As part of our effort to streamline communications and cut down on the number of e-mails you receive, this Monday E-Mail on Tuesday combines several items into one communication.
Please read the Monday E-mail as it contains information about the following KDE-related items:
• Focus on School Safety
• Governor’s Proclamation on Earthquake Awareness Month (Attachments)
• Kentucky Green Ribbon Schools 2013 Application Available
• New Operation Preparation Resources
• National Core Arts Framework now available
• New FERPA rules for Foster Students
• Kentucky Equine Youth Festival
• 2013 Kentucky Equine Youth Festival Essay and Art Contests (Attachment)
• Kentucky Teacher – Districts test PGES; commissioner’s school visits
Also, remember to review the items from Outside Agencies section
If you have questions about the specific items, please see the contact information for each item.
Items from KDE
Focus on School Safety
Many tragedies create an instinctive reaction to find immediate “after the fact” solutions. With the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Connecticut, school safety and security have come under the microscope. However, we are fortunate in Kentucky to have leadership that has been very historically proactive on this issue. Over a decade ago, the General Assembly created the Kentucky Center for School Safety to address issues of school safety and to act as a resource to the school districts in the Commonwealth.
Additionally, in 2008 the General Assembly approved revisions to the state School Facilities Planning Regulation, as recommended by the School Facilities Task Force, which made it easier to implement and pay for safety and security upgrades. A significant change allowed for critical work relating to school safety to be included on a District Facility Plan (DFP) as a single system, regardless of a building’s age. It also permitted the use of restricted funds for this purpose. In the event that an item is not properly included on a DFP, KDE can still work with school districts to address such concerns and revise their DFP appropriately.
Finally the General Assembly has empaneled a bi-partisan Subcommittee on School Safety to continue and heighten the focus on school safety. This subcommittee first met on January 15, 2013, and is seeking concrete, common sense, and economical solutions to proactively address school safety and continue the positive reform that Kentucky has engaged in for years.
If school districts have any additional questions about the planning and implementation process, they may contact Tim Lucas in the School Facilities Branch at Tim.Lucas@education.ky.gov .
Governor’s Proclamation on Earthquake Awareness Month (Attachments)
Attached is Governor Steve Beshear’s Proclamation declaring February as Earthquake Awareness Month. Also attached is information about how to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Preparedness Drill – Drop, Cover and Hold On! to be held February 7, 2013, at approximately 11:15 a.m. (EST), and The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Drop, Cover, and Hold On Earthquake Drill Manual for K-12 Schools (attached).
For more information about The Great U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Preparedness Drill and participation/registration information, go to www.shakeout.org/centralus .
Kentucky Green Ribbon Schools 2013 Application Available
- The first step is to submit a “letter of intent”. Superintendents should notify KDE of their intent to participate by submitting an e-mail to Paige Patterson-Grant at Paige.Patterson@education.ky.gov by February 1, 2013.
- The next step is for participating schools to complete the GRS application available on the GRS Program webpage listed above. Applications are due by February 6, 2013.
Please visit the GRS Program webpage for resource links and other related information.
New Operation Preparation Resources
Several new resources to support schools in implementing Operation Preparation have been posted to the Operation Preparation toolkits available on the Kentucky Department of Education website. Included is a video which can be downloaded and used to help promote the March event. For questions about Operation Preparation, contact Sharon Johnston, email@example.com or (502) 564-2106, ext. 4517.
National Core Arts Framework now available
The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), a partnership of organizations and states leading the revision of the 1994 National Standards for Arts Education, has released a narrative framework that details the rationale, goals, and strategy of the new National Standards for Arts Education. The National Core Arts Standards: A Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning is available online. Five arts discipline teams are currently writing the standards based on the framework. NCCAS’s current timeline calls for the first public look at the new standards in June 2013.
New FERPA rules for Foster Students
The Uninterrupted Scholars Act, which amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to allow child welfare agencies access to foster student records, was passed by Congress in and signed into law this month. The text of the bill can be found here. It is designed to facilitate the availability of school records to child welfare workers who are working with children placed into foster care. The measure will help ensure that school records, including IEPs, are transferred quickly when a child moves to a different school due to a foster care placement; and it will eliminate inadvertent obstacles to information-sharing between education and child welfare agencies. The legislation allows education agencies to release education records to child welfare case workers or other representatives of a state or local child welfare agency or tribal organization. It also eliminates the requirement that the education agency provide duplicative notice regarding the release of education records to parents already receiving notice from the court. Please address any questions to Amy Peabody, firstname.lastname@example.org, in the Office of Guiding Support Services.
Kentucky Equine Youth Festival (Attachment)
The Kentucky Equine Youth Festival will be held on March 27, 2013, at the Kentucky Horse Park, Alltech Arena, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET.
The festival will include:
- live demonstrations of many disciplines in which horses compete
- interactive activities and presentations
- educational booths from organizations representing all facets of the equine industry
- hands-on activities
Advanced registration is required and may be completed by clicking here.
2013 Kentucky Equine Youth Festival Essay and Art Contests (Attachment)
The Kentucky Equine Youth Festival contributing sponsors present an opportunity for elementary, middle and high school students throughout Kentucky to demonstrate their talents by participating in the 2013 Kentucky Equine Youth Festival Essay Contest and/or Art Contest.
Contest guidelines, judging criteria and entry forms are attached. The deadline for all entries is February 15, 2013.
Districts test PGES; commissioner’s school visits
Kentucky Teacher, the Kentucky Department of Education’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 Jan. 21:
· Peer observations are one component of the proposed Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES). Hear how Kentucky teachers involved in the system’s field test say it is helping them improve their classroom instruction.
· Education Commissioner Terry Holliday has met his goal of visiting every school district in Kentucky. Read about his final stops to Green and Hart County school districts and find out what he’s learned from his statewide travels.
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 email@example.com 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.
President Obama Introduces a New School Safety Plan
President Obama introduced a new plan last week to keep guns out of the wrong hands, make schools safer and increase access to mental health services. “While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm shouldn’t be a divisive one,” President Obama said during the announcement. The President’s plan to provide new resources that communities can use to make schools safer echoes what educators have been saying they need to protect students.
- Read more about the President’s plan
- Read Secretary Duncan’s blog post “Now is the Time to Reduce Gun Violence in Schools and Communities”
School Nurse of the Year nominations
The Kentucky School Nurses Association is accepting nominations for the Lucille Ross School Nurse of the Year Award. This award recognizes a school nurse who has demonstrated excellence in her school nursing practice and is presented at the annual March KSNA Spring Conference Banquet. If you are interested in nominating your school nurse please provide the nominees name and e-mail address as well as the school district and e-mail back to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to January 25, 2013.
Regional Video Contest
Forward in the Fifth is challenging middle and high school students in 63 public schools in 45 Kentucky counties within its service region to tell their own personal success stories about education and schools in their home communities by creating a 90-second or less student-produced video. The contest is part of a newly launched Forward in the Fifth initiative presented in partnership with Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative and the University of Pikeville.
Students must upload their video submissions to the New Voices in Education website no later than Feb. 28. Instructions on how to upload the video are available from a link on the homepage. Registration and release forms, which may be downloaded and printed from the website, must be mailed and postmarked no later than Feb. 28 to New Voices in Education, Forward in the Fifth, 2292 South Hwy. 27, Somerset, KY 42501.
Entries will be judged based on content, use of theme, originality, editing, creativity, and technical quality. Winners will be posted on the New Voices in Education website.
Both student and school awards will be announced by Forward in the Fifth near the end of the 2012-13 school year.