Student Issues

Education leaders look at possibly aligning spring breaks

State preK-12 and higher education leaders are looking into the possibility of aligning spring break for the entire Kansas public education system. Supporters of the move say if high school and college spring breaks are at the same time, it will make it easier for more high school students to take college courses and post-secondary training during their junior and senior years in high school. “Schedules matter if we are gong to bring our systems together,” said Blake Flanders, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents. “This is something that people want to see happen, if we...

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State Board rejects delay in recommendations on dyslexia

The State Board of Education on Tuesday rejected a request by the Kansas State Department of Education to delay implementing some recommendations aimed at improving dyslexia services for students in public schools. KSDE officials sought the delay, saying that the Legislature, during the COVID-19 shortened session, failed to provide funding for a statewide dyslexia coordinator. In addition, they said, implementation of recommendations from a task force on dyslexia were further complicated when Kansas school buildings were shut down in March because of the coronavirus, and schools are currently swamped in trying to start school during the pandemic. But a motion to accept...

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Starting Anew: Maize USD 266 starts school with T4T hybrid plan

When Maize USD 266 students returned to school this week, they found a hybrid system of in-person and remote learning that was put together by more than 120 people to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses, support staff and others brainstormed over the summer, surveyed parents and overhauled school operations to keep everyone as safe as possible in this Sedgwick County district of more than 7,800 students. Then more staff were recruited to critically review those plans, which produced further tweaks. The product approved by the school board after numerous meetings and input from hundreds will have pre-K through...

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KASB Legal Services offers special education workshops

As part of its continued efforts to provide high quality services in the midst of the pandemic, KASB is excited to offer a set of online workshops focused on Special Education on Oct. 1. The morning session, starting at 9 a.m., will cover the building blocks of Special Education Law, primarily focused on the IDEA and the district’s responsibilities to special needs students. Topics will include FAPE, Evaluation and Eligibility, Extracurricular Activities, Extended School Year (ESY), Least Restrictive Environment, and all topics will be tied back to actual special education cases. Starting at 1 p.m., our afternoon session will take...

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SPARK Task Force prioritizing immediate needs

The Kansas SPARK (Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas) Task Force met Wednesday to summarize recent spending and discuss priorities for roughly $300 million in Kansas CARES Act funding.  The task force is charged with overseeing expenditures of just over $1 billion in federal CARES Act stimulus funding provided by Congress to help states compensate for the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless Congress takes action, CARES Act money must be spent by the end of December. Round 1 of the Task Force’s work committed $400 million to Kansas counties; Round 2 directed just over $300 million to connectivity, economic development,...

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School leaders encouraged to check HVAC systems to reduce COVID-19 spread

As Kansas schools reopen, district officials can take steps with their heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases, officials said Wednesday during KASB’s weekly “Lunch and Learn” Board Leadership Forum. “There are no silver bullets,” in lessening the spread of viruses, said Devin Malone, business development manager at Willdan Group Inc. “But there are silver BBs,” he said. The presentation by Willdan and P1 Group Inc., both preferred partners of KASB, aimed to help education leaders as they reopen school buildings that have been closed for five months due to the pandemic. KASB...

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Audit finds bilingual programs comply with law, raises questions about results

A report released Wednesday by the Legislative Division of Post Audit says the Kansas State Department of Education has correctly calculated and administered bilingual weightings fund, and school districts have generally followed KSDE guidelines. Here is link to new audit.  It also says Kansas bilingual students spend about the same amount time in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs (5-8 years) as in other states, but after leaving these programs, such students do worse on states assessments than the “all” student group, and a majority are at the same testing level three years after leaving the program as...

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KASB Advocacy Update set for noon today (Fri. Sept. 4)

Before you start your Labor Day weekend, join KASB for an Advocacy Update at noon today (Fri. Sept. 4). The KASB Advocacy staff will review developments of the KASB Legislative Committee, state audits on membership dues, lobbying and bilingual education, the upcoming election, interim legislative committee work on the emergency management act, foster care, mental health and more. There is no registration fee for the zoom session, but pre-registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The advocacy session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members,...

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KASB `Lunch and Learn’ tomorrow will focus on infection control strategies for school buildings

Find out how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in your school district buildings at noon tomorrow (Wed. Sept. 2) during the KASB "Lunch and Learn" board leadership forum. The Willdan and P1 Group, Inc. will present on infection control strategies for school buildings. Devin Malone, business development manager, and Danny MacRostie, senior engineer, will talk about how pathogens, such as COVID-19, move through buildings and how building systems can help reduce the risk to students and staff. The weekly "Lunch and Learn" series will also feature KASB Leadership Services Field Specialist Gary Sechrist and KASB Attorney Sam Blasi. The session...

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KASB this week offers virtual sessions for education leaders

As schools start across the state, KASB has several virtual offerings this week for education leaders. Noon, Wed. (Sept. 2) “Lunch and Learn” Board Leadership Forum. This weekly event covers relevant and timely information for you to make decisions during the pandemic. This is open to all KASB member boards of education and district leaders. There is no registration fee, however pre-registration is required to received access to the online sessions via Zoom. Here is a link to register. 2 p.m. Wed. (Sept. 2) Learn more about BoardBook. Upgrade your board meeting experience with BoardBook. The easy to use program allows for...

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