The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) is dedicated to the academic success of all students and will support districts with Title I Priority and Focus Schools through the Kansas Learning Network (KLN).
Prior to July 2012, KSDE contracted with Cross & Joftus, LLC (C&J) to implement the KLN Model in order to support districts and schools that were labeled as “On Improvement”. These districts and schools had been struggling to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. C&J worked collaboratively with KSDE and districts over a four year period of time to positively impact systemic reform.
In May 2012 KSDE announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Kansas Learning Network that would build upon the successes realized over the past four years and also integrate the seven Turnaround Principles and other components of the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act waiver that Kansas was in the process of applying for with the United States Department of Education (USDoE).
On July 11, 2012, KSDE was notified that the request for a waiver in implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act was approved. KSDE created a position for a School Improvement Coordinator, and with assistance from KLN Network Service Providers (NSP), the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) and the Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) began implementing the updated KLN beginning September 2012 with the goal of supporting districts with Title 1 Priority and Focus Schools for the next three years as described in the Kansas ESEA Waiver.
The KLN process begins with a comprehensive District Needs Assessment (DNA) and School Needs Assessments (SNA) conducted at each Priority and Focus school within the district. Surveys of staff, students and parents, focus group interviews as well as classroom observations are part of the assessment. Data from the DNA results in a report to the district that is then used to develop the District and School Action Plans which will be implemented over a three year period of time. The development of the action plans is a collaborative process that includes district, school, KSDE, NSP, TASN and the Kansas Parent Information Resource Center (KPIRC). The process of developing the action plans includes determining vetted resources that will be necessary for effective and sustainable implementation of the action plan at both the district and school levels.
KSDE continues to work with Districts that were part of the KLN Cohorts 1-5 that do not have Focus or Priority Schools. In order to continue the systemic improvement already underway, school and district teams can contact the KSDE School Improvement Team, or enter a request via the website at www.ksdetasn.org
All technical assistance offered will support proper implementation of the Kansas Common Core Standards, the Kansas Multi Tier System of Supports, the new accreditation system, the Kansas Educator Evaluation Protocol and previous KLN efforts.