Ann Marie Bush, Communications Specialist (785) 296-7921
Highlights from the Kansas State Board of Education March meeting
During a March 8 meeting, Kansas State Board of Education members acted to submit an addition of suicide awareness and prevention training into a regulation that will be sent to the Department of Administration and the Office of the Attorney General for review.
The State Board in February received a proposed amendment to the current accreditation regulations that incorporates suicide awareness and training for all school employees and the development of crisis plans for each building.
Kansas State Department of Education staff members proposed that the regulation, as amended, be submitted to the Department of Administration and the Office of the Attorney General, which will review the proposed amendment. After the two agencies complete their review, the State Board will set a public hearing date for comments on the proposed regulations.
Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson gave board members an update on work being done to support the board’s new vision for Kansas education. He likened the early stages of the vision to Project Mercury, the first human spaceflight program of the United States.
Watson also shared details about the US-36 highway tour he and board members Deena Horst and Sally Cauble went on in February. He said the tour really drove home the fact that there is a shortage of teachers in the state. Watson will put together a Blue Ribbon Task Force to tackle the issue of teacher shortage, he told board members. The task force, comprised of 24 people, will report back to the board with recommendations at the July board meeting.
Scott Myers, director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s Teacher Licensure and Accreditation team, presented information on the Higher Education Licensure Program Standards: Art, Gifted, Music, Instrumental Music and Vocal Music.
The Art (Pre-K-12) Standards committee members:
The Gifted Standards Committee (K-6, 5-8, 6-12, PreK-12):
The Musical, Instrumental Music and Vocal Music (all Pre-K-12):
Matt Fearing spoke about the program Jobs for America’s Graduates Kansas. JAG has been around for more than 30 years. It is a partnership between schools, students and the business community that not only provides the academic and emotional support that at-risk students need, but it prepares them with real-world job skills that enhance their sense of self-growth and provides the business community with skilled employees who are ready and eager to join productive society upon graduation.
The high school graduation rate within the first year of those who participated in JAG Kansas was established (in 2012) was 93 percent. Since its inception of the program in Kansas in 2012, there have been more than 3,000 students served. JAG Kansas is now in 61 schools within 29 public school districts across Kansas, Fearing said. JAG Kansas serves freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors in a classroom setting with either an Alternative Education or Multi-Year program. It also serves sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students in a classroom setting with the Middle School program.
In the afternoon, board members heard from Kansas administrators who have received prestigious awards. Those speaking were:
Each person shared information about the positive and unique things they are doing in their schools.
Later in the afternoon, board members acted on the appointment of a State Board of Education member to the Kansas State High School Activities Association Board of Directors. State Board of Education members Carolyn Wims-Campbell and Kathy Busch are currently serving. Wims-Campbell’s term expires June 30, 2016. She has served six years and isn’t eligible for another term. Busch will remain on the KSHSAA Board through 2017.
Busch nominated board member Jim Porter to the KSHSAA Board. Wims-Campbell made a motion for Busch to serve on the executive board. Both nominations were approved.
After the nominations, Jessica Noble, education program consultant for KSDE, discussed proposed requirements and monitoring plans for Kansas Virtual Education and Kansas Diploma Completion programs.
The Kansas Charter and Virtual Education Advisory Council has recently updated the Kansas Virtual Education requirements, which were last updated in 2008. The Advisory Council is proposing that the monitoring of virtual schools and programs change from annual monitoring to every three years, using a risk-based monitoring model. Additionally, KSDE staff convened stakeholders to form the Kansas Diploma Completion Advisory Council, which was a one-year endeavor to create requirements and a monitoring plan for Diploma Completion programs that use an alternative model. This will be the first time that these programs will have established requirements and an approval process with KSDE. A vote for approving the documents will take place at the April State Board of Education meeting.
The key changes to requirements:
On Wednesday, board members and KSDE staff members toured the Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe and the Kansas School for the Blind in Kansas City, Kan.
The next meeting of the KSBE is scheduled for April 19-20 in Topeka
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