11-12 People Are Talking

11-12 People Are Talking

People are Talking

“Our teachers have learned we’re not talking about test scores or grades. We’re talking about how their brains work. We’re not in the information age anymore. We’re in the innovation age. We know how to get information. The question is, ‘How do you use it?’.” Toddie Adams, pictured at left, director of gifted services for Marshall County Schools, on how gifted and talented programs are changing in Kentucky. From the Benton Tribune-Courier.

“It’s not just about the hovercraft, it’s about making one. It sort of teaches us about geometry, shapes, angles, measuring, making the connectors work. We have to work out the math to build it without overspending our budget.” Bate Middle School (Danville Independent) seventh-grader Billy Critchfield on his school’s participation in a University of Kentucky study of project-based learning. From the Danville Advocate-Messenger.

“We’re going to be very heavily data-driven. Sometimes it’s not what the data tells you, but it’s the questions it asks to get you to reflect on your practice even more.” Beechwood Independent Schools Superintendent-to-be Dr. Steve Hutton on his focus upon his Jan. 1 return to the district where he once was an elementary teacher. From the Fort Mitchell Nky.com.

“You can’t get a job anymore without a high school diploma. I knew a GED isn’t as good as a diploma. (In this program), you can go at your own pace and read the sections as many times as you need. The subjects go a little bit more in depth than in the classroom because the teachers have a certain guideline for what they have to teach for the school year. I think it’s a real good program. It allows kids that really want to catch up to get where they need to be.” Zackery Clark, the first graduate from Trimble County High School’s credit-recovery program, on the benefits of the initiative designed to get more students on graduation track. From the Bedford Trimble Banner.

“That the state has gone from being below the national average on all these measures, to virtually at or sometimes slightly above the national average – when you consider that we are still economically below the national average – is really quite an accomplishment.” University of Louisville Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Education Sam Stringfield on Kentucky’s latest test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). From Louisville WFPL Radio.

“It was easier in some aspects. With more free writing, based more on my opinion, based more than a document they require you to fill out. I think it is helping a lot because I know what to expect when I go into college.” Lloyd High School (Erlanger-Elsmere Independent) senior Torey Duncan on the benefits of dual credits earned through a partnership between her school and Northern Kentucky University. From the Fort Mitchell Kentucky Enquirer.

“Basically, the whole idea is to introduce, at a very young age, our children to multiple types of professions. (In Kentucky) education is all geared toward career readiness. The earlier we expose children to all that is available to them, the more likely they are to think about it. They may never have thought about being a pilot or a radio personality or a farmer. They are making connections to the real world and real life; this is an experience they otherwise wouldn’t get to do.” Eminence Independent Elementary School Principal Mike Doran on having a farmer, pilot, news reporter and state worker talk about career choices to third- and fourth-grade students. From the New Castle Henry County Local.

“It might be a little harder for the little ones to understand, but we are going to try to put it on their level as much as we can. We’re trying to get the little ones to realize reading can be fun.” Madisonville-North Hopkins High School business teacher Lauren Keeling on a literacy promotion event at a local mall where high school students lead elementary students in a reading exercise. From the Madisonville Messenger.

“We know some of our kids are walking around with some of the most powerful learning devices on earth. We need to encourage them to use them in the pursuit of understanding. We need technology to be seamlessly integrated into their educational lives, just like it is in their social lives.” Nelson County Schools Superintendent Anthony Orr on a proposal to let high school students bring their own personal electronic communications devices to school and use them in classroom instruction. From the Bardstown Kentucky Standard.

“In a post-Columbine and post-Sept. 11, 2001 world, no potential threat can be taken lightly and school leaders and police agencies must take every precaution, even if all the evidence points to a foolish prank. Sharing information with students, parents, employees and the community is critical. In situations such as these, everyone needs to be dealing with the facts. Failure to communicate would only feed rumors, which can be especially destructive when school safety is concerned. Hardin County Schools recognized that and took the appropriate steps.” Portion of a newspaper editorial on how Hardin County Schools’ officials handled a note claiming plans for violence found at a school. From the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise.

“I think people make some assumptions that alternative programs are holding pens and not a lot of education goes on there, which is not the case at all. I would put our education up against anybody’s, so hopefully this will allow people to understand that if they’re going to an alternative program, they are getting services as good as in a traditional setting.” Wilkinson Street School (Frankfort Independent) Principal Alan Spade on his hopes that new state regulations on alternative schools will change the public perceptions of those programs. From the Frankfort State-Journal.

“Floyd County Schools have been working hard to improve attendance as we know that with regular attendance students learn more and are more successful in school. Betsy Layne’s improving attendance mirrors their test scores as they are ranked 4th in the region and 53rd in the state.” Floyd County Schools Superintendent Henry Webb on Betsy Layne High School winning the Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel High Attendance Day for the third consecutive year. From the Prestonsburg Floyd County Times.

“There’s a road between us, but there hasn’t been a lot of communication. These summits opened the door to discovering the needs of our students. They are meant to align our curriculum from the top down for the ACT standards.” Hickman County High School Principal Larry Farlee on a series of math and reading summits for teachers from the elementary and high schools, located across the street from each other. From the Clinton Hickman County Gazette.

“That road map to the future is very aggressive, but that’s what we need to do.” Union County Board of Education member Lynda Jackson reacting to the district’s “Road Map to the Future,” which details the school system’s academic progress plans. From the Morganfield Union County Advocate.

Getting a move on better health
“The foundation starts when you’re little. If you don’t start when you’re younger, all your bad habits are just going to continue.”
South Middle School (Henderson County) Wellness Coordinator Brandy Reed on her school’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity through diet and exercise programs. From the Evansville, Ind. WEHT-TV.

“We get out of PE and instead of throwing footballs, we get to dance.” McKell Middle School (Greenup County) student  Zach Osmon on a line dancing class taught by a traveling dance group sponsored by a national restaurant chain. From the Ashland Daily Independent.

Point...
“We have instant results on tests, which shows us the students’ progress at a glance. And when we use the clickers, there is no more grading tests or entering scores into a grade book, and it gets us closer to paperless.” Star Elementary (Grayson County) fifth-grade teacher Sonya Hayes on the benefits that the 25-year educator sees from electronic white boards and wireless clickers in students’ hands.

Counterpoint...
“It’s more fun to see the frog in person. They are stinky though.” Star Elementary fourth-grader Hannah Ison on the trade-offs of a virtual, three-dimensional dissection versus cutting into the real thing.

From the Leitchfield Journal-Times

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