Monday DAC Email for Monday, August 3, 2020

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Monday DAC Email


August 3, 2020

Question of the Week

Q: Is the ACT Fall Test Administration Training available online?

A: On behalf of the Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) and ACT, thank you for joining the OAA/ACT State Fall 2020 Training on Thursday, July 30.

If unable to attend the training on Thursday, July 30, 2020, the training and related documents have been posted to the KDE website on the ACT Assessment Webpage. On the webpage find the following OAA/ACT State Fall 2020 Training links:

DACs should share this information with high school building assessment coordinators (BACs), principals and ACT school test coordinators.

For questions related to the ACT Training, please contact Shara Savage.

KAAC Nominations for BAC and DAC of the Year

The Kentucky Association for Assessment Coordinators (KAAC) is now accepting nominations for the annual Building Assessment Coordinator (BAC) and District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) of the year awards. To submit a nomination, please complete the appropriate nomination form at the link below by the close of business on Aug. 28. Winners will be recognized in October.

Building Assessment Coordinator (BAC) of the Year Nomination

District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) of the Year Nomination

Senate Bill 158 Implications for Minimum High School Graduation Requirements

704 KAR 3:305, Kentucky's new minimum high school graduation requirements, became effective on April 5, 2019. However, Senate Bill 158 (2020) requires changes be made to state and local graduation requirements for students who entered high school in the 2019-2020 school year and thereafter.

See the "Senate Bill 158 Implications for Minimum High School Graduation Requirements" document for specific changes.

Joe Obermaier

DAC Spotlight

Joe Obermaier

Kentucky School for the Deaf

“I am Joseph Obermaier, the District Assessment Coordinator and Assistant Principal at Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) in Danville (Boyle Co.). New to Kentucky, from the Chicago area, I have been working in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) education field at various capacities since 2008. I transitioned to a career in DHH education after working 20 years as an accountant for the federal government.

“KSD is nearly 200 years old and going strong. Its storied 200-year history can be found at the Jacobs Hall Museum on campus. This museum is known as one of finest repositories in the nation for its documented artifacts of DHH education since 1823, a must see for everyone driving through Danville. Because the KSD is so ingrained in the Danville and Boyle Co. area, it is not surprising that one will always run into someone who is either an alumnus, works at the school (past and present), knows someone that was part of KSD in one way or another or knows basic sign language, American Sign Language (ASL). Some of the local residents are so in awe about KSD, the Deaf community, its culture and ASL, that they became ASL interpreters. Even local doctors and nurses have some basic knowledge of ASL in order to interact and communicate with the Deaf community.

“KSD is a language-rich environment where the DHH students and staff can converse and communicate using ASL inside and outside of the classroom. There is an expectation that staff always use ASL and “voice off” while on campus. For those staff that are not currently fluent in ASL, they are expected to reach a specific level of fluency within 4 years of being hired.

“Currently, KSD has 28 teachers along with its administration and evaluation teams, approximately 70 support staff and almost 100 students. Approximately 40% of the students are day students (commute from home) with the rest living on campus through the week in one of our three dormitories. We have trained “Student Life” staff assigned to students just like parents. The dorm students go home on Friday afternoon and return to campus on Sunday night. For them, KSD is home away from home.

“KSD classes are from Pre-K to grade 12. The school campus sits on approximately 55 beautiful acres of land with about 20 acres dedicated to our KSD farm. For those students who stay in the dorms they are far from being bored or homesick. KSD offers many after school and evening activities such as sports - basketball, volleyball, track, flag football, soccer, bike riding around campus, cooking, outdoor chess game, trips to the mall, art museums, movies, etc. KSD strives to make students feel welcome and at home. KSD has a 24-hour nursing staff should one of the students or staff need basic medical attention.

“We may be small but KSD is not short on student competition opportunities in various academic and athletic events against other DHH schools around the country. Our academic team earned a spot in regional completion this year in Washington D.C. Our Robotics teams competed at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin Texas this year with a strong showing for its first time to compete! The culinary team placed 2nd in last year's DHH schools’ cookout competition in Las Vegas. KSD hosted the historic Mason Dixon boys’ basketball tournament this past year with 11 teams staying on campus with us for nearly a week.

“KSD offers career pathways in Culinary, Agricultural, Animal Science, and Manufacturing Technology. The school has also partnered with several area districts in the Trailblazer Career Academy to provide additional career pathway opportunities for students. Our Ag program has partnerships with both the University of Kentucky and Centre College.

“As the DAC of KSD, I am afforded the very special opportunity to be an advocate for DHH students as it relates to state assessment to increase testing accessibility for our students. Currently, there are no validated national or state assessments designed solely for DHH students across the United States. It is a challenge for DHH students as assessments have been or geared toward hearing students with an inherent bias. What is the bias? Some are as simple as a question discussing the sound a bird or instrument makes. Others are more subtle with the root bias being vocabulary. You must remember that English is a second language for many of our students and ASL is a conceptually-based language. Vocabulary becomes the gate keeper for our students. In ASL there may be one sign for persistence but in English we know that the word persistence could beget at least 10 other words. It is exciting that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is actively working with our school to better understand the hurdles our students face because they are not being tested in their first language which is ASL. KDE been on campus to observe our students being assessed as well as the time and preparation that needs to occur to coordinate the administration of each test with the use of proctors and interpreters based on each student’s testing accommodations.

“I have two Building Assessment Coordinators (BACs) that support me along with a great team of other staff members - teachers, aides, retired KSD teachers and interpreters. We have a long way to go to improve full access for DHH students, but I am proud to be working in a state that is making big steps in the right direction!”

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 Fall Training and Materials

KAAC Nominations for DAC and BAC of the Year

Minimum High School Graduation Requirements

DAC Spotlight

Important Dates

July 28-Sept. 23:
ACCESS for ELLs Standards Expert Review

Aug. 4:
WIDA Screener Online Q&A Seminar 1 p.m. CT

Aug. 6-7:
Pearson-led Bias Review Sessions

Aug. 7-21:
Data Review Window for Fall Reporting in SDRR

Aug. 11:
WIDA Screener Paper Q&A Seminar 1 p.m. CT

Aug. 13:
Monthly DAC Webcast

Aug. 13:
ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports

Aug. 28:
Nominations for DAC and BAC of the Year Deadline

Previous Topics

ACT Important Information

Bias Review Participants Sought

Social Studies Field Test Training

WIDA Screener Q and A Seminars


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