September 9 2013

Published: 9/12/2013 8:37 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:
• Nominations being sought for KSB Advisory Board members (Attachment)
• Deadline Has Passed for Websited Data Collection on Superintendents’ Contracts and Benefits Information
• Reminder of National Suicide Prevention Week
• Career Camps for Non-Traditional Program
• Affordable Care Act-Required Marketplace Notice
• Kentucky Teacher - PGES Field Test results; Education apps and programs; Teacher preparation
 
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
 
Nominations being sought for KSB Advisory Board members (Attachment)
Nominations are now being accepted for a school district/special education cooperative representative and a KSB alumnus and/or community business representative to serve on the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) Advisory Board.
 
The Advisory Board provides a means by which a knowledgeable person or persons representing interest groups may contribute to the improvement of educational opportunities for blind children in the Commonwealth. The Advisory Board may offer recommendations to the KSB Administration regarding: general objectives concerning the education of students who are blind or visually impaired, student services, school/community relations, next-generation education for students who are blind or visually impaired and school/community relations. The board meets quarterly at the school in Louisville.
 
Board members are appointed by the Kentucky Board of Education and serve a term of four years or until their successor is appointed. Members cannot serve more than two terms.
 
If you are interested in serving on the board, or would like to nominate someone, please complete the attached nomination form. The Deadline for nominations is October 1. All forms should be e-mailed, faxed or mailed to:
 
                     John Roberts, Director of Special Education
                     Kentucky School for the Blind
                     1867 Frankfort Ave.
                     Louisville, KY 40206
                     Fax: 502-897-2850
                     john.roberts@ksb.kyschools.us

Deadline Has Passed for Website Data Collection on Superintendents’ Contracts and Benefits Information
The deadline for the submission of this information was August 31, 2013.  A big thank you to the 132 districts who have submitted their information.  The Office of Administration and Support will be following up with superintendents and finance officers from the remaining 41 districts to ensure information is submitted as soon as possible.  Please remember that contract and benefits information for interim or acting superintendents should also be submitted.

As noted in prior e-mails, finance officers (or appropriate designees) can use the following link to complete this process: https://odss.education.ky.gov/webforms.
 
Visit this link to review information already submitted: http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pages/Superintendent-Compensation.aspx.

Reminder of National Suicide Prevention Week
KDE is reminding everyone that this week, September 8-14, is National Suicide Prevention Week.  Suicide is the leading cause of death among children age 14 and younger.   Education and awareness are two excellent steps to take toward prevention.
 
KDE’s suicide prevention and awareness website provides resources and information that may be helpful to Kentucky schools and districts as steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their students.

Some warning signs to watch for may include:  suicide threats, creating a will, giving away prized possessions; sudden changes in behavior, friends or personality; changes in physical habits and appearance; preoccupation with death and suicide themes; loss of interest in activities; and symptoms of depression; and increased use/abuse of alcohol and/or drugs.

For more information or additional resources, please contact Libby Taylor at Libby.Taylor@education.ky.gov or by telephone at (502) 564-4772.

Career Camps for Non-Traditional Programs
The Kentucky Department of Education has posted an RFA for the Kentucky Association of Career and Technical Education (CCNP) Career Camps for Non-traditional Programs. The grants will be funded with Leadership Funds from the Carl D. Perkins Act.  The Act was established to provide an increased focus on the academic achievement of career and technical education students, strengthen the connections between secondary and postsecondary education, and improve state and local accountability. This grant will provide funds to local school districts, postsecondary institutions and area technology centers for Career Camps for Non-traditional Programs.  Camps must be held before June 30, 2014.
 
Secondary sites may partner with a postsecondary site when developing the camp.
 
The total award amount for Career Camps for Non-traditional Programs will be at least $60,000.
 
The RFA can be found on the KDE Competitive Grants website.

Affordable Care Act – Required Marketplace Notice
Ensure your district is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Employers are required to provide a notice to all employees about the Marketplace and the premium tax credit.  Part A of the notice must be provided to all existing employees by October 1, 2013, regardless of whether or not they are full-time and regardless of current participation in a health plan.  All future employees must receive the notice at the time they are hired.   The notice must be provided in writing and in a manner that can be understood by the average employee.   A sample notice is available on the KDE website at http://education.ky.gov/districts/FinRept/Pages/Health-and-Life-Insurance-Benefits-and-Flexible-Spending-Accounts.aspx
 
The ACA Work Group offers the following recommendations related to the Marketplace Notice:
 
KEHP will include Part A of the required notice in the plan booklets to be issued in September 2013.  Those booklets will be sent to districts and distributed by district staff.  Provide Part A of the notice to all employees not receiving a booklet via first class mail to be received at approximately the same time the booklets are issued.  Retain a copy of the names and addresses to which booklets are disseminated and notices are mailed and the date of the action.  Provide Part B of the notice upon request by an employee.  To ensure the district has made a good faith effort to notify all employees, consider the following additional (optional) procedures:  require some form of receipt documentation from the employees, follow the initial notice with an automated phone call or e-mail to remind employees they have received an important notice about health coverage, and/or post the notice in the employee break area where other required notifications are posted.

