Student Issues

Remote learning dollars being shifted to other purposes

State officials are moving around federal COVID-19 funds, including millions of dollars that were initially earmarked to assist in remote learning for Kansas students, to help other functions, such as distributing the expected COVID-19 vaccine. Julie Lorenz, executive director of the Office of Recovery, told the Joint Legislative Budget Committee earlier this week that $23.5 million of $40 million that had been set aside for supervised sites for online learning for school-age children will be moved to assist health care and businesses affected by the pandemic. Lorenz said the $40 million could not be disbursed by the Dec. 30 deadline attached...

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Teachers not in first round of COVID-19 vaccine distribution under preliminary plan

Teachers and other school personnel aren’t among those mentioned to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in the first round of distribution, which could start happening within weeks. Phil Griffin, director of disease control and prevention for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, unveiled Kansas’ preliminary vaccine distribution plan on Tuesday to the Legislative Budget Committee. Griffin noted that information changes almost hourly on vaccine developments and proposals on how and when people can receive the vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering authorization of several proposed vaccines. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to vote soon...

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COVID-19 mitigation efforts to be discussed at Dec. 9 `Lunch and Learn’

A December 9 event will offer K-12 education leaders the opportunity to understand the latest information on COVID-19 mitigation efforts as infection rates increase statewide.  The noon session via Zoom will be facilitated by KASB Deputy Executive Director Dr. Brian Jordan and will feature Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann and other members of the Kansas COVID Workgroup for Kids along with representatives from the Kansas State Department of Education, KASB, and USA-Kansas. The format will allow for questions from attendees.   KASB strongly encourages our members and their leadership teams to participate in this important session. Go here to register.  

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Winter sports to start as scheduled; proposed moratorium shortened

Winter high school sports competitions will start on time, according to a vote Tuesday by the Kansas State High School Activities Association board of directors. The board, made up of nearly 80 school officials from across the state, also jettisoned a portion of medical advice to fight the spread of COVID-19 by approving a shorter moratorium on winter sports that had been proposed earlier. Health officials wanted schools to cancel interscholastic competition for high schools, middle schools and junior high schools for six weeks from Dec. 1 through Jan. 14 — some even wanted a longer moratorium. But the KSHSAA board of...

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Comprehensive resource available to help families connect with assistance

A family that needs help with just about any problem a child could have is just a call or click away from connecting with that help by using a resource provided by the Kansas Children’s Service League. The comprehensive resource can also be a valuable tool for educators — teachers, staff, school board members and others — when trying to help students and families, especially during this turbulent pandemic. KCSL has launched a new 1800childrenks.org website and an app (1800CHILDRENKS) for mobile devices that provides information and connections to hundreds of programs addressing a multitude of needs, such as housing, food,...

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Board leaders discuss challenges and opportunities during KASB Coffee Chats

School board members on Thursday said districts are working hard to find replacement teachers, bus drivers and other staff as COVID-19 quarantines have impacted personnel. The comments were made during KASB Board of Education Leadership Coffee Chats that were held in various regions across the state via zoom. Board members from rural districts gave examples of superintendents and principals filling in as teachers, bus drivers, and kitchen staff as quarantines have taken effect. It has also been difficult to find substitute teachers in some districts, board members said. The pandemic has produced numerous challenges as many districts switch from between in-person to...

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KASB Advocacy Update at noon Friday (Nov. 20) will focus on upcoming legislative session

Come join us for the KASB Advocacy Update at noon Friday (Nov. 20) to discuss key education issues that will likely arise during the upcoming legislative session. To register for this online meeting, go to this link. Mark Tallman, KASB executive director for advocacy, will review his recent series of articles on questions that legislators will likely want answered for the 2021 session, which starts in January. (Those can be read here). G.A. Buie, executive director of United School Administrators-Kansas, will join the discussion. The meeting will be held via Zoom. There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. After...

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Gov. Kelly issues new mask mandate; wants schools, businesses open

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas explodes, Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday announced a new mask order and said she is determined to keep schools and businesses open. Under the order, which takes effect Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, counties that do not require mask wearing, would have one week to adopt a mandate or fall under the state order. Even so, Kelly acknowledged that current state law would allow any county to opt out of a mask requirement. Kelly said her proposal would allow counties to tailor their mandates to local conditions. In a news conference, Kelly urged...

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School Board Leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lara Bors, Garden City USD 457

No one ran for school board thinking they would be helping govern their district through our nation’s worst health crisis in more than a century. Debates over wearing masks, playing football, or even whether and how to open schools have kept school board meetings going late into many nights and filled the email boxes of school board members. During this time, we think it is important for board members to share their experiences with each other and the public so that we all may learn how to face this challenge before us. Lara Bors, is president of the Garden City...

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2020 KASB Convention will feature different delivery but still focus on connections, sharing, solutions

The 2020 KASB Convention will include all the features that make the annual gathering of school leaders special — connections with board members from across Kansas, access to innovative ideas and solutions, and the opportunity to hear from state and national speakers.  However, because of COVID-19, there will be one significant difference from previous years. You can participate in the Dec. 2-4 event from your home or anywhere else with an internet connection since the conference will be held via zoom.  Dubbed “Creating Communities,” the 2020 KASB convention will help school board members hit the refresh button after what has been...

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