March 17 2014

Published: 2/20/2015 9:11 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:
• Update on inclement weather and school calendar
• In support of the Kentucky Core Academics Standards
• Kentucky Teacher – Operation Preparation underway

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

Update on inclement weather and school calendar
This afternoon, the Senate Education Committee amended HB 211 to include emergency provisions to help local school districts address weather related calendar issues for this school year. It is expected that the legislation will be passed by the full Senate today and returned to the House for concurrence.  If this happens, it will go to the Governor for signature by Tuesday.
The legislation is intended to provide relief for those districts who are challenged to meet the requirements for instructional hours (1,062) and instructional days (170).
The legislation outlines the following:
• The legislation requires districts meet the 1,062 instructional hours. 
• A local board of education may submit a plan to the Department of Education by May 1, 2014, demonstrating how 1,062 instructional hours will be completed.  Districts that anticipate being able to fulfill both requirements need only submit the final amended calendar by June 30.
• A school district may reach 1,062 instructional hours by adding time to the day, however a day shall not exceed seven hours of instructional time.
• The commissioner of education must approve the submitted plan.
However, if a district is unable to complete the required 1,062 instructional hours:
• A local board of education may request a waiver from this requirement from the commissioner of education.
• The commissioner has the authority to approve or deny the request.

Obviously, time is of the essence.  Once the legislation is in effect, KDE will issue guidance for submission of the district plan.  Districts seeking the additional relief are urged to submit plans as soon as possible so that review and approval process can be expedited.
In addition, superintendents, principals, and school councils should be preparing for additional “staff” days at the end of the year. While we may be able to waive student instructional days and/or time, all proposed legislation would require adults to meet contract requirements. It is critical that teachers see this as productive time. Certainly there are a number of end-of-year things that all teachers will need to do. I strongly encourage districts and schools to plan on utilizing KDE-provided training materials and resources to move forward with PGES awareness and training sessions during some of these end-of-year days. By utilizing these days in a productive manner, teachers will have a jump start on their understanding and implementation of PGES prior to the statewide rollout in 2014-15.

In support of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards
As I mentioned in the Fast Five e-mail on Friday, last week we testified before the Senate Education Committee on SB 224, which would scrap the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and send us back to the drawing board to develop new standards.  As I have repeatedly said, this would be a waste of time, effort and money and a setback for our students and teachers alike.  While the committee did not vote on the bill, it is important that we continue spreading accurate information in support of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards (Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics and Next-Generation Science Standards) and continuing to move forward with them. 

Below you will find some such resources – Kentucky teacher voices who speak out in
favor of the Common Core State Standards.
Please share these broadly through various communication channels with your stakeholders – staff, parents, students, communities – anyone who wants to see Kentucky continuing to move forward and supports more students graduating college/career-ready.  In coming weeks, we will share other video resources from other stakeholder groups in support of the standards.  As always, you may find other resources to share on the Kentucky Core Academic Standards webpage on the KDE website. 
Kentucky Teacher - Operation Preparation underway
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 March 17:
• In its third year, Operation Preparation is in full swing this month with 8th- and 10th-grade students engaged in future career- and college-planning with community mentors. Read about some of the activities schools have planned around the month-long event. Also check out what two of the students, who Commissioner Holliday mentored during the first event in 2012, are up to these days.

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 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.
7th Annual Life Fundamental$ Summit: Dollars and Sense
The Kentucky Council on Economic Education, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis-Louisville Branch, Indiana Council on Economic Education, and the Kentucky Department of Education is once again sponsoring the annual Life Fundamental$ Summit, Teaching Dollars and Sense, a summer professional learning opportunity.
The summit is designed for K-12 teachers of economics, consumerism, and personal finance with tracks for grade levels K-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-12, with overlapping of grades where appropriate. The conference begins at 9 a.m., Monday June 23, and runs through June 24 at the Holiday Inn Hurstbourne in Louisville. 

If lodging is needed, the special hotel rate is $92.90, plus tax.  Click here for hotel info. An early bird registration fee is being offered. Click here to register. Lunches are included in registration fee.

You may share your best practice teaching method at a poster session in exchange for a reduced price conference fee. Participants may earn 10 hours of professional development credit.

