March 18 2013

Published: 2/20/2015 3:23 PM
​As part of our effort to streamline communications and cut down on the number of e-mails you receive, this Monday E-Mail combines several items into one communication.
Please read the Monday E-mail as it contains information about the following KDE-related items:
• Graduation Bill Signed
• Superintendent Transparency News Conference Video
• Live Lync Online sessions to support TPGES implementation coming soon!
• Let’s TALK: Conversations about Effective Teaching Conference
• Encourage teachers and principals to participate in TELL Kentucky Survey
• Need to submit Intent to Adopt Form on teacher/leader evaluation by March 29
• General Finance Update
• FY 14 Tentative Preschool Allocation
• ACT, Inc. Conducts Test Score Study
• Kentucky Teacher – Learning through horses; Celebrating with blue tongues; Sweet Sixteen photo fun
Also, remember to review the items from the Outside Agencies section.
If you have questions about the specific items, please see the contact information for each item.

Items from KDE

Graduation Bill Signed
This afternoon Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 97, the graduation bill, allowing districts to raise the compulsory school age to 18. The Governor said signing the bill is one of the most satisfying acts he’s had as Governor and that the bill represents real progress for Kentucky. Raising the compulsory school attendance age to 18 has been the Kentucky Board of Education’s number one priority for several years.

I encourage districts to review the bill and strongly consider moving forward with plans to adopt this policy as soon as it takes effect (90 days after adjournment of the session), so they could implement the compulsory school age of 18 in the 2015-16 school year. As you may be aware, once 55 percent of the districts adopt, it will become mandatory for all districts in the school year that occurs four years after the 55 percent threshold is met.
Several districts have expressed a concern that until all districts implement the age 18 dropout age, students may try to ”jump districts” to avoid it. The bill prohibits this and says all children residing in the district shall be subject to the local board’s compulsory age policy, even if the district has entered a non-resident contract to permit some students to attend school in another public district that has not adopted the higher compulsory school age. 
I will be reaching out to districts to work with them on any issues they may have on moving forward with adoption of this important legislation.
Superintendent Transparency News Conference Video
A video of last week’s news conference on superintendent transparency with the state auditor is now available. You may access it on the KDE website:
Live Lync Online sessions to support TPGES implementation coming soon!
Starting in April, Kentucky educators will be able to learn more about the Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (TPGES) through Lync Online, a digital meeting tool.
The sessions will cover all the basics of the TPGES and provide a deeper understanding of the multiple measures of the system. Sessions will allow for interactive participation and opportunities to ask questions. Follow-up sessions will be scheduled regularly
to provide another venue for asking clarifying questions and interacting with other districts.
Educators can sign up for the Lync sessions via PD Planner in the Educator Development Suite located in CIITS beginning in April. Further instructions on how to install the Lync Online tool will be sent out with the meeting information. However, you may wish to contact your local school or district technology leadership team for assistance, and begin practicing using the tool prior to the scheduled events.
Let’s TALK:  Conversations about Effective Teaching Conference
Presentation proposals are now being accepted for Let’s TALK: Conversations about Effective Teaching, a conference by, for and about teachers, June 19-21 in Louisville. The conference is designed to inform participants about effective models of implementing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and improving teaching through the new Professional Growth and
Effectiveness System (PGES).
The breakout sessions, for which proposals are being sought, last 75 minutes. Sessions may include one or two presenters but each session proposal must include at least one classroom teacher as presenter. A small stipend will be awarded to each presenter, up to two per session. Guidelines for presenters and an application are available online. Presenter applications must be submitted by April 1. Selection of successful proposals and notification of presenters will be made by April 17.
The conference is sponsored by the Kentucky Education Association, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. 
Encourage teachers and principals to participate in TELL Kentucky Survey
Please encourage all teachers, principals and other school-based certified educators to take part in the 2013 TELL Kentucky Survey. As of today at 3:10 p.m., we had a 57.67 percent participation rate with 29,125 educators participating. This is great, but remember that we’re shooting for a 90 percent participation rate by the time the survey ends on March 29.
To encourage participation, each week we will be drawing for two $1,000 cash prizes, one for a school with at least a 50 percent participation rate, and another one a school with a 100 percent participation rate at which the prize will go to an educator. The first drawing was Wednesday March 13. Thanks to our partners who have donated private funds for the drawing: the Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and the Kentucky School Boards Association.
All school-based certified educators are asked to participate in the anonymous survey at It takes about 30 minutes to complete. Districts will receive their results and schools with at least 50 percent of qualified educators responding will receive aggregate school results to use for improvement planning.
Need to submit Intent to Adopt Form on teacher/leader evaluation by March 29
To ensure districts are prepared to submit their final teacher and leader evaluation plans by the December 2013 deadline, you are asked to complete the District Declaration of Intent to Adopt form found on the web collector at the link listed below. The form asks that districts select their intent to adopt the state-developed professional growth and effectiveness system or a locally-developed system that meets the ESEA waiver requirements. After consultation with the district's local evaluation committee pursuant to 704 KAR 3:345, this form shall be completed and submitted to the Kentucky Department of Education no later than March 29, 2013. 
The form is located at and can be completed and submitted online.

