November 12 2013

Published: 11/13/2013 4:04 PM
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 on Tuesday that combines several items into one communication.
 
Please read the Monday E-mail on Tuesday as it contains information about the following KDE-related items:
• Feedback Requested as KDE Prepares Application for Renewal of Kentucky’s ESEA Waiver (Attachment)
• Waiver request to be sent to USED to extend availability of FY 2011 SIG funds for Cohort Two Schools; Feedback Requested by Nov. 14 (Attachment)
• Update on Affordable Care Act (ACA)
• Kentucky Green Ribbon Schools 2014 Application Available
• Revised Title I, Part A Reward Allocations
• ASSIST scheduled maintenance
• Archived webcast on KEN and future plans now available
• Teacher survey on Common Core – will send to teachers later this week (Attachment)
• Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology Systems (CIITS) Update
• Free Professional Learning for K-3 Teachers
• 2nd Annual Let’s TALK (Teaching Advocates Leading Kentucky) Conference
• Kentucky Teacher - Student work ethic, road to becoming teacher of the year coming

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
 
Feedback Requested as KDE Prepares Application for Renewal of Kentucky’s ESEA Waiver (Attachment)
Kentucky is planning to apply for renewal of its ESEA waiver during Phase C (February 12–21, 2014) of the times being offered by the United States Department of Education (USED) made available for this purpose. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking feedback from all superintendents and education constituencies to consider as the renewal application is drafted.
 
KDE is aware that some pushback exists to seeking renewal of the ESEA waiver.  In response, we are distributing the attached white paper titled “What Is the ESEA Waiver and Why Is It Important to Kentucky?” to make it clear what it means if the waiver goes away and Kentucky goes back to the federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  I ask that you review the attached white paper before providing KDE with your input on the things to consider as we draft the renewal application for the ESEA waiver.  We are very open to suggestions for change but believe regressing to the use of the NCLB requirements where Kentucky’s schools would be classified as “failing” would be a tremendous step backwards for our education system.
 
After reviewing the attached white paper, please send all feedback via mail or e-mail to:
 
Mary Ann Miller, Policy Advisor
Kentucky Department of Education
500 Mero Street
1st Floor, Capital Plaza Tower
Frankfort, KY 40610
maryann.miller@education.ky.gov
 
Thank you in advance for assisting us in crafting the waiver renewal submission.
 
Waiver request to be sent to USED to extend availability of FY 2011 SIG funds for Cohort Two Schools; Feedback Requested by Nov. 14 (Attachment)
The Kentucky Department of Education will be requesting a waiver from the United States Department of Education (USED) from the requirement in Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. § 1225(b)) to extend the period of availability of FY 2011 School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds for the SEA and all of its LEAs to September 30, 2014.  Kentucky received and reviewed all submitted applications from eligible LEAs in cohort two.  The state fully funded all approvable applications in cohort two using FY 2011 allocations. The state believes that the requested waiver and extension of time will increase its ability to implement the SIG program effectively in eligible schools in the state in order to improve the quality of instruction and improve the academic achievement of students in Tier I and Tier II schools.
 
Attached is the draft letter that will be sent to request the waiver.  If you have any comments on this waiver request, please e-mail them to Donna Tackett at donna.tackett@education.ky.gov by close of business on November 14.

Update on Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Department staff held a webinar on October 29 to discuss follow-up questions and concerns about the ACA.  An archived copy of this recording is available on the KDE website at: http://mediaportal.education.ky.gov/finance/2013/10/affordable-care-act-implementation-issues-for-kentucky-districts/.
 
In addition, KDE continues to monitor and update our ACA guidance at: http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pages/Health-and-Life-Insurance-Benefits-and-Flexible-Spending-Accounts.aspx as new information becomes available.
 
As always, questions regarding ACA as it relates to Kentucky school districts may be directed to Melissa Sullivan at melissa.sullivan@education.ky.gov, 502-564-3846, extension 4415 or Susan Barkley at susan.barkley@education.ky.gov, 502-564-3930, extension 4437.

