Graphic that reads: Family Partnership Council September 8, 2022The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Family Partnership Council (FPC) discussed KDE’s equity playbook and received updates on the Kentucky United We Learn Council during its Sept. 8 meeting.

Nicole Fields, community engagement coordinator in KDE’s Division of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB), discussed KDE’s new equity playbook, which provides district and school leaders with personalized coaching on evidence/research-based practices, content and resources to address opportunity gaps in one or more of the following areas:

  • Student achievement;
  • Utilization of funding and resources;
  • Disproportionality relative to student discipline;
  • Culture and climate; and
  • Highly effective staff and high-quality instructional resources.

Fields sought feedback from the FPC on what resources can be added to the playbook and how schools/districts can better serve and engage with families.

“We know that it takes a village to ensure all of these components, or pillars as we like to call them, are helping us get into the student level,” she said. “It’s important for us when we’re implementing this playbook to keep our communities and families involved.”

Fields said she would take the feedback from FPC members to the DEIB team to discuss how the ideas could be implemented into the playbook.

Kentucky United We Learn Council

KDE Chief Performance Officer Karen Dodd shared updates about the Kentucky United We Learn Council, which is currently being formed.

The purpose of the council is to give a broad stakeholder voice to the process of learning. This will go along with the Kentucky United We Learn work underway in the field, and the council will evaluate and recommend strategic practice, policy and investment ideas to state policymakers and the broader Kentucky community. The commissioner and Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) chair will work with staff, KBE and if necessary, the Kentucky General Assembly to respond to the council’s recommendations.

The council will be composed of three standing committees: 

  • Creating Vibrant Learning Experiences: Support local communities to transform the student learning experience and learn from what is happening in the education field, especially related to deeper learning, project-based learning and KDE’s Local Laboratories of Learning.
  • Accelerating Innovation: Support scaling of innovations within and across communities through changes in assessment and accountability. 
  • Building a Bold New Future with Communities: Build the policy framework that is responsive to the needs coming from communities that support a bold, new future for education.

Dodd asked FPC members how they can spread the word about the United We Learn vision and what outlets can be used for sharing the United We Learn Council membership application and informational documents. Members suggested newsletters and communication apps like Remind.

In other business the council:

  • Received updates from Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass regarding back-to-school efforts in eastern Kentucky. He said Letcher County and Jenkins Independent now have start dates planned within the next few weeks. Perry County is back in school and Breathitt County students have been moved to the Lees College Campus of Hazard Community and Technical College System because of the extensive damage to Breathitt’s Area Technology Center. He also mentioned that many schools are struggling with teacher shortages, but said there is work underway to solve the issue; and
  • Heard from Tom Haggard of the Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance about a new initiative rolled out by the U.S. Department of Education called Engage Every Student, a call to action to provide high-quality out-of-school learning opportunities for every child who wants to participate.