May 30 2014

Published: 2/24/2015 4:01 PM

​In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:
• ACT ASPIRE Communication Coming from ACT, Inc.
• Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools II is now available!
• Important Change for Digital Learning
• PGES Calibration and Teachscape
• Save the Date: #PGES4Me July 21
• #PGES4Me Video
• Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Paul Mullins, Garrard County
• Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Requests Link to Survey be Shared with All School District Employees
• Commissioner’s Blog

Fast Five on Friday
(Nine This Week)
ACT ASPIRE Communication Coming From ACT, Inc.
In the next few days, Kentucky educators will receive an e-mail from ACT, Inc. This communication is written for a national audience and some information in the e-mail does not apply to Kentucky. The subject of the e-mail is the new ACT ASPIRE test.
ACT is marketing ASPIRE as the redeveloped ACT EXPLORE/PLAN.  The e-mail will say the ASPIRE test is the replacement for these tests, which is true for a national audience. However, in Kentucky the ACT EXPLORE and PLAN tests will continue for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
Additionally, Kentucky state procurement procedures require the Kentucky Department of Education to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to replace the high school and college readiness tests that have been fulfilled by the EXPLORE/PLAN tests. Since the RFP process provides a fair and level playing field to all vendors, no particular replacement tests for EXPLORE and PLAN can be predicted. All testing vendors will have the opportunity to bid to replace the high school and college readiness tests.
The Office of Assessment and Accountability believes it’s important to share this information in order for school and district staff to be fully informed when they receive the ACT e-mail. Please contact the Office of Assessment and Accountability at (502) 564-4394 or with questions related to Kentucky state testing. Feel free to forward this message to others in the district.
Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools II is now available! 
At the start of the 2013-14 school year, all Kentucky school personnel were required to have annual training in positive behavioral interventions and supports pursuant to 704 KAR 7:160, The Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools. In response to the new regulation, KDE and KET worked collaboratively to provide Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools I, a free online professional learning resource that would satisfy the annual training requirement of all school personnel. More than 55,000 people have participated in this training and received certificates.
Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools II (PPBIS II), a new two-hour online course, is now available to meet the 2014-15 training requirement. While last year's training focused on preventing, decreasing, or eliminating problem behavior through the implementation of positive instructional discipline strategies and systems in schools, PPBIS II focuses on district-wide implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), relationship building, and de-escalation strategies. It also includes new videos featuring Kentucky schools and vignettes with actors showing how to de-escalate problem situations.
While there is no requirement for districts to use this specific training, it satisfies the requirements of the regulation and is free to districts.
To enroll in Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools II, go to and click on the enroll button.You will need a PBS TeacherLine or PBS LearningMedia login to enroll. If you do not already have a PBS Account, you will be directed to create one. 
You may also continue to access year 1 training, Promoting Positive Behavior in Schools I at  
Important Change for Digital Training
The Kentucky Department of Education digital learning team in partnership with the University of Kentucky is providing a training that will take educator’s teaching from isolation to collaboration. The training will provide accessible tools to direct, enhance, and assist with the implementation of The Kentucky Digital Guidelines.
This professional learning opportunity will offer hands-on training in the areas of creating, enhancing and utilizing digital tools within the classroom. It also will help to ensure an increase of student engagement and achievement. The digital learning team will offer assistance to teachers over a 12-15 month consultation period. The goal is to create digitally enhanced and/or blended learning classrooms to serve as models for educators around the state.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, modifications have been made for some training dates and locations found below.
The Digital Development and Delivery trainings will take place: 
• June 30 & July 1, 2014 – Bowling Green, Kentucky – (GRECC) (Original Dates)
• July 7 & 8, 2014 – Lexington, Kentucky (UK – TBA) (New Dates & Location)
• July 10 & 11, 2014 – Northern Kentucky – NKCES (Cold Springs) (New  Dates & Location)
Please follow this LINK for registration or go to the KDE digital learning webpage.  
For questions about training or digitally enhanced and blended learning practices please contact:
Patrice Nyatuame                                                Tom Edgett
(502) 564-4772, ext. 4053                                (502) 564-4772, ext. 4018            
Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) Calibration and Teachscape
For the 2014-15 school year, certification/calibration recommendations are as follows: 
1)  If a district is using PGES for personnel decisions in 2014-15, we strongly recommend calibration to ensure accuracy and reliability.  This could also minimize the possibility that it could be used as a reason for an appeal of an employment decision.
2)  If the district is not using PGES for personnel decisions in 2014-15, but observers have been certified in the last 15 months, the observers are not required to calibrate for 2014-15 but may choose to do so for ongoing accuracy.
3) Those who have not become certified and will be evaluating/observing teachers must have initial certification through the proficiency assessment.
**In collaboration with KDE, Teachscape is offering the following options for Kentucky calibration for individual licenses purchased at the district level:
1.  $99 per year for each observer:
      • 6 calibration windows to check scoring accuracy throughout the year
2. $149 per year for each observer: 
      • 8 scoring practice videos that provide instant feedback 
      • 6 calibration windows to check scoring accuracy throughout the year
3. $199 per year for each observer:  
      • Observer training which includes master-scored videos of classroom teaching at all performance levels
      • 8 scoring practice videos that provide instant feedback 
      • 6 calibration windows to check scoring accuracy throughout the year
The PGES contact at the district level will be responsible for the collaboration with Teachscape to set up the calibration windows for your district. 
KDE will be gathering information and working with Teachscape on the calibration process throughout the 2014-15 school year to determine the best way for calibration to continue in a cost-efficient manner. The PGES steering committees will make recommendations about this matter moving forward.
Please look for the next communication about an informational webinar co-hosted by KDE and Teachscape on calibration along with links to pre-recorded webinars, an observer calibration white paper, and other valuable information about ongoing observer proficiency.
**To qualify for this special pricing, each observer in the district will purchase an individual license. Because calibration is an individual exercise, Teachscape and its partners cannot approve the use of an individual license for group practice.
Save the Date: #PGES4Me July 21
The date has been set!  KDE will be simulcasting live from Southland Christian Church on Richmond Rd. in Lexington on July 21, 2014. The simulcast launch for the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System is #PGES4Me. Five additional locations around the state will be available for participants to attend this live, cost-free, orientation to PGES. Registration will be completed through CIITS. Specific details about registration and locations will be available soon. 
#PGES4Me Video
We will be compiling a short video to highlight the beneficiaries of PGES during our #PGES4Me event and we'd love to have you take part! Simply record a 3-5 second clip of someone or a group from your school community saying "PGES 4 Me!" and send it to by June 27. Show your school spirit and be creative! We will try to include as many as we can, so please make sure your school is represented at the big show!
Superintendent’s Spotlight Featuring Paul Mullins, Garrard County (Picture)
During his first year as superintendent of the Garrard County school district, Paul Mullins’ goal has been to increase excitement and enthusiasm about education in the district. Through the leadership of the board of education and the administrators at the district and school levels, Garrard County has established norms and guidelines that will frame the future for students and the school system as a whole.
The district is continuously involved in planning both short-term and long-term objectives to ensure that students are challenged and engaged as they follow an academic pathway that will lead to a high likelihood of success in adulthood. This includes increasing student-centered learning opportunities focused on college- and career-readiness and the acquisition of job-ready, 21st-century skills.
Currently, the leadership team is implementing many activities that will help accomplish the district’s goals. This year alone, Garrard County has either begun or is in the process of conducting activities and initiatives such as:
• district re-accreditation through AdvancED;

