February 14 2014

Published: 2/24/2014 2:32 PM
In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:

• Number of Districts Complying with SB 97 Increases to 142 (Attachment)
• School Calendar Guidelines
• Request to Complete One-Minute Survey on School Safety Topics Districts Would Find Useful
• Next Superintendents’ Webcast Scheduled for February 24, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET
• Reminder on Steps to Complete for the Superintendent Evaluation Report for ASSIST during Spring Semester 2014
• Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Scott Howard, Butler County
• Commissioner’s Blog
• Legislative Update, Week of February 10, 2014 (Attachment)
 
 
Fast Five on Friday
(Eight this Week)
 
Number of Districts Complying with SB 97 Increases to 142  – As of this week, the number of districts adopting a policy in compliance with SB 97 raising the compulsory school attendance age to age 18 went to 142. Letcher County is the most recent addition to the attached list. I am extremely proud of these districts to have the courage to step up and pass a policy that will ensure more of our students are college- and career-ready.
 
School Calendar Guidelines – Due to the extraordinary level of inclement weather this school year, KDE is providing the following guidelines as school districts consider amendments to school calendars for the 2013-14 school year. If you have any questions, please contact Kay Kennedy, Division of District Support at kay.kennedy@education.ky.gov or (502) 564-3930, ext. 4433, or Cheri Meadows, Division of District Support at cheri.meadows@educaiton.ky.gov or (502) 564-5279, ext. 4451.
 
1. Every school district shall accumulate a minimum of 1,062 instructional hours. Each district with a regular calendar shall be in session a minimum of 170 full, six-hour instructional days of at least 360 instructional minutes per day. If a district was approved for an Innovative Alternative Calendar, the district will complete the number of full instructional days as approved for the original calendar.
 
2. Districts may add minutes to a regular, full instructional day to achieve the 1,062 instructional hours. Adding minutes to a regular, full instructional day will not accumulate to create an additional instructional day. Districts approved for an Innovative Alternative Calendar may add minutes to a scheduled, shortened day to make it a full instructional day.
 
3. Districts shall utilize designated make-up days to achieve the 170 full instructional days.
 
4. On any day a district utilizes any of the five emergency hours provided by 702 KAR 7:140, Section 3, the district may count that day as a ‘full’ instructional day. If a district needs to make up hours of a scheduled, full instructional day that was shortened due to emergency, (delayed the start of a school day or released students before the end of a full instructional day), KRS 157.360 provides that this emergency time missed may be made up by adding time to subsequent school days. Furthermore, once the emergency time is made up, the district may count the original day as a full instructional day. 
 
5. Once a district misses and schedules to make up 20 full instructional days, 702 KAR 7:140 gives the commissioner the authority to grant disaster days to the district. In granting disaster days, the commissioner will consider factors in the original calendar including Start Day, Closing Day, Fall Break, Spring Break, the number of required make-up days and the actual scheduled make-up days. Disaster day designation from the commissioner will relieve the district from the number of instructional days and hours of instructional time required otherwise.
 
6. Per KRS 158.070(6)(a), school shall be closed on the day of a regular election and on the day of a primary election, and those days may be used for professional development activities, professional meetings, or parent-teacher conferences.
 
7. KRS 158.070(6)(a) also stipulates that schools shall be closed on the day of a regional or district professional meeting to permit professional employees to attend the meeting. School districts are encouraged to work with the local or regional professional organization to determine when the professional meeting will occur.
 
8. Districts will record all Weather-Cancelled Days as they will impact future calendars with respect to the number of make-up days required by 702 KAR 7:140.
 
Request to Complete One-Minute Survey on School Safety Topics Districts Would Find Useful – The Kentucky Department of Education desires to be a resource to schools and districts in their efforts to ensure the day-to-day safety of their students and staff. One of the steps we are taking is to provide topic-specific informational sessions via webinars with opportunities for questions and answers. To make certain we are addressing your areas of concern regarding day-to-day school safety, we are asking that you take a one-minute survey to select topics of concern or interest to you.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas to better serve you, please contact the Division of Student Success at 502-564-4772.  
                 
Please take the survey by clicking on this link:  Link to Survey.
 
Next Superintendents’ Webcast Scheduled for February 24, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET – The next superintendents’ webcast is scheduled for Monday, February 24 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET. Topics include changes to the testing schedule, KDE’s digital guidelines, the new “Intervention Tab” in Infinite Campus, the SREB report on career and technical education and a legislative/budget update.
 
