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Amendments to ESI regulations approved by State Board of Education

Amendments to ESI regulations approved by State Board of Education

Members also discussed ELA standards, received presentation from Heatherstone Elementary first-grade class

After hearing from individuals in support of and opposition to proposed amendments to Emergency Safety Interventions (ESI) regulations, the Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday, May 10, unanimously approved the amendments. 

Emergency Safety Interventions include the use of seclusion and restraint when a student presents a reasonable and immediate danger of physical harm to self or others, according to the Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDE) website, www.ksde.org

State Board of Education members met in Topeka on Tuesday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 10. 

In 2013, the State Board adopted ESI administrative regulations, which defined and set standards for the use of seclusion. State Board members in 2019 authorized KSDE to submit revisions to those administrative regulations through a formal adoption process to further amend definitions and standards for the use of seclusion.  

As part of the formal adoption process, the State Board of Education held a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on May 9. Ten people signed up to speak during the hearing and others submitted written testimony. Action on the ESI regulation amendments happened on Wednesday, May 10. 

Changes to the regulations include: 

  • Expanding seclusion to include instances in which all or most other students and staff members are removed from a room when there is a threat of a student harming himself/herself or others. 
  • Clarifying that seclusion may occur even if a student isn’t completely alone. 

KSDE will update its guidance and provide a means to help schools and parents determine whether seclusion has occurred, said KSDE’s General Counsel Scott Gordon. 

The Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) in written testimony stated that it supports the need for clear regulations to “ensure the health, safety and dignity of all students while at school.” However, KASB stated, the organization was concerned that the proposed amendments “would not only remove the clarity currently in the regulations but also prevent schools from utilizing necessary and effective intervention strategies that assist in de-escalating student behaviors.” 

KASB went on to state that the added defined terms are overly broad and could impede proper implementation or reporting. 

“We encourage the board to not make changes to the current regulations that could limit schools’ ability to implement successful and necessary de-escalation and behavior intervention strategies that prevent the need for ESI to be used,” KASB wrote in its conclusion. 

The Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) submitted written testimony in agreement with KASB’s position. 

Also on Tuesday, Beth Fultz, director of KSDE’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services (CSAS) team, along with Joann McRell, humanities program manager with CSAS, Dr. Laurie Curtis, early literacy/dyslexia program manager for CSAS, and LuAnn Fox, a KSDE teacher leader consultant, reviewed updated English language arts (ELA) standards with State Board members. 

The purpose of ELA standards is to provide instructional guidance on what students should know and be able to do in the disciplines of reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

A public review of ELA standards took place in November 2022. There were some identified areas for improvement in the present standards, including structured literacy - semantics, syntax and morphology. 

Revisions to the ELA standards: 

  • Reflect the Kansas dyslexia initiative by incorporating the Science of Reading and adopting structured literacy as the explicit, evidence-based model for reading instruction. 
  • Provide clarity, common language and alignment across grade levels. 

Zoom meetings where members of the public can give feedback on the updated ELA standards are currently being scheduled. Information on how to attend the Zoom meetings will be published on the KSDE website, shared through KSDE listservs and included in the KSDEweekly newsletter. 

Public comments collected from the Zoom meetings will be shared with State Board of Education members at their June meeting, and the ELA standards will return to the board that same month for possible approval. 

Members of the board approved strategic, targeted State Board of Education goals for May 2023 through December 2024. 

Goals and some of the outcomes of those goals include: 

  • Enhance the number and quality of educators in every district. 
  • Increase the number of teacher candidates in Kansas. 
  • Develop a comprehensive educator-leader program. 
  • To enhance each student for postsecondary opportunities and success. 
  • Decrease the percentage of students scoring in level 1 on the Kansas State Assessment and increase the percentage of students scoring in levels 3 and 4 on the Kansas State Assessments. 
  • Increase graduation rate to 95%. 
  • Increase postsecondary effectiveness to 70-75%. 
  • Align school district budgeting with improvement needs for each student as identified by the building needs assessment. 
  • Enhance engagement and partnerships with families, communities, business and policy stakeholders. 
  • Families and caregivers feel equipped and welcome to engage in their student’s success. 
  • Increase partnerships with businesses and community organizations to promote student success and career development. 
  • Provide a safe and secure environment to attend school. 
  • Increase physical safety in all school districts. 
  • Increase cybersecurity safety in all school districts. 

Board members accepted recommendations from the Commissioner’s Task Force on Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Emergency Assistance Nonpublic Schools (EANS) Distribution of Money to approve ESSER II change requests and ESSER III expenditure plans for use of federal COVID-19 relief funds.     

Doug Boline, assistant director of KSDE’s Special Education and Title Services (SETS) team, said there were eight ESSER II change applications from districts, representing 11,016 students. The plan includes 122 individual budgeted expenditure items totaling $8.6 million. Out of $343.5 million allocated for ESSER II, $341.1 million (99%) has been approved by the State Board with $.4 million (less than 1%) remaining.   

Eighteen districts submitted ESSER III plans, representing 13,606 students. The plans included 362 individual budgeted expenditures totaling $13.3 million being considered eligible expenditures. Twenty-six districts submitted ESSER III change plans, representing 29,006 students. The change plans included 782 individual budgeted expenditures totaling $37.9 million being considered eligible expenditures and $14,500 considered ineligible expenditures.    

Out of $768.1 million allocated for ESSER III, $704.1 million (92%) has been approved for allocation, with $46.6 million (6%) remaining.  

First-grade students from Heatherstone Elementary School, Olathe Unified School District 233, shared a presentation with State Board members on why Kansas farmers and agriculture are important. The first graders spent a year using project-based learning to research agriculture. 

Board members heard from Sukesh Kamesh, a senior at Kingman High School, Kingman USD 331, who is a 2023 U.S. Senate Youth Kansas Delegate. Kamesh shared what he experienced during the program’s Washington Week and what his future plans include. 

Madison Coyne, a student at Blue Valley West High School, Blue Valley USD 229, is also a 2023 U.S. Senate Youth Kansas Delegate.  

Quintin Hoppe, a student at Pleasant Ridge High School, Easton USD 449, and Jeremiah Rather, a student at Andover High School, Andover USD 385, were named 2023 U.S. Senate Youth Kansas Alternates. Coyne, Hoppe and Rather weren’t able to attend the May State Board of Education meeting to be recognized. 

The U.S. Senate Youth program for high school juniors and seniors was established in 1962 by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Qualified students must show a desire to serve others in a leadership role and have high academic achievements, high aspirations for college and career and be self-motivated. They also must demonstrate an interest in government, history and politics. 

Two delegates and two alternates are selected from each state every year. The Hearst Foundation provides each delegate with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship and a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C. 

Natalie Clark, assistant director of KSDE’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services team, and Deputy Commissioner Dr. Ben Proctor discussed Individual Plans of Study (IPS) with the State Board of Education. An IPS is both the product a student develops and a process the school implements to guide students in developing future plans, Clark said. A student’s IPS is developed cooperatively between the student, school staff members and family members. 

There are four minimum components of a student’s IPS: 

  • A graduated series of strength finders and career interest inventories to help students identify preferences toward career clusters. 
  • Eighth- through 12th-grade course-builder function with course selections based on career interests. 
  • A general postsecondary plan (workforce, military, certification program, two- or four-year college). 
  • A portable electronic portfolio. 

All students, beginning in middle school, begin developing an IPS based on their career interests, Clark said. 

State Board of Education members approved the recommendations of the Accreditation Review Council (ARC) and accredited 13 public systems and one private system through Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA). Accreditation of systems began in the 2017-2018 school year and accredits systems as opposed to buildings. It is a five-year cycle, and systems were able to select what year they would begin their cycle. 

To date, 183 systems have completed their first cycle of KESA, and 179 systems are completing their first cycle during the 2022-2023 school year. There are currently 362 systems in KESA, 286 public systems and 75 private systems. 

The ARC reviews a system’s accountability and narrative report, as well as the Outside Visitation Team’s (OVT) report, and makes an accreditation recommendation to the State Board. The OVT is an external collaborator that makes the report to ARC. 

The ARC can make a recommendation of: 

  • Accredited – Evidence of student success, a quality of process and in compliance. 
  • Conditionally accredited – Insufficient evidence of either student success or a quality process and in compliance. 
  • Not accredited – Insufficient evidence of student success and a quality process or not in compliance. 

The State Board approved the ARC’s recommendation to accredit the following systems: 

  • Western Plains USD 106 
  • Doniphan West USD 111 
  • Barnes USD 223 
  • Clifton-Clyde USD 224 
  • Uniontown USD 235 
  • Valley Falls USD 338 
  • Osawatomie USD 367 
  • Hoxie USD 412 
  • Osage City USD 420 
  • Hoisington USD 431 
  • Easton USD 449 
  • Lansing USD 469 
  • Parsons USD 503 
  • Linn Lutheran 

The State Board approved the ARC’s recommendations and conditionally accredited the following systems: 

  • LeRoy-Gridley USD 245 
  • Kiowa County USD 422 

State Board members also received 41 ARC recommendations (39 public systems, one special purpose system and one private system) to consider for their June meeting. 

ARC recommends that the following systems be accredited: 

  • Erie-Galesburg USD 101 
  • Rock Hills USD 107 
  • Central Plains USD 112 
  • Greeley County USD 200 
  • Piper USD 203 
  • Moscow USD 209 (under redetermination) 
  • Minneola USD 219 
  • Ashland USD 220 
  • Meade USD 226 
  • Smith Center USD 237 
  • Wallace County USD 241 
  • Palco USD 269 
  • Chase County USD 284 
  • Quinter USD 293 
  • St. Francis Community USD 297 
  • Sylvan Grove USD 299 
  • Southeast of Saline USD 306 
  • Nickerson – South Hutchinson USD 309 
  • Haven USD 312 
  • Ellsworth USD 327 
  • Mission Valley USD 330 
  • Cunningham USD 332 
  • Wellington USD 353 
  • Altoona-Midway USD 387 
  • Russel County USD 407 
  • Moundridge USD 423 
  • Victoria USD 432 
  • Sedgwick USD 439 
  • Scott County USD 466 
  • Arkansas City USD 470 
  • Chapman USD 473 
  • Crest USD 479 
  • Dighton USD 482 
  • Kismet-Plains USD 483 
  • Flinthills USD 492 
  • Lawrence USD 497 
  • Lewis USD 502 
  • Baxter Springs USD 508 
  • Parsons State Hospital 
  • Bethany-Lutheran 

Oswego USD 504 was recommended for conditional accreditation, and Wellington Christian Academy withdrew from the KESA process. 

McLouth High School students and staff members presented on FFA in McLouth USD 342 and the USD 342 shop classes. 

Nicole Hinrichsen, an ag teacher at McLouth High School, Kennedy Coffin, a senior, and Makade Daniels, a sophomore, spoke during the presentation about the ag classes at the school. Courses offered through the AG Power pathway include exploratory ag, agriscience, welding I and welding II, and ag mechanics. 

Jeff Hamm, president of the Hamm Foundation, shared how the foundation has partnered with McLouth High School. Hamm Foundation, established in 1997, dedicates “its resources solely toward transforming the infrastructure and construction industry by supporting its talent pipeline,” according to the foundation’s website. 

Board members approved Preschool-Aged, At-Risk programs for the 2023-2024 school year. 

The State Board of Education also approved grant awards for the Kansas Preschool Pilot for 2023-2024 and for Kansas Parents as Teachers for 2023-2024, both subject to legislative approval of funding. If a program is unable to spend the awarded funds, KSDE is authorized to reallocate funding among programs. 

On Wednesday, May 10, State Board members recognized the three 2022 Kansas Blue Ribbon Schools. The National Blue Ribbons Schools Program recognizes schools that have students achieving at very high levels or are making significant progress in closing achievement gaps among different subgroups of students. 

There were 297 schools across the country designated as 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools, including the three in Kansas. 

Kansas schools that received the designation are Cottonwood Elementary School, Andover USD 385; Morris Hill Elementary, Geary County USD 475; and R.L. Wright Elementary School, Sedgwick USD 439. 

The Blue Ribbon program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools in one of two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.  

Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among the state’s highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students.  

In the high-performing category, schools are recognized for being among the state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.  

All Kansas schools were recognized in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category. 

Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed about 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. 

The State Board approved KSDE’s application to establish the Kansas Registered Teacher Apprenticeship Program, which can help address teacher shortages across the state. 

Shane Carter, director of KSDE’s Teacher Licensure, gave a quick overview of the apprenticeship program before the vote. House Bill 2292, which takes effect July 1, requires the Commissioner of Education and the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate and develop the Kansas educator registered apprenticeship grant program and obtain necessary approval and registration of education apprenticeship programs as provided by state and federal law. 

The program provides another grow-your-own option for promising teacher candidates identified by local school districts, Carter said.  

Once accepted into the apprenticeship program, the individual becomes a paid teaching assistant to the lead classroom teacher while earning a bachelor’s degree from a partnering, approved teacher preparation program.  

KSDE’s Teacher Licensure team has been meeting since May 2022 with higher education partners, district partners and other professional education organizations to explore the idea of creating a Registered Teacher Apprenticeship Program, Carter told State Board members at the April meeting. 

Now that the State Board has approved the agency’s application, it will be submitted to the Kansas Office of Apprenticeship for review and approval, Carter said. 

KSDE hopes to establish a pilot for the 2023-2024 school year. 

The State Board suspended its rules so it could act on substitute teaching licenses. Originally on the agenda, Board members were slated to only receive an update on substitute licenses. After Carter provided different options available to them, Board members voted to suspend the rules and then voted to extend the Expanded Modified Emergency Substitute License for two years. Board members asked that KSDE continue to collect data to evaluate the success of the license’s success. 

At the December 2022 meeting, the Board approved an extension of the Expanded Emergency Substitute License through June 30, 2023. 

The Expanded Modified Emergency Substitute License requirements include a high school diploma; completion of Greenbush substitute training modules; background check; and an application and fee. The license has the same limitation as an emergency substitute with 60 college credit hours, meaning the licensee is limited to 25 days in the same assignment and no more than 75 days during a semester. 

Data shows that the Expanded Modified Emergency Substitute license has been used mainly to serve positions in elementary classrooms, followed by secondary-level classrooms, middle-level classrooms and special education classrooms. On two surveys conducted by KSDE, more than 90% of survey participants recommended continuing the Expanded Modified Emergency Substitute License. 

The two other options Carter mentioned to Board members are ceasing the Expanded Modified Emergency Substitute License or implementing the license permanently. 

The State Board of Education will meet next June 13-14 at the Landon State Office Building, 900 S.W. Jackson, Suite 102, in Topeka. 

Posted: May 11, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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