6-12 People are Talking

6-12 People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking

“You should always do your absolute best in anything you try. This test is about your school, it’s about your teachers and counselors, but most important it’s about you doing the absolute best you can do.” Ashland Independent Blazer High School head football coach Leon Hart to Oakview Elementary students before a student/staff pickup basketball game used to get the students fired up for the state accountability test. From the Ashland Daily Independent. Photo provided by Oakview Elementary

“A district can be like an octopus on roller skates: There’s a lot of movement, but everybody is going in different directions. It’s my job to make sure we are all going in the same direction with a No. 1 focus on the students. It’s going to take time. Things won’t happen overnight. You have got to build trust, and you can’t rush trust, but we can do it. We are going to make a difference.” Newport Independent Superintendent-to-be Kelly Middleton on preparing to assume his new post July 1. From the Fort Mitchell Nky.com.

“The state has demanded more rigorous coursework for students, and the new state tests reflect the expectation. These tests are tough. Adults would struggle with much of the content.” John Adair Intermediate School Principal Jane Branham on some of the challenges that teachers and students faced in the first year of testing under Kentucky’s new Unbridled Learning school accountability system. From the Columbia Adair Progress.

“Everyone is trying to do their best to help all of our students excel. From the foundational years at William H. Natcher Elementary and Frederick Fraize Middle School to the final years at Frederick Fraize High School, everyone is working toward a common effort – continuous improvement.” Sheri Merrifield, Cloverport Independent Schools’ director of student support services, on the districtwide effort that went into the high school being named one of 58 Kentucky schools ranked among the nation’s best high schools by U.S. News and World Report. From the Hardinsburg WXBC Radio News.

“This effort allowed local attorneys to meet face to face with students to discuss the legal obligations associated with credit, the many ways people abuse credit and how bad economic decisions regarding finances can impact their lives negatively for years to come.” Jonathan Shaw, coordinator of the Johnson County Bar Association’s CARE (Credit Abuse Resistance Education) program on working with Paintsville Independent High School students to prepare them for the fiscal responsibilities that come with adult life. From the Louisa Big Sandy News.

“This has dominated my thinking since it became apparent in February that we were not going to receive any extra state or federal aid. In my job, I have one goal – to protect the instruction of the kids in our district and help raise student achievement. Hand-in-hand with that is the people who work for our district. It has been the most difficult thing I have ever done in my 30 years in education.” Allen County Schools Superintendent Randall Jackson on the possibility of losing 20 employees and cutting instructional days to balance the district’s 2012-13 budget. From the Scottsville Citizen-Times.

“We are continuing to uphold our instructional positions as best we can (but) we will lose four teacher positions with our shortfall. We are trying to absorb it through retirements and minimizing it in every way possible. We feel right now that we have to hold our staffing for Senate Bill 1 reform. We adjusted the calendar to two less days — from 187 to 185 – to save money. All of this comes with a great deal of pain.” Caldwell County Schools Superintendent Carrell Boyd on the financial consequences of having to cut $1.1 million in spending next year due to reductions in state and federal funding. From the Princeton Times-Leader.

“We are a small school and some would think what kind of audacity do we have approaching Bellarmine with this idea. But we saw Bellarmine as similar in size to Eminence. Our boat is so small we can turn it fast.” Eminence Independent Superintendent Buddy Berry on the district’s F.I.R.E (Framework of Innovation for Reinventing Education) initiative in which high school students will travel on a Wi-Fi equipped bus to Bellarmine University in Louisville for college courses two days each week. From the Eminence Henry County Local.

“Language skills are so important today, and we want our students to have the best opportunities to be competitive with a global world. Because this program can reach so many of our students, we can ensure that.” Woodlawn Elementary School Principal Lisa Adams on her hopes for benefits from the addition of Spanish and Mandarin Chinese language courses in more Boyle County schools starting this fall. From the Danville Advocate-Messenger.

“With our MAP testing in the elementary schools, we get almost immediate results so we can go back into the classroom and make adjustments to the curriculum as needed. If I had a wish list, it would include taking these tests next week and getting our scores back before the end of the year, so we could share them with parents and spend more time working with our lesson plans well before the new (school) year begins.” Daviess County Schools Interim Superintendent Mike Gray in a meeting with Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, discussing possible adjustments in the state’s testing system. From the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.

“Co-teaching is a way to provide special services. Co-teaching is like collaboration; it’s just one more step up. Next year, I hope to step in more because I’ve had biology now — high school biology.” Carroll County High School special education teacher Kathy Cook, who is part of a first-year program pairing regular classroom educators and special ed teachers to integrate students with disabilities into mainstream instructional settings. From the Carrollton News-Democrat.

“I think it’s crucial that we have clear goals that everyone knows, that everyone in the community can quote. We need goals based on what we want our students to know and focused on how we want to keep improving achievement. We need to define what that actually means, not simply say that we want to continue to improve achievement.” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton on a proposal that the school board create a set of three to five districtwide goals that then would be monitored for progress by small groups of educators, parents and community representatives. From the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“If we opt out, how do we justify it to the local boat owner?” Lyon County Schools Superintendent Quinn Sutton in response to a request by representatives of nonresident boat owners to exempt large pleasure craft from the district’s property tax. From the Eddyville Herald-Ledger.

“QR codes are very useful for school purposes. You don’t know what’s going to happen when you scan it. You scan it, and it’s a surprise.” Warren Central High School senior Ryan Bell on his idea to incorporate QR (Quick Response) electronic codes on Warren County Schools buildings to provide information about the schools to students, staff, parents and visitors. From the Bowling Green Daily News. Photo provided by Warren County Schools

Tight budgets and tiny schools

Point...
“It’s kinda the center point of the community. Everything kind of revolves around the school. They keep saying it’s about the numbers, it’s about the numbers. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the children.”
Parent Amy Davidson in opposing a possible closure of the 117-student Oneida Elementary School in Clay County.

Counterpoint...
“This forces us to be in a situation that no superintendent or board member wants to be in because we are about kids and what’s best for the kids.”
Clay County Schools Superintendent Reecia Samples on why declining enrollment and $1 million in budget cuts could put the school on the chopping block.

From the Hazard WYMT-TV News.

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