An implementation guide for Kentucky school districts will be issued by KDE, in collaboration with the ACA Work Group, by October 1, 2013.  Questions relating to ACA 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 Teacher - PGES Field Test results; Education apps and programs; Teacher preparation
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. 9:
• What’s the new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System mean for you? Read what teachers who took part in the PGES field test last year have to say about it and how it is improving their individual practice and helping them improve student achievement.
• Even if technology isn’t your thing, you’ll want to check out what other teachers are doing with it in their classrooms. Learn how they are keeping up on the latest and greatest apps and programs – with a little help from their students.
• Kentucky Teacher of the Year Kristal Doolin highlights teacher training in her blog and the need for modeling, collaboration and getting new teachers into classroom early on.
 
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.
 
High attendance day is Wednesday, September 18
For students to learn and achieve at a high level, they have to be in class. That’s why the Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel have designated Wednesday, September 18 as High Attendance Day in Kentucky schools. For those school districts that may be out of session on that day, Tuesday, September 17 will be designated those districts’ High Attendance Day.
On High Attendance Day, elementary, middle, or high schools may compete in small school or large school categories. The school in each category with the highest percentage of attendance for that day will be awarded $500.
 
Regular attendance is essential for success in school. By attending class regularly, a student is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and achieve academic performance benchmarks on time. Research reflects that a child's attendance record is one of the strongest single predictors of their academic success.
 
For questions on High Attendance Day, contact Karen Kirby, president, Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel, (606) 845-5851.

KSBA Administrative Conference for Section 504 Coordinator/Section 504 Team Chair on September 19 and 20, 2013
Do your staff members understand their legal responsibilities to students, personnel, and those invited to school and district activities?  This is your opportunity to get them the information they need to keep your district out of legal trouble, and to avoid bad publicity regarding your accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
 
Take advantage of KSBA’s annual Section 504/ADA conference.   Presenters are Teresa T. Combs, KSBA, Director of Legal and Administrative Training Services; John Fogle, KSBA, Staff Attorney; and Janet Jeanes; KSBA, Senior Policy Consultant.  The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act can be enforced in court or by several agencies.  The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission all enforce those Federal laws.
 
Staff will learn what they can and cannot do and ask about the use of service animals; use of motorized vehicles; what cannot be asked about an applicant or employee’s disability; and much more in this 2-day event.  To register please see our website www.ksba.org.
 
Registration Fee:
$200 per person for 1 day ~ Special Education Service Members; or
$600 per person for 1 day ~ Non-Special Education Service Members
$350 per person for both days ~ Special Education Service Members; or
$1,050 per person for both days ~ Non-Special Education Service Members
 
Sessions for both days:
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Session: 8:30 a.m.

Hotel Information:
Embassy Suites Hotel
1801 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY 40511
(859) 455-5000
1-800-EMBASSY

Arts and Disabilities Grants
VSA Kentucky, the state organization on arts and disability, in partnership with the Kentucky Dept. of Education, is offering awards of $1,250 through the Arts Inclusion Program for up to 30 Kentucky schools for inclusionary, hands-on arts projects. This VSAKY arts in education program consists of artist residencies (using artists from the adjudicated VSA Kentucky Teaching Artist Roster) scheduled to take place in the winter/spring of 2014. The Arts Inclusion Program will give your school the opportunity to provide thematic, adaptive, experiential projects (in dance, theatre arts, music, storytelling or visual arts) that ensure successful learning for K-12 students of all abilities. VSA Kentucky Teacher Roster Artists will interface the project with your curriculum, KCAS, and address Arts and Humanities Program Reviews. VSA Kentucky Teaching Artists will also provide a completed Universal Design for Learning (UDL) document based on the application once it is approved.
 
The application postmark deadline is Oct. 10. To access the Arts Inclusion Program Guidelines and Application go to http://www.vsartsky.org/programs/arts-inclusion.
 
For questions contact Mary Claire O'Neal, VSA Kentucky programs director at (502) 564-4970, (859) 272-2515 (mobile) or programs@vsartsky.org.

USED Back to School Message
Below is a Back to School Message from Secretary Arne Duncan, USED, that is to be distributed to all superintendents.
 
Dear Colleagues:
 
I know from my own experience leading a school district that this time of year is especially exciting—and challenging. New students. New staff members. In many states, you’re implementing new standards that come with even higher expectations and greater accountability. And in too many places, you and your teams are doing it all with less money. So I wanted to write as this new school year gets under way and thank you.
 
Here in Washington, I’m starting my fifth full school year as Secretary of Education. My job comes with its own challenges, but one of its great benefits is the vantage point I have to observe and support the great progress that’s happening in American education. We have a lot to celebrate, including the highest high school graduation rate in three decades and more young adults attending college than a decade ago.
 
Yet we have a long way to go. Too many young people—and especially too many students from low-income and vulnerable populations—aren’t participating in that success.
 
This week, I will visit early learning centers, schools, a community college, a university, and a military base in four Southwestern states. The theme of this year’s back-to-school bus tour is “Strong Start, Bright Future,” reflecting the importance of starting the school year with energy and focus, investing in early education for our youngest learners, and remaining committed to reforms that better serve our students and support our educators. I invite you to follow along online and hear what some of your colleagues are doing toward our shared goals. (If you’re a hashtag user, this trip is #EDtour13.)
 
