Show your love for public schools during Kansas Public Schools Week

By Leah Fliter, lfliter@kasb.org

Kansas public schools have a great opportunity to showcase all they do to support Kansas kids during Public Schools Week, February 24-28.

Public Schools Week is the brainchild of the national Learning First Alliance organization, which includes the National School Boards Association. It’s a week for school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents across the U.S. to highlight the importance of public education in their communities and with lawmakers. Nine out of 10 students in the United States – and Kansas – attend public schools.

KASB, the Kansas State Department of Education and the members of the Kansas Learning First Alliance (KLFA) are sponsoring a Kansas Public Schools Week event at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka on Wednesday, February 26 and urge Kansas educators and allies to participate in social media campaigns and other actions throughout the week.

Although the Gannon school finance case has been addressed by the state Legislature, lawmakers will be watching to ensure the additional funds funneled to schools over the next few years are being used to address the achievement gaps that were the genesis of the lawsuit.

“Kansas public schools are entering the decade with a renewed sense of hope and purpose,” said KASB President Shannon Kimball. “Public Schools Week offers us the chance to demonstrate our commitment to educational achievement and excellence.”

Activities could include your school board taking “The Pledge for Public Schools” found in the toolkit posted here: kasb.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/PublicSchoolsWeek2020Toolkit.pdf.

The toolkit also includes sample Twitter and Facebook posts along with images suitable for those platforms and for Instagram. If you’d like to use photos of local students in your posts, make sure to comply with privacy protections.

Districts could host school visits for community members and media; board members can send thank-you messages to lawmakers for their support of public education, and parents could write letters to the editor of the local newspaper.

“Communities are stronger, and schools are better when we all work together to support public schools. Public Schools Week offers Kansas public schools the opportunity to highlight the great things they do for our students,” said Kansas School Public Relations Association President Michele Jones.

Statehouse activities on February 26 will include Senate and House resolutions honoring Public Schools Week along with displays by KASB, KSDE, KLFA and other public-school advocates.

“While many of us know that our local public schools are doing a wonderful job with our students, we may not take the time to tell our teachers and administrators we stand with them and the work they do,” said Kansas Learning First Alliance Chair Dr. Laurie Curtis. “Public Schools Week is the perfect opportunity to offer our support and make a public statement of our confidence in the educators in our state.”

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