Kentucky Green Ribbon Schools 2014 Application Available
The Kentucky Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) application for 2014 is now available on the Green Ribbon Schools webpage at:
http://education.ky.gov/districts/fac/Pages/Green-Ribbon-Schools-Application-Process.aspx
 
• The first step is to submit a “letter of intent”.  Superintendents desiring to participate should designate a representative from their district to e-mail the district’s intent to Sherri Craig (sherri.craig@education.ky.gov) by December 6, 2013.
 
• The next step is for participating schools to complete the KY GRS application available on the GRS webpage listed above.  Applications are due by January 8, 2014.
 
Please visit the GRS webpage for resource links and other related information. If you have questions, please contact Sherri Craig at sherri.craig@education.ky.gov  or by telephone at (502) 564-4326 Ext 4426.

Revised Title I, Part A Reward Allocations
Title I, Part A allocations have been revised due to the reallocation of funds by the U.S. Department of Education. Revised award notifications can be found here: http://education.ky.gov/districts/fin/Documents/FY14%20Title%20I%20Part%20A%20Revised%2010-6-13.pdf.
 
KDE Title I, Part A consultants will contact your district directly in order to make revisions to the 2013-14 Ranking Report. Any questions may be directed to your district’s KDE Title I, Part A consultant at (502) 564-3791.

ASSIST scheduled maintenance
Please be advised that ASSIST (Comprehensive School and District Improvement Planning tool) will be unavailable Friday, November 15, 2013, beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST through Saturday, November 16, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. EST for scheduled maintenance. ASSIST users will not be able to access the system during this time.
 
If you have any questions or experience problems after the maintenance window, please contact Ginger Kinnard at ginger.kinnard@education.ky.gov for additional support and assistance.

Archived webcast on KEN and future plans now available
Last week, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) hosted a special webcast for all districts that focused on the current operational status of the Kentucky Education Network (KEN), as well as the status and plan for the transition from the Kentucky Information Highway 2 (KIH2) to the Kentucky Information Highway 3 (KIH3) platform of KEN.  Current plans call for the transition to the first phase (minimum of 50kbps/student) of the KIH3 network to be completed by June 2014.
 
Recently representatives from the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT, which is the state contract manager) and AT&T (which is the service provider) participated in the webcast along with KDE education technology leaders to address a number of issues related to the project.  In the event you could not join the webcast in person, an archive copy is now available through the KDE Media Portal.

Teacher survey on Common Core – will send to teachers later this week (Attachment)
As you may be aware, several states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards and/or Next-Generation Science Standards have encountered some pushback from the legislature in their states.  We anticipate in January when the Kentucky General Assembly convenes, we may see similar efforts despite the fact that Senate Bill 1 (2009) mandated new standards. Naysayers in Kentucky and elsewhere have already begun a campaign to have the standards overturned.  The Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education maintain their support of these college/career-ready standards and feel as if an effort to back away from them would be detrimental to our teachers, our students and our public education system.  So, we are seeking feedback from educators and will be sending a short survey (attached) to teachers later this week.  A similar national survey showed overwhelming support of the standards.
 
We would ask you to encourage your teachers to fill out the survey when they receive it so that we may show the overwhelming support we believe educators have for the standards and the impact they are having on students in the classroom.

Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS) Update
Last month for the first time, there were more than one million separate logins to CIITS by our K-12 teachers and staff. To date they have created more than 268,000 lesson plans in CIITS and more than 190,000 formative assessments.  Last month alone, more than 55,000 students logged in and took a formative assessment through CIITS.
 
The improvements to CIITS as the result of the latest version include:
• Performance-based tasks: districts and schools are now able to aggregate data on performance based tasks as well as administer the assessment via system-generated answer sheets.
• Hot spots:  Test authors are now able to author, edit and report against Hot-spot assessment items.
• Accommodations: Screen readers, magnification and Braille printers are now supported when taking an assessment in the test tunnel.
• Enhanced language support:  Test authors are now able to author assessment items in German and French. Students are also able to construct assessment responses in German, French and Spanish.
• Alternate K-PREP results:  Test results will be available for students by the end of November.
 
In an effort to make the user experience even better, right after you login to CIITS, you will see a “CIITS Suggestion Box” icon on the top left of the main CIITS home page. This was added in late October, so districts and KDE staff can provide their suggestions for improving CIITS.  So far, we have found a large percentage of the suggestions are requesting functionality that is already part of the system. However, there have been some excellent suggestions that identify and request some new CIITS functionality that will be strongly considered in future releases of the product.  Please contact CIITS Service Manager Maritta Horne, marritta.horne@education.ky.gov with any questions.

Free Professional Learning for K-3 Teachers
The KCM (Kentucky Center for Mathematics) is proud to partner with the Kentucky Department of Education to offer a free professional learning opportunity for any K-3 Kentucky public school teacher. Enacting Effectiveness Response to Intervention (EERTI) cohorts are professional learning communities that will grow K-3 teachers’ understanding of early numeracy development and improve their abilities for establishing strong foundations in student fluency for adding and subtracting.  EERTI cohorts support KDE’s statewide initiatives to develop highly effective teaching and learning in Kentucky classrooms that will lead to the success of all Kentucky students.
 
As a member of an EERTI cohort, you will receive specialized training from an experienced Math Intervention Teacher featuring evidence-based strategies and materials from experts in early numeracy development. The EERTI community will provide support to each educator as new strategies and methods are utilized in the classroom.
 
Click here to view the EERTI flyer for more information. 
 
If you have any questions, please contact KCM Assistant Director Meredith Brewer at brewerm8@nku.edu or by phone at (859) 572-5976.

2nd Annual Let’s TALK (Teaching Advocates Leading Kentucky) Conference
The first Let’s TALK Conference was so successful a second one has been scheduled for next summer.  The conference is for, by, and about all teachers, so please try to avoid any other teacher-focused training June 16-17, 2014. The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville 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.
 
Kentucky Teacher - student work ethic, road to becoming teacher of the year coming
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 Nov. 11:
• Content knowledge is important, but so is having a strong work ethic. Read about how Hardin County is helping its high school students prepare for academic and career success through its new Work Ethic Certification program.
• Dreams really do come true. Just ask Joanna Stevens, who this week shares her journey to becoming a teacher and her thoughts on being named the 2014 Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year.
 
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.
 
Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) Supervisors of Classified Personnel Training – December 13, 2013
Don’t miss this opportunity to get your supervisors of classified personnel the training they need to avoid legal pitfalls resulting in expensive litigation.  Experienced attorneys and policy consultants will provide your managers with valuable information to assist them with effective management, evaluation, investigation, and discipline of classified staff members.  KSBA to provide information about federal and Kentucky law required in management and due process of classified staff.
 
Registration Price: $200 per person
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.
Session Time:
8:30 a.m.
 
Hotel:
Hilton Lexington Green Suites
245 Lexington Green Circle
Lexington, KY 40503
Telephone:  859-271-4000
 
Presenters
Teresa T. Combs - KSBA, Director of Legal and Administrative Training Services
John C. Fogle III - KSBA, Staff Attorney
Kim Barker - KSBA, Senior Policy Consultant and eMeeting Trainer
 
For more information, please contact Jolene Shearer, KSBA, at Jolene.shearer@ksba.org .

Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) seeks Executive Director
KSBA is seeking a leader who is a creative, strategic thinker with exceptional communication, analytical and entrepreneurial skills. Required qualifications include a minimum of a master's degree in education or related field; a minimum of seven years of experience in the management of a school district, education-related agency or a private not-for-profit association; and working knowledge of key issues related to public education.  A working knowledge of Kentucky’s new assessment and accountability system (Unbridled Learning) is a plus. The ideal candidate shall also have knowledge and skills to:
 
• create and strengthen critical partnerships;
• develop new services that meet member needs and generate additional revenue; and
• use association resources to enhance members’ ability to promote student achievement, including college/career readiness across the Commonwealth.
 
The Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA), located in Frankfort, is a nonprofit association serving 173 elementary and secondary public boards of education in Kentucky. KSBA is governed by a 27-member board of directors composed of local school board members from across the Commonwealth. The board is responsible for making decisions vital to the interests of all local school boards served by the KSBA staff.  KSBA provides a wide range of programs and services that support the needs of its members. Its mission is to enhance school board leadership in maximizing student achievement through superior support and services.
 
