0214 People are Talking

0214 People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking
“Our new library is so light, bright and open, people just enjoy coming in. It’s just so pleasant in here our students tend to gravitate to this room. In my 34 years working in schools, I’ve never heard such excitement from kids about reading. They are always talking about books, and that is pretty awesome.”  Karen Glass, library and media specialist at Paducah Independent’s new middle school, on how students are reacting to the facility’s library with enthusiasm about reading. From the Paducah Sun. Photo by Wayne Walden/Paducah Independent Schools
“As far as the passion goes, if I ever lost my passion for teaching and learning, that is when I would no longer teach. We have a passion for making sure that kids learn to read.” Louisa East Elementary School teacher Paula Lambert in a presentation to the Lawrence County board about work to build her students’ literacy skills. From the Louisa Big Sandy News.

“I don't want to take someone away from another school district in the middle of the year.”  New Hickman County Schools Superintendent Casey Henderson on why he will continue to perform his assistant superintendent and director of pupil personnel duties for the remainder of the school year. From the Clinton Hickman County Gazette.

“The gym floor was irreparably damaged; we're going to need a new floor. We've also changed our regularly scheduled home games for the rest of the season. We'll play those at our local elementary and middle schools.” McLean County High School Principal Ashley Troutman after a late December windstorm ripped more than a third of the roof off the school gym. From the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.

“What we have implemented this year has been wonderful. Behavior has really improved. If you’ve got good behavior in the classroom, you’re going to get a little bit more done academically.” Washington County Middle School Principal Ty Howard on student behavior management training given to teachers and its impact on academics. From the Springfield Sun.

“Any day that’s an off day between now and the rest of the year could be on the table. Obviously, you try to avoid those at all costs.” Caldwell County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Bruce McCalister on trying to protect spring break despite this year’s already hard winter weather. From the Princeton Times-Leader.

“It’s just another government mandate and those are not fun to deal with. You have to do more with less.” Deena Randolph, director of district-wide services for Casey County Schools, on dealing with the substitute worker tracking requirements for the federal Affordable Care Act. From the Liberty Casey County News.

“If we’re holding our students to a standard, I think the adults in the community need to be held to that same accountability. It’s not an option for me in my work place, and for most people, it’s not.”
  Jessamine County Board of Education member Fran Settle, pictured at right, during a discussion of adopting a drug testing policy covering all district employees. From the Nicholasville Jessamine Journal.
“Each student will carry a bus card attached to a book bag or a backpack. They will scan that card when they get on and off the school bus. This program will give the school system one more way of providing safety to its students. It allows us another check as to where students end up at the end of the day.” Logan County Schools Superintendent Marshall Kemp on a software program that also will allow parents to know when their students are on a district bus and where they get off. From the Russellville News-Democrat & Leader.

“When you have a threat to students like that, it becomes Job 1 for everyone. That means you have a combined effort of everyone in the school, from faculty to staff to food service, our maintenance people also have to drop everything. It came out to $6,150 an hour, which is quite a bit of money to this district, and, in some cases, we’ve had incidents that have actually lasted longer than an hour so that cost just goes up with those.” Calloway County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Fred Ashby on his calculation of the costs involved in responding to a series of bomb threats. From the Murray Ledger & Times.

“Our schools in so many ways have become about test prep. We've got to have kids graduating who can do more than respond to multiple-choice questions. Can they think like a mathematician? Can they think like a scientist? Can students look at data and evaluate what is good and reliable versus what might not be?”  Danville Independent Schools Superintendent Carmen Coleman on her district’s goal of gaining approval to use “project-based learning” measurements of student achievement as official district progress targets, replacing some aspects of the state accountability system. From the Danville Advocate-Messenger.

“One parent said, ‘There is a lot of physical and emotional security here.’ One student summed up the reasons for her feeling safe when she said, ‘I feel safe because teachers are around everywhere, the doors are locked, and we have security cameras.’” Portion of a Kentucky Center for School Safety audit report on two Hazard Independent buildings. From the Hazard Herald.

“Teachers had to use their card to get into doors. After three or four days, they got in the routine. I feel like everybody is comfortable and feels safer. You always want to think nothing bad will happen at your school. The best defense is to be on the offense. We want to limit visitors coming in and know who is in the buildings.” Dawson Springs Independent Chief Academic Officer Kent Workman on newly installed key card access to all doors in the district’s two schools. From the Madisonville Messenger.

 “Today's students will be the single biggest factor in Kentucky's ability to compete. We are failing them — and failing our future. The funding gap between poor and richer public school districts is almost back to pre-KERA levels. Five years of state funding cuts…have fallen hard on schools across the state, but are especially onerous in places where local tax increases can't begin to make up the difference. Unless these inequities are remedied — and that will require money — Kentucky should prepare to resume its former place at the bottom of all education rankings.”  Portions of newspaper editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“Middle school students are given the opportunity to see a college application and discuss how to appropriately complete it. Then there is EXPLORE night where students can match their assessment scores with their interests as they explore career pathways and courses to take in high school.” Henry County Schools Superintendent Tim Abrams, pictured at left, on pre-high school efforts in his district to focus students on postsecondary goals. From the Eminence Henry County Local.

“What people don’t realize is that if funding stays exactly the same, your costs don’t stay the same. We all know that with inflation, everything goes up every year.”
Letcher County Schools Superintendent Tony Sergent stating the impact if state school funding is simply maintained. From the Whitesburg Mountain Eagle.

“If we really want to reach the dreams we have for our children, we have to give them the resources.” State Rep. Wilson Stone (D-Scottsville) giving the Simpson County Board of Education a preview of the 2014 legislative budget building work. From the Franklin Favorite.

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