January 10 2014

Published: 3/31/2014 12:03 PM

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

• Next superintendents’ webcast
• Legislative calendar and other information
• Reminder on the Read to Achieve RFA
• Save the Date for the TALK Conference (Attachment)
• Dear Colleague Letter on school discipline from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice
• Preparing for the Student Voice Survey within the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES)
• Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Barry Anderson, Grayson County
• Commissioner’s Blog

 
Fast Five on Friday
(Eight this Week)
 
Next superintendents’ webcast – The next superintendents’ webcast is scheduled for January 27 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.  Please put this on your calendar. As usual, we will record the webcast and provide a link to it for those who cannot participate live. Topics will be announced soon.
 
2014 Legislative calendar and other information – In preparation for the upcoming legislative session, Legislative Liaison Tracy Herman has put together some initial information found below. If you have questions, please contact Tracy at (502) 564-4474, ext. 4815 or via e-mail at Tracy.Herman@education.ky.gov.
 
Contact Information for Legislators
If you need to contact legislators, you can find that information at the following link:  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Legislators.htm. We will soon have the members of the legislative committees and will send that along to you in the near future.
 
Calendar
Attached please find the 2014 Regular Session calendar. Session begins on Tuesday, January 7th at Noon and continues until April 15, 2014. 
 
The Regular Session Calendar can also be found here:  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/sch_vist/14RS_calendar.pdf.
 
There is a shared calendar available at KDE – KDE Legislative Calendar and Reports – which is updated with committee meetings and has links to the Legislative Research Commission’s (LRC’s) website.
 
The LRC’s Daily Legislative Calendar can be found here: 
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislative_calendar/index.aspx.
 
A link to the LRC’s online access to Legislation and the Legislative Record is here:
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislation.htm.
 
Standing Committee Meetings
Attached please find the 2014 Standing Committee schedule.  Times and days are the same as last session.

• The House Education Committee will meet on Tuesdays at 8:00 am in Annex 129. 
• The Senate Education Committee will meet on Thursdays at 11:30 am in Annex 171. 
• The House Budget Review Subcommittee will meet on Wednesdays at Noon in Annex 111.
 
The Standing Committee Schedule can be found here:
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/sch_vist/14RS_Standing_Schedule.pdf.
 
KBE/KDE Legislative Agenda
The approved 2014 legislative agenda is attached.
 
Reminder on the Read to Achieve RFA - This is just a quick reminder that the Read to Achieve RFA was posted on the KDE website Dec. 9th, 2013.  Please also note the deadline for questions is Jan. 21st, 2014 (4:00 p.m. EST) and the deadline for RFA submission is Feb. 3rd, 2014 (4:00 p.m. EST).  Make sure to pass along these important dates and times to appropriate staff and don’t miss the opportunity to apply.
 
Save the Date for the TALK Conference – Make sure to share information with appropriate staff on the TALK Conference that will be held on June 16-17, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville. See the attached flyer for more details.
 
Dear Colleague Letter on school discipline from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice – I received the following letter from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice regarding guidance on school discipline. Be sure to access the “Dear Colleague Letter” that is referenced below.

Dear Education Partner,

Today, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released a Dear Colleague Letter that explains schools’ obligations under federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin.  The letter is part of the Departments’ school discipline guidance package, also released today, that will assist states, districts and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate and in improving school discipline policies and practices.

• To access the new Dear Colleague Letter, please use link at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201401-title-vi.pdf.
• To access the new Dear Colleague Letter in Spanish, please use link at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201401-title-vi-sp.pdf.
• For complete information on the Departments’ school discipline guidance package, please use link at http://www.ed.gov/school-discipline/.
• To read today’s press release, please use link at http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases.
• Stay connected:
- Register here for the January 15th installment of the Supportive School Discipline Webinar Series. In coming months, the webinar series will provide an in-depth overview of each component of the School Discipline Guidance Package.
- Subscribe here to the new Supportive School Discipline Newsletter to receive monthly updates on the Supportive School Discipline Initiative.
 
The Department is also available to provide technical assistance to increase schools’ and the community’s awareness about the contents of the School Discipline Guidance Package, including schools’ civil rights obligations regarding school discipline. Please click here or email schooldiscipline@ed.gov for more information.
 
Please share this information widely with your members, affiliates and networks.
 
Thank you,
Catherine E. Lhamon
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
 
Preparing for the Student Voice Survey within the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) - The Student Voice Survey will be administered March 19 – April 2. All teachers in the PGES pilot must participate. Districts are encouraged to include all teachers in the district in preparation for full implementation of the survey in 2014-2015.
 
A Student Voice Toolkit is now available to assist schools and districts in successfully completing the PGES Student Voice Survey. The Toolkit is located on the Student Voice web page and contains guidance documents, frequently asked questions and sample documents. The toolkit will be updated intermittently with timely information regarding survey preparation, administration and results.
 
Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Barry Anderson, Grayson County (Picture Attached) – Superintendent Barry Anderson views one of his most important roles as an advocate for the Grayson County school district and promoting the many positives whether in academics, athletics, service programs or other areas of progress and achievement. As a result, the district’s community relations have never been stronger.
 
Through partnerships, Grayson County has established a new “Computerized Manufacturing and Machining” program to provide students with career-ready, high-demand skills to meet the needs of the area’s employers. An industrial maintenance program also is planned for the district.
 
Through strong fiscal planning and responsibility, the District is as financially stable as it has ever been. One of the accomplishments is building a new Clarkson Elementary School to replace a nearly 70-year-old building. The project began during a difficult economy, and there were many who thought it was an impossible task. But in fall of 2011, teachers and students walked into the doors of a brand new, state-of-the-art elementary school with the academic amenities they needed and deserved.
 
This same careful planning has allowed Grayson County to provide staff raises in 10 of the past 11 years. Also energy efficiencies in the district’s buildings have resulted in nearly $1 million in savings, which have been channeled into additional opportunities for students and staff.
Grayson County also has added academic and extracurricular options to help keep students engaged in school and on track for college. New career-ready programs such as machining provide kids with good-wage, in-demand skills when they graduate and the community with a workforce ready to meet its needs.
 
Another source of district pride is the excellent team at Grayson County’s central office. Each member is a consummate professional with the best interest of the students and staff at the center of their actions and decisions and understands that their role is to support all schools. Working together as a team with strong two-way communication encouraged at all times, Grayson County has built a culture of family and pride throughout the district.
 
Commissioner’s Blog – This week’s blog is titled “Prioritizing education from cradle to career”. You can access it at the following link:  http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2014/01/prioritizing-education-from-cradle-to.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.
 
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