March 28 2014

Published: 3/31/2014 10:39 AM
In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:

• Update on SB 97 Compliance and Reminder About Purpose of Dropout Grants to the First 96 Adopters
• KBE April 8-9 Agenda and Meeting Materials Now Available (Discussion on high school testing issues staff note is on April 8 agenda as item IV.)
• Effectively Using Staff Make-Up Days: PD 360
• Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Jim Palm, Southgate Independent
• Commissioner’s Blog
• Legislative Update, Week of March 24, 2014
Fast Five on Friday
(Six this Week)
 
Update on SB 97 Compliance and Reminder About Purpose of Dropout Grants to the First 96 Adopters
With the passage of SB97, Kentucky will raise the compulsory school attendance age to 18 effective in the 2015-16 school year.  To date, 145 of Kentucky’s 173 school districts have adopted a policy in their districts in support of this legislation and I commend them for this action.  
 
The first 96 districts that adopted this policy received $10,000 planning grants to help create programs to identify, intervene and prevent students from dropping out of school.  We are reminding those schools that received these grants that grant money must be applied to dropout prevention and be in compliance with all regulations and statutes relating to dropout prevention.  A list of the first 96 districts is attached.
 
Kentucky schools have a tremendous opportunity this fall to attend a national conference on dropout prevention.   The Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference will be held in Louisville at the Galt House on Nov. 2-5.  We encourage all districts to attend this conference.  I would be great for Kentucky to have representation from every Kentucky school district.
 
KBE April Agenda and Meeting Materials Now Posted
The next meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education will be on April 8 and 9 in the State Board Room here in Frankfort. The board will be considering approval of the new regulation on the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System as well as hearing the recommendations from the Southern Regional Education Board’s report on Kentucky’s career and technical education system and discussing high school assessment issues.
 
You can access the agenda and materials for the meeting by clicking here.  The high school assessment issues staff note is on the April 8 agenda as agenda item IV and can be found here.
 
Effectively using staff make-up days:  PD 360
Due to weather cancellations earlier in the school year, superintendents, principals, and school councils should be preparing for additional “staff” days at the end of the year in order to meet contract obligations. It is critical that teachers see this as productive time.
 
One option might be for schools and districts to consider creating a professional learning “scavenger hunt” in PD 360 to familiarize teachers, leaders and others with this excellent online resource. PD 360 is accessible through Kentucky’s Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS) and contains more than 3,500 video clips on more than 100 searchable topics including effectively teaching the Common Core State Standards (known here as the Kentucky Core Academic Standards), classroom management, differentiation, closing the gap, project-based learning and more.  There are also resources on the Kentucky Framework for Teaching based on the Danielson Framework for Teaching – the cornerstone for the statewide Professional Growth and Effectiveness System for which PD 360 will be a useful resource.  All videos are produced with the highest level of quality – crafted by teachers and vetted by Ph.D.-level experts in education to ensure that only the very best practices are demonstrated. 
Some videos even feature Kentucky educators!  Learn how one cooperative has used PD 360 in this
archive story from Kentucky Teacher.
 
Since schools and districts can easily monitor PD 360 usage, I would suggest that this would be an excellent and productive professional learning opportunity as a way for teachers to make up time missed due to inclement weather.

Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Jim Palm, Southgate Independent (Picture Attached)
endent school district’s best asset is its school staff who serves students in preschool through 8th grade. Southgate Independent also has certified teachers with a master's degree or five years or more of experience as those who educate the district’s students. Each teacher in the district is knowledgeable in his/her  subject areas and grade levels, and cares deeply about the students and the school community.

Southgate Independent also enjoys tremendous engagement and support from the surrounding community. Being a small district with a single school creates a climate of family among staff, administrators, students, parents and the community at large. An indication of the broad support of our school district is that each month, Southgate Independent’s school board members vote to refuse their salaries in order to help support the school financially. Southgate Elementary School’s school-based decision making council and the district’s school board work well together to try to meet the financial needs of the district. This collaborative and cooperative environment is one reason I am so proud to be associated with this historic and unique school district. 
 
Commissioner’s Blog
My blog this week is titled “Disparity in school discipline”. It can be accessed at the following link: http://kyedcommissioner.blogspot.com/2014/03/disparity-in-school-discipline.html.
 
Legislative Update, Week of March 24, 2014
Below is the legislative update for the week of March 24, 2014.  If you have questions, contact KDE’s 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/.
 
