August 30, 2013

Published: 9/5/2013 4:11 PM
In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:
  • Kentucky Teacher Website Down
  • Targeted Transitional Interventions
  • Meeting the Requirements of SB 97; Clarification on Use of Home Schooling Don’t Forget Communication with School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Councils
  • Districts of Innovation, Round 2
  • New Fast Five Feature: Superintendent Spotlight
  • Commissioner’s Blog This Week

Fast Five on Friday
(Six Items)
Kentucky Teacher Website Down - The Kentucky Teacher website is experiencing some technical difficulties. Staff is aware of the problem, and is working to get the site back online soon. We apologize for the inconvenience and will let you know when this is fixed.
Targeted Transitional Interventions – The College and Career Readiness (CCR) Delivery Plan includes as one of its strategies Targeted Transitional Interventions. This particular strategy is designed to help schools provide intervention services for students in order to meet college readiness standards. Appropriately planned transitional interventions will help more students reach college readiness benchmarks, increasing CCR rates. 704 KAR 3:305 outlines regulation requirements for transitional courses/ interventions for meeting all students’ needs in meeting statewide college readiness benchmarks. KRS 158.6459 outlines legislative requirements for EPAS-related interventions.
KDE has made high school transitional course curriculum frameworks available, free of charge, to schools/districts to utilize for mathematics, reading and English interventions. These course curriculum frameworks were developed as immediate resources for schools to provide transitional interventions to seniors who did not meet statewide benchmarks on the ACT. The curriculum is modularized so that schools can provide full courses for students who are further from benchmark, and targeted intervention services for those students that need more “just-in-time” options. The high school transitional course curriculum documents are available at the following link: The high school transitional course curriculum includes pre- and post-teacher assessments for the mathematics and reading curriculum that you can obtain access to by e-mailing April Pieper at or Amy Patterson at
There are additional resources on the KDE website to help address transitional needs for students. These resources include:  EXPLORE level transitional course curriculum documents, teacher training videos for reading and English transitional curriculum, and administrative training guidance for transitional interventions. Please see the Targeted Transitional Intervention webpage at: or contact April Pieper or Amy Patterson for additional information.
Meeting the Requirements of SB 97; Clarification on Use of Home Schooling – Since the passage of SB 97 that raised the compulsory school attendance age and the adoption by 124 districts of the 18- year-old age requirement, the KDE Division of Consolidated Plans and Audits has experienced a four-fold increase in the number of calls regarding home schooling.
In a related matter, as a result of a request from the Kentucky Board of Education, KDE is tracking and will publish annually the number of W20 withdrawals (for home schooling). This data will be considered as one of the data points in determining which districts will receive a consolidated monitoring audit.
Because the goal of SB 97 and 704 KAR 19:002 is to ensure every student is college and/or career ready, making sure that students are exposed to the best career and technical offerings is crucial. Thus, KDE does not recommend home schooling as the first choice in meeting the requirements of SB 97 and 704 KAR 19:002. This is a time for thinking creatively and innovatively with community partners to answer the question:  “What is the best way to meet CCR for all of our students?”
Don’t Forget Communication with School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Councils – With the release of School Report Cards at the end of September and an October deadline for setting KRS 158.649 Gap targets in ASSIST, we realize it is a quick turnaround. Our belief is that schools and SBDM Councils will have been reviewing the data as it has been released, are looking at the targets already projected in the School Report Card for 2013-14 and are beginning to have the discussions in council meetings about the data and information that will be included in the October 1 information in ASSIST. Councils are instrumental in assuring that the targets and the work being done in the school are aligned. The information in ASSIST can continuously change if you want to set higher targets and certainly if you have strategy changes you wish to make over the course of the fall as you address student needs.
The work of the SBDM Council is crucial to ensuring that the Consolidated School Improvement Plan (CSIP) is not just another document, but the way we do work. All administrators at all levels need to ensure that the SBDM Council has access to all information about CSIP and CDIP available at, which we keep updated with the latest information.  Questions on this matter may be directed to
Districts of Innovation, Round 2 – The next round of District of Innovation applications will be due on October 31, 2013. While applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year, we are encouraging districts to adhere to an application timeframe for a more efficient review and approval process. Over the next several weeks staff from the Division of Innovation and Partner Engagement will be updating the Districts of Innovation webpage with new information including technical assistance opportunities and more details about the application deadline. In the meantime, you can access the page at and look at the application and application scoring rubric as well as take a look at the applications submitted for Round 1. 
Please contact David Cook at or Jocelyn Mills at or via phone at 502-564-4201 for more information.
New Fast Five Feature: Superintendent Spotlight – I am starting a new feature of Fast Five called “Superintendent Spotlight”. This first one spotlights Gene Kirchner, Superintendent, Fort Thomas Independent Schools below:
The biggest accomplishment during my first year as superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools would definitely be the revision of our district’s mission and vision. We used a very innovative process to complete this work which involved representatives from all stakeholder groups. As a result, we now have clarity as to our fundamental purpose and the realities which must exist within our schools in order live our mission. I have no doubt that this work will help ensure that all Fort Thomas students receive a world-class education.
Within our district we are laser focused on a Critical and Creative Teaching and Learning Initiative which emphasizes the skills and competencies necessary for success in a global workforce. Within the scope of our rigorous academic program, students are challenged to create, design, perform, and solve real world problems. We place great emphasis on oral and written communication, as well as the utilization of emerging technologies to enhance and expand learning opportunities. We believe that this will result in graduates who are entrepreneurial in spirit and well-prepared for global citizenship.
One feature which sets our district apart from others is the degree to which all students have equal access to a rigorous academic curriculum. Our policy on Advanced Placement (AP) courses is inclusive rather than exclusive. Students are encouraged and expected to challenge themselves by taking these courses. As a result, in May of 2013, Highlands High School administered more than 900 AP exams to a student body of less than 900 students. More than 60 percent of our graduates earn college credit while in high school.

Gene Kirchner
Fort Thomas Independent Schools
Commissioner’s Blog This Week – My blog this week is titled “Top 10 things you need to know about the Common Core” and can be found by clicking on the following link:
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.
Terry Holliday, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education
Kentucky Department of Education
Office 502-564-3141
Fax 502-564-5680
Twitter @kycommissioner
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