September 3 2013

Published: 2/20/2015 10:20 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 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:
• Renaissance Learning Interim Assessment Data added to CIITS (Attachment)
• Updates to CIITS – Please Share with Teachers
• CIITS Peer Observer Training Module Released – Please Share with Teachers
• Kentucky Teacher – CCR improvement, high school boot camp this week
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
Renaissance Learning Interim Assessment Data added to CIITS (Attachment)
KDE is now partnering with Renaissance Learning to add interim assessment data to CIITS – the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System. The most efficient way to accomplish this is a direct data transfer of student data from Renaissance Learning to Schoolnet, our CIITS vendor.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), districts that would like to have their Renaissance Learning Assessment Data included in CIITS must provide authorization by completing the attached form. Please return the signed agreement to the CIITS product manager, Joe McCowan,, for inclusion in CIITS. 

A number of enhancements have been made to Instructional Management System within CIITS. Here is a summary of the new features on the:
• Performance-based tasks: Assessment capabilities have been extended to more fully support complex performance-based tasks.
• Audio and video support: Test authors can now incorporate audio and video files into assessments as part of the assessment items, passages or answer choices for delivery to students through the online test tunnel.
• New online manipulatives: New tools have been added to the student’s test taking toolbox, including a four-function calculator, scientific calculator, graphing calculator and formula sheet.

CIITS Peer Observer Training Module Released – PLEASE SHARE WITH TEACHERS
On Thursday, Sept. 5, the Peer Observer Training Module will be released.  This self-paced module prepares teachers to become effective peer observers in Kentucky’s Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES).
Each module segment contains video showcasing the peer observation cycle as demonstrated by Kentucky teachers. Additional footage from Kentucky classrooms and of peer observation experts in Kentucky provides a foundation in the observation process; practice sessions hone observation skills; and additional resources expand professional learning in peer observation.   Journaling and reflection opportunities along with an assessment are included in each module. Once completed, the module may be referenced at a later time.
Teachers may register for the module in CIITS.  In EDS, choose PD Search, online courses, then type in Peer Observer Training Module. Register for the month in which you would like to complete the module.
Alternatively, the module can be found at  Users must either complete the free registration or log-in with their PBS account.  Once logged in, choose the title “Professional Learning for Peer Observers”. For assistance on enrolling and navigating through the course, download the User's Guide or watch the video tutorials on How to Enroll and Navigating the Course.
For questions regarding Peer Observation or registering, contact Christine Boatwright, or (502) 564-1479.
For technical questions, contact Brett Smith, Kentucky Educational Television, or (800) 432-0951.

Kentucky Teacher - CCR improvement, high school boot camp this week
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 Sept. 2:

• Metcalfe County High School has more than doubled its college- and career-readiness rate in three years. What’s its secret? Read this week’s story to find out one of the main changes the school made that is driving its continuous improvement.
• Beechwood High School students recently took part in a weeklong boot camp, but it wasn’t geared toward getting them in shape. Find out how the initiative aimed to prepare the school’s incoming seniors for their futures.
• Education Commissioner Terry Holliday shares his thoughts on supporting and listening to teachers and the need for increased school funding.
• Don’t forget to check out Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year Allison Hunt’s latest column on what she did on her summer vacation.
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.
Schools, teachers can apply for transportation grants from Kentucky Arts Council
Kentucky schools and teachers interested in taking arts-related field trips may apply for assistance with transportation costs through the Kentucky Arts Council's TranspARTation Grant.
Any Kentucky public or private school supporting grades pre-K through 12 may apply. Grants are awarded based on mileage from the school building to the arts organization or performance venue and the number of buses necessary. There is a minimum grant amount of $100.
The grant deadlines for fiscal year 2014 are:
• Dec. 1, 2013
• March 1, 2014
TranspARTation grants are awarded on a quarterly basis. View guidelines and find an application form online at For more information about the TranspARTation grant, contact Jean St. John, arts education director, at or (502) 564-3757, ext. 486.

OSERS Releases Dear Colleague Letter on Bullying of Students with Disabilities (Attachments)
On August 20, 2013, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (attached) that provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities to address bullying of students with disabilities.  Also attached is “Effective Evidence-based Practices for Preventing and Addressing Bullying,” which offers practices that can be used as part of any bullying prevention and intervention program.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), States and school districts are obligated to ensure that students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  This guidance specifically states that bullying of a student with disabilities, regardless of whether or not the bullying is related to the student’s disability, is considered a denial of FAPE if it results in the student not getting meaningful educational benefit.
In addition to the Dear Colleague Letter and enclosure, a blog will be posted at the following link: .  The attached letter and enclosure will also be available on the and websites.

