Main menu


KBE Discusses Technological Advances and Updates in Kentucky Schools – Kentucky Teacher

At the Kentucky Board of Education meeting at Lake Cumberland on August 3, 2022, Kentucky Department of Education Vice Chairman David Couch Central announced the plans for the Kentucky Educational Technology System (KETS) for the coming year. We are discussing operational plans. Chief Digital Officer Marty Park (left) and Division Director Mike Leadingham (right). Photo by Jacqueline Thompson, August 3, 2022

The Kentucky Board of Education held several discussions on online, virtual and distance learning at its regular meeting on August 3 at Lake Cumberland.

Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Vice Chair David Couch, Chief Digital Officer Marty Park, and Division Director Mike Leadingham on the 2022-2023 Kentucky Educational Technology System (KETS) Operations Plan We talked.

Mr. Couch told the Board that there will be federal, state, and about $502 million in local district funds. schools for the deaf and regional technology centers). This is the largest ever made available in his 30-year history of KETS.

KBE will develop a KETS operational plan for the next fiscal year aimed at providing basic technology-enabled services, expanding technology, replacing aging devices, enhancing cybersecurity, and recruiting and retaining the required technology workforce. approved $15.4 million in funding for

“This is the largest funding ever available for educational technology for the next school year,” said Couch.

Couch provided handouts demonstrating that students who do not have access to technology at school or at home are less likely to acquire 21st century learning skills. Kentucky schools are tackling this problem by giving students more digital access.

Strong online skills, such as using shared digital workspaces, correlate with increased collaboration in the classroom, Couch handouts show. Students with computer and internet access are more likely to use technology and have better technology skills.

Couch said Kentucky is “decades ahead” of other states when it comes to connecting schools to the Internet.

Today, 100% of Kentucky schools offer Wi-Fi access to students. Of these, 99% of schools have implemented high-density Wi-Fi networks, either BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives to encourage students to use their own devices in the classroom, or You can support one-to-one initiatives that encourage the use of personal devices. Districts provide devices to all students.

Couch also encouraged the board to continue supporting future funding opportunities for education technology to avoid diminishing access to this technology within Kentucky school districts.

“In your time as a board member … what we have done in the history of Kentucky, the history of the country, is pretty amazing,” he said.

Couch and Park then joined with KDE Deputy Commissioner Robin Kinney, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Thomas Woods-Tucker, and Chief Academic Officer Micki Ray to create a rule to create a full-time admissions option. We discussed 704 KAR 3:535. Online, virtual, and remote learning programs for K-12 students.

By regulation, parents of students must request participation in the program if the school district offers the program. All districts may choose to offer the program. This option was previously only offered from her 5th grade through her 12th grade, but the proposed rule extends it to kindergarten through 4th grade.

“I always say… [decide] What’s your best education plan first, then put technology on top of that,” Couch says.

Couch said he had several successful students in remote virtual environments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, he expects this to continue for about 1-2% of students.

“Not a big percentage [of students]but that’s the road to the finish line for those students,” he said.

The proposed rule creates a new definition of full-time enrolled online, virtual, and remote learning programs. This is a public school district program that enrolls full-time K-12 students where teachers and students are not in the same physical location. All or most of the instructions are provided online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous strategies.

The proposed rule also states that full-time enrollment programs should not be classified as alternative education programs and placement of students in the program is voluntary.

The board approves the regulation and it takes 7-9 months to enter into force.

KBE work session

On August 2, the day before the conference, the Board met for a working session to discuss ways to reach the goals and prepare for next year.

KDE’s Chief Communications Officer, Toni Konz Tatman, helped the Board prepare to communicate United We Learn’s vision for the future of education in the Commonwealth to stakeholders. She concluded her presentation by encouraging board members to “always remember why you’re doing this job.”

Board members also heard from KDE’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Affiliation Director Damian Sweeney, Ray and Park that virtual learning programs are an essential theme for social, mental health and academic success. We heard about how we can deal with it.

Sweeney said virtual learning programs can give students “a voice and choice” by creating learning experiences tailored to their needs.

Park introduced the board to special guests from the Britt Virtual Learning Academy (BVLA), Britt County, including BVLA Principal Danny Clemens, Instructional Coach Dominic McKamish, and Britt County Associate Superintendent Adrian Usher. BVLA is a recently developed virtual school that allows students to decide where they want to participate in remote learning.

Clemens said BVLA students are not isolated when enrolling in virtual programs. Students can directly participate in virtual excursions and extracurricular activities such as marching his band, sports, academic his team, and proms.

BVLA students are college and career ready, and the flexibility of the virtual setting allows students to attend classes and earn an associate’s degree at the same time.

According to Clemens, the virtual program is suitable for all situations, including medical needs, students with anxiety and other mental health needs, accelerated learners, and students who may struggle with traditional classroom learning. is ideal for students of

In other businesses, the Board of Directors:

  • Dealing with devastating flooding in eastern Kentucky. KBE Chair Lu S. Young said that as KDE held the first virtual superintendents’ meeting for flood-affected districts, the agency will best address the district’s immediate, short-term, and long-term needs. We said we could start establishing ways to support. School districts in the area are evaluating damage to buildings and facilities, community infrastructure, remediation and cleaning requirements for affected buildings, and the general recovery of the community. Once immediate needs for food, shelter, and clothing have been identified and met, and power and water supplies have been restored, school districts will begin planning their return to school.
  • Honored special education teacher Barbara Washington and educational partners Alexis Patterson and Jeanine Mosher with the 2022 Grissom Award for Innovation in Special Education.
  • Hear from Willie Edward Taylor Carver, Jr. about his reflections on his 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year term.
  • 702 KAR 7:125, Approve correction of student attendance.
  • Re-elected Young as chairman and Sharon Porter-Robinson as vice-chairman.
  • Approved the winners of the 2022 Kelly Awards for Business and Education Partnerships. The award will be presented at his October regular meeting of the Board of Directors.
  • Appointed KBE members Steve Trimble, Lee Todd, and Holly Bloodworth to the State Evaluation and Appeals Commission for fiscal year 2022-23.
  • Renewed board membership to the National Association of School Boards.
  • Hear an update from Bradworth on state-level portrait recommendations for learners/graduates.
  • Hear from KDE Associate Commissioners Beth Hargis and Gretta Hylton about how KBE can help Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) and Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD).
  • The Pulaski County School District has approved a request to allow the purchase of properties with acquisition and site preparation costs greater than 10% of the project budget.
  • We heard a report from Aaron Thompson, Chair of the Postsecondary Education Council.
  • I heard a report from School Commissioner Jason E. Glass.
  • We got an update on KDE’s strategic planning process from Karen Dodd, KDE’s Chief Operating Officer.When
  • Approved Consent Agenda Items:
    • Annual Amendment to Kentucky Tech Policies and Procedures.
    • 705 KAR 4:041, Modification of Work-Based Study Program Standards.
    • 702 KAR 1:170 for Expiration Avoidance, School District Data Security and Data Breach Certification.
    • Adoption and amendment of annual policies of KSB and KSD.
    • Hearing Officer’s Report; and

litigation report.