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Winter Symposium 2017
KSBA's 2017 Winter Symposium
Charter school discussion will take center stage at Winter Symposium
Kentucky School Advocate
By Matt McCarty
With charter school regulations in Kentucky being finalized this fall, school board members and superintendents will have double the opportunity during KSBA’s 2017 Winter Symposium Dec. 1-2 to learn more about how charter schools will impact their district.
Earl Simms, director of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of Charter Schools, will speak during Friday’s luncheon session.
“Ultimately, unless something changes in the regulation, every single board member in the state will have to participate in the authorizer training,” said KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling.
KSBA has been working with KDE to discuss the board’s role as a charter authorizer. It became apparent that members needed to have as much information as possible, as quickly as possible, Schelling said. “Winter Symposium will really be the first opportunity to bring our members up to speed on the work that’s been done so far.”
Simms will devote a portion of the luncheon session to answering questions from attendees.
On Saturday, members can learn more about charter schools during a breakout session conducted by KSBA staff attorney Whitney Crowe.
“Whitney is going to be KSBA’s point person for our charter authorizer training and so she’s closely involved in every meeting around these plans.This will be the first chance members have to hear how KSBA is translating the regulations into training for them. It’s a challenge because until all the regulations and funding plans are finalized and it’s hard to know exactly what the training needs to look like, but rest assured we’re staying on top of it,” Schelling said.
Steve Haffner, a speaker, mentalist and entertainer, will be the speaker for Saturday’s Plenary Session with a presentation titled “Conquering Virtual Mindblocks.”
“His presentation will look at those hidden tricks of our subconscious mind that can undermine our decisions, actions and relationships” said Shannon Robinson, training and conference coordinator for KSBA’s Board Team Development. “He will give tips on being aware of how the mind works and knowing you can de-escalate a situation or achieve a better result. Whether you’re at a board meeting or at home you’ll learn how to change your own perspective and the positive effect it can have on those around you.”
The presentation will be entertaining but with an important purpose, Schelling said.
“I think school board members are going to like what he has to say because he helps people think differently about how they think,” Schelling said. “You recognize your thought patterns for what they are and apply his ideas to use them more effectively to become communicators and better processors of information. This session teaches people to take a step back before they answer a question or before they engage a situation and really think about where their head is and make sure that what they’re about to say or do is going to help accomplish what they want.”
Other clinic sessions of interest
• School board members looking to complete mandatory training in finance will have two new courses from which to choose. Members can attend a Friday morning session about the construction process and how it relates to finance. A Friday afternoon session will discuss salary schedules. The two brand new sessions “will be great for our veteran members,” Schelling said.
• KSBA staff attorney John Fogle will lead a session about student discipline, and a newly updated student discipline manual will be on sale at Winter Symposium.
• Rhonda Sims, associate commissioner for KDE’s Office of Assessment and Accountability, will discuss Kentucky’s new accountability system.
• There will be two opportunities for members to earn Level IV/V credit in the Academy of Studies. A three-hour session on leadership skills will take place Friday morning and a three-hour facilities planning and construction session will be held Saturday morning.
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