The Kentucky Board of Education took what board chair Roger Marcum called  “an important next step” last week toward preparing students to be globally ready when it unanimously approved a resolution to include global readiness as part of the board’s college/career-readiness agenda.

The action builds on the board’s decision in June to implement a World Language Program Review in high schools this year and in middle and elementary schools in the 2015-16 school year.

Elementary and middle schools may apply for a $15,000 Learn and Launch grant to help plan for implementation of sustainable and integrated programs for all students to understand and build upon world competencies. The grants will be awarded next month.

Commissioner Terry Holliday explained that a comprehensive effort on global readiness will help ensure that Kentucky students will be among the best prepared in the country. A full copy of the resolution can be found at the end of this release.

In other action, the board approved the School Health Services regulation, 702 KAR 1:160, which requires schools to have an adult present during school hours who is certified in first aid and CPR for infants and children. The regulation also requires that a school employee, who is trained to administer or assist a student with self-administration of glucagon, insulin or seizure rescue medications, is present during school hours or when students are participating in school-related activities.

The board also:

• approved 702 KAR 7:140, the School Calendar regulation that clarifies the requirement that a regular school year includes 1,062 instructional hours and a minimum of 170 days. New board member Sam Hinkle pointed out that Kentucky’s school year is well below the 180 days that most other states require and is below the requirements of most industrialized nations.
• approved 703 KAR 5:250, Intervention Options in Priority Schools and Districts, which provides a streamlined and flexible approach for addressing the needs of priority schools and 703 KAR 5:121, which repeals 703 KAR 5:120 and 703 KAR 5:180, the previous regulations governing audit procedures and assistance to priority schools.
• approved a new facility plan for Scott Co.
• approved new policies for the Kentucky Schools for the Blind (KSB) and Deaf (KSD)
• appointed Kim Taylor to the KSB Advisory Board
• appointed Anita Dowd, Bryan Bowen and Clyde Mohan to the KSD Advisory Board

Also at the meeting, the board heard an update on the development of new arts and humanities and social studies standards. Kentuckians were heavily involved in the development and writing of both sets of the new standards, which were mandated by Senate Bill 1 (2009). KDE division director Karen Kidwell told the board “the new standards are more about students applying skills and competencies in the subject area rather than just acquiring knowledge.” A draft of the new arts and humanities and social studies standards will come before the board at its October meeting.

The board also heard presentations on Kentucky’s efforts to improve teacher preparation and teacher leadership, and reviewed progress on the implementation of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) that is being implemented statewide this school year. Associate Commissioner Amanda Ellis told the board that the majority of Kentucky school districts have opted to use either the new system or a hybrid of PGES and the district’s old system for personnel decisions. By December, each district must approve and file a Certified Evaluation Plan with the state detailing the system it will use. Districts are not required to use PGES as a basis for personnel decisions until next year.

Finally, on the recommendation of the nominating committee, the board re-elected Roger Marcum as board chair for the upcoming year and Jonathan Parrent as vice-chair.

The next regular meeting of the Kentucky Board of Education is scheduled for October 6-7 in Frankfort.