September 29 2014

Published: 2/12/2015 9:48 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:
• 2015 Martin Luther King Essay, Poetry and Visual Art contests
• Optional Life Insurance Coverage
• Bullying Prevention Month in October
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
2015 Martin Luther King Essay, Poetry and Visual Art contests
Kentucky students are invited to enter the 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Essay, Poetry and Visual Art Contests. The theme this year is In His Footsteps…the Dream Today.  Please see the individual contest criteria for the essay, poetry and visual arts competition for grade eligibility requirements as well as the appropriate contest entry form.  All entries must be received by Friday, November 21. The competition is sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Education.

Optional Life Insurance Coverage
For the upcoming 2015 plan year Open Enrollment, the Kentucky Group Life Insurance (KGLI) is offering new optional life insurance coverage. The two new optional plans will supplement the Basic Life insurance coverage of $20,000 that is provided to all state employees free of charge. This is an opportunity to enhance or to add to any existing coverage. Life insurance enrollment is optional, so if employees are satisfied with the current level of coverage, there is no need to re-enroll; however, open enrollment for health insurance is mandatory. 
You can access the memo that was distributed to Insurance Coordinators at this link:

Bullying Prevention Month in October
October is bullying prevention month and schools and districts are encouraged to increase their awareness of how to address this serious problem. Kentucky schools reported over 15,000 bullying incidents last year and here are some resources for your school or district and for parents and caregivers to take action: For more information, contact Christina Weeter at
Kentucky Teacher - Honored teacher passes on her passion for history
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 this week:
• Sharon Graves, Kentucky’s History Teacher of the Year, engages all of her 8th grade students’ senses to make learning fun. 
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.
Prescription drug abuse prevention public service announcement contest
The Attorney General’s office has announced the start of its annual prescription drug abuse prevention public service announcement (PSA) contest for Kentucky middle and high school students. The competition is part of Attorney General Jack Conway’s statewide public awareness initiative to warn Kentucky kids about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs.
As part of the competition, Kentucky middle and high school students produce a 30-second video that shows the risks of prescription drug abuse. The first-place winner will receive an Apple iPad generously donated by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI). The runner-up will receive a $100 gift card donated by the Kentucky Pharmacists Association.
The deadline for submitting a video is December 8. Winners will be announced on December 15.
Students may find out how to submit a video by visiting Attorney General Conway’s prescription drug abuse prevention page at
Last year’s winning video was produced by a group of students from Calloway County High School. The video is available for viewing on the Office of the Attorney General’s YouTube page at
Winning videos are posted on the Attorney General’s website and distributed to television stations across the Commonwealth by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.

KASC offering teacher effectiveness training
The Kentucky Association of School Councils is offering the workshop, What Accomplished Teachers Do:  Instructional Strategies for Increasing Performance Level.  It will be offered on November 3 in Lexington and November 10 in Bowling Green and runs each day from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. local time.
This workshop serves two purposes:
• Teachers will learn how to increase their performance level in Domain 3 of the Kentucky Framework for Teaching.
• Administrators and teacher leaders will learn how to support teachers as they work to improve.
Participants will be actively engaged and walk away with specific strategies in the following areas:
• Higher-level questioning
• Discussion techniques
• Cognitive engagement
• Effective and timely assessment techniques
• Flexibility and responsiveness when addressing student learning needs
Cost is $100 for KASC members, $200 for non-members.  For more information or a registration form, click here.

Child Abuse Reporting and Intervention Resources Conference
The Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) and the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) are partnering to provide a forum where DCBS and state behavioral health providers can interact with public school professionals.  On October 31, 2014, at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington, Kentucky, KSBA is hosting a conference where DCBS and state behavioral health professionals will provide information about a new DCBS initiative to share information concerning child abuse and neglect investigations with public schools.  DCBS and state behavioral health professionals also will share information about new Medicaid money for community-based behavioral health services.  Other topics include indicators for reporting child abuse, neglect and dependency and recognizing childhood trauma.
This is an excellent opportunity for public schools to interact with DCBS Commissioner, Teresa James, concerning how to recognize signs of child abuse and neglect and to learn how school districts might access new behavioral health money and other community resources.  Addressing the behavioral health of our students is crucial to helping them be successful learners.
This conference is an outgrowth of ongoing regular meetings between Shannon Stiglitz, KSBA’s former Director of Governmental Relations, and Teresa T. Combs, KSBA Director of Legal & Administrative Training Services, with the DCBS Commissioner and her staff.  KSBA’s Teresa T. Combs says, “KSBA and DCBS have developed a great working relationship.  Our regular meetings to discuss issues of joint interest have resulted in collaboration on school district policies and DCBS staff guidelines concerning information sharing between schools and DCBS.  There are laws about child confidentiality that must be followed by DCBS and by public schools.  During our regular meetings, we work to reach agreement on guidelines for school staff and DCBS staff that will allow as much information to flow between the agencies as can be accomplished within each agency’s legal parameters.  I am proud to host this conference, which will further school staff understanding of the DCBS Commissioner’s commitment to working closely with schools in the best interest of children.  I have found Teresa James and her staff to be dedicated to creating closer working relationships with schools, and applaud the Commissioner’s leadership in that regard.  We hope school districts will take advantage of this opportunity to further that relationship and to learn of new resources to benefit our students.”
Presenters are Teresa T. Combs, KSBA, Director of Legal & Administrative Training Services; and Teresa James, Commissioner of DCBS.  Four hours of EILA and board member training credit are available.
Registration is now available online at