February 17 2014

Published: 2/18/2014 11:15 AM
​As part of our effort to streamline communications and cut down on the number of e-mails you receive, here is a Monday E-Mail that combines several items into one communication.
 
Please read the Monday E-mail as it contains information about the following KDE-related items:
• Details Regarding March ACT (Time Sensitive Information – DAC Action Required)
• KDE Revised Consolidated Compliance Plan for Non-Discrimination Available
• Keeping learning fresh amid multiple adverse weather days
• Recent Changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Employer Requirements
• U.S. Department of Agriculture letter on the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program (Attachment)
• Kentucky Teacher - Milken winner; Commissioner’s Comments on planning time; Teacher Hall of Fame

Also, take a look at the items under the section titled “Items from Outside Agencies”.
 
If you have questions about the specific items, please see the contact information for each item.
Items from KDE
 
Details Regarding March ACT (Time Sensitive Information – DAC Action Required)
Last week, the Kentucky Department of Education collected a survey regarding ACT testing for 2014.  The Office of Assessment and Accountability staff thanks DACs and their designees for the quick response.  The response rate was outstanding.  The information was valuable in determining options for ACT testing. 
 
Options
Due to the severe weather in Kentucky this winter, ACT, Inc. is providing the following two options for the 2014 ACT test administration. 
Option 1: March 4 (initial test date), March 18 (make-up) and the accommodations window March 4-18
Option 2: March 18 (initial test date) without a make-up date and the accommodations window March 4-18
Next Steps
Districts must decide which option to choose for ACT testing. The decision, made by the district, will then apply to all schools administering the ACT in that district. Once the decision has been made, follow these guidelines:
 
Option 1:  For districts that choose Option 1, there is no action needed.  Test materials will arrive as scheduled from ACT for testing on March 4 (initial test date).  The Test Supervisor will place make-up orders for March 18 according to ACT’s standard procedures. ALL accommodated materials will be shipped to arrive for testing March 4-18.
 
Option 2:  For districts that choose Option 2, the DAC must respond, by close of business tomorrow (Tuesday, February 18), to this e-mail with the following information:

District Number (insert district number) and District Name (insert district name) will not test on March 4, but instead will test on March 18 with the accommodations window March 4-18.
For districts that select Option 2, ACT will make an effort not to ship standard time test materials for March 4 for any schools in the district.  ACT will print and ship new test forms for standard time testing for March 18.  The confirmed enrollment figure provided by participating schools will be used for the quantity shipped for March 18. However, accommodated materials will arrive in order to be utilized March 4-18 as required. 
 
As a reminder, KRS 158.6453 mandates all juniors take the ACT.  Purposeful omission of students from state testing is a violation of statute.  DACs are encouraged to review with staff 703 KAR 5:080, the Administration Code for Kentucky’s Educational Assessment Program, http://education.ky.gov/AA/distsupp/Pages/AdminCode.aspx.  KDE will monitor testing and attendance rates during ACT testing dates. 

Note: Responses to the survey last week were for informational purposes only. 

DAC ACTION REQUIRED
To change testing to March 18, DACs are to respond to the e-mail they already received from Rhonda Sims on this topic.
 
For questions, please contact Jennifer Stafford at Jennifer.stafford@education.ky.gov or (502) 564-2256.

KDE Revised Consolidated Compliance Plan for Non-Discrimination Available
Please be advised that the Kentucky Department of Education has revised its Consolidated Compliance Plan for Non-Discrimination.  The revised plan has been posted on the Legal and Legislative Services page on KDE’s website and includes a Discrimination Complaint Form that can be filled out by anyone alleging discrimination against KDE staff and/or KDE program areas.

Keeping learning fresh amid multiple adverse weather days
The Office of Next-Generation Schools and Districts is interested in what districts have done to reach out and creatively engage students to keep learning fresh and as current as possible during the recent unexpected span of snow days. You are encouraged to share your ideas or things your school or district has done to mitigate the impact this winter is having on learning. We would like to gather these ideas to share with others across the state as a strategy to support schools as they are faced with the task of getting students back into the groove of learning and ready for the spring assessment. Please contact Patrice Nyatuame at patrice.nyatuame@education.ky.gov to share your great ideas.

