SBR 2020

KASB President’s Perspective: Let grace, compassion, patience lead the way

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 The 2019-2020 school year has ended—whew! The last nine weeks of the school year seemed to last for an entire calendar year all by itself. We have navigated such extraordinary change and anxiety in such a short period of time, not to mention the loss of beloved experiences and traditions for our staff and students. I especially missed honoring our graduating classes this year; my district plans a graduation celebration at each of our high schools in mid-July, conditions permitting, but it will look very different than such past ceremonies. The burning question on my mind,...

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KASB President’s Perspective: Addressing a different kind of emergency

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 I have so many thoughts about “what now,” but for the moment I want to acknowledge the loss and sadness that many of us feel about the decision to close school facilities in Kansas. As the mother of three children, I am concerned about their health and future. As a local board member, I am part of our district leadership team working our way through these challenging times. And as president of KASB, I understand the need to provide leadership and vision while taking care of local and personal concerns. First, our top concern is the...

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April issue of School Board Review focuses on pandemic and school closings

This month’s School Board Review focuses on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Kansas public schools. Because of the pandemic, the issue will only be available online at this time and can be accessed here. The issue reviews developments over the past few weeks that have led to the unprecedented closure of schools and the rollout of stay-at-home continuous learning. The April edition also includes details about federal and state responses to the health crisis that continues to worsen. In addition, SBR covers the numerous tasks and policy and legal changes facing local school boards associated with COVID-19, including paying...

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Secrets to a successful school closure

By G. Kent Stewart School closure is a very sad event for everyone involved. At worst, a closure decision is divisive, leaving wounds that take years to heal. Carefully orchestrated, it can be accomplished with the blessings of the community. There are three secrets to a successful school closure decision: First, a fact book is assembled that contains a lot of information about the school in question; Second, the fact book is presented without comment or recommendation to the community; and Third, the school board practices good boardsmanship throughout the whole process. Needed information More information is needed than some board members believe...

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School help needed in 2020 Census count

The 2020 Census invitations soon will begin hitting mailboxes across our country and online response will open. Ensuring each Kansan counts holds significance for everyone in Kansas—but especially Kansas schools as the 2020 Census counts affect federal funding for many education programs, like school breakfast and lunch programs. These counts affect federal funding for the next 10 years for Kansas schools, communities, and our state. Let’s ensure that #EachKansanCounts. Early childhood Ensuring that our youngest Kansans, those aged 0 to 5, are counted with their families is essential when it comes to federal early childhood program funding. An estimated 10 percent of...

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Survey feedback & 2020-21 gameplan

This document provides a summary of the responses received from a survey of superintendents, board clerks, deputy clerks, data stewards, and data steward assistants regarding KASB’s annual research surveys, along with a discussion of KASB’s plan for these surveys starting in 2020-21. We received 212 individual responses on a survey sent to approximately 600 KASB member district staff. These included superintendents, assistant superintendents, board clerks, board treasurers, and other district staff involved in submitting and using KASB’s annual survey data. Providing information Respondents were asked how they preferred to provide information to KASB. One hundred seventy-three, or 81.6 percent indicated they preferred...

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Kansas NSBA attendees lobby against vouchers

The National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C. focused on reminding Congress of widespread national support for America’s public schools. The KASB delegation included more than a dozen school board members, superintendents and public school advocates. Entitled “Champion Our Children,” the Institute featured the release of a major national poll of 1,000 likely 2020 voters on attitudes toward public schools. The poll was commissioned by the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC), which is presided over by former KASB President Frank Henderson, who also serves as a NSBA Western Region Director and is a long-time member of...

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KASB President’s Perspective: First things first: Kids can’t learn if they’re not socially & emotionally ready

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 In early February, representatives of school counselors and mental health professionals from across Kansas testified in Topeka before the House Education Committee on the mental health challenges that students and staff are dealing with in our classrooms. One of the presenters to that committee shared that they were working with a second-grade teacher who had four students attempt suicide this school year. Four students. Second grade. A single school year. Stop reading now, and sit with that for a while . . . When educators and public school advocates talk about the changing and deepening crises...

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KASB President’s Perspective: New year, new voices but no time to relax

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 The start of the new year and the new semester coincides with an opportunity for new (or renewed) resolve and fresh perspectives on the many opportunities and challenges facing our students and our schools. My local board welcomed three new members at our first January board meeting — I am excited to work with them, learn from them, and add their talents, knowledge, and perspectives to our work together. My district stands to benefit greatly from the experiences and perspectives of these new board members. I look forward to seeing where their fresh resolve takes...

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KASB President’s Perspective: KASB completes year in a strong position

By Shannon Kimball KASB President Lawrence USD 497 Welcome to a new year! And welcome to the 2020 legislative session. This month, I want to give you a short update on the work of your KASB board of directors and staff in 2019 and to note a couple of issues to keep an eye on as the legislative session gets underway. If you have visited the KASB website recently, you have seen this header: Leading Success! The Kansas Association of School Boards is proud to support you in your role as a local leader. So what has KASB accomplished in 2019 toward providing that...

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