Safety and Security

KASB official reviews how schools have responded to COVID-19 crisis

KASB Deputy Executive Director Brian Jordan Wednesday reviewed what school officials are doing to start continuous learning for students after schools were shut down for the rest of the school year because of the coronavirus outbreak. “Schools being closed does not mean we’re not providing education and supports for kids,” Jordan said in an interview with the Kansas Farm Bureau. The interview can be viewed here. Last week, Gov. Laura Kelly ordered schools closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Since then, school officials have been cleaning buildings, distributing meals to students and preparing continuous learning plans that will...

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COVID and Kansas public education

KASB has prepared a summary of what has transpired during this unprecedented disruption of public education and this historic response by educators, policymakers and everyday citizens across Kansas. We hope this handy guide to documents and policies will help as we go forward and continue teaching the next generation of Kansans. School closure for health and safety  Commission of Education Randy Watson “strongly recommends” public schools close for two weeks. (March 16)  Statewide organizations representing school boards, teachers and administrators offer support and guidance for dealing with school closure. Joint statement by Education Organizations, March 16. (KASB COVID-Resources page)  Governor Laura Kelly orders...

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KASB to conduct virtual Spring Regional Roundtable meetings

KASB has transformed its Spring Regional Roundtable meetings into three virtual meetings via Zoom that will focus on continuous developments during the coronavirus crisis.  The meetings will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on April 2, April 8 and April 9. For registration information, go to www.kasb.org and click on Upcoming Events.   The meetings will include discussion and updates on COVID-19, the board’s role, continuous learning, communication strategies and legal and legislative updates.  Once registered, participants will receive a registration confirmation from pinpoint@kasb.org that will include a Zoom link to join the meeting.      

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Mon. March 16

A bill that would allow the State Board of Education to waive the minimum required length of the school term was recommended Monday as schools face being closed for an indefinite period of time because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The measure was placed in SB 142, an unused school finance bill from last year, and may be considered by the full House as early as Tuesday as legislators race to finish their business and adjourn as the coronavirus crisis worsens. Current law allows the State Board to grant schools waivers of the length of term law — 1,116 hours of instruction...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. March 5

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday continued work on the Kansas State Department of Education budget and decided to put off some important decisions until later in the session. The committee accepted an amendment to add $5 million in grants for schools to help them improve safety and security in their buildings. The committee also said it would wait until later in the session to consider funding a statewide dyslexia coordinator and whether to increase special education funding from savings due to lower-than-expected student enrollment. And the committee continued wrestling with how to go forward in funding mental health services for public...

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KASB sponsored meetings and COVID-19 concerns

KASB continues to monitor concerns relating to public events and the COVID-19 Virus. At this time the Association plans to continue all scheduled meetings, activities and events.   As a precaution, we recommend that all participants suspend hand shaking/fist bumping greetings until otherwise noted.   We will continue to rely on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and local health departments for information and advice relating to how best to protect the safety and welfare of our staff and our meeting participants. If additional precautions are needed, staff and participants will be notified immediately.  The Association has initiated additional sanitation measures at...

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March issue of School Board Review available now

The March issue of School Board Review is full of news about what is happening in education from Washington, D.C. to Topeka and throughout Kansas. Here is a link to the publication and a hard copy should be arriving for school board members and administrators in the mail soon. Federal K-12 issues are previewed with insights from NSBA Executive Director Thomas Gentzel and new polling information about the public’s view of public schools. Meanwhile, KASB Advocacy/Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter provides coverage of KASB attendees recent trip to the NSBA Advocacy Institute in D.C. in which Kansas board members met with Kansas’ congressional...

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Kansas school and health officials respond to coronavirus

State education officials Friday urged people to use good hygiene and not spread rumors amid growing outbreaks of the new coronavirus. In a live Twitter discussion, Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said he was sending KDHE interim guide documents to schools about COVID-19. Watson, Susan McMahan, director of KSDE’s Safe and Secure Schools Unit and KSDE program consultant Mark Thompson urged Kansans to practice good hygiene by washing their hands frequently, covering their mouths when sneezing or coughing, staying home with a fever and not returning to school or work for at least 24 hours after the fever has dissipated without...

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KASB Daily Education Roundup, Wed. Jan. 29

A bill that could prevent school districts from filing lawsuits to redress harm -- such as the current litigation against e-cigarette manufacturers -- drew strong opposition Wednesday from KASB,  representatives of local governments and plaintiff's attorneys. The House Judiciary Committee took no action on HB 2461 but discussions on the measure are expected to continue. Here is a Facebook Live recap of the hearing and a look at Thursday and next week. Meanwhile, Thursday is shaping up to be a busy day on education bills in the Legislature as hearings are scheduled on bills to expand voucher/tuition tax credits, address liability...

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