Monday Message - September 30, 2019

Kentucky Department Of Education logo

Commissioner's Monday Message

September 30, 2019

SRC Public Release Date Oct. 1

The 2018-2019 School Report Card (SRC) embargo period ends at 12:01 a.m. ET Oct. 1, and the SRC will go live with 2018-2019 data tomorrow morning.

The accountability system and the SRC are both about increased transparency and communication with parents and stakeholders, and driving school improvement. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) wants families, districts, schools and community stakeholders to use the information as a starting point for honest and productive conversations about a school’s many areas of strength, areas for growth and plans for working collaboratively to ensure each and every student is well-prepared for his or her future.

Please help promote the SRC suite and also the Provide Feedback option at the bottom of the landing page.

As a reminder, the SRC suite includes:

Other reminders: 

  • Districts have 10 days from the public release to identify any data issues that have not already surfaced that may need to be corrected. Contact KDE if an issue is identified.
  • The SRC links above, along with information on the Infinite Campus portal, also are available from Open House on the SRC page. Bookmark this page for easy access to the SRC suite.
  • The School Profile Report will be available for download from the SRC landing page when it becomes public. It should be available with signatures in the local district office no later than Oct. 1.

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


KAS Implementation Professional Learning Mini Grant Competition

The Kentucky Academic Standards Implementation Professional Learning Mini Grant offers districts and/or schools the opportunity to dive deeply into specific and specialized professional learning around standards implementation. Districts may apply on behalf of the entire district or specific schools and 52 $10,000 mini-grants will be awarded.

Important Dates:

Award notification will occur about Dec. 1.

Mini-Grant Links

KAS PL mini-grant RFA

Mini-grant 30-60-90-180 template

KAS PL mini-grant district budget summary

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.

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.

2018-2019 MERR Report Due by Oct. 15

Districts are required to annually submit a Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention (MERR) Report of the district’s efforts to increase the percentage of minority educators, pursuant to 704 KAR 7:130 and KRS 160.380(2) (d). The reporting cycle for the 2018-2019 MERR data report is from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

The 2018-2019 MERR data collection must be submitted through an application to the Kentucky Department of Education via the Kentucky Educator Placement System (KEPS). This data also is utilized to determine teacher shortage areas and presented annually to the Kentucky Board of Education.

The deadline to submit the MERR data from your district is Oct. 15. Step-by-step procedures are provided in KEPS on the “MERR Home” page. To access the web application, log in as a district user, then go to the “Districts” tab and select “MERR Home.” Please note, failure to submit data by Oct. 15 could have a negative impact on the critical shortage calculations in your workforce region.

Email Renee Scott for more information.

Comprehensive District and School Improvement Plans: Webinar Scheduled, Phase Two Deadline Nov. 1 

In lieu of regional improvement planning trainings, the Kentucky Department of Education has prepared a webinar that includes the most up-to-date guidance regarding Comprehensive District Improvement Plans and Comprehensive School Improvement Plans, as well as eProve.

Each district’s superintendent and each school’s principal is strongly encouraged to view the 2019-2020 Comprehensive Improvement Planning for Districts and Schools & eProve webinar. A transcript of the webinar also is available. The webinar includes the planning timeline, compliance monitoring, 2019-2020 updated goal building templates and navigating eProve.

Phase Two of the planning process is upon us! Beginning Oct. 1, districts and schools are required to complete and submit the following diagnostics in eProve:

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

The deadline for submitting the diagnostics is Nov. 1. The purpose of the diagnostics is to encourage thoughtful reflection of a district or school's current processes, practices and conditions in order to leverage its strengths and identify critical needs. As a reminder, 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, please consult the eProve user manual.   

Visit the Comprehensive Improvement Planning website for additional guidance on improvement plans. Email Natasha Napier with eProve questions and assistance. Email Victoria Fields for more information about school or district safety report questions.

2019-2020 Title I, Part A Comparability Report Due Nov. 1

Section 1118 of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires districts to submit supporting documentation that establishes each district has provided services that are comparable in each of its schools using general funds.

The 2019-2020 Comparability Report, the guide for completing it and instructions for submitting the report in GMAP can be found on the Title I, Part A webpage. The comparability report workbook is located in the GMAP district document library. The report is to be submitted for approval in GMAP by Nov. 1.

Contact your KDE Title I, Part A consultant at (502) 564-3791 for more information about completing or submitting the 2019-2020 Comparability Report.

Help inspire the next generation of teachers

Join KDE for the ‘Why PLCs?’ Webcast Oct. 3

Join the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) for a live webcast at 9 a.m. ET Oct. 3 to learn about the importance of professional learning communities (PLCs) as a vehicle for improving teaching and learning at all levels.

“Why PLCs?” can be viewed on the KDE Media Portal by clicking on the “EdCast Video” icon at the bottom of the page. The livestream will be on the home page. You can ask questions during the webcast using GoSoapBox with the access code “KAS.”

An archive of the webcast and slides will be made available on the Standards Webcast webpage shortly after the original webcast date.

This is the first installment of a three-part series around PLCs that includes the Oct. 17 webcast, “Gaining Clarity Through PLCs,” and the Oct. 24 virtual workshop, “Mock PLCs – Breaking Down a Standard.”

A full schedule of the Standards Implementation Professional Learning Series is available for download.


Don’t Miss Out on Upcoming Virtual Workshops

Don’t miss out on the Kentucky Department of Education’s upcoming virtual workshops. Districts and schools are encouraged to plan ahead to promote and allow teachers to take part in these opportunities, as well as to consider offering professional learning credit to those who attend.

The upcoming virtual workshops include:

“Mock PLCs – Breaking Down a Standard,” Oct. 24, 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET: During this workshop, we will conduct a mock PLC in order to take a closer look at professional learning communities (PLCs) in action breaking down a standard to gain teacher clarity. Use these links to access either the 4 p.m. session or the 5 p.m. session.

“Using the Social Studies Alignment Tool,” Nov. 11, 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET: Participants will practice using the alignment tools for the Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies with guidance from KDE content consultants. Use these links to access either the 4 p.m. session or the 5 p.m. session.


Superintendent Webcast Schedule Announced

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.


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

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.

Visit the Comprehensive Improvement Planning website for additional guidance on improvement plans. Email Natasha Napier with eProve questions or for assistance.


Statistics in Schools Offering Free Classroom Materials

Statistics in Schools is a free U.S. Census Bureau program that uses census data to create classroom materials for PK-12 schools. New activities designed for the 2019-2020 school year highlight the 2020 census and the importance of making sure everyone is counted – especially children.

Census responses drive decisions on the allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funds to states and communities, including support for school programs and services such as Title I, special education grants to states, Head Start and the National School Lunch Program.


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.