February 24 2014

Published: 2/25/2014 2:38 PM
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:
• Nominations for the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) Advisory Board (Attachment)
• School Improvement Grant (SIG) RFA – Submission Deadline Extension
• Upcoming Survey by the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts
• Denial of Meals Served
• Approved Federal Teacher Shortage Areas
• Individual Learning Plan (ILP) Trainings for Administrators
• PGES Webcast
• Preparing for the Student Voice Survey
• Science learning through writing workshop
• SREB Study of CTE in Kentucky (Attachment)
• Junior Achievement
Kentucky Teacher – Leader in Me program featured

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


Nominations for the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) Advisory Board (Attachment)
KRS 167.037 requires a KSD Advisory Board be established. The Board is to be composed of nine members appointed by the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) upon the recommendation of the Chief State School Officer (Commissioner of Education). The purpose of the board is to act in an advisory capacity to assist school leadership and make recommendations to the Commissioner of Education concerning all areas relating to the effective operation of the school.


We are currently receiving at-large nominations. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for consideration, please complete the attached form and return by March 7 to Johnny Collett (Johnny.Collett@education.ky.gov) or by U.S. Mail to:

Johnny W. Collett, Director
Kentucky Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
500 Mero Street
Capital Plaza Tower, 18th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

Nominees should also include a resume and cover letter explaining your background and interest in serving on the board.
 
School Improvement Grant (SIG) RFA – Submission Deadline Extension
School Improvement Grants under Section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 are grants to state educational agencies (SEAs).  SEAs, in turn, make sub grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need and the strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools.
 
The Request for Applications can be found on the KDE Competitive Grants page

The deadline for applications has been extended to 4 p.m. (EDT), Monday, March 10.

Upcoming Survey by the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts
The Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) will be performing a special examination to study current education, employment, and training history of school district finance officers.  This study is in response to HB 154 currently under consideration by the General Assembly.  HB 154 would give the state board the legal authority to promulgate regulations establishing minimum qualifications for district finance officers.  In the event HB 154 becomes law, the Kentucky Department of Education would coordinate closely with the Kentucky Association of School Business Officials (KASBO) to ensure that any minimum qualifications for district finance officers, as proposed through regulation, are practical and fair.
 
The information for this study will be gathered in two ways.  First, all Superintendents and Finance Officers will be e-mailed a link to a brief online survey early this week.  The APA only requires one response per school district, but all questions should be completed.  Second, the APA will request a few records to support the survey responses, and that information can be e-mailed back to the contact provided on the survey form.
 
Due to the impending status of the legislation, this project has a very quick turnaround.  Therefore all survey responses and supporting documentation should be submitted to the APA before close of business this Friday, February 28. Please note that although the data gathered from the survey is for informational purposes, the report will specifically identify the responses of each school district as provided.  

Denial of Meals Served
As you may be aware, there have been several recent and highly publicized incidents across the country in which children have had food trays taken away after going through the lunch line because they were unable to purchase or charge the meal.  As Commissioner, I do not support this type of behavior and I am confident that all Kentucky superintendents share this concern.  I highly encourage local boards of education that have adopted a local charge policy to take reasonable measures to avoid a child experiencing a humiliating situation at the point of service.   For example, districts may want to consider improving notification methods to get the word out on local charge policy requirements to the parent(s) and the student before such an incident would occur.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact the Valerie Crouch in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of School and Community Nutrition if you need any assistance with suggestions for improvement.  Valerie may be reached at valerie.crouch@education.ky.gov.

Approved Federal Teacher Shortage Areas
In response to Kentucky’s submission request, the United States Department of Education has designated the following areas as teacher shortage areas during the 2014 – 2015 school year.
 
English                                                  Social Studies
     English-Middle school                                Social Studies-Middle School
     English-Secondary                                     Social Studies-Secondary
     English as a Second Language (ELL)
 
World Languages                                   Career and Technical Education
 
Exceptional Children                              Science
      Emotional-Behavior Disorder                    General Science-Middle School          
      Functional Mental Disorder                       General Science- Secondary
      Learning Behavior Disorder                       Science-Chemistry Secondary
      Hearing Impaired                                     Science-Earth Science
      Visually Impaired                                     Science-Physics 
                                                                    Science-Biology Secondary
Math                                                                                
      Mathematics-Middle School
      Mathematics-Secondary        
                                     
If educators have any of the following loans or are involved with any of the following programs, they may be eligible for some assistance.
• Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)/Federal Stafford Program
• Federal Perkins Loan
• Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
• Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program
 
Please refer Federal Stafford/SLS borrowers who have questions concerning their loans, including the teacher shortage area deferment, to the Federal Student Aid Hotline at 1-800-4FED-AID or to Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) at 1-800-928-8926; refer Federal Perkins Loan borrowers to the school were they received the loan; refer TEACH grant recipients to the granting college or university. Stafford and Perkins program information may be found at: http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/teachercancel.jsp?tab=repaying.    

