March 24 2014

Published: 3/25/2014 10:10 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:
• FY2015 Read to Achieve (RTA) RFA Awards
• Protecting student privacy while using online educational services
• Other Professionals Growth and Effectiveness System (OPGES) pilot plans
• Effectively using staff make-up days: Let’s TALK Conference
• Call for nominations: Paul J. Langan Distinguished Service Award
• K-3 Program Review Implementation Support Modules Now Available!
• Free math professional learning for K-3 teachers
• Kentucky Teacher - Appalachia arts in the classroom, Kentucky Teacher of the Year column
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

FY2015 Read to Achieve (RTA) RFA Awards
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is pleased to announce that the review process for the FY2015 Read to Achieve (RTA) RFA is complete.  Awards can be found on the KDE Competitive Grant Awards site.
 
We appreciate everyone’s participation in the grant process and encourage you to continue to apply for grants that benefit the students of the Commonwealth.
 
As always, awards are contingent on available funding and districts/schools meeting programmatic and budgetary requirements.  At this time, the budget bill (HB235) has not been enacted by the General Assembly and final funding amounts have not been set.  We are posting tentative information that is subject to change.  We anticipate being able to provide final information in mid-April or when a budget is approved by the General Assembly. 
 
For budget-related questions, please contact karen.wirth@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 judith.halasek@education.ky.gov.
 
For reference, the top three scoring proposals (in alphabetical order by fiscal agent) for applicants having successful implementations of prior RTA grants, as well as the top three scoring proposals (in alphabetical order by fiscal agent) for applicants not previously having RTA grants, have been posted on KDE Competitive Grant Awards.  All six of these applicants will be receive awards as a result of this RTA grant competition, pending available funding and compliance with programmatic and budgetary requirements. 

Protecting student privacy while using online educational services
Schools and districts have an important role in protecting student privacy. The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC*) released new guidance to help educators and administrators evaluate policies and procedures for disclosure of student data.
 
PTAC’s new guidance includes examples and offers help to answer questions such as these:

• Is my school’s/district’s online service provider requesting disclosure of information that is FERPA-protected?
• What are the requirements for parental disclosure under FERPA?
• What provisions should my school/district include in written agreements with third-party providers?
• What should a school/district/teacher consider for evaluation and approval to use free or paid software?
 
Click here for PTAC’s new guidance and get answers to these questions and more.
 
*The U.S. Department of Education established PTAC as a “one-stop” resource for education stakeholders for information about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level data.

Other Professionals Growth and Effectiveness System (OPGES) pilot plans
Kentucky is adding a component to the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System for non-classroom educators such as counselors, social workers, psychologists, library media specialists, nurses, instructional specialists, and therapeutic therapists. The Other Professionals Growth and Effectiveness System (OPGES) is being developed under the guidance of a steering committee. This committee is charged with providing guidance on the design, development and deployment of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System that addresses the unique roles of this group of educators.
 
Two subcommittees formed from the steering committee will make further recommendations regarding:

•  How are the sources of evidence within PGES used for educators who serve the entire school/district as well as those who have a designated caseload? 
• Who will participate in the OPGES pilot?
• How will professional learning occur for those educators participating in the OPGES?
 
A pilot for OPGES will occur in 2014-15 in order to gather feedback to inform the system. In 2015-16, all educators who fall under OPGES will participate in the statewide implementation. For more information please contact Kathy Mansfield at Kathy.mansfield@education.ky.gov or Amanda Ellis at Amanda.ellis@education.ky.gov.

Effectively using staff make-up days:  Let’s TALK Conference
While a resolution to missed instructional days for students remains in the hands of legislators, all proposed legislation would require adults to meet contract requirements. So, superintendents, principals, and school councils should be preparing for additional “staff” days at the end of the year. It is critical that teachers see this as productive time.
 
One option might be for schools and districts to consider allowing teachers two days to attend the TALK Conference on June 16-17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville. Let's TALK: Conversations about Effective Teaching and Learning is a conference for, by and about teachers, and is sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Education, Kentucky Education Association, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and the Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky. Sessions and will focus on practical strategies for implementing the Kentucky Core Academic Standards including the new science standards and on the Professional Growth and Effectiveness (PGES) system, among other topics. Participants can choose from more than 40 topics during five breakout sessions. The TALK conference will start at 9 a.m. June 16 and conclude by 4 p.m. on June 17. Online registration will go live April 1. The registration fee is $50. Schools may register groups of teachers and para-educators.
 
While it is up to districts to work out how to handle and verify this time as well as any expense involved, I would suggest that this would be an excellent and productive professional learning opportunity as a way for teachers to make up two days missed due to inclement weather.

Call for nominations: Paul J. Langan Distinguished Service Award
The Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) is calling for nominations for the Paul J. Langan Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award was established in 1992 and is dedicated to former Superintendent Paul J. Langan (1945-56) in recognition of his outstanding service and constructive leadership. His innovative approach to education established the foundation for continued improvement of the education of blind and visually impaired children at KSB.
 
The Paul J. Langan Award qualifications are: the recipient must be a Kentuckian, or former Kentuckian; and the recipient must display qualities that have had a strong, positive influence on the lives of persons who are blind or visually impaired and the Kentucky School for the Blind. Nominations for this award must be made in writing and should be postmarked, faxed or e-mailed by April 4.  The award will be presented during the KSB Founder’s Day Celebration on Friday, May 9.
 
Send nominations to:
            Debi Phillips, Principal
            Kentucky School for the Blind
            1867 Frankfort Ave.
            Louisville, KY 40206
 
Nominations may be sent by fax to (502) 897-2994 or by e-mail at: debi.phillips@ksb.kyschools.us.

