Sept. 26, 2018
In this issue:

  • KDE releases report of schools with CSI/TSI designations
  • Board member advocacy and action
  • Recap of KSBA board of directors meeting
  • School bus safety article in Kentucky School Advocate
  • Strategies to Share: schools pledge against bullying
  • KSBA poll question, results
  • Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
CSI, TSI, other

The results of the state’s new accountability system have been released and just under 40 percent of Kentucky public schools are now classified as needing some type of improvement. The academic performance of Kentucky’s schools remained largely flat, achievement gaps persist and, following a national trend, ACT scores fell in the 2017-18 school year.

“There are not a lot of positives here. For the past five years there has been virtually no movement. We are not improving,” said Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis. “And achievement gaps between student populations continue to be incredibly disturbing.”

Many schools across the state are celebrating being labeled “Other” – the category for schools not labeled as needing improvement – however, 461 schools are now classified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI).

There are 51 CSI schools, those performing at the bottom 5 percent for each level (elementary, middle and high) or, at the high school level, have a graduation rate under 80 percent. Of those CSI schools, 21 are in Jefferson County, seven are Fayette County elementary schools and the remaining 23 are spread across 18 districts.
While KDE had warned that half the schools in the state could be classified as TSI, the actual number is 418 schools in 123 districts. TSI schools have one or more student group that performed at or below the bottom 5 percent for all schools.

Most of the TSI schools (76 percent) were identified for their gap in achievement between all students and students with disabilities. Other gaps include students who qualify for free and reduced priced lunch, African-American students, English Language Learners and others.
Lewis called the achievement gaps unconscionable.

“We cannot be OK with moving forward with a lack of progress overall and achievement gaps that are widening,” he said. “It’s not who we are as Kentuckians and so I’m hoping there’s a renewed sense of urgency around our work and that we can all come together and put everything on the table to decide what things we might try, what strategies we might try to reach.”

Lewis also noted that while the state will offer support to CSI schools, closing the achievement gaps at TSI schools will largely fall to the districts.

“Folks should understand that Kentucky law makes it very clear that the responsibility for turnaround for schools designated as TSI is a district and school level responsibility,” he said.

The results also include ACT scores for all Kentucky high school juniors in the 2017-18 school year. Kentucky’s average composite score dropped from 19.8 to 19.3 after rising for the last two years. States across the country saw a similar drop in this year’s ACT scores, Lewis said.

More information about the state assessment results is available in KDE’s press release, briefing packet and data sets
Board member advocacy and action

Proposed graduation requirements: Please carefully review the proposed changes to minimum graduation requirements with your district instructional and assessment leadership. Share any concerns or input you may have with Kentucky Department of Education staff and Kentucky Board of Education members. The proposed graduation requirement regulation.

CSI/TSI designations: With the release of the new accountability ratings for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools, consider sitting down with your district staff to review how your district addressed such issues several years ago when the Unbridled Learning accountability system was implemented. Be prepared to explain the new TSI/CSI ratings to your community.

Federal SNAP changes: The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have created a conference committee for the 2018 Farm Bill, which looks at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. James Comer are members of this committee. KSBA supports the bipartisan Senate version of the bill , as there is concern that the House version could lead to districts possibly losing this funding. Contact McConnell’s or Comer’s field offices (contact info below) in support of the Senate version of the Farm Bill SNAP provisions.
McConnell Field Offices
Bowling Green: (270) 781-1673
Lexington: (859) 224-8286
London: (606) 864-2026
Louisville: (502) 582-6304
Northern KY: (859) 578-0188
Paducah: (270) 442-4554

Comer Field Offices
Madisonville: (270) 487-9509
Paducah: (270) 408-1865
Tompkinsville: (270) 487-9509
Recap of KSBA board of directors meeting
The KSBA board of directors convened in Frankfort on Sept. 22 and 23. Following a positive annual audit report, board members reviewed KSBA’s 2018-19 strategic plan. Among the priorities outlined, this year’s ambitious plan places emphases on member engagement and service delivery. Objectives include regular solicitation of member feedback, increased use of technology, research and development of new services, and strengthening community partnerships. The board discussed relevant legislative topics forecasted to be front and center during the 2019 General Assembly. During Friday evening’s work session, KSBA leadership discussed continuous improvement strategies including areas for improved member communications. 
Safe driving, safe riding

Keeping students safe doesn't end at the school building doors. National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 22-26) draws attention to bus safety, but transportation directors, bus drivers and state officials spend all year making sure Kentucky's more than 600,000 students get to and from school safely.

You can read more about bus safety in the October Kentucky School Advocate .
Public schools pledge against bullying

October is anti-bullying month and, in Kentucky, Oct. 21-27 is Safe Schools Week . Across the state, public school districts are getting pledges against bullying from staff, students, parents and community members.

Russell County is one of two districts, along with Floyd County, to receive more than 1,000 pledges so far.

“That doesn’t happen without everybody getting behind that push,” said Russell County Superintendent Michael Ford. “It’s not a compliance thing. We have to talk to our kids and be up front with our community about what bullying is and how we all are responsible for preventing it.”

In addition to the pledge, Ford said the district sends home newsletters with information on bullying prevention, school staff reinforce expectations and the district has implemented Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports ( PBIS ).
“I think that's probably key to anything is the PBIS and the effective implementation of that, those positive behavior supports for students, because that's reinforced in assemblies and you have those school wide expectations – this is what we expect of you, and in turn this is what you can expect from us," he said. "So that's an excellent, excellent tool to just reinforce everything that we want to accomplish with students in regard to bullying and certainly behavior as a whole."

Community and parental involvement is also key when dealing with online bullying. Ford noted that bullying on social media often starts at home and then bleeds over into school the next day. It’s a continual battle and he encourages parents to monitor their child’s social media sites and electronic devices.

“We can't take anything for granted with a teenager or a kid period. That unsupervised screen time, which we refer to it as, it's not always a good thing,” he said. “The parents are crucial in helping stem the bullying that comes from home from the social media part and that's just key.”

More information on bullying and cyberbullying can be found on the Kentucky Center for School Safety website.
KSBA Polling Question
What do you foresee as the long-term impact of CSI/TSI labels on overall school performance?
Positive impact
Negative impact
No impact
KSBA Polling Results
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. Districts need to submit those reports to the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center at the University of Louisville. Reports should be emailed to by Oct. 19. Questions regarding the report should be addressed to Debbie Elswick with KPPC at (502) 852-0965.

Kentucky Board of Education meeting

The state board of education will meet Oct. 2-3 at the Kentucky Department of Education. View the working agenda.
This edition of KSBA Aware is made possible in part
by the following KSBA Affiliate Members.
Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |