Monday Message - September 9, 2019

Kentucky Department Of Education logo

Commissioner's Monday Message

September 9, 2019

Two Quality Control Days to be held along with preparation webinar

For 2018-2019 reporting, the Office of Standards, Assessment and Accountability (OSAA) will hold a
Pre-Quality Control information webcast and two Quality Control Days.

Sept. 10: Pre-QC Day

At 2:30 p.m. ET Sept. 10, the Office of Standards, Assessment and Accountability (OSAA) will host a live webinar on the KDE Media Portal. Select the Watch Live Webcast to view. OSAA staff will discuss the steps associated with QC Day One and detail on the data. For those who cannot view the webinar live, the recording will be available on the KDE Media Portal shortly after the end of the live broadcast.

Sept. 11: Quality Control Day One

Quality Control (QC) Day One is confirmed for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Sept. 11. During QC Day One, DACs will receive student listings, graduation cohort data, transition readiness data, assessed NAPD, assessed NAPD by grade, accountable NAPD, accountable NAPD by grade and accountability summary.

The summary file will include indicator scores (proficiency, separate, etc.), but it will not include very low to very high labels, overall scores, five-star ratings or federal classifications). QC Day One is an opportunity to review student demographic data and aggregated school data for systemic issues.

To Be Determined: Quality Control Day Two

The Quality Control Day Two date is pending. On QC Day Two, districts and schools should receive preliminary overall accountability scores and overall star ratings, indicator ratings of very high to very low and federal classifications.

The purpose of the QC Day Two is to identify systemic issues in accountability data prior to any public release. Data will be reviewed for systemic issues, and if issues are found, it could change an individual school’s classification. QC Day Two will be the last viewing of data prior to the embargoed release to districts.

School Bus Purchasing Website Opens Oct. 1

The 2020 School Bus Specifications and 2020 School Bus Purchasing Guide have been published. The bus ordering website will open by Oct. 1. Districts should use the purchasing guide and the specifications to determine which buses to order.

All buses ordered between Oct. 1 and Nov. 15 will have a May delivery date. Buses ordered after Nov. 15 are not guaranteed for a May delivery. All new buses that are ordered with seat belts will receive three-point seat belts; they will no longer be equipped with lap belts only.

Important dates:

  • Oct. 1 – Bus ordering opens
  • Oct. 1 – Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association (KISTA) opens
  • Nov. 1 – KISTA completed, all signed documents must be in to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Ross, Sinclaire and Associates
  • Nov. 15 – Bus ordering closes for May delivery; all signed documents must be in to KDE

Email Carl Meehan or Elisa Hanley for more information.

School Bus Inventory Due Oct. 1

School bus inventory is due Oct. 1. The current inventory has been posted on SharePoint and instructions for updates have been sent to transportation directors.

Each district should verify every line item to ensure all inventory and usage is correct. Any missing buses need to be added to the inventory, as this is how the depreciation for buses are calculated. Any buses that have been surplused should be removed from the inventory and the insurance and license plates removed.

Email Carl Meehan or Elisa Hanley for more information.

KDE’s Division of Student Success Fall Regional Trainings

The Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of Student Success Safe Schools Team will present two-day KDE Safe Schools Regional Trainings this fall. Participants may attend any location that works best for one or both days.

Participants will receive a confirmation email for each training. All trainings are free and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. local time, including a one-hour lunch break.