I always return to my office encouraged and informed by what I’ve seen on the road. My staff and I meet superintendents, board members, principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, and staff who inspire us. We hear from parents, state and local elected officials, and business and higher education leaders who are pitching in to make their schools and communities stronger. And we meet phenomenal students.
 
As we travel around the country, one thing is clear. There are innovative teachers and leaders working hard to build successful school systems that serve all students. That’s why this department has now provided more than 40 states with flexibility from the rigid provisions of No Child Left Behind. As you know, officially it’s the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and it’s long overdue for a fix. In an op ed I wrote recently, I encouraged Members of Congress to look outside of Washington for the best solutions.
 
The school year that just passed was an unusually challenging one. The illogical federal budget cuts known as the sequester hurt disadvantaged students and schools while they were already down.
 
In Newtown, Connecticut, 20 students and six adults were gunned down at an elementary school—a horrific tragedy but, unbelievably, far from the only gun violence that shook communities last year. As one part of the federal government’s response, we joined several agencies in producing guides for developing emergency operations plans. I hope you will use these guides to inform your prevention and protection efforts, but I also hope you will never have an emergency situation occur.
 
It is often difficult for students to excel if they don’t feel safe. The same can be true in situations where families don’t have sufficient financial resources to obtain the health care that their children may need. Please join me and other community leaders across the country in encouraging America’s estimated 50 million uninsured who will be eligible for coverage to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace starting in October. You can find information tailored to school communities here. Every family, neighbor, educator, health care provider, and business knows the importance of well-educated and healthy children.
 
Finally, I want to make sure you know about the Department of Education’s Race to the Top program for school districts. The deadline to apply for this year’s $120 million competition is October 3. It’s a great opportunity for districts and their partners to think creatively about how to personalize learning and support innovation.
 
I try not to e-mail you more than once or twice a year, but if you want to stay in closer touch with the Department of Education, I invite you and your colleagues to sign up for e-mail updates and resources from ED at www.ed.gov/emailupdates.
 
Whether this is your first year in your position or your 15th, I wish you, your team, and your students a fantastic school year.
 
Best wishes,
Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education

Public Service Recognition Poster Contest
In honor of Kentucky's public servants, students are invited to participate in the 2013 Public Service Recognition Poster Contest. The theme of the week, "Making a difference, every day in every way," should be expressed through the artwork.
Entries will be judged in three categories.
• ages 6-9
• ages 10-13
• ages 14-18
 
Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 18. Winners receive a $100 award and an invitation to a special ceremony at the Capitol in October.

Visit the Personnel Cabinet website for a complete list of contest guidelines. Contact the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet’s Office of Employee Relations with questions: (502) 564-5955 or (502) 564-5954.

Second Annual Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference
Proposals are now being accepted and registration is underway for the Second Annual Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference scheduled for January 13 and 14, 2014 at the METS Center in Erlanger, Kentucky.
 
Workshop sessions of interest to school counseling practitioners will include:
• Evaluating school counseling efficacy related to closing achievement, opportunity and attainment gaps
• Using Comprehensive School Counseling to implement strategies identifying mental illness and coordinating appropriate interventions
• Writing grants as part of initiatives directed towards program improvement
• Developing successful RAMP applications
• Measuring school counseling outcomes, individuals, and programs
• Demonstrating efficacy with achievement and achievement-related data
• Examining evaluation models and examples
 
The proposal submission website is open!  Proposals must meet one of the seven bulleted issues listed above to be accepted. Proposals must be submitted by October 1, 2013 to be considered.
 
All proposals are peer-reviewed by a committee of professional school counselors and professional school counselor educators. Click here for more information or click here to register.

Adopt-a-Highway Poster Contest Reminder
The Sept. 30th deadline is quickly approaching to submit entries in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s annual Adopt-a-Highway Poster Contest. The contest is aimed at increasing environmental awareness among children, educating them about the devastating effects of litter and positively changing attitudes and behaviors about littering.
 
The contest is open to all Kentucky elementary, middle and high school students who are invited to submit creative works on the theme, “Adopt-a-Highway, Make it Yours.” Winning work will be used in the 2014 Adopt-a-Highway calendar.
 
Parents, teachers and family members are asked to encourage children to participate. The entry form, including rules and certificate of authenticity, is available online at http://adopt-a-highway.ky.gov/. Click on art contest. Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 30.

Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs Opportunity (Attachment)
Attached is information regarding a hands-on, experiential immersion into innovation and entrepreneurship.  This is a FREE three-week residential summer program where students utilize science, technology, engineering, art, math and business skills to turn an idea into a product/service and develop a business model.  GSE places a strong emphasis on innovation and design as elements of creating a sustainable business model.  GSE teaches students critical life and work skills of problem-solving, teamwork, iteration and social responsibility. Learn more:  http://gse.kstc.com.
 
For further information, please contact Shari Ball sball@kstc.com or 859-246-3233 to schedule a visit this Fall.