October 7 2013

Published: 10/15/2013 11:23 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:
• Current Status of the Federal Shutdown
• Important information for public employees on health insurance (KEHP vs. kynect) (Two attachments)
• Affordable Care Act – Implementation Guide Posted to KDE Website
• New Webpage and Link to the Resources for the Superintendent Evaluation Report
• Reminder of Link to the Follow-up Document from the September 5th Superintendents’ Summit
• 2014 World Language Immersion Planning/Implementation RFA
• Kentucky Teacher - Learning from failure, Schools to Watch, Internet safety photos 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

Current Status of the Federal Shutdown
As of October 1, 2013, approximately 94% of United States Department of Education (USED) staff are furloughed.  In the short term, that means that communications and feedback from USED staff will be limited.  However, USED grants that have been awarded to a district prior to the shutdown will continue to be available and no delay in reimbursement for these grants is expected.  In addition, for child nutrition program grants through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), federal funding will continue to be available for meals served through September 30, 2013.  However, meals served beginning October 1, 2013 are only expected to be eligible for reimbursement once a Federal budget is approved.  In other words, if the federal shutdown continues for longer than a month, districts may face issues with getting timely reimbursement for meals served after October 1 (claims for meal reimbursement for October are typically submitted in early November). The Kentucky Department of Education will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates to school districts.
 
Important information for public employees on health insurance (KEHP vs. kynect) (Two attachments)
As a public employee (whether a state government employee, a school district employee, or a retiree), you may be eligible to participate in the Kentucky Employees' Health Plan (“KEHP”), a non-profit, self-funded plan that offers state health insurance benefits and flexible spending accounts to more than 280,000 members.  Open enrollment for KEHP is currently underway from October 1 to October 31, 2013.  In addition, as a public employee goes through this process, he or she may also have questions about how KEHP compares with the new Kentucky Health Exchange (“kynect”).  Please find attached a fact sheet that will be helpful in making comparisons between the two programs.  In addition, there is also an FAQ attached that addresses some common questions which public employees may have during the open enrollment period for KEHP.  Contact information for both KEHP and kynect is listed on the fact sheet if any additional information is needed on either program.

Affordable Care Act – Implementation Guide Posted to KDE Website
The Affordable Care Act – Implementation Guide for Kentucky School Districts is now posted on the KDE website at http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pages/Health-and-Life-Insurance-Benefits-and-Flexible-Spending-Accounts.aspx.   The Guide was developed by KDE in collaboration with school district and industry representatives. 
 
For Kentucky school districts, KEHP will bear the burden of ensuring adequate and affordable coverage, allowing the districts to focus on other issues such as determining who are full-time employees and their eligibility status.  Additional regulations continue to be issued by the IRS.  Districts should look for updates and further guidance as deadlines approach and rules are clarified.  The Guide is provided to facilitate a general understanding of the law and address key issues specific to Kentucky school districts.
 
The Guide will assist districts in:
• Determining which workers are employees
• Determining if the district is a “large” employer subject to the ACA
• Totaling “hours of service” for each employee
• Developing policies and processes relating to ACA compliance
• Determining which employees are considered full-time under the ACA
• Considering alternatives to optimize resources
• Documenting compliance
 
KDE will conduct a webinar in the coming weeks to discuss the Guide and facilitate questions and answers from districts.  In addition, two sessions will be offered at the upcoming KASBO conference regarding ACA:  Thursday, November 21 at 8:00 a.m. and again at 10:10 a.m. that day.
 
Questions regarding ACA and the Guide 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.
 
New Webpage and Link to the Resources for the Superintendent Evaluation Report
As announced in this week’s Superintendents’ Webcast, the resources for the Superintendent Evaluation Report to help superintendents with the ASSIST upload process are being moved to their own webpage.  The new link to get to these resources is: http://education.ky.gov/teachers/HQT/Pages/Superintendent%20Professional%20Growth%20and%20Effectiveness%20System.aspx.  The resources are now on a new page titled “Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System” listed down the left side of the Effective Leaders webpage on the KDE website.
 
