May 5 2014

Published: 2/20/2015 8:49 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:

• Another district raises the compulsory school age
• Alternate diplomas and grad rate
• ESEA waiver extension submitted
• No Superintendents’ Webcast in May; Superintendent Summit Sept.11
• Teacher Appreciation Week
• Bike/Walk to School Day is Wednesday
• PGES Guidance for Preschool and OPGES (Attachments)
• New Eligibility Requirement for Kentucky State-Funded Preschool Guidance for School Districts (Attachment)
• Immediate Changes to CDL/DOT Physicals for Kentucky School Bus Drivers
• Save the Date! 2014 ISLN/KLS Joint Summer Convening
• Summer Reading Resources
• Summer Enrichment/Work Programs for Visually Impaired Students
• Registration now open for Gateways to Independent
• Kentucky Teacher – Taking off with Space Camp, Teacher Appreciation Week May 5-9
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
Another district raises the compulsory school age
Harlan Independent Schools has become the latest district to raise the compulsory school age to 18.  That brings the total to 146 districts, out of the 168 with high schools in the state, to take advantage of Senate Bill 97, passed by the 2013 General Assembly. For a map showing all the districts that have raised the dropout age, click here. For any districts that have not adopted a districtwide policy to raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 to date, the local board must do so with implementation beginning no later than the 2017-18 school year. Unless the adopted policy specifically states it is not going into effect until 2017-18 or another intervening year, the policy will go into effect in 2015-16 for that district.

Alternate diplomas and grad rate
Each year when graduation rates are reviewed, a number of stakeholders rightfully raise an issue about students who receive alternative diplomas. 
Students eligible to receive an alternative diploma are unable, even with accommodations, to access the general curriculum and must complete an alternative course of study.  These students have the most significant cognitive disabilities and comprise about 1 percent of Kentucky’s total student population.  They participate in the state assessment and accountability system through alternate assessments.  Alternate assessments measure standards linked to the general education standards, but with less depth and breadth.  At the end of the student’s education program, the student receives an alternate diploma. 
Students who receive an alternate diploma are included in the state’s graduation calculation; however, the way the alternate diplomas must be included in the calculation does not improve the school’s graduation rate. The calculation process is set by the United States Department of Education (USED) and focuses on standard diplomas. USED prohibits a state from counting the alternate diploma as a standard diploma. 
Kentucky Department of Education staff, local educators and I have all lobbied USED to change this rule. Unfortunately, the rule is still in effect and Kentucky must abide by the federal directives. The best avenue for change is for stakeholders to contact their representatives in the United States Congress to get this rule changed.  KDE has an appreciation of the issue and will continue to lobby for a change in the calculations with USED. 

ESEA waiver extension submitted
Last week, as allowed by the United State Department of Education (USED), Kentucky submitted its application for a one-year extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver originally that USED originally granted in 2012.  A redlined version (as required by USED) of the extension request can be found here

No Superintendents’ Webcast in May; Superintendent Summit Sept. 11
As a reminder, due to end-of-year activities in your schools and districts that we don’t want to interrupt, KDE will not be holding a superintendents’ webcast in May. We will notify you when these will resume. 
Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Superintendent Summit.  It will be held Sept. 11 in Frankfort.  More on the agenda will be forthcoming as the date draws nearer.

Teacher Appreciation Week
I just wanted to remind you that this is Teacher Appreciation Week.  I would encourage you to recognize your teachers’ hard work in whatever way you see fit. 
I am sending an e-mail to all the state’s teachers to thank them for all they do on behalf of Kentucky’s public school children – both in and out of the classroom – day in and day out. Please see my op-ed in support of our state’s dedicated teachers.  All this month, we are celebrating some of the state’s educators that have been highlighted in Kentucky Teacher during the past year.  Be sure to check out the KDE Facebook page or Twitter account to see if a teacher from your district is among them.

Bike/Walk to School day is Wednesday
National Bike (or Walk) to School Day is Wednesday, May 7 and districts are encouraged to participate as part of Gov. Beshear’s kyhealthnow initiative to lead active, healthy lives and improve their overall wellness.  Several Kentucky schools/districts have already signed up to participate.  For more information and resources, click here.

PGES Guidance on Preschool and OPGES (Attachments)
Preschool - In the 2014-15 school year, KDE is working with districts to pilot PGES for preschool teachers.  Attached is guidance on the topic.
OPGES - In the 2014-15 school year KDE is working with districts to pilot PGES requirements for other professionals.  Attached is guidance on the topic.

New Eligibility Requirement for Kentucky State-Funded Preschool Guidance for School Districts (Attachment)
Note:  This guidance has been updated to reflect the budget language effective date and in response to feedback from the field, with further explanation for at risk students and students with disabilities.
What Changed?
As a result of House Bill 235, changes were made to the Kentucky State-Funded Preschool Program. A new minimum age requirement for state-funded preschool students will take effect July 15, 2014, moving from October 1 to August 1. Beginning in school year 2014-15, children who are 4-years-old by August 1 are age-eligible for the state-funded preschool program. In addition, the income eligibility requirement will change from 150 percent of poverty in 2014-15 to 160 percent of poverty in 2015-16.
School Year 2014-15:
Preschool - Age 4 on or before 8/1/2014; Date of Birth: 8/2/2009-8/1/2010
Kindergarten - Age 5 on or before 10/1/2014; Date of Birth: 10/2/2008-10/1/2009
School Year 2015-16:
Preschool - Age 4 on or before 8/1/2015; Date of Birth: 8/2/2010-8/1/2011
Kindergarten - Age 5 on or before 10/1/2015; Date of Birth: 10/2/2009-10/1/2010
School Year 2016-17:
Preschool - Age 4 on or before 8/1/2016; Date of Birth: 8/2/2011-8/1/2012
Kindergarten - Age 5 on or before 10/1/2016; Date of Birth: 10/2/1010-10/1/2011
School Year 2017-18:
Preschool - Age 4 on or before 8/1/2017; Date of Birth: 8/2/2012-8/1/2013
Kindergarten - Age 5 on or before 8/1/2017; Date of Birth: 10/2/2011-8/1/2012*
School Year 2018-19:
Preschool - Age 4 on or before 8/1/2018; Date of Birth: 8/2/2013-8/1/2014
Kindergarten - Age 5 on or before 8/1/2018; Date of Birth: 8/2/2012-8/1/2013*

What options are there for children turning four after August 1?
Districts should support families of non-eligible young children with existing strategies and resources, including referrals to child care and Head Start, tuition options for preschool if space is available, and child development materials such as the Early Childhood Parent Guides. 
Preschool eligibility for state-funded preschool may be determined up to four months prior to the start of school (704 KAR 3:410). Some districts have already started the enrollment process for 2014-15. What about at-risk children turning 4 by October 1 who are enrolled four months in advance of 2014-15?  Can they still attend preschool next year?  Yes, if eligibility is determined under the guidelines in 704 KAR 3:401 and by July 15, 2014 (the effective date of the budget language).  However, it should be explained to parents that students have only one year of eligibility for preschool.  In 2015, when students are age-eligible for both programs, the student must transition to Kindergarten or a private setting.  Districts should inform families of enrollment options and the repercussions of enrollment decisions.
Income eligible students who turn 4, between August 2 and October 1, 2014, who choose not to attend preschool in 2014-15, will be eligible for both preschool and kindergarten in the 2015-16 school year. Parents may choose the best enrollment option for their child; districts will not receive funding for both. 
How about preschool children with disabilities?
School districts are required to provide instruction to children, aged 3-21 with disabilities based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Kentucky special education regulations (707 KAR 1:002-1:380).  Existing practice regarding incoming three year olds will not change.  If a current preschool student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) turns 5 between August 2 and October 1, 2014 he or she would be eligible for both preschool and kindergarten.  In this case, the Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) would determine the placement, based on individual student need.  The student could be eligible for an additional year of preschool.  It is recommended that children in this scenario transition to kindergarten with similar aged peers.
What about children turning four between August 1 and October 1, 2014. Will they be eligible for state-funded preschool AND kindergarten in 2015-16?
Some children will turn 5 between August 1 and October 1, 2015, meaning they will be eligible for state-funded preschool AND kindergarten in the 2015-16 school year.  However, districts cannot simultaneously enroll these children in both programs; a decision must be made to enroll in one program or the other.  Decisions must be made locally, and schools should work closely with families to meet the learning needs of each child entering school. Children develop at different rates across the learning continuum, and schools must be ready to meet children where they are developmentally.
What about Head Start and school district full utilization agreements?
Each year school districts and Head Start providers agree to fully utilize Head Start funds and avoid supplanting federal funds being used to provide services to children with state funds. Since Head Start is required to follow the date used by school districts to determine eligibility, some partnerships may need to adjust full utilization agreement numbers based on the number of four year olds currently served with birthdates between August 1 and October 1. 
What about income eligibility for preschool?
School districts must determine income eligibility of 4-year-old students.  Beginning in school year 2015-16, children who meet 160 percent of federal poverty income requirement will be eligible for preschool. School districts should update recruitment processes and materials to reflect this change, as well as enrollment applications.  
     Preschool 2014-15, 150% of federal poverty and resident of district
     Preschool 2015-16, 160% of federal poverty and resident of district
     Preschool 2016-17, 160% of federal poverty and resident of district
     Preschool 2017-18, 160% of federal poverty and resident of district
     Preschool 2018-19, 160% of federal poverty and resident of district
How will the preschool students be identified in Infinite Campus/Kentucky’s Student Information System (KSIS)?
KDE is in the process of updating the data standards to detail how preschool students should be identified and tracked in Infinite Campus.  Updates to requirements will be communicated with districts through KSIS alerts and notifications, KSIS newsletters, and KSIS training. These changes will be reviewed in detail during the 2014-15 KSIS Beginning of Year (BOY) training being scheduled this summer.  There will be new procedures for enrolling preschool students based on new requirements.  This will include examples and scenarios and will be posted on the School Readiness web page by June 30.
A sample parent letter is attached as requested.
Any questions, please contact Bill Buchanan, School Readiness Branch at (502) 564-7056, ext. 4702 or via e-mail at

Immediate Changes to CDL/DOT Physicals for Kentucky School Bus Drivers
KDE received a federal ruling from the Secretary/Commissioner of Transportation and Vehicle Regulation regarding a change for school bus driver physical requirements. All CDL holders must provide a medical certification card signed by a Certified Medical Examiner beginning May 21.
To obtain a list of providers who are on the national registry go to:
KDE recommends that whenever possible drivers should request certification for two years on the DOT Physical from the certified medical examiner. This does NOT eliminate the need for an annual physical (KRS 281A.175 and 702 KAR 5:080), but it will keep the license from expiring while waiting for KY DOT to process the annual medical examination and self-certification updates.
For more information please contact Elisa Rosemond, Pupil Transportation Section Supervisor at (502) 564-5279, ext. 4406.

Save the Date! 2014 ISLN/KLS Joint Summer Convening
Below is information regarding the 2014 ISLN/KLA Joint Summer Convening to be held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the Lexington Center. All teachers and school district administrators are invited.  There is no cost for attending the convening.
The convening will begin at 9 a.m. ET and will focus on three theme areas:

• Teacher Effectiveness
• Highly Effective Teaching and Learning of KCAS
• Principal/Administrator Effectiveness
An optional day is planned on Friday, June 27 to engage in ‘Facilitated Work Sessions’ on a number of timely and relevant topics.

Summer Reading Resources
First Lady of Kentucky, Jane Beshear, joins with the Kentucky Department of Education in supporting the Kentucky Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Programs. This year’s themes are “Fizz, Boom, Read!” (children) and “Spark a Reaction!” (teens). A letter to parents from Mrs. Beshear has been sent to school librarians to share encouraging families to support reading throughout the summer months. Watch and share a brief video from Mrs. Beshear at this link.
Teachers and parents are encouraged to help children use “Find a Book, KY” to build personal reading lists for summer reading and then locate their selections at their school library or local public library. “Find a Book, KY” uses the widely-adopted Lexile® measure to match a reader with books that will provide the right level of challenge to support reading growth. School librarians and public librarians are ready to assist children and their parents as they make summer reading selections. While on the “Find a Book, KY” website, be sure to submit your “Pledge to Read” for summer 2014.
Find more information on the Kentucky Department of Education’s “Summer Reading” Web page. Each school’s certified school librarian has additional resources to promote Summer Reading Programs. For more information about specific activities, contests, and reading events for the Summer Reading Program in your county, contact your local public library
Contact Kathy Mansfield via e-mail at with any questions. 

Summer Enrichment/Work Programs for Visually Impaired Students
The Kentucky School for the Blind is excited to offer two Summer Enrichment Programs (Elementary and MS/HS) and the Summer Work Program for students who are visually impaired or blind throughout Kentucky on Sun., June 15 – Fri. June 27. Students in the Work Program will be working part-time at the Louisville Zoo.
The theme of the elementary (grades K-5) program is "Lucky to Live in Kentucky".  Students will explore why they are so lucky by participating in fun-filled activities, exciting field trips, cooking, arts and crafts and listening to guest speakers who will let them in on the secrets why they are so lucky to live in Kentucky.
"Vision Quest" is the theme for the middle/high school (grades 6-11) program.  These students will be on a quest for fun and adventure as they work together with friends, both old and new, to develop a Vision Portfolio and to learn about and use technology that will help them experience the world and sharpen their independence skills.
For more information or an application, click here.

