Items from KDE
Next PGES Webcast August 28
The next Professional Growth and Effectiveness System webcast will air on August 28 at 3 p.m. ET. The topic of this webcast will be the PGES Statewide Implementation Expectations. All webcasts will be archived on the KDE website one day after airing.
PGES and Area Technology Centers
During the 2013-14 school year, six area technology centers will pilot the PGES. The sites are Casey County ATC, Clark County ATC, Floyd County ATC, Garrard County ATC, Green County ATC and Harrison County ATC. All area technology centers will field test the system in the 2014-15 school year with full implementation in the 2015-16 school year. PGES will become the official evaluation tool for all ATC teachers and principals at that time. If you have questions regarding PGES and the KY Tech Schools, contact Laura Arnold, email@example.com
or call (502) 564-4286
, ext. 4230.
Education Events in the News
The following events may prompt local coverage in your districts. News releases will be distributed for these events and will be posted on the KDE website.
• On Tuesday, Commissioner Holliday will visit Pulaski Co. High School to announce it as one of two new Hub Schools. Hub Schools are those Priority Schools that have shown improvement and will act as a hub for school improvement and work with Focus Schools in their region. The other Hub School is Franklin-Simpson High School. Commissioner Holliday will visit there on September 10.
• On Wednesday, ACT will release national results for its graduating class of 2013. This includes all public school data and all public and private school data. No district or school level results will be released. KDE will release trend data in conjunction with the ACT national release. The state release on junior administration of the ACT will coincide with other accountability results released in late September.
• On Thursday, the Governor and Commissioner Holliday will appear at a news conference focusing attention on the statewide implementation of the Kindergarten Readiness Screener.
Website Data Collection on Superintendents’ Contracts and Benefits Information
Please remember that KDE superintendent contracts and benefits information must be submitted by August 31, 2013. Information should be submitted by your finance officer (or appropriate designees) through this link: https://odss.education.ky.gov/webforms
. If have any questions about submission of this data, please contact Carol Buell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and consists of sweeping changes to the US health care system. Some provisions have already been implemented; however, the major component for mandated health care will become effective January 1, 2015.
This “play or pay” mandate requires large employers to offer full-time employees the opportunity to enroll in employer-sponsored health plans or risk paying substantial penalties. KDE has formed a Work Group to assist districts and provide guidance necessary to begin preparations for these upcoming changes.
As a result of the first work session, the group offers the following recommendations to Kentucky school districts:
2. Each district will need to know who is eligible, based on ACA, to receive health insurance. Consider using the measurement period of October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014 so a full twelve-month period may be used to determine eligibility, based on ACA, in time for open enrollment in 2014.
3. Implement a method for tracking actual hours worked by all variable-hour employees, including substitutes and coaches, through the measurement period (recommended: October 1, 2013). The ACA requires employers to attribute 8 hours for each day worked to the eligibility calculation for variable-hour employees unless the employer tracks the actual hours worked. Therefore, it is advantageous for districts to use time sheets or some other mechanism to document actual hours.
4. Consider the budget implications and possible cost control measures.
5. Become educated. There are resources available on the KDE website at http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pages/Health-and-Life-Insurance-Benefits-and-Flexible-Spending-Accounts.aspx
The Work Group will develop a Kentucky School District Guide to the Affordable Care Act. The target publication date for this document is October 1. There will also be two sessions offered at the Fall KASBO Conference concerning ACA issues. Districts are also encouraged to attend their regional Co-op meetings in which ACA is discussed. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Susan Barkley, email@example.com (502)564-3930
x 4437, or Melissa Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org (502)564-3846
Federal Grants Closeout Reminder
This is a reminder that the following grants end September 30, 2013. All funds must be spent or obligated by September 30, 2013 and all obligations must be liquidated in a sufficient time to submit the final Federal Cash Request by December 10, 2013. Please contact the appropriate fiscal contact if you have any questions regarding these grants. The final MUNIS report is due January 25, 2011.
The CFR documents have been revised. The changes are reflected in red type. Some CFR guideline reminders follow:
1) The CFR form must be submitted by e-mail to Denise Hartsfield at email@example.com
in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of District Support.
2) A copy of the Debt Service Schedule must be submitted with the initial CFR request. The Debt Service Schedule must reflect the net of federal rebates amount and the federal rebates or any form of debt service reimbursements received during FY 2014 in separate columns on the schedule. This information should be obtained directly from the district’s Fiscal Agent.
3) For districts utilizing the School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC) escrowed funds from odd-numbered years, a copy of approval from the SFCC to use such funds must be submitted with the CFR request.
4) For districts whose CFR expenditures are related to construction or renovation projects not on the district’s facilities plan, a Project Application Form (BG-1) must be submitted to the District Facilities Branch concurrently with the Capital Funds Request.
How to Access Photos from the Aug. 8 Recognition Ceremony Celebrating SB 97 at the Capitol Rotunda and Link to Recording of Ceremony
If you and/or your board chair attended the August 8th recognition ceremony for districts that had passed a policy raising the compulsory attendance age to 18, the photos made with the Governor and myself are now available by going to the following website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/govbeshear/sets/72157635082437935/
New Phone System at KDE
If you have called some offices at the Kentucky Department of Education in the last several months, you may have noticed that your call is being answered by an automated system and that you are then prompted to dial an extension to reach the party you are calling. You may want to make a note of the extensions of those you call regularly. Phone extensions will be listed in the Kentucky Schools Directory that will be published this fall.
Visual thinking; Developing dollars and sense
Kentucky Teacher, the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) award-winning online publication, is the place to go to stay abreast of what is happening in Kentucky’s public schools. Kentucky Teacher includes education news, feature articles that highlight successful classroom practice, helpful resources and more.
Here’s a look at what’s coming in Kentucky Teacher the week of August 19:
• Seeing is believing; it also facilitates learning and critical thinking skills. Learn about “The Right Answer” – a curriculum being piloted by the Kentucky Historical Society -- and how teachers are using its visual thinking strategies to help their students look at artwork and other historical documents and artifacts.
• It’s never too early to begin teaching students about dollars and sense. Find out how some Kentucky teachers integrate financial literacy and economic lessons into their primary and middle school curriculum.
Make sure you don’t miss anything in Kentucky Teacher by signing up to receive e-mail updates whenever new stories or features are added. Rest assured, we won’t share your e-mail address.
We want to hear from you too, so send your comments, feedback or story suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or post your comments online.
Kentucky Teacher is produced by KDE’s Division of Communications.
Items from Outside Agencies
PLEASE NOTE: Inclusion of items in this section does not constitute endorsement by the Kentucky Department of Education or the Commissioner of Education.
Kentucky Tonight focuses on science standards
Tonight, Bill Goodman and his guests will discuss K-12 science standards on KET's Kentucky Tonight. Scheduled guests are: State Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, chair of the Senate Education Committee; State Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, chair of the House Education Committee; Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation of Kentucky; and Blaine Ferrell, chair of the committee on legislation for the Kentucky Academy of Science.
Monday, August 19 at 8:00/7:00 pm CT on KET
Monday night, August 19 at 12:00/11:00 pm CT on KETKY
Tuesday, August 20 at 7:00/6:00 am CT on KETKY
Tuesday, August 20 at 6:00/5:00 pm CT on KETKY
Wednesday, August 21 at 2:00/1:00 am CT on KET
Wednesday, August 21 at 5:00/4:00 am CT on KETKY
Kentucky School Leader now available
The new, redesigned Fall 2013 online issue of Kentucky School Leader is now available!
For the debut issue of Kentucky School Leader's new look, the focus is all about keeping our schools and students safe. School safety is not just about school shootings. It encompasses anything that put children's lives in harm's way, from bullying to severe weather.
You may access past issues of Kentucky School Leader in our digital edition archive. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please e-mail email@example.com
or call (800) 928-KASA.
SBDM for Effective Principal Leadership
This new workshop helps principals navigate the SBDM legal requirements and provides them with important resources to guide their councils to proficiency.
