The Kansas State Board of Education during its February meeting approved recommendations from the School Mental Health Advisory Council and instructed the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) to take necessary action to put each recommendation into place.
KSDE’s Myron Melton, an education program consultant with Special Education and Title Services (SETS), discussed the recommendations with board members. The advisory council was formed in July 2017. Its primary function is to identify and advise the State Board of Education on unmet needs in school mental health. State Board of Education chair Kathy Busch serves as the School Mental Health Advisory Council chair.
The council first presented recommendations to the board regarding the Jason Flatt Act and mandated child abuse and neglect reporter training at the January State Board of Education meeting.
Recommendations regarding suicide awareness and prevention, which align with requirements of the Jason Flatt Act, are:
The committee recommended the State Board of Education provide guidance to districts on the implementation of the Jason Flat Act that includes:
With mandated reporter training, the council recommended:
KSDE’s Cheryl Johnson, director of Child Nutrition and Wellness (CNW), gave board members an update on the School Breakfast Leadership Grant. Kansas’ goal through the Breakfast Leadership Grant is to increase statewide breakfast average daily participation by 5 percent by June 30, 2019.
The total number of enrolled Kansas students during the 2017-2018 school year was 515,794. The number of children eligible for free and reduced-price meals was 231,004, Johnson said.
The number of children eating free and reduced-price school lunch was 180,071, and the number of children eating school breakfast was 89,772.
KSDE’s Jill Ladd, grant and program specialist for CNW, discussed the Kansas No Kid Hungry Breakfast Plan. Through the Kansas No Kid Hungry Breakfast Plan, KSDE awarded funding to up to 20 districts to implement innovative breakfast delivery models; cultivate a network of breakfast champions; and explore strengthening the state breakfast policy.
There are 11 targeted districts – Wichita Unified School District 259; Great Bend USD 428; Liberal USD 480; Topeka USD 501; Kansas City USD 500; Turner USD 202; Derby USD 260; Haysville USD 261; Dodge City USD 443; Salina USD 305; and Garden City USD 457.
Also to help increase the number of students participating in school breakfast, 43 schools throughout the state were awarded a total of $114,107. Schools used the funds to purchase kiosks, cooking equipment, promotional materials, trash cans and point-of-sale systems.
David Paul, director of nutrition service for Wichita USD 259, shared with board members about the Wichita USD 259 alternative breakfast plan. The district utilizes mobile carts/kiosks for grab-and-go breakfasts, offers second-chance breakfasts and offers extended serving times. The district also is piloting Breakfast in the Classroom at Coleman Middle School.
Through these initiatives, Wichita has seen an average increase of 27 percent in the number of middle school students eating breakfast and an average increase of 53 percent in the number of high school students eating breakfast.
The district will continue to work to increase the number of students eating breakfast, Paul said.
Noah Francis, principal at Erie High School, Erie USD 101, also presented. He said the high school started a Second Chance Breakfast in December 2018 and has seen an increase in breakfast participation by 50 to 60 percent.
KSDE will continue its efforts to increase the amount of students participating in school breakfast by offering a second round of Innovative Breakfast Delivery subgrants and exploring strengthening the state breakfast policy.
State Board of Education members recognized the two 2018 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Kansas Schools – Kathryn O’Loughlin McCarthy Elementary School, Hays USD 489, and Roesland Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512.
State Board of Education members also recognized National PTA School of Excellence recipients from Kansas. The honorees from Kansas for the two-year distinction (2018-2019) are Shawnee Mission North High School, Shawnee Mission USD 512; Mill Creek Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512; and Eisenhower Middle School, Kansas City USD 500.
KSDE’s Lizette Burks, an education program consultant for Career Standards and Assessment Services, introduced Manhattan-Ogden USD 383, which was designated a 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability awardee.
Across the United States, 46 schools, six districts and six postsecondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs; improve health and wellness; and ensure effective sustainability education.
Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 was selected from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity.
Noah Busch, a science teacher at Manhattan High School, and Lucas Shivers, director of elementary education for the district, discussed how they created a long-lasting vision to educate each student and how the district is championing responsible and ethical decision-making to highlight long-term zero waste goals.
Members of the 2019 Kansas Teacher of the Year team presented to board members, too. Whitney Morgan, a high school English language arts and English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher at Wyandotte High School, Kansas City USD 500, is the 2019 Kansas Teacher of the Year.
The 2019 team members are:
Luanne Barron, superintendent of the Kansas State School for the Deaf, and Jon Harding, superintendent of the Kansas State School for the Blind, gave board members updates on their schools.
KSDE’s Tate Toedman, an education program consultant for Special Education and Title Services (SETS), presented recommendations to change the requirements for a Kansas paraprofessional to become highly qualified.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires the state to have in place requirements for paraprofessionals to be highly qualified to be paid with Title I funds in a targeted assistance Title building, or any instructional paraprofessional in a school-wide Title I building.
KSDE is recommending the following updated requirements for paraprofessionals to become highly qualified using the WorkKeys test:
Kansas currently has the following in place for the requirements:
The three tests are the ParaPro Assessment, ParaEducator PD Now! And the WorkKeys by ACT Inc. The previous requirements that Kansas required under the WorkKeys need to be updated based on changes made by ACT.
KSDE’s Keith Dreiling, director of the School Bus Safety Unit, updated board members on school bus stop arm violations, other bus safety information and options for camera enforcement. The board asked that more information on camera enforcement be compiled and presented at a later date.
KSDE’s Laura Jurgensen, assistant director of SETS, provided proposed amendments to Emergency Safety Intervention (ESI) regulations. In November 2018, the Special Education Advisory Council requested the State Board of Education chair and State Board-SEAC liaison work with the Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) and other stakeholders to clarify the definition of seclusion within ESI regulations.
The stakeholder group agreed upon proposed changes to the definition of seclusion. SEAC then approved the changes at its January 2019 meeting. Those proposed changes to the ESI regulations were what the State Board reviewed. The State Board of Education is slated to take action on the proposed changes at its March meeting.
Board members received a final report from the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.
The Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia was created by the 2018 Substitute for House Bill 2602 to advise and make recommendations to the governor, legislature and the State Board of Education regarding matters concerning the use of evidence-based practices for students with dyslexia. Board member Jim Porter served as chair of the task force. The task force is required to prepare a report and submit it to the governor, legislature and the State Board of Education.
The task force recommends that the State Board of Education:
The task force also recommends that the Legislature should reappoint the task force to meet once per year for three years to monitor progress of implementation of the recommendations.
Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis introduced Doug Jorgensen, with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Jorgensen led discussion on the school district fire inspections required by law conducted by staff of the fire marshal’s office.
The board will meet next March 12-13 at the Landon State Office Building, 900 S.W. Jackson in Topeka.
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