Registration now open for Gateways to Independence
“Hands on Learning” is the theme for the 2014 Gateways to Independence, a professional learning opportunity for Kentucky teachers, orientation and mobility specialists and other service providers who work with students who are blind and visually impaired.  It will be held July 21-23 on the Kentucky School for the Blind campus in Louisville.

Gateways registration is due by June 1.   A late fee will be added to all registrations received after June 1. To obtain a registration form and additional information click on the link above.   You may e-mail registration forms to Beth Baker, or fax them to her at (502) 897-8737. Also, please note, due to extensive renovations, lodging will not be available on campus.  If you have questions about local lodging options contact Beth Baker, (502) 897-1583, ext. 7714.

There are several pricing options for Gateways. These include:

• Full Conference: July 21-23 (Monday-Wednesday) $75  
"Active Learning" with Patricia Obrzut: July 22-23 (Tuesday and Wednesday) $50 must attend both days
• Breakout Sessions: July 21 (Monday only) $25
KENTUCKY TEACHER - Taking off with Space Camp, Teacher Appreciation Week May 5-9
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 May 5:
• They built and launched model rockets, extracted DNA, programmed a simple robot and designed a permanent space habitat – and now their bringing those experiences back to their classrooms. Read about how a trip to Space Camp is inspiring Kentucky teachers.
• Commissioner Holliday shares a special message with teachers in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9.
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.
Free summer math program
MetaMetrics® is offering the Summer Math Challenge, a free six-week, e-mail-based, math skills program based on the Common Core State Standards for students who have finished second through fifth grade. The program is designed to help students retain math skills learned during the previous school year. It runs June 23rd - August 1st. Teachers may find this a beneficial resource to share with parents for use in conjunction with the student’s individual Quantile® measure. To get more information and/or enroll their child, parents can visit

Racing to Excellence program -- Action required by May 8
The Kentucky Speedway is offering schools reward certificates for students through its Racing to Excellence Program. The certificates are usually awarded to those attaining academic goals and allow the student free admission to the June 28 race.  The parent can purchase a ticket at a greatly reduced price. Schools should have received information on the program from the speedway.
The schools may request certificates for their students, but must do so by May 8. Each school may register at
This year a new component has been added. There will be various STEM exhibits in the fan area and students can meet drivers and pit crew members who will connect the importance of education and STEM to the professional sport of car racing. NASA trained teachers will be on hand to interact with students as well.
Teachers may register for the Teacher Development Program sponsored by NASA by contacting Marile' Colon Roblea at
For questions, please contact Ed Massey at (859) 743-0318.

Engaging students conference
Students who are actively engaged in their classrooms have greater learning gains than students who “opt-out” or do not participate at all. Student engagement is an ongoing challenge for teachers.  Engaging Students Using Participation Techniques, presented by the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform (PIMSER) will be held June 19-20 in Lexington. In this two-day session, K-12 teachers and administrators will learn strategies that increase student engagement and promote critical thinking skills -- both of which are essential to student’s conceptual understanding of content.
This training will show you how to think about planning for student engagement. Engaging Students Using Participation Techniques directly addresses Domain 2, The Classroom Environment and Domain 3, Instruction (Components B & C) in the PGES Framework for Teaching. Administrators will get the resources necessary to better lead and support your teachers who need to advance under Domain 2 and 3 in PGES. EILA credit will be available for attendees. Cost is $200 for the 2-day session. Complete details and registration here: Registration deadline is June 6.

Call for Innovative Presenters Now Open!
The Innovations for Learning (IFL) Conference 2014, sponsored by the University of Kentucky College of Education, the Fayette County Schools and the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative, is looking for innovative teachers and educational professionals who love learning to present at this year’s Innovations for Learning Conference, which will be held on September 13, 2014 at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, KY.
The IFL Conference is a free, one-day event that promotes the use of innovative instructional strategies that engage students to improve learning, with an emphasis on the use of technology.  Teachers, technology specialists (TRT/TIS), administrators and anyone else interested in using technology to improve student learning is encouraged to attend. The conference is sponsored by Fayette County Public Schools in partnership with the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative and the University of Kentucky College of Education. 
Last year’s updated format was a success so we will continue to offer both 60 minute sessions AND 20 minute mini-sessions.  Do you know a classroom teacher who has had great success with a specific project or web tool?   Have you tried letting students use personal devices in your classroom and have examples to share?  These topics could be perfect for mini-sessions!
For those who just want to attend the conference, registration will open in June.  However, please consider sharing your knowledge and expertise by applying to present.  Directions and more information are available on the conference website.
The call for presenters will close on May 30, 2014, so please don’t wait to apply!

