Student Issues

Committee seeks faster transfer of foster student records

A special legislative committee studying the Kansas foster care system is asking state agencies to address delays in the transfer of school records for students who change schools due to foster care placement.  The request was part of a package of recommendations to improve the foster care system following six days of hearings and discussion. Much of the focus was on the challenges of families in crisis, the special issues of children who are also in the juvenile justice system or who have additional physical, mental and behavioral needs, and coordinating the multiple agencies and organizations, including schools, that are...

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Gov. Kelly says she will try again for a mask requirement

Citing the recent record surge of COVID-19 cases in Kansas, especially in rural areas, Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday she will again try to implement a requirement that Kansans wear face masks when out in public. Kelly had issued a statewide mask order in July, but 90 of Kansas’ 105 counties quickly opted out. Since then, the number of deaths in Kansas from COVID-19 increased from 200 to 952 and the number of COVID-19 cases has grown from 14,000 to nearly 75,000. In recent days, Kansas is adding approximately 700 coronavirus cases per day and officials said hospitals are starting...

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Children in foster care need to graduate high school, judge says

A Kansas judge who presides over hundreds of child in need cases says the system faces daunting challenges on many levels, including the low graduation rate of students in foster care. About 39 percent of foster care students graduate high school in Kansas as compared with 50 percent nationally, Sedgwick County 18th District Judge Kevin Smith told the Special Committee on Foster Care Oversight. When most foster children don’t attain a high school diploma, they have difficulties throughout life and many times end up in the criminal justice system, Smith said. “We need to graduate them,” he said. Another problem, Smith said,...

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KASB leaders will discuss broadband at state policy summit

KASB President-Elect Brad Bergsma and Past President Shannon Kimball will discuss education and broadband at the 2020 Kansas Economic Policy Conference on Thursday.   The virtual conference is organized this year around the question, “What is the Role of Government in a Crisis?”   Registration for the conference is free but required. You can register here.  Kimball and Bergsma’s panel will occur in the 1:30-3:20 p.m. time slot on Thursday. They will be joined by fellow panelists Catherine Moyer, CEO & General Manager, Pioneer Communications and Germaine Haleguoa, Associate Professor, Film & Media Studies at the University of Kansas. The session will be moderated...

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Community Connect program offers broadband grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency is now taking applications for Community Connect Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2021. Applications are due December 23.  Community Connect grants are available to rural, economically challenged areas that lack existing broadband speed of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. Grant funds may be used for the construction, acquisition or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to extend broadband service to “critical community facilities” such as public schools, public libraries and fire stations as well as residential and business customers in the proposed service area. Partnerships with federal,...

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Broadband, census, teacher burnout and more to be discussed during KASB Advocacy Update at noon Friday (Oct. 16)

The federal census, broadband expansion, challenges facing teachers during the pandemic and more will be discussed at noon Friday (Oct. 16) during the KASB Advocacy Update. To register for the meeting, go to this link. In recent days, Gov. Laura Kelly has announced a major push to expand broadband internet service, which should help remote learning. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration in halting the Census count — a move that could have repercussions for schools — and the State Board of Education is looking into a number of changes after hearing from teachers about the...

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State Board of Education to take up numerous issues related to pandemic

The State Board of Education on Wednesday decided to take up several emerging issues after Kansas teachers told them about the challenges of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Everyone is stretched thin and everyone is tired, but we are all doing our best,” said Stefanie Lane, a fourth-grade teacher with Clay County USD 379. “I’ve seen teachers in tears talk about leaving the profession, and they are exhausted,” said Julie Loevenstein, fourth-grade teacher with Basehor-Linwood USD 458. When asked how the State Board could help, Tabatha Rosproy, an early education teacher in Winfield USD 465 and who was named Kansas and National...

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Census deadline is October 15

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday the Census must end before its October 31 target date. The Census Bureau announced Tuesday night the decennial count will cease on October 15.  The Census has been plagued by delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, and political conflict.  The Trump Administration announced in August it was moving the national count deadline up one month to September 30 to give the government time to deliver the 2020 data to the president by the end of December as required by law. In late September, a U.S. District Court judge ruled the count must...

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Survey shows bullying decreases slightly

Fewer students are reporting being bullied, according to the Kansas Communities That Cares survey, which was taken from November 2020 through January 2021. The percentage of children who reported never having been bullied increased from 72 percent in 2016 to 75.7 percent. Those who said they never saw anyone being bullied increased from 41.3 percent in 2016 to 44.6 percent. The survey was taken by 78,548 students in 246 districts and eight private schools. The survey is taken on a volunteer basis by students in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades and tracks use of harmful substances and anti-social behaviors. In other...

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Complete High School Maize recognized for 2020 National School of Character award

Caitlyn Gregory said when she first entered Complete High School Maize as a student, she felt like she “landed on a soft pillow.” She was 17, pregnant and her mother had recently died. She said by the time she graduated in 2011, Complete High School had “prepared me for life.” Now, Gregory has returned to Complete High School as a science teacher. On Tuesday, the school was recognized as a 2020 National School of Character — the second year in a row for the Maize USD 266 school. Gregory, administrators, teachers and students spoke via zoom to the State Board of Education...

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