Individual Learning Plan (ILP) Trainings for Administrators
There will be a special training for middle and high school administrators on the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) on March 14 in Lexington and on March 26 in Paducah.  Administrators are strongly encouraged to attend this training to learn how the use of the ILP can help all students become college- and career-ready. Attendees will learn how the ILP can help with college- and career-advising, schedule forecasting, help teachers know the learning styles of each of their students and much more.
 
When students use their ILPs on a regular basis, it helps them set and meet college- and career-readiness goals and helps teachers build relationships with students. Find out how the ILP can be incorporated throughout the entire school to best help each of your students.
 
Please visit the KDE ILP website to register for the administrator training. For more information please contact Jennifer Smith at jennifer.smith@education.ky.gov.

PGES Webcast
The next PGES webcast is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March. 26. The webcast will share updates on the Model CEP, the Student Growth Goal Setting process and frequently asked questions. The live webcast may be viewed via mms://video1.education.ky.gov/encoder3a. This webcast and all archived KDE webcasts can be found on the KDE Media Portal.

Preparing for the Student Voice Survey
Teacher participants in the Student Voice Survey may be assigned in Infinite Campus until March 14.  Regardless of when a district assigns teachers in Infinite Campus, the surveys will not be visible to students until the opening day of the Student Voice Survey window on March 19.
 
The Student Voice Survey Guidance Document, located in the Student Voice Survey Toolkit, provides direction regarding this process. Technical guidance for assigning administrator permissions and teacher participants in Infinite Campus also is available in the “Administrative How-to” technical document in the toolkit.

Science learning through writing workshop
Middle and high school science teachers and language arts teachers interested in authentic writing experiences for their students are invited to a day-long workshop on teaching Science Literacy through Science Journalism.  It will be held March 1, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. ET, in the New Science Building at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.
 
This day-long workshop will support teachers in engaging students in meeting the new standards for research through the SciJourn process (www.scijourn.org) which is based on a four-year, NSF-funded research project demonstrating that teaching science journalism using reliable data sources and science-specific writing standards improves students’ understanding of and literate engagement in science.
 
The cost is $125 per person. Registration includes lunch and the text: Front Page Science: Engaging Teens in Science Literacy. Six hours of professional development credit is being offered.  Access more information and the registration form here. The workshop is sponsored by the Kentucky Writing Project and the Kentucky Department of Education.

SREB Study of CTE in Kentucky (Attachment)
As many of you are aware, KDE commissioned the Southern Regional Education Board to conduct a study of Kentucky’s 95 area technology centers and career technical centers.  The study was conducted in Fall 2013, and its purpose was to assess the impact of CTE on student performance, graduation and preparation for college and a career, as well as to examine the strength of the relationships between high school career preparation programs and the regional workforce needs of Kentucky’s businesses and industries.
 
Sources of data for the study include faculty and student surveys (811 teachers and 5,387 seniors); desk audit of CCR and enrollment data; six institutional reviews; two focus groups; and individual interviews with KDE and Workforce leadership. 
 
Listed below are some of the significant findings:
• SREB found alignment gaps between existing CTE programs offered at the 95 centers and workforce needs both at the state level and by economic regions.
• CTE students appear to be better prepared academically than they are technically.  Sixty-three percent of students at all 95 centers met academic career-ready benchmarks, while only 49 percent met technical career-ready benchmarks.
• It appears more can be done at the state or local centers to embed essential work-related math and literacy standards into assignments that address real-world problems.
• At present, the promise inherent in the Dual Credit Memorandum of Understanding has not been fully realized.
• Individual Learning Plans are not being used effectively to help students plan optional career pathway programs of study that will prepare them for work, advanced training, and college.
 
With these findings in mind, four over-arching recommendations are provided in the report.
 
1. Commission an in-depth study that will identify funding priorities and formulate recommendations to create an improved and more equitable funding system for technical centers.
2. Establish an accountability system that not only measures whether all of the components are in place that will maximize opportunities for all students.
3. Forge a unified system of world-class technical centers.
4. Establish stronger, more formal ties between the state’s secondary and postsecondary education institutions and private sector business and industry partners by creating a robust system of state and regional advisory committees.
 
