02-13 People are Talking

02-13 People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking

Quotes on education from Kentucky and elsewhere

“We wanted to do something new. It’s a useful skill to have. With us going to college next year, we thought something like that would be scary if it did happen to us and we had no idea what to do. Now we a lot of new information to take with us to college and further on in life.” George Rogers Clark High School (Clark County) senior Haley Tye on the benefits of a self-defense class being offered to female students as part of the school’s physical education program. From the Winchester Sun. Photo by James Mann/Winchester Sun

“I think all of us were disappointed that we weren’t able to do a salary increase this year. We were able to come up with something more substantial than a jacket to say, ‘Thanks.’” Walton-Verona Independent school board member Bill Freeman on the board’s decision to grant a one-time, 1 percent salary supplement to all staff in recognition of the district scoring a distinguished rating in the first year of the state’s school accountability system. From the Fort Mitchell Community Press & Recorder.

“They’re not changing light bulbs and they’re not fixing leaky faucets. They’re working on the machines; I mean the robots. They work on hydraulics, they work on a little bit of everything.” Mike  Slone, industrial maintenance technology instructor at Russell County Schools’ Lake Cumberland Area Technology Center, on the modern equivalent of what was once called vocational school. From the Russell Springs News-Register.

“Numbers are important. If you get too big, you lose the quality of education. If you get too small, it gets too expensive to have quality education. But, we probably won’t come close to 350 students when school starts next year. However, we’re trying to make an effort to get a higher amount.” Fleming County Schools Superintendent Tom Price on some of the reasons for changing elementary attendance boundaries in advance of opening a new school. From the Maysville Ledger Independent.

“Our original background check didn’t uncover anything in-state. We do use a national database as well, and the national check did uncover a misdemeanor event in Cincinnati several years ago. The system failed. What we had and what you have — it’s nowhere close.” Spencer County Schools Superintendent Chuck Adams after a newspaper inquiry into the background of a middle school teacher/coach facing burglary and imprisonment charges uncovered convictions in Ohio, including a drug charge, of which the district was unaware. From the Taylorsville Spencer Magnet.

“The signal just doesn’t carry through the block walls.” Letcher County Schools Technology Coordinator Randy Bailey on one of the challenges to creating wireless Internet service throughout every building in the district. From the Whitesburg Mountain Eagle.

“Parents are always going to be advocates for their child’s programs, and I respect that. I don’t think that anyone wants to see someone lose what they are passionate in or intentionally make a decision that would cripple an organization, a program, anything that is successful or is there to benefit the  students.” Jason Clark, Hopkins County Schools director of middle and secondary instruction and assessment, responding to concerns that changes to the academic class schedule at Madisonville-North Hopkins High School would keep some students from being able to be in the marching band. From the Madisonville Messenger.

“We were looking for a way to lengthen our class periods. We are a high school on an eight period day. Seventy percent of our classes are year-long classes that last for 45 minutes. With new state guidelines and teaching which involves getting students involved in the classroom, 45 minutes is just not long enough. One of the complaints from schools on an A/B schedule was a lack of structure. By going to the set-up we have, we will have structure. We will know on Monday that we go to all eight classes. On Tuesday and Thursday, we will be on our red schedule and on Wednesday and Friday, we will be on our blue schedule. Plus, each teacher will have more time in each class per day to get students involved in the instructional process.” Allen County Scottsville High School Principal Brian Carter explaining his school’s new weekly class schedule that began in January. From the Scottsville Citizen-Times.

Kentucky reacts to Newtown shootings, school safety

“Anybody with enough firepower can come into a school and do what that guy did. If you have enough firepower, you can go through anything. That’s the reality of it that people don’t want to hear but that’s the truth.”Jon Akers, director of the Kentucky Center on School Safety. From the Associated Press.

“We’re in the child development business. That’s our product, our passion. It’s what we do, protecting and taking care of kids — that’s us.”Somerset Independent Schools Superintendent Boyd Randolph. From the SomersetCommonwealth-Journal.

“This is one of those days when you have to take care of emotional issues before you get into teaching. That’s one thing we want to make sure we’re doing.”Garrard County Schools Superintendent Don Aldridge. From theLexington Herald-Leader.

“We can’t sacrifice the instructional integrity to build a fortress.”Oldham County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dan Orman. From the Louisville WDRB-TV News.

“This morning, he (her son) said ‘Am I safe at school,’ and I said ‘Yes, you are just as safe as you were on Friday and the day before that and the day before that.’  As a parent, I think less is more.”Tamala Martin, principal of Summit Elementary (Boyd County) School. From the AshlandDaily Independent.

“You ask yourself, ‘What more you can do?’ There’s no perfect scenario. The different times of the day brings a totally different challenge - whether it’s in the morning as students are arriving, during lunch when you’ve got a cafeteria full of students or at the end of the day as students are preparing to leave.”Russellville Independent Schools Superintendent Leon Smith. From the RussellvilleNews Democrat & Leader.

“This morning we implemented a policy stopping parents from escorting children into the classroom. It’s pitiful that we are at this point (but) we are living at a time we can take these measures necessary to keep our students and staff safe.”Nicholas County Elementary School Principal Shawn Parrish. From the Lexington WKYT-TV News.

“We want our schools to be welcoming and open to the public and the parents, but you also have to consider the safety of the students and staff. Are you going to build a fortress or are you going to have an open, welcoming school? Those are the things you have to consider.”Pike County Schools Superintendent Roger Wagner. From the PikevilleAppalachian News-Express.

“We just want it known to kids that we take things like this very seriously. You don’t go around instigating things and if you’ve got something to tell us, tell us and we’ll deal with it. But these students were saying these things solely for the purpose of getting attention and they’ll face the consequences now.”Owen County High School Principal Duane Cline after two students were cited by state police for allegedly claiming there was an intruder in their building the first week of classes after the winter break. From the OwentonNews-Herald.

Point/Counterpoint on supporting facility upgrades with utility taxes

Point...
“We don’t have the revenue coming in from the state. Our student body is growing every year and the school is falling apart and we need a plan. We have to have some work done to the school. We are thinking that this tax levy will also give us more bonding capacity, and hopefully we can build a new high school.”
Fairview Independent school board chairman John Burke on the 3 percent utilities tax proposed by his board.

Counterpoint...
“I don’t know what the problem is supposed to be. They are talking now about wanting new facilities for the future. Many of these schools we have in our state and other states are well over 100 years old and they keep them up and they are going quite strong.”
Fairview resident Joe Weis who was seeking petitions to force a referendum on the new tax. The vote is scheduled for Feb. 19.

From the Ashland Daily Independent

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