The calendar has turned and the second semester marches on. While school continues here, decisions are being made in Topeka that will have a major impact on all schools across the state. The state legislature and governor are trying to put together a new school funding formula. At the present time, there have been many ideas tossed around, but nothing concrete has been determined. This process is very concerning because it could impact our district in a positive or negative way without us having any say in the matter. I have been involved with several groups in the state trying to give opinions and advice, but in the end, it will be a legislative vote that will determine how school funding moves forward. We will then have to make decisions locally based on those decisions out of Topeka. This is a very nervous time for all school districts in the state.
The state of Kansas will begin a new accreditation process for all schools beginning this fall. The new program is called the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation process (KESA). This process is very data heavy and will require quite a bit of time gathering data, charting progress and finding weaknesses. The process requires that school districts show growth in several areas. The first step in this program is a "Needs Assessment". There are many parts of the assessment, including surveys that will be sent out to students, teachers and parents. The data from these surveys, test scores, stakeholder input and other pieces will be studied and then a path will be laid out for improvement in the areas that need the most attention. As I stated above, all schools will be starting this process this fall. I see the process as a positive because I feel you should always look at what you need to improve on and then move on making improvements. I also like the process because it really centers in on students and their individual plans for their future. It will be very time consuming and of course, change is always hard, but in the long run, I think it will improve Kansas schools.
*****Inclement Weather - - While working through the winter months, I wanted to remind parents that the decision to cancel school is based on many factors. However, we also understand that depending upon where you live, your situation may be a little different than others. Some roads drift shut if the wind blows from a certain direction, but other roads may still be clear. Therefore, parents have the final say on whether or not it is safe for their child to make it to school or not. If school is in session and you feel that your child cannot make it safely to school that day, simply make sure you contact your child's school office. This way we know not to worry about your child not being at school on that day. We simply make the decision based on the majority of road conditions. Student safety is still our priority. We simply have to deal with the fact that in Kansas, we will face all kinds of weather and that means we will have school at times when the snow is flying.**********