Recent Changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Employer Requirements
On February 10, 2014, US Treasury Department officials announced new rules regarding the implementation of the employer shared responsibility portion of the ACA as follows: 
• Employers with 50 – 99 full-time and full-time equivalent employees are not required to provide insurance coverage for eligible employees until January 1, 2016 – a delay of an additional year.
• Employers with at least 100 full-time and full-time equivalent employees must provide coverage as of January 1, 2015; however, the substantial compliance percentage decreases from 95% to 70%.  This means that an employer will not face a penalty for failure to offer coverage if at least 70% of its full-time employees are offered coverage.
 
In addition, clarification was made that hours worked by bona fide unpaid volunteers for governments and other tax-exempt entities will not cause them to be considered full-time employees.
 
In the coming weeks, the US Treasury Department plans to issue a separate set of rules that will cover questions regarding the employer reporting requirements.  After this information has been released, KDE will provide additional guidance to districts.  
 
It is important that districts continue in their efforts to implement the ACA provisions including identifying variable hour employees and developing a system to track their days or hours worked.  2015 can be utilized as a “trial run” to improve processes before a penalty can be assessed. 
 
Questions regarding ACA as it relates to Kentucky school districts may be directed to Melissa Sullivan at melissa.sullivan@education.ky.gov, 502-564-3846, extension 4415 or Susan Barkley at susan.barkley@education.ky.gov, 502-564-3930, extension 4437.

U.S. Department of Agriculture letter on The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program (Attachment)
Attached is a letter from Kevin Concannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture, concerning how to handle instances in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program where outstanding balances from unpaid meal charges exist.  Included in the letter are positive steps that schools can take to address this issue.
 
Kentucky Teacher - Milken winner; Commissioner’s Comments on planning time; Teacher Hall of Fame
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 Feb. 17:
• Read all about the newest Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner William King. King, freshman class principal at Bowling Green High School (BGHS) in the Bowling Green Independent school district, was surprised with the award at a special ceremony at his school this week.
• Commissioner Terry Holliday shares his thoughts on the importance of and need for more teacher planning time.
• Meet the newest members of the Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame and find out how to submit a nominee for next year’s awards.
 
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 kentuckyteacher@education.ky.gov 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.
 
“Invent to Learn” online book chat
On Tuesday, February 18 at 8:30 p.m. ET, Kentucky teachers are invited to join an online book chat with Sylvia Martinez who, along with Gary Stager, wrote Invent to Learn, an exciting book that shakes up the way educators have traditionally thought about learning.
 
To join the chat on Twitter use #inventtolearnchat.  The online chat is being coordinated by The Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky.

Presenters sought for summer symposium
The Kentucky Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (KYASCD) is looking for summer symposium presenters to share their knowledge, experiences and success with other educational professionals from across the state.
 
The focus for this KYASCD Symposium is on the Kentucky Framework for Teaching with effective strategies for improving instruction, implementation of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards, while improving professional practice with the new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System.
Sessions are one hour, and attendees vary from classroom teachers to district leadership. This one-day event will be held in Richmond at Madison Central High School (Madison County).
 
All proposals must be submitted with an online submission form by Feb. 27. Proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee consisting of educators from across the state. All presenters will receive free conference registration. Contact Tina Barrett for more information.

The Kentucky Center for Mathematics issues Request for Proposals (Attachment)
The Kentucky Center for Mathematics is issuing a Request for Proposals for a competitive funding opportunity that enhances the mathematical development of gifted and talented students. The funding, not to exceed $10,000 per awardee, will support programs that provide high-quality mathematical learning experiences for gifted and talented P-12 students.
 
Please see the attached for further details.
 
50th Anniversary of the 1964 Freedom March on Frankfort
On March 5th, students have a unique opportunity to participate in an educational and historic event, the 50th Anniversary celebration of the March on Frankfort.
 
