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Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Kentucky School Advocate
December 2021

Superintendents revise advisory council, to meet quarterly
The Kentucky Department of Education’s Superintendents’ Advisory Council met Nov. 17 with nine new members. The council, made up of 25 superintendents, is designed to give advice and input on education policy to the education commissioner.

Twenty-four of the members are selected by the state’s educational cooperatives and Jefferson County’s superintendent is a standing member of the council.

Bellevue Independent Superintendent Robb Smith is serving as council chairman. The council has traditionally met twice a year, but at the meeting superintendents requested the council increase the frequency to four times a year.

Jefferson County Superintendent Marty Pollio noted that more meetings would help superintendents be more organized in advocating for education funding in the legislature.

“Ever since I’ve been superintendent, we’re on the defense every single session,” Pollio said. “And we run around the whole session trying to oppose legislation as opposed to being on offense about what we need in order to be successful in schools in Kentucky.”

Also during the meeting, superintendents raised concerns about KDE’s process and oversight in approving facility construction.

Education Commissioner Jason Glass acknowledged the problem, noting that KDE has been “de-staffed at the same time that regulations and what we are trying to approve and process have been increasing. We’ve just reached a point where it isn’t manageable any longer.”

Glass said a KDE task force that has been studying the issue would recommend some changes to the Kentucky Board of Education at its December meeting. The superintendents’ council will next meet in January.

Schools and districts honored for best practices    
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recently recognized seven schools and two school districts for best practices during the 2021 Continuous Improvement Summit. Associate Commissioner Kelly Foster presented each winner with a $500 check for school improvement.

Those recognized were:

 John F. Kennedy Montessori Elementary (Jefferson Co.): Created a Kindness Crew to greet students and staff with positive and encouraging affirmations to foster a community that enhances social and emotional learning.

• Cane Ridge Elementary (Bourbon Co.): Founded Café Americano to share basic information about school practices and community resources within English learners.

 Hancock Co. High School: Created lesson planning “playlists” to help teachers organize lessons and meet students where they are academically.

 Heritage Elementary School (Shelby Co.): Created MAP Student Profile Reports and personalized learning plans to help teachers develop plans for each child.

 B. Atkinson Academy (Jefferson Co.): Developed a system for analyzing student data to provide teachers with the foundation for making instructional decisions based on students’ strengths and weaknesses.

 Martha Layne Collins High School (Shelby Co.): Built the Defense of Learning website to organize resources and support students and mentors in the process of defending their learning and competency.

 Jacob Elementary (Jefferson Co.): Developed “Regulators – Mount Up,” to turn every staff member into a regulation station for students. The program reduced suspensions, developed self-regulated learners and increased academic engagement.

 Meade Co. Schools: Created a special education model to offer a balanced continuum for all students, providing access to the general curriculum and supplemental resources.

 Jefferson Co. Schools: Developed the Comprehensive Systems Review to provide rich, descriptive, qualitative feedback to schools, specifically tied to their instructional system and assessed through data of the student experience, perception and learning.

Any Kentucky teacher, school or district may submit a best practice to KDE for consideration to be a Best Practice award recipient. Previous Best Practice winners can be viewed on KDE’s website.

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