KSDE Weekly

Upcoming Events, Trainings and Recognition

Kansas State Board of Education July highlights: Board members authorize retired teachers to receive transitional teaching license

The Kansas State Board of Education took action at its July meeting that will help alleviate the shortage of teachers across the state.

State Board members authorized any retired teacher who previously had a Kansas teaching license that has been expired for six months to receive a transitional teaching license for the 2022-2023 school year.

The modified, temporary transitional license allows any educator who has retired into the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) to obtain a license upon filling out an application and passing a background check. While the application processing fee will be waived, a fingerprint card and a $50 fee will be collected for a background check.

During the June 2022 meeting, the board discussed modifying licenses for retirees with an expired license. The KSDE licensure team identified a temporary licensing option for retirees whose teaching licenses expired. The transitional license is available to an educator who had a previous professional or initial license and the license has been expired for six months.

Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson shared that the 2022 Sunflower Summer program has drawn more than 91,000 children and adults from all 105 counties across Kansas. Families can download the Sunflower Summer app and visit more than 90 venues across the state for free. These venues include zoos, museums, libraries, parks and more.

Watson attended the 2022 Sunflower Summer Family Campout at Milford State Park on Thursday, July 7. There were about 105 people, representing about 26 families, who attended the campout. Kansas educators presented sessions on bats, owls and other nocturnal animals in addition to campers participating in archery and kayaking; and enjoying elk burgers, s’mores, a movie and popcorn.

Watson also discussed KSDE’s annual Star Recognition Program, which . KSDE calculates the quantitative measures, which are academic preparation, graduation, postsecondary success and the Commissioner’s Award. Districts apply for the qualitative measures categories, which are social-emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, Individual Plans of Study (IPS) and civic engagement.

The State Board accepted the recommendations of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (EANS) Distribution of Money and approved the district expenditure plans for ESSER III and change requests for ESSER II.

Doug Boline, assistant director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDE) Special Education and Title Services (SETS) team, told State Board members there were 13 ESSER II change applications from districts, representing 38,548 students. The plans included 587 individual budgeted expenditures with a total value of $17.3 million. Out of $343.5 million allocated for ESSER II, $286.4 million (83%) has been allocated, with $57 million (17%) remaining.

There were 16 districts that submitted ESSER III plans, representing 13,814 students. The plans included 336 individual budgeted expenditures with a total value of $18.9 million. Out of the $768.1 million allocated for ESSER III, $152.2 million (20%) has been allocated, with $595.3 million (78%) remaining, $18.4 million (2%) being reviewed and $1.7 million (less than 1%) in change requests.

The State Board approved recommendations on financial literacy standards.

Nathan McAlister, humanities program manager for KSDE’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services (CSAS) team, and Helen Swanson, a CSAS education program consultant, discussed the new standards with State Board members.

The Jump $tart National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education were previously adopted as the financial literacy standards for Kansas. The standards have been updated.

A group of Kansas teachers, higher education specialists and professional organizations from across the state met Feb. 4, March 3 and March 10 to create a new crosswalk document for the financial literacy standards, teacher resources and plan for future professional development opportunities. The new standards were posted for a 30-day public comment session.

Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, provided an update to the State Board on the All in for Kansas Kids work, which is funded by a three-year renewal of the federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG), Birth Through Five Funding.

All in for Kansas Kids work began in 2019. The PDG award funded a comprehensive needs assessment of the programs and services for early care and education across the state. The needs assessment led to the development of a statewide strategic plan.

More than 6,100 Kansans, representing all 105 counties, contributed to creation of the statewide strategic plan. Contributors were parents, caregivers, families, providers and local leaders. Information was gathered in a variety of formats – from in-person meetings to online offerings.

Key concerns reported were workforce and professional development; smooth transitions to pre-K and kindergarten; parent leadership and family engagement; early childhood care and education program capacity, access and quality; universal home visiting models; and safe facilities and environments.

In February 2000, a first draft of the strategic plan was presented to the Children’s Cabinet and the Kansas Early Childhood Stakeholders Group for input.

The strategic plan is broken into seven goal areas:

  • State-level collaboration.
  • Community-level collaboration.
  • Family knowledge and choice.
  • Private sector collaboration.
  • Capacity and access.
  • Workforce.
  • Quality and environments.

