November 8 2013

Published: 2/25/2015 1:04 PM

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

  • Press release from Public Protection Cabinet on KSBIT
  • Feedback Requested as KDE Prepares Application for Renewal of Kentucky’s ESEA Wavier (Attachment)
  • Office 365 for Education and Lync Online (Note:  Best Practice Quick Reference Guide)
  • Top Ten Districts and Schools with Highest CCR Rates and the Highest One Year’s Growth in CCR Rates
  • Link to Recording of and PowerPoint for the Nov. 6 Superintendents’ Webcast (Attachment)
  • Waiver request to be sent to USED to extend availability of FY 2011 SIG funds for Cohort Two Schools; Feedback Requested by Nov. 14 (Attachment)
  • Superintendent Spotlight Featuring Nancy Waldrop, McCracken County
  • Commissioner’s Blog
  • Save the Date for the Let’s TALK Conference
Fast Five on Friday
(Nine this Week)
Press release from Public Protection Cabinet on KSBIT – The Public Protection Cabinet issued a press release yesterday on KSBIT titled “Recommended Changes to Troubled School Board Funds to Save Districts Millions, Provides Appropriate Funding for Claims Payments”.  The release indicates that the Department of Insurance has “. . . proposed a plan to take over the management of the troubled funds used for school board workers’ compensation and property and liability claims at a much lower cost to the school districts.”  The entire press release can be found at the following link:
I am very pleased with this plan and appreciate the efforts of the Department of Insurance to provide better options to school districts to address this matter.
Feedback Requested as KDE Prepares Application for Renewal of Kentucky’s ESEA Wavier – Kentucky is planning to apply for renewal of its ESEA waiver during Phase C (February 12–21, 2014) of the times being offered by the United States Department of Education (USED) made available for this purpose. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking feedback from all superintendents and education constituencies to consider as the renewal application is drafted.
KDE is aware that some pushback exists to seeking renewal of the ESEA waiver.  In response, we are distributing the attached white paper titled “What Is the ESEA Waiver and Why Is It Important to Kentucky?” to make it clear what it means if the waiver goes away and Kentucky goes back to the federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  I ask that you review the attached white paper before providing KDE with your input on the things to consider as we draft the renewal application for the ESEA waiver.  We are very open to suggestions for change but believe regressing to the use of the NCLB requirements where Kentucky’s schools would be classified as “failing” would be a tremendous step backwards for our education system.
After reviewing the attached white paper, please send all feedback via mail or e-mail to:
Mary Ann Miller, Policy Advisor
Kentucky Department of Education
500 Mero Street
1st Floor, Capital Plaza Tower
Frankfort, KY 40610
Thank you in advance for assisting us in crafting the waiver renewal submission.
Office 365 for Education and Lync Online – Connecting and collaborating using Office 365 for Education continues to be a big hit for Kentucky teachers, principals, education leaders, and students.  Office 365 for Education offers every staff member and student in the Commonwealth an opportunity to connect via e-mail, sharing documents through Skydrive Pro and high-quality web conferencing (voice, video, and screensharing) with Lync Online.  Outside guests can now join Lync Online sessions with an easy on-boarding experience through a web browser or on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) by downloading the mobile app.
Kentucky is unique in that all adults and students in public schools are all in one digital space for collaboration.  Below is a snapshot of time connected using Lync Online during the 31 days of Connected Educator Month (October 2013):
• 508 Hours - Conference Minutes (more than 2 people connected in the same session)
• 265 Hours - Peer to Peer (P2P) - (ONLY 2 people connected in the same session)
 773 Total Connected Hours
• 34,504 - Total number of P2P sessions established in October 2013
To get connected and learn more about using Lync Online, see the "Best Practice Quick Reference Guide" on the KDE website.  Much like many other apps, Lync Online will continue to get new features and functions added, so make sure to continue to check back for additional best practice guidance.
Top Ten Districts and Schools with Highest CCR Rates and the Highest One Year’s Growth in CCR Rates – I have sent congratulatory letters to the districts and schools with the highest college- and career-readiness rates (CCR) and those with the highest one year’s growth in CCR rates.  Today, I am publicly congratulating and recognizing them through the Fast Five.  I appreciate all of the hard work that it took for these districts and schools to reach these rates and commend them for striving to increase the number of students who are ready for college and/or careers.
See below for the list of these districts and schools.
Top Ten Districts with the Highest CCR Rates 
Beechwood Independent, Pikeville Independent, Hickman County, Fort Thomas Independent, Ballard County, Walton-Verona Independent, Hancock County, Murray Independent, Oldham County and Wayne County
Top Ten Schools with the Highest CCR Rates
DuPont Manual High (Jefferson County), Beechwood High (Beechwood Independent), Louisville Male High (Jefferson County), Pikeville High (Pikeville Independent), Hickman County High (Hickman County), South Oldham High (Oldham County), Highlands High (Fort Thomas Independent), Ballard Memorial High (Ballard County), Walton-Verona High (Walton-Verona Independent) and Brown School (Jefferson County)
