0413 People are Talking

0413 People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking “I wanted to find out if we should feed our cows grain or grass. Now I know we should use grain when feeding our calves. It’s cool to know you can take something like science and apply it to your everyday life.” Elementary student Ethan Music after participating in the first Lawrence County Schools’ science fair (pictured above), which enabled selected students to go on to a regional science and technology competition. From the Ashland Daily Independent. Photo provided by Lawrence County Schools

“It sparks some great discussion and allows us to identify areas we can continue to grow in. It’s been a great experience for us and we look forward to continuing to focus on students learning and providing high quality instruction in every classroom.” Grandview Elementary (Bellevue Independent) School Principal Jamie Baker on the district’s use of iPads for the past year, with special “learning walk” software to regularly visit and measure teaching in the classroom. From the Fort Mitchell Nky.com.

“We have sections in our code of conduct that have little pluses beside them that allow for teacher discretion. Everything doesn’t have to be a referral. The teacher can handle things in a way that he or she feels comfortable with.” Jefferson County school board member Linda Duncan on proposed changes in the student code of conduct that, while not ending zero-tolerance policies on some infractions, would give educators more flexibility to deal with others. From the Louisville WFPL Radio news.

“We instituted idle policies for cold weather that limit idle times. We also included tracking mechanisms for each unit to gauge fuel efficiency. The reduction in pollutants is an additional benefit. Fuel is more expensive each year; the less we use, the better off we will be.” LaRue County Schools Transportation and Maintenance Director Phil Fulkerson on the district’s selection for the Green Fleets of the Bluegrass Award by the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition. From the Hodgenville LaRue County Herald-News.

“When you’re losing that many students and that many staff members it’s really difficult to maintain a high level of instructional focus. It’s a pretty rare occurrence. Even my daughter, who is a senior, accused me of getting a little soft, but when you take a look at those numbers it’s indisputable.” Berea Independent Schools Superintendent Mike Hogg keeping his sense of humor about a rare snow day for his district. From the Lexington WKYT-TV News.

“Weighing pigs doesn’t make them fatter, so testing kids doesn’t make them smarter and evaluating teachers doesn’t always make them better.” Jessamine County Schools Superintendent Lu Young on the importance of ongoing professional development for educators once the state’s new evaluation system goes into full effect. From the Associated Press.

“As a single district, we could never combine all of the courses necessary for some of the career ready certifications, but if we work together and plan those, then our students would have an advantage.” Hazard Independent Schools Superintendent Sandra Johnson on a memorandum of understanding with the Perry County Schools to pool resources on college and career readiness and other academic needs of students in both districts. From the Hazard Herald.

“I don’t see this doctoral program as an investment in Anthony Strong, I see it as an investment in the Pendleton County school district. If a district wants to get better, it must invest in its leaders, principals, and teachers. He’s the leader of the ship and there can only be one person to go.” Pendleton County school board Chairman Mark Ross on the board’s decision to underwrite Superintendent Strong’s participation in the education doctoral program at Northern Kentucky University. From the Falmouth Outlook.

“If it will allow students who were not able to get their diploma in the past to now be able to receive that to recognize their work, then that’s a good thing. The problem is that’s not going to allow you to count them as part of your overall graduation rate.” Murray Independent Schools Superintendent Bob Rogers on a consequence of a new state regulation that allows boards of education to retroactively grant alternative diplomas, rather than certificates for special needs students who complete their graduation requirements. From the Murray Ledger & Times.

“They are charged with educating the next generation — a difficult enough endeavor considering the current state of our society. Far too often, lawmakers attempt to make schools a catch-all for a failing society rather than focus on the basic, vital purpose our educational system was originally designed for.” Spencer County Schools Superintendent Chuck Adams reacting to some proposals that teachers be allowed to carry concealed weapons to improve school safety. From the Taylorsville Spencer Magnet.

“We met with students a couple of weeks ago trying to make sure they understand what they have to do and the scores they have to have on this test in order to be accepted into these different programs in college such as nursing and computer science. Southeast (Kentucky Community and Technical College) is here to just back up what we told them the other day. A lot of our students don’t realize how important the ACT test is and what it’s actually going to mean to them further on down the road. It’s the most important test they’ve taken so far in their life.” Harlan County Schools Assistant Superintendent Brent Roark on a joint presentation by district and college officials to the high school’s junior class on the importance of doing well on the upcoming ACT test. From the Harlan Daily Enterprise.

Sequestration Frustration

“We’re still hoping something will happen to help minimize these cuts going forward. We’re still hopeful that Congress will do something. I don’t know why, but we are.” Floyd County Schools Superintendent Henry Webb on the pending federal funding cuts for programs such as Title I, Title II and special education services.  From the Prestonsburg Floyd County Times.

“It’s the modern day motto in education to do more with less. Each year, we are educating children with thousands of dollars less. It makes me wonder if education really is valued in our country.” Barren County Schools Superintendent Bo Matthews on his worries about the negative impact of the sequestration cuts.  From the Glasgow Daily Times.

“I sit in the middle and spin this way and that way (to help four special needs students). It’s upsetting. You think how much lower can we go? How much more can they cut from us?” McNabb Elementary (Paducah Independent) special education teacher Kim Henley on the front-line concerns about the looming federal cuts. From the Paducah Sun.

Changing Alternatives

“We’re big on careers here. “We always say, ‘Every student is a potential employee.’” Carroll County alternative school principal Ed Nelson on the faculty’s attention to building each student’s employability skills during their studies. From the Carrollton News-Democrat.

“Not a place of punishment, but an alternative option for where and how they (attend) school. This will allow us to address how teaching and learning occur. The curriculum content would be totally different, which is where (Beacon students) may excel.” Daviess County school board member Mike Clark on Superintendent Owens Saylor’s proposed changes to the focus of the district’s alternative school. From the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.

Facilities plans and closing schools

Point...
“I’m willing and ready to stand my ground on important issues and not just go with the crowd. Those who spoke last week only voiced concerns of the building, not the need of our children’s education.”
Mercer County school board member Jim Stinnett on the decision to close the former Harrodsburg Independent High School building as part of a facilities plan update.

Counterpoint...
“Closing a structure only to construct additional space seems frivolous to me even in good economic times.”
Board member Pattie Burke on her lone ‘no’ vote on the school closing. 

From the Danville Advocate Messenger

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