Questions on these resources can be directed to Dr. Tommy Floyd at tommy.floyd@education.ky.gov

Reminder of Link to the Follow-up Document from the September 5th Superintendents’ Summit
In a separate e-mail, I sent you the link to access the follow-up document from the September 5th Superintendents’ Summit.  Just as a reminder, you can access the document on the commissioner’s page on the KDE website at http://education.ky.gov/CommOfEd/Documents/KDE%20Followup%20Q%20and%20A%20from%20Sept%205%20Supt%20Summit%2093013.pdf.
 
2014 World Language Immersion Planning/Implementation RFA
The World Language Immersion project is part of a statewide initiative to help elementary schools prepare for the World Language Program Review, as well as increase world language and cultural competency for college and career readiness.  The grant will provide funding to schools that wish to plan or implement a partial (dual) language immersion program.  Language immersion programs are stem-focused in that math and science are taught in the target language.  For more information on language immersion programs see http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/met00001.html and http://www.fcps.net/education-options/world-languages/spanish-immersion.
 
Questions regarding the 2014 World Language Immersion Planning/Implementation RFA should be sent to KDERFP@education.ky.gov.   The deadline to submit questions is November 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm (EST).
 
Applications will only be accepted electronically.  Please see the RFA for details.
 
The deadline to submit applications is Monday, December 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm (EST).
 
Kentucky Teacher - Learning from failure, Schools to Watch, Internet safety photos 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 Oct. 7:
• Students are often people pleasers who have a fear of failing or being less than perfect. But, failing is often the catalyst for learning. Read this week’s story on failure-discovery and discover ways to help your students understand the importance of not knowing the correct answer.
• Learn about this year’s group of Schools to Watch and how they are integrating college- and career-readiness into their school days.
• Don’t share too much information and only play online games with people you know. KDE photographer Amy Wallot recently spent some time in Beth Trimble’s 4th-grade class at Lancaster Elementary School (Garrard County) during an Internet-safety presentation given by students in Garrard County High School’s Student Technology Leadership Program.
 
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.

Positive Behavior Learning opportunity
Professional development for the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework is now available to districts.  More than 400 schools have participated in this KDE-supported training which is designed to support academic achievement and eliminate behavior as a barrier to learning. There is no charge for the training or materials.  For more information, please visit www.kycid.org or contact, Mike Waford, Director, Kentucky Center for Instructional Discipline (KYCID) at mike.waford@eku.edu or 502-330-6651.

KASC Regional Professional Development Academies
The Kentucky Association of School Councils is offering three professional learning academies at various locations throughout the state over the next month. 
Lexington:

• Advanced Assessment and Accountability, Oct. 15, 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET
• Higher-Level Thinking and Learning-Closing the Gap for All Students, Oct. 16, 8:30-11:30 a.m. ET
• Higher-Level Multiple Choice, Oct. 16, 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Bowling Green:
• Advanced Assessment and Accountability, Nov. 7, 1:00-4:00 p.m. CT
• Higher-Level Thinking and Learning-Closing the Gap for All Students, Nov. 8, 8:30-11:30 a.m. CT
• Higher-Level Multiple Choice, Nov. 8, 1:00-4:00 p.m. CT
Corbin:
• Advanced Assessment and Accountability, Nov. 12, 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET
• Higher-Level Thinking and Learning–Closing the Gap for All Students, Nov. 13, 8:30-11:30 a.m. ET
• Higher-Level Multiple Choice, Nov. 13, 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET
 
A description of each session follows.
Advanced Assessment and Accountability - Strategic Approaches to Success and Understanding Innovation. In our next level of Assessment and Accountability we help participants look more deeply into the state testing system including:
• The adjustments to the system
• Specific ideas of how to strategically approach state testing and student learning by teaching standards so students can learn
• Teaching kids how to learn (it’s not just talent)
• Thinking about innovation in your schools and districts
This session only: available for EILA Credit and SBDM Credit for experienced council members.

Higher Level Thinking and Learning – Closing the Gap for All Students. 
The research is overwhelming, all students can learn at higher levels. 
In this session you will learn:
• Why that’s true and how to help students believe in themselves
• Specific strategies for keeping student thinking at high levels through discussion and questioning as well as through classroom work and assessment
• Additional research-based strategies for reaching and teaching all students and closing the gap
*Connection to Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System — Higher-level questioning and thinking are specifically listed in the Evidence of Teaching descriptors.
Available for EILA Credit.
 
