November 25 2013

Published: 2/20/2015 1:52 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 that combines several items into one communication.
Please read the Monday E-mail as it contains information about the following KDE-related items:
• USED Changes ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal Process (Attachment)
• Operation Preparation—March 2014 – ACTION REQUESTED
• Superintendent Evaluation Report Due by Dec. 20, 2013
• Intervention Tab in Infinite Campus
• Program Reviews
• Redbook Update (Attachment)
• 2nd Annual Let’s TALK (Teaching Advocates Leading Kentucky) Conference – HOLD THE DATE! (Attachment)
• SOAR Summit
Kentucky Teacher – Happy Thanksgiving!
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
USED Changes ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal Process (Attachment)
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has been notified that the United States Department of Education (ED) has altered the ESEA Flexibility Waiver renewal process.  ED has indicated that the following process will be offered:
“. . . As you know in August of this year, ED released, in draft form under the Paperwork Reduction Act, guidance inviting each SEA that began implementing ESEA flexibility in the 2012-2013 school year (referred to as Window 1 and Window 2 SEAs) to request renewal of those waivers for two additional school years— i.e., through the 2015–2016 school year.  Since releasing that guidance, ED received input from a variety of stakeholders and, after considering that input, we have determined that its goals and objectives can be accomplished at this time through a streamlined process that maintains the high bar set with ED’s initial approval of ESEA flexibility requests while reducing burden and allowing States to move forward with the hard work of implementing college- and career-ready standards, more effective accountability systems for all students, and teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.  As a result, ED is offering an amended waiver extension process in place of the previously announced renewal process.  ED is now offering each Window 1 and Window 2 SEA an opportunity to seek a one-year extension of its ESEA flexibility request through this process.”
The full letter on the altered process is attached.  KDE will be following this new process to apply for an extension and still needs your feedback on the waiver extension as previously requested.
Operation Preparation—March 2014 –ACTION REQUESTED
It is time for Kentucky’s middle and high schools to start preparing for Operation Preparation 2014. During the month of March, Kentucky will participate in the 3rd annual Operation Preparation. During Operation Preparation, the community comes together to provide one-on-one advising opportunities for all 8th and 10th graders. A trained community volunteer will discuss with the student the student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and EXPLORE or PLAN results. The volunteer advisor and the student will also discuss the student’s career aspirations, required education/training, whether the student is on target to meet his or her goals and whether the student is taking the required courses to prepare him or her for the future. This session will last approximately 20 minutes.
Advising is a key strategy in reaching the goal that all districts have set of increasing their students’ college- and career-readiness rates by 50 percent by 2015.  In 2013, 114 districts participated in Operation Preparation; we hope that all of Kentucky’s 8th- and 10th- grade students will have the opportunity to participate in 2014.
Each district is asked to complete the following survey:  by December 6 to confirm its intent to participate in Operation Preparation 2014.

Superintendent Evaluation Report Due by Dec. 20, 2013
Please keep in mind the deadline for submission of the Superintendent Evaluation Report in ASSIST is COB Dec. 20, 2013. As this deadline rapidly approaches it is essential to finish the requested upload into ASSIST. As you consider the steps to upload your board conversations on the topics requested, there are resources available.
For individual assistance on procedural issues Contact Dr. Tommy Floyd. For technical support with ASSIST please contact Ginger Kinnard.

Intervention Tab in Infinite Campus
Over the last few weeks, KDE has been gathering feedback from school districts on how best to track interventions and report interventions at the state and district level. We are working to figure out how to make the Infinite Campus (IC) Intervention Tab a “value add” for districts rather than just another report that has to be done. We also are working to figure out what we can allow districts to stop doing.
As we work on this issue, I need to remind you that Response to Intervention (RTI) is a key requirement from the Kentucky General Assembly (see paragraph below) as well as within No Child Left Behind and IDEA. Common sense seems to indicate that schools and districts would track Response to Intervention in order to monitor individual student progress and identify interventions that are working and those that are not. When I visit schools, I usually see data walls where schools are tracking this information; however, it is difficult to complete an analysis at the state level without putting the “data wall” information into a software program for analysis.
Regarding the state legal requirements for KDE to track interventions, House Bill 69 from the 2012 Regular Session established the reporting requirement for KDE on RTI. KRS 158.305(10) states in pertinent part:

• (10) By November 30, 2013, and annually thereafter, the department shall provide a report to the Interim Joint Committee on Education that includes:
(a) Data on the number of school districts implementing response-to-intervention systems and scientifically based research practices in reading, writing, mathematics, and behavior;
(b) Information on the types of scientifically based research interventions implemented; and
(c) Data on the effectiveness of interventions in improving student performance in Kentucky schools.

Program Reviews
Recently, I blogged about Program Reviews that can be found at the following link: As the Program Review information is being reviewed by schools and districts, I need to remind you of KDE’s guidance found below.
Senate Bill 1 (2009) required annual review of programs. Schools and districts may complete this requirement by using ASSIST on an annual basis to input the Program Review scores for the rubrics. Schools and districts may choose to work on only one Program Review annually. We recommend that schools and districts choose the Program Review where the most improvement is needed; however, the final decision rests with the school and district. The school and district should have a plan to improve the Program Review ratings and should update evidence of improvement in ASSIST. For the remaining Program Review areas, schools and districts only need to transfer scores on the rubric from the previous year into ASSIST for the current year.
However, if a school/district changes a rating in the ASSIST rubric, there must be evidence
updated to document why a change was made.