One item of interest to me was the alignment of program offerings to regional economic employment opportunities.  Attached is Appendix D of the report which is titled, “Employment Gaps by Economic Regions and Proposed New Career Pathway Programs of Study or the Redesign, Repurposing, and Expansion of Existing Programs.
 
The report has been shared with leadership in the Kentucky General Assembly.  Once KDE has the opportunity to meet with the Education Committees in the House and Senate, the full report will be posted to the website.  In April, Dr. Gene Bottoms will present the findings of the report to the CTE Advisory Committee and the Kentucky Board of Education.  The Advisory Committee and KBE will prioritize recommendations and strategies, then workgroups will be formed to develop a strategic plan for elevating and integrating CTE.

Junior Achievement (JA)
Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy.  From kindergarten through 12th grade, Junior Achievement’s programs provide financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship education experiences to students that are both unique and exciting, yet fully correlate with the requisite standards of learning in both Kentucky and Indiana. Learning about economics -- whether it is a concept as simple as "wants and needs" or as complex as "modern international trade" -- is a valuable and enriching experience for students.
 
The JA lessons are taught by adult role models from the local community, including businesspeople, parents, and university students. JA recruits volunteers throughout the Kentuckiana region to educate children using both JA's professionally developed, time-proven curriculum, as well as the volunteer's own experiences from the professional world.
 
Junior Achievement (JA) programs help support the Commonwealth’s college/career-readiness goals for all students.
 
Junior Achievement’s classroom and lab-based programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy – all skills that will help Kentucky students compete in the highly competitive, global marketplace. I applaud Junior Achievement’s business partnerships which serve to strengthen JA’s programs and provide our students with real world expertise that will benefit them as they enter college and the workforce. We are pleased to include Junior Achievement Programs on the Kentucky Department of Education’s Best Practices Web page.
 
For more information about Junior Achievement and how to get involved, please contact Lynn Hudgins at lhudgins@jalexington.org or by phone at (859) 219-2423.
 
Kentucky Teacher - Leader in Me program featured
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. 24:
• Read about how “The Leader in Me” program used by schools across Kentucky is teaching students how to be responsible for their own learning and equipping them with 21st-century and college- and career-ready skills.
• Commissioner Holliday recaps the impact of superintendent feedback on the current education landscape.
 
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.
 
Summer positions available with the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE)
GSE is hiring Team Leaders to help mentor and assist high school student teams of entrepreneurs develop business models and design products/services.  This is a great opportunity to learn entrepreneurial activities and skills to bring back to your classroom.  GSE is held on the campus of Georgetown College.  Room and meals are provided.  Pay is hourly with overtime.  Applicants may only apply online and must be able to commit to being on campus from June 16 through July 12. 

Bluegrass Indo-American Civic Society (BIACS) 2014 Scholarships Application – Please share with High School Counselors (Attachment)
Attached please find the 2014 BIACS Scholarship application for graduating seniors.
 
BIACS will be awarding at least 15 1-time scholarships of $1,000 each.  This year at least three scholarships are totally merit based and the remaining are merit with need based.
 
Students complete the online application by visiting www.biacs.org. However, they can use the attached copy and mail it.  Instructions on the website.  Applications are due no later than April 1.
 
For further information, please e-mail scholarship@biacs.org for assistance.

50th Anniversary Civil Rights March to the Kentucky Capitol
The 50th Anniversary Civil Rights March on Frankfort will be Wednesday, March 5, at 10 a.m. ET. Participants are asked to gather at the corner of 2nd Street and Capital Avenue at 9:30 a.m., for the approximate two-block walk. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Frankfort Convention Center, 405 Mero Street.  The Allied Organizations for Civil Rights (AOCR) is hosting the event.
 
The anniversary march commemorates the 1964 Civil Rights March on Frankfort, when 10,000 people walked the Kentucky Capitol to push for the end of segregation. The march ultimately helped lead the nation and the state to end legal segregation and establish civil rights laws to make discrimination illegal.
 
The AOCR urges everyone who can to attend to do so to help demonstrate that Kentuckians support equal opportunity, equal treatment, and justice in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Participants are welcome to march without registering in advance, but are asked to do so for planning purposes by contacting Mary Ann Taylor of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights at (800) 292.5566 or at AOCR@ky.gov.  For a full listing of events, please see the news release here.

