Teacher Issues

Dyslexia recommendations before State Board of Education

A wide range of recommendations are before the State Board of Education to address students with dyslexia. “We are already doing a lot of good things; we just have to be more strategic,” State Board Chairwoman Kathy Busch said. Several other board members said the proposed changes are substantial, will require more work for educators and additional funding but are necessary. “We have to catch kids before they fail,” Board member Jim Porter said. The recommendations were recently outlined by Cindy Hadicke, who is an education program consultant at the Kansas State Department of Education and chaired a committee that evaluated the work...

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State has numerous initiatives aimed at helping student mental health

State officials are working on several fronts to address the mental health needs of Kansas students. More than 1,700 students received help last year through the school Mental Health Intervention Program. Most of those students showed improvements in attendance, behavior and academics, Diane Gjerstad, who has been helping with implementation of the program, told the School Mental Health Advisory Council on Thursday. The program initially included nine school districts in partnership with Community Mental Health Centers. But it has since been expanded with a second year of funding from the Legislature to 180 schools in 32 districts. The council also received an update...

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Kansas teacher vacancies increase 27 percent over last fall

Teacher vacancies in Kansas increased by 27 percent over this time last year, according to figures given Tuesday to the State Board of Education. There were 815 vacancies reported currently, compared with 642 last fall. There were 550 last spring. The largest number of vacancies have been in special education — 186 this year and 158 last fall, followed by elementary — 115 this year and 113 last fall. Science, English Language Arts and math round out the top five groups of vacancies. Teaching licenses for new Kansas graduates and out-of-state applicants has steadily decreased over the past six years. In 2014,...

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KASB BOLD session set for Topeka on Thursday and Friday

The first meeting of this year’s KASB BOLD class will convene this week and cover sessions on school board relationships, building leadership teams and problem solving. The Thursday-Friday meeting will be held at KASB’s headquarters in Topeka and feature talks from KASB executive staff and former KASB presidents Frank Henderson Jr., a member of the Seaman USD 345 board and NSBA board, and Patrick Woods, a member of the Topeka USD 501 board. In its third year, the Business Operations Leadership Development (BOLD) program includes six training sessions developed by KASB leadership staff, KASB business partners and experts from across the...

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KASB workshop designed to help teachers, administrators make all students feel welcome

Craig Wilford, with KASB Leadership Services, is on a mission to help schools make all students feel welcome and worthy.  Wilford is leading a KASB workshop on “Developing Cultural Proficiency” that will be held  Wed. Oct. 30 in Topeka. Here is a link for more information.   Developing cultural proficiency in schools is about enabling teachers and staff to look at the school experience through the eyes of those who may be different than they are.  “To put it into a nutshell, it’s really about respecting and recognizing individual students and their differences, making every student valuable and worthy within your school building,”...

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State Board of Education combines busy agenda with 50th anniversary

At this month’s State Board of Education meeting, the board will observe its 50th anniversary with a history lesson and reception while also conducting business as it has for the past half-century — meeting, discussing and making decisions on a broad range of education policy issues. The State Board meets Tuesday and Wednesday; here is a link to the agenda. Mary Madden, museum and education division director for the Kansas State Historical Society, will present a summary of the State Board’s origins. Following her presentation, there will be a reception to celebrate the anniversary and citizen leadership in public education. The first...

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Education groups, including NSBA, push for protections of gay, lesbian, transgender employees and students

In a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, NSBA and other leading education groups say the main federal anti-discrimination law protects transgender, gay and lesbian employees and students.  Last week, the court held two hours of arguments over whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation or transgender status.   The dispute arises from on-the-job incidents, and experts agree a decision in the case could extend to both employees and students in public schools.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on sex, race, color, national origin and religion....

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Key points on education: New resources plus redesigned schools equal student success, supporting a stronger Kansas

KASB is often asked to share key points about education issues. With school board and other local elections this fall and the 2020 Legislative session three months away, here are some ideas to consider for sharing.  The big question school leaders are going to have to answer is: What are you (school districts) doing with the billion-plus dollars you got from the Legislature? That’s the estimated total increase in base aid, local option budget funding and special education from 2017 to 2023, when the response to the Gannon lawsuit is fully implemented. And, it doesn’t include increased funding for KPERS,...

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October issue of KASB School Board Review is available

Articles on education equity, the effect of social media on our students, the school bond environment, KASB’s upcoming annual conference and more are featured in the October issue of School Board Review, which is available online here. This month’s publication includes the final installment of KASB Associate Executive Director of Advocacy and Communications Mark Tallman’s analysis of equity in student success. KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about how young people today face challenges their parents didn’t — namely that their exploits are recorded forever in the digital world. KASB’s Rob Gilligan, government relations specialist, analyzes opportunities to reinvest in school...

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Percentage of students who say they have been bullied at school has decreased slightly

A survey of Kansas students shows incidents of bullying at school have slightly decreased, but more students feel unsafe at school while officials said the state would benefit by a more comprehensive survey method. The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying on Wednesday received updated results from the Kansas Communities That Care student survey. 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 2018, 30.7 percent of sixth-graders said they were bullied at school at least once. That dropped to 28.6 percent in...

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