April 25 2014

Published: 2/24/2015 4:02 PM

In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:

  • Criteria for Early Graduation from High School
  • Reminder of Opportunity to Provide Feedback on KDE’s ESEA Draft Waiver Extension Submission
  • Next Superintendents’ Webcast on April 30 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Nominations for the Joseph W. Kelly Award Requested
  • Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Social Studies – Writing Team Members Sought
  • New Eligibility Requirements for Preschool
  • Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools Sessions Available
  • Kentucky Board of Education Reviews the Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (SPGES)
  • Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Coy Samons, Paintsville Independent
  • Commissioner’s Blog  
Fast Five on Friday
(Ten This Week)
Criteria for Early Graduation from High School
Starting in the 2014-15 school year, certain students may opt for early graduation from high school.  It provides students the opportunity to “move on when ready” after meeting both rigorous academic benchmarks and the definition of being college-ready. An early graduation candidate is a student who intends to meet all regulatory benchmarks on an accelerated pathway before the end of their third full year of enrollment.  The criteria for early graduation requires a student to declare his/her intention to graduate early, complete an intent form,  meet ACT college readiness benchmarks as determined by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and meet minimum benchmarks on the four state required end-of-course exams.
Early graduation is a deliberate pathway for students to receive a diploma from the district and be eligible for acceptance into a SACS-accredited Kentucky public or non-profit, two- or four-year college. 704 KAR 3:305 provides a financial incentive, known as the Early Graduation Certificate, for the student to support this action.
Reminder of Opportunity to Provide Feedback on KDE’s ESEA Draft Waiver Extension Submission
This week, we sent you an e-mail offering the opportunity to provide feedback on KDE’s ESEA draft waiver extension document. The document can be found at http://education.ky.gov/comm/UL/Documents/ESEA%20waiver%20extension%20reveiw%20draft%204%2022%2014.pdf.
If you have feedback after reviewing the document, send it to Mary Ann Miller at maryann.miller@education.ky.gov by Wednesday, April 30.
Next Superintendents’ Webcast on April 30 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET
The next superintendents’ webcast will occur on April 30 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET. Please put this on your calendars.
Topics include the textbook adoption process, budget language affecting school districts, Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System and a legislative update.
As usual, we will send you the PowerPoint and link to the webcast prior to the broadcast.
Nominations for the Joseph W. Kelly Award Requested - Attachment
The Kentucky Board of Education is proud to announce the thirteenth annual Joseph W. Kelly Award. This award will be given to a businessperson who has offered outstanding leadership and service toward promoting school improvement and equity of educational opportunity for all Kentucky children.
We invite your nomination(s) on the attached form. Because nominations may come from both organizations and individuals, additional copies of the form may be made and distributed throughout your board/membership. Along with the enclosed form, an essay (500 words or less) describing how the nominated businessperson has further enhanced the educational opportunities for children on the school, community and/or state levels must be submitted.
The deadline for receipt of nominations is May 19 (close of business). Send the nomination form and essay to the Kentucky Board of Education (Attention: Mary Ann Miller), 500 Mero Street, First Floor, Capital Plaza Tower, Frankfort, KY 40601 or e-mail them to MaryAnn.Miller@education.ky.gov.
Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Social Studies – Writing Team Members Sought
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is extending an invitation to social studies experts across the state to provide support in drafting the new Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Social Studies. Plans for standards development call for a draft to be presented to the Kentucky Board of Education in the fall of 2014. At this time, KDE anticipates the need for approximately 30-40 participants representing diverse locations, grade levels and social studies content knowledge to move this work forward. The application deadline for this project is 4 p.m. ET on May 7. Finalists will be notified no later than May 30.
Please pass this invitation along to those in your district that may have an interest. They should click here to apply. Address questions to Karen.kidwell@education.ky.gov.
New Eligibility Requirement for Preschool - Attachment
As a result of House Bill 235, changes were made in the Kentucky State-Funded Preschool Program. A new minimum age requirement for state-funded preschool students will take effect this fall, moving from October 1 to August 1. Beginning in school year 2014-15, children who are four (4) years old by August 1 are age-eligible for the state-funded preschool program. In addition, the income eligibility requirement will change from 150% of poverty in 2014-15 to 160% of poverty in 2015-16.  The attached guidance provides more information.
If you have questions on these changes, contact Bill Buchanan at Bill.buchanan@education.ky.gov.
Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools Sessions Available
At the start of the 2013-14 school year, all Kentucky school personnel were required to have annual training in positive behavioral interventions and supports pursuant to 704 KAR 7:160, The Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools, Section 6(1). Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools I is a free, online professional development course produced in collaboration by the KDE and KET, focused on preventing, decreasing, or eliminating problem behavior through the implementation of positive instructional discipline strategies and systems in schools. Over 55,000 people have used this training and received certificates.
Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools II (PPBIS II) will be available June 1, 2014 to meet the 2014-15 training requirement. This year's training will be two (2) hours in length. The content focuses on district-wide implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), relationship-building and de-escalation strategies. It also includes new videos featuring Kentucky schools and vignettes with actors showing how to de-escalate problem situations.
While there is no requirement for districts to use this specific training, it satisfies the requirements of the regulation and is free to districts. 
Once PPBIS II is available, a second announcement will provide a link to the course along with the login instructions. PPBIS II, like PPBIS I, will be on PBS LearningMedia. If you have questions, please contact Gretta Hylton at Gretta.Hylton@education.ky.gov or at (502) 564-9850, ext. 4109.  
Kentucky Board of Education Reviews the Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (SPGES) - Attachments
On April 9th, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) reviewed the work of the Next Generation Superintendent Effectiveness System Steering Committee (NxGSESSC) and gave very positive feedback. Throughout the year, this committee, comprised of Kentucky school superintendents, representatives from the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS), the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA), the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA), the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB) as well as local school board members, has been building on the work of the Kentucky new superintendent training process. Utilizing the “New Superintendent Standards and Indicators,” the committee focused on the development of a Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (SPGES) for use by all of Kentucky’s superintendents in 2014-2015.
A copy of the KBE's review of the SPGES is attached.
The NxGSESSC set out in August 2013 to create a more streamlined set of tools/documents and were charged with producing the following three products for use by all Kentucky districts for superintendent evaluation:
1. A formative Superintendent Leadership Plan document for use by superintendents and local board members
2. A summative Superintendent Evaluation document for use by local board members for use in the annual evaluation of the superintendent
3. A rubric intended for guidance to any local district wanting to create its own tool(s) aligned to the work of the steering committee
The NxGSESSC worked to develop a more user-friendly system that would be ready for the 2014-15 statewide pilot. During 2014-15, all Kentucky superintendents and local boards will utilize the tools to become familiar with them. Districts have the option of using these tools for their superintendent evaluation process or using their existing district tools/documents.  Districts will notify the Kentucky Department of Education and advise which system will be used by December 2014. 
KDE staff is now preparing the newest “SPGES Tools Page" for superintendents. This page is scheduled to launch in late spring. KDE also is collaborating with KSBA staff for local board member training and support on the new system.
Knowing that superintendents will need to share these documents with their local boards and board attorneys to use in local policy/procedure discussions in anticipation of the 2014-15 SPGES statewide pilot year, we are sharing the attached documents now. While we believe these documents to be comprehensive in scope, please remember that your local board may always choose to add additional areas of emphasis.
Look for more communication on SPGES in the coming days.
For all questions about SPGES, please contact Dr. Tommy Floyd at  tommy.floyd@education.ky.gov.

Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Coy Samons, Paintsville Independent (Picture)
Superintendent Coy Samons believes that all of his Paintsville Independent students should be well prepared for their next phase in life. The district sets high standards in academics for students in all grade levels which in turn makes Paintsville Independent known statewide for its academic achievements.
The district and its leadership are very proud of the several ACT preparation courses at the high school, interactive technology available in all classrooms, the reading and mathematics facilitators districtwide, improved district website and communications with parents and students, and considerable improvement in teachers’ salaries.
Facility improvements in the district include a new multi-million dollar addition and renovation of Paintsville Elementary School, a high school cafeteria annex, a completed softball complex, several upgrades to the football field complex, new elementary roofing, a remodeled library, air conditioning for the Paintsville Elementary gym and an improved bus fleet.
These and many more improvements have been made in the district while still being financially responsible. Superintendent Samons and the district believe in being efficient with limited resources and unlimited demand. 
Several more goals still lie ahead for Paintsville Independent, but Samons and the Paintsville Independent Board of Education are committed to maintaining Paintsville Independent as one of the finest in the state.
Commissioner’s Blog
My blog this week is titled “A Systems Approach to Education Reform”. It can be accessed at the following link: http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-systems-approach-to-education-reform.html.
If you have questions on any of the articles included in this edition of Fast Five, please contact me at the e-mail address or phone number found below.