July 14 2014

Published: 7/15/2014 2:00 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:
• 2013-14 Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention (MERR) Report Due on or Before July 31 (Attachment)
• 2014 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Awards
• Clarification Regarding Carbonated Beverages
• Kentucky Global Schools Network: Learn and Launch Grants RFA
• School Report Card to open for verification of non-testing information
• PD 360 update makes professional development easier
• Have you registered yet for #PGES4Me?
• PGES Professional Learning Modules now available
• Mark your calendars for the PGES Webcasts
Kentucky Teacher – Menifee High School class connects students to the world; Photo Blog: a day in the life of a teacher
 
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
 
2013-14 Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention (MERR) Report Due on or Before July 31 (Attachment)
Pursuant to 704 KAR 7:130 and KRS 160.380(2) (d), districts are required each year to submit a Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention (MERR) report of the district’s efforts to increase the percentage of minority educators. The reporting cycle for the 2013-14 MERR data report is July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. The 2013-14 MERR data collection must be submitted to the Kentucky Department of Education via a web application on or before July 31, 2014.
 
Step-by-step procedures are provided in the Kentucky Educator Placement Services (KEPS) on the “MERR Home” page. To access the web application login as a district user, use the following link: https://applications.education.ky.gov/KEPs/default.aspx. Then, go to the “DISTRICTS” tab and select “MERR Home”.
 
To improve data quality, staff responsible for KEPS data management systems must review all vacancies posted during this time period before completing the MERR report. For details, see the document attached to this e-mail.
 
Once all postings and the hiring data have been reviewed and updated for accuracy, proceed with completing the MERR recruitment plan. The superintendent or superintendent designee must complete the MERR report and sign-off on the recruitment plan by July 31.
 
*In an effort to ensure data integrity and secure each district’s report, please remove the rights from any staff except the superintendent and superintendent designees. To acquire a current list of KEPS users go to the KEPS home page; then click on the “DISTRICTS” tab and select “KEPS Users”. To make changes to the KEPS users, contact your district Web Application Administrator Point of Contact (WAPPOC) or the KETS Helpdesk at ketshelpdesk@education.ky.gov.
 
If you need assistance with the MERR report, contact Candace Souder with the Division of Next Generation Professionals at candace.souder@education.ky.gov or (502) 564-1479, ext. 4535.

2014 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Awards
The Kentucky Department of Education is pleased to announce the completion of the review process for the 2014 PLTW RFAs.  The awards can be found on the KDE Competitive Grant Awards.
 
Awards are contingent on available funding and districts/schools meeting programmatic and budgetary requirements.
 
For budget-related questions, please contact leaann.lewis@education.ky.gov.  For questions related to the application process or for copies of your score sheets, please contact jason.kendall@education.ky.gov.  All other questions should be addressed to john.thompson@education.ky.gov.

Clarification Regarding Carbonated Beverages
There has recently been discussion about diet carbonated beverages and whether they are permitted to be sold on school campuses pursuant to 7 CFR 210.11 and 702 KAR 6:090, the federal and state regulations that govern the sale of beverages on school campuses. Please be advised that when interpreting state and federal regulations, KDE applies the most restrictive regulation when a conflict arises between state and federal regulation. 
 
Please be further advised that KDE interprets these regulations to mean that during the period beginning thirty (30) minutes after the last lunch period until thirty (30) minutes after the end of the last instructional period, it is permissible to offer diet carbonated beverages with caffeine for sale through a vending machine, school store, canteen, or fundraiser on school property to high school students as long as the beverage does not exceed 20 ounces.  However, it is only permissible to offer diet carbonated beverages to middle school and elementary school students as long as the beverage does not exceed 17 ounces and contains only trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances.    The same rules regarding beverages set forth above apply during food service pursuant to 702 KAR 6:090, Section 3.
 
If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Deanna Tackett at Deanna.Tackett@education.ky.gov.

Kentucky Global Schools Network: Learn and Launch Grants RFA
Global competence is critical for innovation in the 21st century. The next step for Kentucky’s commitment to college- and career-readiness is to ensure that global-readiness is a part of this strategy. To borrow from an NEA policy brief on the issue, this means that students acquire an in-depth knowledge and understanding of international issues and an appreciation of and ability to learn and work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, proficiency in a foreign language, and the skills to function productively in an interdependent world community.
 
The Kentucky Board of Education, at its June 2014 meeting, reiterated a commitment to this focus and Commissioner Holliday pledged support to elementary and middle schools wishing to ‘learn and launch’ global competency and world language programs that support these aspirations.
 
A Request for Applications (RFA) has just been posted for this work. Elementary and middle schools are eligible to apply for grants of $15,000 for professional learning and planning for exemplary global competency and world language programs. Schools must make the following commitments:
• Use funds to learn about and then plan for the implementation of a sustainable and integrated program for all students to understand and meet global competency skills;
• Implement or build upon an existing World Language Program;
• Work collaboratively with KDE and VIF International Education (as an evidence-based provider of support programs and services) to carry out grant activities, including sharing findings and other related data/information; and
• Share the thinking and process of building a global competency program and serve as a spokesperson and model for other schools, districts, partner agencies and VIF International Education.
 
Applicants that submit an Intent to Apply will be invited to an online technical assistance meeting on Tuesday, July 22 at 10:30 a.m. until noon EDT.
 
Applications will be due August 15, with notification of awards on or around September 15. We anticipate being able to fund approximately 13 projects.
 
The RFA can be found on the KDE Competitive Grants website.  Questions should be directed to KDERFP@education.ky.gov.

School Report Card to open for verification of non-testing information
The School Report Card (Secure) site will open this week for district and school verification. Specifically, the Profile, Learning Environment and Finance tabs will be available for review. The Profile and Learning Environment tabs have been updated with 2013-14 data. The Finance tab is new this year and contains only the prior two years of data; 2013-14 data will not be available prior to public release but will be added to the card later.
 
Verification is required by 8/15/14 for School Safety data and by 9/5/14 for the rest of the tabs. There are a limited number of fields that have to be entered locally through the secure site. Specific requirements for this review will be shared with District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and School Report Card (SRC) contacts tomorrow (July 15).
 
The Secure Report Card is accessible this year through the Web Applications login here. Superintendents have automatically been set up with access. For help with user ID or passwords, click here.  If you need assistance with access, contact the district Web Application Administrator (WAAPOC).  District WAAPOCs are included in the School and District directory here.

PD 360 update makes professional development easier
This week’s release is more than a feature freshener. It’s an entirely new platform with a new interface that automatically serves up the resources you need.

Easier and more useful
• Delivers incredibly specific PD content—just-in-time resources on just the right topics to help teachers tweak and improve their classroom
• Serves up exactly what teachers need, with items like assigned PD, group activity, and personal video queues delivered front and center on the home page

High performance—anytime, anywhere, on most devices
• Technology advancements dramatically improve performance, reducing load times and ensuring data stability
• Full mobility allows for anytime, anywhere access on most smart devices

More than just professional development
• The new PD 360 is the cornerstone of the comprehensive suite of professional learning tools that helps teachers become even more effective
 
Important Note:
There is no change to the way PD 360 is accessed. Continue to access PD 360 via CIITS, the way you always have.
• Step 1: Go to ciits.kyschools.us.
• Step 2: Enter your CIITS username and password. Note: If you encounter difficulty logging into your CIITS account, please follow the instructions listed on the CIITS login screen.
• Step 3: Once logged in, click on the green “PD 360 & Common Core 360” icon located under School Improvement Network on the left-hand side of the screen.
 
Click here to see all of the exciting changes to PD 360. Remember, there is no additional cost to you or your district to use this resource.

Have you registered yet for #PGES4Me?
The official launch of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System will take place July 21 at Southland Christian Church on Richmond Road in Lexington from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET. Come join us to receive the benefits of in-person training, small group sessions, networking opportunities, live facilitators, and the opportunity to earn PD and EILA credit. #PGES4Me is open to all Kentucky educators and education stakeholders. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.
 
Click here for registration instructions.
 
A simulcast also will be made available for viewing from any location on July 21. A link will be sent out in advance to view the simulcast. A backchannel, an online question and answer platform, will be open during the simulcast to take questions from those watching remotely. The simulcast also will be archived and available for school and district use starting July 22.
 
Please contact Kevin Stull at kevin.stull@education.ky.gov with questions.

PGES Professional Learning Modules now available
The Kentucky Leadership Association (KLA) in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has compiled an extensive set of Professional Learning Modules that can be used for staff professional learning surrounding TPGES and PPGES. The modules can be downloaded as zip files from the right hand sidebar on the PGES website. They come in three folders: PPGES Modules, TPGES Modules Part A, and TPGES Modules Part B. It is important that you download both Part A and Part B of the TPGES Modules. Because the modules are in zip file format, iOS devices will not support their download.
 
