May 9 2014

Published: 2/24/2015 4:02 PM

​In this edition of Fast Five on Friday, you will find articles on the following:
• OCR’s Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance
• Panelists on Education Matters Discussed PGES
• State Testing is Ramping Up
• Digitally Enhanced Instruction, Increasing Engagement to Close Achievement Gaps (Attachment)
• ACT changes calculator guidelines for Compass tests
• AdvanceKentucky applications now being accepted
• Next-Generation Science Standards update
• Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Jerry Green, Pikeville Independent
• Commissioner’s Blog

Fast Five on Friday
(Nine This Week)
OCR’s Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance
On April 4, 2011, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter addressing student-on-student sexual harassment and sexual violence (“DCL”). The DCL explains a school’s responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to sexual violence against students in accordance with the requirements of Title IX. The DCL supplements OCR’s Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Students by School Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties, issued in 2001 (2001 Guidance).
On April 29, 2014, the Office for Civil Rights provided questions and answers, available through the link below, that further clarify the legal requirements and guidance articulated in the DCL and the 2001 Guidance and include examples of proactive efforts schools can take to prevent sexual violence and remedies schools may use to end such conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
Panelists on Education Matters Discussed PGES
On April 28, 2014, Dr. Amanda Ellis (KDE), Brad Clark (Simpson
Elementary School, Woodford County), Brad Darnall (South Marshall
Middle School, Marshall County), and Stephanie Winkler (President of
the Kentucky Education Association and elementary science teacher,
Madison County) appeared as panelists on Education Matters to discuss
how the new statewide Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES)
is helping Kentucky educators transform their classrooms through reflection
and feedback from students and peers.
The program, which illustrates the nearly unprecedented cooperation between
KDE and its education partners that has produced the PGES, is available here.
State Testing is Ramping Up
While a few districts have completed state testing, the majority of districts will begin testing in the next two weeks. KDE anticipates that all testing will be completed by early June.  Your District and Building Assessment Coordinators have been working closely with the Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) on preparations. OAA staff members are available to answer any questions by phone at 502-564-4394 and by e-mail at
OAA shares two important reminders that have been emphasized with District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) below.
1. “Getting the rosters right” in the Student Data Review and Rosters (SDRR) application is critical for BACs and DACs. Clean rosters in the spring lead to easier data review and cleanup in late summer and accurate data for public release.  As trained in February, students left on rosters, after data review, without  an approved non-participation or test score, will be included in reporting as a zero (0) score. The rosters communicate to OAA information for students enrolled in grades 3 through 12 including test accommodations, non-participation and accountability changes. Remember, accountability for all testing is determined from the first day of the five-day summative test window.
2. Two regulations govern test administration and require training and adherence at the local level: 703 KAR 5:080 Administration Code for Kentucky’s Educational Assessment Program, and 703 KAR 5:070 Inclusion of Special Populations in the State Required Assessment and Accountability Programs (2009 versions). District Assessment Coordinators must report possible violations of both regulations to the allegations coordinator.
703 KAR 5:080 covers appropriate assessment practices, violations, review of secure materials and proper reporting of nonacademic indicators. The regulation guidance promotes good test security and consistent test administration. Key reminders for building staff include: follow the test schedule, actively proctor testing sessions, remain with students when secure materials are distributed, and store materials securely when not in use.
703 KAR 5:070 outlines the accommodations permitted on state-required assessments. To be used on the state test, the permitted accommodations must address documented needs of the student and have been provided routinely during the school year. Accommodations should never provide an unfair advantage or direct students to the correct answer.
Proposed revisions to these regulations are currently making their way through the regulatory process; if approved, the revisions will impact the 2014-15 school year. The proposed revisions do not change the current reader and calculator policies.
Digitally Enhanced Instruction, Increasing Engagement to Close Achievement Gaps (Attachment)
The Kentucky Department of Education digital learning team has designed The Kentucky Digital Learning Guidelines for schools, districts, and digital providers when selecting or creating developmentally appropriate digital learning resources for instruction.
This training is designed to take educators from isolation to collaboration by providing accessible tools to direct, enhance, and support digital learning and implementation of The Kentucky Digital Guidelines.
This professional learning opportunity will offer hands-on training on creating, enhancing and utilizing digital tools within the classroom.  To ensure the increase of student engagement and achievement, the digital learning team will offer assistance to teachers over a 12-15 month period.  It is our goal to create digitally enhanced and blended learning classrooms to serve as models for educators around the state.

The Digital Development and Delivery trainings will take place: 
• June 10th & 11th , 2014  in  Frankfort, Kentucky
• June 12th & 13th, 2014  in Ashland, Kentucky
• June 30th & July 1st, 2014 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

See the attached announcement overview and follow this LINK to registration or go to the KDE digital learning webpage.
For questions about training or digitally enhanced, and blended learning practices please contact:
Patrice Nyatuame                                                        
(502) 564-4772 @4053
​Tom Edgett
(502) 564-4772 @4018
ACT changes calculator guidelines for Compass tests
You may recall that recently the Kentucky Department of Education banned the use of all algebraic software programs on calculators used by students taking the ACT Compass test because the programs could give students an unfair advantage and possibly indicate a student is ready for college-level math when they are not.  ACT, Inc. has now followed suit.  Effective immediately, ACT is prohibiting calculators with built-in or downloaded computer algebra system functionality to be used on the Compass test.  The policy affects all secondary and postsecondary institutions across the country. Please see the guidance from ACT on what is and is not allowed for Compass mathematics testing. ACT, Inc. is currently reviewing the calculator policy for its other assessments.  Any questions should be directed to ACT Compass customer service at (800) 645-1992.
AdvanceKentucky applications now being accepted
AdvanceKentucky is accepting applications from Kentucky public high schools for Cohort 8. Schools selected to participate (up to 20) would be involved in a three-year partnership that begins with the 2015-16 school year, kicking off with summer 2015 teacher training. Since AdvanceKentucky supports schools with student populations traditionally underrepresented in Advanced Placement (AP), the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has identified a list of target schools eligible to apply.
The voluntary application from an interested school is followed by site visits from the AdvanceKentucky team in fall 2014 to orient the school team to the “open enrollment” model for dramatically growing AP in math, science and English. Preference for scheduling fall onsite team orientations goes to applications received by June 30. Applications received after this date still will be reviewed, but may require scheduling visits later in the year. For context on how previous schools have performed, please see the five-year performance report and a recent longitudinal study of students that have graduated from AdvanceKentucky high schools. 
Inquiries are encouraged and welcome at any time; contact Joanne Lang at or (859) 576-3282.
Next-Generation Science Standards update
In accordance with objectives of Senate Bill 1 (2009), it is the Kentucky Board of Education’s (KBE) and Kentucky Department of Education’s expectation that ALL grades would begin full implementation of the Next-Generation Science Standards in the 2014-15 school year.  Work to do so has been underway for nearly a year in our Science Leadership Networks with that intent.  Regarding testing, as directed at the board’s April meeting, the department will be taking a proposal to the KBE in June concerning science testing at the elementary and middle school levels for the 2014-15 school year.  The proposal will address how to align assessment issues with the new instructional emphasis on Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Jerry Green, Pikeville Independent (Picture)
Higher expectations, academic excellence and strong community support are distinctive trademarks of the Pikeville Independent school district. 
Pikeville Independent is among the very best districts in Kentucky when it comes to graduation rate, college- and career-readiness, and ACT scores. 
In the 2011-12 school year, the district was recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education as one of only eight districts to achieve “District of Distinction” status. In the 2012-13 school year, the middle school Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) overall score earned them seventh as a district and eleventh as a school in state placements and the junior high school was named a School of Distinction with high progress for the 2012-13 testing year. 
Pikeville High School now offers more Advanced Placement (AP), dual credit and career and technical education courses than ever before. Dual enrollment numbers for juniors and seniors have increased from 69 in 2008 to 189 in 2012. The number of AP exams taken by students has risen from 51 in 2008 to 287 in 2012, which represents 80 percent of the high school student body. 
Increases in dual credit have been due to a partnership Superintendent Green helped foster between Pikeville Independent and the University of Pikeville. In the upcoming 2014-15 school year, the University of Pikeville plans to enroll a group of 20 high school Chinese students at Pikeville High School. These students will be full-time students of Pikeville High School taking advantage of the established dual credit program started several years ago.  The University of Pikeville will serve as surrogate parents by housing and providing for all other needs the students may have. 
The initiatives that drive the Pikeville Independent school district are in place to achieve the district’s mission of providing a rigorous, relevant education in a positive, nurturing environment to develop each student as a lifelong learner and responsible citizen in a global community.
Commissioner’s Weekly Blog
My blog this week focuses on developing a learning system that can improve student outcomes and move us beyond the status quo. You can read the blog, titled “Learning system requires a system that learns” 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.