Summer writing academies (Attachment)
Gear up for 21st century literacy learning! The Kentucky Writing Project is proud to present its very popular Summer Tech Academies for the sixth year in a row! Participants will receive an iPad mini and three days of professional development (18 hours) on how to use this device and many other technologies in their classrooms. Or participants may save money by bringing their own device.
Teacher leaders will demonstrate projects integrating technology into literacy instruction and then engage participants in doing the same! These workshops are appropriate for teachers of all grade levels and content areas as well as for resource teachers and coaches.
Academies will be held at seven sites around the state and on multiple dates to accommodate school calendars. See attached flyer for more information.

Dropout prevention conference call for proposals
You are invited to submit a proposal to present at the upcoming 26th Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference.  The conference will be held Nov. 2-5 at the Galt House in Louisville. The theme is On Track for Success – Each Student College/Career-Ready.
Click here to submit a proposal.

Storytelling Festival
Join four nationally known storytellers as they share the stage during a Storytelling Festival at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park on April 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program includes storytelling sessions, a wildlife program, tour of Cumberland Falls and frontier history. Cost is $3 per student. Chaperones and teachers are free. Vendors also will be demonstrating and selling traditional and Kentucky Made crafts all around the Park’s DuPont Lodge.
For more information, please contact Bret Smitley at (800) 325-0063, or via e-mail

Parent leadership training opportunities
Governor's Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (GCIPL) will conduct four regional institutes in Kentucky this fall:  Eastern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, Louisville and the service region of the Partners for Education at Berea College.

Please think about parents, community members, guardians, involved grandparents and family members, mentors and other adults who advocate for students in public schools -- people you feel would benefit from great training on Kentucky's education and accountability system and how to partner with schools to impact achievement. Graduates of the training will receive support, coaching and a mini-grant to implement a project in a public school to involve other parents in improving student achievement.

Funders have designated counties and districts in which the participants must live and conduct their projects.  Institute dates, locations and further information, as well as the GCIPL application, can be found here:

If there is no institute scheduled in your area, the GCIPL can come to you.  For more information on the workshops or a training consultation, contact Molly Toney at (859) 233-9849, ext. 226, or via e-mail at

History conference call for proposals
A call for proposals is currently underway for educator presentations at the 2014 Kentucky History Education Conference, which will be held on Thursday, July 10, at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.  This year’s conference will be based around the 2014-15 National History Day theme; Leadership and Legacy in History.
We encourage any educators that may have innovative classroom practices (especially involving primary sources) to submit a proposal to present and share their ideas.  If you feel you have a lesson or activity that would benefit other history teachers and would like to participate, please e-mail a short abstract (up to 200 words) and your resume to by April 11, 2014.  We will notify those that are selected by May 2, 2014.  Accepted presenters will have their conference fee waived and lunch provided.
If you have any questions, contact Tim Talbott at (502) 564-1792, ext. 4428, or via e-mail,

National conference on funding and partnerships for public schools (Attachment)
The 9th annual National School Foundation Association (NSFA) National Conference will be held in Philadelphia May 7-9. It will focus on discovering ways to increase private funding and build strategic partnerships for public schools.  Already individuals representing more than 27 states have registered to be a part of the conference.  Will you be among them?  See attached flyer for more information.

KASC summer academies
The Kentucky Association of School Councils has planned a variety of summer academies to equip educators with the tools they need to succeed.  Academies will be held in Lexington, Corbin, Bowling Green, at the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park and at Mason County Middle School.  Offerings include:
Teacher PGES Implementation Tools (Professional Growth and Effectiveness System)
This session will make implementation easier for teachers and principals and will include:
• steps for writing student growth goals
• best practices for teacher performance
• tools for peer observations and effective feedback
• innovative and positive ways to use student voice

Effective Principal Leadership for Councils – This workshop, available to principals only, provides resources to meet the SBDM legal requirements and lead your council to proficiency.  Participants will receive our updated Principal Organizer for no charge.  Topics covered include:
• Legal basics
• Policies
• Election
• Planning
• Budgets

Effective Program Review – This workshop is designed to strengthen your Program Review while making the process more effective.  Participants will receive our newly updated Program Review Kit for no charge!  The session, for teachers and principals, will address:
• Program Review Action Steps
• SBDM Responsibilities
• Evidence Collection
• Organization Strategies
• Tools for keeping focused on your overall performance

K-PREP and Student Achievement Improvement Strategies – This workshop is designed to increase your school’s K-PREP scores, while also improving the quality of teaching and learning in your school.  Included are:
• Culture strategies for motivation and student learning
• Goal setting tools
• Ideas for implementing more rigorous standards
• Instructional strategies ready for immediate use
• Formative assessment to provide feedback on learning
• Planning checklists to keep your school focused

For more information and to register, visit the KASC academy page.