General Finance Update
a. Redbook – 702 KAR 3:130 will be presented for legislative approval in April, the effective date for implementing the update is July 1, 2013.  There are two Redbook sessions at KASBO, one will highlight the changes and the other will focus on booster clubs.  Also, several videos covering the Redbook will soon be available on the KDE website. 
b. KSBIT – The final assessment amounts have not been released.  KSBA continues to review novation versus the run-off option for handling of claims.  Any plan of action must be approved by the Kentucky Department of Insurance so the actual timeframe for making payments toward the assessment has not been set.  KDE will let districts knows as soon as more definite information about this important issue becomes available.
c. Audit Contracts for 2013 – The State Committee for School District Audits met recently to finalize the contract package for FY12-13 and it will be posted to the KDE website the first week of April.  An Auditor Alert section has been added to the contract package that consists of high risk areas that auditors should consider when conducting a school district’s annual financial audit. Also, the committee strongly recommends that a district changes auditor every three to five years.
d. Insurance Procurement – KDE is currently developing a comprehensive guide to address the various insurance requirements districts face.  The topics will include levels of coverage and procurement questions for property, liability, worker’s comp, and unemployment insurance.  The guide will be available in April.
FY 14 Tentative Preschool Allocation
With the passage of SB 18 (Sen. Jimmy Higdon) and HB 220 (Rep. Rita Smart)  in the 2013 Regular Session of the General Assembly, and upon becoming law with the signature of the Governor, the funding formula used to determine state preschool allocations will change (anticipated effective date of July 2013). We anticipate that this change will allow districts to have more logical and predictable annual preschool allocations, as opposed to the fluctuations of the past, which were primarily due to negative adjustments.
We are providing school districts with FY 14 tentative allocations based on this new formula and December 1, 2012 counts ONLY (since March 1, 2013 counts are still in the process of being collected), so that districts can start making preliminary budgeting decisions for next year as soon as possible.   FY14 Tentative Preschool Allocations can be found on this webpage:
Please note that these tentative allocations will be revised after the March 1, 2013 counts have been verified to KDE by the districts and the official rates have been approved by the state Board of Education.
If you have programmatic questions, please contact Bill Buchanan at (502) 564-7056, ext. 4702, or
If you have funding questions, please contact Karen Wirth at (502) 564-1979, ext. 4319, or
ACT, Inc. Conducts Test Score Study
ACT, Inc. has completed an analysis of three years of Kentucky test data.  ACT’s purpose was to locate higher performing schools that have maintained high scores over time. On March 19, ACT will e-mail information to superintendents and principals concerning their results.  It is important to note that the ACT results displayed in this study will NOT match the test results included in the Kentucky School Report Card due to unique calculations and definitions used in the ACT study. 
For more detail about the study, please go to the link provided in the ACT e-mail and read the ACT NCEA FAQ document. If you have questions about the ACT website or data, please contact Chrys Bouvier with ACT by e-mail at
Should you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Sims at
Kentucky Teacher - Learning through horses; Celebrating with blue tongues; Sweet Sixteen photo fun
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 March 18:
• The STABLES, an alternative program at the Kentucky Horse Park, teaches 7th through 12th graders science and other content standards through hand-on activities focused on the equine industry. Learn how the program also helps students build self-confidence and enhance their interpersonal skills.
• It was blue tongues all around at Porter Elementary School (Johnson County) following the school’s selection as a National Blue Ribbon School this year. Find out what school leaders credit for helping to boost student achievement.
• In her Photo Blog, KDE photographer Amy Wallot shares some fan and school band photos from her trip to the Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament.
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

2013-14 School Grants for Healthy Kids - Kentucky Schools Eligible for Funding & Support Surrounding Breakfast, Physical Activity - Applications Due April 19th, 2013
Through partners CSX Transportation, Kellogg Company, and the Wal-Mart Foundation, Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to release its School Grants for Healthy Kids opportunities for the 2013-14 school year.  Around 400 schools will be awarded funds that will range from $1,000 to $5,000 with significant in-kind contributions from Action for Healthy Kids in the form of people, programs, and school breakfast and physical activity expertise. We'll also provide schools with management expertise and support to develop strong alternative and universal breakfast or physical activity programs.
Award amounts will be based on building enrollment, project type, potential impact, and a school's ability to mobilize parents and students around school wellness initiatives. 
Schools across Kentucky are eligible to apply for:
  • School breakfast program creation and/or expansion -- to include alternative breakfast programs (for example,  breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast, breakfast after 1st period, breakfast on the school bus) and universal breakfast programs. Average grant size is $1,500.

