June 16 2014

Published: 6/17/2014 12:01 PM
MONDAY SUPERINTENDENT E-MAIL – 6/16/14
 
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:
• Munis best practice
• Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) training for district and school leaders
• Registration now open for Rural Educational National Forum
• Kentucky Continuous Improvement Summit
• Clarification on Completing Assurances in Section 14 of the CDIP for FY 14-15
• Redbook – Frequently Asked Questions Update (Attachment)
• Summer Learning Camps (SLCs) (Attachments)

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

Munis best practice
One key task in managing any financial system is ensuring proper checks and balances. Checks and balances are performed within Munis by running and comparing reports from different functional areas, monitoring various processes and comparing Munis-generated reports to outside information such as a bank statement. Performing these tasks can identify potential discrepancies and ensure transactions are properly posted.
 
Each finance director establishes a set of procedures to perform reconciliation and balancing.  Munis provides a number of reports, processes and audits that may be utilized to conduct checks and balances.  Examples of these reports are:
• General Ledger Tables Validation: This identifies out-of-balance entries, unposted journals and other inconsistencies.
• Payroll and Accounts Payable Check Reconciliation and Reports: This validates and clears checks provided by your bank against checks contained in the Munis check registers.  Reports can be used to balance to general ledger accounting entries.
• Balance Sheet/Account Trial Balance Reports: The payroll and accounts payable processes generate entries to balance sheet accounts that should be reconciled each month.
• Proof Reports: Proof reports allow the individual entering the information to catch mistakes while allowing those providing oversight the ability to verify the accuracy of the data and ensure proper district accounting procedures.
• Workflow: Over 60 business rules are available to electronically route approval requests and/or notifications of data entered or processes performed. Examples of business rules include Requisition and Purchase Order approvals, creation of Payroll Checks or Advices, notification of payroll process performed, Personnel Action approval or notifications Accounts Payable Check approvals, etc.
• Audit Logs: Audit logs are available in each functional area of Munis. Periodically review logs (e.g., vendor additions/changes, employee pay, employee deductions, payroll processing steps) to ensure appropriate changes.
 
We strongly suggest reconciling and balancing each month. Allowing unreconciled months to accumulate increases the effort in completing the reconciliation task, especially if discrepancies are present.
 
All organizations are encouraged to review their separation of duties to ensure no one individual has the ability to perform all functions without oversight. Organizations with sufficient staff should split processes between two or more individuals while smaller organizations must ensure proper oversight and verification of processes. For example, an individual authorized to enter invoices for payment should not have the ability to produce and sign checks without oversight.  An individual authorized to enter pay information should not have the ability to produce a direct deposit transaction without another individual verifying the deposit.
 
Please check with your auditor to verify your existing procedures or obtain guidance in establishing appropriate procedures.  For any questions, contact Brian Pelletier, brian.pelletier@education.ky.gov.

Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) training for district and school leaders
There will be two special Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) half-day trainings for district and school leaders in July. The first training will be held on July 8 at Dixie Heights High School in Fort Mitchell. The second training will be held on July 10 at the Garland Building in London.
 
District and school leaders are strongly encouraged to attend this hands-on 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, teachers to know the learning styles of each of their students and much more.
 
When students use their ILPs on a regular basis, it helps them to set and meet college- and career-readiness goals and helps teachers build relationships with students. Come find out how the ILP can be incorporated throughout the entire school to best help each of your students.
 
Please visit the KDE website to register. For more information contact jennifer.smith@education.ky.gov.

Registration now open for Rural Education National Forum
The majority of school districts, including those in Kentucky, cover rural areas. That’s why there is such a need for rural schools to be globally competitive and locally relevant in terms of growing and keeping talent.
 
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; and
• 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; the early bird registration deadline is July 18.
 
Kentucky Continuous Improvement Summit
Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Kentucky Continuous Improvement Summit, Focusing on Best Practice to Close the Achievement Gap, that will be held September 22-24 at the Lexington Convention Center. Best practices from across the state will be highlighted and presented by Kentucky teachers and administrators. Principal Baruti Kafele, award-winning educator, internationally-renowned speaker, best-selling author and one of the most sought-after speakers for transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations in America, will be the keynote speaker. Click on the following link to register: Kentucky Continuous Improvement Summit Registration #KYCIS2014.

Clarification on Completing Assurances in Section 14 of the CDIP for FY 14-15
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has received several inquiries about completing Comprehensive District Improvement Plan (CDIP) assurances in ASSIST for section 14 – Textbooks and Instructional Materials.  These assurances essentially ask a district to certify that the district and schools have a board-approved textbook/instructional materials purchasing plan at that time.  KDE certainly recognizes that several districts may still be developing purchasing plans for the upcoming school year (FY 14-15) based on the recent infusion of funding by the General Assembly.  Accordingly, if districts respond “No” to assurances 14.1 and 14.2, but provide a brief explanation of the timeframe within which purchasing plans will be developed and in place in the upcoming school year, general fund dollars for textbook and instructional materials will still be released.

