The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Local Superintendents Advisory Council (LSAC) approved several proposed amendments to regulations during its regular July 26 meeting.
Mandated by KRS 156.007, LSAC is charged to “advise the chief state school officer and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) concerning the development of administrative regulations and education policy. The chief state school officer shall submit all proposed administrative regulations and educational policies for review by the council prior to seeking approval of the Kentucky Board of Education.”
KDE Associate Commissioner Beth Hargis and Leslie Slaughter, executive advisor in KDE’s Office of Career and Technical Education, joined superintendents to discuss proposed amendments to 705 KAR 4:041. The proposed amendments to the regulation address clarifying language and updates to Kentucky’s “Work-Based Learning Manual.”
Slaughter said the manual and regulation were last updated in 2015. In January 2022, KDE began to bring together different stakeholder groups to discuss any changes that needed to be made. The groups included Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers and principals, district work-based learning coordinators, employer and human resources representatives, the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet, and the Kentucky Office of Employer and Apprenticeship Services.
The proposed amendments to the regulation clarify apprenticeship terminology, the eligibility for student participation in cooperative education and the requirements for the co-op training agreement. This agreement is signed by the school, student, parent and employer when a student is placed for a paid work-based learning experience.
The proposed amendments also create more flexibility for who can act in the worksite supervisory role. Slaughter said historically this has been a CTE teacher, but it has become difficult for those teachers to have the time to meet the requirements of the role. The proposed amendment now allows classified employees to take on the responsibility of conducting on-site work visits.
The proposed updates to the Work-Based Learning Manual include a new cover page, a new title for Chapter One, removal of all sample forms and resources and clarifying and technical amendments throughout all chapters.
LSAC approved the proposed amendments and they will go before the KBE during its Aug. 3 regular meeting.
Full-time Enrolled Online, Virtual and Remote Learning Programs
KDE Office of Education Technology Associate Commissioner David Couch and Chief Digital Officer Marty Park also joined superintendents to discuss a new proposed regulation, 704 KAR 3:535, to provide an option for full-time enrollment in online, virtual and remote learning programs for K-12 students.
“This was a team effort across multiple departments and offices within KDE,” said Couch. “The best practices for remote and virtual learning is … you have to have a good educational plan for the paper world before you lay technology on top of it.”
Couch said there were some students during the COVID-19 pandemic who thrived in a remote and virtual setting. Going forward, he sees this continuing for approximately 1-2% of students.
The proposed regulation requires the student’s guardian to agree to participate in the program, and the district has the option whether to offer the program or not. This option previously was offered only to grades 5 through 12 and the proposed regulation extends it to kindergarten through grade 4.
The proposed regulation creates a new definition for a full-time enrolled online, virtual and remote learning program as a public school district program that enrolls K-12 students on a full-time basis where teachers and students are not in the same physical location and all or most of the instruction is provided online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous strategies.
The proposed regulation also states that a full-time enrolled program shall not be classified as an alternative education program, and the placement of students in the program is voluntary.
The council approved the proposed regulation and it will go before the KBE for final approval during its regular meeting on Aug. 3.
In other business, the LSAC:
- Approved amendments to 702 KAR 7:125, Pupil Attendance;
- Approved annual amendments to the Kentucky Tech policies and procedures. The amendments included revisions to policies on school resource officers, health and safety, and admissions and attendance; and
- Approved annual policy adoptions and amendments for the Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf.