June 24 2013

Published: 6/25/2013 11:03 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:
• Education bills take effect
• SB 8/HB 354 Changes to School Safety Requirements for Schools
• Raising Compulsory Attendance Age from 16 to 18; Can Apply for Planning Grant Beginning June 26 (Attachment)
• Blitz to 96
• ARRA Jobs Reporting Reminder – Report due on job estimates relative to ARRA grants: Due date for submission, Friday, July 5 (Attachments)
• 2013-14 SEEK Forecast
• FY 2013 Financial Contracts
• Qualified Zone Academy Bonds – Application (Attachment)
• SFCC Escrow Funds
• KSBIT Update
Kentucky Teacher – Kentucky Core Academic Standards, PGES and effective teaching
If you have questions about the specific items, please see the contact information for each item.
Items from KDE

Education bills take effect
As a reminder, the education bills that passed the 2013 regular session of the General Assembly take effect this week in the first hours of Tuesday, June 25. A recap of the education-related bills that passed can be found here.

SB 8/HB 354 Changes to School Safety Requirements for Schools
The passage of Senate Bill 8/HB 354 (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/13RS/SB8.htm), which changes several of Kentucky’s current school safety statutes, will take effect on June 25, 2013.  This bill expands current law by requiring schools and districts to include community first responders in their emergency plans, and presents an opportunity for review and refinement of current emergency and safety practices through continuous improvement.  This bill is a logical step taken after recent tragic events occurring in our nation’s schools, ranging from intruders to tornadoes, and focuses our attention once again on our goals and efforts to keep our students and school staff safe.
  
As part of implementation for SB 8/HB 354, KDE has developed a set of assurances that will be monitored through ASSIST.  The ASSIST hyperlink will allow you to preview the assurances for both the district and school that will be uploaded into ASSIST this fall.  A recorded session via Lync will be available starting July 9 at 2:00 pm (EST) and you will be notified of how to access this session closer to the date. *Please note if you attended the Safe Schools and Communities Conference on June 11-12 and received a checklist pertaining to implementation of SB 8, it varies slightly from what is being required by KDE.  Districts are required at a minimum to follow those items identified within ASSIST.
 
Schools have the option of beginning the school year with their current emergency plans.  Once a school’s plan has been refined to reflect the changes within SB 8/HB 354, the school will share the plan with its school council for further review prior to adopting it.  This must occur prior to completing assurances within ASSIST no later than November 1, 2013. We will keep you apprised of our progress on this work.
 
If you have any questions regarding implementation, please contact Toyah Robey or Libby Taylor of the Division of Student Success at (502) 564-2116 or via e-mail at toyah.robey@education.ky.gov or libby.taylor@education.ky.gov.  If you need technical assistance for deployment, contact our collaborating partner, Kentucky Center for School Safety.

Raising Compulsory Attendance Age from 16 to 18; Can Apply for Planning Grant Beginning June 26
Just a reminder that the steps on how to apply for the $10,000 planning grant for raising the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 are available on the KDE website at: http://education.ky.gov/school/Pages/CompAttend.aspx.
 
Also, found on that page is a step-by-step guide (attached) for using ASSIST to complete the process beginning on June 26 and in subsequent months.  Any questions on this matter are to be directed to Thomas.edgett@education.ky.gov or Brandi Hon at Brandi.hon@education.ky.gov .

Blitz to 96
The Governor and First Lady are making passage of a policy raising the compulsory school attendance age in 96 districts a priority as part of a campaign called Blitz to 96.  Once 96 districts (55 percent of all districts) pass such a policy, the law becomes mandatory for all districts within four years.  The Governor and First Lady are planning to hold a news conference and reception at the capitol for the first adopters of the policy. Additional information may be found on the Graduate Kentucky website at http://www.graduate.ky.gov/. Progress on the Blitz to 96 may be monitored on the both the Graduate Kentucky and the KDE compulsory attendance age webpages.

ARRA Jobs Reporting Reminder – Report due on job estimates relative to ARRA grants:  Due date for submission, Friday, July 5 (Attachments)
The ARRA Jobs Estimate report is available through the web application at http://apps.kde.state.ky.us/login/ and will open on June 26.  The December 2009 OMB ARRA Jobs Guidance from the federal government and the ARRA Jobs Web Application instructions are also attached.  The report is a requirement of receipt of ARRA funds.
  