The day one agenda – which is intended for district safe schools administrators and school safety coordinators and/or those who work in the area of safe schools – includes these topics:

  • KDE updates
  • Safe schools data
  • Suicide prevention
  • Bullying prevention
  • Child trafficking
  • Title IV, Part A, Safe and Healthy Students

The day two agenda – which is intended for any district or school personnel – includes a choice of three trainings:

  • “Youth Mental Health First Aid” (full day) – A six-hour course that teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of addiction and mental illness. It explains the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents ages 12-18 and emphasizes the importance of early intervention.
    • “Trauma Informed Practices for Educators” (full day) – A strengths-based framework grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma. It emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for everyone and creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
  • “Resilience Strategies for Educators: Techniques for Self-Care and Peer Support” (half day)/Cultivating Mindfulness for Educators (half day)
    • Resilience Strategies for Educators: Techniques for Self-Care and Peer Support” is a training developed by the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students to assist educators to better understand resilience strategies that can be used to increase their ability to work more effectively with students impacted by stress, loss and trauma brought on by community or family violence, natural and man-made disasters and economic hardship.
    • Thirty years of research has demonstrated the power of mindfulness to improve mental, emotional and physical well-being. When applied in the classroom, simple practices can help students experience more inner space and meaning in their lives, and connect on deeper levels to themselves, each other and educational staff.

Email Victoria Fields or call her at (502) 564-4772, ext. 4015, for more information or for assistance in accessing the registration form.

2019-2020 Comprehensive Improvement Planning Timeline for Districts and Schools

eProve will continue to serve as the platform for all comprehensive improvement planning work for the 2019-2020 academic year. When logging into eProve, administrators and users will notice that previous years’ diagnostics are still visible. In an effort to clarify those next steps for schools and districts and to ensure accurate reporting and compliance, the Kentucky Department of Education recommends taking the following steps:

  1. Prior to opening the new diagnostics for 2019-2020, rename previous years’ diagnostics to include the year (e.g. 2017-2018 Title I Annual Review, 2017-2018 Closing the Achievement Gap, 2018-2019 Title I Annual Review, 2018-2019 Closing the Achievement Gap). In addition to renaming any documents to include the corresponding year, lock the diagnostics to prevent additional changes. Modifying the name to include the year and locking the diagnostic will help prevent any confusion when attempting to distinguish this year’s diagnostics from previous years. For additional tips on renaming and locking diagnostics, consult the eProve user manual.
  2. After renaming and locking any previous year’s diagnostics, begin new diagnostics by following the steps outlined on pages 8 through 10 of the eProve user manual. After beginning the new diagnostics, rename them to include the current school year to help distinguish these from the archived diagnostics (e.g. 2019-2020 Title I Annual Review, 2019-2020 Closing the Achievement Gap). Schools and districts must annually develop an improvement plan and therefore must begin new diagnostics.

The 2019-2020 timeline for improvement planning is as follows:

Phase One: Aug. 1-Oct. 1

  • Continuous Improvement Diagnostic for Schools
  • Continuous Improvement Diagnostic for Districts

Phase Two: Oct. 1-Nov. 1

  • Needs Assessment for Schools
  • Needs Assessment for Districts
  • School Assurances
  • District Assurances
  • School Safety Report
  • District Safety Report

Phase Three: Nov. 1-Jan. 1

  • Comprehensive Improvement Plan for Schools
  • Comprehensive Improvement Plan for Districts
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Diagnostic
  • Executive Summary for Schools
  • Executive Summary for Districts
  • The Superintendent Gap Assurance
  • Title I Annual Review Diagnostic

Phase Four: Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2020

  • Progress Monitoring

The full training on continuous improvement planning and eProve will be Sept. 16-17 at the 2019 Continuous Improvement Summit at the Lexington Convention Center. Visit the Comprehensive Improvement Planning website for additional guidance on improvement plans. Email Natasha Napier with eProve questions or for assistance.

Help inspire the next generation of teachers

Perkins V Comprehensive Needs Assessment Regional Partnerships Deadline

All regional partnership notifications for the Perkins V Comprehensive Needs Assessment must be submitted by email no later than Sept. 15 to Karla Tipton in the Office of Career and Technical Education and Student Transition.

The Comprehensive Needs Assessment is a requirement for Perkins funding and failure to comply could result in the loss of funding for the two-year period.