State Board of Education members recognized Caleb Smith, principal of Newton High School, Newton Unified School District 373. Smith was named the 2022 Kansas Principal of the Year by the Kansas Principals Association.

The State Board approved the recommendations of the Accreditation Review Council (ARC) and awarded the status of accreditation through the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) to these districts:

  • Rolla USD 217
  • Elkhart USD 218
  • Fowler USD 225
  • North Lyon County USD 251
  • Barber County North USD 254
  • Iola USD 257
  • Graham County USD 281
  • Cedar Vale USD 285
  • Chautauqua County USD 286
  • Kaw Valley USD 321
  • Phillipsburg USD 325
  • Goodland USD 352
  • Belle Plaine USD 357
  • Montezuma USD 371
  • Silver Lake USD 372
  • Sublette USD 374
  • Blue Valley USD 384
  • Rose Hill USD 394
  • Riverton USD 404
  • Lyons USD 405
  • Goessel USD 411
  • Hiawatha USD 415
  • Lyndon USD 421
  • Pike Valley USD 426
  • Troy USD 429
  • Caney Valley USD 436
  • Neodesha USD 461
  • Columbus USD 493
  • Hayden
  • Wichita Diocese


State Board members also received ARC recommendations for 34 additional public systems that will be brought to the board for action in August. These systems are recommended for accredited status:

  • Cheylin USD 103
  • Lakin USD 215
  • Northeast USD 246
  • Cherokee USD 247
  • Girard USD 248
  • South Barber USD 255
  • Clearwater USD 264
  • Goddard USD 265
  • Maize USD 266
  • Stockton USD 271
  • Elk Valley USD 283
  • Salina USD 305
  • Fairfield USD 310
  • Colby USD 315
  • Golden Plains USD 316
  • Logan USD 326
  • Pleasanton USD 344
  • Newton USD 373
  • Smoky Valley USD 400
  • Caney Valley USD 436
  • Skyline USD 438
  • Cherryvale USD 447
  • Leoti USD 467
  • Copeland USD 476
  • Herington USD 487
  • Topeka USD 501
  • Attica USD 511
  • Brookridge Day School
  • Bishop Ward High School
  • St. James Academy
  • Corpus Christi Catholic School
  • Salina Diocese


Two systems are recommended for conditional accreditation:

  • Moscow USD 209
  • Liberal USD 480


Elizabeth Madden, past president of the Kansas Art Education Association (KAEA), and Katie Moore, a KAEA board member, presented to State Board members on why art education is essential.

KAEA represents more than 300 Kansas art educators and advocates on behalf of all Kansas art educators.

The fine arts are designed to build qualities like individuality and soft skills, such as communication, cultural awareness, social awareness, the ability to cooperate and identify and solve unique problems, Madden said.

State Board of Education members approved KSDE submitting proposed amendments to the Emergency Safety Intervention (ESI) regulations K.A.R. 91-42-1 and 91-42-2. Scott Gordon, KSDE’s general counsel, shared the proposed amendments at the State Board’s June meeting.

In November 2018, the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) requested the State Board clarify and, if necessary, amend the definition of seclusion within the current ESI regulations. A group of stakeholders agreed upon proposed changes to the definition of seclusion, and SEAC approved the changes at its January 2019 meeting. KSDE presented proposed changes to the listed regulations in 2019, and the State Board approved submission of the amendments to the Department of Administration and the Office of the Attorney General for review.

During the formal review process, enough significant changes to the proposed amendments were made to warrant additional approval by the State Board to continue the regulatory adoption process with the revised language. KSDE staff members think the revised language better accomplishes the goals of the original amendments.

Dr. Neal Kingston, a professor of educational psychology at The University of Kansas (KU) and director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI) at KU, shared performance levels and cut score recommendations for the new 10th-grade math assessment.

When Kansas adopted its revised math standards in 2018, the revisions were significant enough that psychometricians determined the state assessment was no longer aligned with them. Therefore, AAI began the process of developing a new grade 10 math assessment. With the administration of the new assessment, performance cut scores had to be reset.

The performance levels and cut score recommendations were developed during a virtual standards setting meeting June 29-30. Kansas high school math educators were led through the standards setting process by staff members at The Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI) at KU. A group of Kansas educators worked with AAI to set the three cut scores using the “bookmark method.”

Final cut score recommendations are:

                                    Level 2                  Level 3                  Level 4

Scaled theta             458 (-0.42)               566 (0.66)              683 (1.83)

Reporting scale        273                          300                        329

KSDE’s Beth Fultz, assistant director of Career, Standards and Assessment Services (CSAS), also was on hand to answer questions.

The 10th-grade math assessment is one test form with 56 items, Kingston said. There are two test sessions, with each session taking about one class period. However, the test is untimed.

The Kansas Standards for Mathematics were approved in August 2018. A new 10th-grade mathematics test blueprint was finalized in January 2019, and new items aligned to the 2017 Kansas standards were developed from 2018-2020. All items went through Kansas educator content and bias panel reviews and were operationally administered in 2022.

Similar to the previous version of the test, the 2017 10th-grade math standards are intentionally rigorous by design. While the new test blueprint required new achievement standards to be set, the achievement expectations didn’t change. The goal of the standard setting was to maintain the rigor of the system of standards as previously set.

State Board members approved their budget recommendations for fiscal year 2024, which, will be sent to Gov. Laura Kelly’s office. Deputy Commissioner Dr. Craig Neuenswander discussed the budget items with Board members before a vote was taken on each item.

The State Board approved the launch of 18 schools through the Kansans Can School Redesign Project.

Originally the item was listed on the agenda as a receive only item. However, State Board members voted to suspend the rules so they could vote on the item.

Jay Scott, director of KSDE’s Accreditation and Design team (AD), and Sarah Perryman, coordinator of AD, gave a presentation on the schools ready for launch and also an update on the redesign program.

Eighteen schools representing three cohorts from the Kansans Can School Redesign were ready for launch, Scott said. Those cohorts are Apollo, Apollo II and Apollo III.

In the Apollo cohort, there were 44 schools involved – 29 have launched, six dropped out of the program and nine are still in the process.

Districts and the schools in the Apollo cohort that are “go for launch” in the 2022-2023 school year are:

  • Andover USD 385 - eCademy (Virtual School)
  • Andover USD 385 - South Breeze Elementary School
  • Frontenac USD 249 - Frank Layden Elementary School
  • Kaw Valley USD 321 - Rossville Junior-Senior High School
  • Lawrence USD 497 - Hillcrest Elementary School
  • Perry-Lecompton USD 343 - Perry-Lecompton High School
  • Santa Fe Trail USD 434 - Santa Fe Trail High School
  • Wabaunsee USD 329 - Maple Hill Elementary School


In the Apollo II cohort, there were 15 total – 13 have launched and two dropped out of the program.

Districts and the schools in the Apollo II that are “go for launch” in the 2022-2023 school year are:

  • Clay County USD 379 - Lincoln Elementary School
  • Emporia USD 253 - Village Elementary School

In the Apollo III cohort, there were 12 total – eight have launched and four are still in the process.

Districts and the schools in the Apollo III cohort that are “go for launch” in the 2022-2023 school year are:

  • Columbus USD 493 - Park Elementary School
  • Emporia USD 253 - Grant F. Timmerman Elementary
  • Hutchinson USD 308 - Graber Elementary School
  • Hutchinson USD 308 - Morgan Elementary School
  • Hutchinson USD 308 - Hutchinson Middle School 8
  • Winfield USD 465 - Lowell Elementary School
  • Winfield USD 465 - Whittier Elementary School
  • Winfield USD 465 - Winfield Early Learning Center


Overall, there were 194 schools, representing 72 school districts, that participated in the Kansans Can School Redesign Project. There are 175 schools that are on track to complete the process.

There were six cohorts, which began with Mercury, followed by Gemini I, Gemini II, Apollo, Apollo II and Apollo III.

Laura Downey, the executive director of the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE), gave a presentation to the Board on the organization.

KACEE provides professional learning for both preservice and in-service pre-K-12 educators using nationally recognized curriculum materials aligned to Kansas College and Career Ready standards. These materials focus on critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills. In fiscal year 2022, 548 educators received professional learning and 217,768 students were reached.

KACEE coordinates the Kansas Green Schools program, which provides schools and districts free tools and resources needed to engage students in quality, nonbiased environmental education across the curriculum using the facility and grounds as opportunities for educational experiences.

