For Immediate Release

January 23, 2014

Denise Kahler, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876


Highlights of the January Kansas State Board of Education Meeting


TOPEKA – As part of Senate Bill 155, the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) is asked to submit a recommendation to the legislature regarding the use of Individual Plan of Study (IPS) for students in grades eight through 12.  Prior to submitting its recommendation, the State Board reviewed findings from a Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) survey of schools regarding the number of districts that have implemented the use of Individual Plans of Study (IPS).  Two hundred-sixty nine districts responded to the survey, which constitutes 94 percent of all Kansas districts.  Of those districts responding, 88 percent reported currently using, implementing or revising IPS for their students. Nearly half of those responding reported that all high school students in their district currently have an IPS.   Of those districts not offering IPS, reasons included:  staffing limitations, funding limitations, elective offering limitations and time limitations.  Counselors Bill Patterson of Lyndon USD 421 and Diann Faflick of Wichita Public Schools shared their respective experiences with IPS, offering both small-district and large-district perspectives.  The State Board voted to approve submitting the following recommendation to the legislature: “The Kansas State Department of Education strongly recommends that all districts implement Individual Plans of Study for all students in grades eight through 12.”


The State Board voted to adopt the Kansas Curricular Standards for Theatre Education presented by the KSDE Theatre Standards Committee during the December 2013 board meeting.  The Theatre Standards more closely correspond to the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards and align the National Theatre Standards as they have in the past. 


KSDE School Finance Director Craig Neuenswander introduced the Kansas Superintendent of the Year and Kansas Principals of the Year as selected and recognized by their peers. Each honoree shared with the Board a little about the educational work in their districts. This year’s recipients are:


Mr. Paul Erickson, Principal of Inman Elementary School, Inman USD 448, has been named the 2014 National Distinguished Principal by the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals.  Mr. Erickson said there are three things that make all schools effective:  Culture, Collaboration and Innovation.


Mrs. Kristin “Kristy” Ellis, Principal of Doniphan West Middle School, Doniphan West Schools USD 111, has been named the 2013-2014 Kansas Middle School Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators.  Mrs. Ellis shared that their teachers and students are the reason their school is a huge success. 


Mr. Scott Shelton, Principal of Emporia High School, Emporia USD 253, has been named the 2013-2014 Kansas High School Principal of the Year by MetLife and the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals.  Mr. Shelton shared that Emporia is a city that values and supports education.  Also, they are very fortunate to have Emporia State University and Flint Hill Technical School so close to share their resources with their school and students.


Dr. Rick Doll, Superintendent of Lawrence USD 497, has been named the 2014 Kansas Superintendent of the Year by the Kansas School Superintendents Association.  Dr. Doll shared that their focus on equity and excellence is a big reason why their district has been able to make gains. 


Penny Lawson, 2012-2013 chair of the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC), presented the council’s Annual Report to the Board and shared that the role of SEAC is to advise the State Board of Education and to make sure the needs of students with exceptionalities are met. Members of SEAC were present and introduced themselves. 


KSDE Information Technology team members Kelly Holder and John Baranski presented information on the Kansas High School Feedback Reports, which were created to provide high schools and districts with information about the success of their former students in postsecondary education and workforce activities.  The reports are part of the System for Educational Enterprise in Kansas (SEEK). SEEK’s audience includes superintendents, principals, school counselors and district-level administrators who are able to analyze trend data about the success of their former students. Holder and Baranski explained how the data is collected, further noting that trend indicators provide insight into academic performance, attendance, and how students compare to their peers.


Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB) Superintendent Madeleine Burkindine and Jon Harding, KSSB’s new Director of Instructional Services, outlined a strategic plan for KSSB that will use technology and distance mentoring to increase services to the visually impaired. The proposal calls for moving from a direct service model to a capacity building model with a goal of expanding the reach of services, especially in rural areas. This refined approach is designed to align with the State Board goals and college and career readiness. One suggestion from the Board was to form a statewide advisory council to help assess needs. A similar strategic plan for the Kansas State School for the Deaf is anticipated to be presented for the Board’s consideration in March.


In observance of Citizenship Day, Jay Scott introduced eight state officers representing Kansas Career and Technical Student Organizations to share remarks with the Board. These student leaders described how their various programs help them develop skills, gain knowledge about career interests, provide support to their communities, and have a positive impact on others. Presenters were Colton Aarstad, Newton High School, Kansas Business Professionals of America(BPA) State President; Sai Vasam, Blue Valley West High School, DECA; Sarah Niederee, Great Bend High School, Kansas Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State President; Cody Holliday, Kansas State University, Kansas Future Farmers of America (FFA) Treasurer; Jonathan Peuchen, Southeast of Saline High School, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State President; John Allen, Hutchinson High School, HOSA – Future Health Professionals State President; Victoria Eskridge-Lybarger, Winfield High School, Skills USA High School President; Matthew Parodi, Louisburg High School, Technology Student Association (TSA) State President.


National Association of State Boards of Education’s (NASBE) new Executive Director Kristen Amundson addressed the Board as part of her “State to State Board to Board” visits. Amundson invited Kansas to participate in NASBE’s new Chiefs and Chairs initiative, which is designed to improve communication and collaboration between chiefs and chairs of state education departments and boards. Amundson also presented what NASBE believes to be two issues on the horizon that need to be addressed: Implementing and assessing the new standards and data privacy.


The next meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education is scheduled for February 11-12 in room 102 of the Landon State Office Building.