Kentucky Literacy Celebration Week
The fourth annual Kentucky Literacy Celebration week will take place March 17-21 and will be marked by a number of activities and announcements.  See flyer here.
 
The week chosen for this event coincides with other literacy related activities that may help inspire participation. February is African-American Read-In month, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English, and March includes Read Across America activities, sponsored by the National Education Association.
 
This document contains several ideas about how every Kentuckian can be involved in the literacy celebration. Please monitor this web link for additional information about this unique statewide event.
 
The Kentucky Literacy Celebration is a result of collaboration among several literacy/education institutions and Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear. The intent of the event is to highlight literacy in Kentucky, celebrate literacy accomplishments and focus on the challenges we still face as a state.

Free access to USA Today
USA Today’s Education Department is offering free access to the USA Today daily electronic edition for classrooms until the end of the school year. If you would like to receive access, please follow this link to sign up:  http://usatodayeducation.com/k12/usa-today-education-grant-request.

Early bird registration extended for math conference
The Kentucky Center for Mathematics is extending its early bird registration pricing for the 2014 KCM conference until Friday, Feb. 28. The 2014 KCM Conference, "Fluency Forward," will be taking place in Lexington, Kentucky on March 10-11 at The Hilton Downtown/Lexington. The conference program features eight featured speakers, 88 breakout sessions, and topics for all grade levels  For more detailed information about the conference, please be sure to visit the conference website, or contact Mandy McDonough, KCM Events Coordinator, at kcm@nku.edu.
 
KET Young Writers Contest
The KET Young Writers Contest is an opportunity for young children to express their creativity by writing for an authentic audience beyond the walls of their school or home. Students in kindergarten through the 5th grade are invited to send in their illustrated stories and, for the first time, students in the 3rd through 5th grades can instead choose to enter a 400-600 word short story without illustrations.
 
The contest runs until April 15 and winners will be notified in May. Please visit the Young Writers Contest website, which has links to the rules, scoring rubrics, and entry forms.

Student Scholarship Contest
A rising junior at one of Kentucky’s public or private high schools will win a $500 scholarship and a photo shoot at his or her school through the “Promote Your School” scholarship contest, sponsored by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

To enter, the student must submit an essay about one of these subjects:
• What my aspiration for my generation is.
• How I am preparing for my future.
• How my education plans will affect my community.
• What a middle school student should do in high school to prepare for college.
 
The deadline for submissions is May 31. For more information, visit www.kheaa.com/website/contest/intro. Photos from the winning school will be used in KHEAA publications and on KHEAA websites.
 
KHEAA is the state agency that promotes college awareness, provides free college planning materials and administers state student aid programs, including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES).
 
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, go to www.gotocollege.ky.gov.
 
For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com;
or call (800) 928-8926, ext. 6-7372.

Digital Citizenship Video Challenge
KET’s School Video Project Challenge — Digital Citizenship, is an opportunity to integrate multimedia technology and media studies with the Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Technology in a fun activity for project-based learning. And, it's a chance to win a greenscreen and light kit for making great student projects!
 
Project focus is on school and community efforts to help Kentucky students be good and safe digital citizens, respectful of others' rights and feelings while protecting themselves as they navigate the Internet, make and share multimedia projects, participate in social networking and develop critical media awareness. Student videos can be brief projects like PSAs (public service announcements) on safe and respectful digital behavior (not texting while driving); news-story explorations on how to develop media awareness and critical viewing skills; recorded discussions and solutions to common problems such as cyber-bullying and more. Deadline for submissions is May 2.
 
For more information check out the challenge website: http://www.ket.org/education/svp/digcitizen.php

History conference
The annual Kentucky History Education Conference for K-12 teachers will be held at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort on Thursday, July 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year’s topic is “Leadership and Legacy in History.”
 
Concurrent sessions on primary source activities, classroom applications, and instructional strategies will also be offered by teacher peers. If you a have a session proposal please let me know as the registration fee is waived for accepted proposals.
 
The cost of the conference, which includes lunch, refreshments, and teacher materials, is only $50 or $45 for KHS, Kentucky Association of Teachers of History and Kentucky Council for Social Studies members.  A special rate of $35 is available for pre-service teachers.
 
In addition, a field study bus tour will be offered the following day, Friday, July 11, to historic sites associated with Kentucky’s legacies. This unique professional development day will include educational and entertaining stops at Woodford Reserve Distillery, the Kentucky Horse Park, and Ward Hall.  Cost for the field study bus tour is $85 if registered before May 15 or $100 after May 15. Lunch is included. Space is limited. A registration form is available online.