September 6, 2013

Published: 2/25/2015 12:42 PM

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

  • Feedback from yesterday’s Superintendents’ Summit (3 attachments)
  • Talking points on Common Core (4 attachments)
  • Interactive Survey Results from the August 27 Superintendents’ Webcast (1
  • Reminder to interested local board members to apply to be member of the Local School
       Board Members Advisory Council (Deadline September 24)
  • Superintendent Spotlight: Dr. Lisa James, Superintendent of Carroll County Schools 
       picture attached)
  • KSBIT Update from the Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust Trustees
  • Commissioner’s Blog

Fast Five on Friday
(Seven this Week)
Feedback from yesterday’s Superintendents’ Summit – I sincerely appreciate your participation in and the time you spent at yesterday’s Superintendents’ Summit here in Frankfort. It was a great day with lots of face-to-face interaction and valuable feedback on topics that are critical to the success of Unbridled Learning and to ensuring that our students graduate college- and career-ready.
As promised, I am attaching the initial summaries of the feedback you gave us yesterday on the topics of Budget/KSBIT (first attachment), Professional Growth and Effectiveness Systems (second attachment) and Assessment (third attachment). We will also be going through the facilitators’ notes to make sure we captured all of your comments, and then staff here will use this feedback to shape KDE’s work in these areas going forward. We want to be responsive to your concerns and help you to be successful in working with the students of our state.
Talking points on Common Core – At yesterday’s Summit, we provided you as part of the meeting folder several handouts that address the importance of the Common Core Standards. I have attached these handouts to this e-mail to assist you with addressing any questions you may get on the standards with various audiences. The first one can be used with a wide range of folks and is titled “Top 10 Reasons to Support the Common Core”. The other three attachments, Common Core for Administrators, Common Core for Teachers, and Common Core for Parents, are written for specific audiences, one for administrators, one for teachers, and one for parents. I hope these are helpful.
Interactive Survey Results from the August 27 Superintendents’ WebcastAttached are the results from the interactive survey that was done as part of the August 27 Superintendents’ Webcast. Thanks to those of you who were able to give us this important feedback.
Reminder to interested local board members to apply to be member of the Local School Board Members Advisory Council – This is a reminder to superintendents and local board chairs that I issued an invitation via e-mail to any local board members who are interested to apply to be a member of my Local School Board Members Advisory Council.
I created the Local School Board Members Advisory Council to meet and discuss how KDE initiatives and decisions made at the state level are affecting school boards and districts throughout Kentucky. The role of local school board members is important to the work the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is doing and we need your feedback to better understand your perspective.
The council will meet four times in a calendar year. The first meeting will be in mid-to-late October. Members will serve staggered one-year terms with half of the council serving a two-year term with this appointment.
Those who are interested in serving should submit a short narrative on why they would like to be a part of the council along with a resume/vitae. This information should be submitted to:
Dr. Tommy Floyd
Chief of Staff
Kentucky Department of Education
500 Mero St., 1st floor CPT
Frankfort, KY 40601
Or, if you prefer, the information may be e-mailed to Dr. Floyd at
All materials should be received by close of business Tuesday, September 24.
Any questions concerning the council can be directed to Dr. Floyd at the e-mail above or by phone at (502) 564-3141.
Superintendent Spotlight: Dr. Lisa James, Superintendent of Carroll County Schools (picture attached) – Casting a new vision for Carroll County Schools has been the cornerstone accomplishment of my tenure as superintendent. Implementing that vision has involved creating a brand for our schools, establishing the “Champion for Kids” logo, and cultivating community partnerships with local business and industry.
When I became superintendent of Carroll County Schools, there was a disconnect between the goals of the school district and the needs of the business community in Carroll County. I started a Breakfast for Champions, which brought together bankers, business owners, and industry representatives. We brainstormed to figure out what the school district could do to meet their needs, and I am happy to say that we have made enormous strides toward aligning our goals and values.
Today, we have representatives from our business community who help us design curriculum and mentor students. Every student in our high school has the opportunity to meet with an industry professional in the student’s career focus area.
In addition to mentoring and curriculum support, we have seen a great increase in the amount of financial support from local businesses and industries. Once they saw that we were working to help meet their needs, they did not hesitate to help us implement new programs and initiatives.
The bottom line is that it all started with a vision that aimed to help students achieve. With help from community partners, that vision has become a reality.
Our transition toward being a true STEM district has involved coordinating several programs and initiatives over the past few years. Project Lead the Way, Engineering is Elementary, and our one-to-one MacBook initiative have been the key links in the chain.
Making our STEM transition has required us to rethink the way that we distribute funds, assign teaching duties, and align curriculum.
Project Lead the Way gives middle school and high school students access to engineering design and biomedical science courses. As part of our transition toward being a true STEM district, we are increasing the number of STEM teachers in each school. Allowing our STEM teachers to focus more on engineering and biomedical courses has required us to rethink the structure and curriculum of our science departments.
With Engineering is Elementary, we are creating young engineers in the elementary grades. Engineering is Elementary is a project developed by the Boston Museum of Science that aims to improve engineering and technological literacy in elementary students. In order to give high school students the foundation needed to succeed in engineering courses, we have transformed instruction in the lower grades.
Finally, our one-to-one MacBook initiative has challenged our students and staff to seek out new ways to incorporate technology in the classroom.  This technological infrastructure is helping our students achieve goals relevant to 21st-century learning.
KSBIT Update from the Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust Trustees – We received the following information and are forwarding it on to you at the request of the Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust Trustees:
The Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust (KSBIT) met by conference call this morning Wednesday, September 4, 2013. The purpose of the special called board meeting was to approve the final Novation Agreement terms that will be provided to the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance (DOI) as part of the final assessment plan (“Plan”). The KSBIT board members were informed today that there are still items to negotiate before final contracts can be presented to the KSBIT board for approval. Because of posting period timelines and submittal of final contract language to DOI, the pending evidentiary administrative hearing scheduled for September 25th and 26th has been postponed.  This administrative hearing will be rescheduled as soon as possible and we will advise all school districts as soon as DOI gives us a new date. We regret any inconvenience as all parties continue to work diligently and in good faith to complete all necessary contract language.
Commissioner’s Blog – This week my blog is titled “Educational choices and where they may lead”. You can access the blog at the following link:
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