Tuesday Message - November 12, 2019

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Commissioner's Tuesday Message

November 12, 2019

New Effective Literacy Instruction Module Available: 'Understand Text-Dependent Questions'

One effective instructional strategy teachers can use to improve student literacy is using text-dependent questions (TDQs) in every lesson. The Kentucky Academic Standards for Reading and Writing establishes that students must have routine experiences analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating grade-level appropriate, complex texts. 

TDQs are questions that are only answerable by referring to the text being read. They are used to facilitate strategic dives into passages and build both student comprehension and analysis of text meaning. 

In “Module 1: Understand Text-Dependent Questions” on KYStandards, participants will learn how to identify text-dependent questions versus non-text dependent questions. They will build understanding on how TDQs focus students’ efforts on the most important parts of a complex text and how they guide all students through the process of making meaning of a complex text.  

We need your feedback!

Throughout November and December, BrightBytes on behalf of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will be conducting user experience sessions to collect feedback on Kentucky’s School Report Card

KDE is seeking participants who are interested in providing feedback on the Kentucky School Report Card in an effort to continue to develop and improve its usability and value. Our ideal participant is a parent of one or more students in Kentucky's K-12 public education system and/or someone who resides in Kentucky. 

There will be multiple opportunities to provide feedback, including: 

  • On Wednesday, Nov. 20, there will be morning and afternoon focus group sessions. Each session will be conducted in person and may last up to two hours. 
  • One-on-one user experience interviews are conducted remotely via a virtual meeting and last up to one hour.

Complete this form to participate in an in-person focus group setting – either 9:30-11:30 a.m. ET or 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 20. Please indicate session preference or email KDE data services for more information.

If you are interested in participating in user interviews, use this link to schedule a one-hour virtual meeting directly with BrightBytes.  

Space is limited. Additional details will be provided to all who sign up

Comprehensive District & School Improvement Plans:

Phase Three (Plotting the Course) – Deadline Jan. 1

During phase three of the comprehensive improvement planning process, schools and districts are required to complete and submit the following diagnostics in eProve:

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

The purpose of the diagnostics is to encourage thoughtful reflection of a school and district's current state to move to the desired state. Also, schools and districts must address critical needs specified in the Needs Assessment and align strategies and activities to those needs. The deadline for submitting the diagnostics is Jan. 1.

The required comprehensive school improvement plan (CSIP) and the comprehensive district improvement plan (CDIP) goals for 2019-2020 include:

  • proficiency
  • separate academic indicator
  • achievement gap
  • growth (elementary and middle school only)
  • transition readiness (high school only)
  • graduation rate (high school only)

The offline goal building template – which has been updated and will assist in the development of goals, objectives, strategies and activities – can be found on the Kentucky Department of Education website. Once completed to satisfaction, the document should be uploaded into the eProve platform with the Comprehensive Improvement Plan for Schools/Districts Diagnostic.

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.

Each district’s superintendent and each school’s principal is strongly encouraged to view the 2019-2020 Comprehensive Improvement Planning for Districts and Schools and 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.

Visit KDE’s Comprehensive Improvement Planning website for additional guidance on improvement plans. Email Natasha Napier with eProve questions and assistance.

‘Social Studies Alignment Tool’ Webcast Set for 9 a.m. ET Nov. 14

Join the Kentucky Department of Education live 9 a.m. ET Nov. 14 to learn more about alignment tools to help determine if tasks meet the intended depth and rigor of the Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies.

You can access the live webcasts by going to the KDE Media Portal and clicking on the EdCast Video icon at the bottom of the page. The livestream will be on the “Home” tab. You can get your questions answered during the webcasts 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 webcast.

This is the second installment of a three-part series about social studies. A recording of the first webcast, “Social Studies,” is available and the virtual workshop, “Using the Social Studies Alignment Tool,” will occur Nov. 21 with sessions at 4 and 5 p.m. ET.

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


Social Studies Webcast Recording and Slides Available

In case you weren't able to watch the webcast live last week, you can review the “Social Studies” webcast recording and slides at your convenience.


Explore Family Resources on Wonderopolis

The revised Kentucky Academic Standards for Reading and Writing emphasize building knowledge. Current research and best practice suggest that students comprehend texts best when they are able to activate schema, make meaning and recognize vocabulary. Exposing students to multiple texts and interdisciplinary content provides opportunities to build knowledge in meaningful ways.

Check out this guest webcast with John MacLeod, the community manager for Wonderopolis. He shares some ways teachers and families can utilize Wonderopolis, a free web program developed by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) that allows students to explore their wonders and build knowledge. The NCFL also offers free online resources to educators and families.


Professional Learning Bulletin Board

4th Annual Leadership EdCamp Set for Dec. 4

The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) fourth annual Leadership EdCamp: For Principals by Principals will be 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET Dec. 4 at the Perkins Building on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in Richmond.

EdCamp is a day in which hundreds of school leaders from across the state gather for networking, sharing and learning. The sessions are driven and facilitated by attendees. Almost 500 school leaders have attended KDE’s previous EdCamps.

Six hours of EILA credit is available to all those who attend. This year’s EdCamp is sponsored by the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative, EKU and KDE through the Principal Partnership Project. Register to attend the EdCamp using this link or see this flyer for more information. If you are interested in facilitating or presenting a session(s), fill out this Google doc.


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.