Top Ten Districts with the Highest One Year’s Growth in CCR Rates
Simpson County, Trimble County, Washington County, Ballard County, Bracken County, Breckinridge County, Leslie County, Paris Independent, Lawrence County and Floyd County
Top Ten Schools with the Highest One Year’s Growth in CCR Rates
Franklin-Simpson High (Simpson County), Trimble County High (Trimble County), Washington County High (Washington County), Shelby Valley High (Pike County), West Carter County High (Carter County), Betsy Layne High (Floyd County), Ballard Memorial High (Ballard County), Allen Central High (Floyd County), Western High (Jefferson County), and Bracken County High (Bracken County)
Link to Recording of and PowerPoint for the Nov. 6 Superintendents’ Webcast – If you were unable to participate in live superintendents’ webcast on Nov. 6, a recording of the webcast is now available at the following link:  Also, the PowerPoint for the webcast is attached.
Superintendents who watch the recording are also asked to complete the interactive survey questions that will remain open until close of business next Wednesday, Nov. 13.  You can find the survey at the following link using the access code of kde to join:
Waiver request to be sent to USED to extend availability of FY 2011 SIG funds for Cohort Two Schools; Feedback Requested by Nov. 14 – The Kentucky Department of Education will be requesting a waiver from the United States Department of Education (USED) from the requirement in Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. § 1225(b)) to extend the period of availability of FY 2011 School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds for the SEA and all of its LEAs to September 30, 2014.  Kentucky received and reviewed all submitted applications from eligible LEAs in cohort two.  The state fully funded all approvable applications in cohort two using FY 2011 allocations. The state believes that the requested waiver and extension of time will increase its ability to implement the SIG program effectively in eligible schools in the state in order to improve the quality of instruction and improve the academic achievement of students in Tier I and Tier II schools.
Attached is the draft letter that will be sent to request the waiver.  If you have any comments on this waiver request, please e-mail them to Donna Tackett at by close of business on November 14.
Superintendents’ Spotlight Featuring Nancy Waldrop, McCracken County (Picture Attached) –
The McCracken County school district is proud to be a Distinguished District.  In August, the newly consolidated McCracken County High School, a $65 million dollar state-of-the-art facility on 165 acres, opened to 1,850 students.  McCracken County High offers 26 Advanced Placement courses, 30 dual credit courses and 7 career certifications.  Students can explore interests, graduate with one or two years of college credit or complete a vocational certification to support a rewarding career.
The district also is in its fifth year of a high school one-to-one laptop initiative. Student leadership opportunities include the technology help desk, sports broadcasting, and small business opportunities with the Mustang Team Shop, the Culinary Café, and horticulture greenhouses. Student internships are provided in areas such as sports medicine, where students are involved with athletic training and medical observations such as orthopedic surgeries.
The community supports education with a multi-million dollar sponsorship and facility naming rights. These investments make for first-rate extra-curricular and co-curricular programs while allowing more district funds to support the instructional program.  The Community Scholarship Program provides two years of college tuition for McCracken County High graduates to attend West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC). The district partners with WKCTC to provide the Commonwealth Middle College where selected juniors and seniors complete their high school experience.  This was the first Middle College in Kentucky.
The district has implemented several curriculum enhancements over the past few years including Project Lead the Way in grades 6-12.  Project Lead the Way offers programs in pre-engineering and biomedical sciences to augment relevant STEM education, middle school foreign language with an option to earn high school credits in Spanish I and II, orchestra grades 5-12 and a partnership with Johns Hopkins University for elementary reading.  Student achievement in district elementary schools ranks fifth among all Kentucky school districts.
Academic excellence is the hallmark of the McCracken County school district. We will continue to work hard to increase the quality and the depth of educational experiences for all of our students.
Commissioner’s Blog – This week my blog is titled “What's Next for Program Reviews”.  You can access it at the following link:
Save the Date for the Let’s TALK Conference – I am giving you a heads up to save the date for the second annual Let’s TALK (Teaching Advocates Leading Kentucky) Conference on June 16-17, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville.  Please pass this on to your teachers since this is a conference for, by and about all teachers.  I will provide you with more information when the specifics are available.  The conference is sponsored by KDE, the Kentucky Education Association, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky.
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