May 3 2013

Published: 2/25/2015 4:53 PM
​​In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:
  • Commissioner’s blog this week on common core controversy
  • CIITS here to stay
  • 17 districts submit applications for District of Innovation status (Watch for press release later today)
  • Link available to recording of April 29 superintendents’ webcast and materials
  • 2013-2014 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program RFA
Fast Five on Friday
Commissioner’s blog this week on common core controversy - You may have seen some of the controversy being raised in the state and nationally by some individuals about the common core standards with a push to repeal them.  Much of what is being disseminated is misinformation; thus, my blog this week and next will address this matter. You can access my blog at the following link:
CIITS here to stay - We have heard from several districts that they are reluctant to invest much time and energy in CIITS -- the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System -- because they think that it will soon “go away.”  This could not be further from the truth. KDE is committed to deploying this tool as a long-term strategy to improve student learning and advance the skills of Kentucky educators.  The Educator Development Suite in CIITS serves as the technology platform for the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System.  School Improvement Network Resources provide the foundation for differentiated professional learning and continuous improvement.  In essence, CIITS is a top priority for the Kentucky of Department of Education and is here to stay, so districts are strongly encouraged to utilize the features in CIITS to the fullest extent possible.
Some key indicators of interest and adoption of CIITS by teachers and school/district staff are:

• CIITS Logins: More than 2,500,000 into CIITS have occurred since mid-January 2012 when CIITS was fully turned on for all districts.  Cumulatively more than 48,000 of those 2,500,000 were unique logins with 20,500 unique logins since January 2013.   
• District senior leadership activity on CIITS:  91 percent of Superintendents, 85 percent of the Principals, 95 percent of the Chief Academic Officers (CAOs), 95 percent of the District Assessment Coordinators (DACs), and 94 percent of the Chief Information Officers (CIOs)/Ed tech leaders have been on CIITS since January 2012. 
• Teachers on CIITS: 69 percent of the teachers have been on CIITS since January 2012.
17 districts submit applications for District of Innovation status (Watch for press release later today) - A total of 17 Kentucky public school districts submitted applications by the May 1st deadline established by the Kentucky Department of Education.  Those districts are:  Cloverport Independent, Danville Independent, Eminence Independent, Fayette County, Gallatin County, Jackson Independent, Jefferson County, Jessamine County, Kenton County, Mason County, McCracken County, Montgomery County, Owensboro Independent, Owsley County, Taylor County, Trigg County and Woodford County.
During the month of May, applications will go through a rigorous review process in which each application will be reviewed and scored against a scoring rubric by a cross agency team consisting of staff from the Kentucky Department of Education, Education Professional Standards Board and the Regional Education Laboratory that serves Kentucky.  After the application process is complete, the review team will recommend those districts that are to be designated as Districts of Innovation to the Kentucky Board of Education, which will consider the recommendations at its June 5 meeting.
The Districts of Innovation legislation (House Bill 37, enacted 2012) and codified as KRS 156.108 and 160.107, provides Kentucky public school districts the opportunity to apply to the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) to be exempt from certain administrative regulations and statutory provisions, as well as waiving local board policy, in an effort to improve the learning of students. By "re-thinking" what a school might look like, districts will be able to redesign student learning in an effort to engage and motivate more students and increase the numbers of those who are college- and career-ready.
A press release on this matter to be issued later today will provide more details on this process.
Link available to recording of April 29 superintendents’ webcast and materials - Last Monday, we conducted the monthly superintendents’ webcast with topics of the superintendent effectiveness system and the principal professional growth and effectiveness plan. If you were not able to participate in the live broadcast, you can locate a recording of the broadcast and the materials for the webcast at the following link:
Also, we will leave the interactive survey open for another week; thus, if you watch the recording of the webcast, please participate in the survey.
2013-2014 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program RFA - Recent Federal legislation, Public Law 110-234, The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, authorized funds for expansion of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) to all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Elementary schools that represent a State’s highest free and reduced price enrollment are eligible to participate in the program and are given priority for being selected due to their high need level.   The purpose of the program is to increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption in elementary schools.
Kentucky has been allocated $2,780,123 for use during the period beginning July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2014.  The level of funds provided to any one school must be calculated by funding each student at $50 to $75 per year.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), Office of Administration & Support is issuing a Request for Application (RFA) from elementary schools, schools containing grades PreK-6, or any combination thereof, to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program during the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.  The RFA is posted on the KDE Competitive Grants web page.
The application deadline is Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm (EDT).
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