The PowerPoint and link to join the webcast will be sent to you in an e-mail close to the broadcast date. As is customary, we will record the webcast and make it available to you in the event you cannot view it live.
 
Reminder on Steps to Complete for the Superintendent Evaluation Report for ASSIST during Spring Semester 2014 – This is a reminder that during the spring semester, superintendents must during an open local board of education meeting, revisit with your local board the progress from the fall on the three components of student achievement/PGES district readiness, budget process, and facilities and support. Then, by June 30, 2014, you will need to repeat the steps for the upload of this information into ASSIST as you previously did in the fall semester.
 
If you have questions on this matter, contact Dr. Tommy Floyd, KDE Chief of Staff, at (502) 564-3141, ext. 4810 or via e-mail at tommy.floyd@education.ky.gov.
 
Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Scott Howard, Butler County (Picture Attached) 
In 2012-13, the Butler County school district earned distinction as a High Progress District under the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP). This improvement was no small feat and the district staff is to be commended -- from finance, budgeting and energy efficiency to assessment practices, standards implementation, and support programming. Students in Butler County know that from the time they step on the bus until they get back home at night, there is a caring adult ready to look out for their best interest and help them succeed and persevere.
 
The district’s success is due to the hard work of teachers, staff and principals. They are truly pushing students to excel and are data crunching at the student level almost on a daily basis to implement strategies and programming to support them in being college- and career-ready.
When someone looks at the amount of time our employees put into the lives of students, it is mind boggling. In addition to the responsibilities of classroom instruction, most spend an average of 20 hours a week in planning, Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings with administrators and colleagues, after-school meetings, and extracurricular clubs and events. Many are foregoing planning to meet with individual and small groups of students to help them with content mastery.
Last school year, Butler County went through the rigorous process of district accreditation. This process gave the district an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on what it is truly about by building and creating mission and vision statements and keeping that vision in the forefront of what all district staff do.
 
The district acted on recommendations to streamline its PLC process and focus, so schools are working to a common end. The PLCs are focused on one or more of the following: Deconstructing Standards, Assessment Quality, Quality Instruction and Data Analysis-Student Work.
 
Commissioner’s Blog – My blog this week is titled “The importance of teacher planning time”. You can access it at the following link:  http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-importance-of-teacher-planning-time.html.
 
Legislative Update – Below is the legislative update from the week of February 10, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact KDE Legislative Liaison Tracy Goff Herman at tracy.herman@education.ky.gov or (502) 564-4474, ext. 4815.
 
Budget Bill
HB 235 is the budget bill. The entire executive branch budget proposal can be found on the State Budget Director’s website:
http://www.osbd.ky.gov/.
 
House Budget Review Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education
The BR Subcommittee will meet on Wednesdays at Noon ET in the Capitol Annex, Room 111.
David Couch and Hiren Desai (Associate Commissioners at KDE) testified on the Governor’s proposed technology funding for K-12 education this week. The presentation is attached.  
 
House Education Committee
The House Education Committee will meet on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. ET in the Capitol Annex; the room location is pending.
 
The following bills passed out of committee this week:
HB 87 (Rep. Brent Yonts) requires the Office for Education and Workforce Statistics to disseminate, in cooperation with the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky Department of Education, information concerning the employment rates and earnings by degrees and academic majors of graduates from the public universities.
 
HB 205 (Rep. Jeff Greer) requires high schools to include CPR training in the health education curriculum.
 
HB 254 (Rep. Jimmie Lee) extends the age of eligibility for special education students from “to their twenty-first birthday” to “through their twenty-first birthday”.
 
HB 332 (Rep. Derrick Graham) mandates rather than allows an early child care and education provider rating system.
 
HB 333 (Rep. Derrick Graham) is a Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System (KTRS) cleanup bill. 
Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee will meet on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET in the Capitol Annex, Room 171.
 
The following bill passed out of committee this week:
SB 121 (Rep. Mike Wilson) confirms Executive Order 2013-518, which reorganizes various offices in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
 
Next Week
Agendas have not been released for next week. 
 
Please check the LRC website for updated daily calendars: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislative_calendar/index.aspx.
 
Also, for the most up-to-date information on committee membership, please go to the LRC’s main page: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/home.htm.
 
If you have any questions, please contact legislative liaison, Tracy Goff Herman at tracy.herman@education.ky.gov  or (502) 564-4474 ext. 4815.  Thanks.
 
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
E-mail Terry.Holliday@education.ky.gov
Twitter @kycommissioner
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kydeptofed