Redbook – Frequently Asked Questions Update (Attachment)
Periodically, important clarifications to the “Accounting Procedures for School Activity Funds”, also known as the “Redbook”, are posted on the KDE website, http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pages/Accounting-Procedures-for-School-Activity-Funds.aspx.
 
The attached FAQ update clarifies how school activity funds may be used to reimburse the district for costs incurred in transporting students to a student group activity.  This update is discussed in this month’s KDE training events for auditors and district finance officers.  If you have any questions about this or any other Redbook items, please contact Susan Barkley at (502) 564-3930, ext. 4437, or via e-mail at Susan.Barkley@education.ky.gov.

Summer Leaning Camps (SLCs) (Attachments)
KRS 158.865-867 allows districts to establish summer learning camps (SLCs) for Title I eligible, low-achieving students in the second year of the primary program through grade 5.  The bill authorizes districts to provide a summer instructional program as well as enrichment experiences for these students to allow them to maintain and improve reading and mathematics skills developed over the school year, and prevent them from falling behind during the summer break. Non-Title I students may be served on a space-available basis under certain conditions.
 
Districts wishing to establish SLCs must notify the Kentucky Department of Education of their intent to do so no later than June 20, 2014 by completing the table at the bottom of the attached letter and returning it via e-mail to Nakia Jackson at nakia.jackson@education.ky.gov.  A summary of the requirements of KRS 158.865-867 and a spreadsheet to be used for end-of-year reporting are also attached to assist you.
 
If you have questions about the program, please contact Donna Tackett at donna.tackett@education.ky.gov or via telephone at 502-564-3791, ext. 4046.
 
Kentucky Teacher - Launch of STEM curriculum, World Language Program Reviews 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 June 16:
 
• Read about how a new science, technology, engineering and math curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade from Project Lead the Way is being used by some Kentucky elementary schools to get their students hooked on STEM. Don’t forget to check out the video of the young scientists in action!
• Commissioner Terry Holliday writes about moving forward with the World Language Program Review.
 
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.
 
KSBA offering training on compliance with state rules on seclusion and restraint of students; one-day session set for July 25
Kentucky public school personnel, including contractors who perform tasks typically performed by employees directly employed by the school district, are required by 704 KAR 7:160 to receive annual training on the restraint and seclusion regulation and related district policy and procedure.

Get your questions about Kentucky’s restraint and seclusion regulation requirements answered by an experienced school law attorney, Teresa T. Combs. KSBA’s experienced policy and procedure staff also will be available to discuss model policies, procedures and forms to assist with meeting documentation requirements.

Learn about requirements and tips for practical and legally defensible implementation of the restraint and seclusion regulation in an atmosphere free of disruption. This training will provide pointers that will make administrators more confidant and provide implementation guidance to other school district staff. Online registration is now live here.

This training will flesh out the Kentucky statutes cited in the regulation that concern the type of property damage and disruption for which students can be restrained, etc. Administrators will be provided with the information they need to train district staff on prudent implementation of the restraint and seclusion regulation.

Topics for the seminar include:
* When should staff physically restrain/seclude students?
* The meaning of references to KRS Chapter 503 in the Restraint and Seclusion Regulation
* Documenting the incident
* The debriefing session
* The complaint process
* KSBA Model Policy and Procedure

Registration is $165* per person for the first three district participants; $110 each for the fourth and fifth district enrollees and $100 each for the sixth person and beyond.

*Online registrations are for $165 per person, and the district invoice will be adjusted after the conference based on the total number of participants.

The deadline to register for the seminar is July 18.

The event will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Newtown Pike in Lexington. KSBA has a block of rooms reserved at the rate of $134.95. You must make your reservation by June 25 and identify yourself as a member of the KSBA group to get this rate.

For more information, please contact Jolene Shearer jshearer@ksba.org at KSBA at 800-372-2962.

Green River Regional Educational Cooperative (GRREC) 2014 Professional Growth & Effectiveness Summit (PGES) (Attachment)
Attached is the agenda and registration information for the GRREC 2014 Professional Growth & Effectiveness Summit (PGES) scheduled for July 24-25, 2014, at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The registration deadline is July 11, 2014.
 
Should you have any further questions, please contact Beth Beckham or Amanda Abell at beth.beckham@grrec.ky.gov or amanda.abell@grrec.ky.gov or via telephone at 270-563-2113 or toll free at 1-866-381-6648.

National Dropout Prevention Conference
The 26th annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference will be held November 2-5 in Louisville. This year’s theme, On Track for Success: Each Student College and Career Ready, will challenge conference participants to look for new and effective methods to motivate students in at-risk situations to successfully graduate from high school and be college- and career-ready. Please see the National Dropout Prevention Network webpage for registration information.

Kentucky Academy of Science celebrates centennial
The Kentucky Academy of Science celebrates 100 years at its centennial meeting, November 14-16 at the Lexington Convention Center. We’ll have plenary lectures, hundreds of scientific papers and posters from Kentucky scientists; our awards banquet and Centennial Celebration; and field trips on Sunday November 16.
 
Join us as a participant, present your latest research, sign on as a sponsor or exhibitor, or join a field trip! Details can be found at: Kentucky Academy of Science centennial meeting.