Whitley Co. Schools honors life and service of Delmar Mahan
Regional meetings are underway
KSBA in the news
September Advocate online
Poll question: Where does your board meet?
Upcoming dates, deadlines and events
Criteria set for 5-star rating system
The commissioner of education has set the standards for how schools and districts will be classified when the new five
5-star rating system goes live this fall.
Commissioner Wayne Lewis this past week accepted the
recommendations of a 23-member panel that worked over two and a half days to set the cut scores for the indicators and the performance descriptions that will determine the number of stars a school or district receives.
The indicators for this year’s ratings include:
Reading and math proficiency
Proficiency in social studies, science and writing
When the system is live, in conjunction with the release of the
Kentucky School Report Card, the percentage of schools projected to be rated at the 1-star and 5-star levels based on data from the 2018-19 school year is likely to be relatively low, Kentucky Department of Education officials said.
The West Point Independent board has unanimously
voted to appeal the findings of an audit which recommend that that state take over the small district.
The audit, completed in July, was critical of the board, the district’s instructional practices and its fiscal management, according to the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise.
After the audit, superintendent Mickey Brangers resigned and the district is now being led by interim Superintendent Sally Sugg, a former Henderson County school board member. (pictured).
Before the school year began, the district had discussed merging with Hardin County Schools. Board chairman Eddie Moore later said the board may consider a
merger for the 2020-21 school year.
The Kentucky Department of Education will hold a hearing on the district’s appeal, though that date has not been set. Commissioner Wayne Lewis has previously said he had “serious concerns” and that a “
merger should be on the table.”
Kentucky Tonight discusses education
episode of Kentucky Tonight on public education is now online. Rowan County teacher Allison Slone, Frankfort Independent Superintendent Houston Barber, Kentucky Board of Education member Gary Houchens and Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis discussed the teacher shortage, closing achievement gaps and helping low performing schools with host Renee Shaw.
Slone said that there isn’t a shortage of people wanting to be teachers, but that those people chose another profession after seeing that the job has changed.
“It’s no longer just going in and making sure the student is learning math, learning their multiplication facts. It’s making sure that they’ve had food, making sure that their well-being is OK,” Slone said. “They are having to wear so many hats that the future teachers are seeing that.”
The episode also featured Union County Superintendent Patricia Sheffer and Carter G. Woodson Academy in Fayette County.
KSBA is seeking proposals workshops at KSBA’s upcoming Winter Symposium, Nov. 22-23 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. A limited number of spaces are available for 75-minute sessions on topics appropriate to governance roles and responsibilities of public school board teams.
If you have questions about the 2019 Winter Symposium, contact KSBA Director of Board Team Development Laura Cole at 800-372-2962 ext. 1122.
Q: Why did you decide to resign your position as assistant county attorney to become a school board member?
A: I had been in charge of prosecuting cases of neglect and abuse of children and children who had been charged with crimes. I had our whole juvenile docket. And it became apparent to me that by the time I got them in juvenile court, either because they were neglected or abused or because they had committed a crime, the die had been cast for a lot of those kids.
It became really important to me to figure out what we can do as a community on the front end so that we weren’t raising children in poor conditions, we weren’t fostering a culture that accepted the poor conditions of these kids and accepted their poor behaviors.
I feel like school districts are the first line of defense when it comes to anything along those lines where a set of eyes that sees these kids every day can pick up on changes in circumstances and dangers to the kids. We also are the first ones to identify children who might need a little extra support, a little extra mentoring, a little guidance before they start going down that bad road.
My mom’s been a school teacher for 25 years. My step-dad is a school teacher. I grew up in and around public education. Public education’s really important to me. So it was a natural fit to take whatever civic responsibilities and whatever community involvement I was going to undertake and put it in that direction. It was a good fit for me.
Q: What are some ways school board members can be involved with the community outside of board service?
A: It’s important that school board members be assertive and spread the good news about innovative and successful things that are going on in their districts, but they’re also a point of contact for the community and those who have questions and concerns who maybe don’t understand why we’re doing something. You have to be accessible and you have to create a line of communication because whether or not those citizens in the community have a child in the district, they either potentially will have a child or will have a grandchild, but they also are taxpayers who are providing a large percentage of our operating budget. They have a right to know and a right for input, so I think as a school board member your job is to be available and to be accessible to your constituents.