Higher Level Multiple Choice - Learn more about high-level multiple-choice questions, so you will be able to judge the quality of questions from other sources and/or develop your own questions.
 During this 3-hour session we will:
• Review models of high-level questions
• Provide specific examples of ways to raise the level and quality of existing questions
• Since multiple-choice questions make up the largest part of student assessments, it is especially important to keep those questions at the highest-level possible!
*Connection to Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System — Higher-level questioning and thinking are specifically listed in the Evidence of Teaching descriptors.
Available for EILA Credit.
 
Register Here for one or more of the academies.

Read more on the KASC website.

Safe Schools Week Resources
During this weeklong observance (Oct. 20-26), a concerted effort will be made to bring together all Kentuckians to improve safety in our schools by educating students, staff and community members about school safety issues such as bullying, cyber-bullying, conflict, gangs, substance abuse, internet safety and self-harm. The phrase “Join the team” encourages student groups to find opportunities to use their power to make schools a neighborhood “sanctuary” for academic, athletic and social purposes.  Teachers will have a variety of resources available for them to use during this week, including an online S.T.O.P.! Pledge, PowerPoint presentations, lessons, interactive websites and much more.  Resources will also be available for school administrators, parents and community members at www.kysafeschools.org/ssw.php.
 
Project Graduation Grant Deadline Extension
The deadline for the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety 2014 Project Graduation grant has been extended to Oct. 15.
 
This grant will target Occupant Protection (Seat belt Safety) in Kentucky High Schools. Nine Project Graduation grants will be awarded throughout the state. One grant recipient (High School) will receive $1,000 and eight others will receive $500 toward their 2014 Project Graduation.
 
To apply for the grant, perspective grantees need to visit the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety’s “Application Directions” page; pay close attention to the requirements. Use the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Project Graduation Application and e-mail to: matt.mccoy@ky.gov.  Approved grantees will be notified.
 
Please follow the link below for more information about the grant, a link to the grant application and a link to the seat belt survey form.
 http://transportation.ky.gov/Highway-Safety/Pages/KOHS-Project-Graduation.aspx.

UK Innovate-to-Learn Institute
The Innovate-to-Learn Institute combines two institutes into one and will be held October 28-29 at the Lexington Convention Center.  Check-in is 8 a.m. and the institute runs from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.  There will be presentations and several keynote speakers throughout the conference.
 
Day one of the institute consists of the Kentucky 1:1 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Institute, which seeks to create an environment where teachers, administrators, and CIOs can come together to explore challenges and opportunities within 1:1 and BYOD schools. Those who should attend include:
• School administrators and teachers in 1:1/BYOD districts, or currently considering
CIOs/DTCs (KySTE New CIO Workshop is now part of the event)
• District/School technical support personnel
• Instructional technologists
The Kentucky 1:1 BYOD Institute is sponsored by the University of Kentucky College of Education, CASTE, KySTE and the UK P-20 Innovation Lab and is approved for 6 hours EILA credit.
 
The second day of the institute focuses on STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Maker Movement with many sessions to inspire inquiry and innovation. Teachers, students, school administrators, higher education faculty, board members, and leaders in the business community should plan on attending. The institute is sponsored by University of Kentucky College of Education, Kentucky Department of Education, Google, ShopBot Inc., Project Lead the Way, and the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute.
 
Register for one day or both days at http://sites.education.uky.edu/i2l/registration/

Rural Education National Forum (Attachment)
Battelle for Kids and the Ohio Department of Education are pleased to host the first Rural Education National Forum, Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center Columbus, Ohio.
 
The Rural Education National Forum is an interactive opportunity for education, community, and business leaders dedicated to making education work for rural communities. It is designed to highlight powerful instructional and leadership practices in rural districts, focus strategic conversations around rural opportunities and challenges with national and local experts, and build a network for collaborative action.
 
Hear from educational leaders and practitioners from around the country, and special keynotes from Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; Jeff Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher of the Year; Patrick Carr, author of Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America; Jim Mahoney, Executive Director at Battelle for Kids and former rural educator; and Emily Pilloton, Founder and Executive Director at Project H Design.
Teams are encouraged to attend. The Forum program is attached.
 
Questions? Visit www.BattelleforKids.org/Go/Ruralforum or call 614-481-3141 ext. 147.