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May Kansas State Board of Education highlights: Teacher recruitment campaign begins

Posted: May 22, 2017
Author: Ann Bush

Kansas State Board of Education members during their May meeting learned about a teacher recruitment campaign — called Educate Kansas — designed by the Kansas State Board of Education’s Professional Standards Board.

The board meeting took place Tuesday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 10, at the Landon State Office Building.

Educate Kansas encourages students and career changers to become teachers. The concept was developed after discussions about teacher recruitment and retention in the Professional Standards Board meetings.

Board members learned more about the campaign from Dr. Debbie Mercer, Professional Standards Board chair and dean of the Kansas State University College of Education.

A video of Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson announcing Educate Kansas was distributed on Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday, May 9, which was National Teacher Appreciation Day. Additional videos will be shared throughout the next year. To watch Watson's video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUoBiSi7-Ck&t=3s.

Watson during the board meeting shared the "Kansans Can, and I Am" campaign, launched by KSDE's Communications and Recognition Programs team. High school seniors from across the state are sharing their plans for life after graduation on Twitter. KSDE then retweets the videos and responds to each senior. Several school districts have taken part.

Board members voted to approve the Kansas Curricular Standards for Dance and Creative Movement during Tuesday's meeting.

The board approved the appointment of Laura Batson to serve on the Professional Practices Commissioner. Batson will represent elementary school principals. She will serve a full three-year term from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2020. Board members also approved the appointment of Dayna Miller to the Professional Standards Board for a partial term effective April 18, 2017, through June 30, 2017. Miller will then serve a full three-year term from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2020.

The board also during the Tuesday morning session approved the new educator preparation program standards for English for Speakers of Other Languages K-6, 5-8, 6-12 and PreK-12.

Dr. Scott Myers, KSDE’s director of Teacher Licensure and Accreditation, talked to board members about the new standards, which were provided to board members at the April 2017 meeting.

Educator Preparation Program Standards establish program approval requirements to ensure that preparation programs in Kansas provide educator candidates with the opportunity to learn the knowledge and skills educators need for today’s learning context. The Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) utilize program standards to develop their preparation programs and submit them for approval, and for continuous monitoring and improvement of their programs. The standards also help to establish professional learning requirements for licensure renewal.

On Tuesday afternoon, board members opened the meeting with public hearings.

Rocky Nichols, executive director of the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, spoke to the board during the public hearing section regarding Emergency Safety Interventions.

There were no speakers for the public hearing on proposed amendments to School Bus Safety regulations. However, board members did receive written comments.

Idalia Shuman, director of teaching and learning for the Kansas National Education Association spoke during a public hearing on the accreditation of higher education teacher preparation programs.

Wednesday’s morning meeting started at 9 a.m. with board members receiving staff responses on the public hearings on regulations for Emergency Safety Interventions (ESI); school bus safety; and accreditation of higher education teacher preparation programs.

Board members approved the proposed amendments to the ESI regulations and the school bus safety regulations.

There were questions and discussion on the higher education accreditation regulations, especially an amendment that would allow KSDE to search the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry.

The board approved the regulations to higher education teacher preparation programs.

During the meeting, board members also:

  • Learned about a tiny house project from Ness City High School students. Board members toured the 330-square-foot home and listened to a presentation from some of the construction students.
  • Heard a presentation from the two 2017 Kansas Senate Youth delegates. Tel Wittmer, a senior at Holton High School USD 336 Holton, and Jack Campbell, a senior at Mill Valley High School USD 232 De Soto, shared their experiences from Washington, D.C. The US Senate Youth program is for high school juniors and seniors that was established in 1962 by a United States Resolution. Two student delegates and two alternates are selected to represent each state. In March, delegates participated in a weeklong government and leadership education program in Washington, D.C. They also each receive a $10,000 scholarship.
  • Voted to reopen the search for a superintendent at the Kansas State Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Watson told board members that a search committee couldn't settle on the right candidate for the job. Board members asked Watson to appoint an interim superintendent who would serve both schools for at least one year.
  • Heard from KSDE's Don Gifford about a Civic Engagement pilot program and the process that schools will take to receive the award. The state board in June 2016 authorized the Civic Engagement Initiative Committee to pilot and implement for the 2017-2018 school year the creation of the Civic Advocacy Network, a program to promote civic engagement and award buildings that intentionally create civic engagement learning opportunities for their students. The Civic Advocacy Network Award will begin in August 2017, Gifford said.
  • Heard from Bill Mullins, chair of the Coalition of Innovative School Districts. Mullins presented applications for specialized certificates for State Board consideration. The applications are all for Kansas City, Kan. USD 500. The specialized certificate is effective for a one-year period and is nontransferable to any other Kansas district. The board is scheduled to vote on the certificates in June. If approved, USD 500 may hire the individuals as nonlicensed professional employees or licensed professional employees in areas outside of their area(s) of licensure for the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Heard a legislative report from Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis.


The next board meeting will take place Tuesday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 14, in Topeka.



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