Monday Message - January 13, 2020

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Commissioner's Monday Message

January 13, 2020

Office of Teaching and Learning to Return to KDE

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will re-establish the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) as part of a minor structural reorganization that will take place over the coming weeks. OTL will absorb the work of the KDE standards team, school counseling services and district support of Title II, Part A funds, which support effective instruction by improving teacher and school leader quality.

Amanda Ellis will once again lead the office, as she did before its functions were moved into other offices in November 2018.

“I want to thank Amanda for her willingness to lead this office and continue the efforts to improve student learning through this role,” Interim Kentucky Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown said.

Brown said KDE is making this move in part as a customer service response. He said a number of school and district administrators said they would like to see OTL re-established, and he said the KDE leadership team agreed that it is valuable to do so and will be a more effective use of people and other resources.

“Customer service is important to all of us at KDE, and this is an example of a way in which we can respond to our customers in a way that meets our strategic objectives,” Brown said.

2020-2021 Census Data Released

Census data for use in the calculation of Title I, Part A allocations has been released by the U.S. Department of Education. 

This document, “Notification of Tentative Census Poverty and Hold Harmless Percentages Used to Determine School Year 2020-2021 Title I, Part A Funding,” provides an explanation of how the data was calculated and the funding sources and for hold-harmless provisions under Title I, Part A. 

For more information, email Jennifer Akin or call her at (502) 564-3791, ext. 4014.

Comprehensive District and School Improvement Plans: Phase Four (Progress Monitoring)

The last phase of the comprehensive district/school improvement plan process involves progress monitoring. Continuous improvement planning requires careful monitoring, which ensures the needs of learners are met and that student outcomes are positively impacted.

During phase four, districts and schools may choose a flexible and customized approach to monitoring and implementing the comprehensive improvement plan. During this phase, districts and schools ask themselves two key reflective questions with regard to their plans:

  • How do we know if our strategies and activities are meeting the needs of learners?
  • Will we adjust or stay the course?

Pursuant to 703 KAR 5:225, Comprehensive District Improvement Plans (CDIPs) and Comprehensive School Improvement Plans (CSIPs) must be posted online. CDIPs must be posted to the district’s website, while CSIPs must be posted to each school’s website. When posting CDIPs and CSIPs, remember to include any attachments referenced in a diagnostic. The items that should be posted for each improvement plan include: 

District’s Improvement Plan: 

  • Executive Summary for Districts
  • Continuous Improvement Diagnostic for Districts
  • Needs Assessment Diagnostic for Districts
  • Comprehensive Improvement Plan for Districts(including the Goal Building Template)
  • Superintendent Gap Assurances
  • District Assurances

School’s Improvement Plan: 

  • Executive Summary for Schools
  • Continuous Improvement Diagnostic for Schools
  • Needs Assessment for Schools
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Diagnostic
  • Comprehensive Improvement Plan for Schools(including the Goal Building Template)
  • School Assurances

Proposed Changes to Lead in Drinking Water Testing in Schools

The Kentucky Department of Education has been notified by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet of proposed revisions to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Lead and Copper Rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Revisions to the rule would affect lead and copper testing in schools. Specifically, this proposal includes new requirements for community water systems to conduct lead in drinking water testing and public education in schools and child care facilities. Visit to read the regulation.

Comments on the revisions must be received by Feb. 12. Comments may be submitted to identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0300. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Email Alicia Jacobs of the Energy and Environment Cabinet, Division of Water, for more information, or call her at (502) 782-6987.


Working Conditions Survey is Underway

The 2020 Impact Kentucky working conditions survey, formerly the TELL Kentucky working conditions survey, launched today and will continue through Feb. 21. A steering committee of Kentucky superintendents, teachers, principals and education groups from across the state oversaw the survey planning and developed guidelines for administration. Panorama Education, the leading provider of surveys in the K-12 space, will collect and analyze the survey results.

This year’s survey features key differences from the previous working conditions survey. Electronic access codes will be sent to each school’s identified school survey coordinator to distribute to all certified educators in the building. The coordinators will receive an invitation to participate in a webinar to gain further direction on distributing access codes.

Additional differences are related to the content and length of the survey. The 2020 Impact Kentucky survey will be less than 80 questions and should take educators approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

We are confident that despite changes, the survey still will provide the same critical data that school leaders are accustomed to receiving. For more information, email and check out this Kentucky Teacher story: Impact Kentucky survey an easier way for teachers to weigh in


Professional Learning Bulletin Board

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.