Q: What do you think is the biggest issue facing P-12 public education in Kentucky?
A: Our struggle in attracting and retaining teachers. We see such a large turnover in our teacher population. You get kids fresh out of school who are excited and wanting to learn and for whatever reason across the state we’re not cultivating those teachers and we’re not turning them into career educators anymore. And I think that goes to funding. I think there are unfunded mandates that are placed on school boards and we have to figure out how to pick up the slack and sometimes, unfortunately, the choice is are we going to fund a program, are we going to fund a different classroom or are we going to give the teachers a cost of living raise? And that’s not a fair choice.
We try very hard to at least keep up with the cost of inflation for our teachers so what they’re making is a fair sum. But it’s not enough. There’s not a single employee in our district that we pay what they’re worth. Not a single one. And that’s a problem. And that’s going to be the biggest downfall of public education. We can attract qualified, young teachers but we have to be able to grow them and find a way for them to advance professionally without having to leave the classroom. Teachers are our most important asset, if we can retain and grow our teachers, we’re going to be just fine.
Whitley Co. Schools honors the life and service of former board member Delmar Mahan
School board members, district administrators, friends and family came together on Aug. 31 to celebrate the life and legacy of late Whitley County school board member Delmar Mahan, who also served as KSBA's president and on it's board of directors.
At the special-called meeting the board voted unanimously to name the preschool wing of Oak Grove Elementary the Delmar D. Mahan Early Childhood Center.
“For 26 years the students of Whitley County had a champion in Delmar Mahan, and for 12 of those years so did the rest of Kentucky when Delmar served on the KSBA board of directors," KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling said at the ceremony. "Delmar was passionate in his belief that public education had the power to change people’s lives and, when he took the reins as KSBA’s president in 2009, that was the focus of his inaugural address.”
(Photo courtesy of Whitley Co. Schools)
Daviess County elementary students perform during KSBA's Second Region meeting.
Regional meetings are underway
KSBA's Fall Regional Meetingsare underway with four of the 12 meetings completed. This year's program offers a preview of the 2020 regular session of the General Assembly and a discussion of how some of the issues legislature is expected to address will impact district management and operations by board teams.
At the meetings, six KSBA regions will select new chairpersons to serve three-year terms on KSBA’s Board of Directors.
Anchorage Independent board member Hannah Barnes was chosen as Fifth Region chairwoman. Barnes, who began her term on the Anchorage board in January, is the director of a family foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science in food science and human nutrition from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in food science and technology from the University of Georgia. She is also a founding board member of the First Light Early Education Center, a nationally accredited center in Sheridan, Wyo.
Tammy Pruitt, a 10-year member and current vice chairwoman of the Boyd County school board, will represent the Eastern Kentucky North Region. Pruitt has an associate degree in nursing and is a registered nurse.
Information on the new chairpersons for the First and Upper Kentucky River regions will be in the next KSBA Aware.
KSBA in the news
KSBA is often called on by media outlets to discuss important school-related issues. Here are some of the stories to which your association contributed in recent weeks.
KSBA is accepting nominations for its Fall 2019 PEAK (Public Education Achieves in Kentucky) Award. The award has been shining a spotlight on outstanding programs in the state since its inception in 1997. This fall will mark the 50th time that KSBA will honor a program with a PEAK Award.
The deadline for the Fall 2019 PEAK Award is 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.
The prestigious award recognizes outstanding public school efforts aimed at enhancing student learning skills and, in doing so, promotes the positive impact of public elementary and secondary education in the Commonwealth.
More information on the PEAK Award, including the entry guidelines and links to stories on some of the recent winners, is on our website. For questions, email or call Matt McCarty at 800-372-2962 ext. 1209.
KSBA will host a golf scramble Sept. 20 at Old Bridge Golf Club in Danville. KSBA members, superintendents, district office staff, board attorneys and co-op staff may play at a special rate of $50. Registration includes 18 holes, cart fee, snacks, refreshments, lunch, gift bags and prizes. First place team prize is $400 and the second place is $200.
Proceeds support the First Degree Scholarship program, awarding aid to Kentucky public high school seniors who will be the first in their immediate families to receive a postsecondary degree.
To reserve your space as a player or to discuss hole sponsorship opportunities, contact Kristin Campbell at 502-783-0069.