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Kansas State Board of Education: April highlights

Posted: Apr 20, 2018
Author: Ann Bush

Kansas State Board of Education members on Tuesday, April 17, learned the names of 19 school districts that will take part in Gemini II: The Space Walk Begins, which is the next round of the Kansans Can School Redesign Project.

The announcement was made in Topeka during the April board meeting by Kansas State Department of Education employees Tammy Mitchell, elementary school redesign specialist, and Jay Scott, secondary school redesign specialist.

KSDE in February 2018 began accepting applications for the Gemini II Project. With the announcement of the 19 districts, there are 47 districts and 104 schools taking part in the Kansans Can School Redesign Project.

The districts taking part in the Gemini II Project, along with the elementary and secondary schools they selected, are:

  • Andover Unified School District (USD) 385: Meadowlark Elementary, Robert Martin Elementary, Cottonwood Elementary and Andover Central Middle.
  • Caldwell USD 360: Caldwell Elementary and Caldwell Secondary.
  • Cedar Vale USD 285: Cedar Vale Elementary and Cedar Vale Memorial High.
  • Clay County USD 379: Garfield Elementary, Wakefield Elementary, Clay Center Community Middle, Clay Center Community High and Wakefield High.
  • Fredonia USD 484: Lincoln Elementary and Fredonia Junior/Senior High.
  • Halstead-Bentley USD 440: Bentley Primary, Halstead Middle and Halstead High.
  • Haven USD 312: Haven Grade School, Yoder Charter School, Haven Middle and Haven High.
  • Haviland USD 474: Haviland Grade School and Haviland Junior High.
  • Lakin USD 215: Lakin Grade School, Lakin Middle and Lakin High.
  • Little River-Windom USD 444: Windom Elementary and Little River Junior/Senior High.
  • Lyons USD 405: Central Elementary and Lyons High.
  • Neodesha USD 461: North Lawn Elementary, Heller Elementary and Neodesha Middle/High.
  • Osawatomie USD 367: Swenson Early Childhood Education Center (PreK-K), Trojan Elementary (1-5) and Osawatomie Middle.
  • Peabody-Burns USD 398: Peabody-Burns Elementary and Peabody-Burns Middle/High.
  • Southern Lyon USD 252: Neosho Rapids Elementary and Hartford Junior-Senior High.
  • Stafford USD 349: Stafford Elementary and Stafford Middle/High.
  • Whitewater-Remington USD 206: Remington Elementary and Remington Middle/High.
  • Wichita USD 259: Cessna Elementary and Chester Lewis Academic Center.
  • Winfield USD 465: Country View Elementary, Irving Elementary and Winfield Middle.

The districts had to be willing to launch a new school redesign in the 2019-2020 school year and be willing to serve as a demonstration site for other districts in Kansas to study, learn from and visit.

KSDE’s Joan Peterson, consultant for driver’s education, gave board members an overview of the Kansas Curricular Standards for driver education. KSDE’s Career Standards and Assessment Services (CSAS) team provides model curricular standards in a variety of content areas, including driver education. The standards are reviewed about every seven years.

A committee of 14 writers and reviewers was assembled to help review the driver education standards.

KSDE’s Beth Fultz, assistant director of CSAS, provided a brief update of the status of the 2018 state assessments. The testing window began March 13 and ends April 27. As of noon on April 13, 75 percent of the testing was completed, Fultz said.

English Language Arts (ELA) and math assessments are given to students in grades third through eighth and 10th. Science assessments are given to students in grades fifth, eighth and 11th grades, and history/government and social studies assessments are given to students in grades sixth, eighth and 11th, Fultz told the board members.

An alternate assessment, called Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), was administered to 3,000 students in ELA, math and science. More than 32,000 testing sessions were completed as of noon April 13.

The Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment (KELPA) 2 was given Feb. 1 through March 9 to students in kindergarten through 12th-grade in four domains, reading, writing, speaking and listening, according to Fultz.

The 2018 interim assessments included predictive assessments in ELA and math, which had testing windows in October and December 2017 and February 2018, and mini tests in ELA and math with a testing window of September through May.

The target release date for ELA, math, science and KELPA2 results is May 7. ELA and math score reports will include Lexile and Quantile Measures, and tenth grade will include an ACT predictive range.

Eighth-grade ACT predictive ranges will be available in October 2018, Fultz said.

Board members learned the names of 58 Kansas Career and Technical Education (CTE) Scholars. KSDE’s Stacy Smith, assistant director of CSAS, shared information about the CTE Scholars program and the names of those being honored this year. They are from 10 districts across the state. The program recognizes outstanding CTE students who have demonstrated leadership and exemplify the characteristics of a successful high school graduate.

KSDE’s Don Gifford and Jessica Noble updated the board about civic engagement in schools, including the launch of the Civic Advocacy Network Award. The first-ever Civic Engagement Conference took place Feb. 19 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka. There were 324 attendees, including 159 students in grades sixth through 12th. There were 54 presenters and 32 breakout sessions.

Diane Bosilevac, a teacher at Olathe North High School, Olathe Unified School District 233, and students from Olathe North High discussed their work around diversity, equality, acceptance and respect for all students.

Reps. Valdenia Winn and John Alcala and Christina Valdivia-Alcala, director of the Tonantzin Society, presented information as a follow-up to a proposal they made during the summer of 2017 when they shared an outline for ethnic studies curriculum development. During that presentation, Winn and Alcala discussed a four-week seminar for middle and high school teachers that will enhance professional competence in Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.

“A Culturally Relevant Pedagogy is a student-centered approach to teaching in which the students’ unique cultural strengths are identified and nurtured to promote student achievement and a sense of well-being about the students’ cultural place in the world,” according to information provided by Winn and Alcala.

The seminar has been scheduled for June 25-July 21, 2018, at Washburn University. Up to fourteen middle and high school faculty members, who had to apply, will participate in the seminar.

Board members also:

  • Approved renewal of a contract with Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond to provide legal services for the board from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. There won’t be an increase in rates.
  • Discussed education legislation with Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis.
  • Appointed board members Kathy Busch and Jim Porter to the Governor’s Education Council, which was established March 7, 2018, by Gov. Jeff Colyer. Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson and Dr. Blake Flanders, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, are co-chairing the Council.
  • Voted to suspend the current Education System Coordinating Council while the Governor’s Education Council is active. The Education System Coordinating Council was created by the approval of the State Board of Education on Sept. 19, 2012, as a way to sustain cooperation between higher education and K-12 upon the end of the P-20 Education Council. The newly created Governor’s Education Council reintroduces the work of the Former P-20 Council and overlaps with the work of the Education System Coordinating Council.
  • Received a report on the Professional Practices Commission’s process and review of licensure cases from KSDE’s Kelli Broers, assistant general counsel. In July 2014, the State Board of Education gave the Office of the General Counsel discretion to clear applicants for teacher licensure using the framework suggested by that office

On Wednesday, April 18, the board traveled to Olathe to tour the Kansas State School for the Blind and Kansas City, Kansas, to tour the Kansas State School for the Blind.

The next board meeting will take place May 8 and 9 at the Landon State Office Building in Topeka.


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