Monday Message - October 21, 2019

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Commissioner's Monday Message

October 21, 2019

Leading Schools for Multilingual Learner Achievement

There will be WIDA workshops Nov. 7-8 in Owensboro and Nov. 11-12 in Lexington. WIDA provides language development resources to those who support the academic success of multilingual learners.

This workshop is designed for school principals and administrators who are responsible for school-level policies, leading school improvement planning and data analysis processes and making decisions about programs and professional development. No experience in using the WIDA Standards Framework is needed for this workshop.

Educational leaders are key to improving academic language development and academic achievement for multilingual learners. The purpose of this workshop is for school leaders to reflect on their school’s policies and systems in order to craft a personal leadership action plan that promotes equitable educational opportunities for multilingual learners. Topics addressed will include policy, instructional leadership and collaborative relationships between students, teachers, families and data teams that are necessary for language learners to thrive. Participants will engage in interactive tasks related to equitable instruction for multilingual learners, discussions and reflections, video analysis and action planning.

Each location offers the same workshop. Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging arrangements if they wish to stay overnight for any of the WIDA face-to-face trainings. Here are the trainings, with links to register for them:

  • Owensboro – Nov. 7-8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT, Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront
  • Lexington – Nov. 11-12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET, Embassy Suites Lexington/UK Coldstream

Email Jessica Sanderson or call her at (502) 564-3791, ext. 4004, for more information.

This is a screenshot of the “Gaining Clarity Through PLCs” webcast.

‘Gaining Clarity Through PLCs’ Webcast Recording and Slides

A recording of the “Gaining Clarity Through PLCs” webcast and the accompanying slides are now available.

The next webcast, “Social Studies,” will be 9 a.m. ET Nov. 7. This webcast will highlight resources to support the Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies implementation and how to access these resources.

Assignment Review and Alignment Professional Learning Module Now Available

If you missed the “Assignment Review Protocol” virtual workshop that was offered in September, you can access the same valuable learning experience through the Assignment Review and Alignment Professional Learning Module, which can be found on the Assignment Review Protocol webpage. This module explains why it is imperative for students to have access to assignments aligned to grade level standards and guides teachers through a protocol that will help them ensure their own assignments are aligned. The module currently offers content specific guidance in reading and writing and mathematics.

Educators also may be interested in the Student Assignment Library, which provides 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.

National Awards Program Seeking Kentucky’s Top Youth Volunteers of 2020

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for Kentucky’s top youth volunteers. Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for the 2020 Prudential Spirit of Community awards if they have made meaningful contributions to their community through volunteer service within the past 12 months.

To apply for a 2020 Prudential Spirit of Community Award:

  • Students must complete the online application by Nov. 5. The application is available on the Prudential website.
  • Students must submit the application for certification to their principal or head of a local participating organization.
  • Certifiers must review all applications for their school or organization, then select a local honoree to nominate for state-level judging by Nov. 15.

Applications can be certified by a middle or high school principal, head of a Girl Scout Council, county 4-H organization, American Red Cross Chapter, YMCA or a Points of Light Global Network member. Students may request a paper application by calling (888) 651-2951.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, was created in 1995 to recognize the exemplary volunteer work of middle school and high school students.

The top middle school and high school volunteer from each state and the District of Columbia will be named state honorees Feb. 4. Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent or guardian May 2-5.

A national selection committee will name 10 of the 102 state honorees as America’s top youth volunteers of the year. Each will receive an additional $5,000 scholarship, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their nominating school or organization and a $5,000 grant from the Prudential Foundation for a nonprofit charitable organization of their choice.

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

Superintendent Webcast set for Tuesday

The next Superintendent Webcast is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m.

For your information, below is a list of Superintendent Webcast dates and times for the remainder of the year. Please mark these dates on your calendar. You will be receiving a calendar invite in the near future for each of these dates as a reminder of when the webcast are scheduled.

Wednesday, November 20 @ 2:00 p.m. ET

Monday, December 16 @ 2:00 p.m. ET

You can view the webcast here, and participate in the surveys or comments on Access Code: superintendent.

KDE to Offer ‘Mock PLCs’ Virtual Workshop Oct. 24 at 4 and 5 p.m. ET

Join Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) consultants Oct. 24 for the “Mock PLCs – Breaking Down a Standard” virtual workshop. Participants will conduct a mock professional learning community (PLC) to take a closer look at PLCs in action breaking down a standard to gain teacher clarity.

Educators will participate in content-specific grade bands during this virtual workshop. Use these links to register for either the 4 p.m. session or the 5 p.m. session

This is the third installment of a three-part series about PLCs. The first two installments are available through archived recordings. Check out the, “Why PLCs?” webcast and the “Gaining Clarity Through PLCs” webcast to make the most out of this virtual workshop opportunity.


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.


Nominations Open for Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award

Nominations are being accepted for the inaugural Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award. This award will be presented each year to two educators – one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level – who instill in their students the knowledge, skills and passion for cybersecurity and related subjects.

Recipients will embody the expertise and dedication of educators who are critical to strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity workforce. The deadline to apply or be nominated is Jan. 31.

Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website for more information.


Professional Learning Bulletin Board

Comprehensive District and School Improvement Plans: Webinar Scheduled, Phase 2 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.