A crosswalk of the TPGES and PPGES Modules with the new Kentucky Professional Learning Standards is also available.

Mark your calendars for the PGES Webcasts
The PGES Webcast takes place on the third Wednesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. ET. A survey of districts showed this to be a better time for most than the mid- to late afternoon slot used last year. You may view the PGES Webcast at the following link:
mms://video1.education.ky.gov/encoder3a.
 
The next PGES webcast will be August 20 at 9:30 a.m. ET. The format will be the same as last year and include a question and answer period at the end.
 
We also will continue to record the webcast (the archived copy is accessible from the main PGES webpage) and send out the questions and answers that come up each month.
 
Kentucky Teacher - Menifee High School class connects students to the world; Photo Blog: a day in the life of a teacher
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 July 14:
• Read about how Menifee High School teacher Randy Barrette is helping his students become culturally savvy through a special program that allows them to connect and collaborate with their peers on the other side of the world.
• Ever wonder what a teacher sees when she looks around her classroom? Well, wonder no longer. This week’s Photo Blog -- featuring Katie Decker, a 4th-grade language arts teacher at Glenn Marshall Elementary School (Madison County) – will give you a day in the life view.

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.

Early bird registration for Meeting the Challenge Conference closes this week
Time is running out to register for the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform (PIMSER) 4th annual Meeting the Challenge Conference. Advance rates have been extended until July 18! Sessions are hand-selected and intentionally planned to meet the needs of teachers and leaders and address the implementation challenges that districts are experiencing. Conference strands include:
• Visible Learning Inside
• Mathematics
• Science
• Assessment
• Literacy
• Social Studies
 
Conference sessions are designed to move teachers toward the Exemplary performance level in the PGES Framework for Teaching and provide administrators with resources to support implementation.
 
Discounts are available for groups of 5 or more. Visit the conference website for complete information and registration.

Early bird registration ends this week for Rural Education National Forum
The deadline for early bird registration is this Friday, July 18 for the Rural Education National Forum.
 
This interactive learning and collaborative experience focuses on the needs of rural schools and will be held October 27–28 in Columbus, Ohio. The forum is designed to:
• contribute to the growing momentum and encourage participation in the emerging voice for rural education
• build opportunities for collaboration/networking to leverage rural strengths to improve rural prosperity
• learn from powerful national examples of successful rural innovation
• focus on ways to connect learning, living, and livelihood for the revitalization of rural communities
 
Rural district, building, and teacher leaders; business, civic, and community leaders;
business and/or community organizations; economic development leaders and venture capitalists; philanthropic foundations; and others interested in strengthening rural education, economic/workforce development, and civic/community engagement efforts are encouraged to attend.
 
Click here for more information on the forum. A flyer is available here. Register online now.

Grandparents as Parents Conference
Registration is now open for the Grandparents as Parents Conference 2014. It will be held Wednesday, September 3, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service, 230 Duncannon Lane in Richmond.  Lunch is included with free registration.  Call (859) 623-4072 by August 27 to register.

Register now for science educators’ conference
It is not too soon to be making plans for attending the Kentucky Science Teachers Association (KSTA) Annual Conference, November 6- 8, in Lexington. The 42nd conference promises to be one of the most important in recent years due to the adoption of new standards for science. Science educators from all over the state will be looking to share ideas and concerns about the changes to curriculum, pedagogy and materials that the new standards will require.
 
Information and registration forms can be found at the KSTA website: www.ksta.org. Look under the Events tab on the home page for all materials related to this year's conference.
 
Applications for presentations are still being accepted. If you would like to offer a session, you may download an application form from the website above.
 
Strategies for Paraeducators’ Academy
Spots are still available for a Paraeducator Academy July 18 in Lexington and on July 25 in Bowling Green. Paraeducators' daily work with students is critical to a school’s goal of improving student achievement. The Kentucky Association of School Councils (KASC) has scheduled a three-hour training on strategies for paraeducators. The workshop includes:
• Recognizing your strengths and identifying ways to be more effective in the classroom
• The importance of positive relationships for working with students
• Strategies for building positive relationships and improving student achievement
• Specific instructional strategies to use with students
• Collaboration and communication with teachers
 
For more information or to register to attend this workshop, click here.