Safety and Security

KASB statement on immigrant children in detention

KASB appreciates Congress’s action to begin to address the inhumane conditions at facilities where immigrant children are being detained, particularly when separated from their families.   KASB stands with the National School Boards Association in recognizing that the inhumane treatment of children and their families seeking entry or asylum into the United States is traumatic for the children and their families. Lack of adequate food, housing, health care, basic hygiene, educational services and social and emotional support causes trauma that severely inhibits children’s ability to learn and function.  This issue is specifically a concern to KASB because we know some of these...

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Responses sought on current efforts to combat school bullying

A work group of the blue-ribbon task force on school bullying is seeking information through an online questionnaire.  The questionnaire is specifically directed at administrators, counselors, teachers and other support staff, but could be filled out by others, including board members and students. Here is a link. It asks what respondents know about current policies and efforts to address bullying, and what they wish the school was doing.  The task force was created by Education Commissioner Randy Watson in response to data that 28 percent of students in grades six through twelve experience bullying, despite years of efforts to address the...

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KASB announces Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative

To develop a deeper understanding and network of education advocates in Kansas, KASB is excited to announce the Advanced Advocacy Training Initiative (AATI) for the 2019-2020 school year.  “With the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in support of the four-year school finance plan adopted by the Kansas Legislature, advocacy and support for education becomes more critical than ever,” said KASB governmental relations specialist Rob Gilligan. “The focus of our efforts will now be less on securing additional funding than on keeping the long-term financial commitments in place and ensuring that we communicate effectively the progress that continues to be made...

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KASB Focus: Restorative practice: Is it a game changer in improving school climate?

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org  Continuing concerns about how Kansas students’ social and emotional health, bullying and other behavioral challenges affect learning have prompted educational leaders to explore new ways to influence school climate. “Restorative practice” is one such strategy.  Restorative practice, also known as restorative justice, works to keep students in school while addressing problem behavior and its impact on the school community. Students are held accountable for their behavior, but educators are trained to look for the root causes of the behavior and respond accordingly.  For example, a student witnesses a fight between her parents just before she leaves for school. Upset...

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Task force hears numerous ideas to reduce bullying in schools

Focusing on restorative justice, social and emotional health of students and early childhood learning were some of the ideas touted Tuesday to address bullying behavior. Educators and others discussed ways to reduce bullying at the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying, which met in Garden City at Horace Good Middle School. “We’re starting to come together,” said Rick Ginsberg, task force co-chair and dean of the School of Education at Kansas University. The group, charged with making recommendations to the State Board of Education in December, will next meet Aug. 5 in Salina. Several young people from McPherson wrote the task force...

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U.S. Department of Education announces new grant applications for school climate program

Kansas schools working on improving school climate, please take note: the U.S. Department of Education has invited applications for the School Climate Transformation Grant Program. School districts may seek funding for implementing a multi-tiered system of support for improving school climate. The department will prioritize support for certain communities that will benefit from implementation of this system, including rural communities, Tribal communities, and Local Education Agencies that are in Qualified Opportunity Zones. This discretionary grant program has a total of $40 million in estimated available funds, contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of applications. Applications are due by July...

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Kansas teens urged to share thoughts on how to stop bullying

Kansas students are being asked to share their thoughts on bullying as the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying Prevention prepares for its second meeting on Tuesday in Garden City. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Horace Good Middle School, 1412 N. Main St. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and there will be a public comment session offered at each regional site meeting. The meetings will include presentations on bullying and bullying statistics and data. Public input can be submitted in writing or presented verbally. Written comments, which will be read during the...

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KASB Policy Updates available

KASB’s Spring 2019 policy updates are now available.   This set of updates reflects the latest legal developments, including the impact of the 2019 Kansas legislative session on recommended school board policies. Updated and current board policies support you as you work to provide a quality educational program.  “Well-written policy ensures compliance with state and federal law, sets a foundation for fair and efficient school governance, and defines the board’s position and expectations in managing and operating local public schools,” said KASB Senior Attorney Angie Stallbaumer. “KASB’s Legal Department is pleased to offer these policy updates to our members.”   This comprehensive assistance in...

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State Board of Education will take up recommendations aimed at reducing vaping

Alarmed by drastic increases in the use of e-cigarettes by Kansas students, the State Board of Education next week will consider recommendations aimed at curbing vaping among young people. The State Board meets Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11-12. The e-cigarette issue will be considered Tuesday afternoon. Here is a link to the board’s agenda and backup materials. Last month, K-12 and state health officials reported significant increases in the use of e-cigarettes, warned about the health problems and addictive qualities of vaping and said new devices are enabling young people to use e-cigarettes secretively in school and use them with illegal...

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Next round of early childhood meetings set for Hays, Medicine Lodge, Liberal, Dodge City

Early childhood advocates will conduct community meetings next week in Hays, Medicine Lodge, Liberal and Dodge City. The meetings are designed to gather public input on early childhood services and needs in Kansas. Advocates want to put together a statewide strategic plan to enhance access to children and family services. The one-hour meetings will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Fort Hays State University Memorial Union in Hays and 5:30 p.m. at The Peoples Bank in Medicine Lodge; Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Liberal at MacArthur Elementary School; and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the Dodge City Library. The early...

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