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February 2011 State Board News

2011 Kansas Teacher of the Year Team Recognized
All eight members of the 2011 KTOY Team met with State Board members at the February meeting to discuss issues important to them as classroom teachers.

Members of the team are:

Curtis Chandler, Wamego EA, the 2011 KTOY
Nikki Chamberlain, NEA Salina
Kim Morrissey, UTW
Holly Schreiber, DeSoto TA
Dow Tate, NEA Shawnee Mission
Jodi Testa, Junction City EA
Lu Anne Vides, El Dorado NEA
Linda Wiersma, Paola EA

New Graduation Rate Calculations Explained
Beginning this year, Kansas is required to use a 4-year cohort graduation rate for AYP purposes.  In short, the formula requires schools to determine their rate by dividing the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma by a number that includes those who entered high school four years earlier, plus transfers in, minus students who transfer out, emigrate or die during the 4 years of the cohort.

State Board members expressed concerns over the formula, which ignores students who take longer than four years but do earn a diploma, students with IEPs who have until age 21 to receive school services, and penalizes schools for students who leave for non-state-accredited schools or other school-like settings that don't result in a "regular high school diploma."

Judi Miller, assistant director of Title Programs and Services, explained that the formula is mandated by the US Department of Education, with the intent of standardizing how states report graduation rates.

Kansas has set a goal of 80% graduation rate for AYP using this formula.  Schools at or above 80% will be expected to at least maintain that rate.  Schools with a rate of 50% to 79.9% must improve by 3% over last year's rate.  Schools with a rate of less than 50% must improve by 5% over last year's rate.

Federal rules allow schools that do not meet the Kansas goal to use a 5 year cohort.  If that cohort meets 80% graduation rate, the school will be considered to make graduation AYP.

Information on the graduation rate calculations will be available on the KSDE website soon, on the State and Federal Programs page.  Resources include a Fact Sheet, a copy of the PowerPoint used at February's State Board meeting, and information on upcoming webinars.

Bullying Statement, Resolution Approved
On 9-1 votes, the State Board approved a statement on bullying and proposed a resolution to the Governor and the Legislature to designate the first week in October as Anti-Bullying Awareness Week.

Board members John Bacon, Carolyn Campbell, Sally Cauble, Dave Dennis, Kathy Martin, Jana Shaver, Sue Storm and Janet Waugh voted in favor of the motions.  Walt Chappell voted against them, explaining that he thought the actions did not go far enough.

The Board's statement reflects their belief in "physically safe and emotionally secure environments" for all students and staff and recognizes bullying as "a serious issue."  It goes on to support current state law related to bullying and bullying prevention.

The resolution would establish a week in October, which coincides with the national anti-bullying awareness month.

In other action, the State Board:
*Received the 2009-2010 report on seclusion of special education students
*Received curricular standards for ESOL
*Heard a presentation about the Center for Advanced Programs of Studies, Blue Valley
*Recognized the 2011 administrators of the year
     Tom Trigg, superintendent, USD 229, Blue Valley
     Jacque Feist, high school principal, USD 443, Dodge City
     Jody Baker, elementary principal, USD 385, Andover
*Approved recommendations for 40 licensure waivers
     4 science
     1 government
     1 reading specialist
     1 extended use of substitute
     33 special education
*Approved recommendations from Evaluation Review Committee for Tabor College:
     9 programs approved
     3 programs approved with stipulation
*Approved requests for bond elections from
     USD 352, Goodland
     USD 464, Tonganoxie

March Meeting
The State Board will have a half day retreat the afternoon of Monday, March 7, in Topeka.  The March 8 meeting will be in Topeka.  On March 9, the State Board will make their annual visits to the Kansas State School for the Blind, KCK, and the Kansas State School for the Deaf, Olathe.  The meeting agendas and materials should be available on the KSDE website by Monday, February 28.


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