities of nicotine and other harmful chemicals through a liquid. Board members also decried the [...]

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Education bills approved this session

While school finance dominated much of the first part of the 2019 legislative session, legislators turned their attention to other education issues as well.   Here is a list of bills approved and signed into law that will affect schools:   SB 9 - Authorizing the transfer of $115 million from the state general fund to the Kansas public employee's retirement fund during fiscal year 2019.     SB 16 - Amendments to the Kansas school equity and enhancement act and other statutes related to education (Gannon lawsuit response).     Increases BASE for school years 2019-23;     Changes schedule of school finance audits;     Requires KSDE to prepare state accountability reports and school district funding reports;    State [...]

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Numerous issues to be covered at KASB School Law Workshop and KSAA Meeting

Bullying, gender identity, suicide and many more issues that school leaders deal with will be covered during the KASB School Law Workshop and KSAA Meeting in Wichita later this month. The May 29-30 event also coincides with 2019 USA-Kansas Conference.  On May 29, the School Law Workshop includes a session led by Donna Whiteman, KASB’s assistant executive director of legal services, on Kansas’ anti-bullying law, what schools must do to investigate alleged incidents, how to hand complaints from students and parents and ensuring that bullying behaviors stop.  The first day also includes a session on accommodating transgender and gender non-conforming students and [...]

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KASB Live at 12:30 p.m. today to review wrap up session; trends in school salaries

KASB Live will start at 12:30 p.m. today to review the developing budget agreement and tax cut bill as the Legislature works toward ending the wrap up session. Here is a link to join the discussion. Following the legislative update, KASB Live will feature a special report covering national and state trends in school salaries. The budget agreement that will be considered by legislators during the wrap up session contains several items important to education leaders, including more funding for mental health and school security. On the issue of school salaries, KASB recently issued two reports -- one showing the growing gap [...]

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Tue. April 30

Budget writers received state financial updates, Gov. Laura Kelly’s budget amendments and had numerous conversations on spending proposals on Tuesday — one day before the start of the wrap-up of the 2019 legislative session. While the new school finance plan has already been approved and is before the Kansas Supreme Court for review, numerous smaller education programs remain before legislators. In the House Appropriations Committee, on a motion from state Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichtia, and seconded by House K-12 Education Budget Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, the appropriators removed a proposal to add $130,000 ($86,726 from the State General Fund) for three [...]

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Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying sets meetings across the state

A new state task force aimed at reducing and preventing bullying will hold a series of public meetings across Kansas. The goals of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying are to study the problem, coordinate with stakeholders, review work in areas of social and emotional learning; review current statutes and practices and make recommendations to the State Board of Education. The task force will be seeking public input either through written or verbal comments. Written comments can be sent to Amy Martin at admartin@ksde.org. Members of the 37-member task force include educators, legislators, counselors, parents, advocates, attorneys and others. Lori Blake, [...]

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Schools and students aren’t just test scores

As thousands of students across Kansas complete their state tests, Education Commissioner Randy Watson says those who try to rank Kansas schools and student achievement based on one assessment are missing the mark.  “What is easy to measure gives us an incomplete picture,” Watson said recently to the State Board of Education.   Using only the Kansas Assessment Program tests to gauge student success would be like trying to improve one’s health by only losing weight, instead of also trying to improve additional health indicators, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, Watson said.  Watson also noted how using state assessments alone could [...]

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Gov. Kelly signs into law SB 128, requiring nine safety drills per school year

Gov. Laura Kelly has signed into law SB 128, which requires schools conduct at least nine safety drills per year. Last year, the Legislature adopted a budget proviso that required 16 drills, including nine crisis or lockdown drills. Educators said 16 drills, which amounted to one every couple of weeks, took away too much instruction time and frightened some students. SB 128 was supported by KASB and other educators as a more reasonable approach. The nine drills includes four fire, three crisis and two tornado drills each school year.

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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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