New Ideas

Published: 2/1/2017 1:48 PM

Master Class: Thirty Million Words Initiative

Presented by: Dr. Dana Suskind, Director, Thirty Million Words Initiative, University of Chicago, IL
Sponsored by: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
By the age of four, children from low-income families have heard 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. This word gap is one of the key factors driving the achievement gap. Dr. Dana Suskind's groundbreaking research explores how new technology can track children's language development and provide meaningful feedback to parents.
Reference: NBC Education Nation Summit 2013
Words Matter Video

The following PowerPoint and video were shared by Children, Inc.

Words Matter and App PowerPoint

The Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) is launching an initiative designed to strengthen the leadership capacity of the state’s 173 top district administrators.
KASS Executive Director Tom Shelton announced establishment of the “Kentucky Superintendent’s Academy” last week during the KASS annual conference in Lexington.’
The Academy, to be created through a partnership with the National Institute for School Leadership, will involve a two-year program of study based on leadership research from another organization, the National Center on Education and the Economy. Over the 24-month period, participating superintendents will attend 18 days of face-to-face instruction with additional time to be spent on online research and self study.
Up to 50 superintendents are being sought to volunteer for the first class of the academy.
In a statement, Shelton said, “The framework and design for the Academy will stem from the research’s conclusions as to the most critical factors for highly effective schools, examined through global, state (particularly the Every Student Succeeds Act), and local contexts. The expected outcome is that superintendents will plan and begin the coherent redesign (or refinement) of their district’s systemic structures and policies aligned to the research findings and expressed through a comprehensive Action Learning Process.”
In the “Action Learning Process,” superintendents will develop a proposal that is single or multi-district in scope, supported by specifically designed seminars and learning walks in regional schools, reviewed and vetted by peers, state leaders, and national NISL facilitators, developed with the engagement of wider stakeholders for consensus building in the districts and integrated with the district’s overall strategic plan.
Class participants will formally make a formal presentation on their projects at the conclusion of the course.
According to the KASS statement, in each of the two years, participants will be expected to
1. Attend a three-day summer session and three 2-day sessions during the school year
2. Complete face-to-face and independent study involving analysis of core curriculum texts, case studies, lectures via video, and of a gap analysis of KY compared to other states and countries, and
3. Participate in the cohort Community of Practice via face-to-face and online discussion and collaborative problem solving.
Shelton said the target audience for the Academy will be veteran superintendents and the initiative would complement training provided to first-term district chief executives in the New Superintendent Leadership Series, a program operated by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators and the Kentucky Department of Education.
To visit the KSBA website, click here.


What is Kentucky All STARS?
Kentucky All STARS is Kentucky’s expanded five-star quality rating and improvement system for early care and education programs. Studies show that children who attend high quality early learning environments have better math,
language and social skills. The unified system serves all early care and education programs that receive public funding including child care centers, Head Start and public preschool. Kentucky All STARS is based on Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards and research-based indicators of quality. It recognizes programs that have made a commitment to continuous quality improvement. On the path toward higher quality, programs can benefit from supports including training, technical assistance and coaching. 
How do programs participate?
Programs will move to the Kentucky All STARS system in phases:
  • All state-funded preschools enter the Kentucky All STARS system at a STARS Level 3 – Summer of 2016
  • Child care programs will migrate in three phases:
    • Migration Phase 1: July 1-December 31, 2016
    • Migration Phase 2: January 1-March 31, 2017
    • Migration Phase 3:  April 1-June 30, 2017
  • All required early care and education programs enter Kentucky All STARS – June 30, 2017 
To request to be rated, please complete an application at​.
How do programs earn their rating? ​
On the expanded five-star scale, STARS level one is obtained by meeting regulatory requirements. STARS level two is obtained by completing a set of required domains and standards. STARS levels three through five feature a range of points programs must meet in order to meet to move up on the rating scale. While there are required domains for these three STARS levels, programs can choose from a menu of standards to fulfill the requirements.
Be sure to visit the official Kentucky All STARS website for resources and up-to-date​ information.

Kentucky Strengthening Families

A Framework for Supporting Kentucky's Families
Mobilizing partners, communities and families to build family strengths, promote optimal development, increase school readiness, and reduce child abuse and neglect.
The protective factors lay the foundation for the Strengthening Families framework. The protective factors identified for Kentucky are:
  • Parental Resilience: Families bounce back. Managing stress and moving forward when faced with challenges, adversity and trauma.
  • Social Connections: Families have friends they can count on. Having positive relationships that provide emotional, informational and spiritual support.
  • Knowledge of Child Development: Families learn how their children grow and develop. Understanding child development and parenting strategies that advance physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development.
  • Concrete Support in Times of Need: Families get assistance to meet basic needs. Accessing resources that address a family's basic needs, resulting in minimizing stress caused by challenges.
  • Social and Emotional Competence of Children: Families teach children how to have healthy relationships. Establishing family and child interactions that help children develop the ability to recognize, communicate, and regulate their emotions.
  • Nurturing and Attachment: Families ensure children feel loved and safe. Fostering a   nurturing family environment where young children develop secure bonds with caring adults.

Kayla Jones
Governor's Office of Early Childhood
125 Holmes Street, 3rd Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 782-0200
Fax (502) 564-2410