In celebration of the 1964 march, thousands are gathering once again in Frankfort. The commemorative march and accompanying rally will be from 10:00 a.m. through approximately noon (Eastern Standard Time), Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Gather at the corner of 2nd Street and Capital Avenue at 9:30 a.m. to line up in order to proceed to the State Capitol, 700 Capital Ave., Frankfort, Ky.  For more information on the march, contact Mary Ann Taylor of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights at 1.800.292.5566.
 
High school students and young adults are encouraged to participate in a recreation of the march and will be positioned in the front sections.
 
As part of the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Celebration, the Kentucky Historical Society is sponsoring a multimedia exhibit in the Capitol Education Center next door to the Governor’s Mansion. This is free and open to the public.
 
The Capital City Museum has developed an exhibition which will open to the public at 6:00 p.m. on the evening of March 4 and run until August 31.

New KY MEdia Bank
The “Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky” is the first in a series of intriguing topics that teachers can address in their classrooms through KY MEdia Bank (www.kymediabank.com), a new online “public scrapbook.” The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) created the website as both an innovative teaching tool for K-12 students and as a place where the public can capture, share and archive stories about the people and events that made an impact on Kentucky’s communities and ultimately helped shape the commonwealth.
 
KY MEdia Bank promises to be another valuable tool for helping students and others learn about and understand the 1964 March on Frankfort, by directly engaging with their own families, friends and communities.
 
It works this way: We’ll present the topic. Your class will provide the narrative by uploading images, audio recordings, video recordings or short stories that offer insight, knowledge, awareness of — and perhaps even a new perspective on — the subject. This method allows stories and artifacts that might never see the light of day to be safely and openly shared, while the person whose story is being told need not worry about losing a family photo or heirloom or the rights to what they have shared.
 
The KY MEdia Bank site provides tips just for educators, making it easy for students to collaborate and share their stories. The online format also allows your class to take what they have created beyond their classroom walls by inviting others — whether in your school, at home, in the community or anywhere in the world — to visit the site and read your classroom’s contribution.
To get an idea for what your class might do, visit www.kymediabank.com and see what others have already posted.
 
For more information, contact Sarah Milligan at sarah.milligan@ky.gov or call (502) 564-1792, ext. 4434.

Mathematics Symposium
The University of Louisville’s Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education and the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Teacher Development present the Mathematics Education Colloquium: “Strategies for Encouraging Students to Persist When Working on Cognitively-Demanding Tasks” on Thursday, March 6, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the University Club, Mary Bingham Room on the Belknap Campus.
 
Featured speakers include Dr. Doug Clarke, Professor of Mathematics Education, Australian Catholic University and Dr. Barbara Clarke, Associate Professor, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
Refreshments will be served. Parking is available in the University Club lot.
For more information, contact Patty Grimes, patty.grimes@louisville.edu or (502) 852-3096.

Doodle 4 Google 2014
Young artists are encouraged to think big when they create their own Google doodle based on the theme: “If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place…” in the annual Doodle 4 Google contest.
 
The winning doodle will be featured on the Google homepage for a day for millions to see. The winner also will receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school. This year the winner also will become an honorary Google doodler for a day and animate his or her doodle with the Doodle team.
 
To get your artists’ creative juices flowing, we’re partnering with Discovery Education to offer videos and activities for teachers and parents. We’re also offering interactive “Meet the Doodler” Connected Classrooms sessions where kids can meet Google Doodlers, learn about their process from idea to Doodle, and ask questions along the way.
 
Entries must be received by March 20. Check out www.google.com/doodle4google for more details.

National WWII Museum to sponsor two essay contests for middle and high school students (Attachment)
Each year the National WWII Museum sponsors two essay contests for middle and high school students.  Student participants are asked to reflect on an annual theme related to the WWII experience and to connect this to an aspect of their own lives.  In honor of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, this year’s essay prompt asks students to think about a time in their lives when they had to make important plans for success in spite of uncertainty, much like Eisenhower and the Allied Forces did for the Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.  Students must address the question “How did you plan to achieve success in the face of the unknown?”
 
Attached is information about the Museum’s National 2014 High School Essay Contest and 2014 Middle School Essay Contest, including contest rules and deadlines.  For additional information about the two contests, please go to www.nationalww2museum.org/essaycontests.
 
To explore available resources related to this subject, please go to http://ww2online.org.