The Senate released its budget this week.  A few highlights are found below.  However, the budget conference committee has already started working, so the House and Senate will negotiate differences between the proposed budgets.  They are expected to work through the weekend.
 
SEEK
• Funding is added for certified salary increases remains; however, the raises are no longer mandated, but "encouraged".
• Critical construction needs are specified for two schools, Carlisle Elementary and Sheldon Clark.
• A $55,000 decrease is made in FY15 and FY16 (removed equalization funding for Fairview).
• Excess SEEK goes to KTRS.
 
Technology
•  Adds $3.3 M in FY15 and $6.6 M in FY16 for KETS Offers of Assistance.
•  Adds $400,000 in FY15 and $800,000 for FY16 for “IT Academies”.
•  Removes $50 M bond for instructional devices.
 
Flex Focus
• ESS – FY15 reduced from $25.5 M to $18.9 M and remained $25.5M in FY16.
• Professional Development – FY15 reduced from $11.9 M to $8.6 M and remained $11.9 M in FY16.
• Safe Schools – FY15 reduced from $10.4 M to $7.3 M and remained $10.4 in FY16.
• Preschool – reduced from $85.1 M to $71.3 M in each fiscal year.
• Textbooks/Instructional Resources – remained $16.7 M in each fiscal year.
 
School Calendar
A compromise was reached between the chambers on school calendars.  The following emergency provisions are in place for the 2013-2014 academic year:
 
  • Districts must meet a minimum of 1,062 instructional hours.
     - A school district may reach 1,062 instructional hours by adding time to the day.
     - A day cannot exceed seven hours, unless the district is already on an approved innovative  alternative calendar.
     - A school district cannot schedule any instructional days on Saturdays.
  • A local board of education may submit a plan to the Department of Education demonstrating how 1,062 instructional hours will be completed, and the plan shall be approved.
  • If a school district is attempting to complete 1,062 instructional hours by June 6, 2014, but is unable to under its current school calendar, the district shall request assistance from the commissioner of education by May 1, 2014, to determine a plan for maximizing instructional time to complete 1,062 instructional hours by June 6, 2014.
  • If after providing planning assistance to the school district, the commissioner of education determines the school district has maximized instructional time but cannot complete 1,062 hours by June 6, 2014, the commissioner shall waive the remaining instructional hours required.
  • A school district may schedule graduation ceremonies before the final instructional day.
  • School district certified and classified personnel must complete all contract days by participating in instructional activities or professional development or by being assigned additional work responsibilities.
  • A district may be open on the day of a primary election if no school in the district is used as a polling place.
  • The Kentucky Department of Education must report to the Interim Joint Committee on Education by October 15, 2014, on how school districts completed the 1,062 instructional hours.
House Education Committee
The following bills passed the committee:
 
SB 121 HCS confirms Executive Order 2013-518, which reorganizes various offices in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.  The HCS adds the provisions of HB 332, which defines participating agencies and the schedule for implementing the early child care and education provider rating system.
 
SB 89 HCS replaces the original provisions to include definitions related to cloud computing and language to ensure that the Kentucky Department of Education and school district contracts comply with federal and state privacy standards.  The HCS also describes parent and student access rights.
 
The following bill failed to pass in committee:
 
HB 473 would require school districts to have plans, policies, and procedures to deal with a student who is harassing, intimidating, cyberbullying, or bullying another student.
 
Senate Education Committee
The following bills passed the committee:
 
HB 333 SCS is KTRS’s cleanup bill.  The SCS included language to provide that retirees returning to full-time employment, who are subject to the income limitations, are limited to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and special needs positions, and teaching positions in high-priority schools.  The SCS requires the Kentucky Department of Education to pay the actuarial cost of the additional retirement benefits payable to retirees hired without income limitations.
 
HB 455 requires the chief state school officer to prepare estimates for school district fund allotment and establish an incremental schedule for fund disbursement, allotment revisions, and equalization.
 
SR 268 confirms the gubernatorial appointment of Grayson R. Boyd to the Kentucky Board of Education representing the Seventh Supreme Court District, for a term ending April 14, 2014.
 
SR 269 confirms the gubernatorial appointment of Trevor R. Bonnstetter to the Kentucky Board of Education representing members at large for a term ending April 14, 2016.
 
Next Week
The House and Senate Education Committees are not scheduled to meet next week.  The legislature convenes on March 31st before recessing for a ten-day veto period.  The body comes back on April 14, 2014 and the last scheduled day to finalize business is on April 15th. 
 
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 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