“If we’re holding our students to a standard, I think the adults in the community need to be held to that same accountability. It’s not an option for me in my work place, and for most people, it’s not.” Jessamine County Board of Education member Fran Settle, pictured at right, during a discussion of adopting a drug testing policy covering all district employees. From the Nicholasville Jessamine Journal.
“Each student will carry a bus card attached to a book bag or a backpack. They will scan that card when they get on and off the school bus. This program will give the school system one more way of providing safety to its students. It allows us another check as to where students end up at the end of the day.” Logan County Schools Superintendent Marshall Kemp on a software program that also will allow parents to know when their students are on a district bus and where they get off. From the Russellville News-Democrat & Leader.
“When you have a threat to students like that, it becomes Job 1 for everyone. That means you have a combined effort of everyone in the school, from faculty to staff to food service, our maintenance people also have to drop everything. It came out to $6,150 an hour, which is quite a bit of money to this district, and, in some cases, we’ve had incidents that have actually lasted longer than an hour so that cost just goes up with those.” Calloway County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Fred Ashby on his calculation of the costs involved in responding to a series of bomb threats. From the Murray Ledger & Times.
“Our schools in so many ways have become about test prep. We've got to have kids graduating who can do more than respond to multiple-choice questions. Can they think like a mathematician? Can they think like a scientist? Can students look at data and evaluate what is good and reliable versus what might not be?” Danville Independent Schools Superintendent Carmen Coleman on her district’s goal of gaining approval to use “project-based learning” measurements of student achievement as official district progress targets, replacing some aspects of the state accountability system. From the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
“One parent said, ‘There is a lot of physical and emotional security here.’ One student summed up the reasons for her feeling safe when she said, ‘I feel safe because teachers are around everywhere, the doors are locked, and we have security cameras.’” Portion of a Kentucky Center for School Safety audit report on two Hazard Independent buildings. From the Hazard Herald.
“Teachers had to use their card to get into doors. After three or four days, they got in the routine. I feel like everybody is comfortable and feels safer. You always want to think nothing bad will happen at your school. The best defense is to be on the offense. We want to limit visitors coming in and know who is in the buildings.” Dawson Springs Independent Chief Academic Officer Kent Workman on newly installed key card access to all doors in the district’s two schools. From the Madisonville Messenger.
“Today's students will be the single biggest factor in Kentucky's ability to compete. We are failing them — and failing our future. The funding gap between poor and richer public school districts is almost back to pre-KERA levels. Five years of state funding cuts…have fallen hard on schools across the state, but are especially onerous in places where local tax increases can't begin to make up the difference. Unless these inequities are remedied — and that will require money — Kentucky should prepare to resume its former place at the bottom of all education rankings.” Portions of newspaper editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader.