KDE seeks public comment

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Sixth-grader Samuel Leigers recently won the Documentary Division of the statewide 2019 National History Day Contest.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking public comment through July 30 on its request to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to extend its waiver on the number of students who can be tested using an alternate assessment on the annual statewide Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and its subsequent amendments states that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are required to participate in statewide testing through the use of alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards.

The federal law requires that no more than 1% of the total number of students participating in a statewide assessment such as K-PREP may take the alternate assessment in each subject area tested.

Data most recently received from the 2018-2019 school year shows that slightly more than 1% of Kentucky’s students took alternate assessments.

If a state believes that it will exceed the 1% cap, the state may request that the secretary of education waive the cap for the relevant subject for one year. The KDE plans to submit a waiver request to the USED in the areas of reading, mathematics, writing, science and social studies.

In order to receive the waiver, KDE must collect data on the characteristics of students participating in the alternate assessment to determine whether students who do not have significant cognitive disabilities are participating.

Send written comments on the proposed waiver to Sylvia Starkey, Director, Division of IDEA Monitoring and Results, Office of Special Education and Early Learning, Kentucky Department of Education, 300 Sower Blvd., Fifth Floor, Sower Building, Frankfort, KY 40601. Comments also may be submitted by email to Sylvia.Starkey@education.ky.gov, by telephone at (502) 564-4970, or by fax at (502) 564-4124.

Richmond student wins National History Day contest

Richmond sixth-grader Samuel Leigers recently won the Documentary Division of the statewide 2019 National History Day Contest.

The theme for this year's annual contest was "Triumph and Tragedy" and was held at the University of Kentucky. Leigers conducted research for his documentary titled “Remembering the U.S.S. Indianapolis.”

“My goal is for more people to learn about the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the sacrifices made during World War II," Leigers said.

For his work, Leiger received the Outstanding Military or Veterans Affair History Award sponsored by the Frankfort Elks Lodge in the National History Day Kentucky State Contest. He went on to the national competition held at College Park, Maryland in June.

Leigers has been invited to speak and present his documentary at the 74th U.S.S. Indianapolis Survivors Reunion.

Berea college student travels for college

Berea native Elliot Sandberg spent his summer abroad, along with more than 700 other students from Belmont University, to earn college credit.

Sandberg spent time in Belmont's North Ireland program for college credit this summer in one of 45 faculty-led Maymester and Summer Study Abroad programs. The programs, which can last anywhere from a week to a month, are led and designed by Belmont faculty to explore one or two certain areas of study, while giving students the opportunity to travel to and discover a new place.

Belmont University Director of Study Abroad Thandi Dinani said Belmont's culturally enriching study abroad programs enhance a student's academic experience.

"Classrooms come to life as faculty take students to visit places where history took place," she said. "Whether visiting Nelson Mandela's prison cell in South Africa, walking streets where Jesus walked in Israel or studying chemistry while taking a cooking class in Italy, students see how countries, concepts and cultures have shaped history and impact their world."

To place your school news, event or photos in the Education Notebook email kskovran@richmondregister.com. Add "Education Notebook" to the subject line when submitting. Follow Kaitlyn on Twitter @kaitlynsbrooks.

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