State Board of Ed

State Board of Education approves mental health grants

More Kansas schools and students will be benefiting from state mental health grants. Earlier this week, the State Board of Education approved $3.8 million to school districts and $2 million to local community health centers for the Mental Health Intervention Team Program for the 2019-20 school year. The effort started last year as a pilot program to increase mental health services for students. Nine districts benefitted from the pilot program last year. Now funds will be going to 31 districts to hire school liaisons who will coordinate services for students between the staff, parents and mental health centers and will also provide...

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Officials raising awareness of school bus law; may seek changes to make it easier to enforce

Alarmed by the number of motorists who drive by stopped school buses that are displaying flashing red lights and have extended the mechanical stop arm, officials are trying to raise awareness of the law and are considering changes in the law to make it easier to enforce. “School bus safety should be a top priority year-round,” said Keith Dreiling, director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s School Bus Safety Unit. “It is the responsibility of everyone to make sure Kansas students remain safe. School buses remain very safe, but we know that student passengers are most vulnerable when they...

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Plan floated to replace 10th grade state test with ACT in 11th grade

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson is floating the idea of having all Kansas students take the ACT in 11th grade instead of the state assessments in math and English in 10th grade.  Watson briefed the State Board of Education about the proposal on Tuesday. Several board members had questions about the idea, which has been explored in a number of other states.   Board Chair Kathy Busch asked Watson to provide an update on the issue next month and then possibly bring it to the board in October for some kind of action.  Watson said he would reach out to school superintendents at...

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Kansas will consider raising age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes

Officials said Tuesday they will seek an increase in the minimum age in Kansas to purchase tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, from 18 to 21. Education and health officials say the change is needed because of the drastic increase in young people vaping, or using e-cigarettes. “It has exploded. It is an epidemic,” said Mark Thompson, a program consultant with the Kansas State Department of Education. Officials told the State Board of Education that a bill to raise the age is being prepared for the 2020 Kansas legislative session, which starts in January. The proposal coincides with increasing efforts by education and health...

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School security, vaping on State Board of Education’s agenda

As a new school year starts across Kansas, the State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive updates on school security and student use of e-cigarettes. Here is a link to the board’s agenda and background materials. E-cigarette use increased 48 percent among middle school students and 78 percent among high school students between 2017 and 2018, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Currently, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students across the United States used e-cigarettes in 2018. These increases have led the Surgeon General and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human...

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State and national experts on tap for IDEA workshops

State and national experts on special education advocacy and practice will present at KASB’s IDEA workshops later this month. Click here to register.   The workshops are on Aug. 27 in Topeka; Aug. 28 in Dodge City and Aug. 29 in Salina. Each workshop will feature regional special education experts and KASB General Counsel and Assistant Executive Director of Policy Donna Whiteman. National School Boards Association Chief Advocacy Officer Chip Slaven will join KASB Advocacy staff Leah Fliter and Rob Gilligan and NSBA Western Region Director Frank Henderson of the Seaman USD 345 Board of Education to brief attendees on the...

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Application deadline today for KASB’s new Advanced Advocacy Training Institute

The application deadline for the first KASB Advanced Advocacy Training Institute (AATI) is fast approaching, and interested parties are encouraged to send their completed applications soon.   Designed to put a greater focus on developing a network of public education advocates throughout Kansas, the AATI Program will give participants added skills and training in effectively supporting our K-12 system.    The program begins at the end of August with a training session on federal Issues that will include support from NSBA Chief Lobbyist, Chip Slaven. In October, KASB Prestige Partner Piper Jafray will host a visit to USD 266 Maize where we will...

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KASB hosts session on leading change for school redesign teams

Over 250 educators from the “Apollo” school redesign districts received training in the art and science of leading change this week, led by KASB’s leadership services staff.  The Apollo schools are the fourth group approved by the Kansas State Board of Education for the Kansans Can “Moonshot” redesign program, which began with the Mercury 7 districts in 2017. The purpose of the program is to increase student graduation rates, postsecondary education and preparation for adult life through more individualized education that better engages students.  Redesigning schools to improve student success, particularly for students who continue to struggle in the current system,...

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KASB Summer Regional Roundtables continue this week in McPherson, Greenbush, Haysville, Topeka and Olathe

Hot education topics ranging from student safety to school redesign are among those being discussed at KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings that continue this week. Meetings will be held Tuesday in McPherson and Greenbush; Wednesday in Haysville and Topeka and Thursday in Olathe. At meetings last week in Stafford, Hiawatha and Colby, school board members and other leaders discussed challenges and opportunities for the upcoming school year. In addition to student safety and redesign, the topics focused on were legislative priorities, the 2020 Census and local issues. For more information and to register online go to www.kasb.org and click on the specific...

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KASB Summer Regionals kick off in Hiawatha, Stafford

School leaders in Stafford and Hiawatha met Wednesday to discuss major education issues and how to improve Kansas public schools as the KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings kicked off. The next meeting is set for Thursday in Colby with meetings scheduled next week in McPherson, Greenbush, Haysville, Topeka and Olathe. Board members and district leaders discussed challenges and opportunities in schools after KASB provided focus topics that included school safety, school redesign, the 2020 Census, upcoming legislative session and local issues. In Hiawatha, board members and superintendents from the Atchison, Hiawatha, Sabetha, Marysville and Washington school districts said they worry that the...

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