2012 People Are Talking

2012 People Are Talking

People are Talking

“He wouldn’t do as well in school if he didn’t have sensory time. It’s the foundation that helps him be successful at everything else. And it’s safe for them to do that. They can roll around in it, and that’s important because kids are rough and tumble.” Amy Smith on the benefits her 5-year-old autistic son, Brendan, receives at Collins Lane Elementary School (Franklin County), where a “sensory room” provides therapeutic space that includes a pool filled with colored plastic balls and other safe play equipment. From the Frankfort State Journal.

“You are never going to be able to satisfy everybody. I don’t care what you do. If we are sitting here saying we are going to satisfy every parent in Letcher County, it is not going to happen. It can’t happen because somewhere along the way we have to make boundaries to what we are doing.” Letcher County Board of Education member John Spicer on his vote in favor of a board directive for schools to begin enforcing student attendance boundaries, to which previous lax adherence has led to overcrowding. From the Whitesburg Mountain Eagle.

“My children are getting a private education for the cost of my tax dollars.” Parent Amy Waggener to the Shelby County school board, asking the district to promote the advantages of Southside Elementary School as a means of increasing enrollment stability in advance of attendance redistricting. From the Shelbyville Sentinel-News.

“We’re always looking for mechanisms to help us identify an activity in our schools that doesn’t belong, whether it’s criminal activities such as theft or drugs in school to bullying –any information we can get to prevent barriers to learning and promote a good school environment. (This program) will allow school administrators to correspond with the anonymous tipster via text. We’ll have additional training that will allow us to train students on what to expect if they send in a tip, questions that will be asked and information they can provide in the tip that would be advantageous to us.” McLean County Schools Superintendent Tres Settle on his district’s use of a text messaging option to enable students to anonymously alert administrators to issues of concern. From the Calhoun McLean County News.

“This not only shows them what driving under the influence can result in, but the entire program allows us to take this through the legal process. We are hoping that in January we will hold a mock trial about this accident. We have students who will work with real judges, attorneys and the court system, then hold a trial at the high school. We want them to get a different perspective of what happens in these types of cases.” Kentucky State Trooper Endre Samu on a twist in the mock drinking and driving scenario given to Powell County High School students – a criminal trial for the offender. From the Clay City Times.

“We have a student right now that the parents are heartbroken when they come (to school) in the mornings because they are fighting doors to get in and out. When you think about someone in a wheelchair, and even if there’s someone helping them in that wheelchair, they have to swing around, open the door, prop it open with their feet and then pull the wheels of the wheelchair through. You’d have to have a door that’s handicap accessible.” Harlan Independent Elementary Principal Donna Bushnell during a board discussion on how to improve access to the district’s schools for students and adults with disabilities. From the Harlan Daily Enterprise.

“We are here to show the full support of the school board for this ordinance. About three weeks ago, we could have lost (sickened at school) three of our students to this stuff. No one knows what’s in it and it’s dangerous.” Rowan County Schools Superintendent Marvin Moore as the county fiscal court adopted an ordinance banning the sale, possession or distribution of synthetic marijuana, bath salts and other similarly marketed drugs. From the Morehead News.

“Over the last two or three years we have seen the numbers go up. The families we work with are working poor, who are struggling to stay above water.” Tammy Steele, who coordinates Greenup County Schools’ programs for economically disadvantaged students, on the Kentucky Youth Advocates KIDS COUNT report findings that the number of children living in poverty in the region is increasing. From the Ashland Daily Independent.

“All that is leading up to the most important ACT test, which is administered to all juniors. So what we’re trying to do is prepare students for that big ACT test. As you know, it’s an important test that gives our students scholarship opportunities – many opportunities that are postsecondary.” Bennie Stephens, Metcalfe County Schools director of assessments and accountability for learning, on why his district has opted to allow students in grades six through 10 to take the EXPLORE and PLAN tests an extra time as part of the ACT prep work. From the Glasgow Daily Times.

“Too often we only talk to students about the behaviors we do not want to see, when it is more important to talk to students about what we do want to see. If the only way we tell students whether or not their behavior is acceptable is by addressing negative behaviors, then we may decrease the behaviors we don’t want to see, but we are not really doing anything to increase the behaviors that we do want to see.” Joey Kilburn, director of pupil personnel and student support services for Simpson County Schools, on one aspect of the use of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports strategies throughout the district. From the Franklin Favorite.

“We charged a nickel tax on the people of Perry County for the school to help build it, and we want to keep that local if we can.” Perry County Board of Education member Debbie McIntosh on her board’s emphasis to the contractor building a new elementary school on the importance of hiring local workers and buying from local businesses.  From the Hazard Herald.

“I want to give you credit for one thing. You came in here and stood up like a man. You’re either telling the truth or everybody is telling the same lie. I did research into this and your story is very consistent. I can’t let him hang the whole bill, but he doesn’t deserve it all because he didn’t get here in time with the change orders.” Washington County Board of Education member Pat Clements on his motion to pay half of a contractor’s costs of replacing incorrectly installed fresh air units at an elementary school. From the Springfield Sun.

 

Preparing for the future

“What is particularly promising for Kentucky employers is that the new standards focus on preparing students for both college and the workplace. A recent Chamber member survey found that 52 percent of respondents believe the quality of Kentucky high school graduates does not meet employer expectations of what is needed for workplace success. We believe these more rigorous standards represent the change that employers advocate.” Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Adkisson speaking to the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, along with Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, as part of a statewide series of talks designed to build business support for new, more rigorous academic standards. From the Paducah WPSD-TV.

“Due to this difference in calculations, along with the distinct areas on which schools are being measured, the numbers certainly look lower than what we have seen. The important thing to remember is that we simply can’t compare our scores in the new testing program with the scores from the previous testing program.” Crittenden County Schools District Assessment Coordinator Tonya Driver on preparing parents and others to understand the changes from Kentucky’s shift to a new assessment system based on common core state standards. From the Marion Crittenden Press.

Point-counterpoint

on daytime curfews for school-age children

Point...
(Curfews) “violate a minor’s fundamental constitutional right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment on the public streets, highways and areas of the city without being subjected to prior governmental restraint. As we chip away at that, what are our grandkids going to be living in? I really do believe there’s a better way.” Alyssa Dara McDowell, a home-schooling mother who is opposed to the city of Covington’s consideration of a school-hours curfew to ensure students are in class.

Counterpoint...
“Within 30 seconds, we would know who is home-schooled. Within 30 seconds, they would be let go.” Covington Independent Schools Superintendent Lynda Jackson, a curfew advocate, responding to parents’ concerns of lengthy detentions for home-schooled children while police try to determine if they should be in class.

From the Nky.com

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