Led by a District SBDM Coordinator and former Principal as well as the Kentucky Association of School Council’s (KASC) attorney, this workshop includes:
• Legal Requirements
• Policies and Bylaws
• Conducting Meetings
• Election Process
The $75 registration fee includes KASC's completely revised and updated KASC Principal Organizer, giving each participant an invaluable SBDM resource to take back to their school.
Find out more here. Register here!
Social Studies Call for Proposals
The Kentucky Council for Social Studies is currently accepting proposals for the 2013 Annual Conference to be held in Bowling Green, KY October 9-10. The theme, Social Studies: Charting a Course to The Future, invites presentations from all aspects of social studies
(History – US and World; Geography; Economics; Government and Civics) as well as connections to Literacy and civic organizations. All proposals will be considered.
To submit a proposal, visit www.KCSS.org
and click on the Submit a Proposal Link. Deadline for submission has been extended to August 23.
Making Middle School Mathematics More Accessible for Struggling Students (Grades 6-8)
The Kentucky Center for Mathematics is offering a course designed to strengthen the collaborative relationship between regular education and special education co-teachers as they work together to address the needs of struggling middle school students.
This three-day course focuses on how to make middle school mathematics instruction more accessible to struggling students and students with disabilities. The emphasis is on promoting collaboration between mathematics teachers and special educators.
This training is designed for teams of co-teachers (regular education teachers and special education educators) who work in a collaborative classroom relationship. In this unique course, participants will explore instructional tools and teaching strategies that will assist them in co-planning lessons and in developing accessibility strategies that meet students’ needs while maintaining the integrity of mathematics.
Please click here to access the course flyer for more information.
There are three locations for this training:
• Louisville, KY— September 19, October 10, and November 14, 2013
• Boone County, KY — September 10, October 8, and November 12, 2013
• Eastern KY — January 28, February 25, and March 25, 2014
Cost for the course is $178/participant. If you are interested in registering for this PD or have questions, please contact the KCM Assistant Director, Jill Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentucky Reading Association Annual Conference
The 2013 Kentucky Reading Association (KRA) Conference is preparing for another outstanding event, “Literacy without Borders” in Lexington, Oct. 17-19, 2013. KRA celebrates its 50th year with guest speakers Don Leu, Brenda Overturf, Maureen McLaughlin, Betsy Baker, Suzy Kline, and other national, state, and local literacy experts. (Preview this year’s speakers here.)
This excellent professional learning opportunity features sessions designed to focus attention on the Kentucky Core Academic Standards, technology in education, exceptional children, and research-based instruction for pre-K through postsecondary literacy learners. In addition, KRA will celebrate several special occasions at the 2013 conference, including the Kentucky Bluegrass Awards Luncheon with special guest author George Ella Lyon, the Author’s Luncheon and a legislative forum. You can find out more and register at www.kyreading.org
For more information, please see the conference flyer or click for information specific to middle/high school, special education or educational technology.
Kentucky State Parks Commonwealth Connection for 2013-14
The Kentucky State Parks are once again offering the Commonwealth Connection discount for all local, state and federal employees and retirees for 2013-14. The Kentucky State Parks offer more than 250 miles of hiking trails, wildlife viewing, golf and other outdoor adventure.
Take advantage of the Kentucky State Parks’ Commonwealth Connection program, which offers reduced rates on lodge rooms and cottages at 17 resort parks. Good from Nov. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014. The rates for 11 resorts and the cottages at John James Audubon State Park are:
Lodge Room -- $44.95
1BR Cottage -- $74.95
2BR Cottage -- $84.95
3BR Cottage -- $94.95
Add $5 to the above rates to enjoy a getaway at these remaining resort parks: Barren River, Cumberland Falls, Kentucky Dam Village, Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland or Natural Bridge State Resort Parks.
Make your reservations online at www.parks.ky.gov
and use the promo code “CC13”. Individual park numbers can be found on-line or call 1-800-255-7275
. Be sure to mention the “Commonwealth Connection” to receive your special rate!
Proof of government employment or past service may be required at check-in. Offer is subject to availability and may exclude park special event weekends and holidays; for leisure travel only; and not to be combined with other offers. Applicable taxes will apply.