    IMPACT:  Schools must realize a 25 percent increase in Average Daily Participation (ADP) of the school breakfast program and must provide information to students/parents on nutrition and caloric content of foods available.  Schools must also join the celebration during Every Kid Healthy Week by hosting a family-friendly health-promoting event during April 2014.  (NOTE:  Schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program; and must have a free/reduced-price meal eligibility greater than 50 percent to be eligible.  Priority selection will be given to schools with student enrollment greater than 500 students).
  • Universal School Breakfast Pilot -- Provides funding to pilot a universal alternative breakfast program in 2-3 schools in a district so that successes can be expanded to multiple schools within the district over three school years. Grant size is $5,000 with potential for future funding to other district schools.

    IMPACT:  Schools must realize an increase in daily ADP of the new universal breakfast program to 85 percent or greater, and must provide information to students/parents on nutrition and caloric content of foods available.  Schools must also join the celebration during Every Healthy Week by hosting a family-friendly health-promoting event during April 2014.  (NOTE:  Schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program; and must have a free/reduced-price meal eligibility greater than 60 percent to be eligible.)
  • Physical Activity Facilities and Equipment -- Provides funding for facilities and equipment for recess, playgrounds/play-spaces, classroom energizers, physical education, intramural and/or before/after-school programs that introduce underserved youth populations to the value of an active lifestyle.  Grant size ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 with most schools receiving $1,000.

    IMPACT:  Schools must increase physical activity opportunities to 30 minutes per day at school, and must provide information to students/parents on the importance of physical activity.  Schools must also join the celebration during Every Kid Healthy Week by hosting a family-friendly health-promoting event during April 2014.  (NOTE:  Schools with greater than 50 percent of students eligible for free/reduced-price meals may receive priority.)

Interested Kentucky schools should attend one of the two webinars below to learn more about the available grant opportunities for 2013-14 and receive tips for applying.  To participate, register for the webinar that best fits your schedule.

Interested Kentucky schools can also find information on how to apply by reviewing the "Steps to Apply" section online at 

For further information, please contact John H. Cain, Kentucky State Coordinator, Action for Healthy Kids, at

School Derby Blanket Project
The Kentucky Arts Council invites schools to participate in the Governor's Derby Celebration by painting canvases to be used as tablecloths on picnic tables at the annual event.

Each table on the Old State Capitol grounds is fitted with a horse head and tail, and the painted canvases, or "Derby blankets," are draped across the table to complete the look. This is the fourth year schools have been invited to participate in the celebration.
The Kentucky Arts Council will provide a canvas to each school that would like to participate. Schools must use their own supplies to complete the artwork. Paint must be outdoor latex and able to withstand inclement weather.
Schools are responsible for mailing completed canvases back to the arts council which reserves the right to select which canvases to display at the event. Schools that contribute to the project are acknowledged at the celebration.
Completed canvases must be returned to the arts council by Friday, April 19, for consideration. For more information or to request a canvas, contact Chris Cathers, program branch manager, at or (888) 833-1787, ext. 488.

2013 Law Day Art Contest
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is inviting high school students to participate in its Law Day Art Contest for a chance to win prizes.  The contest is the perfect opportunity for teenage history buffs and aspiring artists alike to put their skills to work.
Details are as follows:
2013 Theme:  Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.
Eligibility:  All U.S. students grades 9 through 12.  Group and individual entries welcome.
Entry Deadline:  April 1, 2013
Students should create an art piece that can be represented in two dimensions (including, but not limited to, drawings, paintings, films, photographs, graphic novels, comics, etc.) highlighting the theme “Realizing the Dream:  Equality for All.” 
Submission must comply with the terms of the Law Day Art Contest Rules which may be found at
Recognition and Awards:
Four prizes will be awarded.   Runners-up for both the individual and group categories will receive prizes with a value not to exceed $250 and winners for both the individual and the group categories will receive prizes with a value not to exceed $750.
Should you have any questions, please contact YLD Public Servicer Team Lead, Leslie Need, or YLD Office Administrator, Tata Blasingame.
Live-streamed forum on climate change
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture is offering a live-streamed forum on climate change.
The forum is titled “Climate Change: Values, National Security, and Free Enterprise, and will be held on the evening of April 4. 
No registration is required to access the livestream.  Please see the following URL for details:
For more information, please contact Paul Vincelli, Extension Professor and Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor, at