News and Announcements

KENTUCKY 

 

Kentucky Department of Education Equity Work Discussed by Teachers Advisory Council 

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is “unashamed” and moving forward with its equity work, Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass told the department’s Teachers Advisory Council (TAC) during its June 17 virtual meeting. 

An instrumental piece of this work will be the Kentucky Academy for Equity in Teaching (KAET), which was relaunched earlier this year. 

KAET is a partnership between KDE, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet that aims to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce of teachers. 

 

JCPS, Kentucky Education Leaders Expect Drop in K-PREP Test Participation Among Virtual Learners 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When Jefferson County Public Schools offered transportation so nearly 22,000 students learning from home could take K-PREP standardized tests, only about 400 took the district up on its offer, records obtained by WDRB News show. 

At more than one-third of JCPS schools, documents provided by the district in response to an open records request show not a single family with students enrolled in virtual instruction requested bus service to schools so their children could take Kentucky’s standardized tests. 

While data do not reflect how many families took students to schools for K-PREP testing, the numbers provide a preliminary glimpse at how many decided to briefly return to schools for standardized testing and how many simply stayed home. 

 

Some NKY Students Given Option for Summer School Program 

NEWPORT, Ky. — Some students in Northern Kentucky don't have the option to redo this past school year, so their school district is offering them the chance to get some additional help with their school work over the summer. 

Newport Independent Schools is offering students a summer program called "Camp Wildcat." The way it works is students will get 90 minutes of math and 90 minutes of reading in the morning, and then they will have enrichment activities in science and social studies in the afternoon. 

Newport Intermediate School Principal Dennis Maines said the program gives students the chance to go over something they missed, or didn't fully understand, from this past school year after the district used virtual and hybrid learning models. 

 

 

TENNESSEE 

 

Family Literacy Nights & Other Opportunities for Tennessee Families 

Since we know parents are our students first teachers, we knew it would be essential for Reading 360 to engage parents as partners in the effort to get all children reading by third grade. Our investment in Tennessee’s teachers through the Early Reading Training will ensure excellent reading instruction in every classroom. However, educators are not the only partners in literacy. We know we need to equip families to be partners in creating strong learning experiences for our kids.  

This summer, five community organizations will host literacy nights for families, to bring families to the important conversation about how children learn to read. They’ll offer a chance for families to learn what strong, structured reading instruction looks like, directly from Tennessee teachers.   

Families will also learn how they can create reading experiences at home and take advantage of the new, free resources available from the Tennessee Department of Education through Reading 360: free ‘decodable’ books for early readers, “Ready4K” informational texts, and educational summer programming on  local PBS stations. Families can learn more about these opportunities below.  

 

Accelerating TN 2021 Summer Bus Tour 

Summer usually represents the end of the school year and offers time for planning for the fall, but this year, the Tennessee Department of Education and school districts around the state are working on summer programming to help students catch up and accelerate from learning loss brought about by pandemic disruptions. 

To celebrate the work that educators, students and families are doing to accelerate students beyond learning loss, the department has launched the Accelerating TN 2021 Tour, a statewide bus tour spanning 50 school districts over the course of three weeks to highlight summer learning opportunities. 

 

Panel Held on How the Ban of Critical Race Theory in Tennessee Impacts Students 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The topic of critical race theory in Tennessee is still being hotly debated. 

A panel on the subject was held Thursday afternoon on how limiting lessons about race and bias will impact Tennessee’s classrooms. 

A new Tennessee law that would limit conversations on how race and racism is taught in the classroom is still facing opposition from critics.   

 

 

VIRGINIA 

 

Virginia is Changing Expectations for Child Care Providers to Put Focus on Early Education  

RICHMOND — Come July 1, Virginia will join a growing number of states to fold child care oversight into its Department of Education.  

The seemingly small shift signifies a major change in how the state is thinking about early childhood development. For years, child care and K-12 schools have been treated as separate services, overseen by different agencies with different expectations.  

Most child care programs have long been licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services, which is more focused on regulatory compliance than the quality and content of classroom learning.  

 

For Many Dan River Region Parents, Virtual Learning Losing Appeal  

As the pandemic shifts to the rearview mirror for many in the Dan River Region, more families — especially in Pittsylvania County — are closing the books on plans for remote education.  

As of Friday, about 17% of students in Danville Public Schools were enrolled for virtual learning for the upcoming school year, down from about 24% in April. The majority of those 961 future remote students are in either elementary or high school.  

In Pittsylvania County, only 1.4% of students — 109 total — are in line to forgo the traditional form of learning via classroom. Over the last year, virtual proved to be a hurdle for many in the rural landscape without access to broadband internet, critical for accessing lessons via video.  

 

Virginia Alliance Hosting 'Crumbling Schools Tour'  

An alliance of state organizations is hosting a “crumbling schools tour” and inviting local, state and federal lawmakers to participate.  

Virginia’s Coalition of Small and Rural Schools is working with several other organizations to showcase eight examples of schools in urgent need of repair or replacement …   

The tour starts Tuesday at King and Queen Elementary, which was built in 1937, in Mattaponi in King and Queen County. The Department of Education divides Virginia into eight regions, and one school from each region has been selected for the tour, according to Keith Perrigan, president of the Coalition of Small and Rural Schools and the superintendent of Bristol schools.  

  

  

WEST VIRGINIA 

 

WVDE Announces Albert Yanni Scholarship Recipients   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021-2022 Albert Yanni Scholarships. Twenty-five career technical education (CTE) students were chosen out of 100 applicants to receive a $2,000 scholarship for the upcoming school year.  

The Albert Yanni Scholarship provides CTE students an opportunity to pursue advanced education and/or training related to their career aspirations. State Superintendent W. Clayton Burch said the application process is rigorous with two rounds of thorough and extensive review of every applicant.  

 

Let Transgender Student Play on Girls’ Team, Feds Say, Supporting Her Suit Over a State Law  

A West Virginia law that prohibits transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams violates Title IX and the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.  

The Justice Department sided with an 11-year-old girl who has sued over her state’s new law, one of a wave of at least seven similar measures passed by states around the country this year.  

The arguments, outlined in a “statement of interest filing,” are one of the most direct challenges the Biden administration has made to state-level restrictions for transgender students to date.  

  

Capito, Durbin Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Address Childhood Trauma  

RISE From Trauma Act would expand support for children who have experienced trauma and address the cycle of violence and addiction  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to increase support for children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma, including witnessing community violence, parental addiction, or abuse.
The Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (RISE) from Trauma Act would dramatically increase funding for community-based efforts to prevent and mitigate the impact of trauma, and expand training and workforce development efforts to support health care, education, social service, first responders, and community leaders to foster resilience and deliver services to heal the impact of trauma.