People are Talking - May 2014

People are Talking - May 2014

People are Talking

People are Talking
"We use saws, we use glue guns, we use everything that you can imagine in here, so we have to go over safety … I don’t want to do any project, no matter how exciting and how fun it is, if they can’t be safe with it.” Cathy Hill, teacher of a Life Management course at Lincoln County High School, on one aspect of the class she calls part health, part consumerism and part career preparation. Pictured at left are decorations her class made. From the Danville Advocate Messenger. Photo provided by Lincoln County Schools
 
“I believe it takes a lot of confusion out of it. It will definitely cut down response time once they get here.” Warren County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Denishia Morrison on use of the “Fast Path navigation system,” a program to aid emergency responders during a school crisis. From the Bowling Green Daily News.
 
“Our teachers, administrators and support staff deserve every penny that they get. In 2015 we’d have to watch that closely but knowing ahead of time, that’s the positive part. Knowing ahead of time you can start making your plans and so your budget will be able to handle that.” Corbin Independent Schools Superintendent Ed McNeel on the mandated pay raises for school employees in the new state budget. From the Hazard WYMT-TV.
 
“We have $5 million of bonding capacity that can only be used for facilities. We can either begin to use it now and get our students out of an antiquated pod setting that is not secure nor environmentally friendly, or we can wait at least eight years to build up funds for an entire new building. Adding to the fact that it gives us a more seamless grade structure, I think the community has come up with a good plan.” Metcalfe County Schools Superintendent Dr. Benny Lile on the outcome of a district facilities plan update. From the Edmonton Herald-News.
“I’ve always been adamant that our schools are not to be utilized as a political platform. After consultation with the principal, it appears that this transpired after the necessary and prior approvals and PTA was not aware of policy relating to ‘political activities’ with staff or on school grounds and accepted the advertisement unknowingly as additional revenue.” Spencer County Schools Superintendent Chuck Adams after a school PTA solicited and received support for a fundraiser from a local political candidate, which was noted as a re-election message on event shirts. From the Taylorsville Spencer Magnet.
 
“There will be efforts to divide us based on the anti-Kentucky Core Academic Standards group. There will be push back on the implementation of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. There will be debate as the Kentucky Board of Education begins to review and modify the Unbridled Learning Accountability System. It is critical that we continue to work together and united to help more students reach college and career readiness. We may not agree on every detail; however, we know that a united front is much more successful than one that is divided.” Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday in a recent blog.
 
“I think it is time to acknowledge that the Common Core needs serious work and is contributing to unequal opportunity. Unfortunately, we cannot modify Common Core to fix those deficiencies. That leaves us no option, if we are really going to do what SB 1 requires, but to drop the Core and move on to a more equitable and complete standards system.” Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine (R-Southgate) on a push by some House and Senate GOP legislators to replace Kentucky’s four-year-old use of academic standards that measure student progress and are comparable from state to state. From the Lexington Herald-Leader.
 
“Last night was just more of a brainstorming session I think to get some ideas on the table. Then as a board, we will certainly spend a good bit of time discussing those issues and ideas and begin to prioritize. So I don’t know if we are ready at this point to say which ones are our priorities.” Glasgow Independent Board of Education Chairwoman Elaine Richardson on a meeting she requested with school personnel to discuss short- and long-range plans for the district. From the Glasgow Daily Times.
 
“It will be like a public charter school. Kids would have the option of going there just for a specific program or for the whole high school experience.” Owensboro Independent Schools Superintendent Dr. Nick Brake on plans to open a second high school as a college and career “innovation academy.” From the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.
 
“A high school cannot have enough counselors. They have to be ready for anything. This year we had a student suicide, and our counselors had to organize counseling sessions for many students.” Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton on the importance of adding a second counselor to his 650-student high school. From the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“That process is the process you follow when you are looking at closing a school due to pupil expenditures and the financial costs that isn’t there. The enrollment at Cuba has been below 200 for the last five to seven years; it’s at 155 right now. There’s been endeavors and initiatives since 2001 to increase enrollment at Cuba Elementary by redistricting some of Wingo’s students and Sedalia’s students to move there. This is all about per-pupil spending, and this is the procedure you follow when you look to close a school for fiscal reasons.” Graves County Schools Superintendent Kim Harrison commenting on a lawsuit claiming the district failed to follow state law in the procedure for closing a school. From the Murray WKMS-FM.
 
“The closer it gets to the end of the year, the more I want it to be over.” Hickman County High School senior Johanna Fuller expressing what is probably a much-shared assessment of the spring semester stretched out by winter ice, snow and cold. From the Paducah WPSD-TV.
 
“Going through the process gives the board another tool to use in making financial decisions. This is in no way a reflection on how we feel that you are doing in the schools. We are very pleased in the ways our schools look.” Pendleton County Schools Superintendent Anthony Strong to custodial employees about the board’s decision to explore outsourcing of their work. From the Falmouth Outlook.
 
“We’re very pleased, because schools oftentimes don’t generate that. Metcalfe County, Adair County sold some and you don’t get that price like that. We’ve got $100,000 in state technology offers of assistance that’s kind of been piling up. Because you can’t pull that money out unless you match it dollar for dollar. We’ve not had a lot of local dollars to match it, so we’ve accumulated $100,000 in escrow.” Russell County Schools Superintendent Michael Ford on one benefit of a $137,500 winning bid to purchase a former elementary school. From the Russell Springs Times-Journal.
 
“We believe it’s a way to save the taxpayers money that would allow us to do more construction, especially in schools. We think the prevailing wage as it is established in different regions is unfair.” House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown) on efforts by GOP legislators to exempt school construction projects from the state’s prevailing wage law. From the Fort Mitchell Kentucky Enquirer.
 
“I don’t buy the savings part is really a savings. We need to make sure that we’re paying people wages they can feed their family on and make sure we’re getting quality work done throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook) on why Democratic legislators insist that the prevailing wage status quo on school projects be unchanged. From the Fort Mitchell Kentucky Enquirer.
Energizing student interest
“It turns out across the nation that in all the science classes, physics enrollment is the lowest compared to chemistry and biology in high school. It was the opposite of that back in the 1950s because of the Cold War; there was a big push for everyone to go into physics. Anymore, there’s a big push to go into the medical field and engineering — but we definitely still need physicists as well.” Kyle Curry, a physics instructor at Southwestern High School (Pulaski County) on the school’s Physics Phair designed to interest middle school students in the rigorous science courses. From the Somerset Commonwealth-Journal.
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