KACEE also offers an Environmental Education Conference for educators to learn, network and share ideas each year.

Hayley Steinlage, a KSDE senior education research analyst on the CSAS team, and Dr. Watson shared data from the 2021 Kansans Can Success Tour with State Board of Education members.

In 2015, Watson led the Kansas Children Kansas’ Future Tour across the state. He went back out in 2021 for the Kansans Can Success Tour.

During the 2015 tour, community respondents cited nonacademic skills as characteristics of a successful 24-year-old 70% of the time, and cited academic skills 23% of the time. Health, mental and physical were cited 3% of the time as characteristics of a successful 24-year-old, credentials were cited 2% of the time and success was cited 2% of the time if the 24-year-old was employed.

The business and industry focus groups cited nonacademic skills with greater frequency than the community groups, Watson said.

The community conversation tour in 2015 took place so parents, educators, school board members, higher education representatives, legislators and members of the business community could discuss the future they wanted for Kansas children and the role they wanted Kansas education to play in supporting that envisioned future.

Kansans in 2015 identified these items as what they wanted from their schools:

  • Quality preschool, including all-day kindergarten.
  • Changes to address school culture.
  • New dynamic roles for counselors and social workers.
  • Collaboration between schools and businesses.
  • Reorganizing schools around students, not around the system.
  • Community service needs to play a bigger role.


The second tour was conducted as a follow-up to the 2015 tour and to make sure Kansans still supported the direction they issued in 2015.

In 2015, Watson made about 27 stops. In 2021, there were 50 stops.

Ninety-three percent of the 2021 respondents strongly agreed or agreed that skills represented on the Kansans Can Competency Wheel are the skills students need to be successful as an adult. Five percent were neutral, and 2% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Across the state, Kansans overwhelming agreed that we are prioritizing the right skills and strategies to produce successful high school students and adults, Steinlage said.

Five core themes emerged from the community feedback:

  • Community relations and engagement.
  • Leadership and policy.
  • Educator-centered support.
  • Systemwide needs.
  • Enhance student learning and success.


Community relations and engagement is providing opportunities for community engagement and support of schools to enhance opportunities for students through:

  • Communication with families.
  • Partnerships with businesses.
  • Collaboration across districts.
  • Involvement from the community.


Educator-centered support includes:

  • Updating and enhancing teacher preparation programs.
  • Encouraging autonomy in the classroom.
  • Hiring and retaining qualified staff and offering better pay.
  • Providing continued relevant professional development.
  • Increasing educator time for instruction, implementation and communication.


Work to address systemwide needs in order to support students and staff by:

  • Increasing funding to enhance programs and instruction, offer pre-K and increase salaries.
  • Hiring qualified teachers, paras, counselors, social workers and allowing for reduced-class size.
  • Prioritizing the mental health and social-emotional needs of staff members and students.


Leadership and policies that support educators and enable system change through:

  • Clear guidance and communication.
  • Flexibility in instruction, assessment and curriculum requirements.
  • Adopting policies including those related to accreditation, licensure, graduation and how credits are awarded.


Enhancing and increasing opportunities for diverse student learning and assessment through:

  • Opportunities for internships, job shadow, work-based learning, etc.
  • Diversifying ways in which learning is assessed.
  • Reducing emphasis on traditional testing.
  • Adapting school structures like class size, schedules and grading.
  • Supporting educators in implementing changes.
  • Opportunities for individualized learning.


Though there were some unique needs shared, overall Kansans reported clear and consistent needs for supporting schools regardless of geographic location, board region and district size, Watson said.

The Kansas State Board of Education will meet next Aug. 9-10 at the Landon State Office Building, 900 S.W. Jackson, Suite 102, Topeka.

Posted: Jul 15, 2022,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

Theme picker

Copyright 2024 by Kansas State Department of Education | 900 SW Jackson St. | Topeka, KS 66612 Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use  |  System Maintenance Notices  |  Open Records (PDF)

The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. (more information...)

To accommodate people with disabilities, on request, auxiliary aides and services will be provided and reasonable modifications to policies and programs will be made. To request accommodations or for more information please contact the Office of General Counsel at gc@ksde.org or by 785-296-3201.