Applications may be submitted until January 10, 2014. A detailed job description and application information can be found at http://www.ksba.org/employment.aspx. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Deadline extended for MLK art and essay contest
The deadline has been extended to November 22 for students to submit entries for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. art and essay contests. Entries should be inspired by a Dr. King moment or speech and how it has influenced the student’s thoughts on the theme: Opportunities to Rise: Building Bridges.
 
Artwork
• All K-12 students are eligible to participate.
• Entries must be accompanied by a completed work sample index.
• If the return of the CD or DVD is desired, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope in which the disk will fit.
• All visual art and media entries will be judged on creativity and originality; artwork reflects a unique style or expression; artwork addresses the theme of the contest. The selection will be based solely on the artwork; no written essay is required.
• First, second and third place winners will be selected in two-dimensional and media arts categories for elementary, middle and high school. Each winner will receive a plaque for competing in this year’s contest.
 
Essays
• Open to all Kentucky school students in grades 4-12.
• Must be 500 words or less on standard 8-1/2” x 11” white paper with 1” margins, double spaced, and in no creative font (Arial and or/New Times Roman are recommended).
• Videos, films, drawings, etc. will not be accepted.
• All writing entries will be judged on the criteria listed in the Kentucky Writing Scoring Rubric: purpose, awareness of audience, idea development, organization (sentence structure and transitions), language, and correctness.
• First, second and third place winners will be selected in categories for elementary (4th -5th grades), middle and high school. Each winner will receive a plaque for competing in this year’s contest.
 
Entries must include:
• Student’s name, address, and grade level
• Parent’s name and home phone number
• School district, school name, and school telephone number
• Teacher’s name
 
Deadline: ALL entries must be received (not postmarked) in the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment no later than close of business on Friday, November 22, 2013. Students should mail or deliver entries to:
 
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest –2014
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 138
Frankfort, KY 40601
 
If you have any questions, please contact the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment at (502) 564-2611, ext. 370 or www.ome.ky.gov.
 
The Kentucky Civil Rights Database provided by the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Oral History Commission may be used as an additional resource.

Math conference speaker proposals sought and registration open
Registration is officially open for the Kentucky Center for Mathematics 2014 annual conference, "Fluency Forward.”
 
The 2014 KCM Conference will take place on March 10 and 11, 2014 at the Hilton Downtown in Lexington. Lots of exciting features are planned for this year’s conference including a wonderful line-up of featured speakers, a celebration dinner and the very first ever KCM conference poster contest.  View the conference flyer here for more details.
 
Here's some quick links to help you get started:
 
Attendee Registration (notice the new pricing options for students)
Speaker Proposal Submissions (accepted now through Friday, December 6, 2013)
 
For questions, or more information contact Mandy McDonough, KCM Events Coordinator, at kcm@nku.edu.
 
KySTE Award Nominations
Now is your chance to recognize an Outstanding Teacher, Outstanding Leader and/or Outstanding Technology Support Staff. Nominations for these prestigious state awards, presented by the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE), can be submitted any time before January 17. For more information, go to KySTE Outreach/Awards http://www.kyste.org/content_page2.aspx?cid=50 or http://www.kyste.org and click on the Awards link!
 
Outstanding Teacher
KySTE annually recognizes an Outstanding Teacher for contributions to the field of education technology. The Outstanding Teacher award recognizes and honors one teacher who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education. The recipient will be presented with this award at the annual KySTE conference in March and nominated for the ISTE award at the national level.
 
Outstanding Leader
KySTE annually recognizes an Outstanding Leader for contributions to the field of education technology. The Outstanding Leader award recognizes and honors one leader who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education. The recipient will be presented with this award at the annual KySTE conference in March and nominated for the ISTE award at the national level.
 
Outstanding Technology Support Staff
KySTE annually recognizes an Outstanding Technology Support Staff for contributions to the field of education technology. The Outstanding Technology Staff award recognizes and honors a technician or resource person who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in supporting technology to improve education. The recipient will be presented with this award at the annual KySTE conference in March.
 
Coming soon: nominations open for a minimum of 4 outstanding STLP seniors in the state of Kentucky who will be recognized for achievement and leadership in technology!