Learning Disabilities Association conference
As we enter our 48th year of service for the population that learns differently, the Learning Disabilities Association of Kentucky is inviting you to our annual seminar, June 20 in Louisville.
This year's speaker is Dr. Larry Silver-author of The Misunderstood Child – one of the foremost publications about ADHD and LD ever written.
We realize that there are many professional learning opportunities that are specific to teacher tasks concerning Common Core and the rigorous standards that teachers need to know about to do their jobs. However, there is also room to broaden your knowledge and get professional development credit. This year, Kentucky teachers have the chance to get firsthand information from one of America's foremost experts on Learning Disabilities and ADHD.
Additional details can be found on our website: You can also register online.

KET Literacy Day
Interested in a deep, entertaining exploration of literacy? Join KET education staff as they guide you through the Inspiring Middle School Literacy collection and other literacy topics during a professional learning experience on Thursday, June 12 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. ET at the KET studios in Lexington During this time explore Inspiring Middle School Literacy, a collection made up of free cross-curricular lessons mapped to the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and available at no cost on PBS LearningMedia. The collection's lessons enhance the literacy skills of middle school students while engaging them in topics such as multiplying fractions, plate tectonics, immigration, civil rights, and bullying. Breakout sessions include:

• Inspiring Middle School Literacy for English/Language Arts and Social Studies
• Inspiring Middle School Literacy for Math and Science
• Literacy through the Arts
• Developing your own Self-Paced Lesson
Lunch will be provided. Register here.
KASC professional learning do-it-yourself toolkits
The Kentucky Association of School Councils is offering a variety of toolkits to provide the resources you need for quality professional learning with follow-up experiences and materials in every kit.  Many include delivery guides for their popular training sessions and allow you to customize the sessions to meet the needs of your staff.
Whether you have 1 hour, 3 hours or all day for staff make-up, these tools can create a powerful learning experience.
The following topics are available and prices range from $30-$150 (member price):
• K-PREP Toolkit
• Program Review Kit
• School-Wide Writing Program Kit
• Student Work Kit
• Formative Assessment Kit
• Professional Learning Communities Kit
• Closing the Disability Gap Kit
• Differentiated Instruction Kit
• All-Star Strategies Kit
Choose from one of these quick one-hour power sessions for $75 each (member price):
• Instructional Strategies for Student Engagement
• Teaching Vocabulary
• Marzano Basics
• Similarities and Differences
• Non-Linguistic Representation
For full descriptions and pricing of each kit, visit the Toolkits page of the KASC website.  All prices are for individual school use only. Call 859-238-2188 or e-mail for pricing of district license.
Kentucky Youth Storytelling competition
Entries are now being accepted for the Kentucky Youth Storytelling competition open to youth ages 8-17 at entry deadline June 1st.
Entrants must submit a 7-11 minute story on DVD no later than June 1st of each year. Winners will receive a cash prize of $100; a plaque designating them as a Kentucky Torchbearer; one year free membership in Kentucky Storytelling Association; recognition and an opportunity to tell on stage at the Kentucky Storytelling Conference in November and other events. Rules, judging guidelines, entry form and permission slip can be found here or contact KYS Chair Gwenda Huff-Johnson,, for more information.

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, and NanoRacks announce Mission 7 to the International Space Station. This STEM education opportunity immerses grade 5-14 students across a community in an authentic, high visibility research experience, where student teams design and propose real microgravity experiments to fly in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station. The program nurtures ownership in learning, critical thinking, problem solving, navigation of an interdisciplinary landscape, and communication skills – all reflective of the Next Generation Science Standards, and reflective of the skills needed by professional scientists and engineers, and the skills desired by 21st century employers.
Each participating community will be provided a real microgravity research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single experiment, and all launch services to fly it to Space Station in spring 2015, and return is safely to Earth for student harvesting and analysis. A 9-week experiment design competition in each community, held September through November 2014, and engaging typically 300 students, allows student teams to design and formally propose real experiments vying for their community's reserved mini-lab on Space Station. A formal 2-step proposal review process, mirroring professional review, will determine the community’s flight experiment. Content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design. Additional programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a Learning Community Model for STEM education. This includes a local art and design competition for a Mission Patch to accompany the flight experiment to Space Station. SSEP therefore provides for a community-wide STEAM experience.
All interested communities are asked to inquire by May 30; schools and districts need to assess interest with their staff and, if appropriate, move forward with an Implementation Plan. Communities must be aboard by September 3, 2014, for a 9-week experiment design phase, September 8 to November 7, 2014, and flight experiment selection by December 17, 2014. Flight of the selected experiment to ISS is expected in spring 2015.
For more information, contact: Dr. Jeff Goldstein, SSEP Program Director; (301) 395-0770;