Each district will be reporting for the quarter of April 2013-June 2013.  The grant which you are still required to report on is School Improvement(g) (5600).  MUNIS project numbers 5600A, 5600B and 5600C must be reported under MUNIS project number 5600.  All reports must have a sign-off.  If your district did not receive this grant, please sign-off on the blank report. 
The formula for calculating jobs created/retained is:
 
Total number of quarter hours worked in jobs funded with ARRA funds = Number of FTEs for quarter                      Total quarter hours in a full-time schedule
Also, if the district has made a single purchase of $25,000 or more, please complete the 1512 Vendor Reporting spreadsheet (attached) and email to arrajobs@education.ky.gov by the reporting deadline.  
 
The report must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, July 5, 2013.  Any reports not completed by this time will result in withholding of ARRA funds until the report has been submitted.     
 
Questions may be directed to the following:
• Web application: ketsservicedesk@education.ky.gov or 502-564-2002
• ARRA jobs reporting: arrajobs@education.ky.gov or Thelma Hawkins at 502-564-1979 
 
Future ARRA Job Estimates reporting due dates are:
July 2013-September 2013                    Due: October 7, 2013
October 2013-December 2013               Due: January 6, 2014
                        
Note:  Dates are subject to change based on information from the U.S. Department of Education.
 
2013-14 SEEK Forecast
The 2013-14 SEEK Forecast calculation has been updated and will be posted to the website (2013-2014 SEEK Forecast) on Wednesday, June 26.  This update is due to KDE internal data corrections in the transportation calculation and the Exceptional Child count (districts impacted by the KDE corrections have been notified).  Since transportation funding is capped, you will see a slight impact on your district’s transportation funding and some districts will see a small increase in Tier 1 funding.  This update also reflects the pending merger of Monticello Independent and Wayne County Schools. The 2013-14 SEEK Forecast will be used for payments in July, August, and September.
 
If you have questions, please contact Chay Ritter at (502) 564-3846 or chay.ritter@education.ky.gov.

FY 2013 Financial Audit Contracts
On June 13, 2013, the State Committee for School District Audits approved the majority of the FY 2012-2013 audit contracts. The approved and signed audit contracts have been posted to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) website listed below. Please continue to check the website for additional approved audit contracts.  The districts’ FY 2012-2013 payment registers will be available through this website in July 2013.  Please allow the auditor into the district to begin preliminary audit work at the earliest possible date. Many audit procedures can be done before the books are closed. 
 
Obtaining quality audits by the November 15, 2013 deadline greatly depends on district staff. The audit contract states the following: “If the audit cannot be completed by November 15, 2013, due to factors beyond the control of ACCOUNTANT, ACCOUNTANT shall electronically submit an Audit Extension Request form, fully completed by both ACCOUNTANT and the district, to KDE by October 1, 2013.” You are encouraged to work with the auditor in scheduling the work to be done, ensuring that needed personnel, reports and supporting documentation are available.
 
Please remember the district and/or auditor is responsible for submitting the following items to KDE:
 
• The auditor is responsible for submitting the bound and electronic Audit Report including the management letter along with response(s).
 
• The district is responsible for submitting a Statement of Certification along with the audited Annual Financial Report (AFR).
 
In addition, the district is responsible for withholding 10 percent of the audit fee if the audit report is not completed and submitted in accordance with the audit contract deadline and requirements.
 
 
If you have any questions, please contact Ken Smith at ken.smith@education.ky.gov or (502) 564-4403 extension 4442.
 
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds – Applications (Attachment)
The remaining allotment of $2,938,000 in Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB’s) is available now for renovation projects in qualified districts.  The requirements and award criteria are outlined in the attached Request for Authorization (RFA).  The bonding allocated for 2012 must be sold by October 14, 2014 and the 2013 allocation must be sold by October 15, 2015.
If you have any questions, please contact Tim Lucas at Tim.Lucas@education.ky.gov or (502)564-4403 x 4407.

SFCC Escrow Funds
The reporting period for 2012-13 is an odd-numbered fiscal year and it is important for districts to use the correct journal entries for Fund 310 and 320 to qualify for School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC) offers.  One of the entries would be to move any funds from the Restricted – SFCC Escrow – Current Offer (8738) account to the Restricted – SFCC Escrow – Prior Offer (8734) account in a journal posted in period 13 within fiscal year 2013.  This step must be performed prior to posting any funds into the current offer account (8738).
 
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recommends that districts add additional alpha or numerical characters at the end of the balance sheet object code 8734 Restricted – SFCC Escrow – Prior Offer to help districts separate the prior year offers.  Districts may have up to two additional characters at the end of the balance sheet object code and may combine the two character types. This will assist districts with tracking SFCC escrowed funds by odd-numbered fiscal years.  Please contact SFCC for assistance with identifying the specific SFCC escrowed funds’ fiscal years that are combined within this balance sheet object code.
 
