Twin Valley District News

Information from the district perspective

The purpose of the newsletter from Superintendent Van Ranken

Twin Valley parent and patrons,


My goal is to keep you informed as much as possible as to what takes place with the district but in all honesty, we do not have the personnel to do a more regular newsletter well. I will try this electronic format for the 2019-2020 school year in hopes of sharing the positive things as well as the challenges we face in the district.

My plan is to produce some sort of newsletter at least quarterly during the school year. It will contain information that is more global in nature as it relates to the district, education, and also what you can do to support your student in our schools.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to share them with me, Fred Van Ranken at the USD 240 Central Office by phone at 785-488-3325 ext 401, in person at 107 N. Nelson in Bennington, or via email at fvanranken@usd240.org.

Why are you receiving this newsletter?

You are receiving this initial newsletter as a result of your email address being in the USD 240 PowerSchool email database. Superintendent Van Ranken exported the email addresses from PowerSchool and imported them within this system so as to be able to provide this newsletter to you all.

Feel free to share with others as we will also post on social media sites.

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October 4, 2019 Twin Valley Admin Friday Lunch Bunch webinar

Oct 4 2019 Lunch

Changes in Board of Regents Qualified Admissions

Below is a link to a proposal that was adopted by the Kansas Board of Regents at their September 2019 meeting in Topeka. This impacts qualified admissions requirements for current 8th grade students to attend Kansas State, Kansas, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State, and Wichita State.

Page 36 of the agenda (link below) contains the actual proposal that WAS passed at this meeting.

https://www.kansasregents.org/resources/PDF/About/Board_Meetings/FY_2020/Agenda_Sept_18-19_2019.pdf

This essentially gets rid of the qualified curriculum component that has been in place for some time in Kansas to attend was a part of requirements for a student to attend any of the above-mentioned universities. Talk to your building-level academic counselor (Val Martin in Tescott and Rena Mick in Bennington) or building principal to learn more about how this will impact CURRENT 8th grade classes (and lower grades).

Below is a link to a Kansas Association of School Boards article that explains it as well: https://kasb.org/nb0918-5/

District continues to work to meet student mental health needs

USD 240 is cooperating with USD 239 in a Mental Health pilot grant this year through which we have hired Amanda Davidson from the Delphos area to serve as a liaison between Central Kansas Mental Health Center coordinating services and the participating districts. Amanda will be in our district on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the course of the year. We may also have her on alternate Fridays but will wait to see how this position unfolds as there will be much in the area of paperwork and several other unknowns that are still to be addressed.

This person will also be tasked with helping serve the district, alongside Mrs. Van Coervern, in all areas of addressing mental health and related needs. This could include, but not be limited to triaging students in crisis, psychosocial groups, providing education for students and staff, and helping us educate parents in this area.

We are VERY excited to have Amanda on board!

Have you ever heard of the term "Ace's"?

The terms "Ace's" has gained notoriety in educational and other circles over the past couple of years. What does it stand for? Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Here is a link from the CDC that can help parents develop somewhat of an understanding of how Aces impacts children and families.

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html

Below is a VERY short video describing Aces. It is an bit over one minute in length and well work your time.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

College and Career Readiness Opportunities-What Does Twin Valley Do For Kids?

The district is working hard to engage kids in thinking about their future as it relates to post-secondary education, career opportunities, and where to look for more information. One of the things that we have done the past three years is ensure we get every student in grades 7-11 on various campuses to explore those opportunities. What follows below is what is planned for the 2019-2020 school year.


One thing to remember is that we use the funds generated from the Propane Impact4 For Kids program sponsored by Central Valley Ag to fund these opportunities. The district has received a bit over $21,806 the past two years from this program. It continues at least through this year, which we are very grateful to CVA for this support.


Grade 7: This group of students will go to Salina Polytechnic, Salina Area Vo-Tech, and Kansas Wesleyan in the spring. This gives them a pretty good sample of three levels of post-secondary opportunities.


Grade 8: This group has gone to the North Central Kansas Technical College in Beloit. This year, we are doing something different as there is a Middle School Careers Day in Hutchinson on February 19, 2020. Our 8th grade students will rotate through learning by doing job stations separated by the seven career fields as defined in the Kansas Career Clusters Model.


Grade 9: Students will be going to Fort Hays State University on November 26, 2019. This is more of a leadership conference that students seemed to really benefit from the past two years.


Grade 10: This will be a campus tour of a Regents university and will include financial aid information for students. We try to rotate this around to the area universities, especially Wichita State and Fort Hays State as they seemed to have done a much better job of relaying post-secondary life for students.


Grade 11: We take students to the ESSDACK Career Expo on November 6, 2019 in Hutchinson. This event has features dozens of two and four-year colleges, university, and technical schools with boths, demonstrations, and information about what they have to offer students. It also contains many other career informational avenues for students, including apprenticeship and similar opportunities for students to consider. There are hundreds and hundreds of students from across the state participating in this event.

Website: https://cte.essdack.org/?_ga=2.151197945.1977959865.1570547508-1839590420.1565789803


Grade 12: For this group of students, counselors focus more on those that are undecided in relation to post-secondary endeavors. They look to find opportunities for them to explore campuses, vocational schools, etc. that fit into their Individual Plan of Study. These are handled on an individual or small group basis.

Teacher Feedback-Summit Learning Adjustments for 2019

Teachers were asked by Mr. Van Ranken to provide input from grade levels and/or content areas as is relates to Summit Learning improvements for the year. The link below is to a document that contains that feedback. Feel free to refer to this over the course of the year, ask questions of staff, and provide us with feedback in this area.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H92qi8DX-DyyvwYQPLg_Yb0OBVQ1w8ttiWQ_L7CybT4/edit?usp=sharing

USD 240 Website and how to find "stuff"

The district website can be found at http://www.usd240.org/. Here you will be able to get links to buildings, follow along on our social media feeds, check calendars, and access many other things that will help make your lives more efficient as it relates to school information and activities.

Below is are examples of links from the website that might be helpful:

BOE policy manual: http://www.usd240.org/vnews/display.v/ART/5a1f336593f92

State-required financial and accountability reports: http://www.usd240.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/District%7CAccountability%20Reports

Parent resources page: http://www.usd240.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Parents

How to access PowerSchool: http://www.usd240.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Parents%7CPowerSchool

How to access Summit Learning: http://www.usd240.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Parents%7CSummit%20Parent%20Login