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Kennedale
Thursday, December 3, 2020

KISD Corner ? security director, handbook changes, emergency communications, improved climate

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Earlier this summer a number of items were decided upon by KISD administration and the KISD Board of Trustees including hiring a security director, changes in student handbook, enhancing district emergency communications and a new program to improve overall health and climate.?{{more: continue …}}
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Some of the details are as follows.?
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District student handbook ?
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According to Associate Superintendent Missy Glenn, the 2018-19 Student Handbook has the least amount of changes that she has seen in ?about nine years.? KISD uses the Texas Association of School Board (TASB) model and follow their recommended updates. Updates included policies on students taken into custody; staff absences due to military enlistment, special education record keeping, assistance for learning difficulties and directory information changes. Some grading policy changes that were recommended by teachers were incorporated. Generally, the teachers wanted to consistently apply the same language throughout the grading policy i.e. clearing up language as to contacting the parents when the student has a low average, a failing grade or is failing. Links: Kennedale ISD and KISD Board of Trustees
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Enhanced intercom emergency system …
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The KISD approved proposal for contract with Lone Star Communications for a communications and intercom update. The improved intercom system would be implemented district wide and would allow emergency communications from almost any point on any campus or district office.
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The updated system already in place on 3 campuses would establish an updated centralized system that will allow communications to be controlled through a web browser or mobile interface. What this means is that the system would allow communications to individual campuses or all campuses for important information i.e. inclement weathers, intruder alerts, lock downs, all-clear notices. With certain situations, time is of essence. This system provides almost instant notice from almost any point from individual classrooms to the KISD Administration building. There are protections and protocols that will be built into the system that would prevent unauthorized use. Read more LoneStarEducation Solutions
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Campus changes ?
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Kennedale High School has changed their schedule to include two 40 minute lunch periods instead of the three shorter lunches that were used in the past. This allows more time for teacher collaboration and for students who have off-campus lunches to get back to school without speeding. Also, the tardy policy was refined so that these small infractions don?t necessarily lead to suspensions. There was a realignment of the campus improvement plan with that of the district?s plan and that of the junior high school. One of objectives is to improve performance in math, English and in the school?s sub populations with English language arts and special education.
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Kennedale Junior High?also has a major change in class schedule moving from a 7 period day to an 8 period day which will include a planning and collaboration time for the teachers. There will also be a Thursday tutorial and study hall time built into the schedule with an emphasis on reading.
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The morning drop-off time at James Arthur Intermediate?changed from 7:30 to 7:45 am. English Language Arts classes were doubled block, meaning that students who had reading with one teacher for one period stayed with that teacher for writing. The goal is to provide more consistency in the learning process and to improve performance in those key areas.
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Patterson Elementary and Delaney Elementary made changes to the school day so that the times were consistent. The same thing was done for the days that report cards and progress reports were issued.
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ACE program ends ?
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The ACE grant was not renewed this year. This was government funded program through TEA that turned out to be a very good deal for students on three KISD campuses. Originally, it was a three year grant renewable each year. Grant funds were targeted for after-school tutorials and enrichment programs. It provided transportation, snacks and meals, supplemented pay of teachers who stayed late after school to provide tutorials and other assistance. It was key to the development of the KHS Archery/outdoor education program which is now an integral part of the curriculum at the high school. Kennedale kept the grant for 4 years and received high marks for its implementation and organization. However, there was never any guarantee that it would be renewed from one year to the next. This year the funds have been redirected to other at-risk and high poverty schools around the state and to other programs such as Boys/Girls Clubs. More about ACE
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New security and safety director …
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Former ACE Director Logan Barrett has been hired as the Director of Safety and Security for the school district. This is a year around at-will position. The position is designed to work closely with the law enforcement officials and school principals in regards to safety and security. The qualifications do not require peace officer certification but emphasis school experience. Link: KISD School Safety and Security
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Improving school climate ?
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KISD is investing in a program which helps individuals identify their strengths called Clifton Strengths Explorer. It is designed to identify a person’s 5 top strengths. The district would first implement the program with staff. Along with the identification process would come a coaching component that would help teachers to further develop and utilize their identified strengths. The goal with the staff is to improve the overall health and climate of the district.
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The next step would be to involve the students in the process with a student version given this coming school year to all students from grades 7-12. Eventually, the goal is give a high school version to all 11th grade students, giving then information and a life skill that they can use going forward. Other districts currently using this program include Denton, Plano, Grapevine-Colleyville and Carrollton-Farmers Branch. They have reported positive results according to KISD staff. More about StrenthsQuest
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Upcoming meeting …
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The next regular KISD Board meeting is scheduled for September 20 beginning at 7 pm at the KISD Media Center on the campus of Kennedale High School.? All meetings are open to the public.?
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