Monday Message - September 16, 2019

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Commissioner's Monday Message

September 16, 2019

QC Day Two for SRC Scheduled for Sept. 19

Quality Control (QC) Day Two for the School Report Card (SRC) will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET Sept. 19. QC Day Two is designed to look for systemic issues only.

The day will begin with a live webcast at 9 a.m. ET. Staff from the Office of Standards, Assessment and Accountability will discuss the steps associated with QC Day Two and give details on which data will be included in the review, such as 5-star ratings and federal classifications. For those who cannot view the webinar live on the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Media Portal, the recording will be available shortly after the end of the live broadcast.

The first QC Day closed Sept. 11. The process went well and KDE is continuing to review and resolve the reports submitted.

School Profile Report: Oct. 1 is deadline for the School Profile Report to be complete with signatures and available in the local board office. School Profile Reports must be printed prior to the SRC Approval tool closing on Sept. 20. As a reminder, there is also an option on the landing page of the SRC to download the School Profile Report (without signatures) once the card is open to the public. This is to meet KRS requirement that School Profile Reports be available on the state website.

The SRC data entry period and verification period for non-accountability data has closed. The Preview Dashboard feature is no longer available; however the SRC Approval tool remains open through Sept. 20 in case districts still need to print School Profile Reports or there is a need to recheck or update collection data prior to public release. Districts are encouraged to ensure data is complete and accurate prior to public release; once this tool closes the opportunity to make changes ends and School Profile Reports can’t be printed.

NOTE: KDE data stewards are reaching out to district contacts if data is missing or if data quality questions arise. Your attention to ensuring the quality of data prior to public release is appreciated.

Additional details and prior communications on these topics are available on the SRC Resource page on KDE’s website.


School District Boundary Review Due by Oct. 14

The National Center for Education Statistics sponsors the School District Review Program (SDRP), which enables the U.S. Census Bureau to create poverty and population estimates by school district geography. The poverty and population estimates produced by the Census Bureau are important for each state’s allocation under Title I, Part A.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) must submit changes to school district boundaries to the Census Bureau. The information KDE submits must reflect the 2020 school districts as they will exist on Jan. 1, 2020.

To review your district’s boundaries, use the TIGERweb application on the Census Bureau website. There are 10 types of school district boundary changes. If your district has undergone any of the 10 types of boundary changes, email Margalee Conlee by Oct. 14. Include “SDRP” in the subject line of the email.

School Counselor Survey Required by Senate Bill 1 of 2019 Reporting Required by Nov. 1

Legislation passed during the 2019 session (KRS 158.4416) requires districts to report information on certified school counselors.

KRS 158.4416 (3)(e) requires: "No later than November 1, 2019, and each subsequent year, the local school district superintendent shall report to the department the number and placement of school counselors in the district. The report shall include the source of funding for each position, as well as a summary of the job duties and work undertaken by each counselor and the approximate percent of time devoted to each duty over the course of the year."

Districts should report this information by Nov. 1 using this survey. It has been broken up into elementary, middle and high school sections for entering time devoted to each duty.

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.

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.

Help inspire the next generation of teachers

Upcoming Superintendent Webcast Schedule Announced

A  special superintendent webcast will be held Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m. EST to discuss federal designations. 

Upcoming superintendent webcasts for the rest of 2019 are scheduled for Oct. 22, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16. The webcasts begin at 2 p.m. ET.

A meeting invitation will be emailed to superintendents for each of these dates, along with a reminder the day before the webcast. Watch the webcasts live or view archived webcasts on the Kentucky Department of Education’s Media Portal.


Students invited to apply to U.S. Senate Youth Program

Students in grades 11-12 may apply for the 2020 United States Senate Youth Program, an educational program for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. The program is scheduled for March 7-14 in Washington, D.C.

Students are eligible if they have not previously been a delegate to the program and are serving in a schoolwide, district, regional or state elected capacity in a student government, civic or educational organization. Students should have above average grades and an interest in government. They also should be articulate, as they will be participating in discussion groups with national leaders.

The program offers two student leaders from each state a $10,000 college scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to see the U.S. Senate in action.

Counselors who have students interested in the program should request an application and a timed test from the Kentucky Department of Education.

The application and test deadline is Oct. 15. Email Donna Melton for an application or 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.


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.


Professional Learning Bulletin Board

KSU Hosting Equity and Inclusion Conference

Kentucky State University’s CREED Center is hosting an Equity and Inclusion Conference 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET Oct. 1 at the university’s Little Bradford Auditorium.

The Equity and Inclusion Conference is designed to provide educators with the information, strategies and resources needed to eliminate the opportunity gaps in achievement and expectations. Conference topics will include: social emotional learning/self-care, understanding and unpacking standards to close gaps, bullying and social media, culturally responsive teaching, flipped classrooms, education equity, implicit bias and academic expectations and effective instruction in diverse classrooms.

The keynote speaker will be Adolph Brown, an urban and rural school educator, author, research-scientist and businessman. Brown is the leading provider of anti-bias training in business and education.

Registration is available using this form. Email Roger Cleveland for more information.


Students Get Opportunity to Name that Rover

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is running a national contest for K-12 students to name the Mars 2020 rover, the latest robotic scientist to be sent to the “Red Planet.”

NASA is seeking to engage U.S. students in the engineering and scientific work that makes Mars exploration possible. The contest also supports national goals to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and help create the next generation of STEM leaders.

Students can sign up and submit their entries by Nov. 1 on this Future Engineers webpage. Entries must include a proposed name for the rover and a short essay of 150 words or less explaining the reasons for the name.

NASA will select 156 state winners (one from each state and age group), before narrowing down to the top nine entries that will be part of a public poll. The grand prize winner, who will name the rover, will be selected and announced in spring of 2020.


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.