State Board of Ed

The big question of the summer: Will schools re-open in August?

By Scott Rothschild   srothschild@kasb.org  Now that the school year is over, the question on the minds of students, parents, teachers and board members is — will schools re-open in August?  Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson says at this point, that’s the plan.  “We are cautiously optimistic we will be in school in August 2020,” Watson said recently.  After schools were shut down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Kansas teachers won praise for quickly developing continuous learning programs through online instruction and sending lesson packets to students’ homes. But teachers across the state have also acknowledged that without daily contact in the classroom,...

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May issue of School Board Review focuses on end of school, plans for next school year

The May issue of School Board Review covers how the “new normal” was anything but normal this year as students, parents and educators dealt with the statewide school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the issue jumps into the conversation on what happens next. Will schools re-open in August, and if so, what will they be like? In her final column as president of KASB, Shannon Kimball calls on local school board members to listen to and follow sound public health advice when tackling the tough issue of planning for school in the fall. The May issue also includes important information...

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Elections 2020: Deadline to file candidacy is Monday, June 1

By Leah Fliter lfliter@kasb.org Elections will proceed as scheduled this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. With the Monday, June 1 filing deadline approaching, school leaders should be looking at candidates who they believe can best represent their values, including possibly running themselves. Several legislators and State Board of Education members began their public service as school board members and educators. Every seat in the Kansas Legislature is on the ballot, so the August primary and November general elections will be particularly important for Kansas public education because the final years of the funding formula that settled the Gannon school finance case...

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Legislature passes bills on COVID response, education and tax policies on final day

Just short of 24 hours after it began, the final day of the 2020 Legislature passed a multi-part bill addressing the COVID pandemic that Democrats say could be vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly.  The Legislature also approved a bundle of several education bills, including a provision allowing districts to pay for student tuition in dual high school/college courses, and combined a number tax provisions.  Here are the provisions:  COVID response – HB 2054. Bill description. Conference Committee report.   The bill appropriates federal funding Kansas receives from COVID relief to the Legislative Coordinating Council, rather than the office of the Governor. It requires state...

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Kansas’ Tabatha Rosproy named 2020 National Teacher of the Year

As a child, Tabatha Rosproy often accompanied her mother, a nurse, to the nursing home where her mother worked. Tabatha C. Rosproy Tabatha said as a child she connected well with the elderly residents. It’s no wonder then that Tabatha would grow up to become a preschool teacher and develop a program where her classroom was housed in a retirement community. It was that kind of initiative that led to Winfield USD 465’s Rosproy being named the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year. On Thursday, Rosproy was named 2020 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers. “I...

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Legislators seek changes to continuous learning plans

Some legislators on Tuesday indicated they want to make changes to continuous learning plans if the online instruction practice is needed next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The House K-12 Education Budget Committee approved a proposal that would require that continuous learning plans include some “direct contact instruction.” The proposal also sets specific amounts of time that teachers must provide reading, math and English instruction and calls for accountability measures to gauge student progress. Here is a link to the proposal.   The plan, put together by Committee Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, will be sent as a recommendation to the...

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KASB to offer two online sessions today: Advocacy and `Leadership Through a New Lens’

KASB will conduct two online sessions today (May 18) — one to help new school board members and one to provide an advocacy update on budget issues, the 2020 legislative session and State Board of Education developments. The advocacy session, which starts at noon today, is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media. There is no registration fee but pre-registration is required. To register in advance for this meeting, go to this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The session will feature updates on...

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KASB online session Monday to provide advocacy update on numerous education issues

KASB will conduct an online legislative and advocacy update at noon Monday, May 18 to review budget issues, the 2020 session and State Board of Education developments.  This session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media.   There is no registration fee but pre-registration is required. To register in advance for this meeting, go to this link.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  The session will feature updates on state and federal issues as the Legislature prepares for a one-day end of session on...

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New survey shows challenges in continuous learning online

While Kansas’ continuous learning plans during the coronavirus school closure have received high marks, districts are reporting challenges, especially in reaching some students online, according to a new survey released Tuesday. Kansas K-12 schools were shut down March 17 through an executive order by Gov. Laura Kelly. Kelly also ordered the Kansas State Department of Education to formulate guidance for school districts to put in place continuous learning plans for the state’s half million students. These plans — many of which were launched within a week of school closures — include online instruction, paper lesson packets and small group teaching. After the...

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`All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan,’ other pre-school programs approved by State Board of Education

A plan aimed at improving early childhood services in Kansas won approval Tuesday from the State Board of Education. Earlier this month, officials announced Kansas had received a nearly $9 million federal grant to implement the “All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan.” The grant could potentially grow to $27 million over three years. The plan seeks to set up a statewide structure to help communities provide families the services they need for quality early childhood care and education. The plan is also aimed at helping develop early childcare  professionals and working with the public and private sectors to create opportunities...

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