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Summary of December 11th and 12th Board of Regents Meeting

The December Board of Regents meeting began with the Early Childhood Workgroup presenting their 2018-19 budget proposal.  One of the group’s primary goals is to secure more funding to expand early childhood services to more students across the state.

The State Aid Committee presented their 2018 -19 State Aid Proposal for adoption.  Key areas of emphasis include:

1.       Continued  phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula

2.       Continued expansion of prekindergarten programs

3.       Increasing support for English Language Learners

4.       Increasing support for career and technical education (CTE)   (State Aid Proposal)   (Budget Priorities)   (Legislative Priorities)   (State Aid Proposal Presentation)

Deputy Commissioner JHone Ebert updated the Board on the status of the Smart Schools Bond Act funding. To date, approximately 400 million dollars in allocations have been approved, primarily in the areas of:

1.       Improving school connectivity

2.       Expanding learning outside the school day and building

3.       Acquiring learning technology equipment or devices

4.       Supporting pre-kindergarten classrooms

5.       Replacing transportable classroom units

6.       Installing High tech security features in schools

Deputy Commissioner Ebert also updated the board on newly  proposed recommendations being put forth by the committee working on the revising the 180-Day requirement guidelines.  The key component of the new proposal is the replacement of the current Daily Minimum Hours requirement with anAnnual Aggregate Minimum Hours requirement of the same length. The committee feels that this change will provide greater flexibility in scheduling non-instructional time, such as lunch, recess, and parent-teacher conferences. Specific information is presented in the link below.

The proposal now goes out for the 45 day public comment period.  It is anticipated that the amended policy will be adopted at the March 2018 Board of Regents meeting.

The P-12 Education Committee presented an emergency amendment that will allow more discretion for school principals and superintendents to award CDOS Commencement Credentials to Students With Disabilities.  Students who have not met all the requirements with regards to achievement on state testing,  but have demonstrated knowledge and skills in the commencement level CDOS learning standards will be eligible for the credential.  The amendment goes into effect immediately so students graduating in January 2018 are eligible for this provision.

It is anticipated that it will be brought to the Board for formal adoption at the May 2018 BOR meeting.

In response to the current shortage of individuals who hold Students with Disabilities certification, The P-12 Education Committee proposed an amendment to provide grade level extensions for special education teachers.  The proposal seeks to expand the grade bands that special ed teachers are eligible to teach provided they meet certain criteria.  The proposed amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption at their March meeting.

As expected, the Board of Regents formally adopted the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders which will be phased in over several years.  School leader preparation programs are required to have the standards integrated into their curricula by 2020.  Principal evaluation tools will need to be updated and aligned by December 2022.

A particularly strong new emphasis in the standards focuses on the area of Cultural Responsiveness, or creating an instructional environment that connects new learning to each student’s background and prior experience.  Other new areas of focus include:

·         Cultivating an inclusive, caring, and supportive school environment.

·         Engaging families and community members in meaningful, reciprocal and mutually beneficial ways.

ESSAA will provide more details separately

An amendment was proposed by the Higher Education Committee relating to the mentoring requirement for new teachers.

Currently, teachers are required to complete a mentoring program during their first year of employment.  This presents a problem for individuals hired after the start of the school year since they are not able to receive a full year of support.  The new regulation will require that mentoring be provided during the first 180 days of employment which could extend into the second year of teaching.

Following the 45 Day public comment period, it is anticipated that this will come before the Board for adoption at the March Board of Regents meeting.

The Board received a proposal to create a new teaching certificate for the area of computer science.  The amendment will establish a computer science certificate title that spans all grade levels and includes tenure rights.  There are several provisions for teachers who are currently teaching computer science courses, but hold certificates in other areas.

Following the 45 day public comment period, the proposal will be presented for adoption at the March 2018 Board of Regents meeting.

Finally, as part of Tuesday’s consent agenda, the Board approved an extension of the edTPA teacher certification exam safety net until June 30, 2018.


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