Suicide prevention training 
The Kentucky Center for School Safety has partnered with the Kentucky Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group to provide Question, Persuade & Refer Training (QPR)  that is being implemented as a state model for suicide prevention. This model teaches to recognize the risk factors, protective factors, and warning signs associated with depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior.
The training will provide training on:
• the four fundamental components of suicidal communication
• the three simple steps to help prevent a death by suicide (Question, Persuade, Refer)
• the role of depression and mental illness
• how to replace fear with positive action
• how to talk about suicide
• how to locate available resources and support
Sessions are EILA approved and free.
Training dates, sites and links to QPR registration:
• Rough River Dam State Park, October 3, 2013
• Jenny Wiley State Park, November 21, 2013
• Perkins Building – EKU, April 10, 2014
For more information or questions please contact Don Martin at or Shannon Robinson at or (502) 783-0089.

Creating 21st Century Communities and Schools Mini Summit – September 20, 2013 (Attachment)
Nationally recognized school system leaders profile journeys that lead them to become acclaimed as premier 21st century school systems and communities. They will share specifics on assessment, professional development, human and financial resources. 
Presenters include:
Dr. James Merrill - Superintendent, Wake County Schools, NC
Dr. Donna DeSiato - Superintendent, East Syracuse Minoa Schools, NY
Mary Jo Conery - 21st Century Associate Superintendent - Catalina Foothills Schools, AZ
Time and Location:
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 - 10:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites - Newtown Pike - Lexington
Each school district and community is invited to bring a team - up to five guests -  school, business and community leaders, champions, parents and students are welcome!
10:00 - Dr. Merrill, Dr. DeSiato and Ms. Conery profile their 21st Century journeys.
11:25 - Working lunch
12:30 - Break Out Sessions:
               a. Curriculum and Program Development - What does a 21st century school look like
                   every day, in the classroom?
               b. Assessment and Professional Development - How do we blend these with new standards?
               c. Financial and Human Resources - Make it work!
2:00 - Conclusion and additional Q/A
-The Kentucky Scholars Initiative, Partnership for Successful Schools
-The Kentucky Department of Education
Please respond to Polly Marquette, Director - Kentucky Scholars Initiative via e-mail at or by telephone at 859-321-6512.

National Early College Conference
October 29-30 in Research Triangle Park, NC, the National Early College Conference will bring together hundreds of educators, school leaders, policymakers, and thought leaders to discuss how to spread school designs that combine high school and postsecondary education to help all students transition smoothly into college—particularly low-income youth and other underserved populations.

• Learn about proven classroom strategies for engaging, motivating, and accelerating students so they’re ready for college coursework in high school
• Participate in a virtual visit to an early college and see these strategies in action
• Find out how K-12 districts form partnerships with local colleges and employers to support and scale early colleges
• Learn how to start an early college in your school district
Teams from school districts interested in starting an early college program, as well as teams from existing early college schools who are looking to grow their programs should plan to attend.  Register and learn more at:
School board conference banner project
Kentucky student artists are invited to submit banners celebrating the theme, “Kentucky Public Schools – Creating Next Generation Leaders,” for display at the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) 78th annual conference, Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, 2014 at the Galt House in Louisville. Ideally, banners can be produced as part of students’ learning activities. Ready-made banners can be ordered by fax or mail from:
                                Shumaker’s Inc.
                                P. O. Box 4058, Lexington, KY  40544
                                (859) 533-6508; fax: (859) 278-4638
Please request Shumaker Banner #5845, in a cardboard shipping tube. KSBA has arranged a minimal cost for these materials, including shipping and handling, at $49 payable by the school district to Shumaker’s. Shumaker’s is requesting that districts fax their order for better recordkeeping. Allow one week for delivery.
The banner is a 45” x 58” all purpose, light weight, hemmed cloth banner with 3 grommets on the top edge. Note that designs using materials other than banner #5845 should conform to these same specifications in order for them to be displayed.
Banners will be hung vertically due to limited space (i.e.: the 45” side as the top of the banner).   Please do not design your banner to be displayed horizontally. Please paint or affix your school district’s name somewhere on the front of the banner so viewers will know where the art was created and to facilitate return of the banners.
All banners must depict the conference theme (“Kentucky Public Schools – Creating Next Generation Leaders”) in order to be considered for display.
Your banner should be shipped in the cardboard tube to:
                                KSBA Conference Banners
                                260 Democrat Drive
                                Frankfort, KY  40601
Banners need to be received in the KSBA office by Jan. 27, 2014. The KSBA Annual Conference Planning Committee reserves the right to select banners for display. Your banner will be returned to you by mid-March.
Please contact Mary Davis at (800) 372-2962 or with any questions, suggestions or concerns.

Dream UP Program
We have a no-cost middle school career program available to any interested teacher. The program takes students through career exploration/awareness lessons and also includes an opportunity for students to participate in the Dream UP essay contest with a prize of winning a day in their Dream Job!  The program includes
• Student workbooks
• Teacher guide
• Access to USA TODAY Electronic Edition
This program is sponsored by the Office Depot Foundation and USA TODAY Charitable Foundation.  To sign up, please follow this link: