11-12 People are Talking

11-12 People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking

“There are about four million tires that are returned every year. What you have done with these 51,000 tires is made a very significant contribution to what we refer to as recycling and reusing. It fits in extremely well with the whole theme. Your school building is an Energy Star building. That means it’s very energy efficient and you have a recyclable crumb rubber tire playground. It’s not only recyclable, it’s safer and very, very pretty.” Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters during dedication of Bedford Elementary (Trimble County) School’s refurbished playground with a rubber mulch surface. From the Trimble Banner.

“This test does really matter.”  South Warren High School Principal Terry Cook recalling hearing, for the first time in 14 years, this comment by a student on the first tests under the new Kentucky Unbridled Learning assessment and accountability system. From the Bowling Green Daily News.

“Agriculture is so much more than cows and plows.” Madisonville-North Hopkins High School agriculture teacher Jim Bragg on how a new greenhouse is vital in expanding traditional farming classes to animal science, horticulture and agribusiness. From the Madisonville Messenger.

“I don’t think there’s any question the stiffer penalties had something to do with the fewer number of disqualifications we have seen. Especially in sports such as football, where three games can mean nearly a third of the season, more coaches and student-athletes are stopping to think before they act. If they are doing that, it means the penalties are doing exactly what they are designed to do. Boorish behavior and poor sportsmanship have no place and simply will not be tolerated.” Kentucky High School Athletics Association Commissioner Julian Tackett on how a change in penalties for players and coaches contributed to fewer disqualifications last year. From the Prestonsburg Floyd County Times.

“At first we were skeptical, but they won us over in the end.  Every one of them would have faced down hell with a water pistol if they thought it would help their kids.”  Unidentified eastern Kentuckian in an article about the acceptance of Teach for America educators working in Appalachian schools. From the University of Kentucky Institute of Rural Journalism’s online publication, Rural Blog.

“If you get the infamous letter from KDE in January or February that says the allocation for Clark County schools has been reduced by X-amount of dollars, because you have worked hard each step of the way to be structurally balanced, you are positioned well to handle that. You are in good shape as far as not having to do what I call fire sales with your academic programs and your instructional programs that the district has in place that you deem to be valuable.” Financial consultant Bob Waggoner to the Clark County Board of Education on its working budget and 22 percent contingency fund – an account buoyed by a previously omitted $2.1 million tax payment. From the Winchester Sun.

“Research and experience show that missing 10 percent of school days –or 18 days a year – correlates with lower test scores and higher dropout rates. Eighteen days is just two days a month over the course of the school year. Not surprisingly, these are the children who are not reading on grade level and not able to handle the more complex texts required in later grades. They are also more likely to be chronically absent in later years, since they never developed good attendance habits. In the early grades, absenteeism often has little to do with truancy or willfully skipping school. Instead, children stay home because of chronic illness, unreliable transportation, housing issues, or simply because their parents don’t understand how quickly absences can add up – and affect school performance.”  Portions of an op-ed article by Superintendent Lynda Jackson on Covington Independent Schools’ expanded effort to reduce student absenteeism. From the Fort Mitchell Nky.com.

“The school board decided that the academic requirements for athletes and others participating in extracurricular activities merited some serious review. Currently, to participate in high school sports in this county, a student only has to maintain a “D” in his or her classes. That meets the state’s not-so-lofty requirement and means a 1.0 grade-point average is good enough to represent the school. That is simply too low. SCPS has set the goal of having every student college or career ready – a goal we heartily hail –  and we know many athletes have ambitions about playing in college. But demanding a 1.0 GPA to participate does not allow a student to be close to readiness for anything, except perhaps to score a couple of touchdowns or net a hat trick in soccer for his or her high school team. That’s why we compliment the school board for deciding to take up what assuredly will be a controversial and painful topic.”  Portions of an editorial backing the Shelby County Board of Education’s call for a study on student athletes’ academic eligibility rules. From the Shelbyville News Sentinel.

“Just think if they were able to spend 20-30 percent more of their time teaching. Not only are they going to be more effective as teachers, but then you’ve got volunteers coming in who may not know anything about teaching, but can feel significant and like a part of the team.” Montgomery County Schools Community Education Director Jeff Perkins on efforts to train the district’s 900 volunteers on selected academic topics with a goal of increasing their positive impact in the classroom. From the Mt. Sterling Advocate.

“The schools have to exhaust all of their remedies to truancy before it becomes an issue for involvement by DCBS (state Department of Community Based Services). We’re asking: can we get them involved before that?” Henry County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Denise Perry testifying to the General Assembly’s juvenile code task force about roadblocks to the state agency and school districts collaborating to reduce student truancy. From the CNHI News Service.

“Only in Webster County can you get something for free and complain about it. It’s better than it was, and that’s all that matters to me.” Webster County school board member Steve Henry about continuing rumors about what will be done with the land and dirt after leveling a hill adjacent to the high school’s football field. From the Madisonville Surf News Group.

“We went from a dual-semester schedule to a tri-semester back to dual-semester. We’ve gone from one principal to an interim principal to a new principal. We have to have some consistency so that we can all focus. We’ve been so caught up in trying to address the state assessment changes that the ACT sort of took a back burner. In the end, we have to focus on ACT, end of course assessments and college and career readiness. It’s going to take the next five years to see if we’re making gains.” Marion County High School Principal Stacey Hall on the multitude of factors that contributed to a slight drop in the ACT scores of his school’s junior class. From the Lebanon Enterprise.

“I’ve had kids coming up to me, telling me I’m the swing vote tonight. That’s a shame, because I know they probably didn’t come to that conclusion on their own.” Adair County High School teacher and school council member Kevin Robertson on the panel’s 4-2 vote to reassign an agriculture teaching position to another academic unit. From the Columbia Adair Progress.

“If you just want to go green, good. But if you want to recoup costs, it’s something you need to seriously consider.” Jeff Frohlic, an engineering consultant to the Allen County Board of Education, on the pros and cons of using a process called “daylight harvesting” to provide electricity-free lighting at the district’s new technical center. From the Scottsville Citizen Times.

Proposed regulations for the use of restraint and seclusion

Point...
“If we are not sure ourselves when we can and cannot intervene, it puts us in a situation where we’re always guessing whether we can react.”
Greenup County Schools Superintendent Steve Hall on a frequently raised concern about the regulation: ambiguity in what would be prohibited and what would be permitted of educators when students act out violently. From the Ashland Daily Independent.

Counterpoint...
“If we have some procedures and a protocol in place, then we are less likely to react off the cuff.”
Beth Harrison, co-president of The Kentucky Association of Persons with Severe Handicaps, during testimony at a state hearing on the draft regulation. From the Louisville Courier-Journal.

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