Monday DAC Email for March 23 , 2020

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Monday DAC Email


March 23, 2020

Dear District Assessment Coordinators,

In a time of so much uncertainty, the Division of Assessment and Accountability Support (DAAS) continues services and support to our DACs. DAAS exists to help you manage the responsibilities of the assessment and accountability systems.

For information on the areas of assessment and accountability, please refer to the Monday DAC Emails and Special DAC Emails as the best place to find updated information. We are committed to providing accurate and timely information to our DACs. Often in the Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) we refer to ourselves as a family; we certainly consider DACs in that family circle. During this unprecedented time, we continue that perspective and stand ready to assist you in many ways.

Most of the members of the OAA are now working at home to serve you while doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Over the past several years, several of our staff have telecommuted and provided excellent support for each of you. One of our goals is to continue that high level of service. We are running virtually and can assist you via phone and email.

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the teachers, school and district administrators, instructional staff, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and so many others supporting Kentucky students in new and innovative ways. We are truly #TeamKentucky.

 Thank you for your collaboration. We will move through this challenging situation together. Please stay safe and healthy!


Jennifer Stafford, Ed.D.

State Assessment and Accountability Waiver

On Friday, the Kentucky Department of Education applied to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for a state waiver that will allow us to bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. At the same time, we also applied for a waiver from the requirement that this testing data be used in the statewide accountability system due to the national emergency. We’ve been promised a quick review and approval process from USED. We have every reason to believe that our waiver request to be relieved of these federal assessment, accountability and reporting requirements will be granted.

Of course, since the K-PREP testing is such an integral part of our state accountability system, this will have an impact on this fall’s accountability data release. All federal ratings and supports will remain the same until after the next testing cycle in the spring of 2021. The list of schools qualifying for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) also will stay the same.

Education Continuation Task Force

In these unprecedented times, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) continues to serve Kentucky’s students, school and district staff while doing our part to try to limit the spread of COVID-19.

KDE announced the formation of the Education Continuation Task Force that will serve as a guiding coalition to help facilitate the delivery of alternative educational services to Kentucky students during the current period of school closures from the coronavirus (COVID-19). The task force will meet virtually at least once a week with the goal of assisting districts with streamlining and access to educational and other resources during this closure period to ensure districts have knowledge of all available resources.

The task force will include Kentucky educational partner organizations, Kentucky Educational Television, the Southern Regional Education Board and other relevant partners. In addition, KDE’s eight associate commissioners will lead subgroups that will coordinate their offices’ responsibilities. The new task force will be especially important as districts deliver Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) during school closures.

ACT Testing Update

KDE is working with representatives from ACT to provide additional options for state provided ACT testing. KDE is trying to secure another ACT test date (possibly this fall) for current juniors who did not test due to absence or school closure on March 10, 2020 (Initial Test Date) and accommodated students who were unable to complete testing. Additional information will be provided when details are finalized.

ACT Rosters in SDRR

Due to the current situation, districts will no longer be required to submit any non-participation requests for the ACT rosters in the Student Data Review and Reporting (SDRR) application, so that district personnel can focus on educating and feeding students and caring for employee needs.

Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) staff will close any open tickets, and no action is needed by school or district staff to resolve these.


Patricia Williams Martin County

DAC Spotlight

Patricia Williams 
Martin County Schools

Martin County School District is located in Eastern Kentucky in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Currently, the district has one high school, one middle school, one area technology center, and three elementary schools, serving approximately 1,800 students in grades K-12. In addition, 125 preschool/head start students in a blended setting are served. This school year, the community witnessed the grand opening of the new Martin County High School. A new Martin County Area Technology Center will open this spring and is located on the same campus as the high school. The opening of these two new schools has sparked an exciting energy within the community.

Through the work of the district strategic planning team, a new mission and vision was adopted.  “Through the efforts of all, every student will be college and career ready, inspired to achieve their lifelong dreams” is the tenet for many basic decisions. Community support and buy in at all levels of the system ensures students are getting the support needed to be successful.

All Martin County High School students are offered pathways to varied careers through the career and technical education (CTE) programs. Students are also offered multiple dual-credit and AP opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school. The dual-credit scholarship offered through KHEAA is fully used, having multiple post-secondary agreements for dual-credit in place. Faculty within the building have qualified to provide these classes. Students can graduate with 51 credit hours of college credit through three college partners--Morehead State University, Big Sandy Community and Technical College and Eastern Kentucky University.

A nationally recognized Jobs for Kentucky and America's Graduates programs as well as internships and work-based learning programs provide students with 21st century job seeking and job keeping skills. Partnerships with varying workforce development agencies, notably East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) provides all seniors training on Skills Everybody Needs to Succeed in Employment (Work S.E.N.S.E.) and Ethics S.E.N.S.E. 

Beginning this school year, Martin County Middle School has built an instructional schedule that provides teachers the opportunity to participate in four Instructional Academy days. The Instructional Academy not only promotes embedded professional learning, but also provides teachers with the opportunity to take on leadership roles within their building. On academy days, instructional leaders and Kentucky Literacy Intervention Project (KLIP) committee team members present instructional strategies and Kagan structures that can be implemented in any classroom. Using teacher interactive notebooks, teachers can reflect on these strategies throughout the school year.  Furthermore, MCMS has implemented a bi-weekly “Teacher Talk” newsletter. This newsletter, created by the KLIP team lead, features a strategy spotlight, links to instructional resources and professional readings. 

The three elementary schools have taken a direct focus on building a systematic RTI program this school year. The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant has assisted schools in the development of a comprehensive literacy plan. In addition, two of the elementary schools are recipients of the Read to Achieve and Mathematics Achievement Funds grant. These two grants allow a reading/mathematics interventionist to work directly with students needing intensive remediation. 

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in the article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

Assessment Calendar

In This Issue

ACT Rosters in SDRR

ACT Testing Update

Education Continuation Task Force

State Assessment and Accountability Waiver

DAC Spotlight

Important Dates

April 10:
State Offices Closed (afternoon) in Observance of Good Friday

April 16:
DAC Monthly Webcast (note date change)


Previous Topics

Additional Guidance on ACT

AAAF Suspended for Spring 2020

Avoid Licensing Scams

DAC/BAC Certification of Proper Test Administration Forms – Reminder

EOC Exam Shipping Deadline

DAC Spotlight


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