October 10, 2018
In this issue:

  • State board approves graduation requirements
  • NSBA website provides cybersecurity resources
  • Beyond the Board with Jason Reeves
  • State leadership opportunities available
  • Theme announced for KSBA's 2019 Annual Conference
  • Five Kentucky public schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools
  • KSBA survey on new graduation requirements
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
State board approves graduation requirements, appoints Lewis commissioner
Despite calls for a pause from numerous K-12 education advocacy groups, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) last week approved new minimum graduation requirements starting with the Class of 2023.

The plan includes a 10th-grade assessment designed to demonstrate competency in math and reading, a requirement that students be transition-ready and eliminates Algebra II as requirement.

Before the vote, then-Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said that while Kentucky’s graduation rate is nearly 90 percent, he believes it’s nothing to cheer about.

“Rather than celebrate our high school graduation rate, we should hang our heads in shame that what we've given to many students is a certificate of attendance,” he said.

Education groups, including KSBA, had asked the state board to delay the vote for more time to gather input from stakeholders and examine the unintended consequences of the plan. While the request was denied, there will be a 30-day public comment period scheduled to begin Nov. 1, followed by a public hearing and legislative review.

During the two-day KBE meeting, the board also appointed Lewis as commissioner, forgoing a national search. At the close of the second meeting, Lewis, who had been acting commissioner since April, signed a four-year contract with a salary of $200,000 a year.

The next KBE meeting is scheduled for Dec. 5.

KSBA is interested in hearing your thoughts on the changes to graduation requirements. After reading this newsletter, please take the survey linked below. We will report the findings in upcoming publications.
NSBA website provides cybersecurity resources

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The National School Boards Association has launched a Cyber Secure Schools initiative to provide information and resources to support school district leaders and help them take the steps needed to enhance cybersecurity.

NSBA’s Cyber Secure Schools provides “clear non-technical, executive-level information tailored to school board members,” NSBA officials said. The site will keep visitors up-to-date on resources, protocols and tools so policy and technology enhancements can be made quickly.

“Technology continues to change rapidly and with those changes comes emerging and significant cyber threats,” said NSBA Executive Director and CEO Thomas J. Gentzel. “Today’s school leaders must be able to familiarize themselves with the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape and take proactive steps to secure sensitive student and staff data and district operations.”

NSBA cited Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations report which found that breaches in the education sector have risen since 2015,

The articles, survey data, tools and promising practices available at Cyber Secure Schools can aid districts and schools in identifying threats and recognizing vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity policies and practices.

For information on cybersecurity challenges facing Kentucky school districts, read the In Conversation With David Couch, associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology (OET), and Bob Hackworth, OET’s cybersecurity officer, in the October Kentucky School Advocate.
Barbourville Ind. school board member receives KBE s David Karem Award
Barbourville Independent school board member Jason Reeves has devoted his higher education career ensuring that postsecondary programs are producing quality teachers for Kentucky’s classrooms.

For his commitment to educator preparation, Reeves received the David Karem Award from the Kentucky Board of Education at its October meeting.

In the above video, Reeves, who is dean of educational studies and professor of education at Union College, explains how his higher education experience has benefited him as a school board member, the importance of collaboration in public education and what he thinks is the biggest issue facing P-12 education.

“We have to be aware and be knowledgeable of the fact that we’re not just preparing kids to be successful here at home or even in Kentucky, but we’re looking at how to prepare them to be a global citizen as well,” he said.

Look for more with Reeves in the November issue of the Kentucky School Advocate.
State leadership opportunities available
KSBA Education Foundation, Inc.

KSBA is seeking applications to fill upcoming vacancies on the KBSA Education Foundation board of directors. School board members, business leaders and others drawn to the foundation’s mission are invited to submit their name for consideration for a two-year or three-year term. The foundation averages two board meetings a year and directors can participate in-person or through video conference. The deadline is Oct. 26.

Through donations and grants, KSBA Education Foundation Inc. provides support to KSBA in increasing the effectiveness of school boards, promoting the well-being of students and strengthening public schools.
KSBA unemployment program

KSBA is seeking applications to fill upcoming vacancies on the KSBA Unemployment Program Board of Directors. Interested school board members, superintendents and school finance officers are invited to submit their name for consideration for a two-year term. The deadline is Oct. 26.

The program provides a service to association members who elect coverage under Kentucky unemployment insurance statutes. Directors participate in quarterly meetings either in-person or through video conference.
2019 Annual Conference theme

After much discussion, the KSBA Conference Planning Committee recently approved the theme for the 2019 Annual Conference. We are pleased to announce this year's theme: "Kentucky Schools Boards: Educate. Equip. Empower."
KSBA is accepting proposals for conference workshops. If you or others in your district would like to present a session on a relevant topic for school boards, please complete the workshop proposal form. All submissions must be received by Oct. 26.

Student involvement is at the heart of what makes KSBA events successful, and we are once again calling on districts to get their talented students involved in one of two ways:

  1. Districts are asked to work with students groups to provide entertainment throughout the annual conference.
  2. Per KSBA tradition, student artists are asked to submit banner art, reflective of the conference theme, which will hang throughout the event space.

Information on student involvement opportunities can be found on the 2019 Annual Conference page of KSBA's website. Mark your calendar to attend the 83rd Annual Conference, February 22-24, 2019 at the Galt House in Louisville. More details coming soon!
Blue Ribbon winners

Five Kentucky public schools were named as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education (USED).

The schools, which were selected based on their overall academic excellence, were: Woodford County’s Huntertown Elementary, Pulaski County’s Oak Hill Elementary, Paintsville Independent Elementary, Henderson County’s Spottsville Elementary and Laurel County’s Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary.

The USED recognized 300 public and 49 private schools this year.
KSBA survey on new graduation requirements
The Kentucky Board of Education recently approved proposed changes to Kentucky's minimum high school graduation requirements. The proposal will now be subject to a 30-day public comment period beginning in November, to be followed by a review by legislative committees. The proposal may or may not change as a result of public comments and legislative response. The following survey is designed to understand the reaction to these changes among KSBA members and affiliated groups.
KSBA polling results
What do you foresee as the long-term impact of CSI/TSI labels on overall school performance?
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Annual energy management reports due Oct. 19

Districts are required each year by law and board policy to send annual energy management reports to the Legislative Research Commission and Energy and Environment Cabinet. This year districts need to submit those reports to the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) at the University of Louisville.

Reports should be emailed to [email protected] by Oct. 19. Questions regarding the report should be addressed to Debbie Elswick with KPPC at (502) 852-0965.
This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 | www.ksba.org