Students Invited to Apply to Commissioner’s Student Council

Students in grades 10-12 may apply to join the Commissioner’s Student Council, a student panel that meets with the commissioner of education and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) staff. The council provides input on issues concerning education in Kentucky and works with the KDE staff to develop ideas that will work to improve and transform education.

The Commissioner’s Student Council is a year-long program for Kentucky public school students, including students from Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf. Students will meet three or four times during the 2019-2020 school year.

The council seeks students with refreshing ideas and thoughtful insight into how schools and student achievement can further improve. All students are encouraged to apply in order to represent the diverse academic, geographic, demographic and school-size variables particular to Kentucky.

The application deadline is Sept. 15. Visit KDE’s website for more information.


Join the 2019-2020 Diagnostic Review Team

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Cognia (formerly AdvancEd,) invite school and district administrators to join the Diagnostic Review Cadre for the 2019-2020 school year.

This team of distinguished school and system practitioners will support and help lead the diagnostic review process in several Kentucky schools and districts. During a three-day onsite review, team members will serve alongside KDE and Cognia staff members and college/university faculty members to examine school or district data and leadership and learning conditions, as well as the policies, practices, curriculum and culture that promote student learning.

Use this Google doc to apply for the Diagnostic Review Team.


U.S. Department of Education compiles Constitution Day resources

The U.S. Department of Education has assembled a number of resources for teachers to plan activities related to Constitution Day, Sept. 17. Kentucky schools are required by federal law to provide programs related to Constitution Day.

Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

The National Archives and Records Administration offers a variety of resources on Constitution Day, including:

Free online resources for Constitution Day are available from The Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Senate.


School Writing Policy Requirements

Senate Bill 1 (2017) requires each school-based decision making council – or if there is no council, a committee appointed by the principal – to adopt policies that determine the writing program for its school and submit it to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) for review and comment. 

To meet this requirement, KDE has developed a guidance document, “Guidelines for an Effective Writing Program.” The writing program must incorporate a variety of language resources, technological tools and multiple opportunities for students to develop complex communication skills for a variety of purposes. The Writing Policy Rubric provides criteria to ensure alignment of the school’s writing policy to the required components of the writing policy. 

For the 2019-2020 school year, schools must revise their writing policies, complete the Writing Policy Rubric and submit them electronically through the Writing Policy Submission page by Dec. 1.

Email Pamela Wininger or call her at (502) 564-2106, ext. 4509, for more information.


Comprehensive District and School Improvement Plans: Phase One (Completion of the Continuous Improvement Diagnostic) – DEADLINE Oct. 1

Continuous improvement planning for districts and schools is underway. In phase one of the planning process, districts and schools are required to complete and submit the Continuous Improvement Diagnostic in eProve. The deadline for submitting the diagnostic is Oct. 1.

When completing the diagnostic, districts should open and complete the “Continuous Improvement Diagnostic for Districts,” while schools should complete the “Continuous Improvement Diagnostic for Schools.”

The purpose of this diagnostic is to encourage district- and school-level commitment to implementing continuous improvement processes that support student achievement and student growth and to eliminate achievement gaps among groups of students. The diagnostic also serves as a friendly reminder of the planning phases and accompanying timeline.

District diagnostics should be completed at the systems level in eProve, while schools complete diagnostics at the school level. For additional information regarding creating new diagnostics, consult the eProve user manual.

The full training on continuous improvement planning and eProve will be Sept. 16-17 at the 2019 Continuous Improvement Summit at the Lexington Convention Center. Visit the Comprehensive Improvement Planning website for additional guidance on improvement plans. Email Natasha Napier with eProve questions or for assistance.


Professional Learning Bulletin Board

Those receiving this at KSB and KSD, please make sure all employees receive it. Also, ATC principals are asked to forward it to their staffs.

Please send your questions, comments and suggestions on Monday Message to Jennifer Ginn by 10 a.m. Friday to be published in the upcoming week.