Teacher Issues

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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State Board of Education voices concerns about school year, looking at options

Stressed-out schools and parents and the realization that the COVID-19 spread is getting worse prompted a wide-ranging discussion by the State Board of Education on ways to help districts.  Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said consideration of waiving the requirement that schools have a 1,116-hour year is premature at this point. He also said the question about whether there will be State Assessments this spring is up in the air because the tests must be taken in person, which would be a problem if districts were forced into a remote/online instruction phase because of the pandemic.  Meanwhile, State Board members expressed...

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KASB Legislative Committee recommends priorities for school districts

The Kansas Association of School Boards Legislative Committee has proposed a set of state and local priorities for 2021. The proposals will be finalized by the KASB Delegate Assembly, which is scheduled to meet virtually on Jan. 21.  School leaders are encouraged to review these proposals with their local boards of education. Each KASB member school board has a voting delegate at the assembly, which will discuss and consider any amendments before approving the documents.  Local boards may also use these recommendations as a guide for determining their own priorities for the upcoming legislative session and input to state and federal...

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Dyslexia Task Force asks for coordinator funding

The Kansas Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia met Monday to review its progress and ask the state Legislature to fund a Dyslexia Coordinator position. Although the group’s work has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, “We will continue to fight until every kid in Kansas has the opportunity to be a successful reader,” said task force Chair and State Board of Education member Jim Porter.  The final meeting of the Task Force took place in the wake of a September decision by the State Board of Education to reject the Kansas State Department of Education’s recommendation to delay implementing some...

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November School Board Review focuses on upcoming annual KASB Convention

During such a roller-coaster year, school board members need some time to reflect and recharge with fellow board members from across the state. That’s what the 2020 KASB Convention aims for and that’s what the November issue of School Board Review is all about. The issue provides details about the virtual convention, which which will be held from Dec. 2-4. Named “Creating Communities,” the annual convention will move the usual breakout sessions, Delegate Assembly meetings, keynote speakers and more to an online platform. But in order to avoid zoom fatigue, many features will be pre-recorded so that you can participate when...

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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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