K-3 Program Review Implementation Support Modules Now Available!
The Kentucky Department of Education is pleased to announce a new free resource available to schools and districts offering guidance on the effective implementation of the K-3 Program Review. In collaboration with Kentucky Educational Television (KET), three online modules have been developed with video examples illustrating practices in Kentucky K-3 programs that support the Standards, Demonstrators, and Characteristics found in the K-3 Program Review including the demonstrator around Kentucky Systems of Intervention/Response to Intervention. These modules will lead a school’s Program Review team through personal reflection and refinement of their process as a whole. Access the modules at: http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/.
 
Free math professional learning for K-3 teachers
The Kentucky Department of Education is excited to offer professional learning opportunities for Kentucky K-3 mathematics teachers. Join math teachers from across the state in an interactive learning experience focusing on mathematical fluency and the conceptual understanding of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS) for grades K-3. Participants will be actively engaged with research-based strategies and rich mathematical tasks.  During this six-hour, online learning experience, teachers will be engaged with research-based strategies and rich mathematical tasks. Registration is now open. Click here for more information.
 
Appalachia arts in the classroom, Kentucky Teacher of the Year column
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 24:
 
• Read about how a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council was able to give students at Heartland Elementary School (Hardin County) a true Appalachian learning experience.
• Kentucky Teacher of the Year Holly Bloodworth shares her thoughts in a new column.
• Don’t forget to check out Amy Wallot’s latest Photo Blog featuring students converging on Frankfort to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a civil rights march led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and baseball great Jackie Robinson.
 
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 or the Commissioner of Education.
 
Writing Day Resources
The Kentucky Arts Council has released the 2014 Kentucky Writers' Day Planning Guide to help schools, businesses and other community organizations plan their own celebrations to commemorate Kentucky writers. The planning guide, separated by organization type, includes lists of helpful suggestions and creative ways to mark the day and recognize some of Kentucky's finest literary artists.
 
Kentucky Writers' Day is April 24 and will be celebrated statewide by schools, libraries, writers' groups, businesses, senior citizens' centers and more. The Kentucky General Assembly established Kentucky Writers' Day in 1990 to honor Kentucky's strong literary tradition and to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Kentucky native Robert Penn Warren, the first poet laureate of the United States and winner of three Pulitzer prizes.
 
The arts council will host a Kentucky Writers' Day Ceremony at 10 a.m., April 24, in the Capitol Rotunda with a public reception to follow on the Mezzanine. The celebration will include readings by the current and past Kentucky Poet Laureates.
 
For more information about Kentucky Writers' Day, visit:
http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/WritersDay_aboutSchedule.htm.

Kentucky Historical Society seeking six history teachers
The Kentucky Historical Society will be sponsoring a summer curriculum camp from Monday, June 23 - Saturday, June 28, 2014, to develop lesson plans for the Kentucky Military History Museum.
 
We are seeking six history teachers (two elementary, two middle school and two high school) for this opportunity.  Each teacher will be provided with a $600 stipend, which will be paid upon the completion and submission of two lesson plans on outlined themes that are covered in the museum. Participants must be present each of the camp's six days to receive the full stipend.
 
Benefits include:

• $600 stipend to cover time and travel
• Breakfast snacks, lunch and dinner will be provided.
• Professional development certificates will be issued.
• One day of historical site visits offered
• Access to KHS research library and collections

To apply, download the application form. Deadline to apply is April 30. Selections will be made and announced by May 9. For more information, please contact Tim Talbott at tim.talbott@ky.gov or (502) 564-1792, ext. 4428.

Innovations for Learning Conference postponed
Due to snow days and crazy calendars, Fayette County’s Innovations for Learning Conference is moving to Saturday, Sept. 13. While this is a change unanticipated, it is exciting to have the conference at a time when teachers can apply what they have learned almost immediately. It also guarantees that the conference can count toward 2014-15 PD and EILA hours (if approved by your district.)
 
Please save the date! The conference will once again be at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, KY. The call for presenters will be open in May and the conference registration for those that just want to attend will open in early June. Watch the conference website for details and please spread the word.
 
The Fayette County Innovations for Learning Conference is a collaborative effort with the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative and the University of Kentucky College of Education.

Children’s Creative Writing Campaign (Attachment)
Schools, teachers and students are invited to participate in the national Children’s Creative Writing Campaign inspiring students in Pre-K to Grade 8 across the county to write original works that foster imagination.
 
Please see the attached 2014 Campaign Guidelines for more information.
 
For additional information, please contact Meg Hunnewell, The Knowledge Project, at mhunnewell@theknowledgeproject.org.

Message from Kentucky Deferred Compensation concerning district employees retiring effective July 1, 2014
Many of your retiring employees will want to shelter their payout of accumulated sick leave by deferring those dollars to their 457 and/or 401(k) Kentucky Deferred Comp account.  Such an action allows them to avoid paying a lump sum tax rate on the amount, thereby providing a substantial tax savings for the retiring employee.
 
The Internal Revenue Service regulations that govern the deferred plans require that all paperwork filed with the Kentucky Public Employees’ Deferred Compensation Authority to tax shelter the sick leave payout be signed and dated by the retiring employee no later than the month prior to the month you will be making the payout for the sick leave.  Therefore, if your district has employees who will be retiring effective July 1, 2014, and you intend to cut the retiring employee’s payout check during June 2014 (prior to the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year) then the employee must complete, sign and date the required paperwork prior to close of business on May 31, 2014.
 
Please inform all retiring employees of the requirement noted above, especially those who will retire effective July 1, 2014.  Feel free to contact the Authority’s Marketing Staff if you have any questions or need additional information.  The toll-free telephone number is 800-542-2667.