SBDM Newsletter - August 2020

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School-Based Decision Making Newsletter


August 2020, Volume 2 Issue 7

Racial Equity Resolution

At the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) meeting on July 10, the board passed a resolution to affirm its commitment to racial equity in Kentucky’s public schools.

Through this resolution, councils are encouraged to examine policies, procedures and funding decisions to ensure children of every race have equal access to educational opportunities. In addition, schools, districts, local boards of education, educational cooperatives, parents and families, and communities are encouraged to join together to break down the barriers that stand between students of color and the equitable education they deserve.

Read the full resolution for more information.

Comprehensive improvement planning for schools

The Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) is defined as “a plan developed by the school council, or successor, and charter schools with the input of parents, faculty, and staff, based on a review of relevant data that includes targets, strategies, activities, and a time schedule to support student achievement and student growth, and to eliminate gaps among groups of students.”

The comprehensive school and district improvement plan process is outlined in 703 KAR 5:225. The requirements included in the administrative regulation are key components of the continuous improvement process in Kentucky and the fulfillment of school, district and state goals under the Kentucky state plan as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

While the regulation outlines a timeline for compliance purposes, the plan itself is a strategic and proven approach to improve processes and to ensure students achieve. The timeline for the school’s 2020-2021 diagnostics is as follows:

Phase One

Aug. 1–Oct. 1: 

  • Continuous Improvement Diagnostic for Schools

Phase Two

Oct. 1–Nov. 1: 

  • Needs Assessment for Schools
  • School Assurances
  • School Safety Report

Phase Three

Nov. 1–Jan. 1: 

  • Professional Development Plan for Schools — New
  • Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP)
  • Executive Summary for Schools
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Diagnostic

Phase Four

Jan. 1–Dec. 31:

  • Progress Monitoring

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many uncertainties for schools and districts. Approval of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) allowed Kentucky to bypass standardized testing and the federal assessment, accountability and specific reporting requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. The cancellation of K-PREP assessments, along with legislative changes made during the 2020 session, will affect our accountability system moving forward. 

The need for thoughtful planning has never been more important. Kentucky’s continuous improvement model remains an effective process to ensure systems are in place for the delivery of high-quality learning opportunities for all students. Stakeholder input gathered during this crisis, as well as the guiding questions available in the reopening guidance provided by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), can support the development of your Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP). 

Bylaws and policies review

With the new school year beginning and new councils in place, it is crucial that council members begin the annual review of the council’s bylaws and the school’s policies.

Bylaws and policies should be analyzed to determine whether they are still current, valid and aligned to the processes of the school council and/or school itself. Bylaws and policies can be amended at any time, so long as any amendments are recorded in the meeting minutes and align to all other parameters outlined in the council’s bylaws.

When reviewing policies, consider the following questions:

  • Are the school council policies legal?
  • Are the school council policies clear?
  • Are the school council policies practical?
  • Are the school council policies wise?
  • Are the school council policies focused on improving student achievement?
  • Do the school council policies support a positive school culture?

KDE has developed a checklist (in Appendix E, starting on page 166) to assist school councils in reviewing and revising their policies to determine whether statutory requirements are met. This checklist also shows which policies are required, which decision areas are required and which bylaws are required.


School-Based Decision Making webpage

Comprehensive Improvement Planning webpage




Ashlie Cox

SBDM Consultant

(502) 564-3791, ext. 4046


Natasha Stein

District 180

Program Manager

(502) 564-3791, ext. 4010