Teacher Issues

State Board of Education approves mental health grants

More Kansas schools and students will be benefiting from state mental health grants. Earlier this week, the State Board of Education approved $3.8 million to school districts and $2 million to local community health centers for the Mental Health Intervention Team Program for the 2019-20 school year. The effort started last year as a pilot program to increase mental health services for students. Nine districts benefitted from the pilot program last year. Now funds will be going to 31 districts to hire school liaisons who will coordinate services for students between the staff, parents and mental health centers and will also provide...

Read more...

Plan floated to replace 10th grade state test with ACT in 11th grade

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson is floating the idea of having all Kansas students take the ACT in 11th grade instead of the state assessments in math and English in 10th grade.  Watson briefed the State Board of Education about the proposal on Tuesday. Several board members had questions about the idea, which has been explored in a number of other states.   Board Chair Kathy Busch asked Watson to provide an update on the issue next month and then possibly bring it to the board in October for some kind of action.  Watson said he would reach out to school superintendents at...

Read more...

As school starts, some Hispanic students, parents on edge

A racially motivated mass shooting in Texas and a mammoth immigration sweep in Mississippi have some Latino students and their parents in Kansas on edge as a new school year begins. Adriana Holguin, a migrant education program advocate at the Southwest Plains Regional Center in Sublette, said one mother of a migrant family told her that the family prays each day that they will be together at the end of the day “because at this point you are never sure about another tomorrow.” Patrick Crusius, who was charged in the Walmart shooting in El Paso, Texas that left 22 dead, confessed...

Read more...

State and national experts on tap for IDEA workshops

State and national experts on special education advocacy and practice will present at KASB’s IDEA workshops later this month. Click here to register.   The workshops are on Aug. 27 in Topeka; Aug. 28 in Dodge City and Aug. 29 in Salina. Each workshop will feature regional special education experts and KASB General Counsel and Assistant Executive Director of Policy Donna Whiteman. National School Boards Association Chief Advocacy Officer Chip Slaven will join KASB Advocacy staff Leah Fliter and Rob Gilligan and NSBA Western Region Director Frank Henderson of the Seaman USD 345 Board of Education to brief attendees on the...

Read more...

Application deadline today for KASB’s new Advanced Advocacy Training Institute

The application deadline for the first KASB Advanced Advocacy Training Institute (AATI) is fast approaching, and interested parties are encouraged to send their completed applications soon.   Designed to put a greater focus on developing a network of public education advocates throughout Kansas, the AATI Program will give participants added skills and training in effectively supporting our K-12 system.    The program begins at the end of August with a training session on federal Issues that will include support from NSBA Chief Lobbyist, Chip Slaven. In October, KASB Prestige Partner Piper Jafray will host a visit to USD 266 Maize where we will...

Read more...

KASB hosts session on leading change for school redesign teams

Over 250 educators from the “Apollo” school redesign districts received training in the art and science of leading change this week, led by KASB’s leadership services staff.  The Apollo schools are the fourth group approved by the Kansas State Board of Education for the Kansans Can “Moonshot” redesign program, which began with the Mercury 7 districts in 2017. The purpose of the program is to increase student graduation rates, postsecondary education and preparation for adult life through more individualized education that better engages students.  Redesigning schools to improve student success, particularly for students who continue to struggle in the current system,...

Read more...

Anti-bullying task force receives expert testimony

The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying met in Salina on Monday to continue gathering data and public input. The task force will make recommendations to the Kansas Legislature in January 2020.  As the task force meets across the state, a new national report offers some insights into the bullying; you can read KASB Associate Executive Director for Advocacy and Communications Mark Tallman’s blog about it at this link.  Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson announced the formation of the Task Force in March, citing data that 28 percent of students in grades six through twelve experience bullying. Bullying has also...

Read more...

August School Board Review with feature on restorative justice is available

The August edition of KASB’s School Board Review features a look at restorative justice, columns by KASB leaders and a profile of KASB’s newest regional board member. The issue is available online here and is already in the mail for those who prefer a print copy. Many school districts are incorporating restorative justice to handle student discipline. KASB Advocacy/Outreach Specialist Leah Fliter takes an-depth look into this method. KASB President Shannon Kimball writes about the oath that school board members take to “faithfully discharge" their duties and KASB Executive Director John Heim writes about the anxiety that some students experience on the...

Read more...

KASB Summer Regional Roundtables continue this week in McPherson, Greenbush, Haysville, Topeka and Olathe

Hot education topics ranging from student safety to school redesign are among those being discussed at KASB Summer Regional Roundtable meetings that continue this week. Meetings will be held Tuesday in McPherson and Greenbush; Wednesday in Haysville and Topeka and Thursday in Olathe. At meetings last week in Stafford, Hiawatha and Colby, school board members and other leaders discussed challenges and opportunities for the upcoming school year. In addition to student safety and redesign, the topics focused on were legislative priorities, the 2020 Census and local issues. For more information and to register online go to www.kasb.org and click on the specific...

Read more...

August is Breastfeeding Month. KASB has suggested policies for Boards

Gov. Laura Kelly proclaimed August 1-7 as Breastfeeding Week and August as National Breastfeeding Month this morning at the Kansas Statehouse.   The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. is comprised of individuals from a wide variety of organizations, agencies and private businesses that promote breastfeeding in Kansas.     While school boards are not required to have policy language regarding the accommodation of staff who are nursing mothers, federal law requires accommodations to be made in certain circumstances.  KASB’s Legal and Policy staff worked with the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition in 2017 to develop policy that local school boards can adopt to assist staff members who...

Read more...