Monday Message - October 14, 2019

Kentucky Department Of Education logo

Commissioner's Monday Message

October 14, 2019

Kentucky Facilities Inventory and Classification System (KFICS) Update

The Kentucky Department of Education staff appreciates all of the hard work districts have put in on publishing their school building audits and surveys in the Kentucky Facilities Inventory and Classification System (KFICS). There were 52 buildings in the system in early August, compared to about 263 that are now published.

Much is still to be done, and KDE encourages districts to continue making this a priority. The KDE staff especially would like to see those buildings first published in the 2017 facilities condition report to the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) have their audits brought current and the required surveys completed. There are about 100 buildings that are in this category and they are generally those facilities that were determined to be in the worst condition on a district-by-district basis. KDE will be reaching out to these districts to encourage completion of work on those facilities.

KDE has provided LRC with a report of the buildings currently in the system, as required by HB 200 (2018). The transmittal letter and the report detail the information that has been shared with legislators. KDE also made it clear to LRC staff that more buildings are coming on and fully expects that LRC will request additional runs of the report as we get closer to the start of the legislative session.

Email Donna Duncan or Greg Dunbar for more information.

Student Assignment Library Now Available

Many educators have learned how to use the assignment review protocol ​to ensure student tasks are aligned to standards, a tool that can have a powerful impact on teaching and learning.

Need more practice with the tool? Additional tasks are available in the Student Assignment Library, which offers assignments and rating rationales at each grade level in reading and writing and mathematics to help educators practice identifying tasks that are strongly, partially and weakly aligned to standards.

More information about using the assignment review protocol is available in the “Alignment Tools” webcast recording.

Public Comments Sought on Perkins V Plan

The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) Office of Career and Technical Education and Student Transition will be taking public comments on the Perkins V “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” plan in three locations:

  • Oct. 17 – London, Laurel County schools’ G.C. Garland Building, 5:30-7 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 24 – Frankfort, Franklin County Career and Technical Center, 5:30-7 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 28 – Madisonville, Hopkins County Career and Technology Center, 5:30-7 p.m. CT

The draft plan is located on the KDE website.

Family Guides Now Available

Looking for a quick and easy way to help families understand what their students will be learning this year? The Kentucky Department of Education has developed standards family guides to help families familiarize themselves with the content of each grade level’s standards. There is a guide for each grade, kindergarten through 8th grade, and one for high school. Each guide covers reading and writing, mathematics, science and social studies.

We encourage you to share these guides with families in print or digital format. Share the whole grade level packet or just the content areas that you teach.

The guides are available on the Standards Family Guides webpage.

Use Early Warning Tool to Prevent Dropouts

The entire month of October is dedicated to calling attention to the need for dropout prevention efforts nationwide. While Kentucky has a current graduation rate of 90.6%, there is much work left to do. There were 4,350 students in Kentucky identified as having dropped out during the 2017-2018 school year.

Do you know where to find your school or district’s dropout data? Visit the Kentucky Department of Education Open House supplemental data webpage and click on “Learning Environment” to view the data.

Are you using a tool to identify students at risk of dropping out? You should be. All Kentucky districts and middle and high schools have access to one of the most powerful early warning data tools available in the United States via Infinite Campus (IC). This interactive tool provides a graduation-related analytic data (GRAD) score for every student in grades 6-12 and identifies which area of intervention (attendance, behavior, curriculum or stability) will yield the greatest impact for supporting persistence toward graduation.

The IC pathway is: student information, counseling, early warning. Watch this 10-minute overview video and read the detailed documentation for guidance on using IC’s Early Warning tool.

Email Judi Vanderhaar for more information on the Early Warning tool, or email Lisa Keeter for technical assistance.

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.

Help inspire the next generation of teachers

Grow-Your-Own Programs for High School Students

Join the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) for a live webcast 9 a.m. ET Oct. 18 to learn about the teaching and learning career pathway and Educators Rising.

To view the webcast, visit the KDE Media Portal and click on the EdCast Video icon at the bottom of the page. The livestream will be on the homepage. You can ask questions during the webcast using with the access code “EdRising.”

An archive of the webcast and slides will be available on the teaching and learning pathway and Educators Rising webpages shortly after the original webcast date.


GoTeachKY at Your Career Fair

Ensure the teaching profession is represented at your school’s career fair by reaching out to the GoTeachKY team. We would love the opportunity to share information and resources on becoming a teacher with your students and community. Email Erin Ashcraft for more information.


‘Gaining Clarity Through PLCs’ Webcast Airs Oct. 17

Join the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) live 9 a.m. ET Oct. 17 for a live webcast that will take a closer look at the importance of teacher clarity around the standards and how professional learning communities (PLCs) can support this work.

To view the live webcast, visit the KDE Media Portal and click on the EdCast Video icon at the bottom of the page. The livestream will be on the “Home” tab. Ask questions during the webcasts using 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 second installment of a three-part series around PLCs. The first webcast, “Why PLCs?” is available at and the Oct. 24 virtual workshop, “Mock PLCs – Breaking Down a Standard,” will follow.

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


Registration Open for KAPT Fall Seminar

The Kentucky Association for Pupil Transportation (KAPT) Fall Seminar will be Nov. 4-5 at the Embassy Suites Lexington/UK Coldstream. The agenda focuses on finance and compliance, so transportation directors and finance officers are encouraged to attend. EILA and finance officer training credits will be available for attendees.

Kentucky Rep. Robert Goforth will discuss BR 136, which would require stop arm cameras on school buses. Other topics to be discussed include bus purchases and sales, including the Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association program; transportation finance from a finance officer’s perspective; and the new entry level driver training.

Email Pam Shaffer to request a registration form for the seminar, or email Elisa Hanley for more information. Visit Embassy Suites’ website for hotel reservations; direct billing is available.


Professional Learning Bulletin Board

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.


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.