Back to School Resources

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." - Sydney J. Harris


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. ESSA includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students and schools across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Education, ESSA:

  • Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.
  • Requires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.
  • Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students' progress toward those high standards.
  • Helps to support and grow local innovations—including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators—consistent with our Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhoods
  • Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.

Kentucky-Specific Resources


Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), state education agencies, including the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), are required to submit a plan detailing the implementation of the law and how federal education dollars will be spent. The latest version of Kentucky's Consolidated State Plan was most recently approved by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2020.

Military Connected Student Data Collection

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements, the U.S. Department of Education requires school districts to identify students who are armed forces family members. These students will be part of a new accountability subgroup for federal reporting purposes. This information is voluntarily provided by the parent or guardian.

The form at the following link can be downloaded and customized to collect information about a parent or guardian who is currently serving as an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces.

Military Connected Student Data Collection Form

Kentucky Homeland Security

Safe Schools

2 Ways to Report

Call the Tip Line - (866) 393-6659

Report Suspicious Activity Here.


In cases of emergency, individuals should call 911 or local law enforcement.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

As part of the Kentucky AWARE Project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services SAMHSA NITT-AWARE grant, the Kentucky Department of Education is currently providing Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

This evidence-based 6-hour certification course gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12-18) who may be in crisis or developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. Kentucky Department of Education is able to offer the course for free to school and community groups.

Contact information for public schools, non-public schools and the KDE School Report Card Suite

New Skills for Youth: Creating Pathways for Success in Kentucky

Across the country, states are already making progress by enlisting employers as key partners, improving the quality of career pathways in K-12 through higher education, and holding themselves accountable for making sure that all kids in all schools have a meaningful opportunity to prepare for a career.

This Career Readiness Compilation Video highlights several examples of how state education leaders (as Kentucky) and business leaders are working to improve career pathways for all students.

The Top 120 Occupations in the Top 5 Industry Sectors in Kentucky

What is Special Education?

Special education is instruction that is specially designed and uniquely tailored to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Public schools must provide special education and related services (e.g. Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech) to eligible students with disabilities at no cost to the parents. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the law that gives qualified children with disabilities the right to receive special and related services in public schools. The IDEA applies to children from ages three to 21.

The Kentucky Parent Guide for Special Education provides families and other stakeholders with information on the special education process and services provided to students throughout the state.

Arc of Ky: Special Education Brochure

What is an Individual Education Program (IEP)?

An IEP is a written, individualized program that outlines the services and supports the school and district will provide to students who qualify for special education and related services. IEPs help ensure students can access the general education curriculum. The Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) is the team responsible for developing a student’s IEP. Parents are a vital member of their child’s ARC. The ARC will review the student’s IEP at least once a year to be sure it continues to meet the unique educational needs of the student.

Frequently asked questions from foster parents about IEP

What training and support opportunities are available for parents and families?

Kentucky has many groups, councils and agencies that work with and provide support to families, including families of children with disabilities. Many of these groups host a variety of virtual and in-person events and training during the year. These events offer opportunities for parents and families of children to grow in their knowledge and understanding as well as actively engage in a community among families of children with disabilities. To find out more about upcoming events, click on the links below.

Additional Resources

Ensuring Stability for Children in Foster Care in Kentucky

Internet Safety

Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Minimum Graduation Requirements

Kentucky School Safety

Kentucky’s Tips on Cyber Bullying/Texting/Sexting

No Pass No Drive Questions and Answers

Prom Safety

Stranger Danger—Review with Foster Children

What Parents Can Do

About Us

Kentucky's Just in Time Training is a web based service program designed to connect foster parents, kinship or other caregivers with training, peer experts and other resources. Questions are answered and practical solutions to care for children are discussed - all from the comfort of your home or office.


If you have difficulty accessing any material on this site, please contact us in writing and we will work with you to make the information available. You can direct your request to