In July 2013, districts will need to record various journal entries as indicated above and make an entry to the balance sheet object 8738 Restricted SFCC Escrow Current Offer.  All SFCC Escrow journal entries are required to be recorded in period 13 within fiscal year 2013.  Please refer to the revised Fiscal Year End Processing BGL-2  document for important changes and journal entries that are needed for this process.  Please forward SFCC escrowing funds questions to Lisa Collins at SFCC 502-564-5582 or Lisad.Collins@ky.gov.
 
Please forward questions relating to recording the SFCC escrow funds journal entries in the MUNIS financial system to Jeffrey Coulter at KDE 502-564-3846 or jeffrey.coulter@education.ky.gov.
 
KSBIT Update
The Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) recently released information containing updated assessment estimates.  Two general options currently being considered are run-off and novation, and multiple estimates related to these options were presented by KSBA for district input.  I understand that this is a lot of information to filter through at this point.
 
It is important to recognize that these figures are still only estimates and any final decision on a methodology and an assessment amount will not be available for a few months.  At this point, my understanding is that any decision made by the KSBIT board will be subject to review and final approval by the Kentucky Department of Insurance (DOI) through a formal legal process and it is likely that this will not be completed until later in the year. As a practical matter, this means that our districts would likely have to make a final decision about how to move forward in January 2014.  At that time, KDE staff would also coordinate with district finance officers as needed, in order to identify the most practical way to proceed with making payments, starting in school year 2014-15 (unless a district chose to start payments earlier).
 
We will continue to keep you updated.  Please rest assured that KDE is monitoring the situation very closely and I am confident that all the state agencies involved in this effort have the best interests of our school districts in mind.  The final goal is to identify a solution which has the least disruptive impact on our school districts, in terms of both funding and risk.
  
Please contact Associate Commissioner Hiren Desai, at 502-564-1976, if you have any questions.  
 
Kentucky Teacher - Kentucky Core Academic Standards, PGES and effective teaching
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 24:
 
• If you missed the recent effective teaching conference in Louisville, don’t worry. Kentucky Teacher was there and shares what teachers say were the most helpful takeaways on implementing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards, improving teaching and learning and getting up to speed on the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES).
• Kentucky native Vicki Phillips, director of education, College Ready, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, shares her insights on the changes to Kentucky and American education.
• Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year Allison Hunt shares insights from those field testing the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES).

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 kyteacher@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.
 
Mathematics trainings
The Kentucky Center for Mathematics (KCM) has announced a variety of trainings and course offerings for the 2013-14 school year.  Some of these professional learning opportunities are taking place as early as this summer, so don’t delay. Click here for course descriptions and convenient links to help you choose the right training(s) for your needs.  The KCM professional development:
 
• equips teachers to become better data-based decision-makers and designers of instruction using research-based, evidence-based models of student thinking and learning
• builds professional relationships among participants who share knowledge, passion, problems of practice, strategies, resources, and friendship
• increases leadership capacity among participants
• supports teacher-scholars who have a learner mindset and aspire to study important professional literature
• aligns with the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Content and Practice
• supports school compliance with Kentucky’s statutes, such as the Primary Program Review, the Professional Growth and Evaluation System, and Response to Intervention
• is facilitated by highly-qualified experts
• is continually evaluated and improved
• is sustained and job-embedded
• is student-focused and participant-centered
 
If you should have any questions about these professional development opportunities, please contact the KCM at kcm@nku.edu.

KET Multimedia Days
KET Multimedia PD Days are quickly approaching. A variety of workshops in multimedia project development and related topics for the classroom are available. For a list of this year's session titles click here. Further descriptions are available at the registration website.
 
If you are planning to attend and still need to register, you may do so at the link below.
 
If you are a Kentucky teacher, library media specialist, teaching staff worker, or administrator (public, private, and homeschools included):
 
• Go to the registration web page and complete the form to register for either the 9th of July, the 10th of July, or for both days if you like. When you choose a day or days to attend, the page will refresh to list the sessions and their descriptions to choose from, along with lunch choices.
 
• After you have filled-out your session and lunch choices for days you will be attending the event, choose a payment option. The registration fee of $50.00 per person, per day includes lunch and refreshments. If paying by check or purchase order, please mail those in as soon as you can.
 
For more information about registration and PD credit, contact Cynthia Barton, cbarton@ket.org, (800) 432-0951, ext. 7271 or (859) 258-7271.