• a redesign of the district website;

• a leadership retreat at the Kentucky Association of School Administrators to determine group norms and establish guidelines for team work and cohesiveness;

• co-teaching training for middle and high school mathematics teachers;

• the use of data walls, data rooms and student data notebooks;

• weekly administrative leadership team meetings focused on data and student performance and more

These are just some of the initiatives being implemented in the Garrard County school district that will pave the way in the coming year for the district to examine programs to determine effectiveness and progress. Many other school-based activities are being reviewed and improved through the combined work of the school-based decision making councils and the Garrard County Board of Education. Our collaborative efforts are helping us put in place a strong foundation for future student and staff success in Garrard County.
Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Requests Link to Survey be Shared with All School District Employees
The NEA-Foundation has selected the Kentucky Education Association (KEA) as one of five NEA state affiliates to help build capacity to meet educators’ professional needs in deeper ways. This work will help KEA align its resources to be more responsive to those needs. As a first step, KEA is gathering data from constituents about the association’s effectiveness and priorities for the future. The NEA-Foundation has engaged Brighter Strategies, a consulting firm that helps organizations accomplish their missions, to conduct the survey. The survey is now open at this link:
KEA invites all Kentucky school employees (certified and classified; teachers and administrators) to participate. Please make the survey link available to all of your employees and encourage them to respond.
Commissioner’s Blog
My blog this week is titled “Creating thinkers or test-takers?”  You can access it here.
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