Redbook Update (Attachment)
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recently distributed a letter to all external auditors with a school district audit contract for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.  See attached. The letter clarifies KDE’s intention to use FY 2014 as a transitional learning period for Redbook implementation and asks external auditors to work with school districts to ensure that FY 2014 is used as a learning opportunity in order to be fully compliant by FY 2015.  As a reminder, all Redbook-related information is located on the KDE webpage at:  The webpage contains several instructional videos which districts are encouraged to use as training tools that may be reviewed by school and district personnel and members of booster organizations at their convenience.  In addition, the webpage also contains “Redbook Frequently Asked Questions” which are updated on a regular basis. Questions regarding Redbook maybe directed to Susan Barkley at .
2nd Annual Let’s Talk (Teaching Advocates Leading Kentucky) Conference – HOLD THE DATE! (Attachment)
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.  See the attached flyer.

SOAR Summit
High school students and teachers from across Kentucky are invited to participate in the upcoming “SOAR: Shaping our Appalachian Region” Summit on Monday, December 9. KET also will be showing all of the summit’s sessions except for the breakout sessions. The full day’s agenda/schedule can be found here: .
In an effort to focus on the future success of southern and eastern Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. Hal Rogers organized the summit to gather ideas and recommendations about how to move Kentucky’s Appalachian region forward.  Job creation, entrepreneurship, tourism, lifelong learning, and leadership development will be among the topics discussed.
Students and teachers will be able to provide comment before, during and after the event on the SOAR comment section on the Department for Local Government’s website.  They can also tweet to @SOAR_EKY or use the hashtag #SOARSummit or post on the SOAR Facebook page at
The summit is being held at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.  Already, more than 1,100 people have registered to attend. 
Kentucky Teacher - Happy Thanksgiving!
Kentucky Teacher, the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) award-winning online publication, won’t be publishing Thanksgiving week.
Don’t worry Kentucky Teacher will be back the week of Dec. 2 with new feature articles highlighting successful classroom practice, columns, news, helpful resources and more.
The Kentucky Teacher staff wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving and hopes the holiday provides an opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends.

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.

Next-Generation Science Standards online discussion
CTL, a non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization that works with educators to improve instruction and increase learning for all students will be holding an online discussion on Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on Tuesday December 3 at 3 p.m. ET. CTL will bring together four experts to discuss the what, why and how of the NGSS.
Panelists will include Dr. Jennifer Childress, a developer of the NGSS as Achieve Senior Advisor for Science; Steve Rich, science teacher, author of Bringing Outdoor Science In: Thrifty Classroom Lessons (NSTA, 2012), and National Science Teachers Association award winner and frequent presenter; Sean Elkins, Kentucky Department of Education science specialist and board member of the Council of State Science Supervisors; and Denise Finley, CTL’s resident science specialist.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
Nominations are now being accepted for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).  The 2014 Awards will honor mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers working in grades K-6. Nominations close on April 1, 2014 and can be made online at
Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Winners receive:

• A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
• A paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.
• A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
Since 1983, more than 4,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals.

Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference
Northern Kentucky University’s (NKU) School Counseling Program, in collaboration with the Northern Kentucky Center for Educator Excellence and the Ronald H. Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, presents the Second Annual Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference scheduled for January 13 and 14, 2014 at the METS Center in Erlanger, Kentucky.
The conference provides school counselors with critical information about successful practice, evaluation, and relevant research to create dynamic and powerful school counseling programs. The conference uses a unique format to incorporate both peer-reviewed research presentations and professional workshops by leaders in the field. Threads specific to school administrators and state school counseling leaders have been added to the 2014 Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference.
Click here for more information or click here to register.

December KASC training opportunities
The Kentucky Association of School Councils is offering three training sessions at various locations across the state in December.
Constructed Response -- Learn to apply quality of instruction along with effective higher level questioning to ensure your students' engagement and increase their knowledge. Newly revised to include rigor and relevance, this session includes:

• high expectations
• rigor
• instructional relevance
On-Demand Writing --  Accurately assess your students’ learning in a real-world context. The session includes:
• thought provoking information
• strategies and tools
• a chance to reflect about writing instruction

Effective Program Review - Program Reviews account for 23 percent of a school’s overall accountability score for 2014. In this session for school personnel, participants are guided through an effective program review process using the KASC Program Review Kit.

Training Locations:
• Effective Program Review,  Wednesday, December 11, 9 a.m.-noon ET
• On-Demand Writing, Friday, December 6, 8:30-11:30 ET
• High Level Constructed Response, Friday, December 6, 1-4 p.m.ET
Bowling Green:
• On-Demand Writing, Monday, December 9, 8:30-11:30 CT
• High Level Constructed Response, Monday, December 9, 1-4 p.m. CT
Eco-Art Contest
The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) is soliciting nominations for the 2013–14 Eco-Art Contest. The contest provides an opportunity for high school students to gain statewide recognition for their artwork as it relates to Kentucky’s environment. Used as a tool for environmental education, art supports DEP’s mission to protect Kentucky’s environment.
Multiple awards will be presented to eligible Kentucky high school students who create art using the contest themes or categories of conservation, pollution prevention and environmental protection. Students may submit artwork using the media types of drawing/painting/print, mixed media, sculpture and photographs, with one winner for each submitted art type within each category.
Contest nominations are being accepted until close of business Feb. 28, 2014. All nominations must be sent via e-mail only to A digital picture of each artwork nomination must accompany each form submitted.
Eligible students include all students enrolled in Kentucky public and private high schools for the 2013–14 academic year. Winners will be notified in March, and winning entries will be displayed in the DEP Training Center at 300 Fair Oaks Lane.
For more information about the Eco-Art Contest and to access a nomination form, visit or call the Division of Compliance Assistance toll-free at (800) 926-8111.